Long & Foster- America’s Most Trusted Residental Real Estate Brokerage

AMT_RealEstateBrokerage2016

 

Trust is critical when consumers judge the merits of a brand or company.  When consumers have trust in a brand they have belief that the brand will meet their expectations.  Without trust consumers have no interest in using or considering the services of a brand.  As a result, the trust of a consumer is critical to the success of brands. Moreover, given the importance in consumer trust, brands have begun to seek out the level of trust they hold with those they seek to serve. The Lifestory Research America’s Most Trusted Study, in its fourth year, awards companies that provide services or products to customers in their home.  Brands currently awarded the designation of America’s Most Trusted include: home builders, active adult resort home builders, cabinets, faucets, electric utilities, HVAC systems, kitchen appliance brands, laundry appliance brands, paint, and residential realtor organizations. Long & Foster ranks highest in trust among residential real estate brokerage brands according to Lifestory Research America’s Most Trusted™ 2016 Residential Real Estate Brokerage Brand Study.  The study, based on 15,377 consumer opinions, tracks how trust impacts consumer’s evaluations of residential real estate brokerage brands.  Consumer opinions are collected over the course of the prior 12 months. To qualify to participate in the study, participants must have indicated that they were aware of specific brands. Participants completed several questions including motivational drivers, demographic characteristics, and brand equity measures.  The brand measures include measures of brand awareness, quality, current brand in home, and trust. In the Lifestory Research America’s Most Trusted Study, consumers are asked about their trust in home based brands. Trust is measured through the Lifestory Research Net Trust Quotient Score in which every brand can be divided into three categories: “advocates,” a customer who feels a significant trust toward the brand; “neutrals,” those who trust a specific brand, but do not see a specific brand as standing on the shoulders of other brands in regards to trust; and “antagonists,” who are skeptics with little, if any, trust in a specific brand.

 

Index

 

Using this approach noted above, Lifestory Research calculated T scores for the brands in the study.  A new feature of this years study is that all brands, across all categories, the T scores were based on all brands in the study.  An index score of 100 is average for all home brands included in the study.  In the following table is the rank order of the brands.  The rankings are based on the Net Trust Index Quotient Score.

 

 

The brands included in the ranking list are based upon those brands most recognized by consumers. Some brands included in the study are not represented in the list since they did not generate a brand awareness score high enough to be included. Charts and graphs must be accompanied by a statement identifying Lifestory Research as the publisher and the Lifestory Research 2016 America’s Most Trusted™ Study as the source.

About Lifestory Research

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., Lifestory Research is a trusted national independent market research firm focused on consumers and their homes. We take a consumer-centered approach to helping developers, home builders, financial institutions, product manufacturers, utilities, and organizations serving customers in their homes. We provide timely analysis that allows our clients to make informed decisions. Our research is backed by in-depth consumer and market intelligence that drives confident business decisions. www.lifestoryresearch.com

About America’s Most Trusted™ Award

America’s Most Trusted™ is a designation awarded to companies that provide services or products to customers in their home. The award was first established in 2012 by Lifestory Research, a national consumer research firm. Companies and categories currently awarded the designation of America’s Most Trusted™ include: home builders, active adult resort home builders, cabinets, faucets, electric utilities, HVAC systems, kitchen appliance brands, laundry appliance brands, paint, and residential realtor organizations.  Awards are based upon the collection and evaluation of consumer surveys administered over the course of a 12 month time period.

 

 

5 Hot Curb Appeal Trends for 2016

5 Hot Curb Appeal Trends for 2016
By John Egan
RISMEDIA, Friday, January 29, 2016— Curb appeal is in the eyes of the buyer. But as Texas Tech University researchers Emmett Elam and Andrea Stigarall point out, the precise factors that influence a homebuyer’s perceptions of curb appeal are debatable. What is not debatable is the lift that curb appeal gives to the value of a home. Improving the curb appeal of your home can boost its value by as much as 17 percent, the Texas Tech researchers found. They say curb appeal ranks second only to home size in weighing a home’s value.
While the notion of curb appeal has been around for decades, its appeal keeps rising. Mischel Schonberg, a spokeswoman for Mason, Ohio-based garage door manufacturer Clopay, says: “Home improvement shows and magazines have drilled the importance of curb appeal into the minds of homeowners looking to increase the value and appearance of their homes.”

Here are five top-of-mind trends for curb appeal in 2016.

1. Update the Front Door A fresh coat of paint can spruce up a ho-hum front door and help make a better first impression when someone is eyeing your home.
Veronica Solomon, owner and lead designer at Casa Vilora Interiors in Katy, Texas, says: “Painting a front door a bold color is my favorite curb appeal trend. It creates interest and a focal point to the façade of the home. It gives the home personality. It is inexpensive to do, but has an immediate and big impact.”
Pat McGeehan, CEO of a real estate investment company in Spring Lake, N.J., suggests contrasting the color of your front door with the color palette of your front yard. He also recommends installing a new knob on the front door — one that’s shiny and ornamental.
If you replace the front door altogether, beware that you’ll need to pony up more money than if you just touch up the door with a fresh coat of paint. According to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of replacing a front door on a home is $1,230 (steel) or $2,926 (fiberglass), with an owner being able to recover 102 percent of the cost for the steel door or 72 percent of the cost for the fiberglass door.

2. Lighten Up the Exterior
Outdoor lighting can add a touch of elegance to your front of your home. Furthermore, it can enhance the safety of your house. Outdoor lighting should go beyond ordinary lampposts and wall-mounted lighting to make your landscaping really stand out. Try installing stylish and modern lighting on your front porch.
A 2012 survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that 90 percent of homebuyers rated exterior lighting as an “essential” or “desirable” feature.

3. Liven Up the Landscaping
Flowers and fertilizer can be your friends when it comes to bumping up the curb appeal of your home. A study by Alex X. Niemiera, a horticulture professor at Virginia Tech, shows that a well-landscaped home holds a higher value than a home without proper landscaping. The advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent, translating into an extra $8,250 to $19,050 for a home worth $150,000.
Of course, landscaping goes beyond flowers and fertilizer. Trim any overgrowth and pull weeds to spiff up the front lawn, McGeehan says. “Neatness will make the yard look bigger and will make your plants look greener and more vibrant,” he says.
McGeehan also says you consider putting up a low-height fence around the front yard to create a “welcome boundary” and make the front yard look larger. While you’re installing that fence or planting those bushes and shrubs, don’t overlook the lawn itself. According to a 2015 survey by lawnmower manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, 62 percent of American homeowners say the lawn influenced their home-buying decision.

4. Put Furniture on the Porch
Placing a bistro table or a couple of chairs on your porch can cost an average of $800 to $1,200 but can yield a return on investment of 40 percent to 60 percent, according to Styleathome.com.
“Nothing is more inviting than a pair of matching rockers on a front porch that are visible from the street,” McGeehan says.

5. Upgrade the Garage Door
One of the easiest ways to improve your home’s curb appeal is upgrade your garage door. Schonberg says: “Garage doors can represent up to 40 percent of a home’s curb appeal, especially in markets where lot sizes are narrow and builders have no choice but to position the garage on the front of the house. That much real estate presents a huge opportunity to enhance or detract from a home’s appearance.”
According to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of replacing a garage door on a home is $1,595, with an owner being able to recoup 88 percent of that cost.
Schonberg says that 10 to 15 years ago, garage doors weren’t considered a key element of exterior design. Now, she says, replacing the garage door ranks among the top 5 home improvement projects.
“It’s no longer about just about getting a steel door in a different color or with windows. Homeowners can customize their door to fit their home style perfectly and make a statement,” Schonberg says.


This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.

For Sale- 203 Harding Ave, Havertown, PA 19083

203harding2

203harding

Kick off your shoes and relax- your turnkey home awaits you! Walk right up onto your updated front porch where you can create your own oasis.  The first floor features brand new hardwood floors installed in 2015 in both the living room and dining room; and living room features a brick fireplace wired for a electric insert. The kitchen has Granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances; included is a freestanding butcher block and a Crate and Barrel tall cabinet for more storage.  Exit your brand new storm door to your backyard which has a large 15 x 20 concrete rear patio installed in 2010, and vinyl fencing to create privacy and a storage shed. The 2nd floor offers 3 good size bedrooms with newer carpet & updated full hall bath with new porcelain toilet (2015). The 3rd floor is a full room with electric & ready for finishing as the 4th bedroom or office. The basement is full & finished with wall to wall carpeting & ceramic tile flooring. Centrally located to Haverford schools, shopping & public transportation. Additional upgrades include; new hot water heater (2015), front bedroom rug (2014), ceiling fans (2013).

203harding1

5 Healthy Home Habits to start in 2016

5 Healthy Home Habits to Start in 2016
By Oseye Boyd
RISMEDIA, Monday, January 11, 2016— (TNS)—It’s the time of year when we’re inundated with articles on how to be healthy, start good-for-you habits and dump the bad ones. But, what about giving some attention to another major investment in your life — your home.
To help get your home in tip-top shape, here are five healthy home habits to start in the upcoming year:
1. Create a home maintenance and repair budget
Don’t break the bank when your washing machine stops or the hot water heater leaks. Create a budget now for expected maintenance projects, and set aside extra funds for those unexpected, emergency repairs that always seem to occur at the most inopportune time. According to financial pros, you can expect to spend about one to four percent of your home’s value annually on repairs and maintenance.
2. Clean refrigerator condenser coils
Help your refrigerator live longer and stay cool by cleaning the condenser coils. Appliance repair pros say it’s the No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task. Condenser coils, which are located under or behind the refrigerator, eventually become covered with dust and pet hair. Keeping the condenser coils clean can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill. A professional cleaning costs around $100. However, you can do it yourself with a vacuum cleaner and an inexpensive coil brush.   3. Service your garage door
Regular garage door maintenance ensures safety and helps prevent costly repairs. In many houses, the garage door is the most used door — and it’s a big, heavy one. Hire a garage door pro to check the tracks, rollers and hinges; tighten screws and bolts and lubricate the moving parts. According to professionals and Angie List members, garage door inspections cost $40 to $100.
4. Hire a chimney sweep
Regardless of whether you use a wood-burning fireplace or a gas log fireplace. A gas fireplace burns clean, meaning there’s no creosote or soot, but you want to be sure the ceramic logs, valves and connections work properly. A gas log fireplace poses the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning if not properly ventilated.
For wood-burning fireplaces, highly flammable creosote builds up in the chimney walls and can cause a fire if not removed. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) advises hiring a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) Certified Chimney Sweep.
Also, inspect the chimney for debris, such as bird nests or other objects that could block ventilation.
5. Schedule a furnace tune-up
Annual furnace inspections and cleanings cost less than $100, but can potentially save you hundreds of dollars in repairs by keeping your HVAC system in optimal working condition and catching problems early. HVAC maintenance contracts typically cost $150 to $500 per year. Don’t forget to change the furnace filter as a clogged air filter puts extra stress on your HVAC system.   Oseye Boyd is a reporter at Angie’s List.   ©2016 Angie’s List Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

West Chester Satisfied Client Review

A review from Helen who used Kevin Toll for a home sale and purchase.

This review was posted on 10/12/15 on Zillow.com

Sold a Single Family home in 2015 for approximately $425K in West Chester, PA

“Kevin Toll was extremely attentive to me and my concerns prior to listing my West Chester home, and also finding my new home in Chester Springs. He works with you and you have his cell phone to reach him with any upcoming issues. He even showed me homes the day after his baby was born! I love my townhouse its perfect, and sold my home in less than 5 days!! Both settlements went smoothly I had no doubts really! 5 star all the way Thanks again Kevin!”

Ultimate Home Seller Tips

Home seller tips

 

Considering selling your home?

Have you thought about interviewing a realtor yet? Contact me and see why I am the right realtor to help you and your family sell your home.

My past client testimonials speak for themselves.

Here is my latest review from Zillow:

09/24/2015 – Bought a Single Family home 

“Kevin managed to make the buying process an enjoyable experience, which is exactly what it should be. Kevin is also a pleasure to deal with; and his even, relaxed manner goes a long way to reduce the stress that always accompanies these transactions.”

Here are some great tips to follow.

Home seller tips

Homeowner Hacks you can put to use when selling

Selling your home? Here are 6 quick homeowner hacks you can put to use when you are selling your home:

1) The night before put Ammonia in the oven, it will loosen hardened spills in oven; wipe clean in the morning

2) Lemon KoolAid in the dishwasher to clean stains

3) Put vanilla in mug or ramekin in the oven for smell of baking

4) Dryer sheets on a fan for quick deodorizer of a stinky room

5) Microwave a bowl of water for 2-3 mins. Steam loosens spills; wipe clean

6) Clean the drain with common household items. Boil a pot of water, pour down drain. Follow with 1/2 c. baking soda. Let sit 3 mins. Then pour 1 c. hot water/1 c. vinegar on top.

THREE REASONS YOU SHOULD HIRE AN AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME

1) PRICE Last year, the typical for sale by owner (FSBO) home sold for $208,700, while homes sold by agents went for an average of $235,000. Nearly half of FSBO sellers choose that route because they want to avoid paying an agent’s commission fee. But in reality, we see that sellers using an agent net more on the sale than FSBO sellers — even after the commission is paid. 15% of FSBO sellers say that getting the right price for their home is the most difficult part of the sale.

2) MARKETING AND EXPOSURE More than 92% of home buyers search online for homes, and they agree that the most stressful part of the buying process is finding the right property. When an agent lists your home on the MLS, it will appear on the popular home search sites. Buyers can also check out property details like beds, baths, and square footage, and view high quality photographs showcasing your home’s best features. Meanwhile, less than 20% of last year’s FSBO sellers posted their homes on local or national search sites, or on online classified sites. The most commonly used marketing tool by FSBO sellers is a yard sign.

3) PAPERWORK AND NEGOTIATION No one likes red tape. Understanding and performing paperwork is a most difficult task for many FSBO sellers. Agents manage buyer and seller transactions each day. You shouldn’t be expected to know everything, but agents have the expertise needed to get you the most for your home.

WHEN YOU HIRE AN AGENT, YOU GET:

1. The right listing price, and a built-in negotiator to make sure you get nothing less

2.Visibility on home search sites and other online marketing channels

3. The bare minimum of paper work, and knowledge that will make you confident when you head to the closing table

Source: NAR 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

3 Spring Tips to Boost Curb Appeal

3 Spring Tips to Boost Curb Appeal
By Rhonda Duffy
RISMEDIA, Friday, March 20, 2015— Curb appeal can be the most important aspect when trying to attract buyers. As temperatures rise and spring begins to waltz in, take advantage of the warmth and set yourself and your family to work in the yard to improve your home’s curb appeal. Some ideas:

1. Create an immaculate space – During the winter, things can get out of hand in your yard. Plants and trees can look overgrown or decrepit, so cut them back and prune them to perfection. This will allow your plants and trees to grow beautifully during the warm spring season. Rake up or blow away dead leaves throughout your lawn and flowerbeds, since they can create a cluttered look. Be diligent about general upkeep in your yard. Mow the lawn and put down some fresh pine straw or mulch to clearly mark spaces in your yard, creating a clean and manicured look.

2. Introduce some color – Visit your local nursery to purchase some colorful, healthy-looking flowers, trees, or shrubs. This is where you get to have fun and be creative with the color palette you want to present to your buyers. Some good choices to consider are roses, tulips, daffodils, peonies, hostas, or crepe myrtles. Get several different colors of the same kind of flower to keep it simple, yet vibrant. Overall, you want buyers to drive through your neighborhood and stop in front of your home to ooh and ahh at the beauty of your yard. They will only want to see more of your home.

3. Don’t neglect your backyard – The state of your backyard can be an important selling point of your home. You want to create an illusion of privacy, comfort, and fun all at once. You want your buyers to imagine relaxing in the backyard, or hosting a barbecue for friends. At the same time, you want the backyard to bring your buyers a sense of being at one with nature. Introduce some lush greenery to this space, to really create an atmosphere of health and serenity. Place some lawn or deck furniture in the backyard as well to allow buyers to imagine sitting outside on a warm summer evening with their family and friends. You may even want to designate areas in your backyard for different kinds of gardening. Create a space for a vegetable or herb garden to give it more character and allow buyers to imagine themselves getting creative in the backyard gardening as well.

Overall, you want your yard to help sell your home by creating a healthy and colorful look during the spring and summer seasons.


Ultimate home sellers Checklist

CLEAN AND DECLUTTER Cramped rooms are a buyers’ turnoff, so make sure you open up and brighten each room. Start with the furniture — remove the oversized pieces, or those that don’t fit the room’s main purpose. For example, get rid of one of your living room end tables, and remove the desk from your family room. Buyers should see there is enough space in the house for their needs. Next, look at your countertops, shelves, and in cabinets. Keep the knick knacks to a minimum, and the decor neutral so buyers can easily picture bringing their lives into your home.

MAKE NECESSARY REPAIRS There are two kinds of repairs you should consider before selling your home. The first are cosmetic repairs. These are the “nice to haves” for buyers, and the associated costs should be relatively low. Repaint rooms to be less bold, and replace outdated light fixtures or hardware. The overall goal is that your home should feel fresh and modern. Second, you should get a presale home inspection to determine any fixes that could affect your home’s ability to sell. You know if you have an aging roof or radiator, but an inspection will tell you if they’ll need to be replaced in order to get the sale approved.

GET CURB APPEAL Picture yourself as a buyer pulling up to your home for the first time. The lawn is well cared for, the landscaping is impeccable, and the front door has a fresh coat of paint. These natural observations set the tone for the entire walk through, so don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. In addition to the details noted above, make sure your house is well lit at night, and easy to find. Buy new, larger house numbers so buyers don’t drive past it on accident. Brush off any walkways so buyers have an easy time getting to the front step. 4

HIRE AN AGENT, SET A PRICE Last year, sellers using real estate agents to sell their homes netted $26,300 more on average than those who chose not to hire an agent. $26,000! Agents understand the local market and the marketing practices necessary to sell your home.

OFFER UP YOUR HOME’S HISTORY There is a lot of public record data out there, but wouldn’t you rather buyers hear it directly from you? Create a simple binder showcasing the price you paid, past owners and price history, and any upgrades you’ve made to the property. Include a page with recently sold data of similar homes nearby, so buyers know that the neighborhood is in high demand!

GET READY FOR SHOWINGS AND OPEN HOUSES When a buyer is coming to look at your property, it’s important that you leave your home for the duration of the visit. Make sure your home looks and smells clean, and then get out of dodge until they’ve left