6 Ways to Land your Dream Home in the Summer

Although springtime is known as prime time for buying a home, you can also find a fair share of gems during the summertime. Don’t stop looking. Here are some tips you can use to help you land your dream home in a summer market.

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1. Scour old listings.

If you missed the home-buying market in the spring, you can find a few listings that might still be on sale. Often times, these sellers will be ready to decrease the selling price, making it easier for you to settle. Make sure to keep your eyes on these listings before the public knows and it becomes competitive.

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2. Summer diamonds in the rough.

There can be many houses who weren’t purchased because of the price or because they needed work. Looking at these houses over nicer houses in poorer locations will be a safer bet; you can always renovate later. However, you should steer from homes who show significant signs of damage because it could lead to problems beneath the service.


3. Go house hunting when others aren’t.

Summer is usually a sluggish season because most people are preoccupied with vacations and BBQs, make sure you take advantage of this time and look at houses when competitors aren’t. The last weeks of July and the first weeks of August are the best time to get a lead on.


4. Cruise the neighborhood.

When you buy a home, you are investing in the neighborhood and community as well. Make sure you are satisfied and happy with your surroundings before you seriously consider a home, and summertime is the best time to wander around and meet potential neighbors!

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5. More time with your agent.

Because the season is slow and there are fewer listings, you can benefit from this by having more time with your agent. They will give you more attention, giving you more of a chance at finding your dream home.


6. Summertime is bargain time.

Sellers will more likely than not be willing to bargain because they want to sell the house and have their own vacation time. Think about numbers and make a deal!

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Looking For A Starter Home? They’re Not What They Used To Be

 Starter homes are now becoming a thing of the past, much like shag carpet and popcorn ceilings. Younger folks may not even know the concept of a starter home, but at one time young families with average incomes could buy a small home in an affordable neighborhood. Today, families are choosing to buy homes with a little more foundation.

Buying the second home first

A starter home is considered a home that is smaller, cheaper, and maybe not in your desired location to settle down. The problem is first-time buyers aren’t choosing starter homes. This is partly because first-time buyers have become a select group, a group that is very different from what they were a few years ago. Stagnant wages, rising prices, and tight inventory are forcing buyers to be on the higher earning end; and they’re buying bigger homes.

Your first and last home

Instead of purchasing a home with the plans of upgrading in five or so years, homeowners are buying and staying put. When house hunting, they are searching for homes in which they intend to stay for 10 or more years. Bank of America found that 75 percent of homebuyers would rather skip the starter home and buy a home that meets their present and future needs.

 

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Saving the starter home

Could this really be the end of the starter home? One thing that is keeping the starter home from going extinct is people not finding affordable homes in the city in which they want to live. First-time home buyers are having trouble finding homes in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and other coastal cities.

More neighbors may be the solution

With 80 percent of first-time buyers buying single family homes, we may see this trend come to an end. Economic pressure and the way that housing construction is going is forcing people to rethink their home buying strategy. More families may see themselves raising their children in condos.

 

Checklist: How to find the right home for you

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Home buying is exciting, eye-opening, and a very time-consuming process. The goal on everyone’s mind is to find the perfect home. But, we often forget the perfect home is more often than not the home we originally didn’t expect. When looking for your next home, take a look at a few things to consider, that will make your new home a good buy and the perfect home for you.

Price

Take a look at your finances. What can you comfortably afford? Once you know what will be a good price for you, finding the right home will come much easier. With a bit of patience and luck, the perfect home might just pop up.

Features

The size of your home is a big factor in finding the right home. How many bathrooms, bedrooms, and living space do you want or actually need? Think about your daily routines and it should be easy to make a list of things you can’t go without.

Location

Take a look at the neighborhood your potential house is in. Is it close to shopping centers? Jobs? Schools? Or, do you mind being a short drive away to be away from all the noise?

Condition

Is the home you’re considering well-maintained or does it need to have some work done? Consider how much you are willing to spend on remodeling. This is the hardest step because you might need to compromise. Don’t frustrate yourself looking for perfection. Sometimes the right home might just be a few repairs away.  

Time

Choosing the right home will take time. Don’t make commitments that will make things challenging. And don’t worry if your house hunting takes a few months longer than anticipated. A home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, so it is okay to take your time to consider if a home meets your criteria.

5 Tips To Refresh Your Home For Spring Time

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It may still be snowing in some parts of the country, but spring is almost here. Before the flowers start budding outside, refresh the inside of your home to give your interior spaces that springtime glow.

Bring the outdoors inside

Adding fresh plants or flowers to an otherwise ho-hum space can spice things up in the blink of an eye. Even if you don’t have a garden full of fresh flowers to choose from, greens make a lovely addition to your living room or even an eye-catching centerpiece for your dining room table. Better Homes and Gardens suggests gathering a few fresh fern fronds for dramatic texture and rich color.

Don’t be afraid to add color

One of the easiest ways to perk up your space is to invest in a gallon of paint, call in reinforcements to help you out, and go to town with brushes and rollers. If you’re not incredibly adventurous when it comes to color choices but still want a pick-me-up, try going with a warmer, creamier version of the neutrals you already have; a creamy barely-yellow adds so much more warmth and interest than stark white.

You could even paint an accent wall a bold, fun color and use that space to showcase some of your favorite art or family portraits for your own personal art gallery. ForRent.com suggests incorporating bright colors in a breakfast nook or one of the smaller spaces of your home or apartment. It’s less of a risk than painting your entire kitchen or living room, but still packs a punch.

Reorganize your bookshelves

If you’ve got a fantastic library, now is a great time to take everything off the shelves, blow the dust off the covers, and reorganize. You might even consider artfully stacking books in different directions, some horizontal and some upright. Apartment Therapy reports some pretty impressive results simply by arranging books by color for a uniquely eye-catching display.

Update window treatments

Spring is a great time to trade in your richly-textured drapes for lighter, breezier, more summery colors. If privacy isn’t a huge issue in a space, try adding light, breezy sheer curtains on a thin, minimalist rod. You’ll love how much the change automatically brightens your space. You might also consider substituting your ordinary blinds with Roman Shades. They’re a classier way to control light and privacy, and to update your style.

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Declutter Thinking to Increase Productivity

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Whether you acknowledged the new year by decluttering your home or not, decluttering physical space is second in importance to regularly and deliberately decluttering the space between your ears.

As a new year begins, it’s common to self-confidently, even joyfully, toss out “stuff” that’s accumulated over the past year:

  • Attacking closets to dig out long-forgotten stuff clogging up this storage.
  • Sorting through drawers to discover what’s essential and what’s not.
  • Rummaging around in workshops, play areas, hobby rooms, and other once-productive corners to decide what is truly useful and what’s just taking up space.

For real estate professionals — and many of their clients — productivity-enhancing brain decluttering will ensure that 2018 is a stellar year:

  • Attack touted areas of expertise to dig out long-forgotten or dated core material that is undermining modernization and relevance of this hard-earned professional expertise. The resulting improved communication effectiveness enriches relationships with prospects, clients, and colleagues.
  • Sort through relationships with clients, past clients, and everyone else who matters, to discover who’s essential to your success and that of clients’ and who is dead weight or destructive. Save time and energy to enhance focus in marketing, strategizing, and goal achievement for you and your clients.
  • Rummage around to discard out-dated dreams, mis-calculated goals, missed opportunity, failed strategies, and other persistently-distracting past experiences — personal baggage. Decide what is truly useful about your past and worth integrating, and what’s just taking up brain space.

Move from unconscious to conscious to remove brain clutter.

Just as your tongue cannot stop poking at a sore tooth, your brain keeps poking at wrongs you’ve committed or feel were committed on you as well as at many other “sore spots.” Take an honest look at what continues to bother you. Which past experiences, from distracting injustices to ego-pumping triumphs, crowd out productive future thinking? What keeps you awake at night? Whatever disrupts your routine becomes your routine if it is not addressed. Get on with life.

Let your brain explore these Five Essential Good Brain Habits.

Five, so you can count them on one hand and keep track of how you’re doing:

1. Self-Determined Wellness is the result of a series of good health habits that keep you eating, moving, thinking, living… in your own best interest. Wasting time on what you haven’t done or should do but don’t, gets you nowhere. Concentrate on what you do and why, and what you can successfully convince yourself to add to your healthy routines.

2. Productive Self-Discipline is the result of confidence in yourself, commitment to what you want to spend your life doing, and what you want your reputation to stand for. Feedback from forward thinkers and mentors will help you progress.

3. Valued Sense of Humor is the result of practice stressing the positive side, removing bias, searching out ridiculous, thoughtless perpetrations, and focusing on laughter that makes everyone feel better. Humor has taken serious turns, so take care to stay current.

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5 Marketing Strategies Agents Should Focus more on

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Whether you are a new real estate agent or an experienced one, it’s important to have and maintain a strong marketing strategy. Overlooking strategic selling points can happen, and hinder your chances of closing on a home. Here are five important real estate marketing strategies all agents should focus on.

Using Social Media

Posting on social media significantly helps you promote a listing. The best thing about using social media is that is demands engagement and attracts leads. Keeping up with the latest social media trends will help keep you ahead of the competition and drive in new leads.

Have A Target Group

While it is good to be a jack-of-all-trades and be able to help sell to luxury clients and new home buyers it can also be hindering. You have probably heard the phrase jack-of-all-trades master of none. Spreading yourself too much can lead to inefficient marketing. Instead, focus your marketing towards a specific group and become a pro answering those clients practical and financial questions.

Spend Time on Descriptions

The language you use to describe your listings will significantly entice home buyers or steer them away. The best way to approach descriptions is to put yourself in a homebuyers shoes and describe the amenities and other features they would like to hear about.

Sending Newsletters

Having an email list of potential buyers in the area of your listing is a great marketing tool to take advantage of. Creating a call to action in an email and featuring your current listings can attract leads.

Having A Responsive Website

Let’s face it, most people search online today for their homes. Having a website is the first step in your marketing strategy. It’s equally important to have a website that can function easily on a desktop, tablet, and phone.  

What Today’s Homebuyers Are Looking For

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Everyone’s preference is different when it comes to searching for the perfect home. Some care solely about location, while others are looking for a home with an open floor plan. But you may ask yourself, what is the most common selling home in today’s real estate market?

With data pulled from Trulia, we pinned a traditional selling point vs. a modern selling point to see what is more popular. Some may be obvious, while others may take you by surprise.

 

Soaking Tubs vs. Claw Foot Tubs

Soaking Tubs are actually more popular, according to Trulia.

 

Hardwood vs. Carpets

Hardwood – this was a bit obvious as most people prefer hardwood floors because they are easier to clean and are longer lasting.

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Marble Countertops vs. Quartz Countertops

Quartz – while quartz countertops may initially be more expensive, marble countertops require more maintenance, which can add up.

 

White Cabinets vs. Dark Cabinets

White cabinets – these help create a bright, lighter, and bigger looking kitchen.

 

Subway Tile vs. Basketweave Tile

Subway tile – these types of backsplashes have become very popular over the past few years.

 

Floor-to-Ceiling Windows vs Bay Windows

Bay windows – although the numbers were close, bay windows were a more popular selling point.

 

Sub-Zero Appliance vs. Viking Appliances

Sub-Zero appliances – another close one, but sub-zero took the lead here.

 

Electric Stoves vs. Gas Stoves

Gas Stoves – This is another obvious one, but gas stoves save money over time and are far better for cooking.

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Why Buy Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

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The official start to the Christmas season is the day after Thanksgiving, although some people think it’s months before. The four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually spent shopping, decorating, and planning for the upcoming holiday. Amongst the holiday parties and gift ideas, rarely does buying a home cross our minds. Why buy a home when you’re busy with the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays? There are many reasons you may not have realized as to why you should buy a home before Christmas. Here are the top reasons why the best time to buy a home is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Fewer People are Buying

This is one of the biggest reasons to buy during this time of the year is because you will be one of the only people buying. This may set off alarms in your head as to why are you the only one buying, why is no one else? That’s because all those other people didn’t read this and realize that this is prime time to buy. You will have zero competition, that means you won’t be caught in a bidding war. The offer you place on a home will most likely be taken because the seller literally has no other offers. You may even get away will a price lower than you expected. Prices are already typically lower in December anyway.

 

Sellers are Motivated

People who put their homes on the market this time of the year do so for a good reason. Sellers are serious and motivated. Many times it’s for tax purposes, they need to sell their home before the year’s end or for personal reasons. So next time you see a for sale in front of a home, don’t be shy and feel as if you’re intruding. That for sale sign is a welcome sign for serious buyers like yourself. Take advantage of their urgency.  

 

Save Your Sanity With These 5 Thanksgiving Hacks

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Thanksgiving is a time that should be spent seeing family that hasn’t visited in months, eating delicious food, and being thankful for all that we have. Leading up to Thanksgiving can be quite a stressful period, there’s planning, shopping, prepping, and then the cooking. With a few of these hacks, you’ll be sitting easy this coming Turkey Day.

 

Thermos as a Gravy Warmer

Keep your gravy warm without wasting stovetop space, by storing it in a thermos. Decant to a gravy boat right before serving.

 

Salad Bar Sous Chef

Save hours of prep work by heading to your local grocery store and hitting up their salad bar. Here you will find veggies and fruit already washed, sliced, and peeled, ready for your salad.

 

Kitchen Cabinets as Cookbook Stands

Eliminate the clutter in the kitchen on the big day by printing out any and all recipes and taping them to the kitchen cabinets. You may think you can just read the recipes off your iPad, but when you’re in the hustle and bustle of the day, you’re not going to have time to wipe your hands each time to open the lock screen. Plus, your chances of damaging it will go up.

 

Chicken Broth as a Turkey Reviver

Whoops! Did you accidentally overcook the turkey? Don’t worry; you did not mess up Thanksgiving by making everyone eat dry turkey. Just drizzle a little warm chicken broth over the overcooked bird. This will moisten the meat and add flavor. You can also use this tip for slices that have been left out and have gone cold.

 

Corkscrew as a Guest Deflector

One of the most frustrating things on Thanksgiving is when you have friends and family gathering in the kitchen either trying to help or are growing impatient. Distract your guests by giving them tasks outside the kitchen, such as opening bottles of wine, filling up water glasses, or playing with the children.  

3 sales skills you need to improve lead conversion

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As leads pour into databases from an increasing number of sources, lead conversion becomes an even more critical skill for modern real estate agents.

That’s why in this article I outline three primary techniques for agents to convert more of their leads into appointments and, ultimately, contracts.

The three chief skills you need to improve your lead conversion include building rapport, qualifying leads properly, and effective closing strategies.

If you’re having trouble closing, you might be missing these three things.

Building rapport

The No. 1 and probably most important thing I see more and more agents missing is the art of building rapport.

Imagine a time in your life where you were not in rapport with someone. That awkward moment where you’re sitting across the table, and you’re looking at your phone and they’re looking at their phone and you’re not saying anything. Imagine if you knew exactly what to do to break the ice to really get to what matters most.

The most basic thing I follow and do every single time I want to build rapport is to mirror them.

We know that people prefer to do business with people just like them. If I want to be in rapport, I’m going to use the same language they use. I’m going to speak with the same pace and the same tempo. If you want to convert more leads, you have to get out of yourself and get in the moment with the client.

I’m listening for their pace and tempo because it’s going to give me insight into whether they’re visual, auditory or kinesthetic in their communication. I listen for the words they use, their pace, their volume and their tonality.

You can take just a little bit of their cadence. Pay attention to their volume, use their language, mirror them. And what happens my friends, is that we build rapport within the first 60 seconds.

The moment we break rapport, we break trust.

Ask Qualifying Questions

The next step if you want to up your conversions is to ask more qualifying questions. If you want to ultimately convert and book an appointment, you need to know your leads’ motives for taking action. You need to know what’s important to them, what their timing is, what their financial situation is.

The next step is to find out if they qualify for motivation. Asking them certain questions can help you find out just how motivated they are to sell their home or buy one.

Here are 10 questions you could ask:

  • Tell me what you’d like to do.
  • Where are you looking?
  • Why are you selling?
  • What’s the why behind it, what’s the motivation?
  • What’s your timing?
  • Who else is involved in the process?
  • What’s your Plan B, in case it doesn’t happen in (time frame)?
  • Have you met with a lender?
  • What price range would you like?
  • What’s important to you in the agent you choose to represent you?

Always Be Closing

The bottom line is that no transactions happen until we get an appointment. Don’t give up! Few appointments are booked on the first call. It’s the follow-up that matters most. Learn how to master your lead follow-up with our free “Fearless Follow-Up Bundle.”

The more you learn different closing techniques and how to handle objections, the better off you’ll be. Here are a few effective closing statements:

  • Let’s go ahead and schedule an appointment.
  • Are mornings or afternoons better for you?
  • You told me (x,y,z) and in order to achieve your goals, let’s schedule an appointment on (date and time).
  • All I need is 15 minutes. If I can show you the obvious advantages of both your time and money, could it be worth 15 minutes of your time?

The bottom line is this my friends. It’s not leads. It’s you, it’s your ability to convert and your ability to build rapport with a wide variety of people.