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Archive for the 'Seller Information' Category
Home Videos – 3 ways our Videos stand above the crowd
January 30th, 2013
We are really excited to showcase a new way of viewing homes in the Grand Rapids marketplace. Check out our new videos by clicking on the “Videos” tab above or click PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate Videos to see them.
1. Unique Personal introduction
Often times, the only thing you know about a listing agent is their old high school photo on their business card or website. Clients have been telling us for years – It would really be nice
to meet and get to know you today. Since we started these videos with a personal introduction - we have had wonderful responses by those who enjoyed my warm and personal greeting.
2. Voice over slide show to showcase highlights of the home
With much experimentation we have tried many video styles which have not worked. The “gorilla style” video of grabbing your iPhone and walking through the home while talking about whatever comes into view ends up being difficult to follow. The 360 degree spinning videos are fine if you like a REALLY fast merry-go-round ride and don’t mind seeing all the rooms distorted.
We settled on the voice-over approach explaining the highlights of the home that are not obvious in the photos.
3. No YouTube distractions
When we first started using videos – and bringing them along on listing appointments – I always had to make sure there were no small children hovering around before I started the video. Typically, when clicking on my YouTube channel there were five or more videos enticing someone to take a look – mostly with well-endowed ladies with very little clothing.
We have our videos on their own video channel so you never have to worry about embarrassing content popping up while you show the cool video of your home to your friends or relatives.
Everything we do in our marketing plan is geared to provide a quick successful sale using our Win/Win philosophy. Adding these professional videos to our toolkit (which includes staging, professional photographs, high end brochures, blogs, etc….) translates into successful sales for our clients.
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Baby Boomer Certified Homes – Whaaat??
January 10th, 2013
We’ll rolling out a new Certification which should be both fun and useful. On any homes we list – we will be making notations on the listings themselves and any advertising that they meet the following standards for Baby Boomer Certification.
1. Main Floor Master Suite
As the Baby Boomer Generation moves into upper middle age (polite words for getting older) – they will need to make sure they have their bedroom and bathroom on the main floor. There is a chance there will be an illness or a surgery which will prevent them from climbing stairs to go to sleep at night. Now, they could sleep on the couch in the living room – but that would not be ideal – so to be certified for the optimal positive experience for Baby Boomers – it must have a main floor master suite.
2. Garage and Main Entrance on the main level
No Tri-Level homes here! In addition – the home must have an electronic garage door opener so the baby boomer owner can enter the garage – get out of their car – and have access to the home without going up or down to the main level of the home.
3. Main Floor Utility/Laundry Room
Of course, the Baby Boomer family is totally into cleanliness and keeping up with their laundry. All of these certified homes will have the laundry room on the main floor so no one has to fall down the stairs and break their hip while they try to do the laundry.
4. General Certification Items
- Certification can be either for condominiums or single family homes
- There are many other parameters in making a buying decision for the Baby Boomer – make sure you work closely with your Realtor to discuss neighborhoods, distance from hospitals and doctors, general maintenance, etc.
- Being Baby Boomer Certified does not preclude those younger or older folks from purchasing these homes and living in them very successfully.
- We would be happy to get you more information – just give us a call – and guess what??? We are Baby Boomers ourselves!
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Real Estate is Personal!!! Family photos warm the home.
July 10th, 2012
Real Estate is Personal!!! Family photos warm the home.
I know - I know – All the staging gurus and relocation companies always tell you to remove your personal photos and artifacts and put them away. They say to “neutralize” your home so there are no objections when someone comes in to see it – I say – NO WAY!
In most transactions someone is buying a HOME – a place where they will live, perhaps raise their families, find comfort, relax and enjoy. It is not just a “House” – from walking up to the front door and through the home – falling in love with it is an emotional and personal experience.
I have found over the forty years I have helped buyers – the buyer’s emotion is often more intense and a sale happens sooner when the buyer connects with the home on a personal level through the photos and personal artifacts. It’s easier to picture themselves in the home.
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Grand Rapids Real Estate Stats – Things are lookin’ UP
March 7th, 2012
There are two trends that we are tracking here – which should be of interest to any buyers or sellers in the marketplace today. Both trends can be predictors of the marketplace
Trend # 1 Fewer Listings
The first trend is the light green graph, which shows the number of listings on the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS site. We have fewer listings on the market today than in the past 12 months. What does that mean right now? For Buyers: Fewer choices. Since it is trending this way you can pretty much plan that the choices will even diminish more – so make your move when you find the right house or condo – don’t wait!! For Sellers: Better chances of selling since you have less competition on the marketplace.
What does it mean for the future if this trend continues throughout the summer? Simply that prices will begin to go up – it’s a simple supply and demand equation
Trend #2 Pending Sales are up
This trend is shown with the solid line and triangles - It’s the Pending Sale Numbers. This trend mirrors the consumer confidence that is showing up in the marketplace. A combination of historically low interest rates and unemployment numbers improving has given consumers a better feeling in the marketplace than we’ve seen in years. Our foreclosure numbers are decreasing and job growth is picking up – so it’s not just a Spring Market driving the Upward Trend of Pending Sales.
It’s a HOT! HOT! HOT! Real Estate Market
June 23rd, 2011
Despite all the negative publicity and crummy stats getting thrown at us – the real world real estate market in Grand Rapids is HOT!
Last week we put three sales together (condo in the 150’s; home in the 200’s; executive home in the plus 1,000,000’s) and are working non-stop this week with buyers. We wonder what is causing this resurgence in buyer activity and attribute it to one of five reasons:
It’s summer and we’re finally feeling warm and fuzzy – which brings out the positive attitudes needed to step up and make the move to buy a home.
Once again – It’s summer – and in Michigan we’re on the far Western side of the Eastern Time Zone – so it stays light until 10pm – which gives us much more daylight to look at homes in the evenings.
3. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
Here in Michigan our housing market took a dive earlier than any other area of the USA and we are digging back out earlier than other areas too – the folks we are working with looking at homes have a very positive attitude, can qualify for loans (and are getting phenomenal rates beside) and are making the move.
4. GREAT PRICES
It’s taken the sellers a few years to realize the market isn’t like it was in 2007 – so sellers are actually pricing their homes TO SELL! Buyers are having to adjust a bit because their idea of “screaming deals” are the relationship between list price and sale price – now that the list prices are becoming more reasonable, sellers are often getting “their price” – even though it happens to be at 2000 levels.
5. HOMES PRICED RIGHT AND SHOWING GREAT ARE SELLING FAST - SOME URGENCY!
As more buyers enter the marketplace – the inventory is going down. Two of the offers we wrote last week were multiple offers (our buyers got the houses!!). Many sellers are listening to their agents and staging their homes so they are showing well, that coupled with a price to sell has some homes selling in a matter of days or weeks. Hopefully gone are the days when it takes years to sell a home!
Bankrate’s Article on Tips from First Time Sellers
May 26th, 2011
Bankrate had a fun article this week that I had the opportunity to participate in as a Quoted Expert.
I’ve been doing these blogs for a few years now and thought some of you might want to take the opportunity to read something from a professional writer that I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed by – and check out some of my opinions on First Time Sellers.
The article is written by Dana Dracht who I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few times over the years – I appreciate her insights and her in-depth reporting so I though it would be fun to share her piece for you to read. Enjoy!
QR Codes + Clients = Love
April 20th, 2011
The era of the brochure box in front of a home has gone the way of the bag phone – it’s obsolete – and our clients love our new technology. It’s drawing the cutting edge crowd! Here are the top three reasons our clients love our new signs with QR Codes:
1. It draws attention to their home. Not only do our signs glow in the dark – but they also contain QR Codes (Quick Response) for each property. When a buyer pulls into the driveway, they can use their Smartphone to scan the Code and instantly have the price, floor plan and interior photos. Our contact information is available so we can set up a showing immediately.
2. It appeals to Gen X and Gen Y Buyers. Cutting Edge Technology is the mantra of the Gen X and Gen Y Folks – but also the Baby Boomers who are forward thinking. Many of the Gen X and Gen Y are first time home buyers – so any opportunity to get them interested is well worth the effort.
3. Our Sellers Love The Look! Direct quote today from a seller when we put the sign in front of her home “Cool Technology – We love it – Keep up the good work.” Here’s a photo of a seller in front of the sign put up this weekend – it’s a big thumbs up for her too!
Sqiggles and Squares – What on Earth is a QR Code??
March 16th, 2011
The future of home shopping has arrived! Imagine driving up to a home for sale, pulling in the driveway and being able to determine the price and check out photos of the inside without leaving the comfort of your car!
The funny looking symbol to the right and those attached to our listing signs are QR Codes or Quick Response Codes. And they do just that – provide a quick response to your inquiry about the home in one quick QR scan. Try scanning the QR Code with your smart phone and check out our listing. Coincidently, it’s for sale and is a great horse farm!
Just as bar codes replaced key punching in the grocery store check out, QR Codes will speed the process of looking at real estate. All you have to do is download a QR Code scanner to your smart phone and you are ready to do some serious house hunting!
Naturally, REALTORS play a big part in this. We provide the photos, prices and home details the QR Code interprets. And our phone numbers and email addresses are listed so we will be able to provide professional advice on your home hunting decision.
Three “Hotspots” that sell Homes
February 21st, 2011
I have been getting a lot of questions recently from sellers or possible home sellers about how to get their home ready to sell. My advice is to concentrate on the Three “Hotspots” that most buyers concentrate on:
#1 Entry and the walk in
You’ve all heard that you have 30 seconds to make a first impression – well, so does your home. The walk to the front door – the first steps into the home set the tone for the rest of the tour. That means even though you don’t use your front door – get out the broom (or shovel if it’s winter) clean and de-clutter your walk up and entry way, paint or clean your front door and make sure your entryway is light and airy and puts a good foot forward for what the buyer is going to see next.
This is the room the buyers will be spending the most time in – and even if they are not gourmet cooks – they will want an updated kitchen. For some this means replacing countertops and cupboards – but for most it can be as simple as painting the cupboards, putting on new hardware and giving it a good cleaning.
#3 Master Bathroom (or Main Bath if only one)
Clean! Clean! Clean! – This room needs to have all clutter put away and be spic and span – Paint if needed and update with some inexpensive hardware and lighting. Pop for some new towels and new shower curtain to make everything look “put together.”
Many of my clients ask me to stop by their homes as much as a year before they put them on the market to walk through and give them advise on what they should do to get it ready for sale. This is a great idea – then you can be ready to sell when the market is ready! Also, if you are thinking ahead and know you need to do some upgrading before you sell – do it sooner rather than later – then you can enjoy the upgrades before you sell.
Let me know some of the things you did to get your home ready to sell – I’ll share them in my blog.
What is a “Spring Market?” …Do you need to hear the birdies singing?
February 7th, 2011
Here is the question I receive from a lot of sellers before they put their home on the market – “Should I wait until the SPRING MARKET to put my home up for sale…and if so, “when is the SPRING MARKET”?
In the “good ole days” a Spring Market was just what you would expect. People put their homes up for sale in April, May and June – expecting them to sell during that time so everyone could move during the summertime – mainly so the kids would be ready to go to their new schools by September.
Those “good ole days” are gone. As Realtors – we see houses selling every month of the year – depending more on the job market, the economy and the interest rates than if Johnny or Julie is going to be going to a new school in the fall. Here are a few reasons why that is so….
#1 Relocation has a new philosophy
Years ago the companies relocating their employees paid close attention to the” kids moving in the summer” rule. What many of these companies found out (along with a number of studies) is that kids did much better in a school move if they moved during the year when they were the new kid in school. Schools changed many of their policies and assigned a new student to a “mentor” or “buddy” to help them through the transition. If they moved during the summer they were just another student when they started in the fall.
#2 Price, Interest Rates & Market Conditions Rule - Not always the time of the year
In the past few years the market has been more sensitive to prices, where interest rates are and how people are feeling about the economy than if it’s a Spring Market or not. Interestingly, Oct. of 2009 had the same number of sales as April of 2010 (1050+) in the Grand Rapids market.
#3 – So when IS a Spring Market, if there is one?
I will say our phones do start ringing here in Grand Rapids, Michigan when the sun comes out after a long few weeks or months of clouds, cold and snow. The first really good thaw that happens probably heightens everyone’s awareness that winter might be over and for folks that have cabin fever – the thought of moving crosses their mind.
I’ve always said a Spring Market was in the mind of the public and was determined by the weather – not the calendar!. What do you think?