Social Icons

rss feed facebook twitter google plus linkedin youtube email

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ten DIY Open House Tips

by Czarina Carden

In most northern regions across the country, open house season officially kicks off in the spring shortly following the Super Bowl. For our neighbors to the south, open house season can also occur in the Fall. Regardless of where you’re coming from, an open house by any other season still provides a unique opportunity for buyers to connect with a home on a more tangible level. Despite the proliferation of online listing sites offering multiple property photos and even virtual tours, there’s still something to be said for physically walking through a home and getting a substantial feel for the layout, neighborhood and general condition of the home. For lack of a better term, it’s a crucial opportunity unlike any other, to investigate the je ne sais quoi, or “certain something” — of a potential home. For you sellers, your open house is a chance to make a great first or lasting impression.

Here are our 10 tips for spicing up your open house to romance potential buyers!

10. Breathe new life into an old home
Even if you don’t have the budget or time for a major renovation project, at the very least, you should clean your home thoroughly to make it shine like new. All surfaces should be spotless, including floors, counters, windows, walls and mirrors. You can also work small miracles with a few coats of fresh paint. But this doesn’t mean white. Don’t be afraid of a little color, just keep it neutral.

9. Take ‘you’ out of the equation
You want buyers to walk in and picture themselves living in the home. Your home should reflect a blank canvas, devoid of any personal touches including pictures and bold wall colors. On open house day, this might also mean you literally, as some buyers might prefer talking to a neutral agent, rather than you the home seller, about the home.

8. Fool the eye
Stage your home for maximum impact. If you have a smaller living area, remove heavy furniture to open up the space. If you want to detract attention away from a small feature window, arrange furniture or use wall color (in neutral tones) to play up the fireplace or tray ceilings as the primary focal point.

7. Bring on the light
Light creates energy and a positive vibe, so open up your curtains to let in natural sunlight. If you’re lacking windows, illuminate your space with strategic and functional lighting for added warmth and ambiance. Less is not more so turn all your lights on, especially if you have nice fixtures.

6. Enhance your curb appeal
First impressions are lasting impressions, so replace fading house numbers or put a fresh coat of paint on tired looking doors and mailboxes. Lawns should be neat, trim and sparkling, so run your sprinklers shortly before your open house starts.

5. Sweat the small stuff
Don’t forget about the details, such as replacing mismatched outlet covers, patching holes and rehanging or oiling squeaky doors.

4. Appeal to the nose
Nothing turns off buyers quicker than offensive odors. You might not smell your pets, but a non-pet owner definitely will. Ensure foul odors are not only eliminated, but replaced with delicious scents from fresh cut flowers or home baked treats.

3. Create a plan of attack
Make sure you or your agent have discussed a tactical plan to accomplish your open house goals. This should include strategic scheduling and a fundamental understanding of buyer behavior. Keep in mind most open houses are posted on Thursdays and Sundays, with a majority of buyers searching on Sunday morning.

2. Roll out the welcome mat
Make buyers feel at home and at ease by providing soft, inviting music, balloons at the entryway, prominent sign in sheets/brochures, and even kid-friendly activities such as coloring books and crayons. Not only will this make your home more inviting, but it will also leave the real decision makers free to focus on your home’s great features.

1. Promote, promote, promote!
It won’t matter how wonderful your house looks if no one attends your open house. So make sure you or your agent has advertised your open house both online and in print, maximizing all the channels buyers are searching. On open house day, post signs at the busiest intersections and create an effective path for buyers to easily navigate to your open house.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

8 Tips for a Successful Open House

By Money Crashers Heather Levin

If your home is on the market, then you may already know that you’re about to enter the high season for buyers. Spring, summer and fall are when most people look for, and buy, homes. In fact, April through July is when the majority of homes change hands, with June traditionally being the strongest month for home sales.

Selling your home in a down market isn’t easy. To boost sales potential, it’s likely that your real estate agent might want to stage an open house during the busy buying season, especially if you live in an area that’s seeing an upswing in prices and home sales. This means it’s up to you to make sure your open house impresses as many potential buyers as possible.
So, what can you do to make the most of your open house? Follow these eight tips to create a buyer-friendly atmosphere.

1. Spruce Up the Yard

You’ve probably heard time and time again that curb appeal is one of the most important factors when it comes to selling your home. The experts keep repeating this mantra for a reason: you really don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure your yard landscaping and the exterior of your home look amazing. Plant flowers in brightly-colored pots, make sure the grass is cut and edged, and place a fresh layer of mulch in the beds. Clean up any random debris (e.g. those bricks you always meant to use for a new patio have to go) or toys that may be lying around. Lastly, take a look at your front door. Would it benefit from a fresh coat of paint? It’s easy to overlook a flaking door frame or rusty railings with everything you have going on, but these little details can make a world of difference.

2. Invest in a New Doormat

It may sound silly, but think about this: When you’re about to enter a home, what do you do? You look down, and wipe your feet on the doormat. If your current doormat is dingy and used, buy a nice one for the open house. A bright, fresh doormat subtly tells buyers you care about the home. Remember to pay attention to other aspects of your entryway as well. Don’t leave shoes on the floor for visitors to stumble on, and get rid of that stack of mail on the hall table.

3. Clear the Clutter

Make sure every surface of your home is clean and clear of clutter. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

· Kitchen: This is especially true in the kitchen. Buyers like to see uncluttered counter tops because it’s easier for them to envision how their own appliances would fit. So take away the coffee pot, the juicer, the blender, and anything else you usually leave sitting out.

· Bathroom: Put away all personal items, including toothbrushes and toiletries.

· Bedrooms and Living Area: It’s important to pack away personal items like family photos, trophies, and anything else that might prevent buyers from imagining themselves in the house.

4. Organize Closets and Storage Spaces check these house spring cleaning tips and checklist.

Remember, storage space is a key concern for most home buyers. They want to be able to clearly see what your home has to offer. Nobody wants to open a closet door and have a pile of stuff fall on them. Clean out any extraneous items and make sure these spaces are well-organized. It may even be worth investing in some shelving and stackable bins to really show off the potential of the space.

5. Set the Table

Arrange the dining room table with your most interesting tableware. For an added touch of class, add some fresh flowers and candles. If you do your diligence here, buyers will find themselves picturing what it would be like to entertain in the home.

6. Leave Out Goodies

You want your home to feel inviting and welcoming. There’s no better way to make potential buyers feel at home then to offer them some delicious treats during the open house. Plus, if you do a little baking beforehand (even if it’s throwing “slice and bake” cookies in the oven), the house will smell amazing. Put out a plate of cookies or brownies, or individually-wrapped candies or chocolates. Offer bottled water, hot cocoa (if it’s a wet, cold spring day), or a carafe of lemonade.

7. Leave Flyers and FAQ Sheets

An informational flyer with one or more attractive, high quality photos of your home can be a great selling tool. Not only will this help your home stay “top of mind” once people leave, but flyers and FAQ pages also allow you to offer insider information about the neighbors, the local school system, and any other benefits to the area.

8. Make Yourself Scarce

You shouldn’t be home during an open house. If you’re absent, buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions to the realtor, and discussing the benefits and drawbacks of your home. You’ll also feel better not having to hear all of the potential buyers’ opinions first hand. Find something fun to do that will take your mind off of things. And if you have pets, make sure you take them with you.

Final Thoughts

Remember, you want buyers to feel comfortable as they’re walking around your home. The day before your open house, do a walk through. Try to pretend you’re looking at the home for the first time. Is the furniture easy to navigate around? Are there any cords someone could trip over? Are there any strange or unpleasant smells? The closer you analyze your home, the better impression you’ll likely give to potential buyers. What appeals to you when you attend an open house? Where do you think sellers should focus their efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

15 Safety Tips for Realtors and Homeowners to Practice During an Open House

Josienita Borlongan, Yahoo! Contributor Network

What Realtors and Homeowners Should Do to Protect Themselves

With so many houses for sale, even in a softened market, one thing is for sure- that crime against people and/or their properties can and do happen. Some criminals take advantage of the stale market, where homeowners desperately trying to sell their homes would conduct several open houses. Oftentimes, these criminals would visit certain houses to scan them, only to come back later and commit a crime- whether robbery or something worse. With these reasons in mind, realtors and homeowners alike should practice safety during an open house.

Here are some safety tips for realtors and homeowners to practice during an open house:

1. Homeowners selling their house need to remember that strangers will be walking through their home. Hide any valuable in a safe and secure place. If you have a vault or a fire safe box, keep all important documents as well as jewelries in it. If you have prescription drugs, keep them away from plain sight. This way, those who are trying to seek some thrills will not be tempted.

2. Put away the kitchen knives and other things that can be used as weapons, like baseball bats, etc. and keep them in a place where they cannot be easily found or reached.

3. If possible, make sure that your agent is with you when someone wants to see your home. If you are having an open house, volunteer to stay home. Most real estate agents will let you stay home during an open house, as long as you are not in the way of prospective buyers.

4. Suggest to your realtor that you would prefer that he or she is not alone. Have them bring a companion so that one can possibly greet people, while the other can follow the crowd as they walk through out the house.

5. If you are a realtor, make sure that you have your mobile phone fully charged, and in your possession at all times. Make sure that you have pre-programmed important emergency numbers on speed dial. Carry an extra fully charged cell phone battery which you can use in case your other battery runs out.

6. Before showing a home to a prospective buyer or before conducting an open house, the realtor should visit the house first an hour prior to the scheduled open house. Both the seller and the realtor should do a walk-through together and discuss the details and safety precautions that need to be done; check all rooms, and determine several escape routes. Make sure that all deadbolts are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.

7. Maintain an information sheet and have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number, and email address.

8. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Instead of leading the way, direct them to where the rooms are by pointing the locations and then gesturing to them to go ahead of you. For example if you are showing where the master bedroom is at say, “The master bedroom is upstairs to your left” then let them walk towards it while you follow behind.

9. Don’t let yourself get trapped in. When showing the house, make sure that you are always by the door of each room so you can easily walk away if needed. Never turn your back on the visitors when trying to explain features of the home. Try to avoid walking with them to the attics or basements where you can easily get trapped and no one would hear you.

10. At an open house, be alert on the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of the showing hours. In some areas, a group of thieves may show up together near the end of the open house and, while a string of supposed potential buyers distracts the realtor, stealing any valuable they come across.

11. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.

12. If you have a strange feeling about the visitors and they seem odd, follow your gut feeling and politely ask more questions. Do not show that you are suspecting them; after all there is a difference between being paranoid and being safe. Ask questions on what they are looking for in a home, try to make conversations and watch their reactions and see if there is anything odd with their answers.

Some people may be naturally nervous about looking for prospective homes to buy, but you should be able to keep a safe distance if you are sensing something odd. Do not try to interrogate them, after all, if they turn out to be real buyers you do not want to scare them away. Again, exercising good judgment is the key!

13. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary. Keep the front door and all the windows open if the weather permits, so that if you try to call out for help you can be easily heard.

14. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Then make sure that all doors and windows are locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, and then return after the agent leaves. There are even thieves who would hide themselves in rooms or inside the closets and wait while everybody is gone before doing their criminal deeds.

15. The realtor should immediately call the homeowners when the open house is done. When the homeowners return home, they should immediately verify that all doors are locked and all valuables accounted for. Inspect the rooms, basement, attic, storage rooms, closets, under the beds, if they are all clear.

Practicing the above safety tips during an open house can ensure that both realtors and the homeowners, and their properties are safe from any criminal acts.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

30 Can't-Miss Home Staging Tips

Designed to Sell designer Lisa LaPorta shares some of her best home staging tips.

Grimy bathroom walls are a major red flag to buyers.

Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot.

Don’t replace a yucky shower door: Just scour it.
A grimy glass shower door can really wash out your sale. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. Scrub with steel wool. After wiping it down, reinstall the door and you’ll have a shower that’ll help you clean up at the open house.

Avoid dated tile by painting.
Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile in a bathroom doesn’t. A low-cost alternative to replacing the tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. For a fraction of the cost of new tile, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that brings in big bucks.

Pedestal sinks are a big hit with buyers.
They show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink, and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal that brings in big bucks. Plus, buyers will see how much floor space your bathroom has.

A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes.
When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific. Paint the walls a neutral color, and choose bedding that matches. Then accessorize with items that complement the overall color scheme.

Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace that sticks out like a sore thumb?
Here’s an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. And, if you use a paint color that matches the walls, your fireplace will go from sticking out to standing out.

Updating an old fireplace screen is a cheap (and quick) fix.
After removing the screen and wiping it down to get rid of the dust, mask off the windows so you won’t get paint on them. Then, using a can of heat-resistant spray paint, give the screen a facelift. Hold the can about 18 inches away, and use long, even strokes. For less than $5, you will have a fireplace screen that’ll keep your sale from going up in smoke.

Turn an unattractive fireplace into a selling feature.
Need to turn an unattractive fireplace into a selling feature? First, that dated brass screen has got to go. Next, give the fireplace a good cleaning, scrubbing it with soap and water. Then, using a stone color enhancer, polish the bricks to make them shine. In no time you will have a fireplace that will turn your house into the hottest property on the block.

Stain dated kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them.
Dated kitchen cabinets can be a big turnoff to potential buyers. Instead of paying big bucks to replace them, just stain them. First, apply the stain in even strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Add some stylish hardware, and your kitchen will have the up-to-date look that buyers love, for less than $200.

Stainless-steel appliances are definitely in with buyers.
Instead of buying a new dishwasher, here is a low-cost way to resurface an old one: First, remove the front panels, and clean them. Next, apply a stainless-steel stick-on covering, and cut it to size. For just $20 your dishwasher will go from outdated to ultra-modern.

Fill existing hardware holes instead of making new, unsightly ones.
Removing old kitchen hardware can leave your cabinets with stripped-out holes. Here is a trick to reusing the existing ones.

First, dip a toothpick in glue and place it in the stripped hole. Cut off the excess piece. Once the glue dries, you’ll be ready to put in the hardware that buyers love.

Save money on granite countertops.
Granite countertops are a huge selling feature, but they can be expensive. Here are a few ways to save on this investment:

First, do the demo yourself. Also, ask the vendor for remnants from previous projects. Remember, any money you spend will definitely be returned in the value these beautiful counters add to your kitchen.

New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers.
Studies show that new kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that make the rest of the kitchen look dated. Once you install the new equipment, it will scream “new kitchen,” and you will see that spending a little money will make you even more.

Need to dress up a window but don’t want to shell out big bucks for window treatments?
Here’s a trick: Use place mats. First, apply a hook-and-loop fastener to the place mats and attach them in a row to a basic curtain rod. Now that the place mats are attached to the curtain rods, pin them together at the bottom, and you’ll have a stylish valance that costs about $12.

Adding drama to old hardwood flooring is easier than you might think.
First, isolate damaged boards, cut them out and replace them with new pieces. Rent a sander from a local hardware store, and give the floor a good sanding. The last step is to stain the boards with a rich color, and watch your floor go from drab to dramatic in no time.

Buyers love built-in bookshelves.
There’s a fine line between filling them with clutter and staging them to sell. The trick is to arrange neutral items in clusters. Make sure that no single accessory stands out too much. That way, you’ll show off your attractive built-ins, and not your personal belongings.

Curb appeal is vital to attracting buyers.
Here is how to stop traffic using color. First, with two tones of paint, add a faux finish to any corner keystones. Next, bring out the color of walkway pavers using a stone sealer. Plant flowers in bloom, and you’ll have buyers swarming like bees to your front door.

A nice outdoor deck can be a big selling feature, but an old one is a major liability.
To give your outdoor space new life, first sand the wood. Cover it with a light-colored stain instead of paint to give it a rustic, grainy look. Furnish it for entertaining, and watch your open house turn into a party.

Breathe new life into a worn patio.
Do you have a red-brick patio surface that needs to be freshened up? Here is an easy way to give it new life with paint. First, roll a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Next, lightly spray them with water and then dab them before they dry to give them an outdoor look. When you are done, you will have a patio that looks fresh and reels in buyers.

Staging rooms to show off their true potential is essential when selling your home.
Clear out clutter or other personal items that will distract buyers. Paint the walls a neutral tone, and furnish the space to show off how functional it is. When buyers come through and imagine themselves there, you can bet an offer isn’t far behind.

A shabby wood-panel wall is not a strong selling point.
Instead of ripping it out, cover it up. Use wood filler to carefully fill in all the cracks between the panels. Then, use a sponge to wipe away the excess filler. Once it’s dry, paint the room. You’ll see an unattractive wall go from standing out to blending in.

Use tape outlines on the floor instead of actually moving furniture around.
Rearranging a room to stage it for your open house? Here is a tip to save time and effort: Instead of lugging the heavy furniture around the room to see what feels best, put outlines on the floor with painter’s tape. Arrange the room according to your outlines, and save your energy for counting offers.

Vinyl tile is an inexpensive way to update your home.
Laying vinyl tile is an inexpensive way to update your home, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. You need to avoid laying patterns that look too perfect. Instead, make sure to switch up the direction and placement of the tiles to mix the tones. That way, you end up with a floor that has a natural feel.

Let the sun shine in.
Buyers love light and airy living rooms, but dark and dingy isn’t on their list. Open up your window shades to let some light in. Cheat some sunshine with a light-colored paint and lots of artificial lighting. You can never have too many lamps. Last, arrange the space with lightly colored furniture, and you’ll have a living room that brightens your chances of a sale.

Stage rooms with one purpose so buyers will know what it is.
Potential buyers are confused by extra rooms that have a mishmash of uses. To avoid this problem, first clear away clutter and excess furniture. Paint the walls a neutral tone and then furnish the room with a desk to stage it as a home office in which buyers will want to get down to business.

Unpleasant pet odors won’t win over buyers.
We all love our pets, but unpleasant pet odors can make a negative first impression. Be sure to get rid of old carpet that can trap offensive smells. Replace it with fresh new carpet in a neutral color. Plus, if you paint the walls to match, your living room will look bigger. It’ll go from designed to smell to designed to sell.

Pack up unnecessary items and furniture before you show the house.
An overpacked living room is a red flag to buyers that your home lacks storage space. Pack up unneccesary items and furniture, and move items to your garage or a nearby storage facility. Clear the way for a sale by letting buyers see your square footage, not your personal belongings.

Storage space sells!
 Potential buyers love homes that have lots of storage space. Since they will open your closets, it’s a good idea to clear out unnecessary clutter, and organize your shelves to show off how much storage you really have. Plus, it gives you a chance to start packing, as you will definitely be moving once buyers see all that closet space.

Create a nice flow in your rooms.
Buyers are attracted to homes that have a good flow. You can create circulation by replacing square or rectangular dining tables with round ones. Cutting the corners adds room to this maneuver and creates a spinoff effect that adds flow to your home — cash flow, that is.

Create a better flow in the house by starting with the floor.
Want to create better flow in your house? Start with the floor. Join two rooms together by using the most cost-efficient material in the book: vinyl tile. First, use a snap-line to create a center point between the two rooms. Next, the fun part: Peel and stick the new vinyl tile down, and watch your kitchen and dining room go from old to sold!

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Myths and Facts about Appraisals

By Marcie Geffner

If you’ve ever watched “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, you’re already familiar with the concept of an appraisal. The idea is similar in the realm of real estate valuations. Each property is unique, and the appraiser relies on his or her general expertise and specific research to arrive at an opinion of value. Appraisals are an infrequent experience for most consumers, who consequently tend to have some misconceptions about the process and the results.

Here are some myths and facts:

Myth: The primary purpose of an appraisal is to make sure the buyer doesn’t pay too much for the house.

Fact: An appraisal provides valuable information for the buyer and the seller, but the appraiser’s primary mission is to protect the lender. Lenders don’t enjoy owning overpriced property any more than they relish lending money to irresponsible borrowers. That’s why the appraisal takes place before the lender grants final approval of the buyer’s loan.

Myth: Appraisers use a specific formula, such as one using the price per square foot, to figure out exactly how much each home is worth.

Fact: Appraisers weigh the location of the home, its proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities, the size of the lot, the size and condition of the home itself and recent sales prices of comparable properties, among other factors.

Myth: Good housekeeping can improve a home’s valuation.

Fact: Appraisers aren’t interested in dirty dishes or dusty dressers, but they do notice such signs of neglect as cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, torn carpets, damaging flooring and inoperable appliances.

Myth: Anyone who has a clipboard and business cards can be an appraiser.

Fact: Federal law requires states to establish minimum standards and licensing practices for real estate appraisers. In California, for example, trainees must take several courses, pass an examination and complete 2,000 hours of supervised experience.

Myth: Appraisers have no obligation to reveal home defects to buyers.

Fact: If the buyer is applying for a mortgage that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the appraiser must survey the physical condition of the home and disclose potential problems to the buyer. No such obligation exists for non-FHA mortgages.

Myth: An appraisal is identical to a home inspection.

Fact: The FHA disclosure requirement notwithstanding, an appraisal isn’t a substitute for a professional home inspection. The appraiser formulates an opinion of the property’s value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components.

Myth: If the appraiser’s opinion of value is lower than the purchase price, the buyer won’t be able to purchase the home.

Fact: A transaction can sometimes survive a “low” appraisal if the seller reduces the purchase price, the buyer makes a hefty downpayment or a separate escrow account is set up to fund repairs that will increase the value of the home. On rare occasions, an appraiser will reconsider his or her opinion if new evidence supports a higher valuation.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

How Much Is Your Home Really Worth?

By Marcie Geffner

Your home’s market value is an important factor in a long list of financial decisions, including selling the home, refinancing your mortgage, borrowing against your equity, estimating your annual property tax bill, buying homeowner’s insurance, calculating the expected return on remodeling costs, managing your other investments, estate planning and so on. The trick is figuring out how much your home is worth — and remembering that how much you paid for it months or years ago isn’t relevant to its current market value. It’s not a bad idea to gather information from several sources and compare the findings, rather than relying on just one approach to home valuation.

Here are four suggestions to start:

Call a couple of REALTORS®. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home right away, many REALTORS® will be willing to prepare a comparable market analysis (CMA) for you as a marketing service with the goal of getting your business whenever you decide to move. A CMA shows the prices of recently sold homes that are comparable to yours and the prices of comparable homes on the market. A market-savvy REALTOR® can give you a rough idea of what your home would be worth, given its size and condition and local market conditions.

Purchase a professional appraisal. Unlike a CMA, a professional appraisal is rarely free. However, the several hundred dollars you’ll pay for an appraisal, depending on size of your home and the complexity of the work, could be money well spent if you’re making a major financial decision that hinges on the value of your home. Appraisers rely on an in-person inspection of your home, recent sales of comparable homes and other data to arrive at an opinion of value. The appraiser’s report is a full-blown description of your home and the criteria used to formulate the valuation.

Go to neighborhood open houses. Open houses are a good opportunity to view comparable homes for sale in your neighborhood and chat with real estate professionals about the local real estate market. Two caveats: It’s not easy to be objective about your own home and you shouldn’t assume that the listing price on a for-sale necessarily reflects the home’s true market value. If you keep those points in mind, information gathered at open houses can be worth considering along with data from other sources.

Do research online. A number of Web sites offer home valuation information free or for a fee. The Home Values tool on REALTOR.com can show you what houses around yours have sold for recently.

Tip: Price per square foot is a time-honored method of real estate valuation and not a bad rule of thumb. However, it doesn’t account for a choice location, a move-in-ready home or personal criteria and you should factor in how the property was measured and whether the square footage includes the garage or other detached buildings on the property.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

5 stress-beating tips for home sellers

By Jay MacDonald of Bankrate.com

Are you desperately clinging to an unrealistic price for your home? Running through worst-case scenarios like a broken record in your head? You may be suffering from clinical stress induced by the real-estate market.

Want stress? Try selling your home today.

Two years ago, home sellers had it all. Multiple offers drove record-high home prices ever higher. Buyer financing was little more than an afterthought. The world was a seller’s oyster.
But the housing bust changed all that. In what has been termed a buyer’s market without buyers, home sellers find themselves trapped in extended servitude to the place they once called home. Sellers must keep their homes spit-shined, sanitized and stripped of any personal effects that might turn off picky buyers.

Lengthening DOMs — the real-estate agents’ shorthand for “days on market” — might more appropriately be spelled “DOOM,” as today’s sellers choose from three equally unpleasant scenarios:

· Stick with your price and endure the grinding effects of keeping up a show-ready home.
· Lower your price and take the financial hit to sell.
· Pull the old homestead off the block until the market improves, which could take years.

Today’s market has created unprecedented levels of seller stress that mirror symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, says Peter Lambrou, chairman of psychology at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

What’s your home worth?

“What’s different is the uncertainty factor,” he says. “In other times, when people decided they wanted to move, it was a fairly easy exit, usually because they had an intention or desire to move. They had positive expectation about where they were going.

“But when people are in distress or upside-down in their house, they’re not looking forward to moving, they’re doing it to prevent further chaos in their life. So oftentimes, they’re abandoning a home that they really had no intention of leaving. That’s much different than the typical home sale that people usually experience.”

Fantasy versus reality

 To further feed seller frustration, plummeting housing prices have forced many homeowners to sell at a time when tightening mortgage underwriting makes it more difficult for buyers to get financing.
In some cases, the mortgage company itself quashes the sale by underappraising the property value, leaving an intractable cash chasm between buyer and seller.

“The uncertainty of that becomes even more powerful because now, with every month that goes by, you’re losing money,” Lambrou says.

Real-estate agent Gary Neubauer with Coldwell Banker in Fort Myers, Fla., has seen home prices in his market drop 21% to 35% in luxury gated communities and 50% overall during the past year. He says his sellers now live in one of two worlds: fantasy or reality.

“Sellers that are in fantasy have completely clouded themselves to what has really happened as far as prices,” he says. “They keep complaining that they’re on the market and nothing is happening. In reality, they’re on the market but they’re not in the market, because they’re so ridiculously priced.”
It has become equally tricky to avoid pricing a property too low in this unruly market, Neubauer says.
“It isn’t just ‘reduce the price to such a point that anybody would buy it.’ Even that isn’t working today,” he says. “It has to be priced in such a way that a potential buyer will recognize that the price is a good price, but also realize that the property is still a smart thing to buy.”

Michael Brodie, a luxury-home specialist with Keller Williams Realty in Plano, Texas, says seller fantasies also are commonplace in his market.

In particular, “The high end is experiencing slow times right now,” he says.
“I think a lot of high-end sellers are in denial,” he says. “They won’t accept the reality that obtaining jumbo loans is more difficult now, so there is not the trickle-up or buy-up from the market beneath them.”

Sellers in Plano need to remain realistic and understand that buyers can afford to be choosy today, he says.

“This is not a time to test the market, hoping, ‘Gosh, my house is so special that somebody will pay just whatever,’” Brodie says. “Buyers have a lot of choices out there and they’re being very selective and aggressive.”

After months in listing purgatory, what are most of his well-heeled clients inclined to do with a rancho grande?

“Take it off the market,” Brodie says. “But I don’t think the high-end market is going to come back for a while, so it’s not like you can take it off for three months and try again. They have to accept the reality of the market and make the move and move on, or be willing to wait, which in many cases could take years.”

Seller meltdown

 Meanwhile, seller stress in all of its various forms continues to ripple through the real-estate landscape. Dallas Re/Max agent Ken Lampton reports working with buyers from hard-hit Las Vegas who assumed that an 80% offer was far too high for any property.

Widespread agent stress even prompted the National Association of Realtors last year to update the “Field Guide to Stress Management” page on its website.

Lambrou has clients who have suffered mental breakdowns and even divorce as a result of recent real-estate stress. The problem often arises from what psychologists term “catastrophizing,” in which those under extreme pressure magnify the negative impact or outcome.

“Research has shown that in circumstances of depression and anxiety, people overestimate the threat, the negative outcomes, and underestimate their resources — their job, their family, their social and professional networks,” he says.

Although people typically think of post-traumatic stress disorder as resulting from a life-threatening event, the magnitude of an imagined catastrophe eventually could “border on being a traumatic event,” Lambrou says.

“When people imagine the worst-case scenario of actually being put on the street, that could imprint as a trauma,” Lambrou says. “So in that regard, it could be on the order of a post-traumatic experience.”

Neubauer, however, says he doesn’t see us becoming a nation of real-estate basket cases. In fact, he say the current catharsis might even prove healthy.

“I think people are evaluating what is really important in life,” he says. “I think we were a country of people that got a little bit paunchy and a little bit habit-driven, and now we’re coming to terms with what and who is really important to us.”

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

13 Tips for Selling Your Home

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson from readersdigest.com

We’ve all heard about how “bad” the real estate market is. But what’s bad for sellers can be good for buyers, and these days, savvy buyers are out in spades trying to take advantage of the buyer’s market. Here are 13 thing you can do to help sell your house.

1. Audit your agent’s online marketing. 92% of homebuyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! A study by Trulia.com shows that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.

2. Post a video love letter about your home on YouTube. Get a $125 FlipCam and walk through your home AND your neighborhood, telling prospective buyers about the best bits – what your family loved about the house, your favorite bakery or coffee shop that you frequented on Saturday mornings, etc. Buyers like to know that a home was well-loved, and it helps them visualize living a great life there, too.

3. Let your neighbors choose their neighbors. If you belong to neighborhood online message boards or email lists, send a link to your home’s online listing to your neighbors. Also, invite your neighbors to your open house – turn it into a block party. That creates opportunities for your neighbors to sell the neighborhood to prospective buyers and for your neighbors to invite house hunters they know who have always wanted to live in the area.

4. Facebook your home’s listing. Facebook is the great connector of people these days. If you have 200 friends and they each have 200 friends, imagine the power of that network in getting the word out about your house!

5. Leave some good stuff behind. We’ve all heard about closing cost credits, but those are almost so common now that buyers expect them – they don’t really distinguish your house from any of the other homes on the market anymore. What can distinguish your home is leaving behind some of your personal property, ideally items that are above and beyond what the average homebuyer in your home’s price range would be able to afford. That may be stainless steel kitchen appliances or a plasma screen TV, or it might be a golf cart if your home is on a golf course.

6. Beat the competition with condition. In many markets, much of the competition is low-priced foreclosures and short sales. As an individual homeowner, the way you can compete is on condition. Consider having a termite inspection in advance of listing your home, and get as many of the repairs done as you can – it’s a major selling point to be able to advertise a very low or non-existent pest repair bill. Also, make sure that the little nicks and scratches, doorknobs that don’t work, and wonky handles are all repaired before you start showing your home.

7. Stage the exterior of your home too. Stage the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture to set up a Sunday brunch on the deck vignette. Buyers often fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside.

8. Access is essential. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. And many foreclosures and short sale listings are vacant, so they can be shown anytime. Don’t make it difficult for agents to get their clients into your home – if they have to make appointments way in advance, or can only show it during a very restrictive time frame, they will likely just cross your place off the list and go show the places that are easy to get into.

9. Get real about pricing. Today’s buyers are very educated about the comparable sales in the area, which heavily influence the fair market value of your home. And they also know that they’re in the driver’s seat. To make your home competitive, have your broker or agent get you the sales prices of the three most similar homes that have sold in your area in the last month or so, then try to go 10-15% below that when you set your home’s list price. The homes that look like a great deal are the ones that get the most visits from buyers and, on occasion even receive multiple offers. (Bidding wars do still exist!)

10. Get clued into your competition. Work with your broker or agent to get educated about the price, type of sale and condition of the other homes your home is up against. Attend some open houses in your area and do a real estate reality check: know that buyers that see your home will see those homes, too – make sure the real-time comparison will come out in your home’s favor by ensuring the condition of your home is up to par.

11. De-personalize. Do this – pretend you’re moving out. Take all the things that make your home “your” personal sanctuary (e.g., family photos, religious d├ęcor and kitschy memorabilia), pack them up and put them in storage. Buyers want to visualize your house being their house – and it’s difficult for them to do that with all your personal items marking the territory as yours.

12. De-clutter. Keep the faux-moving in motion. Pack up all your tchotchkes, anything that is sitting on top of a countertop, table or other flat surfaces. Anything that you haven’t used in at least a year? That goes, too. Give away what you can, throw away as much as possible of what remains, and then pack the rest to get it ready to move.

13. Listen to your agent. If you find an experienced real estate agent to list your home, who has a successful track record of selling homes in your area, listen to their recommendations! Find an agent you trust and follow their advice as often as you can.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

Top 10 Home Showing Tips

By Elizabeth Weintraub, About.com Guide

When you show your home, you want to engage the buyer emotionally because the decision to buy is based more on emotions, and less on logic. Give the buyer permission to say, “Yes, I want to buy this home,” by staging, accentuating your home’s positive attributes, and do not draw any attention to the negative aspects.

Besides, there will be plenty of time after the deal is signed to talk about the drawbacks.

1) The Gracious Welcome

Although the buyer is a guest in your home, you want the buyer to imagine owning the home. You don’t want to make the buyer feel like an intruder.

· Don’t expect the buyer to remove her shoes, unless you are selling to a buyer for whom religious or cultural reasons mandate it. Otherwise, the presumption is insulting.

· Leave the house. The buyer won’t talk about the house in front of you or open doors with you standing there.

· Don’t pressure or hurry the buyer. Tell the buyer to take all the time that is needed.

· Leave a bowl of wrapped candy or other treats near the front door with a small note thanking the buyer for coming to see your home.

2) Check the Temperature

· Now is not the time to worry about your utility bill. If it’s cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat.

· If it’s warm outside, turn on the air conditioning. It’s better to heat or cool the house a degree or two warmer / colder than usual and then set the temperature at normal. This prevents the heat or A/C from kicking on when the buyer is present, because some HVAC systems are loud.

· You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!

3) Create a Mood

· Light a fire in the fireplace.

· Make it romantic by placing two champagne glasses on a nearby table.

· Turn on soft music. I used to play Enya until one day I heard it piped in at a mortuary.

· If you have water fountains, turn them on. They are especially useful for drowning out traffic noise.

4) Play Down the Scent

· Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so don’t spray the air or plug-in air fresheners.

· Don’t burn candles or spray perfume in the bedroom for the same reason.

· If weather permits, open the windows — if there is too much noise outside, close them.

· If you’re going to bake cookies or simmer spices such as cinnamon in water on the stove, put out munchies so buyers aren’t disappointed. More than one buyer has said, “Oh, darn, I thought there were cookies in here!”

5) Play Up the Visual

· If you have seasonal photographs showcasing flower gardens, leaves bursting in color or a snow-covered lawn twinkling from street lights, then display them in a prominent position.

· Open all the window coverings to let in light.

· Keep blinds partially closed that otherwise show undesirable outdoor scenery such as a dilapidated fence or a nearby structure that obstructs views.

6) Light up the House

· Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights.

· Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spot lights on the floor behind furniture.

· Turn off TV.

7) Encourage Touching

· Drape sensuous fabrics such as velvet or silk throws over chair arms.

· Leave doors slightly ajar.

· If you have carpeting, vacuum in one direction.

8) Provide Thoughtful Cards

Attach printed cards to items and in rooms that provide further information the buyer might miss or might not know. You have so little time to make an impression.

· If you have an antique chandelier in your dining room, put a card on it that discloses its age and other important details.

· If you have removed the washer and dryer from the laundry room, attach a card to the wall describing the room.

· If your basement stairs are steep, attach a card to the railing that cautions buyers to watch their step.

· Take care when placing a card that says: “Not included in the sale.” That will make a buyer want it, but you can play that later to your advantage.

9) Top It Off With Food

The best way to entice buyers to linger and notice even more details about your home is to offer them food. You don’t need to cater a lunch, but finger sandwiches, cookies, soft drinks, water, desserts, all are welcome.

· Set out serving utensils, if needed.

· Provide plates, cups and napkins. They can be paper products.

· In plain sight, provide a waste receptacle.

10) Encourage Buyer Feedback

· Near the snacks, leave pens and a stack of preprinted questionnaire cards or a guest book to sign.

· Buyers will feel obligated to respond to your request after being fed.

· The showing feedback you receive will be invaluable.

· Allow buyer anonymity.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you. Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, and Mortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Email me at scott@gerharterrealtors.com.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Step 1: Plan and Prepare to Sell Your House

by REALTORS..com
7 Steps to House-selling Success
Million of existing homes are sold each year, and while each transaction is different every owner wants the same thing — the best possible deal with the least amount of hassle and aggravation.
Unfortunately, home selling has become a more complex business than it used to be. New seller disclosure statements, longer and more mysterious form agreements, and a range of environmental concerns have all emerged in the past decade.
More importantly, the home-selling process has changed. Buyer brokerage — where REALTORS® represent homebuyers — is now common nationwide, and good buyer-brokers want the best for their clients.
The result is that while hundreds of thousands of existing homes may be sold each week, the process is not as easy for sellers as it was five or 10 years ago. Surviving in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as real estate marketing, financing, negotiation and closing — the very expertise available from local REALTORS®.
Are you ready?
The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers — and as much demand — as possible.
While part of the “getting ready” phase relates to repairs, painting and other home improvements, this is also a good time to ask why you really want to sell.
Selling a home is an important matter and there should be a good reason to sell — perhaps a job change to a new community or the need for more space. Your reason for selling can impact the negotiating process so it’s important to discuss your needs and wants in private with the REALTOR® who lists your home.
When should you sell?
The marketplace tends to be more active in the summer because parents want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year (usually August). The summer is also typically when most homes are likely to be available.
Generally speaking, markets tend to have some balance between buyers and sellers year-round. In a given community, for example, there may be fewer buyers in late December, but there are also likely to be fewer homes available for purchase. So, home prices tend to rise or fall because of general demand patterns rather than the time of the year.
Owners are encouraged to sell when the property is ready for sale, there is a need or desire to sell, and the services of a local REALTOR® have been retained.
How do you improve your home’s value?
The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means you want a home that fits in the neighborhood but is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 sq. ft. of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.
Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Furthermore, improvements should reflect community preferences.
Cosmetic improvements - paint, wallpaper and landscaping - help a home “show” better and often are good investments. Mechanical repairs - to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition - are required to get a top price.
Ideally, you want to be sure that your property is competitive with other homes available in the community. REALTORS®, who see numerous homes, can provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.
My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.
The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you.  Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest.  Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, andMortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.
It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one.  I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

Step 2: Get a REALTOR®

by REALTORS..com
7 Steps to House-selling Success
Before placing a home on the market you should also identify REALTORS® in your community who can assist with the sale. Because Realtor.com is the largest real estate site online, it’s a perfect place to look when seeking realty services. Realtor.com lists realty professionals nationwide, and you can find those active in your community through extensive directories and property listings.
Why use a REALTOR®?
There are more than 2 million people nationwide who have licenses to sell real estate, of which about over 1 million members belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Only NAR members are entitled to use the term “REALTOR®.”
NAR members must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. By joining NAR, individuals have access to a wide range of classes, seminars and certification opportunities. Local REALTOR® groups are active in community matters, and individual members are routinely involved in PTAs and other neighborhood organizations.
In essence, local REALTORS® are community experts. They track real estate trends, share neighborhood concerns and participate in local matters. They’re good neighbors who are in the business of helping others buy and sell homes.
How do you choose a REALTOR®?
Whether you’re a first-time seller or someone who has sold many homes, there are several ways to find a local REALTOR®:
Use the “Find a REALTOR®” search engine on REALTOR.com® to find individuals who actively sell in your community.
Get recommendations from past sellers.
·         Look for REALTOR® signs in your community.
·          Check the classifieds in local newspapers and “shopper” publications.          
·         Look at the listings in local real estate magazines.
In some cases, sellers elect to meet only with one REALTOR® while other owners elect to meet with several. Whatever your preference, there will be a number of questions you will want to ask, including:
·         What services do you offer?        
·         What type of representation do you provide? (There are various forms of representation in different states. Some brokers represent buyers, some represent sellers, some facilitate transactions as a neutral party, and in some cases different salespeople in a single firm may represent different parties within a transaction.)      
·         What experience do you have in my immediate area?       
·         How long are homes in this neighborhood typically on the market? (Be aware that because all homes are unique, some will sell faster than others. Several factors can impact the amount of time a home remains on the market, including changing interest rates and local economic trends.)         
·         How would you price my home? Ask about recent home sales and comparable properties currently on the market. If you speak with several REALTORS® and their price estimates differ, that’s OK, but be sure to ask how their price opinions were determined and why they think your home would sell for a given value.        
·         How will you market my home? At listing presentations, brokers will provide a detailed summary of how they market homes, what marketing strategies have worked in the past and which marketing efforts may be effective for your home.       
·         What is your fee? Brokerage fees are established in the marketplace and not set by law or regulation. Typically, brokers who list homes are compensated on a performance basis - that is, the broker is not paid unless the home sells under the terms and conditions that are acceptable to you.         
·         What happens if another REALTOR® locates a purchaser? That is, who will that broker represent, and how will he or she be paid?         
·         What disclosures should you receive? State rules require brokers to provide extensive agency disclosure information, usually at the first sit-down meeting with an owner or buyer.          
·         How long do you want to list your home? A “listing” agreement is a contract that shows the broker’s obligations and outlines the terms under which your home is being made available for sale. The length of the agreement is a negotiable matter.
What should you expect when working with a REALTOR®? Once your home is listed with a REALTOR®, he or she will immediately begin to market your home according to the most appropriate conventions for your community.
Your REALTOR® should keep you informed as the marketing process unfolds and as expressions of interest are received. In time, the marketing plan may be modified to reflect buyer reactions and changes in the marketplace.
In real estate there are written offers and oral offers. Oral offers (“Would they take $225,000 for the home?”) are not acceptable because they generally cannot be enforced (“Gee, did I say $225,000? I was sure I said $215,000”). Written offers created by the REALTOR® with assistance from qualified attorneys address numerous issues, are consistent with local requirements and provide the foundation for an actionable offer.
My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.
The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Gerharter Realtors is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our e-family to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. As a part of Gerharter Enterprises we have access to a broader range of additional services and resources to better assist you.  Visit me at my Web Site, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest.  Please check out our helpful resources on Sellers Tips, Buyers Tips, Foreclosure Tips, andMortgage Tips. For a personal consultation please visit our Office.
It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one.  I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.
 

Real Estate Search

House Maps

Homes in My Area

Forclosure

Foreclosure Homes

Check out our Foreclosure Home Buying Guide! HomeFinder.com has partnered with RealtyStore and real estate brokers to bring you pre-foreclosures and bank-owned homes in foreclosure.