Tuesday, February 26 2013
You are doing some serious house-hunting.
You’ve been Googling ‘newest local listings’, but when you click on the most popular sites, somehow the ‘newest local listings’ are the same ones you’ve seen before. Worse, some of them turn out to have been sold! Or the price was wrong! Or the agent isn’t even the agent anymore!
What is going on? Doesn’t Google (or Bing, or Yahoo!) promise to show you sites with the newest listings in Evansville? How can the most popular sites (at the top of their results page: Zillow, Realty.com, Trulia) be showing ‘newest listings’ that were sold last month? Or contact numbers that take you to an answering machine that never calls back?
The answer is not mysterious, but it can take a while to catch on. The top of the search engine results pages show the biggest national real estate sites because they target the national audience (and pay huge amounts to the search engines!). Hundreds of thousands of house-hunters click on them all the time because everyone in the country sees them first.
The disappointment comes because of the near impossibility of their keeping current in every locality in the U.S. They can’t keep up with the avalanche of changes: changes in the asking price; changes in the listing agent; changes in availability. That becomes obvious when your contacts return a ‘home under contract,’ or ‘property sold,’ or – infuriatingly -- silence.
The good news is that the solution is just a couple of lines lower on those Bing or Google search results. Serious buyers do figure it out eventually, and look down the search engine listings to find a web address that looks more like it connects with a local real estate brokerage. That leads to listings overseen by local businesspeople who deal every day with the homes their pages show. When they change, local agents know it first.
Even better for you, you’re already here – a click away from what you are looking for – and just one click more from my invitation to visit the newest listings in Evansville! You can search all area listings here: http://thetrentiniteam.com/property_search
Friday, February 22 2013
The importance of kitchens to prospective homebuyers is something that never seems to change. If you are preparing to bring your home onto the market anytime soon, you’ve probably been thinking about how to make your listing as attractive as possible. Odds are good that updating your kitchen (with an attractive photo or two) is somewhere near the top of your to-do list. An inviting kitchen rivals curb appeal in creating a superior MLS listing, so if you’re noodling a remodel of your home’s core, you will be interested in these trends for 2013.
About that linoleum from the 1970’s: it’s time to say good-bye. Kitchen experts agree that hardwood floors remain a hot kitchen remodeling trend…and there are a few fresh twists we can expect to start appearing more frequently in local listings. Interior designer Cami Weinstein says, "I am starting to see lighter shades of wood floors again - something that hasn't been seen in a while.” The washed-wood floors are back from the 80’s and 90’s -- but with wider planks and hand scraping that creates a less formal, beachy feel.
Award-winning designer Kathleen Donohue points to a newer trend: re-facing cabinets rather than replacing them. People are watching their spending, and simply re-facing (the process of simply changing cabinet doors while maintaining the original cabinet structure) is a much less expensive option than total rebuilding. Freeing up remodeling dollars is a definite plus.
Adding to the trend toward thrift-consciousness, expect kitchen features that do double-duty – conserving precious kitchen space in the process. Examples are microwaves that double as second ovens and/or warming drawers, and refrigerators with convertible drawers that can act as fridge, freezer, or wine fridge. Either should be a great selling feature in local MLS listings. Especially if your home has a smaller kitchen, multi-taskers like those are valuable ideas.
Spring, 2013 is shaping up as a great time to sell. I offer complimentary and confidential evaluations all the time, so if you’re considering listing your home this year, give me a call… we can start in the kitchen! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234.