Home Selling Tips to Make Your House More Attractive to Buyers

Remember, first impressions count when selling real estate, which is why it is important to make your home stand out. There are several simple and basic things you can to do to sell your home.

Increase Curb Appeal

Landscaping can make a powerful impact to curb appeal. With spring on the way, there are several easy things you can do to make your home appealing from the outside.

1) Mow your yard with diagonal rows to make your yard appear larger.

2) Edge the lawn along driveways and sidewalks. This will show the buyer that you care and pay attention to detail.

3) Transplant tulips or other spring flowers near the walkway or anywhere in the front. Use bright colors, especially yellow because it stimulates happiness. Consider container plants also in groups of three to five and place near the entrance.

Home Staging

Stage your house as a home potential buyers can imagine themselves in. Remove extra furniture that clutters the space and arrange with maximum impact. This is a technique that model homes have been using successfully for many years.

When potential home buyers visit your home, remove all clutter and store out of sight (e.g. children toys from the family room, bills/mail/papers from the den, or make-up/products/appliances from the bathrooms).

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Another thing you can do is to paint your walls white (or a neutral color) if they are not already. A fresh coat of paint will make everything look cleaner and white walls let the potential home buyer imagine their own personal style in the home instead of yours. White walls also make every room feel bigger. Avoid dark colors which can discourage a buyer if they do not like the color and makes the room look smaller.

Pay Attention to Details

Remember to do the little things to make your house stand out. Details matter. Here are a few examples:

1) Wash the windows inside and out. Clean all the mirrors.

2) Set out fresh flowers with a clean and inviting smell.

3) Polish hard wood floors to shine and vacuum right before any showing.

4) Offer a shoe mat at the entrance and even an umbrella stand. This will encourage prospective buyers and agents to remove their shoes and help keep your floors looking great.

5) Fluff pillows and put out fresh towels in bright colors. Even consider replacing these items because they are inexpensive and can add interest to a room.

Staging Your Home For Autumn and Halloween

Your efforts to sell your home this fall season can be aided by some simple decorating that reflects autumn and/or the popular holiday of Halloween. Some effective touches can not only ’round out’ your staging; they can also encourage potential buyers to imagine decorating the home themselves by creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

The first rule of Halloween decorating is: don’t go overboard! You’re staging your home, not throwing a Halloween party. No skeletons, NO fake blood and nothing that is meant to jump out and startle people! You want people to enjoy their tour of your home; not have a heart attack when the fake bat drops onto their head.

A fall staging theme can be as simple as warm fall colors being featured in the decor. Or, it can be tastefully elaborate, with some kind of decoration in every room that ‘ties’ the rooms together.

In homage to the holiday, you can use pumpkins and the small pumpkin-like gourds to accent your porch, tables and mantelpieces. Pumpkins are definitely an attention getter, both in terms of size and color. Use them wisely.

If you decide to carve your pumpkins, make sure that they are carved in harmless, “happy” expressions, if they have faces. One idea is to use your jack-o-lanterns to highlight the numbers of your address. Or, you could carve a tiny house into one.

If you do decide to go the jack-o-lantern route, use candle substitutes. The last thing you want is to find the perfect buyer, only to have your home burn to the ground because a candle fell over. Flameless flickering lights are available cheaply from local stores, especially around Halloween.

Flowers and plants are popular with home stagers and you can make them work for you. Chrysanthemums and dried leaves are good fall choices for the home stager. A vase of these in a room can provide some attractive natural color that calls to mind the crisp warmth of fall. Planting hardy fall flowers like mums can also add some color to an otherwise fading garden.

One idea for home showing is have business cards printed up with a picture of your home and contact information. Tie these to Halloween candy bags and put them in a fall/Halloween themed bowl for prospective buyers.

Halloween and fall provide you with a great decorating scheme to bring your house together with warm, inviting colors and decorations that reflect the fall harvest/Halloween season. This can help prospective buyers imagine decorating your home for their seasonal celebrations and encourage them to think of your home as their own.

How to Sell Your Property Privately?

Looking to sell your home without an agent? Yes, it is possible to sell a property privately. When you sell without an agent, you save on the commission to be paid which can be exorbitant. But is it easy to sell on your own?

Well! The answer to this is that selling a home on your own is quite an easy process but it requires your dedicated time and efforts. If you are willing to do it, it will be beneficial for you!

Benefits of selling a home privately:

• You do not have to share your profits with anyone

Since you are selling the property without hiring an agent you do not have to a commission which is a percentage of the total sales amount.

• You are in control of the sales process.

When an agent sells your property, he has the control over the process. On the other hand, when you sell your property privately, you have control over the entire sales process.

• You have the flexibility to arrange viewings as per your convenience.

• You can negotiate a price you deem right.

How to sell your property privately?

De-clutter

Clear up your home to remove any articles of personal nature.

Inspect

Inspect your home for any faults or defects and correct them.

Home-staging

It is decorating your home to attract buyers. You could consider professional home-staging services. Home-staging not only attracts buyers but also helps your property fetch a better price.

Price your property

Accurate pricing of your property is important for selling it quickly. For this, you could research the prices of similar properties on the internet. You can also consider taking the services of a professional evaluator.

List your property

List your home on a reliable, high-visibility property portal. This will ensure that it reaches a large number of potential buyers. You could also consider multiple listing to enhance your reach. It also helps to promote your listing on social media channels to increase its exposure.

Connect with potential buyers

Potential property buyers will connect with you directly after viewing the listing.

Arrange Viewings

Arrange visits for your potential buyers to view your property. You have the flexibility to arrange the viewings at mutually convenient timings.

Negotiate

You are the owner of the property and you can decide what price you want to sell it. You can negotiate the price directly with the buyer.

Close the deal

Close the deal with all the necessary documentation. You can consider hiring a legal expert to scrutinize the documents.

These are the basic steps for selling your property privately.

Flip Checklist Budget – What You Need to Include on Your Budget for House Flipping

Many people are enticed into house flipping by television images of people ripping materials out of a dilapidated house, refurbishing it, and selling it for a substantial profit. The profit realized from each flip can be modest or substantial – or the investor could lose everything depending on decisions made before or during the process.

My house flipping budget checklist

Before you go shopping for the perfect rehab-to-flip property, you need to create a budget for the entire project, not just the purchase and rehab expenses.

The first item on your check list does not have direct monetary value and cannot be added into the expenses column. However, it is an important “ingredient” to your budget: an excellent credit score. Unless you are funding a flip entirely with cash or through private means, an excellent credit score works in your favor with the banks – especially when the loan is for a high-risk project like a house flip.

Now, let’s look at the specifics of your budget:

• The After Repair Value (ARV): determining the ARV of your potential flip is the starting point on which you can base your expected return on investment (ROI) when the house is put on the market. A trusted realtor can help you estimate the ARV of the property.

• Rehab costs: these will vary widely depending on how much rehab work needs to be done. A budget repair form can be handy for tracking all the repairs needed.

• Financing/carrying costs: these include not only the loan but also the costs of carrying the house until it is sold:

o Financing loan(s)

o Property taxes

o Utilities (gas, water, electric)

o Property insurance

o HOA/Condo fees

An important point to note here is that the longer the rehab work takes and/or the longer the post-rehab house stays on the market, the greater your carrying costs and the lesser profit you may realize.

• Realtor’s fees: you can sell your flipped house yourself (FSOB – For Sale by Owner) but if you are looking for the fastest turnaround on your investment – and profit – relying on a good real estate agent is worth the commission fee (and actually helps you save money on your flip project in the long run).

• Forgotten costs: these are additional expenses of house flipping that are often overlooked, including:

o Inspection fees

o Interest on loans

o Contingencies

o Closing costs

One experienced house flipper’s average budget was broken into these cost percentages:

• 53.25% = Purchase Price

• 20% = Labor

• 6.5% = Materials

• 8% = Carrying costs, utilities, commissions, etc.

• 12.25% = Profit

Realistic budgeting = reduced risk

There is nothing that can completely eliminate the risks inherent in house flipping but creating a realistic budget is one of the key ways to mitigate some of that risk. Another way to “manage” some of the risk is to become as thoroughly knowledgeable about house flipping before you make your first investment. And a final way to manage risk is to follow the old adage and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Best wishes for your house flipping success!

How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search

13 Strategies to SEO Optimize Your Local Business Website

If you run a store-front business or offer a service that is within a specific local-based geographic area, then you will want to focus your marketing efforts on getting in front of local traffic.

Since many marketing initiatives are of a more global nature that don’t help you at all, there’s actually a few specific things you can do to ensure you get visible in front of the local people that you want to attract to your business.

Aside from using targeted Facebook and Google Ads, local search optimization can help your business be found in searches when people are looking for a business likes yours in their area.

So what can you do to get your website to rank better for local search?

Here’s 13 techniques to improve your rankings locally:

  1. Make a list of local regions you’d like to rank for: This will include your city, your major metropolitan area, county, and province or state. Think about the neighbouring towns that your business can also service in addition to your own. Then create long-tail keyword phrases for each of these. For example instead of optimizing for “home staging”, you can optimize for several phrases including:”Yourcityhere home staging” “Yourmetroregionhere home staging”, “YourCountyhere home staging”, “Yourregionhere home staging” etc.
  2. Add your business address at the footer of your website in text: This not only acts as a clue that shows Google you are a local business but also shows your website visitors that they are in the right place. Showing your location and the areas served on your website is vital for localized businesses. It’s also a good idea to embed a dynamic Google Map for good measure and ease of customers finding your location.
  3. Add a link to your business on Google Maps: Check to see if your business is showing up on Google Maps and if not, add a submission to have it included. Not only will this serve to help customers find directions to your place, but it’s also another marker that tells Google where you are locally.
  4. Write a web page or blog post dedicated to each local keyword phrase: Using the keywords and geographic locations throughout your website is also important for the search engines to keep you top of mind in their search results. I’m not a huge fan of this technique as it can crowd your website but you can create a local keyword phrase-based web page or blog post for each page including each service you offer to give those rankings a boost. Avoid adding these pages to the primary navigation if possible; however, they do still need to link back to your website home page in order to get indexed.
  5. Optimize each web page to rank well for the keyword you are targeting: Put the keyword phrase in several spots in the wording and coding of your website pages including:
    • Meta keyword and description tags
    • File name or URL of the page. For example: best-home-staging-Abbotsford.HTML
    • Header of the page within an H1 tag
    • Sub headers of the page within H2 and H3 tags
    • File names of graphics used on the page
    • Hyperlinked text containing the keyword phrase, ideally located in the first and last paragraph of the page
    • Header tag using the keyword phrase at the end of the page
  6. Regularly write and post new local content: Adding new content to a website, especially as a blog post, is important for all websites. Making that new content location-based with your keywords in it makes it even more valuable. This could be a press release about things you are doing in the community. You could do a review of a new local service or product. You can also create a recommended links page that shares information about other complementary local businesses.
  7. Get back links on other local business sites: Ask other local businesses if you can trade links. When they post a link or recommendation to your website, it improves your own website rankings.
  8. Take and share local pictures: Make a point to take pictures of your business doing things in local places. Name these pictures when you post them to your website or blog with file names including your local keyword phrases. When people go into Google Photo Search and look for “best home stager in Abbotsford,” if you have a photo with that file name, your image will come up at the top.
  9. Reference local landmarks: If you are near any major landmarks, reference them on your website. For example if someone is typing “bedroom lamp shop near Grand Central Station” if you have that referenced on your website you can come up in Google searches for that phrase.
  10. Use Alt tags: Make sure all the images used on your website have local keyword phrase file names and alt tags.
  11. Create an XML map or Site Map: This makes it easier for Google to spider all the pages of your website.
  12. Manually submit your website to local and niche directories: Using local directories and major directories with local listings is invaluable to getting your local business found. Directories such as Yelp, Foresquare. Moz, Hotfrog and Houzz are great places to start. Create a full profile and be sure to add lots of pictures.
  13. Use Review Sites: Leverage the power of review sites. Create free business accounts with some of the big reviews sites like Yellow Pages, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, etc. and encourage happy customers and regulars to write reviews about your business. Good reviews can go a long way with your customers and the search engines

Once you have optimized your website for local SEO, there are other off-site methods you can follow to boost your local search results as well. So take the time to review your website and add local keywords, links, content and images and you’ll be on your way to getting more local customers.