Weekly Marketing Tip
Don’t Make These Mistakes
- Having an inactive profile. Make sure when you sign up for a new service (Facebook, Trulia, Linkedin, etc.) that you complete the profile and remember your login information.
- Not analyzing results. With any service that you are paying to use, you should track how efficient it is and if you spend more or less money how it will change your production.
FREE App of the Week
Waze- This app is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info. Get road alerts on your route, find the lowest gas prices, and keep in touch with others on the go. See someone’s estimated time of arrival when driving to the same destination.
Before you put your house on the market, ask your real estate agent for guidance on improving your home’s presentation. Your agent can tell you what buyers expect in your particular market and at your home’s price point. The following 10 steps are a way to get a good head start on preparing to sell your home.
1. Welcome buyers. Make your front door visible and accessible to buyers. Paint the door, clear debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and prune hedges. Pot or plant colorful annuals and perennials to attract attention from the street. Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles and outdoor lighting, and replace your doormat. Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers.
2. Make it sparkle. Cleanliness implies a home has been well taken care of, so deep cleaning can win points with buyers. Buyers scrutinize homes, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Recaulk and repaint to give these grime-prone rooms a fresh and clean look. Clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains or dinginess and eliminate odors. Tidy each room, including cabinets, closets and the garage, before showing. And if it seems daunting to do all that cleaning yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of all of it for you.
3. Start packing. Cramped and cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your house look smaller. A home packed with your personal belongings also makes it difficult for others to envision living there. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos. Pack up things you don’t use on a daily basis, and put them in storage or ask a friend to hold onto them. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.
4. Paint wisely. A well-done, no-frills paint job is all you need. Put a fresh coat of paint on white or beige walls, and repaint walls that have eccentric or unconventional colors. Nature- and spa-inspired neutral colors, such as taupe and subtle gray, are the best choices. Definitely don’t forget the trim and molding either. And a fresh paint job on outdated or worn cabinetry goes a long way, too.
5. Fix the small stuff. Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. You can install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods – fixtures that are readily visible to homebuyers – rather inexpensively. New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components.
6. Update lighting. Replace decorative light fixtures that no longer fit your home’s cleaner, fresher look. Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home. For example, ambient, low-key lighting fills a room, whereas directional or task lighting works better in areas like a reading nook. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers’ attention to certain selling points.
7. Frame windows. Ensure you have the right window treatments, which enhance natural brightness and boost the appearance of a home. Window treatments also can impact a room’s temperature because they reduce or increase the amount of light entering the space. Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings.
8. Set the table. Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch. Also, keep place settings handy for your tables so you can quickly set them out right before showings or an open house. Pull out all the formal stops for a dining room, and keep the table casual in the kitchen.
9. Hide unsightly everyday items. Don’t leave children’s toys and pet belongings out in the open during showings and open houses. Move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates and kids’ entertainment to less conspicuous areas of the home, such as an outdoor storage unit or garage before each showing or open house. Also think about where you can store things like dirty laundry and dirty kitchen sponges.
10. Don’t forget the back. Keep your backyard looking spacious and functional. Plant or pot colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.
Weekly Marketing Tips
Using Linkedin for Real Estate Leads
- Complete your profile thoughtfully- Fill it out as completely as possible with a headshot, your specialties, and use keywords about your business in your professional headline (the link below your name).
- Post updates- Similar to Facebook and Google+. Post links to relevant content, videos, etc. and encourage others to comment or share your posts to get an even larger audience.
- Join relevant local and professional groups- you can then interact with anyone in the group and expand your network.
- Find peers and see who is looking at your profile- Connect with professionals you know and have worked with. Click “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” to get insights on who is visiting your page. Reach out to people who may be potential leads clicking on your profile.
FREE App of the Week
Tibbr- Tibbr brings people, files, business apps and actions all together in one place. This app makes it easy to discover relevant info with just a couple of swipes. It helps keep you in touch with what is important. Get real work done faster with the file sharing aspect. Following subjects instead of just people allows you to filter what you want to see.
You’ve found a house you love. It’s the perfect size, layout, condition and even has your must-haves. There’s only one problem. The seller’s asking price is too high. It’s time for the phase ofhome buying that most people dread and even fewer are skilled at: the art of negotiation.
Make no mistake, negotiation is part skill and part art form. An experienced buyer’s agent will know how to finesse the contract negotiations and save you a lot of hassle. Your gut might tell you that the asking price for the house is too much, but you’ll have a better chance of getting a lower offer accepted if your agent can back it up with facts.
A few key elements:
Comparables and Statistics
The best way to determine the fair market value of a house is to measure its asking price against similar homes that have sold in the same area, providing a set of numbers known as comparables or comps. Your agent will handle this, providing data from the local multiple listing service, or MLS. This gives you a baseline starting point. Your agent will also consider other factors, including the original listing price of similar homes versus their selling price, as well as the number of days the house has been on the market. All of this information can help make a better factual case for making an offer lower than the asking price.
Following a Process
Your agent will prepare a written offer to submit to the seller or seller’s agent. Along with this written proposal, your agent can present facts such as the comps and other data to justify your offer. When the seller sees this in writing, you have a much stronger case. Also, writing a letter to the sellers about your situation and your feelings about their home can make a big impression.
One of the strongest negotiating factors is understanding the seller’s motivation. This may be hard to do on your own, but your agent may be able to help. If your agent learns, for example, that the sellers are moving and have closed on a house elsewhere, this tells you they’re probably motivated to sell quickly. Knowledge is power – especially in negotiations.
Making Your Lower Offer Work for Them
Sometimes buyers can make their lower offers more palatable to sellers by offering concessions or compromises. Something as simple as being flexible on a closing date can be attractive. If, for instance, the sellers are facing a one-month gap between the sale of the current home and their purchase of the next, they might appreciate it if your offer included an extension of the closing date or an opportunity to lease their home back from you for a month. If you don’t need assistance from the sellers to pay closing costs, they could see this as a big plus. Also, having a pre-approval letter from your mortgage lender is one of your best advantages. This tells sellers that your financing is secure and not likely to fall through. It can be a gamble for sellers to accept an offer from someone who hasn’t yet secured financing.
Making the Asking Price Work for You
Depending on how far off the asking price is from your budget and your understanding of the home’s value, you and your agent might consider agreeing to the full asking price but requesting additional concessions from the sellers. For instance, your agent could include in the offer a request for the sellers to pay your closing costs. Perhaps there are household items, such as the washer and dryer, you would be interested in keeping; these also can be written into an offer. A home warranty is another item sellers may agree to purchase for you. These types of seller concessions could offset the gap you and your agent see between asking price and the fair market price.
A Backup Plan
Not all negotiations result in an agreement. Sometimes the parties are too far apart in price, and there’s nothing to be done. In these cases, your agent can be ready with other properties that fit your needs. In any negotiation, you have more leverage if you’re willing to walk away.
The End Game
Above all, remember that negotiating the price you’re willing to pay for a house is just that – a negotiation. You’re trying to reach an agreement that’s acceptable to both you and the sellers. The object isn’t to beat the sellers or win the negotiation. The object is to purchase the house. Good agents know this – and will use their expertise to make it happen.
Weekly Marketing Tips
Track Marketing Tasks
- Keep it simple—you don’t have to have fancy software, create a simple excel spreadsheet to track marketing efforts.
- Ask “How did you hear about me?” This reveals what marketing methods are bringing you traffic.
- Review your results regularly—identify what is working and what is not and determine where to concentrate your marketing budget.
FREE App of the Week
TrackMyTask- If you are a fan of the Evernote App, you need this! This app takes your to-dos from your notes and puts them in a checklist. It is a simple way to use your mobile device to track tasks you need to complete for clients, your team, or personal tasks.