Home Staging Tips

Staging your home prior to showing it increases the likelihood of a sale, even in a buyers’ market. It reduces the time the home spends on the market, helps to justify the asking price and it can also prepare you to the move, because a big part of home staging is organizing and decluttering.

Whether you do it by yourself or hire a professional, here are a few simple home staging tips. These are basic tips – in a buyers’ market you may need to go through more trouble, including some basic remodeling.

1. The most important home staging tip is “look at your house through the eyes of a potential buyer.” Your beloved knick knacks will be no more than clutter to a buyer. A little grime in the bathroom? HUGE turnoff for a buyer. And that red dining room wall that you love so much? Remember that most buyers prefer neytral colors.

2. The exterior of the house needs to be staged too. This includes painting if needed, mowing the lawn, and in general making sure the house has great curb appeal.

3. Entryway needs to be open, well lighted and free of clutter. A simple way to immediately transform your entryway is to replace the worn welcome mat!

4. Clear the living room and dining room of family photos and personal items. These convey a message of “I live here, you don’t” – but you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in the house. If the room is too crowded, move some of the furniture into the garage. You want it to look spacious and inviting.

5. The kitchen and the bathrooms absolutely have to sparkle. Any hint of dirt or grime in these rooms is a huge – HUGE – turnoff. Make sure counters are completely bare except for a few decorative items. Place al personal items in drawers and place fresh plush towels and flowers on counters. If your bathroom fixtures are outdated, replace them with sleek and modern fixtures

6.  To make bedrooms appear spacious and comfortable, remove any furniture that clutters the room and most personal items such as photos and knick knacks; remove at least half of your clothes from the closets and pack them (you’ll need to do this soon anyway!) and make sure the bed is perfectly made with high-quality linens.

Generally, when staging a home, you need to keep these words in mind: VERY clean, uncluttered, well lighted, spacious and comfortable. If you can manage to do this in every room of the house, your chances of selling it quickly, for the asking price or more, will be significantly higher.

How to Keep in Touch with Past Clients

In the insanely competitive real estate space, landing a client once isn’t enough: you want to stay top of mind with that client even after you have finished working for them, so that they can return to you with their future real estate needs, and – just as important – refer their friends, neighbors and acquaintances.

Keeping in touch with former clients means, above all, being useful to them. You don’t want to nag, or to clog their inbox with annoying emails. You want to keep in touch in a way that makes you valuable, and your emails welcome. This usually means providing information such as real estate market info for their area, or useful tips for buying, selling and maintaining a home.

While phone calls and cards are certainly an option, email is definitely the easiest way to keep in touch with clients. But “easy” is a relative term, and for most real estate professionals, the problem is that they are so busy keeping up with their current clients, maintaining their website and blog and looking for new leads, that it’s very difficult for them to find the time to keep in touch with past clients.

The result: often, past clients fall through the cracks and eventually the connection is lost. When it’s time for them to recommend an agent, or to use a realtor, they simply don’t have you in mind – so they pick someone else.

In our experience as realtors, the best way to avoid these situations and to effectively and effortlessly keep in touch with past clients is to use an email drip marketing system, which automates your emails to clients and makes sure you can stay in touch and provide valuable info with minimal effort.

All you need to do is enter the client’s email address into the system, and the system does the rest automatically. Essentially, you are sending repeated, relevant messages to former clients until they are ready to use your services again, or to recommend you to a friend.

Make sure past clients are repeat clients. Stay in touch!

Listing Syndication – now a free feature with RealEstateSites.com

listing-syndication-blog

We are excited to tell you about a new feature upgrade for your agent website. We have just added Listing Syndication to our growing list of website features for our.

We have just completed beta testing our new Listing Syndication tool that will allow you to feed your listing data to the major property website portals like Trulia, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate and several others.

To take advantage of this free service, login to your account and click on the new “Syndication” tool located on the Main Menu. This is the page you see first when you login.

Easy Posting to Craigslist with RealEstateSites.com

At RealEstateSites.com, we are very aware of how busy you are. In order to make the important task of marketing your listing significantly easier, we have made it our goal to include as many useful tools and features as possible in our agent websites.

One of the best features we have included in our agent websites is the ability to create beautiful craigslist flyers. Our flyer builder will generate a snippet of html code that that will dynamically pull all your listing details, photos and your contact information. This html snippet enables you to easily cut and paste your data into online classified sites such as the very popular Craigslist, Backpage or Ebay.

We Maximize Your Clicks!

There are literally hundreds of ads every day for real estate. You need to get your message across quickly and effectively. The ads we create for you fit the bill perfectly because we use HTML to format them. Your property will stand hand and shoulders above the competition.

You can expect anywhere from 5% to 10% of people viewing an effective ad on Craigslist to click-through to your website. This is considerabily higher than the adverage click thru banner advertisement rate of just 1.9%.*

Tracking Your Results

Another fantastic tool related to our craigslist flyer campaigns is the ability to track your results. With our ad campaign stats you can see exactly how many views your classified ad received, and how many people clicked thru to your website.

Don’t forget to take advantage of this free service. Craigslist can be a powerful tool for generating free traffic to your property website. It is one of the most popular websites in the world, with millions of daily visitors.

Regularly posting relevant Craigslist classifieds that point to your listings and include a link to your single property page have the potential of driving significant amounts of highly targeted traffic to your property websites. Get in the habit of using our handy html snippet for each listing and you can see a real difference in the amount of traffic your site receives.

*Average accross all Properties Online users in 2009. According to a study of more than 10 billion banner inquiries across Europe from ADTECH the average click-through rate fluctuates between 0.11% and 0.19%

Real Estate Market Update: Should You Buy Now?

More and more real estate experts believe that a turnaround in the housing market is imminent. If you’ve been holding off on a real estate purchase, now may be a good time to go ahead and take the plunge!

Home prices remain low in most US markets, but prices have stabilized and are no longer falling. Low prices combined with historically low mortgage rates and a nice-size tax credit (extended to April 30) may make this a good time to finally make your move and enter the real estate market.

Of course, in some areas home prices may continue to fall, while in others they may stagnate for years before starting to go up again, which means that investing in real estate could still be risky at this point.

In addition, rushing into a real estate deal just to take advantage of the tax credit doesn’t really make sense given the complexity of most real estate transactions.

We believe that right now, the biggest risk for those who are still waiting on the sidelines is a jump in mortgage rates after the Fed stops stop buying mortgage-backed securities. Of course, this is a risk only if home prices in your area won’t continue to fall.