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Archive for January, 2011

Why Great Images Are Important When Selling Your Home
January 21, 2011 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under Helpful Tips, Real Estate

Good vs Bad PictureGood photographs of homes are essential in the process of selling a home. Imagine when a buyer goes to their favorite home search engine and starts looking for homes. They will more often then not be taking one look at the first picture of a listing and deciding whether it is worth investigating further. Below are some do’s and don’ts to check that ensure your agent is representing your home the way it should be. 

  1. Do Not List Without a Photo. – Listing without a photograph is almost suicidal to the listing if at the very least extremely counter productive. If people can’t see what it looks like, it can be swiftly ignored. In a market where there are so many homes available, don’t sell your listing short even before you get started. Remember, people are visual creatures and images invoke the strongest emotion and leave a lasting impression.
  2. Have Multiple Photo’s. – Now you have one picture. Great! Now interested buyers will have one image to look at and then they get to imagine what the rest of the home looks like! The saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true especially in this case. Some buyers may think that you’re trying to hide something by not having enough photographs, or that your agent is inexperienced. Multiple photographs allow the potential buyer to have a good idea about what your home has to offer, and you end up generating interest from the buyer to read more, and people’s time isn’t wasted.
  3. Ensure Quality. – You have a number of images for buyers to look at. You have to be sure that the photographs taken are good quality. This means the content of the photograph is relevant to what a buyer needs to see or know about a certain room. A picture of a wall is not helpful. Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. What would you want to see? Aside from the quality of the content ensure that the actual digital quality is good as well. If you’ve re-sized the picture so many times that it resembles a Jackson Pollack painting, go back to the original and take the time to size the image properly.

Always keep in mind that when a buyer is looking for a home, especially in our current market situation, they will be confronted with hundreds of homes to choose from. They will usually only pick a select few of those hundreds. The easiest way to narrow their search is to exclude homes with no pictures, not enough pictures, or with poor quality pictures. Keep your property in the running and take the extra time to have great, quality images that showcase the features of the home.

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The West Seattle Helpline – Neighbors Helping Neighbors since 1989
January 20, 2011 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under General

West Seattle Helpline LogoThe West Seattle Helpline is a non-profit social service agency dedicated to helping members of the West Seattle Community. The organization helps families that may be struggling, by providing information and limited financial assistance. The mission of the West Seattle Helpline is to strive toward and build a community of “neighbors helping neighbors.”

Since 1989 the Helpline has been offering financial aid and referral advice to West Seattle residents. It was formed by a group of concerned West Seattle residents including former Senator Phil Talmadge and Dick Rhodes, co-owner of the Queen Anne Thriftway. Both Senator Phil Talmadge and Dick Rhodes were instrumental in replicating the success of the Queen Anne Helpline in West Seattle.

The assistance provided by the Helpline can save residents from homelessness, hopelessness, and hunger.

The following are some of the ways in which they strive to assist the community:

  • Providing financial support that can be used to pay portions of rent and utilities.

  • Providing clothing at the Clothesline.

  • Metro bus tickets.

  • Assisting with back to school supplies for children and families in need.

  • Providing information and referrals to other assisting agencies.

If you would like to be a part of this extraordinary organization, please visit their get involved web page. You can also contact them on their contact web page as well.

For a better idea of the ways that the Helpline has assisted people, as well as individuals and family testimonial of how the Helpline has impacted them, watch the video on the Helpline’s homepage.

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Cumulative Days On Market – Is There Something Wrong?
January 18, 2011 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under Helpful Tips, Real Estate

Home For SaleWhen buyers look at a home, one of the first questions they ask is how long its been on the market. The thought process is that, if a home has been on the market for long time, there must be something wrong with it, right? Not necessarily. Below are some common reasons a house has been on the market for an extended period of time.

  1. Overpriced: When the home was originally listed, it may have been way above what the market would bear, and hence, no interest in it. Overpricing of homes is one of the most common and often one of the main reasons some homes are on the market for so long. The tenet of real estate that we’re so used to hearing is, “location, location, location.” Now it’s more along the lines of “pricing, pricing, pricing.”
  2. Difficulty Showing: If a home has occupants living there it may be difficult to coordinate times when people can come and look through the home. In some situations tenants may be unwilling and even Sellers may make it difficult to show a property.
  3. Inflexible Sellers: Even if a price may be relatively reasonable, some sellers will not budge from the price they’ve set. This inflexibility can turn a lot of buyers away especially if a reduction in price is to accommodate something that may require repair with the home.
  4. Down Real Estate Market: In a buyer’s market, which is our current situation, it can take longer to sell a home just due to the fact that there are so many properties available. It’s supply and demand.
  5. Little Exposure: If the home received little to no exposure on the internet or the MLS then that will translate into larger cumulative days on market. This is hard to verify but is still quite common. For example, a listing with one or no pictures is unlikely to generate any interest. No pictures or description equals bad marketing.

What Does This Mean To You?

If you’re a home buyer or an agent representing a buyer, cumulative days on market is important. If you take quick look at how long it’s been on the market and making a decision based on that, you may miss some opportunities. Especially in the current housing market situation, homes being listed for much longer than usual is becoming the norm. As a buyer, consider the above and make sure you are evaluating the home on more than just how long it’s been listed. Sometimes, the longer the home is listed, the more motivated a seller is to sell.

If a home has been sitting vacant for a long period of time, that can also mean that it has gone without maintenance, heat, and general care.

As a seller, if you’re home has been on the market for an extended period of time, it may be time to reevaluate your listing. If it falls under any of the common reasons above, take action to resolve it.

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Agent Resolutions for 2011
January 5, 2011 · Written by Brock Dunda · Filed under Real Estate

New Years ResolutionsHappy new year! As the new year begins, so do the resolutions for the upcoming year. As an agent, there are some things you can resolve to do that will not only increase your business, but will increase the success rate of your buyers and sellers.

Social Media

Utilizing social media to help advertise and expose your listings will not only help your sellers but it will also attract buyers looking for a home. If you haven’t already started using social media, ie. Facebook, Twitter, and others, you’re missing out on one of the fastest growing, and most useful tools you have available to you.

Newsletters

These may seem old-fashioned and out of date, but the fact is they’re great for staying in the minds of your constituency. People that you’ve done business with before will have you in mind when they recommend an agent to their family and friends or when they themselves are in the market for a new home or need to sell theirs.

Taking Pictures

This seems obvious, but if you’re searching for a home on the MLS or other home search tool, and you come across a listing with absolutely no pictures, or just one, what do you do? You ignore it. Don’t let this be you. It is doing a disservice to your client if you don’t take the time to take photographs. If you’re serious about selling the client’s home, you need to demonstrate the features of the home. And the best way to do that is through photographs.

Tidying The Property

As a agent listing a property, your responsibility is to get the home sold. There are a plethora of things you can do to ensure your listing gets seen. One of the best ways is to communicate with the seller about what the expectations are for the home. This also relates back to taking pictures. Make sure your photos are appealing and demonstrate the special attributes of the home inside as well as outside. Laying bark down in flowerbeds is a great way to add a landscaped and clean look to a property. Make sure that during the picture-taking process that the home is clean and uncluttered and that before potential buyers come to investigate the property, that it gets picked up and tidied.

If you’re already doing the above, these are just a few less resolutions you’ll need to make. For those that aren’t, working on the above will improve your exposure, and will help advertise yourself, and your listings.

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