Does Your Agent Have a Good Internet Marketing Plan to Sell Your Home?

When Selling Your Home, Have a Strong Internet Marketing Plan

Over 90% of home buyers today, use the internet to help search for a home.  People will spend a great deal of time researching a home on line before ever actually going to see it.  If you are selling your home, or thinking about selling your home, it is very important for your Realtor to have a good internet marketing plan to make sure you get the most potential Buyers to look at your home.

More interested Buyers, means a higher sales price for you.  Far too many Realtors are satisfied with just putting the home on a multiple listing service and putting a sign in the yard.

Sometimes they might have your house listed on their company website or maybe one or two real estate search engines.

Here is the lesson:  Continue reading

How Do I Choose A Good Realtor?

Choosing a Realtor

The next step is choosing a Realtor to help you with your purchase.  This is extremely important.  A good Realtor can be the difference between a pleasant experience and a nightmare.

The good news is, that for the most part, the Realtors still around after the recession are very serious about their profession.  The dilettantes are gone.

A good Realtor should be sensitive and respectful of the Buyer’s needs.  Each Buyer has slightly different needs and wants.  They have different circumstances in their lives, different personalities and varying cultural requirements.  School preferences, the orientation of the home, whether or not it has a first floor bedroom etc. are all items that need to be factored in by a Realtor.  A Buyer’s family may also play an important role, especially for many first time home buyers.  A Realtor needs to know what is important to the Buyer so he can be more effective.

A Realtor’s personality should also fit with a Buyer’s.  Realtors are people too, and have different temperaments and communication ‘styles’. Ideally, a Buyer finds a Realtor whose attitude toward life and their profession is complimentary to their own.

Where Do I Find A Good Realtor? Referrals are always a good place to start. Continue reading

Homebuyer’s Handbook A-Z

Homebuyer’s Handbook A-Z

Buying a home is a big step.  Knowing the process is the key to being able to purchase a home smartly and with the least amount of stress.  If you have never bought a home then it is very important to pick a good Realtor.  Here is what I advise as a first step:

The first step is to sit down and decide what it is you want.  Be somewhat realistic, but it is VERY important to figure out what types of things in a home are important to you.  Believe it or not many people skip this crucial step and know only that “they want to buy a house”.

Don’t worry if it takes a bit and don’t get so stuck that you never move forward.  Just take a piece of paper and make a couple of columns.  On one column put down what you Need and must have.  These should be the items you know you cannot live without, like the number of bedrooms or square footage or a certain neighborhood or school district etc.  These should also be items you cannot change (don’t put paint color, or kind of carpet or other ‘cosmetics’ of a home.  These can be easily changed. Light fixtures, door handles, paint etc., are all things you can get creative with after you own the home.  Items like school district, neighborhood, location near light rail, number of bedrooms are things NOT changeable and should be defined on your Needs list. Continue reading

SELLERS: Possible Exceptions to Getting Inspections

While I highly recommend the Seller getting inspections, there are always exceptions to this.  If a home has been completely remodeled or updated, most of the issues that are likely to come up may have already been taken care of.  In that regard, a Seller may be safe in limiting their inspections and reports to only those that are mandatory.  Mandatory reports generally include an Environmental and Geological Report (cost is between $130-$160).  (Keep in mind that there are also mandatory Disclosures required, but this will be addressed in another Blog). But the majority of homes do not fall into this category.  Most homes in the Bay Area were built in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  Even the most  well-maintained homes will have some flaws.  If a homeowner has been living with these for a while they often fail to be aware of them anymore.

Another exception to this is when we have a hot market. Continue reading

SELLERS: Why Should You Pay for Inspections???

Why should I pay for reports when I’m selling my home instead of letting the Buyer pay for them?

Up until the mid 90’s, (back before the internet became something everyone had) information about a home was not as readily available to the general public and was a closely guarded by the real estate industry.

Many of today’s  Sellers, bought their homes years ago and had a different experience when they were Buyers.  Back then, relatively few Sellers had inspections or reports done on their home prior to going onto the market.  A Buyer generally made an offer, then, once it was accepted and into escrow, they went and obtained a loan and then had inspections done on the property

The general thought among many listing agents was “let the Buyers spend their money.  Once they have spent $500 to $700 on inspections they are psychologically less likely to walk from the deal”.  This also kept the Buyers in the game once the issue of repairs came up. This mindset was true when information was limited and Buyers had to rely heavily on 3rd party advice or access to information.

Jump forward 15 years and the access to information is very different.  Continue reading