Bob Falter, CRS, GRI - ERA Key Realty Services | 508-612-1649 | [email protected]


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 2/6/2019

When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!

Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.  

1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.

2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.

3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.

4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.

5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.

6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.

The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 6/8/2016

Did you know your home could lose heat due to a poorly insulated attic? That's right, and home sellers who want to maximize the value of their residence will want to improve their attic's insulation immediately. You should try to air-seal the attic to minimize your home's energy loss consistently. However, there are several questions you'll need to consider before you add attic insulation, including: 1. How much insulation will I need? Ideally, you'll want your attic insulation to be above the floor joists. And if you notice your attic insulation sets below or at the floor joists, you may need extra insulation to boost your home's efficiency. Furthermore, you'll want to ensure that insulation is evenly distributed across your attic. That way, you'll be able to avoid low spots, aka areas where energy loss becomes more likely to occur. 2. What kind of insulation should I install? Just because there is certain type of insulation already installed in your attic does not mean that you have to use this same kind of insulation in the future. In fact, there are many insulation options at your disposal, providing you with plenty of flexibility to find insulation that fulfills your home energy needs and budget. Some of the most common types of attic insulation include: • Fiberglass – Fiberglass batts and rolls can be applied to unfinished walls, along with floors and ceilings. • Foam board – This type of insulation is valuable for unvented low-slope roofs and offers a high insulating value. • Blown-in – Perfect for unfinished attic floors, blown-in insulation is installed using special equipment and works well in irregularly shaped areas. Meeting with an attic insulation expert may prove to be valuable, as this professional can offer insights to ensure you can find the right insulation at any time. Therefore, you'll be able to rely on this insulation professional to complete your attic insulation project quickly and efficiently. 3. How much will it cost to add insulation? Adding insulation to your attic can become expensive, particularly for those who choose top-of-the-line insulation installed by insulation professionals. For many home sellers, it helps to budget accordingly when determining how much to spend on attic insulation improvements. Although you likely want to improve your home's efficiency, it is important to avoid the risk of overspending. And if necessary, you may want to consider lowering the asking price of your home rather than performing comprehensive attic insulation improvements that may provide only a limited return on investment (ROI). When in doubt, meeting with a real estate agent can help you determine which home improvement projects are paramount. This professional will work with you to accentuate the positive of your home to prospective homebuyers, and ultimately, ensure that you can boost your chances of a quick home sale. Attic insulation improvements serve as one of many ways that you can work toward enhancing the value of your home. And after you complete various attic insulation improvement tasks, you'll be better equipped to help your residence stand out from others in a highly competitive real estate market.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 3/30/2016

If you’re going to be putting your house on the market, you want it to be in the best condition possible for when prospective buyers come and look at it. A little sprucing up can add a lot of curb appeal and increase the chances of selling your home as soon as possible. Make Over Kitchen Cabinets An older, out of date kitchen can be given a face lift with the addition of some paint and new cabinet doors. The doors on the kitchen cabinets can make or break the way a kitchen looks. If you don’t have the funds to buy new cabinet doors, consider painting the cabinets. Avoid any type of wild paint, sticking instead to solid colors or the tried and true basic white. Add interesting touches like removing one cabinet door and paint the inside of the cabinet and shelves a different color. You can keep it open, or add a glass door. Adding some new knobs and handles will improve the look even more. You can go basic, or get really fancy with some high-end hardware, depending on the style of your home. Give the Entrance a Makeover Brighten the entrance to your home by painting the door. Choose an accent color from the rest of the front of the house. Add brand new hardware for a totally new, finished look. Place potted plants on either side of the door, or if you have wide steps, place them on the steps. Paint railings with fresh paint, being sure to scrape off the old paint first. Place solar lights along your walkway to add even more brightness. Replacing your mail box will also add character and instant curb appeal to your home. Be sure your house number can be seen from the road by placing large numbers on both your mail box and the house. Organize Closets People, especially women, always take closet space into consideration when looking for a house to buy. Purchase closet organizers and have them installed, or install them yourself. Then organize those closets and get rid of everything you don’t actually use. This will make your closets seem much larger and add so much more storage space by utilizing empty spaces in the closets. Alternately, if you have two closets in one bedroom, take the doors off one closet and turn that one into an office. There are “office in a closet” kits that come with shelves, and a deeper shelf to use as a desk. Add a desk chair, a computer and place a few books on the shelves and it looks like you have a home office, virtually creating a whole new room within a room.    





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 3/16/2016

Are you looking for inexpensive ways to add value to your home without breaking the bank? Whether you're getting ready to sell your home or just making some home improvements for your own enjoyment, it isn't that difficult. There is an old saying that kitchens and baths sell homes so these tips focus on those two rooms. Here are some good strategies to help you started: The kitchen For just a few hundred dollars: -Replace the kitchen faucet -Add new cabinet door handles -Update old lighting fixtures   With a slightly larger budget: -Give the cabinets a makeover by refacing them -Get a facelift for your appliances buy ordering new doors or face panels for them   The bath -Replace the toilet seat -Add a new pedestal sink -Replace the old bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles -Re-grout the tile and replace any chipped tiles in the tub and shower -If a new grout job won't do, try a complete cover-up with a prefabricated tub and shower unit Remember the actual cost of the renovation, and the value it adds to your home, depends on many factors including the real estate market value in your area.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 6/7/2015

Ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to help with the heating and cooling of your home. You can find many that cost under $100 and they have little ongoing cost. And for those of you who like DIY projects, this one will take you a couple of hours to upgrade an existing light fixture. While ceiling fans don’t drastically lower the temperature in a room, they do help to reduce it slightly as well as produce a light breeze which makes you feel cooler. The result? Less use of the air conditioner that results in 3-8% savings on cooling costs. Remember that in the summer months, your fan’s blades should be moving counter clockwise. In the winter months, ceiling fans can take on a whole new role. When you reverse the fan’s blades to rotate clockwise, you cause the air to circulate without causing that chilly breeze. This allows for better circulation of the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling. It’s often best to have the fan speed set to low in the winter to avoid too much air movement and the effects of a breeze. Lastly, and maybe the most important, is the decision on which fan to purchase. There are few things to keep in mind when you are out shopping for a ceiling fan. 1. The size of the room – ceiling fans come in all sizes and choosing one that is meant for your home’s room dimension is key. It’s recommended that you choose a 40-42 inch blade span for a room 70-100 sq feet and a 42-48 inch for 100-140 sq feet. A room that’s bigger may need two small fans to be effective. 2. The location of the installation – for rooms with lower ceilings, a flush mount ceiling fan will work best, while rooms with high ceilings will need a down rod so that the fan is in the right place. You also want to make sure for areas such as an enclosed porch, that you check out the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating to ensure the fan has either a damp or wet rating. 3. Finally, you want to pick a fan that fits your decor and life style. Fans come in all sorts of styles and can have features from various lighting to remote controls. Changing a current light fixture in your home to a ceiling fan can saving you hundreds over the life of the fan. Especially with Energy Star rated ceiling fans available, savings can add up quick.