January 2007

It’s a dreary grey day here in the metro Detroit area. Winter has finally arrived and its cold & dreary. It’s the kind of day one would love to snuggle into their sofa with a good movie or book.

I think it’s a good day to sell a house.

How about a crash course in the basics? In the spirit of high-tech marketing and cyber advertising, basics are often overlooked. Here are a few things that I highly recommend that all sellers use on cold, grey days like today.

Yes, these tips will work even on a sunny day. However, when the weather is not so
nice, these tips will keep people in your home longer and evoke a very comforting feeling.

1) If you can, bake something. I tell my customers to go purchase a frozen apple pie, sprinkle extra cinnamon on the top and bake on a low heat all day. The aroma will linger all day. However, the pie will turn to mush.

2) Leave your lights on and light some candles, soft ambient light is quite soothing.

3) Play some very soft music. White noise can be comforting.

4) Lastly, if it’s cool enough, light a fire.

All these things will create a warm cozy atmosphere. Subconsciously it will welcome and comfort people. These things are so basic and obvious. However, we sometimes forget to do the basics. It sounds silly, but it has worked for me in the past.

Happy Selling to us all!

An Urban Real Estate Myth…. Revisited.

The most common question I’m asked, as a Realtor is, “Is it a buyers market or a sellers market?” It’s a fair question…. It’s predictable, but fair. What people are really asking me is how are the market conditions and am I selling any homes. People love to talk about Real Estate, and thank heavens, so do I.

I was at a party the other evening, talking real estate of course. On the way home I got thinking about a post I had written on another blog. The post was about An Urban Real Estate Myth and how some buyers have completely unrealistic expectations of the market.

Consider this…

There is the “sell high, buy low” guy. This is the person who can’t seem to wrap their mind around the idea of competitive pricing and smart buying.

There’s the “low baler”…this person wants to offer 25% less than asking price regardless of how accurately priced a property is.

But my personal favorite is the person who buys into the “Urban Real Estate Myth”. A term I coined after I’ve hear a few too many people tell me stories about their “friend’s friend” who got this great deal.

The truth is that only a VERY small segment of the homes on the market are priced far below market value; and the truth is the majority of these homes are in desperate need of an overhauling.

I’m not suggesting that people can’t make money flipping real estate. Many, many people are very successful with it. I’m just pointing out that the average homeowner, who pays a contractor for their home improvements, will ultimately end up having just as much invested in their home as their neighbors who paid a fair price for their homes. And the home that was improved by a “do it yourselfer” is typically easily identifiable.

The truth is a “great deal” is subjective.

Find a Realtor you can trust and listen to their professional advice.

Vacant homes are tough. Without furnishings, a home’s blemishes are so much more glaring. May I add that ALL homes have a blemish of some sort. Yes, it’s true! Although I believe in staging a home whenever possible, sometimes its just not possible. Maybe you’re moving out of state. Maybe there simply isn’t the money in the budget to afford staging….Whatever the reason may be.

Whenever I can, I’ve been known to stage a home or two with “goodies” from my own house. I have quite the “prop” closet at my house. It has come in very handy and has helped me secure many, many customers.

What do I do when I have run out of goodies? What about the vacant home?? I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I use when I have an unoccupied home.

1) Have the windows professionally cleaned. What a difference!

2) If necessary, have the house detailed. A clean home is a must.

3) Baby oil the stainless sinks. Makes them shine like new.

4) Fabric softener sheets on the furnace filters. Not over powering, pleasant.

5) Run the dishwashers ONCE with powdered lemonade mix. Great for old dishwashers. It smells nice and makes the dishwasher sparkle like new.

6) Put lights on timers. Homes show better with the lights on.

7) Put Polident (yes denture cleaner) tablets in all the toilets. No more yellow ring.

Obviously, these things wont necessary sell a home. However, these things will make a home shine.