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Selling Your Home? Make It Stand Out July 26, 2006

Posted by Participant in Uncategorized.
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(ARA) – Ask someone in the real estate industry how business has been lately and they’re likely to tell you it has slowed down compared to last year.  With mortgage rates rising, fewer people are in a hurry to move, and houses are staying on the market longer.

As a result of the increase in inventory, sellers are losing their ability to get top dollar.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says pending home sales are already showing signs of leveling out, indicating the housing market is entering a period of stabilization. Existing home sales are projected to drop 6 percent to 6.65 million this year from a record of 7.08 million in 2005.

But if you have to sell anyway because of a move, job relocation or for some other reason, there are steps you can take to make your property stand out from the rest. 

Mark Fortune is a Re/Max Realtor whose territory covers most of Southern California.  He says first impressions are critical. “When you walk up the driveway with a potential buyer, they want to see pride of ownership.  If they don’t feel good about the looks on the outside, they’ll find flaws on the inside too.  It’s critical that your home have curb appeal if you want it to sell,” he says.

That means trimming the trees, resurfacing the driveway, keeping the lawn mowed and the plants well manicured.  Whatever it takes to make it look nicer than the neighboring homes on your street.

Inside, Fortune recommends sellers paint any rooms that need it, replace broken tiles and dirty carpet and remove the clutter.  “You want a potential buyer to feel like they can just move in and take up residence.  Not like they’ll have to do a lot of work to get the home up to their standards,” says Fortune.

Once you’re ready to list your home, seek out an agent who is up on the latest trends.  “Agents used to just put a sign out front, take out an ad in the local paper and wait for people to come.  But the real estate industry has evolved a lot in the past few years and the old ways of doing things no longer suffice,” says Brendan King, chief operating officer at Point2 Technologies, a software technology company specializing in online marketing tools for real estate professionals.  “Online is where people are beginning their search for their new home, and they’re going to a number of different sites for this information.  If you want your home to sell, your listing needs to show up on as many sites as possible.”

Realizing the importance of the Internet, Fortune signed on for the Point2 Agent software about 18 months ago to drive his marketing efforts in that area.  He says he really appreciates having the ability to instantly gain widespread exposure for his listings.

Here’s how the program works.  First the agent’s listings are captured from his or her Point2 Agent website and featured on www.point2homes.com. Then they are automatically syndicated to the most popular real estate search sites, including Google Base, Yahoo! Classifieds, Trulia and Oodle.

Fortune says he also appreciates the feature that allows him to easily put up multiple photos with each listing. According to a survey done by the National Association of Realtors, photos are critical.  Eighty-four percent of consumers surveyed ranked them as the most useful feature in the online home shopping experience.  “Agents who use our software can put up to 25 photos with each of their listings, so potential buyers can get a real good idea of what the house looks like before ever setting foot inside,” says King. 

“I’ve had people call me up from half way across the world to make appointments to see houses they found online.  Multiple photos and solid exposure on the Internet really do a good job of helping sell the property,” says Fortune.

So do the sellers themselves.  When working with a Realtor who uses the Point2 Agent software, homeowners have the unique ability to log in and add personal comments to the listing.  They can tell potential buyers such things as what makes the property unique, how great the neighbors are, information about the schools, etc.

To find a Point2 agent in the region you’re shopping in, or to see what your listing should look like online, log on to www.point2homes.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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