Thursday, December 27, 2012

To Fix or Not to Fix

To fix or not to fix, that is the question. these days a number of home sellers are facing this dilemma. the problem is sellers are already facing lower property values due to the real estate decline, so the last thing they want to do is spend more money enhancing their home, only to sell it.

That’s understandable… but, if you really want to attract serious home buyers, keep your sales contract from falling through, and get the best possible price, you need to swallow hard and fix that house. Now I am not talking about spending thousands and thousands, however the little things need to be repaired. A loose front stair or a rotten windowsill can turn off a buyer before they even give the house a chance.

Studies have shown that within ninety seconds of meeting someone, people already have made a basic assumption about that individual, simply based on that quick interaction--a wrinkled shirt, or unkempt eyebrows, or whatever catches the eye. That becomes the starting point. Now throughout further interactions, obviously those can change. However why start at a disadvantage?

The same premise is true for house hunters. An idea--a premise--is formed within minutes of setting foot on a property. Did you know that an unheated home shown in the winter months is much less likely to sell than one with the heat on? If one feels uncomfortable they are less likely to pull out their checkbooks. It has been proven many times. Buyers buy more on impulse--on feeling than rational thought.

Many buyers will also use your home’s flaws as an excuse to offer you a lower price. They interpret these flaws as a lack pride in your home, or that you lack the money to fix them and are desperate and willing to sell for less.

First, get your home inspected now, instead of waiting to find out what’s wrong with it when you’ve got a potential buyer on the line. This will eliminate unexpected shocks for both you and the buyer and give you a chance to fix problems that might scare someone away. The more things you can fix now, the less overwhelmed your buyer will be, and the less likely he or she will cancel the sale.

Second. Declutter. I cannot stress this enough. People's personal belongings do not sell a house. Buyers need to envision their things in the space. It is difficult to do that when it is crammed with the sellers stuff. A clean home is an inviting home. Does the garage need a fresh coat of paint? How about the stain in the carpet in the hallway? These things may seem little, but they all matter.

And finally Third. Do not be around for the home showings. Now if you want to be there initially, meet the prospective buyers, and then excuse yourself, that is fine. However following the buyer around and explaining things about the home is not a good idea. Studies again have shown that a prospective buyer feels like a guest when he or she is in a home with the owner. You want that person to imagine being the owner, not a house guest. You have hired a real estate agent for a reason. Let him or her show the house.

There were 13 properties reported sold in the last seven day on the Sullivan County MLS Click Here for listings.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Flippin' Brother

So I am not even going to address the lack of blog posting. Disgraceful..I know. I do plan on posting sold info every week , so for those of you who have clamored for it, it will make its return. I will post it every Fri.
Once again the reason for my lack of blogging is the fact that I have been very busy. I am set to shatter my previous record for sales in a year, and this Dec. alone will beat what I made in my first two years of being an agent. Some has to do with the fact that the market has turned around, but a lot of it is simply because I have been doing this for longer now. I am better at it.  People know this is what I do, and refer others to me.  My sphere of influence has grown, and with it does my sales volume.  

But as the holidays approach, things slow a bit, and I have been able to catch my breath and try to resuscitate a stale (ish) website and blog.

So "My Flippin' Brother" made its premier on A&E on Saturday. This is a show about a local realtor/designer/house flipper Randy Florke who owns the Rural Connection. It is a real estate office based in Manhattan that sells second homes in Sullivan County. He also flips homes, and even tried a modular "green" line of second homes that I believe was not all that successful.

At any rate, Randy has been successful buying and selling real estate here in Sullivan County. He was one of the first to really start catering to the metro second home buyer pool, and his shabby-chic-farm-house-on-a-dirt-road line of inventory was a hit throughout the boom years. And something others have tried to emulate with varying success.

The show however,  was an unmitigated disaster. The "stars" of  the show are Randy, who unabashedly refers to himself as a cross between Martha Stewart and Bob Villa. His brother Ron, who although he has a pretty good reputation as a solid contractor here in Sullivan County, decided for whatever reason to let the show paint him as a complete imbecile, and Jesse Fescue who plays the tired part of the flamboyantly gay interior designer. Think Albert (Nathan Lane) in the Birdcage--which was a great movie, but I digress--meets Cameron from Modern Family, meets the interior decorator from Beetlejuice. All good roles, however it's been done, and the attempt at this character was about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
Perhaps it would have been less insulting to the veiwers intelligence if it werent being passed of as "reality" television. On the show it said Randy had just purchased the home they were flipping. In reality he has owned it since 2006. At the end the "buyer" (who never really bought it, the house sits empty to this day) wrote a check for 300K for the house. I can assure you that never happend.
I'm not even going to mention the fake water main break three inches below the ground. Pipes freeze unless they are below the frost line.
They made sure to add a fair amount of bickering and arguing. Put all that together with some contrived issues and problems that pop up as a deadline approaches and certain bank default and destitution looms, and you have a pretty bad hour of television. It is a shame, because I think that a real estate show in Sullivan County would have been nice.
There were 8 single family homes sold in Sullivan County in the last seven days. Click Here for Listings