Ask Kathe

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

Sometimes Empty is Best!

Dear Kathe- My mother recently passed leaving me and my brother a well-maintained but not updated house built in 1960.  It’s full of furniture that is clean but bulky and out of style and almond-colored appliances that work fine but are 20-30 years old and don’t match. We plan to sell the house.  My brother thinks the house will sell better if it has some furniture and appliances in it; I think it would sell better with empty rooms (it has beautiful hardwood and tile floors that have been covered with carpet since the day they were built) and the distracting appliances removed. What would you advise?
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Representing You Near and Far!

We are planning to buy a second home in another location.  How can we find a great agent to work with there?You might be surprised to learn that I can help you with this!  No, I am not licensed in other states, but I can help you find a great agent...

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Getting it SOLD!

We hear there is low inventory and many buyers looking for homes. Shouldn’t that work to our advantage as potential home sellers? It’s true -- we are in a very strong seller’s market. If you are thinking of selling, there is no better time than now. But...

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Getting Ready to Sell

The job of getting our home ready for market seems so overwhelming.  How does anyone get it all done? You are correct – there is quite a bit to do to get your home ready for market.  We have HGTV to thank for high buyer expectations.  Gone are the days...

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Now the Fun Continues!

We’re first time home buyers.  Where do we begin? (continued from last week) For those of who just picking up the conversation today, check out my blog at to read the past two weeks’ introduction to the home buying process.  If you are...

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Let the Fun Begin!

We’re first time home buyers.  Where do we begin? (continued from last week) For those of who just picking up the conversation today, check out my blog at to read last week’s introduction to the home buying process.  If you are following...

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First Steps for the First Time Buyer

We’re first time home buyers – where do we begin? Buying a home is one of the best choices you can make.  Rather than paying money to your landlord so that he can be closer to owning an asset outright each month, when you make your monthly payment each...

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An Acceptable Level of “Wear & Tear”

Sometimes it seems like everything is breaking around our house and we get behind on repairs. Isnt there some level of wear and tear buyers of “previously enjoyed” homes are expecting to have to accept? The process of selling and buying a home involves...

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Maximizing Value

We are planning to sell our house this spring.  We have invested a lot in our home and know what we want to sell our home for.  How can we make that happen? The answer here is really quite simple. You are not the first home seller to have a clear idea of...

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Getting a Jump on Spring Market

Dear Kathe, We’re getting ready to put our home on the market this spring and have read all of your prior articles on staging – any new do-it-yourself ideas to maximize sale-ability?
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Seller Beware!

We were approached by someone who is interested in buying our home. The buyer has provided us with an unsigned sales agreement as their offer. They are offering 1.5% of the purchase price as their hand money and we assume they have the money – its a cash...

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Finding It Online

Dear Kathe, We’re hoping to move in the New Year and are beginning our search online – is there anything we should keep in mind?
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The Power of Compromise

We would like to move to Sewickley.  Are there any affordable homes anymore? Of course there are!  But Sewickley, particularly in affordable price ranges, has become a very competitive market.  It seems the secret is out – many people know about our very...

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Mortgages: Local or Online?

We are planning to buy a new home soon – we see advertisements for internet lenders offering what seem to be below market rates. Is this too good to be true? If you are simply refinancing an existing mortgage debt, you MAY be ok choosing an internet...

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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.

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