Tuesday, November 25 2014
If you had to come up with a single characteristic that the most effective home listings have in common, there are several good candidates:
A really well-crafted listing catches your eye with superior photography, for sure. But that’s not possible with every property. Good photographers know how to select the best angles, use light effectively, and eliminate distracting details (or at least downplay them). But since all homes aren’t equally photogenic, there are built-in limits to how even the most skillful listing creator can count on visuals to make a listing stand out.
Careful attention to detail is common in superior listings. The best listings don’t skimp on the details, or on brief adjectives that further enhance them—especially when they serve to differentiate a home from the pack. You can test this for yourself by scanning through some of today’s listings in Evansville. The best ones often have one or two relatively insignificant details that give a property character; that make it memorable. “Spacious walk-in closet” may not be nearly as important as “completely remodeled kitchen,” but for a certain number of prospective buyers, that can turn out to be the one detail that strikes a responsive chord (and creates a mental note to check this one out!).
Descriptions that employ proven advertising principles almost always make superior listings. One standby: arouse curiosity (headline writers are experts at this). An example might be “Brick barbecue center.” ‘What the heck is that?’ prospective buyers will ask themselves. Even if outdoor cooking isn’t even on their list of priorities, they might not be able to resist scheduling a home tour to find out…and sometimes a buyer is created!
But if I had to pick the one single characteristic most likely to be found in truly effective local listings, it would be this: The best listings in some way tell a story—add character to the cold facts. They stand out from other listings by engaging more of the reader’s imagination than others which are merely an illustrated bunch of data.
The ‘story’ may be a phrase that hints at a property’s interesting past: its historical origin or that of the neighborhood; a prominent previous owner; or an unusual construction history. For a fixer-upper, the story might be an expansive invitation to imagine how a creative Do-It-Yourselfer will be able to transform the property. For a luxury listing, the story might be an appeal to experience the full array of lavish trappings as the suitable reward for the accomplishments of a lifetime. The story may be fleshed out or merely hinted at by a well-worded phrase—but when listings contain the elements of a story, they add memorability.
Creating a stand-out listing is only one of the many elements that go into a successful home-selling campaign. I hope you will give me a call when it comes time to get your own home into the hands of a new owner! You can reach me on my cell phone: 812-499-9234 or email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, April 07 2014
With spring in the air, you don’t have to have your home for sale to catch the spring cleaning bug. Whether or not you’ve been cooped up inside for a longer-than-usual siege of the wintertime blues, as soon as the weather turns the corner, there seems to be a natural urge to open the windows and start freshening your place up.
Spring also brings the traditional hot selling season, and if you’re among those getting ready to list your own home for sale to take advantage of it, you’ll want to add extra attention to the traditional cleanup. Home for sale or not, you can channel some of your annual sprucing-up energy with one of these light renovation ideas. Each can add new zest to your living areas without breaking the bank:
You don’t have to be planning to list your home for sale in Evansville to make 2014’s spring cleaning efforts a self-satisfying success. And if you’re planning to list, I have a host of other preparation tips…and a marketing plan designed to bring top results! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, October 16 2013
In Evansville's competitive housing market, shrewdly targeting which (if any) renovations to make prior to listing your home can sharply affect not only its DOM (days on market), but the price it ultimately brings. After making any obviously needed repairs any that would be standout deficiencies left untended you must still decide, what else?
Of the welter of possibilities you could choose before your property appears in the local listings, recent studies show some renovations have the greatest impact on selling prices.
An inviting outside entertainment area is a significant plus for many prospects, so the addition of a wooden deck heads the list. A deck is relatively quick and easy to install, so when Remodeling Magazine reports a 77% return at sale, being able to add “entertainment deck” seems an economical way to add appeal to any listing. If you already have a deck, you might consider expanding or improving it.
Since the kitchen is the heart of a home, even a modest improvement like freshening up cabinets or upgrading an appliance or two can make a dramatic impact on salability. If your home is already priced at the high end of the market, simply adding granite countertops is an investment that's not likely to add significantly to the bottom line...whereas the return on minor kitchen improvements is measured in the neighborhood of 75%.
For an older home, changing out questionable windows with new, environmentally advanced ones can create a listing feature that's ads appeal to utility cost-conscious home buyers. Window replacement is a quick fix; and if you already have newer windows, an upgrade to siding can add one fewer thing potential buyers find to worry about...and one more reason to choose your offering.
Such easy fixes are ways to increase the instant appeal of your listing without severely denting your pocketbook. Being conscious of the way your listing compares with others in town will put you ahead of the pack. Another way: call me for more ideas to make your home an irresistible buy! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, June 25 2013
On Thursday, Bloomberg’s online news service confirmed what we had been hearing in more general terms: “Sales of previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast in May…and prices jumped, indicating more progress for residential real estate.” Agents here in Evansville would also not have been surprised at the national surge in selling prices “by the most since October 2005”. If you were already inclined to sell your own home, it looks more and more as if this summer will be a propitious time to jump on the opportunity.
As real estate agents gear up to maximize the market’s improvement, homeowners are also weighing some of the more popular alternatives for boosting valuations when it comes to selling —
Even if you do not intend to sell, a little extra money invested in your home may be a dollar-wise idea. Thoughtful investments can enrich your own living experience AND attract higher prices when the time comes to move on. If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Evansville, call me today to go over other improvement ideas. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, May 15 2013
If you are readying your home for sale this spring or summer, one of my favorite tactics to set your property apart from other area listings is to order a pre-inspection. If you’re not familiar with the term, a pre-inspection is a less detailed, less expensive visual inspection designed to report major conditions certain to be noted in the final. Why add this extra expense? Won’t buyers ultimately get their own inspection?
Yes, they will. But the purpose is not to replace a final inspection — it’s to attract more offers and hasten a final sale by minimizing re-negotiation.
Picture yourself as a prospective buyer. Listings which headline the availability of a pre-inspection report automatically seem to be offered by someone who is proud of their property’s condition and unafraid of what the final inspection will reveal. To skittish prospective buyers, it serves to lessen the "fear of the unknown" that can make buyers hesitate before writing an offer. If there were a formula, it would look something like:
Eliminating objections = Attracting more offers
Pre-inspected listings let you document major conditions that have either been addressed or left for the future owner to remediate as he or she sees fit. By noting how your asking price includes precise dollar allowances for named conditions, you display openness and conviction in the basis for your pricing. Local listings written after a pre-inspection are a lot more likely minimize last-minute re-negotiation: if you have ever been asked at the last minute to knock off $20k from an accepted offer, you know the value of that.
It is worth noting that any serious defects that a pre-inspection identify must be disclosed, for better or for worse. But fear of a major discovery shouldn’t dissuade you: any major defect will certainly be discovered by the buyer’s inspector. The old saying applies: knowledge IS power. You also have the option to repair the defects and let the buyer know that repairs have already been made.
If you plan to add your own property to the local listings any time this year, my job is to see that it brings you top dollar. Contact me today to talk over the way we will get that done! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, March 14 2013
When real estate occupies most of your day (as it certainly does mine), you find yourself receiving no end of information. Some summarize points of view that are available elsewhere; some provide original information that isn’t particularly relevant to our local market.
One piece that gets more than the usual quick-scan-then-into-the-recycle-bin treatment is the HPI Data Report. It comes in once each month from the demographers at CoreLogic ®. This group knows what they are talking about: among other things, they collect the most comprehensive property database in the U.S.
Last week was relatively quiet on the news front, so when they checked in, I was able to give their report a thorough going-over. What I found:
Holy smoke! Prices of homes for sale nationwide made the biggest year-over-year increase in seven years!
Yikes! Year-over-year, even including distressed sales, prices of homes for sale jumped by an average 9.7% That’s just a whisker short of double-digits!
Good golly! Those homes for sale price jumps were taking place everywhere — in 49 out of the 51 states (the only exceptions were Illinois and Delaware).
One more exclamation! (I’ve run out): As if the trend direction isn’t already crystal clear, this represents the 11th consecutive monthly increase.
As we prepare for our area’s spring selling season, it’s noteworthy how much this year promises to be a notch up from even last year’s —already a noticeable improvement.
If you have a property that is a good candidate to join this spring’s complement of homes for sale, now is a good time to give me a call. Rising prices mean that the buyers are out there! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, March 12 2013
Last week, Evansville home sellers saw more than the usual number of reasons to look forward to this spring’s local home sales selling season. It looked like the opposite of the lengthy real estate “Perfect Storm” that caused freefall across the national landscape.
Signs pointed to the possibility that we may be headed into the opposite market conditions. Webster’s Dictionary says the opposite of ‘storm’ is ‘calm’ – but I don’t think you would callEvansville’s home sales outlook a “Perfect Calm.” Far from it!
Some of the signs:
- Falling Inventory. Per the NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report, there’s a nation-wide shortage of total inventory. By the end of January, it had fallen another 4.9%: lowest in seven years. Raw unsold inventory hasn’t been this low in 14 years! Our current month’s inventory is 7.13 months, meaning it would take 7.13 months to sell all listings.
- Rising Demand. Per last week’s National Association of Home Builders’ News and Alerts bulletin, “housing demand continues to return.” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, pointing to buyer traffic that is up 40% over a year ago, states flatly, “We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”
- Buyer Attitude. Also last week, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed a rebound from January. The ‘Present Situation’ index rose sharply (from 56.2 to 63.3). This remains the only less-than-stellar point of contention, I think one area could be a tipoff to gathering strength: the proportion of those expecting their income to rise is now growing, those expecting the opposite, falling.
If this spring turns out to be the opposite of a Perfect Storm for local home sales, will conditions improve further? Should sellers wait? The falling inventory measure might suggest otherwise. If the NAR’s appraisal is correct, now that these trends are consolidating, “…it would seem likely more inventory would come to market.”
If you are a local home seller who’s been waiting and watching for the right moment to enter the Evansville home sales listings, I hope you will consider giving me a call soon. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, February 12 2013
“Mansion” is the Wall Street Journal’s entry into the high-end real estate magazine world. Well, not quite a magazine -- it’s an extra section they run on Fridays. It’s a nice diversion for those who want to read about really rich people selling their properties. More than that, it could actually be an important source of information if you decide to buy a vineyard in the middle of Los Angeles (Bel-Air, actually -- that one was featured last week).
It was another article that caught my eye on Friday, though; one that dealt with a topic we agents have long debated. The article was headlined “THE BEST DAY TO LIST A HOME IS…”. It summarized an elaborately executed study by a national brokerage revealing hard statistics on which day of the week is best for launching your listing. The author, Sanette Tanaka, brought up several ways to look at the question. While her focus was, of course, national, the unspoken allure was to zero in on which day will maximize our Evansville listing results.
I bet you want to know the answer, so here it is: …(drum roll, please) --
Friday. Houses listed on Friday spent the fewest days on market (2 fewer than Thursday, 7 fewer than the most ho-hum day for listing, Sunday).
But, reading further, there is a problem. Listing on Tuesday brought in the most requests for house tours -- by 8 thousandths of one percent over Thursday. For drawing house tours, Friday faded into the pack…
All of which points to something experienced agents already know: statistics are helpful, but not to the point where they detract from getting the job done. The best day to publish a listing is as soon as it’s ready – the instant it’s ready! Buyers are constantly combing the listings, and the ideal prospect may be long gone if we hold off for any reason.
If you are ready to sell your home, let's get your listing ready to go now! Our inventory is very low right now which is an added bonus for sellers.
Wednesday, December 19 2012
If you are a homeowner struggling with the decision about whether listing your home for sale during the winter months is good or bad, there are arguments for either choice.
Let’s start with the “pros”:
One of the best things I like about listing your home for sale in the winter months is that the holidays work to your advantage. Nothing says “home” better than a house that is well (and tastefully!) decorated for the holidays. By making sure the decorations accent the house rather than overpower it, you still funnel attention where it belongs: on your house!
Another plus that comes with listing your home in Evansville during the winter months is the logistical reasons that keep the proportion of non-serious “shoppers” from occupying your time. I find that the majority of those who are looking for homes during the winter months are disproportionally intent on actually buying a home.
On the other hand, some of those same logistical forces serve as counterarguments against listing your home during the winter. They are the same reasons many real estate agents tell their clients to wait until the spring to list. It’s true that there are fewer daylight hours for home viewings…not to mention spates of bad weather, and the greater chance that holiday travel will interfere with both buyer and seller schedules.
All in all, I think the arguments cancel each other out: I don’t advise you to allow the time of year to prevent you from listing your home in any season. If you are otherwise ready to sell your home this month or next, I say -- make the most of the season! Who knows – it has happened more than once that the right buyer is out there right now. I have marketing plans for homes that work every month of the year -- if you are ready to sell, I’d be delighted to help you launch your sale this holiday season!
Wednesday, April 04 2012
Once you decide that the time has come to sell your house, Evansville’s open houses are one of the most promising ways for you to show off its fine points. And early spring has long proved to be one of real estate’s peak selling seasons. Despite the fact that April can bring unpredictable weather to Evansville, it’s undeniably prime time to use an open house to market your home.
Open houses are popular for the simple reason that they provide maximum exposure to house-hunters, whether they are casual or more highly motivated. Particularly when a home is occupied, open houses invite easy access to a property, side-stepping all the normal hurdles of appointment making, phone tag, calendar syncing, etc. Since vacant homes are easy to show any time, they tend to get more exposure (especially since prospective buyers frequently phone at the last minute to request a tour).
Open houses are a way to even the competition. Held on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, they provide the easiest way for potential buyers to browse. Prospects can casually pursue their search without having to commit to a day full of appointments. For them and for the seller, it’s a handy tradition.
But what if it turns out to be one of those Evansville rainy days?
Ideally, everyone plans their open houses with a bright, sunny day in mind. But when the clouds gather, you don’t need to let a little inclement weather wreck the opportunity. When it turns gloomy outside, think of it as the perfect opportunity to make your home shine on the inside. Open all the blinds, turn on the lights, throw some upbeat jazz on the stereo, and crank the heat up! Another nice touch (especially if you want to come home to a clean house) will be to place towels or mats by the front door so that attendees can wipe their feet.
Looking to go the extra mile? Provide hot chocolate or hot tea in disposable cups for your agent to offer browsers. At the very least, they’ll be sure to remember your open house!
If you are considering listing your home and are looking for solid marketing support and exposure, today is the day to call me to schedule your consultation…rain or shine! Or why not stop by and meet me in person? The fastest and easiest way to find out open houses in the Evansville area is at http://tinyurl.com/RolandoTrentini