Tag Archives: Selling Your Home

How to Sell Your Home before the New Year

ddfIf you’ve been trying to sell your home with little success, you may be feeling a bit of angst over the approaching winter months.  As most buyers and sellers are aware, the peak selling season for real estate happens during the spring and summer; however, while most industries tend to slow a bit during the holiday season (unless we’re speaking about retailers), the cooler temperatures are not an automatic death sentence for your home.

Plain and simple, there are some definite advantages to selling your home during the fall and winter, especially if you account for the fact that the internet knows no boundaries—or rather, no seasons.  Just as you’re reading this blog online, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of potential buyers utilizing the internet to search for their next home in your area.

With that being said, as the holiday season approaches, we generally become a bit more bogged down with family functions and travel plans, which certainly puts a limit on the amount of spare time we have in our schedules.  Hence, as a seller, it’s worth remembering that a large number of the house hunters on the market from October through January are serious about their desire to find a new home.  When most of us would simply put a halt to the buying process until life slows down after the New Year, dedicated buyers will stay the course.

From here, when it comes to showing your house and making it look as appealing as possible, you simply cannot go wrong with the warmth of holiday decorations and the emotional pull of strings of lights and freshly baked cookies.  Long-story-short, buyers tend to make home purchases based upon emotion, especially when they can envision their life within your home, so there’s no better time to make an emotional connection with your buyers than during the holiday season.

Still, if you’ve reached a point where selling your home is simply what needs to be done regardless of the season, then there’s really no reason to apply the brakes simply because the temperature has taken a dive.

Therefore, if you’re serious about selling before the end of the year, I can help.  With consistently high sales numbers and one of the most recognizable names in the Forsyth County real estate market, I know how to make the holiday season work for you.

Please contact me for more information.  I’d love to hear from you.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor

iStock_000000849291_Large1If you’re looking to buy your first home, chances are good that you may not have had a lot of prior experience in the real estate market.  Aside from the fact that the entire prospect of purchasing a home is daunting to most people, it can be even more confusing if you are not sure of the differences between a standard real estate agent and a REALTOR.  While it’s common to use both terms somewhat interchangeably, there are actually variances between the two titles that separate them from each other.

Yes, both are licensed to sell real estate; however, one is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means they are bound by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.  As a consumer, it’s not surprising that you may be wondering what this means since the idea of a code of ethics is somewhat arbitrary, but it’s important to note that the code which bounds each member of the National Association of REALTORS® is strictly enforced.

In short, The Code contains 17 articles, as well as certain Standards of Practice that bind REALTORS in a way that does not impact individuals who simply hold a real estate license.  While it’s impossible to guarantee that all REALTORS will adhere to the standards at all times, The Code exists as a way to regulate and require ethical behavior.

While it should be noted that this in no way means that non-member real estate agents fail to be ethically-minded, it’s important to realize that most REALTORS take their promises very seriously.

To help aid in your understanding, the 17 REALTOR promises are as follows:

  1. Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
  2. Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.
  3. Shall cooperate with other brokers / agents when it is in the best interests of the client to do so.
  4. Have a duty to disclose if they represent family members who own or are about to buy real estate, or if they themselves are a principal in a real estate transaction, that they are licensed to sell real estate.
  5. Shall not provide professional services in a transaction where the agent has a present or contemplated interest without disclosing that interest.
  6. Shall not collect any commissions without the seller’s knowledge nor accept fees from a third-party without the seller’s express consent.
  7. Shall refuse fees from more than one party without all parties’ informed consent.
  8. Shall not co-mingle client funds with their own.
  9. Shall attempt to ensure that all written documents are easy to understand and will give everybody a copy of what they sign.
  10. Shall not discriminate in any fashion for any reason on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
  11. Expects agents to be competent, to conform to standards of practice and to refuse to provide services for which they are unqualified.
  12. Must engage in truth in advertising.
  13. Shall not practice law unless they are a lawyer.
  14. Shall cooperate if charges are brought against them and present all evidence requested.
  15. Agree not to bad mouth competition and agree not to file unfounded ethics complaints.
  16. Shall not solicit another REALTOR’S client nor interfere in a contractual relationship.
  17. Shall submit to arbitration to settle matters and not seek legal remedies in the judicial system.

If you’d like to learn more or are interested in buying or selling a home, I’d love to show you what makes REALTORS so great.  Please feel free to contact me at my direct number below.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.MarieDinsmore.com | 770-712-7789

How to Decorate Your For-Sale Home at Halloween

decoracion-de-halloweenOne of the most important aspects of marketing your home involves the removal of clutter.  Plain and simple, buyers want to see a blank canvas of sorts, where they don’t have to look past piles of magazines and clusters of family photos to see your beautiful counters, etc.  Disorganization and chaos can be a deal breaker, so when it comes to working towards a sale during the Halloween “season,” you don’t want to put up an abundance of holiday decorations after you’ve spent time making your home as ordered and neat as possible.

That’s not to say that buyers don’t love the look of rich fall flowers and beautiful orange pumpkins.  Most will appreciate seasonal touches that bring warmth into your home; however, no matter how much you LOVE prepping for and celebrating Halloween, it’s important to temper the compulsion to turn your home into something akin to the Adams’ family manor.

When selecting the right decorations, don’t forget to factor safety into the equation.  Halloween means trick-or-treating children, so make a point to keep your walkway clean and well-lit.  From there, while you may pride yourself in the spooky graveyard that resides in your front lawn each year, you may want to hold off on adding the tombstones until next October—at your new home.

Remember, fall flowers, not zombies.  Hand-made wreathes, not cob webs.  Orange ribbons, not fake blood.  If you follow these rules, then you also won’t be stuck in a position where you have to scramble to take everything down on November 1st.  Fall flowers and pumpkins are suitable for Thanksgiving as well.

If, however, you find that you simply MUST put up scary decorations or go-all-out with the witches and ghosts, their time on display needs to be minimal at best—think October 30th-November 1st or 2nd.  Your goal this year is to attract buyers, so keep that in mind if you find yourself feeling a bit restrained.

There’s always next year!  If you have any questions or would like some information about listing your home during the autumn season, I would love to help.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

The Future: Selling Your Home Online?

the-edrms-new-computer-assisted-review-reference-model-explainedYears ago, before the dot-com era really took off, I remember laughing as companies started listing their web addresses at the end of each commercial.  I simply couldn’t believe that all of these businesses were getting online and when it came to being able to actually make purchases with the click of a button, I was amazed.

In the 15-20 years since then, we’ve watched as the world has changed into a connected web of physical storefronts and virtual corporations.  As we’ve gained the ability to be online at any time, we’ve found ourselves trying to balance the good with the bad.

In regards to the real estate industry, the internet has made it easier for consumers to not only look for homes, but to engage with agents and other professionals without leaving the house; however, a line has always been drawn between finding a home online and actually purchasing a home online.  Generally speaking, the brick and mortar business of real estate—with real estate agents at the helm—continues to be the norm.

Still, according to a recent CNBC article, the U.S. market may be primed for a new wave of online-only real estate agents who have found success in the U.K.  Companies like eMoov and HouseSimple have gained a footing through streamlined systems which allow them to charge lower fees for selling a home.

However, after speaking with the National Association of Realtors, the article’s author was told that Americans should be leery of making the transition into a purely digital real estate market, especially since purchasing a home is a lot more complex than “clicking ‘buy’ on a website, like you’d do when purchasing an airline ticket.”

They also make a point to stress the fact that while online companies may save sellers money, they are lacking in their ability to fully understand local markets and will have a hard time helping consumers navigate each step of the transaction process.

At the end of the day, the U.S. real estate industry is all about forging personal connections and providing personal attention.  Utilizing the services of an agent who not only has knowledge about the buying and selling process, but the local area is important if you’re hoping to get the best deal possible.

Yes, the internet has a unique affinity for making things simple when it comes to purchasing a product from anywhere in the world; however, how easy is it to make contact if you have an issue with that product once you’ve purchased it?  The problem with the impersonal nature of dealing with online corporations is that you’re doing business with people who have no real ties to you, your life, or your community.

The vitality of a local real estate agent is often based upon personal referrals, which means your best interests remain the primary concern.  This will not be the case with an online-only agent or company, so it’s worth questioning whether you want to place $200,000+ to someone who has no real ties to your life.

At this point in time, the U.S. market has yet to see a rise in these types of companies, but the wave is coming and homeowners need to be prepared for what types of changes they can expect to see within the industry.

If you’re looking to sell your current property or are on the hunt for something new, I would love give you the personal attention you deserve.  Please contact me for more information.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Home Showing Checklist: Overlooked Spaces

clean-and-welcoming-foyer-entrywayWhen it comes to staging your home for potential buyers, it’s easy to focus a large majority of your attention on the “money making” rooms in your home—i.e. kitchen, master bath, living room.  However, there’s something to be said for lavishing a bit of your attention on the understated supporting players in your home.

After all, buyers aren’t simply purchasing your kitchen—they’re purchasing the whole package, which means they’ll expect to see a fluid, clean concept throughout your home.  Therefore, pay close attention to the following “second-stringer” checklist.  It may just help you sell your home sooner rather than later.

MAKE AN ENTRANCE.  If your home has a foyer, make a point to show it off!  Feel free to include little touches such as coat hooks for visitors, a vase of flowers, or a table with bottles of water for potential buyers.  In essence, your entrance is for receiving guests, so your goal should be to create a welcoming atmosphere.

KEEP THE MUD OUT OF THE MUDROOM.  Yes, the ultimate purpose of a mudroom is to provide an area where you can remove items—such as shoes and rain coats—that may have gotten dirty in the great outdoors; however, while buyers will most likely understand this, they won’t want to see remnants of your last hiking venture.

Therefore, your goal is to show buyers how organized life can be in your home.  Add cubbies and shelves to hold things like running shoes and winter gloves, and make a point to install wall hooks for discarded coats and book bags.  Make a point to add a colorful rug that can catch dirt before it’s tracked into the house and don’t be afraid to play up the walls with a bright coat of paint.  Neutrals should be the goal throughout the rest of the house, but the mudroom is one area that will handle a bold color quite nicely.

SHOW OFF AN UNFINISHED BASEMENT’S POTENTIAL.  While you may not have taken the time to finish your basement, that doesn’t mean potential buyers won’t.  Plain and simple, an unfinished basement is a blank canvass and many buyers will see it for what it is—a vessel for increasing their home’s value.

Therefore, instead of shoving all of your spare clutter into a haphazard pile in the basement and assuming buyers will understand, make sure things are organized and consider utilizing the services of a good contractor who can provide an estimate for finishing the space.  Buyers like to know what they can expect, so they’ll likely appreciate a little knowledge on how much it will cost them if they decide to make a future renovation.

MAKE USE OF YOUR PORCH.  The front porch is back in style, so if you’re lucky enough to have more than just a front stoop, make a point to stage it for potential buyers.  Everyone loves a comfy porch chair, so consider adding some seating space next to a colorful outdoor rug and a small table with a pitcher of lemonade or apple cider (depending upon the season).  At the end of the day, buyers will remember the refreshment!

DECLUTTER THE GARAGE.  Yes, we know—you park your cars in there (or just use it for storage), which means we’re likely to find a host of oil stains, leaves, and dirt; however, while no one expects your garage to be a spotless vehicle showroom, it still needs to be accessible.  Make a point to organize any sports equipment, tools, and lawn care necessities, and spend a bit of time sweeping excess debris back outside.

CONCLUSION

It’s often said that success is in the details and selling your home is no different.  By assuming that buyers “will understand” or won’t care about accumulated dirt and clutter in certain areas of your home, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult real estate experience.  A quick sale requires a solid showing throughout your home, so make a point to target those oft-overlooked areas.

If you’d like some advice or assistance, I’d be more than happy to offer my expertise.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

Please let us know if there are other resources you'd like to see.

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789