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.

Open House Tips for Realtors

1. Advertise! A study conducted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that 92% of buyers use the internet to house hunt. Make sure your open house dates are available through Zillow. With over 130 million visits per month, Zillow is a great place to start.

2. Invite neighbors to a appetizers or a wine and cheese party at your open house. It’s a great way to network and prospect. Socialize and have fun.

3. Everyone who visited your open house is a potential buyer so create an automated nurturing email marketing campaign to stay in touch. Make sure to also follow up within a few days so you can reconnect and help with their home buying search.

4. Be strategic with open house signage. Sandwich boards are great, but also mix it up with signage that is legible from a distance of at least 30 to 50 feet. Place directional signs to advertise in a five block radius ro reach a wider audience. Add helium filled balloons to attract attention.

5. Depersonalize the property. Remove family photos, diplomas, awards and anything else in the home before the open house. By removing personal items, the home doesn’t belong to any particular group of people and visitors can see themselves in the home.

6. Clean and organize closets and other storage spaces. Buyers will open closets, drawers and anything else with a handle. Instead of an avalanche of boxes when they open the storage closet, make sure closets are clean and organized.

7. Target local homebuyers with online advertising. You can even target potential buyers according to zip code through Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook and other online resources. With Facebook, you can add photos of the property and link to a landing page where more images of the home are available, plus a contact form to learn more.

8. Advertise by drone. Yes, drone advertising. Hoovy advertises open houses by attaching banners to drones and flying them in public places for real estate agents. Hoovy flies the drones at about 60 ft from the ground to be closer to the public.

9. Staging can help sell a home. Group your colors. Try to limit colors to just three per room. Keep larger items lower. If you have an even amount, take one away. Always keep quantities to an odd number as it is more visually appealing. Mix throw pillows and to create a spa appeal, add white towels to bathrooms.

10. First impressions are important. Simple updates to the entry can make a world of difference. Add a planter. If the door is worn, a good coat of paint can make a difference. A new welcome matt will make it more inviting. Sweep, clean cobwebs and remove anything worn.

11. In one study, 30% of people reported scented products as “irritating.” Skip the air fresheners and candles. Instead, encourage your seller to shampoo carpets, open the windows and let in the fresh air, deodorize appliances and toss throw rugs in the wash.

12. Experiment with lighting before your open house. Try opening shades and curtains, turning on different sources of light.

13. Advertise in small local newspapers as not every buyer is internet savvy. Many retirees read local papers and you’ll get a lot of mileage for your investment.

14. Consider a themed open house. If the home is Mediterranean design, consider presenting tapas. If it is a Spanish style, nachos may be perfect. Give your potential buyers a unique experience to remember the home.

15. Have handouts with your contact info ready for buyers to take. Mortgage Loan Breakdown and a glossary are two great handouts. Neighborhood information like local schools, grocers, restaurants and the “walk score” are great information. And attach your business card to every handout. Have a sign in sheet for visitors and capture their name, phone number, email and any other pertinent information. Follow up a few days later.

16. Email prospective buyers and invite them to your open house. Showcase the home in the email and include a professionally branded email signature. And offer to preshow the home. Why wait? Give prospects the ability to schedule time with you to tour the home early. Add an online scheduling link so buyers can set a time without fussing with the phone, call backs and waiting. After all, in this competitive market, the home could be pending by the time the open house arrives!

What Do You Seek In Your HOME?

Owning a HOME, of one’s own, is often, considered, an essential component, of the so – called, American Dream! There is no such thing, as the ideal house, for everyone, because, different individuals have a variety of perceptions, priorities, personal strengths and weaknesses, needs, goals, and personal situations. In addition, personal tastes differ, as well as financial capabilities, and the restrictions of one;s self – imposed, comfort zone! How one transforms any house, to his home, indicates, quite a bit, about that individual, and, what, might offer him, the most beneficial living conditions, and experiences! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and, some ways to enrich one’s life, in this area.

1. Heating; HVAC; heart of house; healing: A comfortable, interior, living environment, is a necessity, of enjoying any house! When choosing your future home, have your home inspector, and/ or, engineer, pay particular attention to the heating system (age of boiler/ burner, etc; condition; efficiency; quiet), as well as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, components (HVAC). What do you consider, the heart of a house, and which rooms, are most relevant to your enjoyment of a home? How might you ensure, your residence, has a healing impact, rather than being a stressful, albatross?

2. Options; opportunities; open – mind; objectives: It’s wise to know your objectives, thoroughly, and proceed, without prejudgments, etc, and, with an open – mind! Examine the so – called, house’s bones, and, consider, whether it provides options, alternatives, and possibilities! Will a particular place, open – up, your possibilities, or become, restrictive?

3. Mortgage; monies; motivate: Know your financial realities, and, what type of mortgage, and what terms, you qualify for! What will it cost you, and will you feel comfortable? Do you have the monies, and funds, needed, to qualify, and to afford the down – payment, reserves, etc, and other requirements? What motivates you, to purchase a particular property, and why?

4. Excellence; enrich; extra: Clearly know, and understand, your true needs, and requirements, as well as your, wish – list! Ensure, you focus, with excellence, and clarity, and don’t be satisfied, because of emotion, or expediency! Does any particular place, provide, some, extra, intangibles, which make it more suited, for your specific circumstances, etc?

Will you take the time, focus, and fully consider, precisely, what you should seek, in your HOME? Are you ready to proceed, as an educated, wiser, home buyer?

What Most Home Buyers Seek?

Why do people purchase a home, of their own, and does it correspond with, why they should? Before you commit, to investing, in what, for most, is their single, biggest, financial asset, it’s important to focus on what you actually seek, need, and hope to achieve, by buying a house! Open – your eyes, and consider, what you might need, to make this, one of the best personal decisions, and serves the best interests of you, and your family! With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and represents, and why it should make a difference, for you.

1. Price and costs: While most want to live, in the nicest house, they can. and proudly, show – it – off, to their friends and family, what good is buying a home, if it makes your life, more stressful, etc? Objectively, and introspectively, consider, the impact of reducing your other assets, because of the amount of your down – payment. Will this create stress? How much are the monthly carrying charges, and can you, not only afford it, but do so, within your personal comfort zone? Do you have the necessary reserves, for contingencies, including; short – term employment gaps; necessary repairs; desirable renovations and/ or alterations, etc? Don’t become, house – rich, but hurt yourself, in terms of stress, etc!

2. Size and features: How many rooms do you need, and how does compare with what you want? What are your present needs, in terms of size and number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc, and what do you anticipate in the short – term, and longer – term future? Are you ready, willing and able to maintain, and care for, whatever house, you purchase? Will you personally do the work, or will you hire someone else to do so, and if you will, how will that impact your overall budgeting, etc? Don’t overlook what most homeowners state, are the most important areas of a house, including the kitchen area, bedrooms (size and number), and bathrooms (number, location, etc)!

3. Intentions: Are you planning to stay, at the specific location, short – term, or the longer – run? Know what you seek, and plan accordingly. If you are buying, for now, and willing to move, when your needs, change, consider resale value, and emphasize present needs. Otherwise, look at the bigger picture!

4. Comfort zone: Know what makes you comfortable and happy, and do what’s best for you. People differ, and so, don’t try to Keep up with the Jones’, but, rather, do, what makes you happy, comfortable, and meets your personal needs, goals, and priorities!

A wise, aware home buyer, is, generally, the individual, happiest, with their decisions! Be prepared, and proceed accordingly, and smartly!

House Insurance Comparison: Overview of Factors That Affect Rates & How You Can Choose a Policy

As with any type of insurance, you are probably interested in getting the best possible deal on home insurance. Thankfully, there are tools that make it possible to not only search for policies, but to do house insurance comparison with multiple quotes to find the best one for you.

For some homeowners, price matters more than anything. This should not be the case, though, since overall value is more important than cheap rates. Consider both the premiums and deductibles. Think about the rebuilding costs of your home. How much will it cost to literally replace everything is your home and property is utterly destroyed? The current value of your home and the rebuilding price will not be the same. Try to estimate how much you will be able to afford to pay in deductibles in the worst case scenario and keep that in mind when doing house insurance comparison.

Here are some of the factors that affect the insurance quotes you will get:

• Home’s type of construction and age

• Location

• Credit score

• Deductible

• Certain risk factors (swimming pool, trampoline, aggressive dog breeds, etc… )

• Claims history

• Roofing material

• The yard / property / landscape

Older homes have a higher chance of something going wrong regarding the electric wiring, plumbing, HVAC systems, ceiling, and construction in general.

House Insurance Comparison of Coverage Types

There are certain things that general home insurance policies don’t cover. Make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t before you make your choice. Sometimes it is the matter of gaps in the coverage, where the policy owner thought they were protected but either had incorrect or insufficient coverage. Such issues can be avoided by carefully reading over the terms of each quote you are provided with.

Flood insurance, for instance, isn’t always covered in basic policies. If you live in an older home and have concerns about plumbing, or live near a body of water, this is something you will definitely want to think about. All it takes is a few inches of water to utterly destroy your flooring and some of your furniture. Even a small stream can become a raging river if there is enough rain.

Discounts are sometimes available, especially if you install safety and security equipment.

Where can you get started with house insurance comparison? All you have to do is look into the unique insurance platform set up by Lemonade. It even has a neat AI bot that will help craft the perfect insurance for you. Get affordable, reasonable rates – especially if you use Lemonade House Insurance discounts.

Multi Family Home Investing – Manage Your Own or Invest in Trusted Companies

When you consider multi family home investing, there are many things you need to consider. First, of course, about capital; multi-family home investing requires more capital than buying a single-family home. Second, you will be in the property financing procedure, which is fulfilling the requirements for applying for a rental property mortgage. Loan terms for rental property may differ from the purchase of a home for personal needs. After obtaining financing and buying property, you have to deal with the advantages and disadvantages of multi-family real estate investment. One of the most striking advantages is that you have the potential to get more rental income than if you only have one unit and one renter. This will increase your monthly income, right? However, do not rush to be happy, because the tenant will not always live in your property. They may leave your rental unit when they find a better residence.

Abandoned by the tenant is a burden and loss for multi-family homeowners. If two tenants move at the same time, then you have to work to find two new tenants who qualify. You need to know that finding a good tenant is a difficult job; you also need to pay for promotional, advertising, etc. Not only is that, but having many tenants in one building also prone to cause problems. You will often get complaints about noise, cleanliness and much more. Clear and strict rules are the solution. The rules need to be emphasized in the lease agreement before an agreement is reached.

Not all multi-family homeowners understand property management well. Sometimes they forget simple things but have important roles such as clear and firm rules. Well, buying a multi-family home means you become the owner and manager. This is a difficult task, right? Unless you are a very wealthy person who can hire a professional property management company and can recruit employees to run a multi-family home rental business.

What about investors with limited funds? Will they lose the opportunity to play in the multi-family home investing business? Of course not, don’t worry because you can invest capital in this business by registering as a passive investor or a limited investor in a trusted property and real estate investment company. This investment company is a solution for novice investors with limited capital, they only need to click on the submission form to become an investor. After your application form has been received, the investment manager will follow up to approve your application and give you access to the MarketSpace Capital investor dashboard. After that, you can see attractive offers and make investments easily.

There are many advantages of working together and taking property and real estate investment programs, the striking thing is that you will get equity even if you are on vacation. You also don’t need to think about applying for a mortgage loan, doing property management, solving tenant problems, making regulations, etc., the investment manager will do it all for you, even the manager can determine how much cash to be distributed to limited members. Cash distribution ranges from 12-15% during the investment period about 3-7 years.

How to Buy a House With Cash

Owning a home is something almost everybody wants do at some point in their life. Nothing can compare to knowing that the home you live in is yours, and you can do what you want with it. No paying rent, no answering to a landlord, none of that…

While it is pretty great to own a home, many people take a hasty decision by taking out a massive mortgage on their home rather than pay for it up front. This is understandable because not many of us have $100,000 laying around that we can buy a house with.

But, for those who choose to save up the money and buy their home with cash, the rewards are plentiful. Not only is it cheaper, but it will save you from being chained to the bank on a lengthy mortgage plan that you might end up wanting to opt out of before its even paid off.

Let’s take a look at how you can avoid a mortgage and buy your next home upfront, with cold hard cash.

Frugality is the Name of the Game

While it’s very likely that everybody would buy their home with cash if they could, hardly anybody does. This is because most people just lack the discipline to save up.

Now, if you make 20-30 thousand dollars a year, you’re going to be waiting a long time to buy your own house, even living on the bare minimum.

But, if you are someone who makes 50 thousand or more per year, or you also have a spouse who makes just as much as you, it is very possible for you to buy your own home with cash, in a couple years.

If you can manage to save just a couple thousand a month for a period of 5 or more years, you’ll be right in range to buy a nice house all by yourself.

Benefits to Buying With Cash

The benefits to buying your home with cash are usually not afforded to those with a hefty mortgage to worry about. For instance, without a mortgage payment, you can plug more money into your retirement plan, thus bringing about your retirement earlier, or having more money to blow when it is time to call it quits.

You can also invest your extra cash into some kind of money making scheme, like the stock market, startup companies, or bonds. As long as you know what you’re doing, this can turn out to be a very useful stockpile of money should you need to pay for an emergency, send your kids to college, or provide for your family in case something happens to you.

Wrapping Up

Buying a house with cash is undoubtedly the smartest way to buy a home, it just takes a certain amount of discipline when it comes to saving the money.

Don’t waste your time and resources doing it alone or working with an amateur agent, contact a reliable real estate agent today and put yourself in good hands.

How Lifestyle Affects House Design

I can still hear the crunch of the gravel driveway under the tires of Grandpa’s Dodge Fury at my grandparents’ home in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I remember how well the house seemed to fit them and my great-grandmother, who lived with them, and how everything had its place in their home. In that simpler time homes were smaller and less complex, as were the lives of the people those houses sheltered. They were very comfortable in their modest ranch. It wasn’t a custom-built house, but it was unlike any of the others in their neighborhood. It was small, but spacious, and it had character. Knowing my Grandfather, I’m certain he shopped for the best bargain on the street, but he also knew construction and got himself a solid building of quality materials.

When as an Architect, I began to think seriously about home design, I wondered how that house came to be that fit them so well. I like to think that their quiet little homestead was designed and built with care and craftsmanship by someone who had a pretty good idea of the kind of family that might like to live there. Our lives are more varied and complex now, and the design of our homes should support and reflect that.

The opportunities for architectural invention in home design today are limitless – new materials, products, and construction techniques are constantly being introduced, and new technologies are having an impact. Unlike days past when historical styles ruled home design, our options today are wide open. We are free to interpret style, or to create our own to satisfy our aesthetic desires.

But all of these available design tools are too rarely used to create homes that are molded to the lives of their owners. Instead, homebuyers find themselves having to choose from among a few floor plans designed to appeal to a broad market, and then struggling to give it personality and character with just paint, carpet, and furniture. We try to make a house “ours” with features and decorating and never consider that it is the architectural design itself that brings a house to life.

We lose sight of what’s possible and end up with just another house instead of a home.

Designing and building a new home is an opportunity to create something brand new, something unique, something as individual as you. We’re working on several homes that defy any stylistic categorization because their inspiration, their “style” comes from the lives that their owners lead. These homes are built with character as the major construction material – the architecture and the “decorating” can’t be separated.

Houses like these are so much more than just the number of bedrooms and the size of the floor plan – they’re the ones that you return to look at again and again and think, “wow, there’s something about that house that I really like”. What you like about those houses is the result of the owners having taken an active role in creating the design from the very beginning. They realize that homes are made of life, of love, of memories, of wishes, and of spaces — not of living rooms, crown molding, and draperies.

Our conversations with these clients don’t begin with, “how many bedrooms do you need?” or “how big of a house do you want?”, they start with “what are your dreams and how do you want to live?”.

Those discussions, and the designs that evolve from them, are what a truly custom home is all about.

Good home design brings people together in pleasant ways. It provides for the family as a whole, and for each individual’s privacy. Good design does all of these things, and it starts by taking the time to ask clients about the details of their daily lives. What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning-head straight for the shower or down to the coffee maker? Do the kids eat breakfast at the table or do they grab a pop-tart on the way out of the door?

A recent client of mine described her family’s eating style as “hit-and-run”. That little pun tells me a great deal about the design requirements of her kitchen – much more than I’d discover poring over cabinet catalogs with her. We spend hours talking with our clients before a single line is drawn. To commit any less an effort to an examination of the personality of their family is to rob them of the benefits of custom home design.

Lifestyles change from generation to generation, and houses should change too. And yet, the majority of homes built today are little more than updated versions of 300-year old Colonial designs. Incredibly, we are still building parlors and formal dining rooms for families that never use them. A better house and a better living experience are the results when client and Architect work closely together to examine the uniqueness of the client’s lifestyle and how it informs and molds the design of the home.

My grandparents moved south to retire many years ago, leaving that old house behind for the next family.

I wonder if it fits the new owners as well as it did my grandparents, or if they’ve had to make changes to accommodate their unique lifestyle?

I hope they haven’t paved the driveway.

The Sell House Fast Technique

The sell house fast technique is one of the best methods available to get your house on and off the market as quickly as possible. Selling your house fast is one of the most important things to selling a house to some people. There are many reasons that people try and sell their homes quickly such as selling your home fast can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary mortgage and property expenses. There are many things you can do to help sell your house fast and effectively without significantly dropping the asking price. Some of the easiest ways to sell your home fast include pricing, preparation, and agents. If you follow the steps listed below you should not encounter any difficulties in selling your home fast.

Preparation is one of the most crucial steps involved in the sell house fast technique. You should always ensure that you keep the interior of your home clean on the dates of open houses. The exterior of your home should been keep neat and tidy at all times to display the most attractive image possible to potential buyers. You should ensure that your house is odor free by using candles and other odor covering methods to prevent pet and smoke odors. You should have several open house showings during the course of your sale. You should ensure that you advertise the open houses at least several weeks in advance to attract as many buyers as possible.

Pricing is another aspect in the sell house fast technique. When you are pricing your home for quick sale you should calculate your asking price before you begin listing your home. You can do this through the use of a real estate appraisal or by comparing similar homes in your local area. You will need to factor in the costs of agent use and any costs associated with the closing of the sale. You should also take into consideration the cost of having to pay a double mortgage when you are selling your home. In the event that you cannot sell your home before your new mortgage starts you could always consider temporarily renting your home until you do find a suitable buyer. If renting the home prior to finding a buyer does not suit what you had in mind you could lower your asking price by an insubstantial amount to attract offers more quickly.

Sell House Now Tips and Information – Learn How to Sell a House Fast

It is now doubt the real real estate market will slow down during the holiday season. This is good for realtors and real estate investors who have been working very hard to help clients buy and sell houses but not so good for buyers and sellers.

If you are in the market to buy a house, December and January can be a good time to pick up some great deals on a house because there are not many buyers. It can also cause an issue for home buyers because the number of available homes typically is lower during the holidays as home sellers don’t want to move during this time.

The cold weather also has an affect on the real estate market. The colder it is outside the less home buyers are out shopping for a great new home and the less number of open houses real estate agents hold. In months when the weather is warm the number of houses for sale increases and so does the number of sold homes each month.

Does this mean you should wait to sell your house until Spring? Well, if you can wait it might be a good idea too, but many home owners need to sell their house now. The truth is life happens and there are many reasons a home you expected to stay in for seven to ten years suddenly becomes a home that you can only stay in for two or three years.

Home owners who need to sell their house fast typically have one of the following reasons: foreclosure, job transfer, divorce, relocation, family illness, short sale, etc. There are many reasons home owners need to sell a home but if you are experiencing any of the above stated issues you are more likely to need to sell quick.

The problem with needing to sell a home fast in the current real estate market is many home owners do not have much equity so selling a house can be very difficult. If you owe more for your home mortgage than what your home is worth it can seem impossible to sell your home. The truth is you still have home selling options. You can have a professional realtor or investor complete a short sale, lease option your home until the market increase or you can rent your house until the market increases and sell then.

It is important that if you are wanting to sell a house you discuss all your options with a real estate professional. Real estate can be a tricky thing to handel especially when you have an emotional attachment to the home. Discussion all your options with someone who is an expert and does not have an emotional attachment can help ease the process of selling a home.