5 Tips for Selling Your Home, Quickly

Wippe mit einem Haus auf der einen und Stapeln mit Münzen auf der anderen Seite.

It’s a seller’s market right now. Put your home on the market, it’s time for a change! You’ve been thinking about it for a while now, it’s time to hire a real estate agent and move on into the home of your dreams. Selling your home is an emotional process, from time to time you will find yourself with mixed feelings. When these feelings come up just picture yourself in the home you’ve been dreaming about for a while and know this is the right decision for you.

To get your home “sale” ready, there are steps you can take that will make the process go much smoother. With these easy to implement tips, buyers will fall in love with your home fast!

5 Tips for Selling Your Home, Quickly

Show the Flow: Creating a space that flows well is important to new homeowners coming in to look at your home. Create a space that allows them to move about the house with ease, remove furniture that blocks walkways and small hallways. Open up the space so the buyer can see their belongings in the space, instead of restricting their viewpoint to how you wanted to decorate it.

Clear the Clutter: A clutter-free environment is essential in allowing the homeowner to envision the home as their own. Too much clutter causes confusion in the buying process which only leads to mixed emotions from the buyer. A confused buyer will not make a purchasing decision quickly. Take some time to clear the clutter in the house, clean up the garage, closets and living areas. Present a neat and clean home that allows a future homebuyer to envision their belongings in the home. When a buyer can see their stuff in the home, the sale moves along much faster.

Storage Space is Sexy: Homebuyers love to see that a home has plenty of storage, especially if they have children. Showing off an organized pantry, plenty of closet space and organized shelving structures that make it easy to

Show off the TLC: You’ve loved your home for a number of years; there has been plenty of upgrades and care you’ve given to the property, so when selling your home let that TLC shine through! Homebuyers want to see the TLC that has gone into the property. Be proud and discuss the ways you’ve loved your property and the upgrades you’ve given it. This lets the future homebuyer know that everything has been taken care of and kept up-to-date.

Give the Outside a Makeover: Spruce up the landscape – plant a few new flowers and mow the lawn, give the front entrance a redo – a friendly front door and fresh coat of paint goes a long way when future buyers walk up to the entrance of your home, a few hung plants makes a nice welcoming entryway too. Home buyers love to take a stroll through the neighborhood in the evening to see what kind of place they may be moving to after dark, it’s a good idea to add some “mood” lighting to the entry way giving your home a nice glow when they drive by.

With these easy-to-implement tips for selling your home, you’ll find the home buyer who wants to make this home the one of their dreams in no time! Enjoy the process and ask your real estate agent for other tips and ideas on how to make your home “Sale Ready”.

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Agent Spotlight – Carol Shepherd

Name: Carol Shepherdcarol shepherd

Business Name: CG Shepherd Realty, LLC

City, State: Grantham, NH

Specialty: Residential Homes, Condos and Waterfront Property

  • When did you start working in the field?
    1988
  • What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path?
    I lived in a starting community known as Eastman and my husband was a builder, so it was great to be a part of this community’s growth. At a time in my life when I was settled down and raising my boys, a career in real estate provided a way for me to help people through one of the most significant decisions and transactions of their lives.
  • Who/what was the biggest influence when you were starting on this path? My husband, Ron, and his expertise in the industry.
  • What is the favorite aspect of your career? Working with buyers and sellers and knowing the local communities and inventory on the market really well to help my clients make wise decisions.
  • What sets you apart from others in your field?
    The ability to listen to buyers and know what they are looking for in a home.
  • What are your 2015 Goals?
    Do more on Twitter.
  • Please provide your Social Media Links and Website Links and send a picture with your completed Spotlight:
    Website: http://sheprealty.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShepRealty
    Twitter: @CarolShepRealty
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolshepherdrealty/
  • Additional Comments:
    I List! I Market! I Sell!
    I’m with my clients every step of the way, helping them understand the process and helping the transaction to go as smoothly as possible.
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3 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent for You

Accommodation broker giving home key to family

You’ve painted the walls, cleaned up the yard and hired a house cleaner to come in for a deep clean. It’s time for the sign “For Sale” to go up in the front yard right? Independently selling your home can be rewarding and challenging. Rewarding in the sense of accomplishment, challenging because this isn’t what you do daily – the market changes, trends rise and fall and what buyers are looking for varies depending on the area in which you are selling your home.

There are ways to simplify the process of selling your home, and most of the time selling a home requires more than adding some paint to the walls and cutting the grass. Often times a home requires a bit of staging to be ready for that impressive open house, cookies are a great addition the day of showing, however if the rest of the house doesn’t look like a place to call home, it won’t matter how delicious the baked cookies smell – the open house may not be a success.

3 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent for You

New Perspective: When searching for the right real estate agent to work with you during this process, that from time to time can be emotional, it’s important you like the person with whom you choose to work with. A real estate agent will be able to come in and provide a new perspective as to how the staging of the house can work quickly in the process of selling your home, however if you don’t like the ideas and the new perspective the agent brings, it will make the process flow go slower rather than speed it up.

Interview: We all know what it is like to interview for a new position. Finding the right real estate agent to work with is no different, than let’s say hiring a new person for a job. Make a list of questions that you feel are important to know about the agent, this way you are prepared when speaking with them. Call a few agents and have your first interview over the phone. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, make an appointment to meet them face-to-face, this will allow you to see their body language to help you decide if they are the right one for you. It’s a good idea to host this interview at your home, so they can look around at the property and you can see if their ideas and plan for the sale matches what you vision.

Use a Directory: Why spend countless hours searching online to sift through hundreds of agent profiles, websites and reviews when you could use a directory that has done some of the vetting for you. Directories like realestateagent.com, provides a searchable feature that helps you in finding the agent that is the best fit for you. Simply put, homeowners can use one site to search for agents in their zip code, call them and interview them which simplifies the searching process for finding a good agent. In a directory they are in one spot, leaving you more time to pack boxes, and find your new home!

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and emotional during this process. A real estate agent will help take the additional stress off during this process. When selling your home, allow the emotions to come and go they are normal. Lean on your real estate agent to help you make decisions about getting buyers into your home, staging the home and making some of the tough decisions during this process. It is a process, enjoy the journey of giving your home to a new family who will love and nurture it.

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Agent Spotlight – Andrea Williams

Name: Andrea WilliamsAndrea Williams

Business Name: Success Realty

City, State: Camp Springs MD

Specialty: Rentals, Home Buyers and Sellers

∙         When did you start working in the field? In April 2005

∙         What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path?  I always wanted to help people and saw the need to education people in home ownership.  Many people don’t realize the benefit in owning their own home… As an agent I represent the clients to ensure that they have the best most update information in the market to help them make the best choice for their family needs.

∙         Who/what was the biggest influence when you were starting on this path?  My Manager  Mrs. Marie Hardin, she is a teacher, a mentor and a person that lives by example.  She taught me that you must always be honest and have integrity with all dealings as those are the keys to be a successfully real estate agent.

∙         What is the favorite aspect of your career? Helping families find their new home… Helping both Buyers and Sellers through the emotional roller coaster of  buying/selling a home. They need someone who will help them to remember what items are  important.  For the buyer Wants Vs Needs…  and for the  Sellers it is helping them through the process of the home they lived in is no longer their home, but an house that they need to sell in order to move to then next stage in their lives.

∙         What sets you apart from others in your field? I am a realty who truly cares about the buyers and sellers that I are in my care.   I ensure that they questions are answered in a timely fashion. I go the extra mile to ensure that the property be it for sale or purchase is in the best condition for them to receive  the best price.  In fact, one time, in order to ensure that a short sale past inspection my husband and I went to the property and painted it ourselves.  This is the kind of realtor I am I work for the people in my care.

∙         What are your 2015 Goals? To assist as many people as I can to be in their new home in the time frame they want to be in their new home, whether it is a rental, purchase or sell.

∙         Please provide your Social Media Links and Website Links and send a picture with your completed Spotlight: Website: callandreaforhomes.com  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UpperMarlboroHomes

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Marketing Tips for real Estate Agents

Businessman Working Calculator Balance Financial Planning Paperwork Concept

In the world of digital and mobile Advertising, it seems the task of marketing yourself as a real estate agent and staying relevant can be a never ending process. From social media to email marketing to mobile advertising to networking – how do you decide which is the most important and which you let fall to the wayside?

Firstly, they are ALL important! People like to be “touched” by different methods. Some people prefer to research on the web, while others prefer an email. Some clients prefer a text and others still want face to face. In our blog Time Management for real estate agents, we discussed the importance of block scheduling your time and week. Scheduling marketing tasks as a part of that schedule helps with maintaining consistency and making time for the various efforts.

For example, pick a day and time slot of 3 hours every week to plan the next weeks marketing material. If it’s Monday morning from 9 to 12 or Friday afternoon from noon to 3 – the actual day and time does not matter. What matters most is scheduling the time and sticking to it. Just get it done!

During this time here is an outline of the marketing items you can add to the block of time:

Email Campaign:

Create weekly email letter to go out to your database. Whether it’s a serious email about the market, humorous or “fun” things to do around town email or just a here are the properties from the MLS this week; consistency and variety are key. Schedule the newsletter to go out and now it’s off your task list.

Social Media:

Create and schedule social media posts for the next week. One a day keeps the frustration away! Creating social media posts for one week will take about an hour depending on how many platforms you are on. About an hour per platform is a good start to create a few posts per week, per platform. Write them out in a word document, find pictures or articles to go with the posts and then schedule them for the next week so your social media isn’t a daunting daily task.

Blogging:

Write a blog and enjoy it! Writing is fun!! Blogs don’t have to be long. Real estate agents sometimes complicate the blogging process. Keep them short and interesting. Blog about trends in the market, a property you have listed for sale or events going on for the week in your area. Give your clients and potential clients a reason to keep coming back to your blog for more information. Blogging as a real estate agent, will take between 30 minutes and an hour depending on the topic and research required to create the content. Remember blogs are only about 350 to 500 words. Simple and interesting is best.

Follow Up:

Take 30 minutes of during your Marketing time to follow up with everyone you met while networking from the week or week before, depending on what day you chose to schedule marketing tasks as a real estate agent. Send each person a “nice to meet you” follow up email and enter them into your database.

MLS

Adding new properties to your website and listings is a great way to market yourself and keep everything up-to-date. This process can be automated too by auto linking to the website. Take this time to check and ensure all properties currently listed are correct.

Texting:

Do you have clients who like to text? Use this time to send a simple “Thinking of you text” or mass text system to share a beautiful property listed for sale with your database. Texting is a great way to stay in the forefront of your clients minds and is much easier than a phone call. 97% of people open a text within the first ten minutes it is sent. A much more effective communication style than email!

Marketing for real estate agents can be fun and exciting, it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you aren’t in the position to outsource all marketing efforts, then use the scheduling system to add time into your schedule that allows you to get these tasks done quickly and efficiently. The items listed in this real estate agent marketing guide are examples of what tasks can be completed during this time; there may be others you prefer to work on. It’s a great way to stay on top of the Marketing items that will help propel your business to the next level.

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Time Management and Real Estate

to do horizontalAs a real estate agent you are pulled in many different directions. There are clients to please, an office to answer to, tracking and reports to complete, update the MLS and the list continues. Oh and don’t forget the activities required to bring new clients in the door – which in many cases is a job all within itself. So how do you keep track of ir all and maintain a personal life?

In this blog it is our goal to help simplify you schedule by offering advice that will help you keep all of the balls in the air, so to say.

Scheduling Blocks of Time

Step one, we all from time to time use the phrase “there’s not enough time in the day” – when in reality we have the same 24 hours every other very successful person has in the day. The difference is they schedule their time more efficiently. A great way to “fit everything in” os to make blocks of time in your calendar for literally everything and stick to it! If Mondays are your office days then schedule tasks that can only be done in the office, items such as reports, social media scheduling for the week, etc.

Then Schedule out-of-office time for example Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays may be great days for property showings, maybe not. The important step to taking back control of your schedule is that it works for you, figure out what days are best for in-office and which are best for out-of-office. You might say well I have to go by the clients schedule. We beg to differ. An appointment in the office getting work done is just as important as touring with clients so therefore set your days and be true to them. If Wednesday mornings are for networking say 7 to 10 am, then book clients in the afternoon and evening.

Block scheduling is a great way to ensure all of the tasks get completed, without overwhelming yourself with the task lists that never end. Clients can be demanding, the best way to deal with demanding clients is to simply say… I have another appointment at that time. Even if that appointment is with yourself.

Dealing With Distraction

Everyday something comes up that requires attention, more often than not it’s a distraction that takes away from production time. When dealing with distractions it is important to categorize and prioritize the event. If it is an emergency or fire that needs attending to right away, make the choice to deal with it immediately – resolve it – and move on. Don’t let it consume your day. If you can add it to the “schedule” to deal with at another, more convenient time – that is the best decision in order to stay on track with your organized calendar.

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Agent Spotlight – Michelle Arnold

arnold teamName: Michelle Arnold

Business Name, if applicable: Arnold Team with Keller Williams Realty

City, State: Yuma AZ

Specialty: HOT Deals!

  • When did you start working in the field? January 2006
  • What made you decide you wanted to pursue this career path? Real Estate is a Family business. When my son was born it was time to follow in my parents footsteps and Real Estate had always called my name. I love making my clients dreams come true. It is my passion!
  • Who/what was the biggest influence when you were starting on this path? My Parents! They are amazing mentors.
  • What is the favorite aspect of your career?  A home is one of the greatest investments you will ever make and I am so proud to be a part of my clients futures whether buying or selling I know that what I do makes a difference!
  • What sets you apart from others in your field?  My passion! I absolutely have my clients best interest in mind every time. Many times Real Estate sales is more than just selling a home or a business.  Sometimes I am a counselor, a travel coordinator or a Moving Specialist. I am an adviser and a problem solver.
  • What are your 2015 Goals? Expand our business by adding a transaction coordinator to free up some time from the paperwork challenges.
  • Please provide your Social Media Links and Website Links and send a picture with your completed Spotlight:
  • Facebook.com/YumaRealEstate
  • Twitter.com/HotDealsinYuma
  • linkedin.com/in/YumaRealEstate
  • Additional Comments: Helping our clients achieve their goals is paramount whether it is a $25,000 property or a $2 million dollar property.
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Warning Signs of Roof Disrepair

Burned out house

A home is only as strong as it’s roof, and if the home a buyer is looking at seems to need a roof re-do, the likelihood that the asking price will be offered drops significantly. From outdated appearances to downright dangerous damage, a roof is typically inspected by a professional home inspector prior to any insurance policies being written for the new owner. Imagine what a disaster it can be to discover a major roof issue after a buyer has purchased their dream home! There are some simple ways to tell if a home should be fitted with a new roof prior to listing it on the market. While the expense of replacing the roof may be burdensome, the benefits will be seen when offers come in much higher than expected!

Some simple ways to tell is a roof needs replacing without hiring a professional include:

Look to History: Whether or not it is known when the last time a home’s roof was serviced, consider that any roof older than 20 years is typically in need of replacement. Experts recommend ensuring that any previously layered shingles or other roofing material be removed to make sure proper ventilation and insulation are established.

Shingle Shakeup: A simple visual inspection can help determine if shingles on the roof need replacing, and in some cases replacement of the entire roof is necessary when cracking and disintegration become apparent, or when some of the shingles are no longer attached to the roof. This can be especially difficult to access in the area known as  “roof valleys” due to their consistent abuse by debris and water. Another sign of shingle degeneration is the presence of shingle granules mixed in with gutter debris. This tends to happen as a roof is nearing the end of it’s lifespan.

Chimney Sweep: If the home has a chimney, be sure to take a look at the flashing to determine it’s condition. Chances are, if the home is older, it will need to be adapted with a metal, water-tight flashing system.

Get High: Climb into the attic of the home and inspect the inside of the roof as best as possible without endangering anyone’s safety. If sunlight is visible through any of the rafters, the roof needs to be replaced. If the threat of animal infestation or water damage aren’t enough to get an homeowner into the attic, call a professional and have this kind of inspection performed before listing the property on the market.

So get checking and be sure to call in the big guns if any of the signs of roof disrepair are present before trying to sell a property.

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Are you a Social Media Savvy Agent?

Pretty female with computer at home with social icons aroundWith social media usage at an all time high, the average smartphone-wielding real estate agent can provide their followers with content that is consistent, relevant and interesting. Between sharing blogs about trending real estate topics, posting photos from an open house, and notifying your subscribers of a new listing in your portfolio, there are many ways to capture the interest of potential home-buyers in your area.

Experts agree that visualization is one of the most effective marketing tools in any industry. The postings on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that draw the most attention typically include a graphic or video to grab the attention of someone scrolling by. Stop their finger in it’s tracks by sharing a show-stopping photo-collage of your newest listing. Consider dynamic drone-captured video which can attract the interest viewers, who will likely share your post simply for the spectacular views.

Social media may be worldwide, but using local community groups and pages to connect with a target audience is another method for agents to gain followers on social media. Take advantage of novelty hashtags (such as #ThrowbackThursday) by including historic photos of your community, easily found online, to create a wave of hometown reminiscence in your social network.

Share listings, but do so in moderation, and with the utmost professionalism. A posting that doesn’t provide enough information, which includes misspelled words, incorrect details, or poor-quality photography is likely to be ignored by all who see it in their feed.Once professional quality photos of a listing are available, consider blogging about the property, for several reasons – firstly, because it will allow for more details than a simple status update, secondly because it will remain on the web as a shareable and discover-able page for as long as it exists, and lastly, because it will look much more streamlined and professional when you share the blog to your social media page as opposed to just pictures with some candid text.

Feedback and analytic information can make-or-break an agent’s social media success. Stay in touch with your followers, responding promptly to their comments, and providing interesting and relevant content to supplement your postings about properties for sale. By providing consistent and positive feedback, as well as nurturing your network with answers to inquires, you will gain attention and provoke action in your followers. When you provide content worth sharing, such as unique graphics and videos, your fan-base will grow, thus increasing the likelihood your listing is seen by its eventual buyer. Another great way to network with potential buyers, as well as other agents, is by using RealEstateAgent.com, the web’s premier networking site for real estate professionals and home buyers,

 

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Baby-proofing Before Move-in Day

Child in a cardboard box with a strongly expressed perspective view.

Moving can be a breeze or a burden, depending on the energy you put into planning and coordinating the details that matter most. When we upgrade to a family home before or following the arrival of a new addition, the challenges of baby-proofing the new space can seem daunting, to say the least.

Get Down to Toddler Level

Start out on your knees, or seated on the floor, to shift your “eye-level” to a toddler’s perspective, then take a look around. Everything that can be reached will be a potential hazard, so keep any electrical outlets, phone jacks, and surge protectors safely covered or out of reach. Once your belongings have been placed inside the new home, you can go from room to room at “Toddler level” tucking away exposed electrical cords, removing debris from moving boxes, ensuring stacked boxes are secure or out of reach, and double-checking that cabinet locks are installed throughout the home.

Unpack Quickly

Ensure that boxes are never stacked higher than one or two at a time, because a curious crawler could topple them, leading to injury. If possible, unpack boxes rapidly to get them out of the way, or keep them in one general area of the house until you can get to them – ensuring this room is off-limits to little ones.

Peanuts, Peanuts, Everywhere!

Packaging materials are a necessary annoyance that comes with moving our valuable and fragile possessions. When moving with small children, the cleanup of all moving-related debris and equipment must be meticulous to ensure a rogue Styrofoam noodle or two don’t end up on the dinner menu for your darling. Eating packaging peanuts and other moving fodder can cause injury in small children during the moving process, a headache no new homeowner needs during this time!

Baby Gates are Your Friend

Love them or hate them, baby gates have earned the respect of families everywhere, because creating “Baby-Free Zones” in your home is often essential. Protecting baby from harm, as well as keeping your home office, exercise equipment, kitchen, or bathroom off-limits to your toddler is vital to their safety in the new home. The many dangers in these rooms will be safe from curious kids with a securely closed baby gate blocking the door. These gates can also be used to block the base of a stairway, or the lip of a fireplace. Many stores offer expandable kits to allow larger areas of your home to be sectioned off with connected panels and gates.

Set Up a Safe Play Zone   

When unpacking in a jiffy just isn’t possible, set up an area of the new home that’s completely baby-safe for your tot to explore and enjoy. The process of opening and organizing may take days or weeks, but having a space for your little one to play without worrying about boxes will prove to invaluable. No-one wants to play “Helicopter Mom” while trying to settle into a new home, so avoid the risk of a post-move mess and reserve a room for your rascal to roam!

All in all, baby-proofing can be a time consuming step in the moving process, but completing the basics before you move in will dramatically reduce the risk of an injury to your child. Remember to sweep thoroughly and remove any remaining tape and clutter from baby-accessible areas after you finish moving in your belongings. Try to remember that moving is a stressful and exciting time for your littlest family members, and add extra cuddles to your moving-day to-do list!

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