Choosing a Realtor – Tips to Help You Choose a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Having a Hard Time Choosing a Realtor?

Choosing a Realtor when selling a house can get confusing and difficult especially taking into account the fact that there seems to be as many real estate agents trying to get your business as there are houses. Okay that may not be at all true but you get the picture.

There will be so many real estate agents promising you the stars whilst charging fees that vary wildly. One has to learn to pick the best one that not only will find you the buyer who is willing to purchase your house at the best price but also the one whom you can trust and work well with.

Follow These Tips to Choose a Realtor That Is Right For You

Always Ask For References – Don’t be so confident about your ability to judge a person’s character. If the agent is really good then ask him or her for references on recent sales. Contact those references and let them narrate to you their experience with the agent. Chances are if there are negative reviews, comments, or complaints about the Realtor then you would know about it soon enough. 

Cheaper Is Not Always Better – Do not always go for the real estate agent who charges the lowest commission. Realtors and real estate companies often shoulder the cost of listing and marketing your house to potential buyers. A huge pay-cut in commission may mean at the very least a listing in the open market but very little assistance and effort from the agent beyond that. Also, a relatively higher incentive will motivate your agent to drop everything and hurdle any challenges that may come his or her way. Simply put, you will get what you pay for.

Benefits Of Choosing Wisely – Another thing to consider is that in a selling transaction two real estate agents are often involved in every sale. Often times, it is a practice by the real estate agents to cede fees to the buyer’s agent. If commissions for your agent is tight then he or she might not be willing to cede fees to buyers‘ agent thereby decreasing the chances of a completed sale.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Lease-Option and Rent-To-Own Properties – 11 Ways to Find Them When They’re Not on the MLS

Lease-options (also known as rent-to-own, and similar to lease-purchases or land contracts) are a good way to find properties to buy when you can’t buy traditionally. Perhaps you have poor credit, or no down payment. Or maybe you’re not sure about a new neighborhood, and want to rent before buying. The problem is: Lease-options can be difficult to find. Many aren’t listed as „lease-options“ on the MLS („Multiple Listing Service“–the real estate databases used by Realtors), and others are not on the MLS at all. Here are some little-known ways to find a lease-option when they are not listed on the MLS.

But, first, the fundamentals:

A lease option combines a lease for a piece of property and an option to buy the property at some point in the future. There’s no one „standard“ lease. But the lease can be typical for your area. (The secret to this technique lies in the option.) The lease says that the tenant has the right to occupy the property for 12 (or 24, or whatever you choose) months, paying rent of $x a month. It contains the same basic provisions as any lease: keep the property clean, no illegal activities, pay rent on time, etc. There isn’t anything unusual about the lease.

The magic is in the option. The option gives the tenant-buyer (the renter who may become the owner) the right to purchase the property for a specific amount in a specific time frame so long as he obeys the terms of the lease.

So those are the fundamentals. The problem is: How do you find them? If you go to a Realtor, he/she isn’t going to find many–if any–on the MLS. But don’t let that stop you. There are many, many of them out there. You just need to know where to look.

Non-MLS Rentals

Many rental properties-single-family homes, townhouses, and condos-are rented out directly by the property’s owner. Remember, as we pointed out above, that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ All the points made above apply to non-listed rent-als. In addition, these owners are facing the hassle of dealing with calls from many „tire kickers“ and less-than-serious callers. So, many get frustrated pretty quickly.

And the person seeking a lease-option has another advantage: The ability to speak directly to the owner. Now, technically, even if a property is listed with an agent, you can speak directly to the owner. But the owner has decided to use a real estate agent, in part, to avoid all that hassle. It’s poor form, and usually not a good idea, to try negotiating directly with a seller when that seller is represented by a real estate agent. In the case of non-listed rentals, there is no such buffer. You can call and, in most cases, speak directly with the owner.

There can be another advantage, too: Not having to deal with a real estate agent who doesn’t understand lease-options, doesn’t „believe in them,“ or thinks that he or she is protecting the owners‘ interest by not accurately presenting your offer to the owners.

You can find these properties in the classified ad sections of newspapers. You can also find them on online services such as Craigslist. And you can find them by looking at bulletin boards at your local supermarket or other locations. And if you can’t find enough by looking, then place your own ads in the newspaper, on Craigslist, and on bulletin boards.

Here are some clues to properties that might work out as lease-options:

For Sale by Owner (FSBOs) Properties

These are properties that the owners are trying to sell themselves. People often try to sell properties themselves for two reasons: In a seller’s market–when there’s more demand than supply–FSBOs figure that the house will pretty much sell regardless of who the agent is, how much marketing is used, or even the price of the house. So why, FSBOs wonder, should they pay an agent 4%, 5%, 6%, or even more when all it’ll take is a „For Sale“ sign. In a seller’s market, it’s very difficult to find lease-option properties, especially among FSBOs.

The picture changes sharply in a buyer’s market-when there’s more supply than demand. In a slow market, some sellers think they can’t afford to pay an agent’s commission. They think that they’ll end up with more money in their pockets if they sell the home themselves. They’re often wrong, but that’s their strategy.

One other thing to keep in mind about FSBOs: The asking price of their house is far more likely to be too high than too low, or even properly priced. In part, they don’t have access to all the tools a real estate agent does. In part, they’re emotionally attached to their homes.

Sometimes, they had an appraisal on their property for one purpose, such as a refinance or home equity line of credit (in which cases, the appraisals tend to be on the high side), and they think that the appraisal was an accurate reflection of the value upon resale. It isn’t. And sometimes they’ve used one of the many online services, such as Zillow, to price their homes. Those services sometimes are reasonably accurate. Often, they’re not.

So, in any market, hot or cold, FSBOs are likely to be overpriced. And in a slow market, that means most will sit there and just not sell. That’s why you, the buyer, should have a real estate agent on your „Dream Team“ even if you’re planning on finding the property yourself. Your agent can quickly tell you whether the price being asked by the seller is reasonable.

When dealing with a FSBO, a lease-option buyer can offer closer to what the FSBO actually wants. The catch, of course, is that the sale will occur a year or more into the future, not today. If the FSBO needs all of his equity out of the property, this strategy won’t work. But if the FSBO can wait a year or two, there are golden opportunities for the lease-option buyer. The tenant-buyer explains to the FSBO that he can pay what the FSBO is asking (or close to what the FSBO is asking). Just not right away. It’s the same basic strategy that’s used above, for listed homes for sale. But now you can make your case directly to the seller.

Owner-Advertised Lease-Options

Sometimes owners will advertise lease-options. They understand the benefits of lease options to them-immediate cash flow, often at higher-than-market rent, plus a good opportunity to sell their homes-and decide to try it themselves. You can find these anywhere owners advertise-local newspapers, bulletin boards, Craigslist, and so on. In structured formats, such as newspapers and Craigslist, look under both properties for rent and properties for sale.

Owner-Advertised: Other Delayed Purchases

Be sure your agent also searches using other terms that describe similar structures. These terms include „lease-purchase,“ „rent-to-own,“ „rent-to-buy,“ „land contract,“ and „contract for deed.“ In each case, the owner is signaling that he or she wants to sell, but is willing to wait for the sale occurs. Some of these techniques, and some of these terms, are more often used in certain areas of the country than others. So search for them all.

Owner Financing

Search for properties on which the owner is willing to hold financing. This means the owner is willing to act as the bank. He doesn’t need all the money at closing. He’s willing to take payments over time while the tenant is living in the home. And many owners don’t have the lending criteria as strict or inflexible as the big banks.

But don’t stop there. Remember: A lease-option couples a lease with an option to purchase. So look for owners who are trying to rent their properties but are open to selling, or for owners who are trying to sell, but are open to renting.

Properties for Rent and for Sale

The first step is to find properties both for rent and sale. Even if they’re not listed as „lease-options,“ owners are willing to lease and sell. All you’re asking is that they lease now and sell later.

Former „For Sale“ Properties Now Listed for Rent

These might be properties that had been listed with a real estate agent, or properties that the owner was trying to sell himself. It doesn’t matter. But the house didn’t sell, and now it’s up for rent. These are properties that the owners really would like to sell. But they weren’t able to, so they’re will-ing to rent. Again, you’re offering a solution to their problem. You’re willing to rent now, and may be willing to buy later.

Former Rentals Now for Sale

Along the same lines, look for properties that first were listed as rentals, but now are listed for sale. There probably will be fewer of these than those first for sale, now for rent, but it never hurts to look. These, too, are properties that the owner is both willing to rent and to sell.

Thus far, we’ve identified properties that we know the owners have been willing to both rent and sell. Now we’ll move on to owners who might be willing to both rent and to sell.

Vacant Houses for Sale

Start with owners who are trying to sell, and whose house is vacant. These owners may have bought a new home, but haven’t yet sold the old one. They’re paying two mortgages-usually an uncomfortable situation. You can help out by providing a quick revenue stream–your rent payments–while offering the possibility of a sale in the future. If you’re able to, target the properties that have been on the market the longest.

Rentals

You’ll find more prospects among owners who are renting out their homes. It may be their former primary residence, and they’ve moved on to a new home. Or it may be a property they’ve held as an investment property for awhile. It’s important to remember that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ It wasn’t their original intent to rent out their property. They don’t particularly enjoy the whole rental process, and they don’t like the hassle of dealing with tenants. But somehow they’ve become landlords and they’re trying to make the best of it.

For these owners, the solution you’re offering is the immediate gratification of a rental, and the longer term possibility of a sale. It may help if the property is vacant, but even reluctant landlords whose tenants have given proper notice, and haven’t moved out, may be eager to end their landlording hassles.

Investors

Some investors put together lease-options, then market the lease-options to tenant-buyer with a markup. These are called „sandwich lease-options“ because the structure resembles a sandwich: An owner on one side (one slice of bread in the „sandwich“) lease-optioning the property to an investor; the investor in the middle (the meat in the sandwich), and the tenant-buyer on the other side (the other slice of bread in the „sandwich“).

So those are many of the ways you can find a lease-option or rent-to-own home even when the property may not be listed on the multiple listing service. And the point worth repeating is: Some homes will be „advertised“ as a lease-option. Many won’t be. You’ll reduce or eliminate your competition by looking where others aren’t looking.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Condos for Sale – How to Choose the Right One for You

Have you ever lived in a condominium unit? If like me you grew up in a house with a garden then chances are you have no idea what factors and features to consider when looking at condos for sale. Not being aware of key aspects that could affect your quality of life as well as the unit’s resale value could leave you with a condo you can’t live in or sell.

What to prepare before checking out condos for sale

When a person decides to try buying a condo unit the first thing they do is look through adds, this is one of the most common mistakes buyers make. Prior to looking at units, preparations have to be made which can make looking for a condo easier and in the end more advantageous for you.

Down through the ages people have always said information is the key and looking at condos for sale is no different. Prior to visiting different units hire an experienced realtor. He or she will be able to give you invaluable advice plus his or her services are free since the seller will pay the commission. Another person you need on your side is a lawyer. „Legalize“ is a language not everyone is familiar with and it’s always a good idea that we understand everything we sign, trust me on this my siblings are lawyers. Next, crunch the numbers and look through mortgage requirements. Being ready on the financial front will give you a realistic view on what you can and cannot afford.

What to avoid while looking at condos for sale

Unfortunately not everyone is able to realize that small details can make a big difference in ones‘ quality of life. The following are some things you may not have thought to take into consideration:

• Steer clear of units that overlook the entrance to the garage or where vehicle traffic is if you value peace and quiet.

• Once again for peace and quiet do not choose a unit across from or beside an elevator.

• Make sure your suite does not look over the area where garbage is picked up; this is self-explanatory but is a detail most people will miss.

• Make sure most of the condo’s occupants are owners not tenants.

• Avoid condo buildings that are not easily accessible by any number of public transport services. Trust me you’ll need the service one of these days even if you do have a car.

• Avoid condo buildings where the neighborhood is not as pleasant as you’d like. The building itself maybe top notch but if the location is not at par then think twice.

• Avoid making a decision before going to the condo several times and at different times of the day and night.

• Remember to chat with the neighbors. You’ll need inside information about the area and if you can stand living beside them.

• Do not commit before you have discussed all the monthly fees, maintenance costs, association dues, closing fees and all financial matters. You need to know you can afford it all without breaking a sweat.

• Do not buy a suite with a view you can’t live with, no matter what the building’s amenities are.

Happy hunting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Use Instagram to Market a Real Estate Listing

Instagram’s simple platform and focus on photos makes it the perfect app for real estate agents to share their listings. However, agents who aren’t familiar with the platform may not know what kinds of pictures to post. Simply posting a photo of your listing with the address and a description isn’t going to get much attention. You need to create a story around the listing and share multiple photos to tell that story.

The easiest way to start „Instagramming“ your listings is to use Instagram during an open house. Below are 7 different pictures you can take to create and share your open house story.

Start with a selfie

A „selfie“ is a photo that you take of yourself. Take a selfie in your car, in front of the sign or by the front door. Caption it with something like „Excited to host an open house at 12345 Main Street.“

Your favorite room

Take a photo of your favorite room in the house. In the caption, get your followers to imagine life in that room. For example, if your favorite room is the bathroom with the huge soaking tub, say something like „Can you imagine coming home from a hard day’s work and getting to soak in this tub? Glorious!“

Your favorite outdoor feature

Photograph your favorite outside space. Again, get your followers to imagine themselves living there. „Check out this built in BBQ. Would you love to host summer BBQs at this home?“

Give a shoutout to other agents

A shoutout is a social media referral. If a real estate agent you know comes by the house with clients, snap a picture with them and give them a shoutout in the caption (be sure to use their Instagram handle if they have one.) Your caption could read something like this „Look who stopped by my open house today! Thanks for bringing your buyers @realestateagent.“

Share your „to-do list.“

Write or type a list of things you need to do to prepare for the open house then post a picture. This gives people an idea of the services you provide when hosting an open house. You can also share the owners to do list to educate people on how they should prepare for an open house.

Tools of the Trade

Do you always bring a specific water bottle to open houses? Do you often bake cookies or bring a vase of flowers? Lay out your items and snap a photo. The caption can read something like „Here’s my open house survival kit!“

Get the owners in on the fun

If the homeowners are around, take a photo with them. Tag them and ask them to share the photo on their Instagram and to tag you!

Instagram is easy to use and the perfect platform for real estate agents who are unfamiliar with social media but want to use it to market their listings. With a few clicks of your smartphone camera and some witty captions, you’re next buyer could be one of your Instagram followers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Make Your House For Sale Stand Out From The Crowd

People who can afford the luxury want their homes close to amenities that support their lifestyle. The proximity to the finest goods and services is part of the purchase decision. Your best potential buyers have an active social life and look for amenities such as high-end boutiques, museums, art galleries, concert halls, five star restaurants, catering, and spas.

If you are like most sellers, you want to get as much as possible for your home and you want to do it as quickly as possible. But of all of the houses in Short Hills New Jersey, how do you make your home the one everyone wants?

Make a Presale Investment

The more repairs and upgrades you make, the more attractive your home becomes to those looking at Short Hills New Jersey real estate.

Take an inventory of the features you have already and decide what investments you are willing to make to appeal to buyers.

Some homeowners add a fresh coat of paint to their home, which will bring life back into a fading color. Others repair or upgrade their lighting scheme.

Lighting is a tool any good upscale home design uses to the maximum effect. Natural light is, of course, extremely important and can be achieved with large windows, glass walls, and skylights. Turn on the lights and open the blinds and draperies to create a bright and inviting environment in your home. You want a soft romantic glow in the bedroom and as much light as possible in the exercise room. There are plenty exciting lighting ideas for every room of the upscale home.

The kitchen and bathroom are two of the main selling points to any home. Potential buyers of luxury New Jersey real estate, are looking for upscale kitchens.

These can be traditional, European, or contemporary.

The home buyer, these days, embraces the newer styles and delights in innovative materials for counter tops, better lighting with more elegant fixtures and colors. Darker wood tops can be punched up with touches of reds or citrus colors.

Buyers of luxury houses for sale in Short Hills New Jersey are looking for spacious bath with large showers and separate tubs. Marble or granite flooring, walls, and shower and tub enclosures are expected.

Outdoor Improvements

Make sure your home looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. Landscaping is very important and should enhance the curb appeal, style, and sophistication of the property. Your lawn should be cared for, flower beds must be maintained and any outdoor clutter must be removed.

Many upscale homes have fountains, waterfalls, and rapids in their pools to add focal points of interest.

Make sure the water in your pool is crystal clear and all outdoor furnishings are free of mold or dirt.

Finally

Entry ways of natural stone such as granite, marble, or, slate are very popular and give the home an elegant touch. Make sure this area is spotlessly clean and have a focal point such as a potted plant within the entry way.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Realtor Door Hangers – How Teenagers and Doorknobs Can Get You Leads

If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you’re familiar with those little paper door hangers that get left on your front doorknob about a special at Pizza Hut or a deal on windows from a window manufacturer. You need to be like Pizza Hut! Well, not exactly but you do need „Realtor Door Hangers“.

They can be annoying (at least they are to me unless it’s pizza) but it’s a numbers game like every other marketing weapon. A certain number of people will need/want that particular service and they’ll respond to the ad/door hanger.

The best thing about „Realtor Door Hangers“ is that you can target the neighborhood you want. If you specialize in „Glendale„, for example, and you specify that on your marketing piece (Realtor Door Hanger), you’ll be targeting your audience as much as you possibly can. Marketing is all about getting a targeted list of prospects and you can do that with door hangers. It makes even more sense as a Realtor or agent because you specialize in a certain geographic area, of course.

By the way, you might be terrified to walk up to someone’s house and put a „Realtor Door Hanger“ on the knob. It’s ok. An alternative is to hire your teenager or a college kid to do it for you. Pay them per hanger and save yourself the agony. Or you could offer them a referral fee for any deal you close as a result of the door hangers they hand out. That’ll really kick them in the pants to put those puppies on every doorknob they can find. Plus, it’ll force you to track your marketing, which is a necessity.

Of course, the upside to doing it yourself is that you’ll get to know the neighborhood better and you’ll probably strike up some conversations with folks who either come to the door or are outside. It’s all about building relationships and this is a great way to do it.

One word of caution though: be discriminating about which neighborhoods you hang these „Realtor Door Hangers“ in. If the area is not so good, skip it. It’s not worth getting shot or mugged.

Plus, if you’re trying to get listings, you want homes that’ll potentially sell quickly; not the crack house that people won’t walk by. Stick with the nice, suburban areas where your safety isn’t in danger. That way I won’t have to worry about you.

So the first thing you need is an attention grabbing „Realtor Door Hanger“, of course. Check out DoorHangers.com for the most inexpensive and professional looking options. Put some color into it and make it pop and make sure you brush up on your copywriting skills; you’ll need some killer sales copy to pull a high response rate.

Once you have your door hanger printed and in-hand, it’s easy. Just walk around your selected neighborhoods and hang them up. Simple. Again, it’s all a numbers game. The more you hang up, the more traffic you’ll send to your website or phone.

If you really want to increase the success of your door hangers, go back and hang them up once a month or so. Statistically, it takes a consumer 7 times before they become familiar with your brand. Repetition is the key.

Even if your marketing piece stinks, if you get it in front of the consumer enough times, you’ll see results. It’s worth the time and effort to continue hanging these door hangers up month after month, or whatever timeframe you choose. You’ll reap the rewards in the long run, trust me.

One final thought, don’t go flimsy and cheap with these door hangers. Don’t print off some black and white copies from your computer and cut holes in them to hang over the door knob. What are people going to think about you and your brand? Is that portraying the image you want to convey? Of course not. So spend a couple bucks and get them done right.

Have them professionally printed and make them reflect the image you want to convey about your brand. Don’t skimp on this. It’s very important.

But of course, you don’t want to break the bank either. There are a few solid, low-cost door hanger designers and printers out there. Take a look around and get started!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Plan the Perfect Open House

Have you ever spent time and energy planning an Open House, just to have less than five people attend? Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

I’m Cindy Bishop of Cindy Bishop Worldwide. I pride myself not only on being a successful real estate agent with over 28 years of experience, but a knowledgeable and helpful trainer and coach. I’m committed to making everyone who comes into contact with me succeed, and have compiled the following open house tips for you, both from my own experience, as well as teaching and coaching friends of mine. Use them to succeed, and contact me if you have any questions at all!

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

* A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

* Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

* A home with some kind of „conversation starter“. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

* Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

* Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

* Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

* If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

* Don’t pick a date and time where people are not available, for example, the majority of people work Monday through Fridays from 8am-5pm, and may not be free on a Wednesday at 3pm. Additionally, people are usually not free on holiday weekends.

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

* Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

* Snacks are a must! Try wine and cheese, or beer and wings. The most important part about the food is that it needs to match what type of neighborhood you are in. Fried chicken and hamburgers probably aren’t appropriate at a million-dollar listing, but champagne and caviar probably aren’t appropriate in a first-time homebuyer situation, either. Just a word of caution; however, if you are serving alcohol, be very careful about who you serve. You may even want to get someone on your team to help you out with this. The last thing you need is for someone to drink at your open house as a minor, or someone to drive off over intoxicated and get into an accident. If in the right kind of setting, having comfort foods is especially welcoming and makes many visitors feel more at home. Careful to avoid foods with bad odors or smells, as you don’t want them attributed to the home.

* Consider leaving a hand-written sign to „Help Yourself“ along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

* Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

* Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

* Make sure to engage each and every visitor so they have are interested, and want to stay longer.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

* Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

* Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

* Visit neighbors‘ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

* Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

* Make sure everything is in order so that you look your best, and the house looks it’s best. it should be clean, light bulbs should be new, dust should be gone, air fresheners should be working, the climate should be controlled. I’ve even heard of certain agents baking cookies in advance of the big event so that the house feels and smells extra homey.

* Consider removing clutter, which makes navigating the home difficult. You can also remove or hide offensive art, or anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. But be careful- make sure the homeowner doesn’t just throw the clutter into closets or cabinets! People care more and more about storage these days, and if it looks like the cabinets and closets are busting at the seams with junk, they’ll automatically assume that the amount of storage space in the house is not sufficient

* Use natural light to your advantage. Make sure all window treatments are open and all curtains are drawn. All light switches should be turned on, regardless of where they are. You don’t want someone afraid to go in the basement, or thinking they aren’t allowed to enter the garage.

* Make sure the home owner is not present. The last thing you need is them having an emotional breakdown because they are going down memory lane, or answering a question incorrectly. People also feel uncomfortable freeing roaming when the person who owns the property is looking over their shoulder.

* With that said, valuables, if left in the home, should be secured. At the very least, you should know what they are and where, and make an inventory of them. I strongly advise you insist that the home owner take them out of the property before the open house, so you’re not held liable for them in case of damage or theft.

* Use your team. If you are alone at an Open House, you may be spread too thin. If you leave for a minute to check that a sign on the corner hasn’t fallen down, you may miss someone who pops in to find no one there. Have one person for signage and the guest book, one person on food and drink detail, and that leaves you free to talk to and engage guests.

* Have a loan agent or lender on hand, in order to answer any potential questions the home buyer may have about the process.

* Make sure you have the necessary paperwork required. You can print out a copy of the MLS but it’s strongly suggested that you make a booklet, flyer, or something more personalized to the property, and to yourself.

* Make sure you know the neighborhood, and have done comparisons of values in the neighborhood. You may lose credibility if someone asks you a question and you’re unfamiliar with this territory, and I’m sure you’d rather look like a pro!

6. Use the Personal Touch

* It’s not enough to have each visitor sign in. You should take detailed notes on your conversation with each person. If you can’t remember this, a helpful suggestion is to hide a notebook or tablet inside a kitchen drawer, and make notes as the day goes by.

* You should remember one thing about each visitor and bring it up at some point during their tour of the home. „Jerry, wouldn’t this be an amazing place to store your golf clubs?“

* Don’t try to sell anyone. They will come to you, and request the information they need, when they need it. This is a time to establish relationships. Your only objective should be to make this home (and yourself) memorable.

7. Follow Up

* Add all visitors to your e-mail list, as well as your newsletter list. AM Open House is a great app and resource to make sure you’re keeping on task with this.

* For those visitors who were seriously interested in the home or in you, handwritten cards should be sent out thanking them for coming, and encouraging their business in the future. Take out that handy notebook you stashed, and make personal notes in each card. They’re more likely to keep it the more personal it is. Above all, make sure your contact information is on each card.

* Some agents even send videos. You could forward on a Facebook live video of the open house, or send a YouTube video of the listing. You could even send some kind of greeting card video for a special way to say „thanks for attending!“ BombBomb is a great resource for this type of video.

* Text message is a wonderful way to contact people, and has a 95% open rate. It’s less invasive than a phone call, which people may avoid answering if they don’t know a specific caller. Send a very specific text message with a thank you, the property address, and more information on the property, or a link for more information.

* Send a follow up to the follow up starting with the subject header „I forgot to tell you… “ – You can then point out a feature you neglected to tell them about on the current property, or even point out other properties that you may have listed, if this one fell short for them.

Of course, the best resource for an Open House is a coach, who can suggest strategies unique to your community and clientele. Not only is this more effective, but a coach should follow up with you to make sure that everything went smoothly, and question each step if it doesn’t.

Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Business Enhancement and Growth training for the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Best Ways to Sell Your House During COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down the real estate market, selling a house has become a herculean task for many homeowners. Not to mention, in today’s economy, some homes are remaining on the market for months. However, even though selling your home during COVID-19 can be tricky, it isn’t impossible. With a little know-how, you will be able to sell your home quickly.

Furthermore, selling a house during COVID-19 may sound tough initially, but it is not that difficult to do. Listed below are four tips to sell your home during COVID-19.

1. Advertise properly- While technology and the Internet have made it easy to list real estate for sale online, you need to pack a greater punch to get buyers to take notice of your property if you want to sell your home during COVID-19. From putting up a for sale sign and advertising your home on as many of the major property websites as possible to advertising your home for sale on social media, make sure you leave no stones unturned in terms of advertising your home for sale. Furthermore, you should also distribute flyers and even put an advertisement in the local newspaper. This will allow you to reach out to more people and so, there will be chances of more offers.

2. Virtual tours- Virtual tours are very effective when it comes to marketing and selling your home during COVID-19. Furthermore, a good virtual tour will grab a home buyer by hand and lead them from room to room, whether it is 360 or a video.

3. Be an aggressive home seller- Let’s face it, waiting for the home buyer to come by will not get you anywhere. You need to go all out to spread the word. From putting up a for sale sign to repainting and remodeling your home, do everything within your power to sell your home fast during COVID-19.

4. Declutter and keep your home clean- Nothing can turn off home buyers faster than a home in disarray. Furthermore, whether or not you are currently living there, make sure you take the time to declutter, deep-clean and spruce up. In addition, when cleaning your home, make sure you also remove photographs and other personal information that may be visible, as you want to make buyers feel comfortable when viewing your home.

While selling a home during COVID-19 can be tricky, if you spend some time and effort in creating that perfect atmosphere for your house and keep in mind the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you will be able to sell your home in no time.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Are You Prepared, To Sell, Your Home?

For a variety of reasons, and purposes, individuals decide, the time, is right, to relocate, and, thus, sell their existing home. How someone might be prepared, often, makes a significant difference, in the entire process, and this preparation must combine, emotional, financial, introspective/ objective, and the ability to listen, to the professional, real estate agent, you choose, and hire. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, review, and discuss, some essential components/ necessities, in preparing to sell your home, and end – up, with the best possible results, with a minimum of hassle, and get the best – available price.

1. Why are you moving?: Consider your reasons, personal needs and objectives, priorities, and purposes, in making this important decision. Are you moving, for financial reasons, personal ones, a combination of both, or some other reason? Either way, you should be seeking, obtaining, the highest available price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of stress/ hassle!

2. Getting the house ready/ prepared: Begin with reducing clutter, significantly. Decide what you need, and do not, and sort accordingly. Whatever is unnecessary/ needed, proceed to dispose of, either by giving things away to the needy, etc, and/ or throwing – out! With other clutter, box it up, and put it away, into storage. At the same time, consult with a professional, and reduce the amount and type of furniture, so you are staging, for optimum results. Put the excess stuff, temporarily into storage, also. How about the window coverings/ shades? Do they show, your house, to its best advantage? Objectively examine walls and flaws, and enhance, in an inexpensive, cosmetic manner, by shampooing carpets, cleaning and polishing wood flaws, enhancing tile, etc, thoroughly cleaning the entire house, and painting, with neutral colors, in all appropriate, needed areas. Remember, you only get one chance, to make a quality, first impression!

3. Choosing/ hiring the right real estate agent: What do you seek, in your real estate professional? Have a thorough discussion, and interview, several, so you choose, the individual, best – suited, for you, and your needs! Be certain, you’re on the same – page, with the person, you hire! Beware, you need someone, who will explain his pricing philosophy, and why he believes, you need, to price your house right, from the start!

4. Pricing: Don’t be persuaded to price something high, because, in most cases, houses, obtain their best offers, in the first few weeks, after being put, on the marker, so, price it right, from the start! Make your decision, based on, a Competitive Market Analysis (or CMA).

The better you prepare, the easier the process of selling your home, becomes. A wise homeowner, realizes, the house’s value is usually his single – biggest financial asset, so he, proceeds wisely, and using common sense!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg