The Very Best Real Estate Content on Google Plus
As August comes to a close and I look over the landscape of great real estate content on Google +, as usual, it’s difficult to narrow it down to the best handful of posts to offer up to you. So here’s the deal…I’m in the midst of selling my own house, and it seems it’s all I can think about! So the articles that have meant the most to me this month are from a home seller’s point of view, not a Realtor’s.
This month, it’s all about the house…from getting the house ready, staging the house, and, hardest of all, getting rid of all the stuff we’ve collected over the years! These are my very biased picks for the best real estate articles on Google + in August:
Great Home Selling Tips
1. Obviously, I’d love to Sell My House for More Than My Neighbor’s. Wouldn’t every home seller? Ryan Fitzgerald, real estate agent in Raleigh NC, has put together 11 great tips for sellers. This article is full of logic, tips, statistics, compelling graphics and common sense. I really like Ryan’s use of info-graphics. (note to self…do more of that on my blog!)
Ryan’s advice about having a positive attitude is something that I think we agents may take for granted. But now that I’m in the place of the seller, it’s really necessary to be reminded to be positive. There is a lot of work involved in preparing a home for the market. There is a lot of risk involved in making the right choices as far as repairs and upgrades. Choosing a good REALTOR that you can trust is also a big decision that sellers face. I can see where negativity can begin to set in for a home seller. The last thing you want is a client thinking to themselves how do I fire my Realtor. Staying positive is great advice.
Another tip in Ryan’s article that I found useful is to assess your home’s weak spots in light of your competition. If your home has weak spots that cannot be minimized or overlooked by it’s strong points, then try to address them. Today’s buyers want homes that are move-in ready and updated with modern features. They are even willing to pay top dollar for a home with all the best bells and whistles. If you want top dollar, then you will need to do the work.
You’ll get a lot of good information in Ryan’s post, with stories, tips, stats and videos that add to the great advice. This one is certainly worth bookmarking for later reference.
Exceptional Home Staging Tips
2. While I’m planning the staging of each room of my house, this article by NC Homebuyers makes so much sense to me: 13 Tips to Stage Your House as if it was Going on a Date. I mean…right?! Of course it’s going on a date! And my house wants to hook up with the perfect buyer. I love this metaphor.
Since first impressions are so important on a date, it doesn’t surprise me that the majority of buyers make up their mind about a house within the first 10 seconds they approach the home. Yes, curb appeal matters. We want to have a love-at-first-sight moment if we can! (note to self: a little bit sexy/a little bit classy makes for the perfect curb appeal 😉
One of the 13 tips is speaking to me the home seller: Appeal to the lifestyle your buyers are looking for. It’s true, today’s buyers are buying a lifestyle as much as they are buying a house. Great staging advice from NC Homebuyers: “Usually, you want to try to stick to the lifestyle your home is most likely to attract. BAIT THE HOOK TO SUIT THE FISH!”
3. And speaking of lifestyle, even though my kids have flown the nest, our home and neighborhood will most likely appeal to families. (Not to say that only a family will buy it, but if that’s the most likely buyer, then that’s who I will appeal to in my staging.) Chelle and Melle Wiggins, real estate agents with Berkshire Hathaway | Professional Home Services, have written several articles about staging your home. Successful Home Staging: Children’s Rooms has some good tips and advice for staging a child’s or teenager’s room.
I plan to take advantage of their advice, from the colors to the toys and the bedding. There are tips for parents that will help the rooms stay clean and even get the children involved. It sounds like it will even be fun. Many home sellers have children in some stage, so this advice is bound to be helpful to a large number of sellers.
How to Sell a Home With Kids
4. Along the same theme, I found Rochester NY Realtor, Kyle Hiscock’s article full of value: Tips for Selling A Home with Kids. Selling a home when you have children has it’s own particular challenges. One of the most overlooked issues is probably the “stuff” that comes along with having kids. When staging your home for sale, Kyle points out the importance of remembering that “less is more”. So, the stuff has to be thinned out and stored.
Another super tip for parents when they are selling their home is to have a game plan for showings. Having a system for quick clean-ups and a place to go during the showing will help a lot during crunch time. Remember, the better you prepare for selling your home, the quicker it will sell…and the sooner you can move on with the family and get back to normal living.
Note to self: Even though my children are grown and gone, I’m keeping some of these tips in mind for my fur-child. It’s best to keep him out of the way, clean up his toys, and have a plan for showings!
Must Have Luxury Home Amenities
5. I have to admit, I do not have a luxury home. I mean, it’s nice and all, but I must be honest.
However, I want buyers to feel like it’s a luxury home. So I’m going to take some of Anita Clark’s advice in her article, 6 Amenities Every Luxury Home Needs.
- I may not have a home gym, but my bonus room can be staged as an exercise room.
- Sans the wine cellar, I can add a beautiful wine shelf and put pretty glasses on display in my dining room.
- Luxury features are often about spaciousness. Staging a home to enhance a sense of spaciousness is a great way to add some luxurious feeling to what you have.
Every home has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Accentuating the best features and adding some luxe touches will be of value to any home, whether it fits the luxury category or not.
Real Estate Photography Matters
6. Dan Miller, of Mad City Dream Homes in Madison WI, has written some great tips for sellers concerning outdoor photography. Make the Most of Your Outdoor Photos. The best tip: Take photos at the peak of summer glory. I’m taking this to heart, because our home isn’t quite ready to be on the market, but the yard looks it’s very best right now. What a great idea! I’m glad I ran across your tips Dan.
There are several more tips that I will remember. Professional photos are a must for listings, I couldn’t agree more. For a home with a particularly beautiful setting, a digital photo frame is a wonderful idea. A motion-activated Hi resolution display is a great solution to show off a nearby conservancy or acreage that the buyer may not tour themselves. Great listing photos matter.
Understanding Home Buyer Feedback
7. Once the home is listed and the buyers are coming through, Lynn Pineda has put together an article with some sound advice: Decoding Buyer Feedback when Selling a Home. Now I’ve put my REALTOR hat back on when reading Lynn’s post! It’s important to take buyer feedback and listen to what they’re really saying and determine what and how to make the necessary changes in response. And like she says, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find out what they really mean.
When a buyer says, “We didn’t like the home’s layout.” well, there’s nothing a seller can do about that. But when a buyer says, “the home is too small,” or “we found another home,” then you may want to consider that your home is not priced right for the competition.
I’ll definitely keep Lynn’s article bookmarked and remind myself to listen to buyer feedback when I have my home seller’s hat on!
Sell As is or Fix My Place Up
In my latest article, whether to sell as-is or update? I explore the question of whether it’s worth it for a seller to spend the money on updates. Like most things…it depends. It depends on the market, the competition, and it depends on a seller’s goals. If you want top dollar, then you’ll need to put in the work and money to update your home. If you can’t do that for some reason, then you should understand that buyers will want a discount. You should expect to sell for less than market value and price your home accordingly. Everything will sell for the right price! As with most issues concerning real estate, having the proper expectations is key for a seller.
Previous Best Google+ Real Estate Article Recaps
Make sure you check out some previous issues of the best of Google+ real estate where you will see nothing but the best content found on the Google+ social network!
This article was written by Karen Highland, who, along with her husband Chris, sells real estate in Frederick Md. Karen is cheerfully taking the very same advice she’s handed out to sellers for 23 years, as well as much of your advice, as she prepares her own home for the market this summer!