Monthly Archives: October 2017

Help Your Seller the Right Way

Living the Dream: Taming Seller Expectations

In today’s sellers’ market, it’s easy for homeowners looking to list to be living with their head in the clouds. In this week’s real estate agent selling tips, we’ll look into common seller misconceptions that can cause homes to remain on the listing market.

Do You Need to Bring Sellers Down from these Listing Myths?

* You’ll always make money
Selling a home for more than was paid for it isn’t a given, and varies by market. This is where sales data offers key insight into realistic values.

* Price high to reel-in the dough
Sky-high pricing schemes can lead to listing lag-times. In essence, you’re sacrificing prime advertising time on the off-chance someone will overpay for your home. (Buyer’s agents advise shoppers to steer clear of these homes.)

* Overpriced? It’s no big deal to lower it later
Reality is, shoppers assume listings that have labored on the market have something wrong with them, and will look elsewhere – or underbid. Pricing right from the start facilitates a quick, easy sale.

* Low pricing stifles offers
This often counterintuitive strategy can offer big returns, drumming up massive interest – and bidding wars – as the competitive spirit (and egos) come into play.

* Past appraisals provide accurate pricing
Appraisals from past refinancing are out of date and do not properly reflect current value information. Much can change in a few months. The most reliable appraisals should be current – no more than 60 days old.

* Just add the cost of renovations onto the home price
Sellers often assume whatever money they’ve shelled out for recent renovations will be returned in-kind. But the truth is: the full investment is rarely recouped. On average, sellers earn back 64% of home improvements investments – but this return varies greatly by renovation/addition type.

Looking for real estate agent selling tips for the real world? Properties Online is tried and true. Discover more today.

Market Your Properties for Success With Specialized Tools

Helping Your Buyer Make Their Bid – Tips to Getting It “Right” and Winning the Sale

One of the biggest purchases in a person’s life, buying a house is a big deal. Such a life-changing event shouldn’t be entered into lightly. So, as a realtor who respects their clients and is looking to build their reputation, it’s essential to have the right real estate buying tips to both cinch the sale and protect the sellers.

Six Steps to Helping Sellers Present the ‘Right’ Offer:

1. Research
Search for comps and consider local market data to surmise fair market price, considering the seller’s original purchase price and date to determine offer flexibility.

2. Find financing
Be sure to have prospective buyers get a pre-approval for the offer to ensure it is taken seriously. Given multiple offers, sellers will always lean toward those backed with approved financing.

3. Protect buyers with contingencies
Including a home appraisal and acceptable inspection, as well as a commitment of agreeable financing terms, making certain the buyer fully understands each before submitting. These are essential to protecting the buyer’s right to cancel the contract without penalty and preserving their down payment money.

4. Safeguard funds
Arrange to hold the down payment deposit in an escrow account (not with the seller). This way, money can easily be recouped if the offer falls through, or deducted from purchase costs at closing.

5. Make it official
Put together a written “purchase agreement” for delivery to the seller’s agent that meets state legal requirements, including:
• Date
• Address
• Offer
• Financing terms
• Escrow details
• Closing/possession dates
• Contingencies

6. Sign on the dotted line
Accept/counteroffer until a price is mutually agreed upon or either party exits negotiations. Work with a legal team as necessary to navigate and fully understand the contract, as once the offer is signed, it is binding.

Looking for winning real estate buying tips? Put yourself at the head of the pack with the help of Properties Online today.

How to Care for Your Buyers

Danger Zones: What You Don’t Know May Just Hurt You

From gas explosions to sinkholes and neighborhood crime, it’s a jungle out there. And whether you’re helping sellers list or helping buyers find the perfect home, it pays to get the details. Failing to do so could come at the expense of your reputation.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Get the 4-1-1 On Home Safety
Use these real estate buying tips to distinguish homes in the danger zone…

• Crime Rates
Check Trulia’s neighborhood guides to detect high crime rates – or simply ask neighbors, who are often a cornucopia of information.

• Flood Zones
Seek out flood zone maps, and beware of ground pitch under homes. Soil should be graded to slope gently away from the home to prevent flooding in storms. Homes located at the bottom of a hill are at additional risk.

• Gas
Contact the local utility to find out if/where larger gas lines are buried in relation to the home.

• Natural Disasters
Contact a local insurance carrier to inquire which natural disasters are common to a potential home site. A move of even a few miles could make a major difference.

• Trees
Often overlooked, trees can cause a good deal of damage, turning a simple rainstorm into a waterfall over a home. Luckily, local arborists or tree specialists often provide free consultations to homeowners/buyers, and can point out issues.

• Seller Disclosures
Though legally required disclosures vary somewhat by state, carefully review disclosure documents, which typically require disclosures regarding:
– Lead paint
– Water damage & mold
– Drainage issues (basement floods, standing water)
– Significant physical issues (foundation, roof leaks, asbestos, radon, etc.)
– Pests (snakes, mice, bats, bedbugs…)
– Neighbor disputes (boundary issues)
– Emotional defects (murder, suicide, violent crime, paranormal activity)

Do you have the real estate buying tips you need to safeguard your clients – and your reputation? Protect yourself with the help of Properties Online today.

Virtual Reality and 2-D Video Replace the Traditional Open House

The home shopping process can be long and laborious for sellers, shoppers and realtors alike. Luckily, video usage in real estate marketing has come to the rescue, delivering the time-crunched masses a faster shopping solution.

24/7, 365 Day-A-Year Access
Video and virtual reality (VR) now offers unfettered access to homes on the market, saving a shocking amount of time compared to in-person perusal. No longer are sellers repeatedly forced to clean and vacate for showings, or realtors’ schedules stretched to accommodate looky-loos. Potential buyers can browse the inside of homes at their convenience, in privacy, making contact for only those listings they are seriously interested in.

Easy Setup
Far from the creation nightmare most agents assume, video listing tools and VR services offer easy compilation and editing. All an agent has to do is create the canvas with the right home staging and professional quality photography to take advantage of video usage in real estate marketing.

Tips to Achieving Winning Video Results
Whether you hire a professional or D-I-Y, quality counts. Gorgeous photographs of clean, well-lit, clutter free areas show a home in its best light. Walk-throughs and/or floor plan sketches can showcase the crucial information buyers need to take the plunge.

Providing enough – but not excess – content is key, with most listing and neighborhood market videos in the 2-4 minute range. Cover main features, unique facets, and buyer favorites like walk-in closets and storage, including a brief call-to-action to inspire interested buyers to reach out and learn more.

With added neighborhood area and amenity videos, the market is made easily accessible even to out of town shoppers, widening the potential buyer pool and driving additional traffic to your listing through enhanced SEO and social sharing.

Burned out on open houses? So is everyone else. Discover a better way, putting video usage in real estate marketing to work for you today. Learn more from Properties Online today.

2017 Real Estate Market Trends – Did They Happen?

From inventory shortages to western migration and video usage in real estate marketing, did these 2017 trends take the market as predicted?

  • Millennials & Boomers Driving the Market
    Millennials remain the largest group of home buyers (34%) for the fourth consecutive year. However, 85% of Boomers have no plans to sell in the next year, contributing to the lack of affordable homes on the market.
  • A Slow Down in Price Appreciation
    With inventory at 20-year low, and demand heavy, prices don’t appear to be slowing down, except in certain markets/neighborhoods where upward limits have weakened affordability. If mortgage rates continue moving on up, demand may slow with pricing/affordability, but they’re still higher than historical norms.
  • Fewer Homes, Faster Sales
    A record number of buyers and few affordable homes make this one of the fastest moving markets in decades. In May, 1-in-3 homes sold in under 30-days nationally, with a median listing time of 60-days.
  • Shoppers Turn to Video
    100% of home shoppers used the internet to research a specific home, with 86% of shoppers relying on video usage in real estate marketing to learn more about communities, and 70% of shoppers touring homes via video – some of which make the home purchase sight unseen!
  • Popular Western Markets Top the Charts
    The hottest markets in the country are currently:

    1. Vallejo, CA
    2. San Francisco, CA
    3. Boston, MA
    4. Sacramento, CA
    5. Kennewick, WA
    6. Colorado Springs, CO
    7. Columbus, OH
    8. Midland, TX
    9. San Jose, CA
    10. Stockton, CA
  • The Midwest Moving to the Top of the Affordable Housing Market
    Ranked on affordability by the U.S. Census. These cities, with populations of 1-million+, topped affordability charts:

    1. Rochester, NY
    2. Buffalo-Cheeektown-Niagara Falls, NY
    3. Pittsburg, PA
    4. Kansas City, MO
    5. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
    6. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
    7. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
    8. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
    9. Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth, TX
    10. Oklahoma City, OK

Learn how video usage in real estate marketing can prove true for you in the upcoming year. Visit Properties Online today.