Ask Kathe

An Ongoing Column Offering News, Advice, and Observations: All About The Real Estate Market in Pittsburgh, PA.

Timeless Updates

We aren’t ready to move but want to update our home – what are the best choices for paint colors and flooring changes, assuming we may want to move in the next few years?New paint colors must harmonize with the rest of your home, unless you plan to repaint the entire...

read more

A Kitchen Re-Do with ROI

We are thinking of remodeling our kitchen. Any advice for us if we want to be making good choices for resale?As much as we would all like to be creative, when it comes to the “hardscapes” of your home – the things that are difficult to change – if resale is even a...

read more

A Change for Tax Appeals

Can you explain what is going on in Allegheny with property tax assessments?It’s big news! For property tax appeals in 2023, the PA State Tax Equalization Board has set the common level ration at 63.6%.  This is dramatically less than the 81.6% in effect for 2022. ...

read more

Selling It Empty

We plan to move out of our home before we put it on the market.  Any thoughts on selling an empty home?Some homes definitely sell more readily vacant – my last home was one of them – and so I definitely do not dissuade sellers from emptying their homes before selling...

read more

Make it an Easy Walk Through

How do home sellers protect themselves from big walk through bills from a buyer? Buyers conduct a final walk through right before they close on a home.  This is probably the first time they have seen your home vacant.  If they find conditions they aren’t expecting,...

read more

Going Neutral

Is it necessary to neutralize our home to sell it and what exactly does that mean?If you watch HGTV or read my weekly articles, you likely know how important it is to neutralize your home before you sell. But what exactly does that entail? Paint color is obvious. Your...

read more

Downsizing Options

We are thinking of downsizing, but can’t find a place to go.  Any ideas on how to approach this transition?If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines this spring waiting for your downsizer to come on the market, you may be feeling disappointed right now.  We continue to...

read more

The Basement Tells More than You Know

After renovating our home, all that remains is our basement. How important is it (or worth it) to clean this space up and how far should we go?  Would I get the return on my money? A basement often reveals more about a home than any other part of your home. It is...

read more

Inspection Expectations

What kinds of items would be viewed as “hot buttons” for home buyers on inspections? If you are a home seller, there is an ever increasing list of items that you will be expected to address if any are discovered on your home inspection.  Given that, if you are...

read more

Demystifying the Inspection

We find the inspection process confusing – do we have to fix everything in the inspection report before we sell our home or just the repairs the buyer requested?The home inspection report is the document from which your buyer works to make their repair requests of...

read more

Using an Appraisal Contingency

With all of the bidding wars happening in this hot market, should we put an appraisal contingency in our offers?  Appraisal contingencies are added to agreements when buyers are concerned that their offer may be over market value.  If you are getting a mortgage, they...

read more

Understanding the High-End Market

It seems that high end home sales continue to lag as compared to the rest of the market.  Thoughts? Our high-end market in the Quaker Valley School District is moving more slowly than the rest of the market, and this is particularly apparent when homes under $1...

read more

Protecting Against Overpaying

How do you guard against overpaying in this competitive market? You have a good reason to worry about prices in the market that we are in.  Currently it seems that prices have risen at least 10% in some price brackets since the new year.  That’s an incredible amount...

read more

Impact of Interest Rates

How are rising interest rates impacting home sales? Rising interest rates are definitely impacting buyers.  Many buyers are having to step down their affordability levels and focus on homes that are less expensive homes than those they might have considered three...

read more

Waiving a Home Inspection

The market is so hot right now and we aren’t having any luck getting a home – should we waive home inspections? You are correct –the market under $1million is very fast paced right now, and in many instances, the winning bidder has waived home inspections.  That does...

read more


I’m ready to answer any questions you have regarding your real estate needs.
Kathe Barge, CRS, ABR, CNE, SRES
Associate Broker
401 Broad Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Cell: 412-779-6060
Office: 412-741-2200 x238

About Kathe

As a full-time realtor, specializing in residential real estate. With a proven track record of selling properties, I am able to provide in-depth knowledge of property values and trends for the future as well as tailor the marketing of each property on an individual basis.

...Read More



Recent Posts