Contact Information:

cell: 314.308.4300
fax: 636.946.0759
contact me online
office: 636.946.7880
email: tom@cbtom.com
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Helpful Tools

Buyers & Sellers

With my many years of real estate experience, I’ve gathered a lot of tips that can help you buy or sell property.

Buying Tips:

How Much Can I Afford?

  • Review your budget and determine how much you want to pay each month.
  • Housing costs are usually more than just mortgage principal and interest; they often include property taxes and insurance.
  • As a general rule, your monthly housing cost should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • If you have long term debt (car payments or credit card balances), that monthly debt plus your house payment shouldn't be more than 36 percent of your monthly gross income.
  • Meet with a lender early in the home-buying process, so that you know what size loan you qualify for.

How Do I Choose a Professional Residential Real Estate Agent?

  • Select someone who listens to you and is interested enough in you to find out about your housing needs and preferences.
  • Commit to working with one sales associate who can learn your likes and dislikes in homes.
  • Choose a professional who specializes in residential real estate and who has specific knowledge of the local real estate and mortgage markets.

Selling Tips:

How Do I Prepare My Home?

  • Consider the Interior:
    • To eliminate odors, steam clean your carpet and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants.
    • Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles or potpourri, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks or putting a dab of vanilla on cold light bulbs before turning them on.
    • Paint your walls, removing outdated wallpaper.
      • For broader appeal, paint in neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white, or gray. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness and can brighten a dull or outdated room.
    • If your carpet is heavily soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned.
    • Wash your windows and open your curtains to let light in.
    • Clean hanging light fixtures and add the highest-wattage bulbs allowed.
    • Move out excess furniture items.
    • Organize closet spaces.
    • Fix loose doorknobs, leaky faucets and sticking doors.
  • Consider Curb Appeal:
    • Cut the grass, trim all hedges and shrubs and plant a few extra flowers for color.
    • Clean or paint the front door, garage door, window trim and shutters.
    • Check the gutters and the roof.
    • Clean out the garage and make sure your entry light and doorbell work.

How Do I Choose a Price?

  • With the help of your Real Estate Agent:
    • Evaluate everything from market condition to neighborhood influences.
    • Look at comparable homes that have sold or are for sale in your neighborhood.
    • Set the right price from the beginning because setting a high price may limit the number of buyers.
    • Leave room in your asking price for negotiating.
  • There really is no best time to sell your home. Strong or weak market conditions, variables in financing and your schedule are all part of this selling question.

What Can I Expect At Resale From My Improvements?
(Estimated recapture cost based on historical data.)

  • 200% — Minor Kitchen Remodel — Update colors and surface materials.
  • 100% — Landscaping — Green lawns, bright flower beds and trees lure buyers.
  • 100% — Fireplace — An energy-efficient fireplace appeals to the romantic in everyone.
  • 94% — Major Kitchen Remodel — A great kitchen makes your home’s other imperfections less noticeable.
  • 92% — Bathroom Addition — A second 5x9 bathroom alleviates morning stress.
  • 85% — Bathroom Remodel — Update colors and surface materials.
  • 85% — Master Suite — Combining two bedrooms with an upscale bathroom and a walk-in closet.
  • 84% — Finished Attic — Makes a small house live big.
  • 80% — Room Addition — Popular additions are family rooms and bedrooms.
  • 77% — Deck Addition — Creates an outdoor room for entertaining or relaxing.
  • 71% — Window Replacement — New vinyl or vinyl-clad insulated-glass windows. Wood windows return a higher rate.
  • 69% — Replace siding — Gives necessary "curb appeal."