Monthly Archives: August 2016

How To Make Your Open House Successful

Open houses offer a tried and true method to generate interest for your listing. When it comes to residential properties, no one buys a house without first checking it out. Although people can now do it online through virtual tours, many prefer actually visiting the house. An open house allows you to interact with numerous prospective buyers in a weekend.

Some of the people who come through will be looky-loo’s that just want to see what the house goes for and how it compares to their home in price and size. Yet every so often you’ll get a real prospective buyer to come in and since you can’t always tell the difference, it’s best to stay professional, friendly and build rapport with everyone. When you see a prospect come in a second or third time, then you’ll know you may have something.

So how do we get the most out of a open house? See below for six methods for bringing people into your open house and making it a success.

1. Go Online

It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, or even how beautiful the home is, if people don’t know about it. In today’s world, people look for everything on the internet. For homes, it’s usually the first place they go (especially for the younger generation of first time home buyers). According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of homebuyers rely on the internet when performing their search.

In fact, many of them are using smartphone apps to find open houses near them, and compare sale prices and competing listings. Ensure that you list your open house online. As a real estate agent or broker, you can put the open house dates in the multiple listing service and syndicate it to sites such as, Zillow and Trulia.

Make use of all your social media channels- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, maybe even Reddit. Your friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues and followers could know someone who is looking. Content also gets shared fast on these platforms. People outside your direct network may stumble on your posts and tweets, especially if a friend that follows you shares it with them. You can also use a direct mail campaign by mailing 200-300 targeted postcards to the area a week or two in advance.

2. Use Signs to Get Drive-Bys

Use banners and directional signs to direct people to your open house. Before the open house, print out a map of the area and mark the locations of all the signs. Make sure to place some on the nearby high-traffic roads. When you set them up, make sure they’re visible and easy to follow. If you don’t have many visitors, you may want to do a drive by all your signs to ensure they didn’t fall down or get blocked.

3. Bribe them

One of the earliest records of using incentives to attract buyers was in 1952. A Dallas realtor gave free soft drinks to visitors and offered the lucky buyer a Cadillac. The promotion attracted 30,000 people to the open house. How do you bribe the buyers today?

Add refreshments and snacks. Is the weather cool? Have a big tray of freshly baked cookies ready with hot chocolate and paper cups. Is it hot? A big pitcher of iced lemonade will relax and cool down each visitor as they walk through the home. If there’s a big game that day, put it on the TV.

4. Follow up

Have a sign in sheet when they walk in. Ideally you have something to offer when asking for their email address such as a special report outlining the key features that sell homes in that area or low-cost ways to improve your home’s value. After the open house, email them a copy of the listing flyer and thank them for coming in. It will help in keeping the property on their minds. You can also use this opportunity to show them similar properties in the area and any other upcoming open houses.

5. Create partnerships

Get local artists and interior designers to use the home as a platform to stage their work. Flaunt the home and their work at the same time. For new homes, having furniture makes it much easier for each prospect to imagine themselves living there.

6. Be generic

You want other people to picture the house as their home. You also don’t want them to feel like they are strangers walking through another person’s home. That’s awkward. If you are showing a home that still has a tenant, remove all personal items if possible.

Put away the family pictures framed around the house and the reminders of doctor visits that are pinned on the refrigerator. Turn off the volume on the answering machine to prevent the visitors from hearing new messages. If certain rooms are packed with furniture, see if you can move excess pieces to the garage to make more space during the open house.

Creating an open house is not a 2-hour picnic. It takes time an effort, from getting people to show up, hosting it, and following them up after the event. It requires a lot of prep work, a positive attitude, and excellent conversational skills.

You spend a lot of marketing dollars to get prospective buyers into your open house. You only need one person to be interested and make an acceptable offer. Open houses exponentially increase the chance of this happening.

How To Make Your House Market Ready

Putting your home on the market before it’s actually ready to sell can result in tremendous losses in profits. When listings are deactivated only to be reactivated again in the near future, this stigmatises the related properties. It is far better for sellers to diligently prepare for this process before getting started. This way, they can quickly and easily attract the qualified and motivated buyers that are necessary for bringing these transactions to a swift and agreeable close.

It is important to start out by connecting with a reputable listing agent. This professional can take a quick tour of your home to identify any features that need to be addressed before listing it. He or she will create a comprehensive list of repairs that should be performed and may even suggest a few upgrades that will help you fetch a much higher price for your investment.

Taking care of repairs in advance of the sales process will make it easier for the home to pass inspection. Whenever buyers use outside financing to fund these purchases, lending institutions make it mandatory for licensed inspectors to tour the properties in question in order to check for problems. If a home does not pass this inspection, funding could fall through or you may be forced to accept a lower offer.

There are countless benefits that you can gain by taking your agent’s suggestions for property upgrades. This is a great way to ensure that your home is on par with other options in the local market. Efforts to modernize your house before selling it will definitely lead to a higher sales price and thus, these are investments that will definitely provide amazing returns.

You also want to start getting a good exit strategy in place. This is your plan for leaving the home once a solid offer comes through. If your listing garners a lot of attention from qualified buyers early on could send you into a state of panic if you don’t have your exit plan all mapped out. It is best to take care of this before even listing the property.

This is also a good time to start clearing out any clutter that you have at the home interior and around the exterior of the unit. This will significantly increase the curbside appeal of your abode, even before you start paying for any upgrades or repairs. It will also depersonalize the space so that people can imaging themselves living in it while they take tours.

Staging the house is the next step in these efforts. This is the strategic process of highlighting the best features of the unit while drawing attention away from the features that might be less than appealing. Your agent can give you a ton of guidance in this area.

It may even be a good idea to use a property styling service. This is especially true if you are selling a home that isn’t your primary residence. The companies that offer these services have an affordable yet impressive range of furnishings and other design elements that can be used to stage your house. They can also use a number of proven staging strategies for enhancing the overall marketability of your listing, both in listing photos and in person.

Tips to Choose the Right Rented House

Renting a house to live in is an option when you are residing in a city far from your own or do not have a house of your own to live in. Renting out properties is a lucrative business where several homeowners are giving out living spaces to people in return for valuable benefits. The scale is balanced as the number of houses given out on rent is simultaneous to the people looking out for rented houses to live in.

While you look out for a house on rent for your desired location, it is essential for you to keep in mind several aspects that would allow you to make a choice on the right rented house. These points would allow you to analyse well and take care of all that would make your stay comfortable.

• Research well – It is essential for you to conduct proper research and then look out for a house to live in. Research normally involves the area where the house is located. The primary aspect is the accessibility. You should have the right amenities around the house to commute to other parts of the city. There should be appropriate provisions of schools, markets, etc. that would make your stay easy and not spend a lot on travelling to reach these places.

• Look for the right agent – While you look for rented houses to live in, you may want to get hold of real estate agents or have friends and acquaintances helping you find the right house. Agents are the ones who have the right and the updated information on the houses that are for rent in the specified location. It is important to find a trustworthy agent who wouldn’t dupe you of your money and charge the price of what is the price prevailing in the market.

• Convey necessary details to the agent – After you have found a suitable agent to help you find the right house to live in, it is essential to communicate your requirements to him. Details such as your budget, the number of people living with you, the amenities required around you, other details like physical disabilities with any of your family member, etc. would help him find the right house for you.

• Check for the deposits that you have to pay initially – After you have decided upon the rented house, it is essential for you to know about the deposits that you pay as security. A few landlords keep it as a deposit and return it to you when you are done with the rent contract. The rest deduct it from the monthly rentals or do not return it ever. Therefore, it is essential for you to be clear about these issues beforehand and then come to a conclusion.

Finding Apartments For Sale

Buying an apartment in Auckland, New Zealand can be an extremely exciting, or an extremely nerve wracking and intimidating time. Given that you are about to invest a considerable sum of money into your own real estate, it is definitely worth asking and reading as much advice/information as you can, enabling you to make the best property decision possible.

When you are looking for apartments in Auckland for sale, consider the following tips that every buyer should use.

Tip #1
Know what you need now and in the future from your property. Many people overlook this obvious fact but it is extremely important to buy with your future in mind. If you are planning on starting a family for example, it does not make sense to buy a one bedroom apartment.

Tip #2
Know how much you can afford to spend on a property. If you think your budget is larger than it really is, it could result in a foreclosure in a few years amongst other financial problems such as: mortgage repayments, general maintenance expenses and rates. When you know what kind of apartment you can afford from the start, it helps ease disappointment. There will always be a bigger and better apartment, regardless of how much money you have. When you stick to your budget and look at real estate within your price range, you can help avoid any room for disappointment.

Tip #3
Know the Auckland area(s) you would like to buy/live in. You can then assess whether you are willing to pay the asking price for an apartment for sale in these areas. There might be some really great venues or entertainment opportunities in the area which might make your decision to buy the apartment easier. On the other hand, these features may also increase the property/land value in these areas, therefore pushing the real estate available for sale out of your price reach. If the latter is the case it might be worth looking into other areas around city until you find the right fit.

Tip #4
Use an apartment/real estate professional. Buying an apartment is a huge step and you will need all the help you can get. For many people, this is the first time they have embarked on such a huge investment, so having a professional there to make sure they are going about it the proper way can save you a lot of time.

With the above tips in mind you can start to jot down some ideas and formulate an initial plan to help guide you through the property buying process. It will make the entire experience of finding an apartment for sale in Auckland city much more enjoyable.

Phil Horrobin works for Ray White City Apartments in Auckland, New Zealand – market leaders with over 30 staff focused on the Auckland City apartment market. Ray White City Apartments cover a huge range of apartments for both residential and corporate use. Ray White City Apartment experts cover Auckland’s central city along the waterfront and viaduct harbour, through the CBD to Grafton, Newton and Parnell.

The Ray White City Apartments team know the market and is backed by the resources of the international Ray White Group. If you are looking at Buying, Selling, or Renting, come to the team that knows your market. Ray White City Apartments are happy to cater to anyone’s needs, whether you are buying an apartment in Auckland city for your children to go to college from overseas, to talking about valuations we’re here to help.