Monthly Archives: August 2020

6 Secrets for Selling Your Home Fast

Are you in a financial crisis? Do you want to sell your home fast? If so, we suggest that you read a few secret tips that we have given in this article. With these tips, you will find it easier to sell your home in a short period of time.

Set the right price

First of all, you should evaluate your house and then reduce the price by 20%. Once you have done that, you will get tons of buyers with attractive bids. The buyers will keep bidding and you will be able to get much more than the actual value of your house. Actually, you have to have the courage but the majority of buyers don’t have it. Still, it’s the best strategy to sell a home fast in the here and now.

Half-empty closets

Nowadays, every purchaser is in search of storage. So, you should create enough space in your closets. All you have to do is remove half the things from your closets and then re-organize the rest of the stuff. This will impress the buyers. Also, make sure all of your cabinets and closets are neat and clean.

Light it up

Make sure you light up your house. After location, lighting is something that all buyers care about. What you need to do is remove the drapes, dust the windows, install quality light bulbs, change the lampshades and cut the bushes. Actually, the idea is to make your home as bright as possible.

Play the agent field

One mistake that you don’t want to make is hiring an inexperienced broker. What you need to do is do your homework to get an experienced broker. The professional should be able to monitor the MLS. He should have the information about the houses that are going to be on the market. Actually, you should look for a broker who uses technology in order to do their business.

Conceal the critters

Like most house owners, you may think that having a cat or dog in your house may impress the buyers. However, this may not work for you. You need to keep in mind that not every buyer loves dogs or cats. Actually, some buyers may not like to see a bowl of dog food in your house. This may give an impression that the home is not clean. So, it’s better to transfer the critters to a good pet hotel for that day.

Always be ready to show

You need to be always ready to show your house to potential buyers. Actually, you can’t predict when the potential buyers will request you to show your house. What you need to do is keep your house ready at all times. Your house should be in the best shape. So, make sure the dishes are not in the sink and that the dishwasher is clean. While it’s a bit inconvenient, you will be able to get your house sold fast.

So, you may want to use these 6 tips if you want to sell your house as soon as possible.

Buy House Insurance: An Overview of HO3 Policies and Online Insurance Providers

There are so many home / property insurance providers these days that it can seem a bit confusing for even those who are more knowledgeable about the industry. Whether this is your first time trying to buy house insurance, or you’ve done it in the past and want to look for a better policy, you’ll need to decide whether you want to shop around for quotes yourself or have a broker to help you.

The first step is to figure out exactly what kind of homeowner’s policy you require and what type of coverage(s) you need. Some of the things that are usually standard in insurance policies (“HO3 Homeowners Policy”) include dwelling coverage, coverage of other structures on your property (garage, storage building, swimming pools, etc.), and certain items that are inside your home. This kind of policy can also cover instances when you have to stay elsewhere because your home because uninhabitable for reasons such as extreme weather damage, rodent infestation, broken pipes / flooded basement, etc.

The location will play an important role in rates when you buy house insurance. It’s just a given that some geographical locations are more expensive to live in than others. Those who live in a rural area with a low-crime rate, for instance, will almost always pay less for insurance than those who live in an urban area susceptible to crimes.

Buy House Insurance With a Known Policy Limit

In order to get an idea of how much your policy limit is going to be for dwelling coverage, you’ll need to determine the build price of the home, or your home’s “replacement value”. If you have to rebuild your entire home, how much will it cost? It might be a good idea to consult with contractors, roofing companies, builders, etc. to help you with the calculations.

If you want to protect certain valuables such as jewelry, antiques, art collections, etc… , don’t just assume it will be covered in the policy. In many instances, you’ll have to add “riders” to the policy. Also known as an “endorsement”, these riders allow you to add coverage beyond what the standard insurance policy offers.

Today’s homeowners really don’t have to stick with the traditional insurance companies. There are some online companies that offer unique approaches that include “flat fee” and “giveback” services.

One A-rated online company you can buy house insurance from is Lemonade. It does offer a “flat fee” model, and is known for paying out claims superfast. It’s also reinsured by some of the top reinsurers in the industry. Check out some Lemonade discounts right now to learn how you can get good, affordable home insurance.

Contemporary Home Builders – Building Your Dream House Effortlessly

Are you getting excited about building your dream house? Want to make the process easy and stress-free? Why not hire contemporary home builders and avail yourself a number of home designs that not only suit your budget but also fulfill all your specifications!

When you think of building a new abode or renovating the existing one, the first thing that strikes your mind is how to get it done. No doubt, you’ll be thinking of carrying out the complete process on your own as there’s nothing more special than decorating or renovating your home with your own efforts and creativity. Once you finally decide to work on your own and manage your finances accordingly, you must never look back or feel depressed at any instant of time as this will break you from inside and will tear you apart thereafter. If in case, you feel like you are not made for this task, you must hire an expert who will build your dream home based upon your specifications and will carry out all the necessary tasks effortlessly.

Your specifications may include factors like:

Total number of rooms to be included

• Type of furniture to be used

• Type of doors and windows

• Colour of the walls

• Floor ideas

• Different kitchen designs

• Type of lighting to be used

• Carpet colour for your living room

• Bathroom style

• Bedroom design

• Roofing system

These are some things that you must include in your ‘To-Do’ list while narrating your specifications to the builder you hired. Before hiring a builder, it is important that you find out what exactly you want, i.e. what kind of house you are about to build. Once you decide on what home design to choose, you can move on to the next big step, i.e. setting a specific budget. Make sure the design you choose fulfills all your expectations and suits your budget plan too. Moreover, you must choose the right professional who not only carry out the process meticulously but also make sure that your house plan works best for you in the best possible fashion.

Once you give your best shot in order to kick off the renovation process in a well-organized fashion, you must pay attention to certain factors that can play a great part in making the process go a lot more fluently. This is where the importance of an experienced professional come into the picture, so it is important that you pick a perfect consultant or architect to take care of the complete designing process, seek other professional advice as required, take care of the future trends and pick a design accordingly, make a list of all the things that are involved in the process of home renovation, and more.

What is Home Downsizing?

Exactly what does the term “Home Downsizing” mean? Most likely it will mean different things to different people. Some definitions we have seen include:

  • Selling off excess personal property in order to make more room.
  • Moving into a smaller, more manageable home.
  • Cashing in on personal property investment
  • Reducing the mortgage payment and living expenses.

Perhaps the simplest definition of Home Downsizing is “Making do with less”. It means shedding off all of the excess baggage that you have in your life including expenses, personal property, collections, or junk…and living a simpler, less complicated life.

If you are considering a major downsizing or move in the near future, you’re not alone. In fact, a significant portion of Americans 50-75+ are downsizing today. And why not? More than likely one or more of the following statements will apply to you:

  • Your children are grown and gone.
  • Your home has become an empty nest.
  • You are retired, or getting ready to retire.
  • You are ready to move nearer, or to live with, your children.
  • You live in a home larger than you now need.
  • The housework and yard are becoming too difficult to maintain.
  • You are simply tired of the house and yard work and would prefer to spend your free time doing something else, such as traveling.
  • Increased taxes and carrying costs are just becoming too much of a burden.
  • You’ve lost a spouse or partner and are now living alone.
  • You are ready to move to your shore house, mountain home, lake house, or otherwise smaller dream house.
  • You would prefer to live in a year-round warmer climate.
  • You are ready to tap into the home equity you have built up.

The reasons for downsizing are many. Each person’s life tells a different story, but many of us have reached the same point in our lives. What we are seeing is the “Grayification” of America, and an entire generation who is getting older, who is ready to downsize, and who is ready to move on to their next phase in life.

Consider this:

  • Between 2010-2030 the number of Americans age 65+ will more than double to 70,000,000. (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Council).
  • In Philadelphia alone 1-in-5 Philadelphians will be 65+ by 2025 (same source).

Never lose sight of the fact that “Downsizing” is usually about the money. When a business “Downsizes”, it lays off staff in order to reduce expenses. It divests itself of resources no longer needed and it cuts the fat, all in an attempt to increase operating efficiency.

“Home Downsizing” is no different. When you “Downsize” your home, you are basically seeking to reduce expenses, divest yourself of resources no longer needed, and cut the fat, all in order to increase your household’s operating efficiency.

The ultimate objective of Home Downsizing for many is to increase the operating efficiency in your life, thereby giving you more money, with less work, and more time to do the things that you want to do.

Home Downsizing Tips & Strategies

Home Downsizing means different things to different people. What does it mean to you? What are three things that you would like to accomplish once your Home Downsizing phase is complete?

  • 1. ___________________________________________________________
  • 2. _____________________________________________________________
  • 3. _____________________________________________________________

Home Downsizing is similar to Business Downsizing in that its objective is to increase operating efficiency by cutting expense. Home Downsizing is usually about he money. How much can you save by downsizing your home?

House Cleaning Services – Choosing The Right House Cleaning Service For Your Home

Today our time is eaten up by work, commuting, study, and so on and so on. We don’t have much time left over to clean our own homes anymore. So we hire house cleaning services to help clean our homes.

If you are one of the thousands of people looking for house cleaning services there are four (4) steps that you can take to help you to choose the right house cleaning service for you.

1. Decide and write down what house cleaning you want done in your home by the house cleaning service you will eventually hire.

You can write down which rooms you want cleaned, what items or furniture you want cleaned, like laundry, floors, carpets, ceilings, dishes. You can even decide on whether you want the house cleaning service you hire to make beds.

2. Next to your list write down the price you would be willing and can afford to pay for the house cleaning services you listed for step one (1).

State the price that you would be willing to pay per month.

There are many house cleaning services out there, to help you find one that’s right for you and matches closely with what you have listed in step one and two you can…

3. Make a list of potential house cleaning services to hire by:

  • asking for recommendations from friends and/or neighbors who use house cleaning services.
  • using the classifieds and the telephone directory
  • using the internet (to find places online where you can find a prescreened maid service or find prescreened cleaning contractors go to http://www.housecleaning-tips.com/cleaning-services.html

4. Most house cleaning services offer free consultations. Using the list you made for step three (3), contact the prospective house cleaning services and set up appointments. During these appointments you can find out what house cleaning services they offer, what they charge, as well as get an idea of there personality and professionalism.

If you follow the steps listed above, I’m sure that you can make an informed decision and choose the right house cleaning service for you.

Dream Home Source Review

Dream Home Source gives you the best selection of home plans, house plans, and floor plans that you can find. The site is easy to navigate so you can customize your search to the type of home you are looking for. There is a library that will allow you to sort through the types of plans you are looking for. Living up to their reputation as the online source for the best home plans out there, they are continuously updating and adding new resources to help you find the home of your dreams. If you are not exactly sure what you are looking for, you can find helpful articles within the site. You will also have access to our helpful team by email and phone so they can help you make the best decision for you. They can also help you navigate through the site and figure out the type of plans you are looking for.

The plans are sold by Hanley Wood on Dream Home Source. The company works closely with the nation’s top designers to bring you the best home plans available. You will be met with plans in every style from modern to rustic. No matter the type of home plan you are looking for you can search for it on the site. You can be as specific as the amenities you are looking for and this will help you narrow it down considerably. The expert advice you will be provided from Hanley Wood and Dream Home will help you make the best choice.

Hanley Wood has been selling home plans for fifty years, so they have a good idea what they are doing. There are several contemporary plans to look through that feature flexible floor space and a mix of modern materials throughout the home. Depending on the size of home you are looking for, you can sort through the plans by size, floors, and square footage. In addition to the contemporary A-Frame and Shed house plans, there are countless other types of beautiful home plans to look at. You can look through European, New American, Ranch House, Country House, Craftsman House, Victorian House, and Traditional House Plans. It will take you a while to look through them all so a good plan is to know the type of house you are looking for when you go onto the website.

The advanced search feature is the best place to find exactly what you are looking for because you can specify the criteria you want in the plan. Once you find a plan you like you can search for pictures of a completed home to see how it will look when it is finished.

After you order your plan, it is important to consult a licensed architect and speak with the local officials so you can figure out the type of permits you need in your state and community. A great thing about Dream Home Source is that they will match a price for you if you find it cheaper than them somewhere else within thirty days. Find your dream house plan with Dream Home Source and start planning to build.

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!