Minor Repairs and Improvements that Make all the Difference in Queens

by George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

minor-home-repair-houseWhenever we meet with Homeowners who are thinking of selling, we usually give them some homework before putting their property on the market. Reason why is because there are always little things that can be done in order to show the home in it’s best light. We don’t typically recommend expensive renovations but we do make very affordable suggestions that make all the difference when we start showing. The difference in the offers you’ll get if you make these small repairs can be anywhere from $10,000, $20,000, even more depending on the neighborhood. Suffice to say that these small investments have a very good return on investment, especially if you are selling a long time Family home that has a lot of wear and tear. With that said, below is a list of the most common repairs, improvements, and homework that we give to our new Seller clients before hitting the market:

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1. Take up Carpets

If you know Queens then you know that most people like wood floors. Being that most homes were built a long time ago, chances are that your house has wood floors as well. So, if you have carpeting in your home or apartment, take it up. You don’t even need to refinish the floors, just showcase the wood and it will show much much better.

2. Cracks on Walls

A lot of the homes we sell in Queens have settlement cracks throughout the home. This is nothing to be alarmed about, and it is actually very common, however, for a first time home buyer, this can look scary and lead them into thinking something is wrong (or will be) with the house. You can eliminate this concern by simply touching up these small areas.

3. Fresh Coat of Paint

lightpaint-colors-neutral-color-painting-ideas-2This is an old adage, and you probably have already heard the benefits of throwing a fresh coat of paint on your home. We as Queens Realtors, have seen this first hand, and we can say without a doubt that homes with a fresh coat of neautral color paint can go a really long way! It’s not that expensive so the return is definitely there, and best of all, it makes the home show much much better than it would with old worn out paint. Even if the property needs work, a fresh coat of paint will make it look less daunting for potential buyers.

Click Here for a List of Exclusive Homes for Sale in Queens NY

4. Lighting

Before you list or sell your home, you definitely want to make sure all of your light bulbs are working, and more importantly, make sure you have enough lighting all throughout the house. We sell a lot of properties that are very dark & dim when we see them for the first time. This may be okay when you’re living there, but truth is that buyers like bright homes. What we typically do is tell our clients to replace non-working light bulbs and buy cheap lamps for areas of the home that need more lighting. This make all the difference once we start showing, and it actually makes the property look even bigger!

5. Sand & Paint Old Damage Areas

When we tour homes (specifically older ones) we tend to see spots on walls and ceilings where it is obvious that some damage has occurred. These spots have usually been repaired, however, when a buyer sees it they will not take your word for it. Buyers will make a big deal about things like this, and their inspector will most likely not be any help. So, what we typically advise our clients is to bring in a handyman who will shave the area down and repaint it so that it is not noticeable. You can have one handyman go through and take care of all old damage areas and once complete, the walls and ceilings will look much more turnkey which leaves a buyer worry more about cosmetic repairs.

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6. De-Clutter, De-Clutter, De-Clutter

dont-just-declutter-deownIf you’re selling an older home (which is usually the case), chances are that you or your tenants have accumulated lots of stuff over the years. As a result, the house is probably cluttered and does not portray the actual amount of living space that is offered in your property. We almost always tell our clients to throw out unnecessary items, start boxing things up for the move, and hire a clean out company to get rid of larger items that don’t add to the house’s appeal. This one is so important, and we see again and again that it works to get better offers much quicker. The truth is that we live in New York City and as a result, space is a premium. A good job of de-cluttering can showcase another 100-200 sq ft, and in Queens, that is HUGE. Sometimes we give our clients homework, and we come back for the photo session, it looks like a completely different house! Always results in more buyers and higher offers…

For help, tips, or recommendations in getting your property prepared for the big sale, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We have a great list of trusted vendors from Handymen, Clean-out Companies, Painters, etc…

Blog & Site courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty 2_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com


19 Must Have Links and Bookmarks for Queens Homeowners

If you own a Home in Queens, then you know that there is a lot of information that you must have readily accessible for a variety of reasons. For example, maybe you need to pull your C of O, maybe you need to provide your Block and Lot number, you may need to check if you have any violations, liens, etc. The good news is that most if this information is publicly available, so we did the work for you and comiled a list of the 19 must have website links that you should bookmark as a Queens homeowner. ENJOY!

1. Borough-Block-Lot (BBL) Lookup

Check the Borough-Block-Lot (BBL) or parcel number for a piece of property.

2. Building Floor Plan

Get a copy of building floor plans.

3. Building Violation Status

Get information about building violations or check the status of a violation.

4. Buy a Classic Photo from the City Archive

Get information about buying high quality prints of classic images of New York City.

5. Buy the Zoning Handbook

Get information about buying the Department of City Planning’s Zoning Handbook.

6. Certificate of Occupancy and Letter of No Objection

Get information about Certificate of Occupancy and Letter of No Objection.


Click Here to find Homes for Sale in Queens NY


7. Con Edison Worksites and Services

Get information about Con Edison worksites.

8. Department of Design and Construction Projects

Get information or make a complaint about specific City projects.

9. Development Challenge Process

Get information on how to challenge the approval of a construction project.

10. Graffiti Reward Program

Provide a tip about graffiti or vandalism for a possible cash reward.

11. Housing Rules and Regulations for NYC Owners and Tenants

Information about rules and regulations for owners and renters of City apartments.

12. Land Use and Development Appeals

Get information about appealing land use and construction laws for a specific site or project.


Click Here for a Free Appraisal of your Queens Home


13. New York City Rent Guidelines Board Report

Get a report from the Rent Guidelines Board on housing.

14. Property Records

Information about property ownership and records, such as deeds and mortgages. Includes online lookup in ACRIS.

15. Property Tax Map

Request for a certified copy of a tax map.

16. Repair Loan Programs for Small Homes and Apartment Buildings

Get information about grants and low-interest renovation loans for building owners.

17. Sidewalk Violations and Their Removal

Get information about sidewalk violations, request a sidewalk inspection, or get a violation removed or dismissed.

18. Tax Photograph from 1940 or 1980s

Learn about buying a picture of any property in New York City.

19. Zoning

Get information about zoning for specific properties, such as the zoning designation and the type of use allowed.


Click Here for a Free Real Estate Market Report for your Neighborhood


Blog courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty 2_HEADSHOT_ROUND


Winterize Now to Avoid Costly Repairs Later!

…Start Saving!

  • Inspect your roof and replace any damaged or missing roof shingles.
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and debris.
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint or sealer on your deck.
  • On a windy day, close your windows and feel for air leaks.
  • Seal any leaks with rope caulk.
  • Install weather stripping on the sides or bottoms of any leaky doors.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing
  • Remove leaves or debris from your air conditioner’s condensing unit, and cover for winter.
  • If you haven’t had your fireplace chimney cleaned in a few years, hire a professional chimney sweep.

If you need a recommendation for local professionals who can
perform this or any other work around your home, I can help!

And as always, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy a Home in Queens or sell a home in Queens, you can count on me for the utmost professionalism, expertise and results!

Home Care Tips: August 2012

Here are some Home Care Tips & Ideas for the month of August:

  1. Test your smoke detectors
  2. Drain approximately 2 gallons from your water heater to eliminate sediment
  3. Clean your dryer vent duct
  4. Vacuum your bathroom vent covers
  5. Replace or clean your furnace filter
  6. Clean out your basement window wells
  7. Clean coils in the rear of your refrigerator
  8. Clean around your air conditioning compressor

That’s all I have for you today – Hope you found it useful=)

As always, feel free to share my contact information with anyone you know who could use my real estate advice.


Abigail Herrera – Keller Williams Realty Landmark

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Home Care Tips & Ideas: July

Hi neighbor,

This is your local Realtor (Abigail Herrera) here to give you some Tips & Ideas to maintain and care for your Home this month…

10 Home Care Tips & Ideas for the Month of July: 

  1. Trim shrubbery around the walls
  2. Trim tree limbs away from the roof
  3. Remove tree limbs, branches, or debris as needed. Each can attract insects.
  4. Check siding for damage, warping, or rot.
  5. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  6. Check for damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
  7. Check painting surfaces for damage or flaking.
  8. Check chimneys for deteriorating bricks and mortar.
  9. Check window and door screens; Replace or patch if needed.
  10. Check driveway, walkway, and patios for cracks or deterioration and reseal or repair as necessary.

That’s all I have for you today – I hope you find this information useful=)

As always, feel free to share my contact information with anyone you know who could use real estate advice.


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