Posted by Peggy Farber on 3/4/2015

If you are a seller, you need to know how buyers think. A study by the National Association of Realtors asked buyers who they are, why they need to buy, and what would make them buy. Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience with this important transaction. Here are highlights from that report.

  • Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.
  • For forty-two percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to ninety-two percent.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.

Posted by Peggy Farber on 2/25/2015

Why isn't your house selling? It may not be the market, instead it could be what you are or are not doing. Believe it or not you can ruin your chances of selling your home. So, how can you capture the attention of potential buyers? Read on to find out if you are making any of these mistakes. Missing or Bad Photos Buyers love to look at photos. They love to look at lots of photos so include lots of photos in your online listings. There is such a thing as a bad photo though. Pictures of unattractive rooms, toilets and messy areas can also turn a buyer off. Make sure every photo has great light, shows off your home and shows a neat and clean home. Place the best shots at the beginning so it is the first thing the buyer sees on the listing site. Lack of Curb Appeal Most buyers will search for homes online and then jump in the car and drive by. If your home has bad curb appeal they may eliminate it before they even walk through the front door. Be sure to create curb appeal by trimming the trees, fertilizing the lawn, and sprucing up the landscaping. Remember first impressions mean a lot. Bad Advertising The words that advertise your home are vitally important. Avoid clichés and instead use your creativity and talk about the best features of your home. You only have so much space for text so make it count! Price Too Low/High Pricing a home too high won't produce an offer, but sometimes pricing it too low leaves buyers wondering what is wrong. Use a real estate professional to help you strategically price your home to sell in the current market. You're Hovering When potential buyers are looking at your home there is nothing more awkward than finding the homeowner is still there. Buyers can't picture the home as their own if you are there. When the house is being shown make sure you are not home. There are things in your control in the selling process of your home. Take the time to make sure your home is staged and looks ready to sell and avoid the above mistakes and you should have a sold sign in no time.

Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/8/2014

Selling a home in the age of Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and mobile computing, changes the way homes are marketed.  No longer is the day when agents and buyers carry around flyers and brochures. Most home hunting happens from the palm of a hand. So, what is needed to sell your home in the digital age? Photos: Studies show that more photos can increase "the perceived value" of your home by about 13 percent. Video: Video marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. Recent statistics show that approximately 21 percent of buyers are viewing videos of homes for sale on online with that number increasing daily. Virtual Open House: Buyers can feel like they are walking through your home without ever stepping foot in the door. Virtual tour videos give buyers a 360-panoramic view. This won't completely replace the traditional open house but it will get more interested and qualified buyers in your door. Social media: Your home should be advertised on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Social media is like word-of-mouth selling on steroids. Information is seen by many people and shared on multiple social media sites causing the information to "go viral". Mobile: Your agent must have a website that displays your listing on a mobile device properly. With over 50% of internet searches being done from mobile devices, make sure your home's listing is mobile friendly. Print materials: Buyers still love to pick up a flyer when they are at your home. Make sure to have high quality flyers available for the potential buyer. Contact information: All online and printed marketing materials should have several ways to contact the agent and view your home. Things to include are a name, email address, phone number and social media contact information. Integrating old and new marketing strategies to sell your home will help ensure buyers on-and-off-line find your home's listing.

Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/3/2014

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home's appeal to a potential buyer.  With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home's "scentmosphere"? 1. - The Friend Test - Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don't even notice that they're there.  Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own "scentmosphere", and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others.  Have a friend come over and, well.....Smell your home.    Your friend doesn't live in your home.  They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom.  These "other person" smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat.  If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market.  Keep children's rooms tidy and clean-smelling. 2. - Kitchen Comfort - There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing.  Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose. Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference.  Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones. 3. - Subtlety is key.  You want a noticeable "scentmosphere", but not one that is overpowering.  Pick your scents accordingly.  If you overdo it, people may think you're trying too hard to cover something up.  Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly.  Each individual smell shouldn't be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house.  You don't want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen.  Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the "scentmosphere" once the lemon scents wear off.  Less is more.