Kirk Simmon Real Estate Video Blog
  • Kirk Simmon
15 episodes
If you are looking to buy or sell a home, get all the information and the latest updates, tips, and tricks from The Simmon Property Group - your professional West Chester Real Estate Agents.


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home
2017 Feb 20
These 5 things will harm your home sale by not only prolonging the process, but also costing you money. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale What are five mistakes you should avoid when selling your home? 1. Over-improving your home. Sometimes it’s necessary to make improvements. Other times, improving a whole kitchen isn’t necessary. Always seek the advice of a real estate professional on which improvements to make so you get the best return on your investment. 2. Remodeling without permits. It’s very likely in our area that the township has a use and occupancy permit in order to transfer title once the home is sold. If they go through your home and discover that you don’t have the proper permits for any remodeling you may have done, they may make you redo it. Needless to say, that would be hugely expensive and disastrous to your sale.  3. Limiting your showings. As agents, if we hold showings that are too open, too easy, and scheduled with little-to-no notice, we can understand how that might be annoying. However, if you require that your agent only shows your home between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every other Tuesday, that’s too tight of a window. Not only will that limit your showings, but it could also frustrate agents to the point where they might just decide to move onto another home. Don’t limit your showings, but instead set a schedule that’s comfortable for you as well. “ Hire an agent who has mastered the Internet. ” 4. Having an open house every week or relying on an agent whose whole strategy relies on open houses. Open houses are a great way for buyers to see your house and for us to drive traffic into the home once the listing is launched. Exclusively relying on them to snag buyers is a bad strategy, though. The way to have your house open all the time is hiring an agent who has mastered the Internet. That way, buyers can see your home 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. 5. Not following your agent’s lead. Nobody knows more about your home than you do, but your agent should know how to market your home. You don’t have to follow your agent’s lead blindly, but following their advice should make the process smoother, cut down on your showings, and increase your price. If you have any questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you!
Which Pricing Strategy Works Best?
2017 Jan 27
There are many different pricing strategies you can use when selling a home. We’re focusing on the three most common ones today. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale When you sell your home, there are three different pricing strategies you can follow. There are advantages and disadvantages to each one, so we are going to go through them and explain the strategies in further detail: 1. Price it high and look for a “needle in the haystack” buyer who will pay a premium price for the home. The obvious drawback to this one is that it limits your potential buyers. Most buyers in the marketplace now look at multiple homes, so they will know you are overpriced. It could detract from your traffic and cause you to reduce your price later if you can’t find that unique buyer. You could always hit a home run though. 2. Price your home right at its market value based on recent sales. This strategy really has no visible drawbacks. It attracts most of the current and potential buyers and is usually the best strategy. The only possible downside would come if you hired the wrong agent who isn’t quite sure about the state of the market. You could be in for trouble if that is the case. “ Pricing your home at its market value is usually the best option. ” 3. Price your home low to create an auction-like atmosphere to bring in multiple buyers and multiple offers. This strategy can be very effective in a competitive seller’s market. It can drive the price way over what the property was listed at. However, you could also end up selling your house for less than you thought if the offers stop coming in or a buyer gets cold feet. Ultimately, you should pick the strategy that works best for your specific situation. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!
How to Find Your Real Home Value
2016 Dec 20
If you want to find your home’s true value, you should hire an expert. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale Whether you are looking to sell in the near future or are just curious, you want to figure out the value of your home. Should you use an online tool to find out the real value of your home? When you use a website to find your home’s value, the website uses an algorithm that is based on homes that are both for sale and have sold in your area. It can also sometimes be loosely based on your tax assessment. It’s very important when using these home valuation tools to keep an eye out for our expectations. The expectation is more of a guidepost, and sometimes it can be way off. For example, Zillow has admitted that their Zestimate tool can be up to 25% off in either direction. “ Zestimates can be up to 25% off in either direction. ” Many consumers are frustrated by this, which is understandable. That’s why we tell our clients to call us and give us their information. We will look at your home, homes that have actually sold in your neighborhood, homes for sale, how your home looks, and any improvement that you’ve made. From there we will be able to tell what is and isn’t real on the internet.  So go ahead and use online valuations as a guide, but if you want to know the true value of your home, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!
The Election’s Effect on the Real Estate Market
2016 Dec 06
What does the outcome of the election have to do with real estate? Here are my tips for home buyers and sellers in the market now. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale Well, this chaotic election is finally over, and we know that Donald Trump will be our next president. How does this affect the world of real estate? Here is what I recommend buyers and sellers do moving forward. For home buyers, I have to say that in the last three years, I have never seen a better time to buy a home than right now in our post-election fall real estate market. All of the uncertainty and angst has created some amazing opportunities for buyers. Though we have a balanced market with 5.2 months of inventory, buyers have lots of opportunities and very little competition. They can get a great home at a great price. If you’re a seller in today’s market, you have to think ahead. How are you going to get ahead of the spring competition? Just as it’s advantageous for buyers to have somewhat limited inventory left over from spring and summer, sellers can benefit from the lack of competition as well. As a seller, you’re in a great position to sell your home because a home that is marketed and staged properly will be exposed only to serious buyers. Any buyers on the market right now are most likely in need. “ Home buyers can get into a great home at a great price. ” We project that in the spring market, we will start to see some tremendous activity and an influx of listings starting in February. If you’re thinking about selling your home, the best time to sell is when your neighbors aren’t. That time is now. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, our market right now gives you a lot of different options. If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in this post-election fall market or in 2017, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!
What You Need to Know About Lock Boxes
2016 Nov 22
Though they carry their share of drawbacks, lock boxes make showing your home easier and more secure. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale Today, I wanted to talk about lock boxes—what they are, why we use them, what types there are, and the pros and cons of each type. Lock boxes hold the keys that we give to your Realtor once we confirm that they’re a licensed agent. The rubberized lock box then gets mounted on the doorknob of the listed house with the key to the house inside it.  There are two types of lock boxes you can use: the combination lock box and the electronic lock box. We always offer a choice between the two. The main benefit of the electronic lock box is that they are very durable. One of the drawbacks, however, is that if you’re the owner of the house and you need to get the key, you can’t access it unless you have the specialized corresponding software on your smartphone or the specialized key the manufacturer gives you.  Additionally, the only way to get that software or that specialized key to open the box is to be a member of Suburban West Realtors. This means you have to be a licensee or an affiliate member and pay the appropriate fees. Many agents choose not to spend the money to get the key to open the box, which can really inhibit the potential for showings. Also, not all of the appraisers and home inspectors that we need to get access to the house have the membership required to use them. This can be impractical if you’re trying to sell your house during the busier parts of the year. “ Lock boxes are a secure way to help get your home sold quickly. ” The alternative to the electronic lock box is the combination lock box. These are accessed by a very specific code that we set. We can then give you the code if you need to get the key. We can also give the code to the Realtor/appraiser/inspector once they qualify through our specialized system so they themselves can gain access to the house. The downside of the combination lock box is that there’s a fractional chance (40,000 to 1) that an evil genius can guess the code. Not using a lock box can create challenges such as mitigating the ease with which you can provide showings for your home. The other options would be to leave your home open and stay there and or have somebody else open it. Ideally, you shouldn’t even be at your showing, so when you don’t use a lock box, you run the chance of mingling with prospective buyers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can make some people uncomfortable. Ultimately, we always recommend that you use a lock box. They’re a secure resource that helps you speed up showings, speed up closings, and get your home sold. It also allows us Realtors to always know who’s coming to your house ahead of time.  If you have any questions about lock boxes or the real estate market in general, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
Donate to a Good Cause Here in West Chester
2016 Nov 01
It’s time again for our yearly food drive. This is something that we’re very passionate about, and we’d love it if you could make a donation. Selling your Main Line home? Get a free home value reportBuying a Main Line home? Search all homes for sale For those of you who know me, you know that I’m pretty passionate about my yearly food drive. This is something that we do with all our clients, friends, and everyone else we know. We’re trying to continue our tradition of donating hundreds and hundreds of pounds of food a year to a very good cause right here in West Chester Borough called the West Chester Food Cupboard. Every year we do this, we ask people to donate whatever they can. Even though we’re in a flourishing area, we still have people that need us. If you want to help out and donate, you have two options to do so: The first option is having us come to you to pick up whatever you want to donate. All you have to do is call our office at (610) 692-7361 or email us at and give us the location. The second option is mailing or hand-delivering your donations to our office at RE/MAX Main Line, 1646 West Chester Pike Suite 2, West Chester, PA 19382. “ We’d love it if you could help. ” We’re very passionate about this cause and we’d love it if you could help. If you have any questions about the food drive or the real estate market, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!
You Received a Lowball Offer. Now What?
2016 Oct 18
If you're selling a home, you might receive a lowball offer. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle this kind of offer as a savvy home seller. What do you do if you're selling a home and you receive a lowball offer? There are a few things to keep in mind when this happens. The first is that you have an offer, which is better than no offer at all. Then, you want to evaluate the buyer's qualifications. Are they prepared financially to buy your home? We'll take a look at the financials and call a lender if we have to.  If they are qualified, the next step is to evaluate what price and what terms we're looking at. We're looking for a combination of the two that works best for you. From there, we want to try and determine what that buyer's motivation is for making that low offer. Sometimes people just come into town looking to score a deal or they don't know what's going on in the market. “ A lowball offer is better than no offer at all. ” We want to counter that offer right away; we always counter an offer. Why counter a lowball offer? Remember, it's better than no offer at all, so we start by figuring out where they are and where you are. Inventory is low, and if someone picked your home to make an offer on, it could really be an oasis for them, and they're just starting. We always counter, though. Sometimes we counter a little off the listing price and sometimes we counter at full price. Then, we want to make sure that if you’re even going to work with this buyer, that we also negotiate the terms. Ultimately, you could lose a buyer if you don't just counter and move forward. Always make a counter and don't let the buyer go. You can always at least buy some time to find out who you're dealing with in this buyer. If you have more questions about handling offers or you have questions about Main Line Real Estate in general, you can always give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help you!
Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Listing Main Line Homes
2016 May 31
Looking to buy in the Main Line? Get a Full Home Search  Looking to sell in the Main Line? Get a Free Home Price Evaluation There are 4 very common mistakes that can really mess up a home sale. I want to share these mistakes to avoid with you and take it one step further with some helpful alternatives. 1. Doing it alone. Nine times out of 10 when listing for sale by owner you’ve exposed your house to a small number of people, and you may have shown the wrong price, the wrong condition, or just the wrong media. Consider hiring a professional as for sale by owner homes typically get 6-7% less. 2. Mispricing. If you overprice your home, consumers may not recognize its value because they’re not looking in the right spaces. If you’re $50,000 too high, they might be looking for that fourth bedroom when you’ve only got three. Agents could discount it just thinking that you’re unreasonable. You could miss all the pent-up demand and end up reducing the price later on. 3. Using terrible or no photos. We’ve all been online and seen this - and the very next thing we do is skip to the next property. Never put your home on the market until your photos are perfect. 4. Not working on the backyard. People make this mistake all the time because barely anybody pays attention to it. They get so focused on curb appeal and inside the home that they forget all the weeds, toys, and junk in the backyard. Thanks for watching. If you have any questions you can email me or call me and I’d be happy to talk with you.
Five Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Main Line Home
2016 May 24
Looking to buy in the Main Line? Get a Full Home Search Looking to sell in the Main Line? Get a Free Home Price Evaluation There’s five really simple ways to upgrade your Main Line home that I’d like to share with you. Declutter: Move things around, take out the stuff you don’t need; donate it, give it to a friend or just throw it out. Replace lighting: You can really update your home quickly by updating the lighting or getting rid of those old builder fixtures or even just replacing the rings in your recessed lighting with fresh ones.Replace appliances: You can not only update to the latest finishes, you can save money on energy usage and maybe even get some rebates from your local electric company. Paint: Repaint with today’s hot colors you find in a magazine - have some fun with it. This can really make you fall in love with your house again.Hire a stager to help you focus on decor: It can be both expensive or inexpensive as most people charge by the hour. You don’t have to send them out shopping for you, but they can make some simple tweaks to stuff you have to help you upgrade your home. Do you have any questions or topics you’d like to see made into a video? Email or call and I’d be happy to speak with you.
A Warning to Those Considering a Main Line Home Addition
2016 May 20
Looking to buy in the Main Line? Get a Full Home Search Looking to sell in the Main Line? Get a Free Home Price Evaluation I have a word of warning I give to those who are thinking about building an addition. With major construction projects on your home, you often run into major cost overrun. Lots of times you find yourself spending far more money than you thought you would on that addition. The second thing to consider with an addition is the question of it adding value. Sometimes simply adding space doesn’t add value to your home. You might not get back every penny returned on that investment. In fact, in most cases, it doesn’t. Smaller and simpler repairs like painting and cleaning often bring back the best return. The third thing I talk about with clients considering an addition is to consider your neighbors. Say you’re the first person on the block to bump up your garage and add a room above it - you might stand out in the wrong way and it won’t return the value. Finally, consider if it would be more cost effective to move into a neighborhood with a bigger home rather than making your house the biggest on the block with an addition that’s hard to sell. Have questions? Give me a call or send me an email and I’d be happy to speak with you.