Poor or no communication from listing agents regarding proposed showings is probably the #1 nuisance in real estate. I wonder what sellers would think if they knew that was how their home’s listing was being handled? The “bang a sign in the yard and wait for an offer” mentality is way too common in our field. This is something that I encounter way too frequently and it tends to be from experienced agents on high dollar homes. It is my thought that communication is the most important thing for a listing agent. I strive to communicate every step of the way with both my buyers and sellers whether I have good or bad news. That is, after all, what we are getting paid to do. We are their eyes and ears on the street. What are your thoughts on this seemingly growing problem? How do you strive to communicate with your clients and other agents?
Selling a home in December, January or February in frigid climates can be a tough task with a slowdown in market activity and chilly weather.
Typically, buyers searching in the winter months are more serious. And sellers who are motivated to close quickly can make it happen with your help this winter.
Here are five tips from RE/MAX Associates in Northern Illinois that you can share with your clients:
1. Let those lights shine. “Turn on all interior lights for a showing – even in closets and utility/mechanical rooms – and make sure all the bulbs are working. Stock up on all the right bulbs for your lamps and fixtures so you can replace burned out bulbs immediately. Also, it’s a great idea to keep front exterior lights on even if no showings are scheduled. Open drapes and blinds to let in light and show visitors the view.”
– Marlene Granacki, RE/MAX Exclusive Properties, Chicago
2. Make entry easy. “Winter showings can get off to an awkward start if prospective buyers arrive with snow or salt on their shoes. Make it easy for buyers to deal with their shoes when they arrive by putting out a nice, festive area rug at the front door so visitors can wipe their feet, and have slippers or disposable booties available. Also, put out a bench, if there’s room for one, where visitors can sit and remove their shoes.”
– Barbara Hibnick, RE/MAX Showcase, Long Grove
3. Keep odors under control. “Homes can be stuffy in winter when windows are rarely opened, and that can allow odors to build up, which is a huge turn-off to buyers. Pet odors can be especially worrisome in winter. Use a room fragrance if needed, but nothing too strong, and clean more often (especially cat litter, which should be changed daily). Consider using an air purifier and adjusting your thermostat so that your furnace fan runs throughout the day to move air through the house and dissipate odors.”
– Mike Mondello, RE/MAX Team 2000, Orland Park
4. Make it festive. “Appropriate holiday decorations can give your home a cheerful look during the winter months – and even help homes sell, however, don’t go to extremes. Small, decorative white lights on trees and bushes are OK through the winter season, but other decorations should be taken down quickly once the holiday passes.”
– Starr Zook, RE/MAX on Track, Aledo
5. Keep it comfy. Adjust your thermostat so the temperature is warm, but comfortable; you don’t want it too hot or cold. “When it comes to keeping heating bills under control, don’t use plastic sheeting to insulate your windows. You may save a few hundred dollars on heating costs if you cover the windows with plastic, but it could cost you thousands on the sales price because buyers might believe they will have to replace the windows,” Hibnick says.
© 2010 RE/MAX, LLC. RE/MAX Affiliates may share this article, provided they do not charge for it and this notice is included. All other rights reserved.
In today’s real estate environment you constantly hear of buying foreclosures and fixer uppers to get the best deal. While there are a lot of great deals to be found out there, you still want to be sure you aren’t getting in over your heads. For buyers without a lot of extra cash after the purchase it can actually be a better deal to buy a house that doesn’t need any work. Its great to speak with a licensed Realtor to help you with these and a number of other questions about the home buying process. Let me know if I can help!
This is an interesting result considering a home is the largest purchase you will ever make. I have great lenders that I work with all the time and would love to put you in contact as well as assist you with any questions you may have.
RISMEDIA, December 15, 2010—Consumers today are expert comparison shoppers, always on the hunt for the best deal, but when it comes to their mortgage, borrowers often lock in their first home loan offer.
According to a new LendingTree survey of 1,317 homeowners conducted online by Harris Interactive in September, 96 percent of American consumers compare prices when shopping for anything, but nearly 40 percent obtain just one home loan quote. By comparison, when shopping for a home computer, consumers research an average of 3.1 models before making a purchase. This explains why fewer than 3 in 10 (28 percent) borrowers are very confident they received the best possible deal on their current mortgage.
Based on a nationally representative sample of current homeowners who were involved in shopping for their home loan, the study revealed 85 percent of consumers use the web to comparison shop, yet just more than 1 in 5 (21 percent) shopped online first for mortgage rates. Additionally, although nearly 40 percent obtain just one home loan quote, more than 9 in 10 borrowers (91 percent) understand interest rates vary between lenders.
Frustration also appears to be at the root of this shopping dilemma. According to the survey, 70 percent of borrowers find shopping for a mortgage frustrating, citing the complexity of the terms (21 percent) and time-intensiveness nature of the process (20 percent).
The survey also reveals:
• Though it is a decision that will affect them for the next 15-30 years, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of homeowners spent the equivalent of a full working day or less shopping for their home loan. Even more shocking? One in 10 spent the amount of time it takes to brush their teeth.
• Twenty-three percent of homeowners recognize they could save more than $100 a month by reducing their mortgage rate by one percent.
• Women are more than twice as likely as men to say they were not at all involved with shopping for their mortgage or when refinancing (16 percent versus seven percent, respectively).
With the sunshine out today and the sounds of Christmas in the air many of you will probably be hanging your lights. Check out the following story for some tips on how to stay safe at the same time. Personally I hang my lights inside where I can reach them without a ladder. Scrooge or Smart?