All posts by schatzi

House Painting Ideas – Make Your House a Beautiful Home

House Painting is one that every home needs. House painting is done on a regular basis by all home owners for the maintenance of the house. However, in addition to maintenance, house painting ideas work to liven up your space and making it a beautiful possession that you would truly be proud of. With Painting ideas in plenty and so much variety when it comes to paints there is truly a lot of room for experimentation. With colors and textures in abundance the effects that you can create with good house painting ideas is amazing. You can easily create a home straight out of your dreams with a little effort and loads of creativity.

With just a dash of color added to the home, it can undergo a complete makeover. A dull house can be made vibrant in no time at all. House painting idea is a complete makeover that is easy on your pocket and gives your dramatic effects that you probably couldn’t have imagined. It is important to make the right choice of colors and textures. House paint ideas would include both interior painting as well as giving the exterior a facelift with exterior painting. Painting actually provides a coat of protection to the walls and is important to undertake regularly for the good maintenance. However, with a little bit of creativity this plain maintenance exercise can be turned into an interior and home decoration project.

House paint ideas are in plenty today. Most paint vendors offer small samples of paint that you can try out on your walls to see the effects. You could try it out on a small portion of the wall and see if it suits your décor and only then need to go on with painting the entire room or home. While executing any house painting ideas you need to make sure that the color chosen is apt and will create the ambience you desire. You could use the same color for the entire home or have different colors for different rooms to create the right feel. It is important to carefully look at each color and try to visualize how it would feel. The home and garden or interiors magazines and the internet are full of house painting ideas that you could consider. You could even use two colors in a particular room. However, mixing and matching them appropriately is important. House Painting ideas must be executed with care and attention to detail. It is important to maintain harmony so that the final result is as desired.

The Indestructible House

One hundred ten years ago in 1909, a large house was constructed in St Petersburg, Florida. But it was not a typical home that needed repairing. From the time it was built, the house never had repairs and nothing had to be replaced. The locals called it a “miraculous” home because nothing ever had to be repaired. Over the past one hundred years, there was a rumor that it was indestructible and nothing could harm it.

Little is known about fifteen workers who built the house.

The only common knowledge is that they built the house in very little time. But some townspeople reported strange spooky chanting during the nights it was being built. After it was built, the workers were never heard from or seen again. Many believe the fifteen men somehow cursed the house. Was it the strange “rituals” and chanting that made the home indestructible?

The “indestructibility” theory had been successfully tested throughout the years. In 1995, an army of residents set out to disprove that rumor. They went inside while some stayed outside using every tool available to physically damage any part of the home. However, nobody could even put a dent inside or outside the home. A few years ago, attempts to use dynamite proved useless. Even the original paint stuck to the house, which had never even chipped or fallen off.

Local newspapers over the years reported the home still stood exactly like she did when she was constructed many years ago. Theories as to why the house couldn’t be harmed ranged from angels built it to it was cursed. However, most people believed a meteorite from space hit the site thousands of years ago.

Since the home was completed, it had low owner turnover because of the low costs since the house never needed repairs. The only differences owners made was during Halloween and Christmas when they spruced up the house with holiday ornamentation.

But several years ago in 2015 Jim and Mary Dexter, a young couple bought the house from the last owner for a lot of money. They knew their new home had been considered “indestructible.” The couple set out to find more out about their interesting home by researching its history in the local library. They gathered little useful information. So Jim decided he would explore the home a little deeper. However, Mary couldn’t assist him because she had to go out of town for a business conference.

When Jim set about the hunt, he walked through each room, examining the walls and every corner for hidden doors. He looked for anything that had not been reported in the house’s history. He searched around for nooks and crannies, even hidden rooms that had not been explored. Although he didn’t find anything unusual, he journeyed to the basement, knocking on the basement’s walls to listen for hollow spaces, but didn’t have any success. Then he looked at the floor which appeared solid. Nevertheless, he walked carefully on it listening for weak floorboards.

He saw a dusty carpet that was so old, it was about as brown as the rest of the floor. He believed that carpet was the key to an entrance to something underneath. Jim tried to remove it, but it wasn’t easy – it seemed stuck onto the floor. He went to his toolbox and dragged out a sledgehammer to smash the carpet so it would dislodge. After smashing it seven times, the wooden floor submitted to the pounding force by falling down underneath the house into a never before seen area.

So much dust kicked up that it swirled around the basement. Jim could scarcely breathe So he covered his nose and mouth with his hands until the dust settled. He moved toward an opening he made and took out a flashlight from his pocket, shining it all around downward. Apparently, he had found a way into a new room. As he looked around, he felt exuberant that he had possibly made a never before seen part of the house. Suddenly he saw a human skull on the floor in one corner. Then he moved the light around the room, he saw a dozen or so skeletons.

Jim’s eyes beamed wide open and thought, “Oh no!!!” He panicked and immediately called 911. Within five seconds a woman came on and Jim told her what he had found in his home. She told him a sheriff would be there immediately.

Jim tried unsuccessfully to call Mary on his iPhone. Although she was unavailable, Jim didn’t leave a message. He was shaking, thinking about what he just saw. He wondered how those people ended up sealed underneath their home. The police raced out to the house with a firetruck tailing it. When the police car arrived at the house, the sheriff got out, Jim led him in and showed them the skeletons he had discovered. After the firefighters arrived they pulled out their ladders and positioned them downward. Police and firefighters climbed down the ladders, trying not to step on the bones.

The news of the discovery quickly got out to the St. Petersburg area. Reporters arrived at the house, but they were restricted as the yellow tape was placed around the house as the FBI forensic technicians carefully examined the bones. Hours later, the bones were separated and were individually taken out of the house with great care. But just as soon as all of the skeletons were taken out, suddenly an enormous cracking noise could be heard from the top of the house. Before anyone knew it, the roof had completely collapsed, followed by the rest of the house. Although people were standing near the house, they ran from it as fast as they could. Unfortunately, several FBI personnel fell and died right in front of the house.

Jim immediately called Mary who was already driving home. He told her the entire story, which she filled in the conversation with many surprised gasps, and lots of “I don’t believe it!” and “OMG”.

A week later, the St. Petersburg Times reported in its headlines: “One Hundred Year Old ‘Indestructible’ House Collapses from Inside”. The article reported, “The skeletons of 15 dead people who, according to authorities may have been the home’s original builders. They were lying near each other which formed a circle. All had been shot in the head in what appeared to be some kind of ritual cult murder. Apparently, this had been a hidden room discovered by the owner, who believed the floor he knocked in had been built to hide the skeletons. It has been suggested that the remains of these builders had something mystical to do with the house’s ‘indestructibility.’ This theory is plausible since the house caved in after a forensic FBI took the last cadaver out of the home. The current occupants did not respond to questions.”

Creating the "Wow Effect" to Sell Your Home

Selling your home is all about creating an emotional response in a prospective buyer. Buyers shop with logic, but buy on emotion. The best homes are those that produce that key emotional response from the moment a buyer drives up to the home and continues as they walk through each room of the house. Just like the best movies get better with every scene, so too, a home must get better as the buyer evaluates it. The end result is buyers who love the home and can see themselves living in it–the moment they open the door.

Sounds fairly straight forward, however producing this “Wow effect”, is best created and carefully planned by a professional home staging expert. You only have 5 seconds to make a good first impression on a buyer. If a home lacks emotional appeal, it appears undervalued and may languish on the market longer than it should.” Home Staging is the specialty of decorating homes to sell faster and for top dollar. A top home staging expert will create the “Wow effect” from curb appeal to each room in the home. The goal is to produce the emotional response to buy.

Homeowners on both coasts have become savvy of this concept over the past several years. They realize that to out-distance the competition, they need an edge. Home Staging is the least expensive way to produce that edge. A top realtor can market your home and bring in prospective buyers, but a well stage home will allow them to see themselves living in it.

Many home design shows have appeared on television over the past several years. These programs have had the effect of enhancing consumer awareness of a well decorated home, thus increasing expectations. They want to see a “show ready home” when house shopping. Many people have a difficult time seeing past a cluttered home with family photos adorning every wall.

Preparing a home to sell involves de-cluttering , de-personalizing, arranging furniture to create a warm and inviting space, and accessorizing to create the pizazz it needs. If a buyer sees a clean, well organized, inviting home, the odds of selling the home increases dramatically. In fact, this type of home often seems the exception rather than the rule. If a home staged well, it can distinguish itself in a meaningful way and sell quickly and for top dollar.

In a soft real estate market, savvy home sellers realize that a Home Staging specialist is an affordable investment that protects them from having to consider a price reduction. The average price reduction is approximately between 5 to 10 thousand dollars. A Home Staging consultant is more affordable and a viable alternative to reducing the price of the home.

Many home buyers are unaware of home staging. As awareness increases, so will the demand and importance of home staging to sellers. Many homeowners are under stress and feel overwhelmed when selling their home. A Home Staging consultant can help ease their fears and concerns by creating a plan of action.

Also, many homeowners are very attached to their home. Some have had their home for decades and are now selling. It can be a difficult and very personal experience for them. Selling a home can be especially difficult for people experiencing financial difficulties, divorce, job changes, etc. The transition from a very personalized home to one that will sell allows them to maximize the potential sale of their home and move on to the next phase of their lives.

Realtors are also recognizing the importance of Home Staging. Many of the top real estate companies are hailing Home Staging for the many benefits it offers realtors as well. Many realtors appreciate an objective third party to bring up sensitive topics with their clients or when husband and wife do not agree. The agent does not have to appear to be choosing sides. Home Staging also allows real estate agents to do what they do best– market the home for sale.

Selling a home is becoming more challenging in today’s real estate market. However, the astute homeowner can utilize the skills of a capable Home Staging expert as well as a top realtor to sell their home faster and for top dollar.

What are the Energy Performance Certificates for Houses in Belfast

What Is An Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate, also known as an EPC, is a certificate that shows from A to G how efficient your house or building is when it comes to energy. It is used to calculate the energy efficiency of your house. The houses that are very efficient in energy will find themselves falling in the upper bracket of the range. This shows that these houses and homes are more efficient when it comes to energy. This certificate also shows and advises on what effects a certain house has on the environment and how the rating of the property can be improved. So, if you are looking to sell your house fast, a tip is to ensure your EPC rating is good.

Why Are Energy Performance Certificates Required?

Energy Performance Certificates are required whenever a building or a house is being constructed. It is also issued for the existing houses as well as buildings. This certificate is required before any building or house is sold or given to tenants on rent. These certificates give a full report about the energy efficiency and energy usage of that particular building. By having and giving this certificate to the buyers or the tenants will help them in comparing the energy usage, consumption, and efficiency of the particular building with other similar buildings.

What Does The EPC Include?

An energy performance certificate includes all the information regarding energy efficiency a buyer, owner or a tenant needs to know. It also includes a report of recommendation in which some measures are mentioned on how the energy rating and efficiency of a particular building can be improved. It also shows how much the rating can be improved if the recommendation that has been mentioned in the report is followed and implemented.

Energy Performance Certificate; The Law

According to the law, as we mentioned before, the certificate is important to be issued either before the building comes into existence or when a particular house or building is being advertised for rent or sale. It is extremely vital to have an energy performance certificate, as a failure to have it can lead to strict action as per the law in Northern Ireland. One might have to face serious penalty charges.

Validity of an EPC

The certificate is valid for 10 years since the issuance date. During this time, according to the law, it is allowed to use it as many times as required.

An energy assessor who is accredited for issuance can only issue the certificate. It can only be produced when the assessor himself pays a visit to the building or the house, in order to assess the place himself.

As soon as the certificate is produced, a copy of it is updated in the national register, which is available publicly and can be searched in the energy performance certificate register.

Displaying the EPC

It is a must for some commercial buildings to keep the certificate on display where it is available to be seen by the public that visits the building. It needs to be in a prominent place, and on an A4 size paper, making it easier and clearer for the public to see.

Resources:

https://www.epc4less.com/

https://www.epc-belfast.net/

Selling Your Own Home Online

Nearly 80% of those who bought a house last year started their search online. If you’re selling your own home, an online For Sale By Owner (FSBO) site is nearly a must. According to realtors, most people who browse FSBO sites will view at least one house that they first saw online – and about half will purchase a home that they found in an online selling your own home web site. Knowing that, how can you not take advantage of all the new selling techniques available to those who are selling their own homes?

What sort of selling techniques are available to you if you’re selling your own home online? Depending on the site, you can literally have a 24/7 open house – without ever opening your front door. With photographs, multiple listings, virtual tours and floor plans, you can literally allow prospective buyers to tour your house without ever leaving their own homes.

There are several different ways to go about selling your own home through an online FSBO web site. Your best option is to contract with a local real estate agent for a flat fee listing, which will give you the right to post your home on a multiple listing service. With a flat fee listing, you pay a local realtor a flat fee of a few hundred dollars for the single service of listing your home with the Multiple Listing Service. Once your home is listed, you can post it on MLS web sites where it will be seen by hundreds of real estate agents and thousands of prospective buyers.

Another way that you can get your house listed on an MLS site is by contracting with a real estate agent with an Exclusive Sale Contract. You agree to pay that agent 2-3% commission if any realtor sells your house during the time that it is listed through him – but reserve the right to sell the house yourself without paying any commission. Again, your main aim, since you’re selling your own home, is to get the house listed on a multiple listing site.

There are also a number of FSBO sites that will allow you to list your home on their sites for a fee. Shop around for the best deal – they range in price from a single flat fee to a 2% commission when you sell your house.

Tips for Selling Your Own Home Online

– Upload at least one picture of your house that shows it in its best light. If you can, have the photograph taken by a professional photographer.

– Has your home got a gorgeous fireplace? A great view of the city? Make sure that you get a photo of that posted – the best way to sell your own home online is to make it look its best.

– Give buyers the info they want to know. Put information about the school system, the neighborhood, the local stores into your online ad. The more they know, the more likely it is that they’ll be ready to buy when they come looking.

– If your home is priced in the high ranges, consider investing in a virtual home tour so that prospective buyers can get a full tour of your home online and fall in love with it before they see it.

– Use your listing page to print out flyers that include the photographs and descriptions, and post them locally.

The internet gives you new tools for selling your own home. Just take it online, and see how far you can go with a few pictures.

How Staging Helps To Sell A House?: 4 Basic Options

Many homeowners, learn from their real estate agents, and opt to take advantage of some of the principles of staging their home, in order to enhance the potential and possibilities of achieving the finest, possible results, in terms of selling their houses, for the best possible price, in the minimum period of time! We refer to staging, as a process, which improves, how, potential buyers, might perceive the specific home, in a positive way. In light of that, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 4 basic options/ alternatives, for getting this done, effectively, and productively.

1. De – clutter, and touch – up, limited areas: In some instances, it only takes a little, well – considered, tweaking, to achieve the intended objectives. Before beginning to show the house, reduce the amount of clutter, significantly, remove excessive furniture and furnishings (put into storage, or dispose of), and proceed, to, touch – up, largely viewed areas (many people, can do this, themselves). When a house looks neater and cleaner, and distractions, and negatives, are removed, and/ or, addressed, it usually translates to better showings, and more, qualified buyer, interest, and, hopefully, meaningful offers!

2. Do – it – yourself (DIY) staging: Depending on the size, price, niche market, etc, it may be possible, to do – it – yourself! This DIY staging process, includes, reducing the amount of furniture, and fixtures, especially, any, which seem to show, wear – and – tear, or don’t enhance the overall appearance of the house. This should include: paying attention to curb appeal; reducing/ addressing any unwanted odors, and/ or, eye – sores; touch – up painting, cleaning fixtures, and adjusting lighting, and overall esthetics, etc.

3. Hire professional stager: Sometimes, it is necessary to hire a recommended, quality, professional home – stager! This process, often, includes: removing, existing furniture/ fixtures, and replacing them, with loaner items; enhancing strengths, and addressing areas of weakness, etc. However, because this is often, costly, to do, if you choose, a quality approach, the price range, and niche of the property, are relevant factors, whether this is an advisable approach, for you!

4. Study and understand some of the basics: It makes sense for homeowners, deciding to sell their homes, to thoroughly, study, and better understand, some of the essentials, and basics, which will add value to the transaction, and process! For example, to show a smaller room, such as a dining room, better, it often makes sense, to use taller furniture, and bigger fixtures, hanging from the ceilings. Understand, how lighting factors – in, as well, as where to highlight, and how to minimize attention, to some locations, Where some touch – up painting, curb appeal, etc, may be beneficial, are key considerations!

Become a smarter home seller, by understanding, and taking advantage of the relevant, applicable aspect of staging, for your specific house. Doesn’t that make sense?

Five Tips to Help You Sell Your House Now

Even if a quick home sale isn’t a do-or-die necessity, it is in your best financial interest. Surveys of real estate agents and popular knowledge make it clear that the longer a house lingers on the market, the lower the price will fall. Most homes that sell for their full asking price sell within two weeks of being listed. These five tips will help you sell your house NOW.

Tip # 1: Hire The Best Real Estate Agent You Can Find…

…and then follow his or her advice. Real estate agents are trained professionals whose business is selling homes for people. They can help you set the right price for your home, tell you what repairs and cosmetic changes you can make to help you sell faster, and guide you through the process step-by-step.

Tip # 2: Set the Right Price

The rule of thumb for selling a house fast is a price that’s within 5% to 10% of other homes in the neighborhood. If you’ve hired a real estate agent, they’ll know what other houses in your area have sold for. If you’ve decided to sell your home yourself, you can find information on recent home sales in your area online.

Tip # 3: It’s All About Curb Appeal

Most buyers who DON’T buy have already ruled out your house before they ever set foot through your front door. Don’t underestimate the value of the cosmetic appeal of the outside of your home. No matter how wonderful the inside of your house is, if it’s wrapped up in a shabby package and poor surroundings, then you’ll have a much more difficult time selling it. Take the time to fix up the outside of your house to show its best face to the world.

And don’t underestimate flower power! A small investment in a few plants to stand on the front steps or perk up a lawn border can make a huge difference in how your house is perceived.

Tip # 4: Make It Easy For Potential Buyers to Picture Themselves in Your House

Start by giving your house a thorough cleaning. Get rid of all clutter whether it’s visible or hidden in a closet. No one wants to buy a dirty house! Next, you should put away all of your personal belongings. You want your prospective buyers to see THEMSELVES in your living room, not you.

Another great trick when selling your home is to use a little psychology. If you’re repainting in summer months, consider using ‘cool’ colors. In winter, use warm ones. Make people feel happy in your house and it will sell faster!

Tip # 5: If you’ve Decided to Sell on Your Own, List Your Home with An FSBO Web Site

FSBO (For Sale By Owner) web sites are an excellent way to advertise your property. Most FSBO sites (http://www.forsalebyowner.com/, http://www.fiftystatesfsbo.com/) will tell you how to set up a Flat Fee Multiple Listing contract with a local Realtor. That will get your home listed in your local MLS service and dramatically increase its visibility.

If you’ve done your preparation work well, set the right price for your home and made sure that your house is as appealing as possible, you WILL sell your house NOW.

House Refinance

When to do a house refinance

When considering doing a home or house refinance, every homeowner is unique. The right time for a house refinance will vary with each case. Typically, effective house refinancing means lowering your current mortgage loan rate by at least one percent. Within the house refinance you might also want to consider changing the length of your loan or receiving cash from the house equity. There are many house refinance calculators available online to see which mix of variables will give you the houses refinance result that you are searching for.

House refinancing benefits.

House refinance that lowers your monthly payment can help in achieving better cash flow. This is often done to offset the short term costs of perhaps a business loan or another short term need such as providing an education for the children. Again a house refinance calculator can assist in seeing the benefits that the house refinance could have. If the goal of the house refinance is to shorten the term of the house loan, it is sometimes advantageous to move from an inflexible house loan arrangement taken out many years ago, to refinance with a progressive income offset or other more modern institution. A quick search for house refinance on the internet will provide you with a huge array of companies that will often give you a free house refinance quote.

House equity considerations.

House equity is often used to borrow against and the cash utilized to make house improvements. Commonly, up to 90 percent of the appraised value of your house can be used to make home improvements. Useable house equity is based on the value of the home and what you currently owe, subject to individual state laws. Often, if you do a house refinance with a new rate and term, you may still qualify even if you have little house equity. Sometimes up to 90 percent (LTV) loan-to-value. In this case, for a house refinance to be accepted, a reappraisal of your home may be required.

Costs of a house refinance.

To do a house refinance, you will have associated closing costs that include various processing fees. Often you will be able to roll these into your new house refinance package to help minimize out of pocket expenses. The online calculators for the different house refinance companies should include these costs in there quotations.

House refinance in conclusion.

Depending on your circumstances and goals, a house refinance can be a profitable option. Be aware of noting all of the set up costs involved in the house refinance, and balance the total end of loan figures against any momentary gains. There are many house refinance companies vying for your business. Do not be afraid to ask for a better deal than what is being offered, as the amount of house refinance competition is huge and companies can often come up with a better house refinance package when pushed to do so.

Happy refinancing.

How to Plan the Perfect Open House

Have you ever spent time and energy planning an Open House, just to have less than five people attend? Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

I’m Cindy Bishop of Cindy Bishop Worldwide. I pride myself not only on being a successful real estate agent with over 28 years of experience, but a knowledgeable and helpful trainer and coach. I’m committed to making everyone who comes into contact with me succeed, and have compiled the following open house tips for you, both from my own experience, as well as teaching and coaching friends of mine. Use them to succeed, and contact me if you have any questions at all!

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

* A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

* Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

* A home with some kind of “conversation starter”. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

* Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

* Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

* Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

* If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

* Don’t pick a date and time where people are not available, for example, the majority of people work Monday through Fridays from 8am-5pm, and may not be free on a Wednesday at 3pm. Additionally, people are usually not free on holiday weekends.

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

* Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

* Snacks are a must! Try wine and cheese, or beer and wings. The most important part about the food is that it needs to match what type of neighborhood you are in. Fried chicken and hamburgers probably aren’t appropriate at a million-dollar listing, but champagne and caviar probably aren’t appropriate in a first-time homebuyer situation, either. Just a word of caution; however, if you are serving alcohol, be very careful about who you serve. You may even want to get someone on your team to help you out with this. The last thing you need is for someone to drink at your open house as a minor, or someone to drive off over intoxicated and get into an accident. If in the right kind of setting, having comfort foods is especially welcoming and makes many visitors feel more at home. Careful to avoid foods with bad odors or smells, as you don’t want them attributed to the home.

* Consider leaving a hand-written sign to “Help Yourself” along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

* Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

* Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

* Make sure to engage each and every visitor so they have are interested, and want to stay longer.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

* Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

* Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

* Visit neighbors’ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

* Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

* Make sure everything is in order so that you look your best, and the house looks it’s best. it should be clean, light bulbs should be new, dust should be gone, air fresheners should be working, the climate should be controlled. I’ve even heard of certain agents baking cookies in advance of the big event so that the house feels and smells extra homey.

* Consider removing clutter, which makes navigating the home difficult. You can also remove or hide offensive art, or anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. But be careful- make sure the homeowner doesn’t just throw the clutter into closets or cabinets! People care more and more about storage these days, and if it looks like the cabinets and closets are busting at the seams with junk, they’ll automatically assume that the amount of storage space in the house is not sufficient

* Use natural light to your advantage. Make sure all window treatments are open and all curtains are drawn. All light switches should be turned on, regardless of where they are. You don’t want someone afraid to go in the basement, or thinking they aren’t allowed to enter the garage.

* Make sure the home owner is not present. The last thing you need is them having an emotional breakdown because they are going down memory lane, or answering a question incorrectly. People also feel uncomfortable freeing roaming when the person who owns the property is looking over their shoulder.

* With that said, valuables, if left in the home, should be secured. At the very least, you should know what they are and where, and make an inventory of them. I strongly advise you insist that the home owner take them out of the property before the open house, so you’re not held liable for them in case of damage or theft.

* Use your team. If you are alone at an Open House, you may be spread too thin. If you leave for a minute to check that a sign on the corner hasn’t fallen down, you may miss someone who pops in to find no one there. Have one person for signage and the guest book, one person on food and drink detail, and that leaves you free to talk to and engage guests.

* Have a loan agent or lender on hand, in order to answer any potential questions the home buyer may have about the process.

* Make sure you have the necessary paperwork required. You can print out a copy of the MLS but it’s strongly suggested that you make a booklet, flyer, or something more personalized to the property, and to yourself.

* Make sure you know the neighborhood, and have done comparisons of values in the neighborhood. You may lose credibility if someone asks you a question and you’re unfamiliar with this territory, and I’m sure you’d rather look like a pro!

6. Use the Personal Touch

* It’s not enough to have each visitor sign in. You should take detailed notes on your conversation with each person. If you can’t remember this, a helpful suggestion is to hide a notebook or tablet inside a kitchen drawer, and make notes as the day goes by.

* You should remember one thing about each visitor and bring it up at some point during their tour of the home. “Jerry, wouldn’t this be an amazing place to store your golf clubs?”

* Don’t try to sell anyone. They will come to you, and request the information they need, when they need it. This is a time to establish relationships. Your only objective should be to make this home (and yourself) memorable.

7. Follow Up

* Add all visitors to your e-mail list, as well as your newsletter list. AM Open House is a great app and resource to make sure you’re keeping on task with this.

* For those visitors who were seriously interested in the home or in you, handwritten cards should be sent out thanking them for coming, and encouraging their business in the future. Take out that handy notebook you stashed, and make personal notes in each card. They’re more likely to keep it the more personal it is. Above all, make sure your contact information is on each card.

* Some agents even send videos. You could forward on a Facebook live video of the open house, or send a YouTube video of the listing. You could even send some kind of greeting card video for a special way to say “thanks for attending!” BombBomb is a great resource for this type of video.

* Text message is a wonderful way to contact people, and has a 95% open rate. It’s less invasive than a phone call, which people may avoid answering if they don’t know a specific caller. Send a very specific text message with a thank you, the property address, and more information on the property, or a link for more information.

* Send a follow up to the follow up starting with the subject header “I forgot to tell you… ” – You can then point out a feature you neglected to tell them about on the current property, or even point out other properties that you may have listed, if this one fell short for them.

Of course, the best resource for an Open House is a coach, who can suggest strategies unique to your community and clientele. Not only is this more effective, but a coach should follow up with you to make sure that everything went smoothly, and question each step if it doesn’t.

Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Business Enhancement and Growth training for the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.

How To Sell A Home Fast

When people put their home on the market, they want to sell it. No one wants to wait around for months as they hope that a buyer can pay what they feel their home is worth. No one wants to go through the process of showing their home to multiple buyers, only to discover that none of them want to buy the house.

It can be a nightmare, but when homeowners follow these tips, they can enjoy their home being sold faster than ever.

Curb appeal

Curb appeal is one of the most important things when it comes to selling a home. As soon as potential buyers pull up to the property, they will look at the exterior of the house, so it’s important that it looks nice.

First, walk out to the curb to look at the house from someone else’s point of view. Repair parts of the roof that can be seen, and make sure to pressure wash the roof for a nice, newer look. Clean out the gutters, and plant some flowers.

If the paint needs touched up, hire a few residential painters that can make the house look new again. Residential painters can paint the entire house, or residential painters can simply get rid of peeling paint and touch up the areas that need it the most.

Be honest

If a potential customer knows that the water heater is old, and it is old, don’t try to lie and tell them it’s newer. This will make customers wonder what else is wrong with the house that homeowners are not being honest about.

Instead, be as honest as possible. Tell them that the water heater is old, and that the cost of the new water heater has already been taken from the price being asked for the house.

Interior paint

When people want to buy a house, they are not just going to look at the outside of the house. A nice, fresh coat of paint can make a house look modern and taken care of. Work with the same residential painters that did the outside of the house to touch up the inside walls.

If hallways look dirty from children running their hands along the walls, residential painters can make them look new again. The same thing applies to other areas of the home. Some homeowners hire residential painters just to paint the high traffic areas before they put their home on the market.

Personalize the tour

When a homeowner shows a potential client their home, they usually high light the key areas, like a big kitchen or a nice, bay window. This is a good idea, but there are some customers that will not care about a big kitchen because they have a small family. There are others that will not care about a bay window.

Instead of simply talking up the key areas, ask potential buyers what they are looking for in a home. If they mention a big bedroom but the bedrooms are small, tell them the bedrooms are a bit small, and then add a good thing. For example, say that there is extra storage in the living room closet. The key to selling a house is to be honest, and try to help buyers figure out if the house is right for them. Once homeowners focus on the buyer’s and what they need when they show the house, they will notice that buyers are more interested in the house. This is because everyone wants to buy something from an honest person, whether it’s a car, house or a cat litter box.