Looking to buy or sell? Husband-wife team offers tips

Teri and Tom CranstonTeri and Tom Cranston

BY Molly Congdon
Gazette Reporter
CLIFTON PARK — Buying or selling a home can be tricky. There are so many factors to consider that either move can be a tad overwhelming.

Teri and Tom Cranston have been in the real estate game for 15 and 13 years, respectively. Their Realty USA office is located at 1547 Route 9. This husband-wife team have some tips to help you move out or move in:

If you are about to sell . . .
Price right: “You want to price your house accurately,” Tom Cranston said. “If you make it too high, it will just sit there.”

Front and center: First impressions are crucial; the aesthetics of your front door say a lot about your home in general. “There have been so many times when I walk up to a front door and I just want to clean it,” Teri Cranston said. “The doorknob shouldn’t look too worn and there shouldn’t be any dust.”

Squeaky clean: Grab a mop, broom and some Windex. “It’s important to make sure that everything is clean and neat,” Teri said. “People always forget to clean their windows, and it just doesn’t look good.”

Set the stage: This isn’t just for musicals and plays; how you present your home matters. “Decluttering is extremely important,” Teri said. “You want the house to look neat and tidy.”

“Sometimes rearranging the furniture helps as well,” Tom added.

Light scent: The last thing you want is for a prospective buyer to walk inside your home and want to plug their nose for the duration of their stay. Chances are they won’t want to hand over any cash. “You don’t want any scent that is too overpowering,” Teri said. “I usually recommend vanilla plug-ins.”

Exterior excellence: “Your home should look great inside and out,” Teri said. “There should be some curb appeal; the grass should be mowed, shrubs should be kept impeccable, the driveway should be in good shape — price is based on conditions.”

Side to side:
Does your house have siding that has seen better days but you don’t want to spend the money on new siding? Keep that green in your wallet and revamp your home’s face in a different way. “You can clean your siding instead of redoing it,” Tom said. “It’s a cost-effective way of making it look better.”

Color coat:
We all have our favorite hues, but sometimes they are repulsive to other people — especially when filling up an entire room. Believe it or not, something that trivial could sway someone away from buying your house. A fresh coat of paint might help you sell. “The current trending color is a light grey, well really grey shades in general,” Teri said.
“It used to be white, then off-white, then taupe, and now gray.”

It never hurts to add a little something:
There are certain staples that are quite popular at the moment and will give your home an even better look. “The things that are popular are fire pits, brick patios, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops,” Teri said. “Even painting old cabinets can be a significant improvement.”

Remember Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Even if it is not yellow and does not cause a rapid descent into psychosis, younger buyers don’t like wallpaper. “If you avoid wallpaper, your home will sell easier,” Tom said.

If you’re looking to buy . . .
Get prequalified: “Step one is to get prequalified with the bank,” Tom said. “That way you know how much you can afford so that you don’t look at a house that’s too expensive for you and then it’s a letdown.”

Create your wish list: Focus on what you want in a home. “Next you have to map out your specific criteria,” Tom said. “This list should include style, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, garage specifications and the amount of land.”

Take a look: “You have to be happy and also be able to pay each month without constant worry,” Tom said. “Be ready to check out a home that you like so that your real estate agent can move quickly to get it for you if you’ve found the one.”

Assemble the team: Other than your real estate agent, you need a few other people standing in your huddle. “You need a great banker, home inspector and real estate attorney,” Tom said.