Reasons to Plan Ahead for Selling a Home

Selling a home may prove to be a long, exhausting journey, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead. In fact, there are many reasons for home sellers to map out the home selling journey, and these reasons include:

1. You can identify any potential home selling pitfalls.

Although selling a home should be a quick, seamless process, problems may occur without notice that prevent you from optimizing the value of your house. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for selling your house, you can take the necessary steps to identify and address potential home selling pitfalls.

For example, conducting a home inspection before you list your residence may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This inspection enables a property expert to detect any underlying problems with your home. Then, you can use the inspection findings to prioritize home improvement projects. And once you complete these projects, you can enhance your house, increasing the likelihood of a profitable home sale.

2. You can improve your house’s appearance.

Let’s face it – few homebuyers likely will be attracted to a home with a messy, cluttered front lawn. Luckily, a home seller who prepares for the home selling journey can revamp a house’s exterior and eliminate any eyesores.

A home seller may notice assorted home exterior problems if he or she takes an objective approach. By doing so, a home seller can consider a homebuyer’s perspective and devote the necessary time and resources to bolster a house’s curb appeal.

With a stunning home exterior, a house is likely to stand out from similar properties that are available. As a result, a home with superior curb appeal may generate lots of interest from potential buyers as soon as it becomes available.

3. You can get the support that you need to succeed.

No home seller should be forced to move along the home selling journey alone. If you hire a real estate agent before you list your house, however, you can get the support that you need to succeed.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house and can help you plan accordingly. Therefore, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to get the best price for your house, regardless of the current real estate sector’s conditions.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about you and your house. This housing market professional next will tailor his or her home selling efforts to ensure that you can achieve your desired results.

A real estate agent also is ready to respond to any home selling question. For a real estate agent, there is no such thing as a “bad” question. This means you can ask a real estate agent any question about selling your house, and this housing market professional will provide you with a thoughtful response.

Clearly, there are many reasons to plan ahead for the home selling journey. If you start planning to list your house, you can improve your chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.

How to Share Your Home Listing

You’ve officially added your home to the real estate market; now, you just need to generate interest among family members, friends and others who may consider purchasing your house.

Fortunately, there are many great ways to share an online home listing with others, including:

1. Facebook

As soon as your home listing becomes available online, feel free to share it via Facebook, a leading social network among men and women of all ages.

Sharing a link to your home listing via Facebook enables you to provide information about your residence to friends and family members instantly. Plus, Facebook enables your friends and family members to share your post with others, further increasing your reach.

Don’t be afraid to include high-resolution photos with your Facebook posts, too. This will improve your chances that your Facebook posts will be noticed, and ultimately, could help you garner attention from prospective homebuyers.

Also, each Facebook post should consist of one to two sentences. Ensure that each Facebook post is easy to understand and encourages readers to click on the link to view your home listing, and you may find that a large variety of homebuyers could become interested in your residence.

2. Twitter

With only 140 characters at your disposal, sharing information about your house via Twitter may seem nearly impossible. However, those who understand what it takes to put together a great tweet could generate significant interest in their homes by using this social media platform.

Typically, a great Twitter post should include a brief description that explains your home is now available. You also may want to highlight one feature of your home (like the style of your house, where it is located or the number of bedrooms it offers) and include a call to action that encourages readers to click on the link to view your home listing.

Like a Facebook post, you will want to incorporate a high-resolution image into your tweet as well. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a first-rate picture of your home’s exterior may encourage dozens of interested homebuyers to evaluate your home listing.

3. Email

Have friends and family members who shy away from social media? No worries, as you can send them a link to your online home listing any time you choose.

If you send an email to a friend or family member, be sure to include a clear, concise subject line. This will allow you to minimize the risk that your message could wind up in a recipient’s junk email folder.

Furthermore, be sure to include your real estate agent’s contact information in your email. Because if a homebuyer knows how to reach your real estate agent, he or she can contact this real estate professional to set up a home showing immediately.

An online home listing increases your house’s visibility. And if you share your online home listing with others, you may be able to increase interest in your home accelerate the home selling process.

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Ready to sell your home? You’ll want to work with a friendly, experienced real estate agent to streamline the home selling process.

Although many real estate agents are available, only the best will suffice, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize the value of their residences. Fortunately, home sellers who devote the necessary time and resources to search for a real estate agent can improve their chances of finding a trusted real estate professional to sell their houses.

When it comes to searching for a real estate agent, it is important to remain on the lookout for red flags too. In fact, there are many red flags that may help you differentiate a great real estate agent from a mediocre one, including:

1. Lack of Communication

Ideally, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who will keep you up to date throughout the home selling process. By doing so, this professional will ensure you are able to make informed decisions.

Ask a real estate agent how he or she communicates with clients. If you employ a real estate agent who will stay in touch via emails, phone calls and text messages, you should have no trouble remaining informed about any offers on your residence.

Also, request client references from a real estate agent. This will allow you to get firsthand insights from past clients and understand how a real estate agent communicated with them during the home selling journey.

2. Poor Negotiation Skills

Your real estate agent should have your best interests in mind at all times. And if a homebuyer submits an offer that fails to meet your expectations, your real estate agent should be equipped to negotiate on your behalf.

A real estate agent who lacks negotiation skills may struggle to get the best offers for your residence. However, if you learn how a real estate agent will handle a tough negotiation in advance, you can employ a real estate professional who is ready for any challenges that come his or her way.

To learn about a real estate agent’s negotiation skills, ask this professional to provide an example of a time when he or she faced a tough negotiation. Ultimately, this will help you understand whether a real estate agent has what it takes to handle a difficult negotiation.

3. Insufficient Expertise

It often is better to err on the side of caution when you choose a real estate agent. Thus, if you are forced to decide between two real estate agents, you may want to consider expertise as a determining factor.

A real estate agent who has sold a broad array of homes over the years likely is equipped to deal with buyer’s and seller’s markets. As a result, this professional knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will do whatever it takes to help you optimize the value of your house.

Take the guesswork out of selling your home – hire a courteous, talented real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of maximizing the value of your house.

Four Steps to Improve Your Real Estate Photos

home fireplaceOdds are if you’re reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it’s on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there’s a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take photos that will stand out–with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet.

Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they’re taken from and the lighting they use. You’ll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That’s because they’re probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you’ll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy.

Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there’s something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo.

Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don’t want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone’s home with their children’s portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they’re spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you’ll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you’re shooting digital, you don’t have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you’re on a smartphone.

Taking hundreds of photos isn’t an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo.

Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don’t forget to share them with us!