Monday, September 29, 2014

Get your home from “Just Listed” to “Just Sold”

 Get your home from “Just Listed” to “Just Sold”

There are strategies that can sell your home in the quickest possible time. So many sellers fail to adhere to them either because they do not know about them or their agent does not advise them to do so. But if your Realtor does give you the following advice, listen to him, or her, because they have your best interest at heart.


Upon driving up to your home, impress potential buyers with amazing curb appeal. Have your property landscaped on a regular basis and keep it up until it sells.
Keep your grass cut regularly; a nicely manicured lawn is a thing of beauty. Also, if you have a dog be sure to clean up his droppings. I cannot tell you how bad it is when a realtor or potential buyer steps in your pet’s landmines
, because guess what, if they do not notice it, and enter your home they can potentially track it in the home. Some buyers walk around the property first while others go from the car to the walkway to the front door and view the property after seeing the home. Also, landscape your property, plant seasonal flowers, trim hedges and bushes so they do not look like a jungle scape. If you cannot do this, hire a professional landscaper.
And take a ride to your local greenhouse or home improvement store and get advice for what plants and flowers to plant. Consider putting colored stones in flower beds for two reasons. First it looks very sharp. And second better to have these stones bordering your home rather then mulch. Mulch is usually treated but over time the treatment degrades. If the mulch is close to your home, it can possibly attract termites.


I had a co-op listing recently that sold in the winter the same weekend that I listed it. The feedback that I received asked me if these sellers really lived like this; it is immaculate. Keep wood floors waxed and shiny. If they are dull you can have them re-sanded and polyurethane. On the coffee table limit magazines to about 3 and choose them wisely. Put the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition away! If you have hobbies such as boating or cycling, put them on the coffee table. In the kitchen de-clutter the counter top and keep the sink free from dirty dishes whenever possible. In the bathrooms, keep them clean and put air fresheners in there.
Throughout the house you can put out scent dispensers that release scents. Scents I like are saddle wood, beach and ocean scents, vanilla, cinnamon and apple pie are perfect for the kitchen, and fresh linen scents are great. For bedrooms, if you have children, instill in them to keep their rooms as tidy as possible. But let’s face it, kids are kids! Don’t despair. Upon seeing this most buyers were understanding. But make sure your bedroom is in better shape than your children’s room.


And here is my biggest pet peeve; take down all those magnets on the refrigerator


We have all seen listings that have only one to four pictures. And what do buyers think of when they see this? Something must be wrong with the house when there are so few photos. Ask your realtor what is the maximum number of photos that is allowed on their Multiple Listing service and how many do they think they will put on the listing. Another thing that is trending in my area is a real video of the home. In the recent past realtors would put slide shows up with music playing. As technology is ever advancing, the way to go is using video as well as pictures. If you have photos of your home you feel are worthy to be put in the listing, such as an area photo, or if you have water views with an amazing sunset, ask your realtor if they could use it. I personally prefer photography.
48 Charter HYPERLINK ""CHYPERLINK ""ircle in OssiningHYPERLINK "",HYPERLINK "" NY. East HYPERLINK ""MHYPERLINK ""ountain HYPERLINK ""RHYPERLINK ""oad is a high-end listing and in a remote area. Charter HYPERLINK ""CHYPERLINK ""ircle, a co-op apartment, sold the same weekend I listed it, thanks to the video done by Home Tour Vision.


Charter HYPERLINK ""CHYPERLINK ""ircle listing is a perfect example of this statement. It was a co-op apartment and we could only can get so many pictures of the apartment. In this listing, Home Tour Vision, at my request, mounted a video camera to their vehicle and drove through the scenic town of Ossining and filmed the town’s shopping stores, main street, and train station. 

Plus they also stopped and took photos as well to include in the listing. In addition, many complexes have other amenities like pools, laundry rooms, playgrounds, club houses, co-op gardens, golf courses, and restaurants within their borders. I put these photos in to show what the complex offers in addition to a great living space. In CHYPERLINK ""harter HYPERLINK ""CHYPERLINK ""ircle it did not have any of these amenities but still sold in a weekend!


They say LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION in real estate. But I counter this with PRICE PRICE PRICE.  List your home realistically and do not overprice your home in hopes you will lower the price once negotiations begin. With that mindset:

·         you can price yourself out the market
·         get reduced showings
·         have the home sit longer on the market
·         have to have price corrections to catch up to market trends.
Your realtor should show you comparables of homes in your area that have sold, and also show you what is active to point out your competition and allow you to see where your home fits into the current market.  You obviously have your bottom line price but it must be tempered with your local market. When showing comparables, I find that either a quarter mile or half mile radius from your home gives you a good indication of what the market is like in your area. 


This is another important factor in the sale of your home. Find out what they will do to market your home. Will they do Open Houses or Mega Open Houses, and broker Open Houses? In the old days of real estate, before the advent of the Internet, realtors would stake their Open House signs everywhere like a miner would stake his claim to a mine and homes would sell at Open Houses. Buyers are looking at homes at 2 am on the Internet in their pjs rather than driving around to see Open Houses as they once did. Personally I find Mega Open Houses are more effective. Message me if you would like to know what they are as it is something that only few do and do not want to publicly share this Open House type.
I find a broker’s Open House is more effective. Every area has one day that is broker Open House day where any realtor does an Open House for just brokers. This is key because when your home just hits the market you want the neighboring agents to see it, because you know agents have buyers!


There I said it. So many brokers have stopped spending money on print advertising in newspapers because of this thing called the Internet, and only advertise in print for an Open House. Websites like, Zillow, and Trulia, just to name a few, are where the buyers are looking. I have accounts on all of these sites plus I employ social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, YouTube, and propertytube, to advertise. Also submission to your realtor’s MLS automatically feeds your listings to hundreds of other websites automatically. Yesterday I showed East Mountain HYPERLINK ""RHYPERLINK ""oad and when I got back to my office I tweeted it with a few pictures. I received a few new followers because of it. By using Hashtags effectively, I can draw people into the listing with twitter or Facebook. I have my own professional page, THE BUTLER SELLS IT, on Facebook. In addition, I created a page for each property listing. When making a post I share the posts and pages to my personal Facebook page to let my Facebook sphere of influence see it. They may not be looking but may know someone who is and share it with them. Do you remember that Johnson & Johnson shampoo commercial; “she told two friends, and she told two friends and so on and so on”, or did I just date myself? Word of mouth is a very valuable form of advertising.
My thoughts on Craig’s List are mixed. Many listings get stolen by people overseas to try and extort money from renters to lease it sight unseen, i.e., if you send me a deposited check…
The realtor that  tells you, oh yes once I put it on MLS it will go to hundreds of websites, don’t worry. Look them straight in the eye and ask them, what else do you do, do you have a facebook page , twitter acct, and can you pull them up and show me. If they do and you see posts on there from 6 months or a year ago, they are not utilizing a great tool. They may be a tool, a tool that you may not want to consider doing business with for the sale of your most precious asset, your home.

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