News you can use as a FSBO seller!
7 Realtor tricks to avoid!
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 46 comments

Realtor's are professionals, but sometimes like any busy person they can fall into using shortcuts and tricks to get a home listed quickly.  Here are common 7 shortcuts to avoid.

1.  No fuzzy photos.  Hire a real photographer.  You are selling your biggest asset, make sure it looks great.  There is no way to over-estimate how important photos are to people searching for a home.  A couple hours of a professional's time is well worth the price it to drive real interest in your online listings.  Buyers know that good photographs help them not waste time and are put out by a reliable professional seller. - As a bonus you can use the pictures in your fliers also!

2.  Stop the Blah blah blah.   Don't write marketing jargon and buzz about your home.  People looking for homes have read hundreds of listings.  The ones that stand out tell the facts clearly and offer something honest and unique about the home.

3.  Don't get creative about the neighborhood.  If your home is in near a great neighborhood say that, but don't use fake terms like "adjacent" or worse lie about where your home is.  Buyers will have to know the truth eventually

4.  Be honest about the details.  Both square footage and bedrooms are critical numbers buyers what to know.  If you have an illegal bonus room, mention it, but don't turn a 2 bedroom cottage into a 4 bedroom ranch house with smoke and dreams.

5. Show pictures of what you mention in your description.  If you have a pool, show it, make sure it's there.  One shot of each bedroom is a minimum.  Your pictures and description have to match up to make buyers feel at ease.

6.  Lead with your best shot of the outside of the house.  View pictures as the first shot on a listing tells buyers that the home is either ugly or even worse forgettable.  You want them to remember your house when they come back to find it online and show others

7.  Write a full description.  If you are going to list online don't waste your time if all you have to say is "Great Home for Young Family".  This feels like an automated listing program placed your home online and that there is no one to talk to on the other end.  Use your advantage as a by owner seller and let them know some one cared enough to say something about the home they are going to buy. 

8. Contact us at AshevilleRealtor@earthlink.net or 828-687-1550 for prompt friendly service. We are here to answer your questions and help you get the most out of your For Sale By Owner experience!




Why you NEED to be listed in the MLS
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago

The signs in the driveway are cute, but let's get real here people: buyers simply won't take you seriously if you don't have an professional listing hosted on an online MLS, like Seller's Resource Group.

Now that the entire world has seemingly been taken over by interconnectedness, technology and everything, you as a seller are really shooting yourself in the foot if you're not tapping into that valuable resource to reach people and create interest.

Released in the National Association of Realtors 2009 Statistics Sheet-where they compile endless amounts of data on everything involved in the real estate market-is some very demonstrative data showing that people are using the internet in greater numbers and with greater success.

According to last year's NAR Stat Sheet, more that 9 out 10 buyers (94%) used the Internet to find their homes. Likewise, 90% of sellers list their homes online. So if you are one of the few that aren't listing online, you're cutting yourself off from 94% (!!) of buyers and remaining within the 10% minority. Plus, since only 11% of the market is For Sale by Owner-driven, you'll do well to cater to buyers that have an agent working for them. They won't even glimpse your house if you don't have an honest-to-goodness MLS.


The stats are in and there's just no way to deny it anymore. An online presence, when selling your home, is becoming the norm-and fast. So stay up on your prowess. Seller's Resource Group is a great place to start. Not only do you get a professional looking listing service, but you have plenty of help at your fingertips-from online video tutorials to forums and communities with countless resources.




Ten Easy Steps to Prepare a Home for Sale
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 25 comments

Fixing a few simple things before you sell benefits everyone.  Sellers feel they put their best foot forward and buyers feel a home is ready to move into.  Take a week to take care of these 10 simple fixes.

10.  Be ruthless about odors.
Smells don't sell and buyers might think indicate real problems that need to be fixed. Remove odor from kitchens and carpets with a deep cleaning.  Any signs of mold or grime should be removed not just "de-oderized" with a scented candle or two.  A clean house is one of the most important things you can do to make your home feel ready to move in.  It helps buyers and helps you sell.

9. Open your doors.
Make sure that all doors, cabinets and drawers open all the way without bumping into anything or sticking. Clean out the entry closet and put only a few hangers so that the buyer can visualize winter coats. This is a simple way of forcing you to de-clutter rooms and allow buyers to check out everything they need to see.


8.  Clean and fix knobs and handles.
Nothing says "hello" like a shiny front door knob.  But buyers will see and value working clean door handles throughout the house.  Don't overlook sink, tub and shower faucets, expect buyers to test them.

7.  Let the view show through.
Make sure your windows are spotless and bushes are trimmed so viewer can see in and out.  If a window looks onto an unsightly yard or neighbor's home, place a screen in front of it or cover it with a opaque shade to let light in but hide the mess.

6. Hide unique decor.
Unique possessions and  personal color choices are what make a home your own.  But they can kill a sale.  Pick the pieces that are most neutral and create simple room designs.  Put away most of your art and photos (exceptions are listed number 5).  Keep telling yourself you are designing for The Pottery Barn and you'll get the right note.

5.  Personal photos - an exception.
Most advice says put away anything personal, but a few well chosen photos of you and your family enjoying the house and yard can convey the possibilities of living in the home.  If it is Winter a  make sure to have some pictures, in frames, of the yard and garden in Spring or Summer, maybe even a family barbecue in the summer.  A photo of a Christmas tree in the living room can set the stage for buyers new memories.

4.  Shine a light.
Increase the wattage of the light bulbs  all through your house, and while your at it make sure all the shades are washed inside and out.

3.  Counter space rules the kitchen.
Even a small kitchen looks better when all the counters are clear.  Put away all the appliances, bottles, jars and baskets.   One basket of colorful fruit should be enough.

2.  Steam clean carpets.
Few of us see the little paths and dirt that accumulate on carpets in daily life, except buyers, they see all!  When someone walks in a home for the first time they are looking at the floor to see where they are stepping and every stain will show.  Rent a steam cleaner for a weekend and go over every carpet a couple times.  You might even consider buying new carpet for the entry hall, it's a small space where a little expense can make a big impact.

1.  Have a garage sale!
The best tip is to start out your sale by getting rid of things you don't need.  A garage sale works on so many levels: you de-clutter your home, save on moving costs and put some cash in your pocket to make the small changes you need to make your house shine.




12 Winter Home Selling Tips
Posted - 2 days ago 11 comments

Yes, people do buy homes during the Winter.  December - January may not be the highest selling season but there are still buyers out there if you know how to entice them to view your home.



Here are a few ways for-sale-by-owner sellers can capitalize on the season.

1.  Focus on no children families.  "In mid-winter there are fewer buyers with kids. The reason is simple; the children are in school." according to Bob Irwin, Best -selling FSBO author  "Most buyers with families wait until late spring and summer when the kids are out of school to move. That means that your most likely good buyer is either going to be a mature couple - empty nesters looking to downsize or move sideways - OR, first time buyers - young couples without families."   Target your marketing toward these buyers

2.  Keep your driveway clear.  In snowy regions a packed driveway will make your home feel locked in and un inviting.

3.  Make sure the thermostat is on high when buyers visit, now is not the time to save on gas when you are showing people your cozy house.

4.  Point out winterized features.  Do you have new thermal windows?  Is it easy to get in and out of your local street even in heavy snow?   Every home has some winter advantages, take a minute to change your online listing to reflect these.

5.  Use comforting words.  Toasty, Warm and Cozy all sound great when it's cold out and will comfort buyers that your home will be a haven for them year round

6.  Update your photo with a few fun holiday decorations.  Do you put lights on your house?  We don't recommend over doing it, but a few lights will liven up your primary photo of you home in the period between now and New Years.  Just remember to change the photo back after the holiday season.

7.  First time buyer help.  As we mentioned first time buyers often are young couples with no children and they are still looking mid winter.   Consider offering to carry a second seller financed mortgage if you are able to.  If this works for you don't be shy about pointing this out in your listing - it can be a real advantage over other options for new buyers.

8.  Create holiday cards featuring your house to post in local grocery stores, bulletin boards and around town.  Buyers will feel you are a friendly seller and be comfortable calling directly.

9.  Ignore low-ball offers.  The truth is during winter you can also get a lot of bottom fishing buyers - the type who are looking for a deal and will make a super low-ball offer.   In the past we have suggested you not ignore any offer, but treat these offers with a heavy grain of salt.  We suggest that you reply in a friendly manner that the offer is well outside your range and with them very good luck finding a home.  They might come back with a better offer or just move on.

10.  Keep the Christmas clutter and entry area mess to a minimum.   It is easy to leave coats, boots and scarves all around the entry area, but this still is the most important place for a first impression.   Keep it clear when showing a home so that it is easy to hang your buyers' coats up without blocking the view.  Same advice for holiday decorations; by all means decorate, but consider a few touches in specific areas.  This will leave most rooms open to your buyers imaginations.

11.  It sounds corny but be sure to offer buyers a warm drink of cider and a treat.  It breaks the ice and gives you a good chance to describe your home. Then be sure to leave them on their own to wander around with their mug in hand.  They will feel more at home right away

12.  Finally don't panic.  This is an unusual year for sales and with spring just around the corner your buyers could be coming your way sooner than you think.




Internet listings vital to real-estate sales, says the FTC
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 11 comments

The Federal Trade Commission once again has shown how important a low cost MLS listing is for consumers with their recent decision on November 2nd.

Internet listings have become "vital" to real-estate sales, the FTC said maintaining their long-term position that consumers must have access to the MLS to be able to sell efficiently. Over the last 18 months the FTC has supported the rights of home sellers to be able to list their homes on the MLS using discount listing services such as Owners.com and not pay full-service brokerage commissions. 

In a case regarding the Detroit area MLS Realcomp II, the largest real-estate listing group in Michigan, the FTC's opinion stated that the group had violated federal law by restricting some discount real-estate listings from its own and other publicly available websites.  

"Given the market structure and competitive dynamics of the residential real estate industry, we find that Realcomp's policies harmed competition and created a likelihood that valuable rivalry among real estate service providers would be suppressed", Commissioner William Kovacic wrote in the opinion.

Because 90% of homes for sale are listed on the MLS we firmly believe that it is critical for consumers to have access to listings without having to pay a full 3% selling agent's commission. The fact that the US Federal Government agrees with us feels pretty good about helping our customers and home sellers nationwide!




Are Home Sales Up in Your Market?
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 20 comments
Home sales and prices increased in the latest reports although markets still vary widely.  So how do you decide if now is the time to sell your home?

First the data:

Pending home sales rose 6.4% in August, it's highest level since March 2008 based on date from NAR (
read the full article here..)  and the market has been rising for seven month in a row (according to MarketWatch)

One factor in this rise seems to be the $8,000 tax credit for new buyers, due to expire in November 30th.  This approaching deadline could be driving buyers to act.  There has been a heavy push by the real estate lobby to extend the tax credit, but with no bill yet settled buyers may have been rushing to get the credit while it lasts.

The other fundamental factor is low cost, due to lower overall home prices and historically low mortgage rates.   While rates are fairly consistent nationwide, prices have continued to vary based on local market conditions, housing supply and economic activity.  To check on your local market trends download the full report here...

Opinions about what will happen to prices are all over the board, but opinions don't sell a home.  Knowing your market does.  Here are 5 concrete steps you can take to use data and research to help you sell your home.
  1. Read up about your local market.  Case-Shiller and Zillow  both put out reports about housing market trends.  You can assume buyers will have been looking at the data,  know what they say and have a response as to why your home fits with these trends or stands out.  But don't be caught by surprise.
  2. Determine if your neighborhood is in line with metro and state trends.  Often news stories and data cover wide areas, but real estate is local, know how your neighborhood varies and be able to explain it's features.
  3. Take the time to ask buyer about their future plans. If you find someone happy to live in your neighborhood for 10 years because of good schools that will put short term price changes in a very different context
  4. Estimate what rental income for your house would be and how that compares to the cost of buying it as an investment.  Not every area is open to investment income, but for some buyers even the thought that they are not trapped by a mortgage and can recoup a substantial portion by renting the property will lower their fears and help your home sale.
  5. Remember a house is a home to be lived in.  Despite everything, people still want to live in the home of their dreams and most will find a way to pay for that.  Your number one job as a home seller is to help buyers see what their lives would feel like in your house.  This is easier than it sounds, simply ask them what they want and hope for then take the time to step back and listen.  Don't tell them about your kids growing up, or your additions or remodeling, instead listen to their dreams and ideas for what your house could be.  Dreams always trump data.



Preparing For Your Open House
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 8 comments

Opinions about whether to hold an open house vary greatly across the country. You'll hear  real estate agnets flatly refuse to hold open listings because they view them as a wasted marketing effort, or they'll say open houses are just a tool to find the agent new clients.

There is some truth to those resons, however, open houses also sell houses. Consider also that many listing agents don't want to give up their Sunday afternoons to sit an open house and talk to strangers.

Although not all homes are candidates for an open house due to location, condition or competition in the marketplace, you won't know how much buyer traffic you will draw until you try. Exposure to potential buyers and to individuals who will talk about your home to others is almost always worthwhile.

Best Time for an Open House

  • In many communities, Sunday afternoon is best.
  • Two hours is typically the minimum, but some are held open four hours, for example, from 1 to 5 PM.
  • Some agents do "blitzes," and trade off shifts, holding homes open from early morning until late evening.
  • Schedule your open house to avoid conflicts with holidays, community celebrations or special events such as the Super Bowl.
  • Check the weather forecast, too, because cold or rainy days tend to make people stay home.

At Least 7 Days Before Your First Open House

Your home needs to be in prime condition before you hold your first open house. Here are few things I suggest doing:

  • Host a broker preview. Even if your home is not listed with a brokerage, if you are willing to pay a selling agent a commission, you can invite agents and brokers to preview your home. Agents can give you valuable feedback about how your home shows and whether your price will meet buyer expectations.

  • Move some furniture into storage. Sometimes sellers don't want to cooperate with saging their home. Smart sellers prepare a home for sale and move at least one piece of furniture out of every room. It makes the space look larger and more inviting to buyers -- to the people whose opinion matters.

  • Remove items not included in the sale. Telling a buyer she cannot have your dishwasher because it's too expensive to leave behind or that the dining room chandelier does not stay with the house because your father gave it to you serves only to make the buyer demand it. If buyers don't see it, they won't want it.

  • Make arrangements for your pets to leave the house.  Call a family member or friend and ask if they could take care of your pets for a few hours. Pets are also a distraction during an open house, and you want buyers to admire your home, not your cockatoo.

  • Part of your marketing strategy should include printing four-color flyers or brochures promoting your home. I use card stock coated in gloss. It makes them hard to fold, and they stand out among the other flyers buyers pick up. But make sure you include photographs, specs and pertinent information such as the price on your flyer, because it's easy for buyers to forget particulars.

48 to 72 Hours Before Your First Open House

Clean and scour the house from top to bottom. Vacuum cobwebs from corners, wipe windowsills and wash the windows, inside and out. Forget preconceived notions about cleanliness -- pay attention to small details and concentrate on making the home appear sterile.

  • Buff surfaces, appliances and floors to a gleaming shine.
  • Launder and fluff bedding, towels and rugs.
  • Touch up spots on the walls.
  • Sweep out the garage.
  • Prune bushes, deadhead flowers, clean the sidewalks and mow the lawn.

24 Hours Before Your First Open House

Most of your work should be completed by now, and any anxiety that is sometimes caused by last-minute chores should dissipate. At this point, your home sparkles and glitters. In fact, you may be thinking to yourself that the house looks too nice to sell!

  • Open all the windows to air out the house.
  • Bake or pick-up treats for your open house guests.
  • Give every room the "once over," by standing in the doorways and scrutinizing the view.
  • Set out cards that house hunters can fill out to give you feedback from buyers buyers.
  • Arrange flowers in attractive vases and place in appropriate places throughout your home to add color and floral fragrance.

When you're finished, go out to dinner and reward yourself. Dining out has an added benefit too; at least you won't be temped to mess up the house




Prepping and Staging Your Home
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 13 comments
Every seller wants his or her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. It's not just luck that makes a quick sale happen. Careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home:

Difficulty:
Average
Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

Here's How:

  1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
    • Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
    • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
    • Say goodbye to every room.
    • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.

  2. De-Personalize.
    Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."

  3. De-Clutter!
    People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
    • If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
    • Remove all books from bookcases.
    • Pack up those knickknacks.
    • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
    • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
    • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

  4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
    Beware, buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
    • Alphabetize spice jars.
    • Neatly stack dishes.
    • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
    • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
    • Line up shoes.

  5. Rent a Storage Unit.
    Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"

  6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
    If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

  7. Make Minor Repairs.
    • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
    • Patch holes in walls.
    • Fix leaky faucets.
    • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
    • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
      (Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
    • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
    • If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

  8. Make the House Sparkle!
    • Wash windows inside and out.
    • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
    • Clean out cobwebs.
    • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
    • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
    • Clean out the refrigerator.
    • Vacuum daily.
    • Wax floors.
    • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
    • Bleach dingy grout.
    • Replace worn rugs.
    • Hang up fresh towels.
    • Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
    • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

  9. Scrutinize.
    • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
    • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
    • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
    • Make sure window coverings hang level.
    • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
    • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.

  10. Check Curb Appeal.
    If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
    • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
    • Mow the lawn.
    • Paint faded window trim.
    • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
    • Trim your bushes.
    • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.



Existing Home Sales Surge Highest Level in Two Years
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 9 comments

Sales of existing U.S. homes jumped more than forecast in July to the highest level in almost two years, signaling the housing crisis that crippled the world's largest economy is easing. Purchases climbed 7.2 percent to a 5.24 million annual rate, the most since August 2007, according to National Association of Realtors.

'Cash for Clunkers' definitely helped sell cars and the First Time Home Buyer Credit has helped boost real estate sales, the problem is that this program ends Nov 30, 2009.  You can expect a surge of closings at the end of November.  Based on current experience, lenders and goverment agencies keep changing their rules to have a successful closing. The Resource Group urges sellers to price your home correctly to take advantage of this surge and buyers to not wait until the last minute.




5 Home Selling Traps to Avoid
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago
To generate high value offers when selling your home keep your eye on the ball and avoid these common mistakes.

Most sellers get bombarded by advice from every corner on how to stage, market, negotiate and close a sale. If anything there is too much advice out there and it can be easy to overlook the most important elements required to sell your home for a price you are happy with. After 15 years of experience we have our top five common errors many buyers make because they overlook the obvious.





5. Bad timing

Is there a "home selling season"? We don't think so. While it is true that more homes sell in June than December it is also a fact that there are buyers who need to move every month of the year. And some buyers who take a long time to find the home they want and will start shopping months before they move.

Trying to time the market by waiting for the home buying season causes two problems: First you are stuck with the cost of your home for more months than you might need and this will only increase the pressure on you to get top dollar in order to net the amount you want. Second, if you wait to list during the high season, there my be a few more buyers, but there will also be more homes for sale in competition for those buyers. Better to sell when you are ready and not try to "time the market".

4. Not marketing your home

Offer it and they will come... It might have worked in the movie Field of Dreams but in real estate just put up a sign won't make buyers come. Ok so most sellers don't believe this anymore but they also ignore marketing and don't take the time to make a plan. There are lots of free and low cost options but the key thing is to get your house seen by as many buyers as possible.

Two things to remember about marketing your home are summed up by the phrase "Full Disclosure, Full Exposure". By Full Disclosure, we mean when your write your description make sure your really explain why your home is unique, what sets it apart form all the other houses in the neighborhood. You should help buyers understand what it means to live in the home and what the advantages are that they don't see right off the bat.

Full Exposure is just that, make sure everyone possible knows your house is for sale. Post it on fliers, online, on Craigslist in the MLS, on Facebook, anywhere possible buyers are. The more people see it the more chance you have to find a buyer.

3. Overlooking offers

Some people like to bargain and low ball offers are where they start. Know your limits but don't take it personally, everyone is different and you might just make the sale by keeping your cool.

2. Too much clutter

Can you stage your home too much? In short no. The most common trap we see is people start to prepare their home for sale by doing a bit of curb appeal, but don't take care of the most important step. Putting away personal items and de-cluttering the home. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your home and this is hard to do if all your stuff is all over.

Box up all your photos, art and personal items as well as 50% of your furniture and put it away in either storage or if necessary your garage. You'll get a jump on moving but more importantly you'll open your home to buyers imaginations.

1. Poor pricing

The number one home selling trap.... High pricing. There is no mystery here, everyone wants to get the most for their home and more often than not price it at the maximum hoping to find a buyer. But homes that are well priced versus the competition are what draw buyers interest. Research the competition before you set your price!

These five home selling traps are easy to avoid if you keep focused and take the time to educate yourself about the process and the market.



Online Curb Appeal
Posted - 2 days ago 11 comments

 

First impressions are everything in real estate, which is why curb appeal is so important - there is even a whole show on HGTV about it!

But today most buyers first impression of your home happens online, and the "online curb appeal" of your listing can determine buyer's interest in the first 3 seconds.

"Your online impact is equal to your curb appeal impact... In both instances, the way you package the product to entice a potential buyer is key," said Aimee Flynn, graphic design and interior design department instructor at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, N.C. in a recent article in the Salinas Californian

To up your online curb appeal you need to pay attention to a few details:
  1. Photos are critical. The quality and professional feel of your photos largely determine how many people will even look at your listing. Images should cover the unique selling points of your home: Yard, remodels, wood floors, storage - all in a bright, well lit setting.

  2. Describe why your home is unique. What makes this house special, who would it perfect for? No home appeals to everyone, so take the time to think who your home is right for, and then make sure your description is written for them.

    "Keep in mind that you're selling a dream if someone can imagine his or her life unfolding in the images and descriptive text, you are one step closer to landing a successful showing," Flynn said.

  3. Know your neighborhood! Your description should sell your neighborhood as well as your home: location to school, parks, highway access, everything a buyer needs to know to choose your location over other homes listed.

  4. Think about your price based on searching. Most people search by lowest price first and put on a price cap at even numbers like $350,000 or $400,000. By pricing at $349,000 you'll show up more often.
Finally don't be afraid to edit and change your listing. Ask your friends and professional contacts to give you honest feedback and update your listing. Consider hiring a professional to photograph your home.

Check out the competition. Spend a few minutes searching for homes in your area and see hour your images and description stacks up. Buyers are comparing your listing to the others they see online, make sure yours is the most exciting and most direct.

All this can make your home listing pop off the page and draw buyers interest from the beginning.



Top 5 Realtor Myths
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 11 comments



A lot of myths have grown up around the role of Realtors for the simple reason that selling a home is often the biggest transaction in most people lives. We try to separate fact from fiction about Agent's roles and what they can or cannot do for a home seller.



Myth #5: A Broker will get you the best price for you home.


False: There is no doubt a broker will try to get a good price for you by using their negotiating skills to get the most out of any buyer. But even if they are the best negotiators in the city it hard to overcome a few hard facts. 5-6% commission is a lot of money to over come with good negotiations, on the average home priced at $250,000 that $15,000 a broker has to make up just to be even with what you could net selling FSBO.

But the real issue isn't even the commission, it's time. Brokers make money by selling homes quickly. The longer it takes the lower their hourly rate. A couple years ago it was estimated that on average a broker spends 12-14 hours on any one sale. Trying to get an extra $10k on a sale will net a broker $150 (after splits and agency fees) - not a lot if it takes a few extra weeks work.

Myth # 4: Open houses help you sell your home.

False. Open houses help brokers find new clients. Truth is the open house is a hold over from the days when the only way people found homes was through a Realtor, who would take them around to the open houses every weekend. Now everything takes place online initially. The open house exists because buyer feel good that their broker is working for them and brokers have the chance to meet hundreds of possible clients every month. But you almost never find a buyer through an open house.

Myth # 3: Brokers will not show buyers FSBO homes.

True and False: Brokers who represent buyers earn their money from commissions. Traditionally with 2 brokers involved, (one for buyer and one for the seller), the 6% commission will be split between them. If a broker thinks an FSBO seller is unwilling to pay any commissions then they have no incentive to show the home.

The reality is most FSBO sellers at some point list their homes on the MLS and offer any broker who brings them a buyer 2% -3% commission. Everyone wins, The seller finds a buyer and still saves 3% that they would owe a broker who represented them and the buyer's broker gets the sale. It's a fair transaction, and you still keep the right to sell to an independent buyer if one shows up with an attractive offer.

Myth # 2: Brokers protect you from liability.

False. This myth is strong and pushed all the time by agents but the reality is there is no additional protection by hiring an agent. If an agent fails to disclose to a buyer something material you told them then they would be libel for essentially real estate malpractice. But this happens in very few instances.

Most liability and suits arise from undisclosed items and the seller is liable. The best protection is not hiring a broker, but having a through inspection done, and offering honest full disclosure.

Myth #1: You hire a broker to find you a buyer.

False. It sound right, you hired them to sell your home , that means finding a buyer, no? No, almost all buyers, even those working with brokers start their search for homes online and ask their broker to show them the houses they find. The only substantial marketing a seller's broker does is list your home on the MLS and wait for buyers to find you.

In reality you hire a broker to show a home for you, talk to buyers, negotiate a sale and manage the closing process. For some sellers this is worth the 3%-6% commission but for many sellers going the FSBO route or Flat Fee MLS is an attractive and lucrative option.



Asheville Real Estate Market Conditions
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 11 comments

Contract activity for pending home sales, in Asheville, has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better. "The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit," he said.

"Other buyers are taking advantage of low home values before prices turn higher. Nationally, the typical mortgage payment now takes less than 25 percent of a middle-income family's monthly income to buy a median priced home, with payment percentages so far in 2009 being the lowest on record dating back to 1970. As long as home buyers stay within their budget, mortgage payments will be very manageable," Yun said.

NAR estimates that about 1.8 to 2.0 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with approximately 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit. Buyers have little time to act because they must complete the transaction by November 30 to qualify for the credit. Unless extended, contracts signed but not completed by that date will not be eligible -- it is taking approximately two months to complete home sales in the current market.




'Today Show' says Denver will be first market to recover
Posted By - Deni - 2 days ago 11 comments
Author and real estate pundit Barbara Corcoran says that cities like Denver will be the first to bounce back from the housing slump.

"It's really the perfect real estate success story" she says. "It had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation for years running, and now they've cut that foreclosure rate in half and they've turned the corner"

Here are her top five markets to bounce back:
1. Denver
2. Raleigh, N.C.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Seattle
5. San Francisco

One of Corcoran's books is called "Nextville" and is about where boomers are going to want to spend the latter part of their lives, and not surprisingly, most of these cities would qualify as places that Corcoran might advise retirees to consider.

Seattle and San Francisco are probably the two more surprising cities, as they are still fairly expensive, but obviously very appealing places to live. Raleigh has been a sweetheart city because of its affordability and job growth for the past five years or more.

Corcoran said she included cities on her list on the basis of eight factors:

  • Job growth potential;
  • A growing population;
  • Good weather;
  • Lots of first-time buyers;
  • No overbuilding;
  • A vital downtown;
  • A well-educated population; and
  • Foreclosures earlier than other cities



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