Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tips For Home Staging

1. De-clutter

Most of us tend to keep on adding furniture and other items to our home over a period of time. More items in a home give it a cluttered appearance. De-cluttering improves the look of the house. A de-cluttered home gives a spacious appearance as well.

2. Grouping the furniture

Sofas and chairs should be repositioned and other furniture pieces should be placed so that flow of traffic is not hindered. This helps in making the room user-friendly and give it a spacious look.

3. Lighting

A well-lit home is warm and welcoming. So, ensure that your home has good lighting.

4. Make your home appear bigger

In order to do this, some useful tips are, paint adjacent rooms in identical colours; if the dining room and kitchen are small, a seamless look will give it a spacious appearance. The illusion of large space can also be created by having drapes in the same colour as the room. This also gives an elegant and sophisticated look.

5. Neutral colours are more popular

Painting a living room in neutral hues helps in enhancing the appeal of the house.

6. Using dark colour paints effectively

Dark paints in bedrooms/ powder rooms or dining room give it a more cozy and intimate aura.

7. Present your art creatively

Forget the cliché styles of displaying your art. Use your creativity to effectively display your curios and wall hangings. This will also go a long way in increasing the appeal of your home.

8. Add fresh foliage:

Decorating your home with fresh blooms and foliage adds to its appearance. You don’t have to pick the most expensive flowers or plants. Just fresh seasonal plants will do the trick. They add freshness to your home.

9.The bedroom should look serene:

For decorating, the bedroom luxurious linens and soft colours will help. These are known to have a positive effect in the minds of the buyer.

Planning an Open House

 Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

 A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

 A home with some kind of “conversation starter”. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

 Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

 Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

 Consider leaving a hand-written sign to “Help Yourself” along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

 Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

 Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

Visit neighbors’ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

 Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

Steps In Preparing Your Home

Your realtor will know what potential buyers in your neighborhood and price range are looking at and what will help you sell your unique home and play up its features. Here is a generic list that will help you get started.

1.) Night Lights

A lot of people aren’t aware that potential home buyers often drive by your house at night. If you don’t have adequate lighting to highlight your home’s features, invest in a new porch light and some ground lighting to highlight your walkway or features in your landscaping.

2.) Curb Appeal

Elevate your curb appeal by cleaning your yard, mowing and edging your lawn, and trimming any shrubs you have. Fix any first impressions that may catch buyer’s eyes such as cracks in concrete, weeds, broken porch posts, ugly doors, and any clutter that may be stored in front of your home. A

3.) Prep Inside

The first step to preparing your home for sale is to remove any unnecessary items from the home so they can imagine their own things in it. Less is more when it comes to furniture and decor. Leave the bare minimum for furniture to depict how large the space is, and then include decor only where you want features highlighted or the eye drawn. An expert tip is to remove all but 1/3 of your closet contents and get matching hangers. Be sure to replace or shampoo all carpets in the home. Apply special attention to staging the bathrooms with a fresh roll of toilet paper (V.I.P folded, over not under, and pointed down in the shape of a triangle), brand new hand soap, new guest towels, and a clean looking shower curtain. Dress beds with attractive, cohesive bed sets.

4.) Make All Small and Inexpensive Repairs

Buyers will look at all functioning items of the home and tally even the smallest repairs. Be sure to repair all leaking faucets, defective or squeaky doors, light bulbs and fans, freshly caulk bathtubs and showers if necessary, replace filters, inspect and clean the hot water heater, and make appliances as presentable as possible.

5.) Appeal To Their Senses During Open Houses

Having all the lights on, blinds open, a candle lit and fresh cookies (preferably freshly baked for the scent) will appeal to buyer’s senses and make them feel at home already. Remove all pet belongings, including bowls and food. Empty trash cans & close toilet lids.

Shadow Inventory Real Estate

In Real Estate this refers to foreclosures (REO or bank owned properties) or those close to the process.

Banks and mortgage loan servicing companies typically hold onto properties that haven’t seen a mortgage payment for 90 days and in some cases even 2-3 years.

Why do they hold on so long?

Banks hold on since it allows them to release their inventory over time to keep their books in check and also to provide that easy liquidation to stimulate the real estate economy when necessary. Banks will now be getting more money for those newly released properties, then say 2 years ago, due to the steady increase in home prices and low inventory levels. If they chose to release all at once, it would flood the market with “distressed properties” and bring down property values.

How much “Shadow Inventory” is still out there?

Foreclosures have been steadily declining since 2013 with the highest shadow inventory then at 2.2MM. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is still about 4 years still on the books and it is possible that we could soon see more!

Forget about calling the loss mitigation department or asking the cashier at your Big Bank. They won’t be able to help you. Instead, savvy real estate investors can approach the REO departments of smaller regional banks, credit unions and portfolio lenders to find out what could be “lurking” in the shadows. This presents an opportunity to beat out the competition and purchase at greater discounts.

But my favorite way to locate “Shadow Inventory” is what I call “Driving forDollars”. Simply drive through areas that have high foreclosure activity and look for the white sticker posted on the front window or door of the house. This typically contains the information of the bank or asset manager of the property and their phone number. Give them a call and see where they are in the foreclosure process and if they’re ready to make a deal!

The NEW kind of Shadow Inventory

There is a new kind of shadow inventory on the market these days and I’m not talking about the REO kind. Many successful agents have their own shadow inventory. If you’ve been in the business for an extended period and built up a clientele, these clients typically contact you well in advance of the property going on the market. You advise them of the steps needed to get the house ready to show which typically means doing repairs such as paint, carpet, landscaping, staging, etc.