Simply placing a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard and posting the listing on MLS no longer gets buyers to the door. A good realtor today must do their other HOMEwork – diverse platforms such as social media, real estate blogs, YouTube and Broker web sites must be used to pique buyer interest. Here are a few action plans that you should check to make sure that the realtor you choose uses to attract buyers:
Online presence – The number one strategy for selling fast is good internet presence. People who keep their homes a “secret” hurt their chances of getting the highest price. You want to be EVERYWHERE online. Focus on the home’s “online debut” – research shows that a property has only about nine seconds to get a buyer’s attention, so you have to make it count. I encourage my sellers to go online and check out how their house looks, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Quality photos – Smartphone photos no longer make the cut. Your agent should be using professional photographers to shoot pictures of homes for sale. The photos should tell a story about the house…essentially, they’re your first “showing”. It’s also really important to prepare the home in advance to ensure compelling photography, which is why I use a professional stager for all my listings along with professional photography.
Virtual Tours – Give potential buyers a high-resolution, interactive tour through the home. It helps people who are looking for a specific plan or special features.
YouTube – Videos can really tell the home’s story. The key is to have well-produced video with good sound and crisp, clear visuals. The key in my opinion is to keep the video short and to not give too much of the house away – you still want to encourage buyers to actually come view the home. It’s also important to give some extra details and not just recite that the home has three bedrooms and a fabulous dining room.
If you are thinking about selling your home, I have the perfect strategy and tools to be successful in today’s market – professional staging, photography, and video are cornerstones of the way I do my HOMEwork. This year alone I have already completed over 25 Real Estate transactions, and I’m proud and humbled to say that D Magazine just voted me as a “Best Real Estate Agent and Top Producer in 2017” for Dallas! Please visit all my social media sites to learn more about me…or give me a call today!
If you’re trying to sell your home, you’ve probably scrutinized it, staged it, and scrubbed it down as if the folks from Architectural Digest were stopping by for a cover shoot. OK, so it’s in immaculate shape — but your home isn’t the only thing under scrutiny here. You are, too. That’s right: No matter how nice your home is, your behavior can also affect how buyers feel about making an offer.
Below are seven etiquette rules sellers should follow to show their home — and themselves — in the best possible light.
Leave — Sure, you’re dying to know if prospective buyers will love what you’ve done with the kitchen, but Realtors agree sellers should not be there lurking in the shadows during an open house or showing.
Take your pets with you — You may think your dog is the cutest ever, but not everyone is bound to share that opinion. In addition to having allergies, some home shoppers may not be in the market for a run-in with an animal they don’t know.
Move your car — Make it easy for visitors to park and view your home. No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.
Offer some refreshments — House hunters can get parched and hungry. You can help. Putting out a few small bottled waters in a bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go refreshments such as mints or cookies.
Be patient waiting for feedback — Of course, you’re dying to know what buyers thought of your home, but that information may not flow back to you instantaneously. It’s reasonable to ask for feedback from your Realtor after the showing, but understand it may take a day or two for the buyer’s agent to respond.
Don’t be greedy — Who doesn’t want top dollar for their home? But an unwillingness to negotiate can kill a possible deal and keep your home on the market long after you were hoping to be unpacking at your new place.
Listen to the professionals — If your Realtor has some suggestions for improvements that may help sell your home faster, take them to heart but don’t take them personally. Keep emotions out and listen to what a licensed, trained, professional – like ME! – has to say about your house.
If you are interested in hearing more about selling your home, contact me for information. I’m always ready to send you a complimentary Comparative Market Analysis that gives you an idea of how much you can sell your home for. Looking forward to hearing from you!
-Heather Kinder Sims
A house hunter’s first view of your property is often online, and if the photos accompanying your home’s listing don’t impress, you may not get a second chance to entice that potential buyer — meaning your real estate photos are valuable assets when it comes to selling your home. The following tips can help your home put its best foot forward on picture day.
Check out potential agents’ listings. Before diving into photo-day planning, choose a good realtor who knows how to market your property through high-quality photos! It’s so important to be sure your real estate agent is prepared to deliver quality listing photos, so before choosing your realtor, study each candidates’ listings to get a feel for the quality of the photography. Here are a few questions you may want to ask about how the agents you’re considering handle photos:
* Do you use a professional photographer? THE ANSWER NEEDS TO BE YES!
* If you take the photos yourself, what equipment do you use — professional camera and tripod or a cellphone? THE ANSWER NEEDS TO BE THAT THEY NEVER TAKE THEIR OWN PHOTOS, unless they are also a professional photographer, of course!
* How much time is typically allotted for the photo shoot?
* What can I do to make my home look its best in photos?
Clean the windows and open the shades. Ample light can go a long way toward making your home shine in photos, so get those windows sparkling clean, and open the shades and curtains wide.
Perk up houseplants. Fresh green plants add a feeling of life and vibrancy to interior photos…ailing plants, not so much. Trim away dead leaves with a pair of sharp scissors. Dust large-leaved plants with a soft cloth. And this needs to be minimal – you don’t want a jungle of plants, but just a few strategically placed is ideal!
Remove counter clutter. Gleaming, clutter-free counters will make your kitchen look more spacious. Put away everything, then clean counters well. It’s fine to leave out one or two small appliances, such as the toaster and coffee maker, but stash anything extra, as well as small appliances (especially the ones that have seen better days!).
Polish wood floors and shine appliances. Wood floors can be a major selling point, so be sure they look their best in photos by treating them to a thorough cleaning…dirt and dust show up so easily on wood floors, especially dark ones. The same goes for those stainless-steel appliances — using a product designed for stainless-steel, buff the surface until it gleams.
Hide toiletries and freshen bathrooms. Aside from a fresh bar of soap at the sink, the bathroom should be completely free of toiletries — too many products crowding the sink and shower suggest that there’s not enough storage space. Pull open the shower curtain, clean the mirror, put the toilet seats down (this is a huge pet peeve of mine!) and turn on the lights. Remove old towels and put out fresh, fluffy white towels if you have them. If not, just leave the towel racks bare.
Neatly tuck in bedcovers. Photographs seem to pick up every little imperfection, so spend an extra few minutes straightening up the beds on picture day. Fluff the pillows, pull the bedcovers taut, and clear away clutter and personal items from bedside tables.
Do a photo-ready walk-through. The aim on photo day should be to make your house look as spacious, clean and inviting as possible — so it’s in your interest to declutter as much as possible. Here are some under-the-radar items you may want to stash before the photographer arrives:
* Shoes in the entryway, but also anywhere and everywhere!
* Piles of mail and paperwork
* Remote controls
* Kids’ toys that can’t be put neatly away
* Pet food bowls, beds and litter boxes (temporarily move these to an area that won’t be photographed)
* Fridge clutter (magnets, photos, cards)
Switch on all lights & turn off ceiling fans. Unless your home is flooded with natural light or you know that your real estate photographer will be using portable studio lighting, the general rule is to turn on all lights, including lamps. Be sure they all have bulbs! Also, turn off the ceiling fans – if they’re on, the blades will blur in photos and it’s not a good look. 🙂
Highlight special features. Have a lovely working gas fireplace or an outdoor fire pit? Make sure it’s lit on photo day. Likewise, if you have a hot tub or a pool in the backyard, make sure it’s uncovered and clean for the photos.
Focus on the first impression. This isn’t the time to worry about major landscape changes or reviving a dead lawn. Instead, focus on the quick fixes that will make a positive impression in a head-on photo of your home. Deadhead flowers, rake leaves, clear away porch and driveway clutter, and set out a few pots of blooming flowers. You may also want to leave your own car parked in front of the house until the photographer is ready to shoot the street view — otherwise you could wind up with your neighbor’s SUV blocking the shot!
Last but not least, check that all outside areas are neat and tidy, with outdoor furniture in place, tools put away and garbage cans tucked out of sight.
I always enjoy articles written by Houzz magazine. The tips are great in this one – not only for the photographer but for me as I am preparing for showings. The Real Estate business is hard work, lots behind the scenes, but what a fun business! If you are interested in seeing all the listings I have available, you can click HERE or don’t hesitate to give me a call at 214-549-7978.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Heather Kinder Sims
Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey; you need an experienced real estate professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.
The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but rather have been strengthened, due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. Think twice about these 5 things before you trust your home sale to an inexperienced person (like yourself, perhaps!)…
1. What do you do with all this paperwork?
The state of Texas has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional like me can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality. Another reason to make sure the paperwork is right is for your protection. From the seller side, would you know what you would have to disclose to buyers about the home, what has happened in the home, what is happening around the home, etc.? From the buyer side, what rights to you have to specific information before and after the sale? These are very important, and potentially very costly, issues!
2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has guided people through those steps numerous times before, someone who knows what these actions are and can explain them in a clear and concise way, to make sure that you acquire your dream?
3. Are you a good negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent like me to help you sell your home because the market is just so hot. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a good realtor. From the buyer – who wants the best deal possible and likely has an agent who you most likely will be responsible for paying – to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, to the title company, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.
4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
For sellers, it is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. Also, contrary to way may be popular belief, sellers make more money when they hire a realtor…according to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” For buyers, you don’t want to pay more for a home than it’s really worth, which is a big cause for concern in a hot market like this, and you need an agent to help you run the numbers and determine that.
5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?
Just like you probably have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the industry in which you work, a good realtor like me knows what’s going on in real estate. There is so much information – and misinformation – out there on the news, the internet, and these home shows on networks like TLC. Home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s really going on and how the market works specifically in the Dallas area? Do you want to trust your own limited knowledge about real estate to buy or sell the biggest asset you’ll probably every buy or sell, or should you call an expert like me to help?
Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Hiring an agent will make your buying or selling experience an educated one, and you can be more assured that you will be making decisions based on real knowledge that will lead to success.
You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic, you wouldn’t perform your own surgery, and you wouldn’t build your own house brick-by-brick without being qualified in one of those fields. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring an expert in the field of buying and selling real estate? Considering a move, get in touch with me and let’s talk!