Updated: Saturday, November 01, 2014
Hosting an Open House: 3 Reasons to Bring Your Tablet
From marketing the event to staging the home, hosting a successful open house can be tricky. Be too specific like targeting only first-time home buyers and you risk missing a whole slew of potential leads. But be too broad like not doing anything to set the property or yourself apart might prove disastrous as well. One thing thats a safe bet is making the entire experience as smooth and simple for each guest as possible. If being tech savvy is part of your selling strategy and it should be, use these tips to integrate an iPad into your property showing:
Streamline the Sign-in Process
Having guests sign in at an open house not only makes follow up easier, but its also a great way to collect leads. Even if buyers arent interested in the property youre showing, they might be interested in something else nearby. But just setting out a paper and pen near the front door wont do. Guests may either only include ir>
Instead of lugging around a camera and juggling it with your smartphone in one hand and a folder full of pamphlets in the other, leave it all behind. You can upgrade your photography skills while downsizing on equipment. Before the open house, use an app like Camera to control the exposure, digitally zoom and experiment with effects in order to improve your listing photos. While showing the home, snap a few shots to post to social media and create some buzz around the event. This works especially well if youre hosting a two-part open house as you can use photos to advertise for your next showing.
Have Resources at Your Fingertips
It may be easy enough to whip out your phone and do a quick Google search when guests have a specific questions, but why not up your game and plan ahead? At the open house, prospective buyers will likely want to know more about the neighborhood, nearby schools, crime stats and more. With a bit of planning, you can have this information pulled up and easy to access with just the touch of the screen. Consider using a map app to highlight noteworthy areas of the neighborhood. Use Pinterest to display information about specific homes. Not only will this help you connect with tech-savvy buyers, but itll make your listings more interactive. Consider gathering websites and resources visitors asked about and including them in the listing follow-up or an upcoming newsletter. Or, with the photos and videos youve taken and resources youve gathered, you could centralize the information and use it to host a virtual open house for prospects who are out of state or otherwise unable to attend.
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Five Home Improvements To Avoid For Resale
Its only natural to make the home you bought more comfortable and functional for your household. But before you put in a hot tub or convert the garage into a bedroom, think about whether or not these improvements will add or subtract perceived value from your home someday.
Even though selling your home could be years away, keep in mind that not all home improvements are welcome to buyers. When buyers are ready to buy, they tour multiple homes which can be confusing. So, they distinguish what theyve seen by features like "the one with the gorgeous kitchen," or "the one with the ugly pink tiled bathroom." You dont want your home to be the one they make fun of.
Here are just a few items that buyers dont appreciate:
1. Outdated finishes. It doesnt matter if you paint your walls the most fashionable colors if buyers look up and see popcorn ceilings and wobbly ceiling fans. If youre going to improve a room, update everything, even the light switches. Be particularly careful with wallpaper which is very personal and can be polarizing to buyers. And carpet? Most buyers want wood floors today.
2. Awkward spaces. Youve seen the commercial where the family remodels the kitchen and borrows space from the college-age sons bedroom, turning his room into little more than a closet. Knock out or move walls where you need to, but not at the expense of other rooms.
3. Conversions. Beware of changing the original function of a room. Decking out the dining room as a media room may make sense for your family, but where will your buyers serve dinner? And while were on the subject, converting studies into bedrooms doesnt work. Without closets and adjoining baths, they arent really bedrooms.
4. Bad add-ons. If theres anything worse than not having enough space, its adding on space that looks stuck to the original house with glue. If youre going to add on to your home, make sure it looks as seamless as possible, with the same quality finishes and floors.
5. Expensive-to-maintain luxuries. Swimming pools, koi ponds, fountains and putting greens can make backyards a paradise, but theyre costly to keep up. Installing lush landscaping that has to be pruned constantly to keep its shape is a great hobby, but for future buyers, less is more. Its great to have hobbies, but make sure you can take them with you when you move.
So go ahead and paint your den after your favorite football teams colors like orange and purple, but when it comes time to sell, prepare your home for the next buyer. Put it in pristine clean condition, and restore paints and finishes to attractive neutral shades. And keep this mantra in mind: If its expensive to add or install, the buyer could see it as expensive to remove.
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Holiday Decor That Can Help You Sell Your House
Its that season where you want to celebrate the coming holidays with a grandiose display of ghouls and goblins followed by pumpkins and wreaths and hand-traced kindergarten turkeys glued on paper plates and then, of course, garland and lights and ornaments hanging from everything and inflatables and a giant incredible tree. We get it. A visible display of festivity is our idea of holiday happiness too.
But going overboard while your home is for sale can actually keep it from selling. And theres nothing festive about that.
"Remember that buyers looking at houses during the holidays are generally ready to buy," said REALTOR Barbara Altieri.
Heres how to strike the right balance.
1. Dont overdue the dcor.
You want buyers to see your house, not all the stuff youve piled on in celebration of the holidays. But that doesnt mean you have to go bare.
"The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a pinecone centerpiece, an evergreen wreath or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home," said Front Door.
2. Dont overdo the gore.
Gooey brains or severed limbs might be funny on Halloween night, but not so much when people are arriving for an open house.
3. Use some common sense.
You dont want to turn your house into an Ebola wasteland under any circumstances too soon, too sad, too gross. But if youre selling you house you want to be extra careful to keep your head and steer clear of anything that might be deemed controversial.
4. Ixnay on the iderspay.
Translation for those who arent up on their Pig Latin: Nix the spiders. Yes, theyre plastic. Yes, theyre funny. But anything that could make a potential buyer wince or cringe is not something you want hanging around your home.
5. Keep it secular.
"Avoid overtly >
6. Dont create a tripping hazard.
Walkways lined with pumpkins or candy canes are festive. But if theyre not tucked away so as to keep from impeding access, they could be a danger to visitors. The last thing you need is a lawsuit while youre trying to sell your home or anytime for that matter.
7. Dont hide your homes best assets.
"There is a time and place for everything and decorating your house that is for sale with a little too much spirit is distracting to say the least," said Altieri.
Its true. Too much holiday clutter can mask your homes best qualitiesinside and out. If there is so much outdoor dcor that potential buyers cant get a feel for your curb appeal, think about paring it down and only using a few of your favorite items - at least until your home is in escrow.
Inside, beware of covering every inch of your fireplace mantle, and, instead, showcase it with a few holiday items. Remember that you can highlight important areas of the home with a stylish vignette of fall dcor, a tray of holiday cookies, and a well-placed Christmas tree.
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