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Medina and Akron Real Estate Blog

Ro Reed

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 42

Thinking Outside the Box

by Ro Reed

If you have been paying any attention to the housing market over the past year and a half, you know there are definitely fewer homes being listed today than in years past.  Heck, even a casual observer has to have noticed far fewer signs in yards on their morning commute.   So, as a real estate agent part of my daily life is dealing with frustrated buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy, but unable to find "the one."  In fact, things are so tight they are having a hard time securing "the runner-up."  

Now more than ever, buyers need an agent who will think outside the box. Luckily, that happens to be a strong suit.  I love brain teasers, logic problems, and definitely enjoy a challenge.  So, in this market, when learning my buyers want a home for "X" amount in just one area, and there is currently nothing on the market, I send out a postcard to homeowners whose homes suit their needs.  And rather than opting for a pre-printed postcard to send out to hundreds proclaiming, "I've got a buyer for your home!" I design a card with a pertinent photo (maybe the subdivision entrance sign) and some personalized text about my buyers. I also research the sales history of each house to make sure it really is a good fit.

Once we have found that home there is a good chance we will be competing against a number of other frustrated buyers who have been searching for months.  While for many sellers "the bottom-line" can be uppermost in their minds, most have a great deal of emotion riding high during the process.  In order to tap into that I always encourage my buyers to write an introductory letter to the sellers.  "Why did you fall in love with their home?" can be a helpful starting place for that letter, and I am often surprised at the prose that comes back to me in pdf form.  Buyers are truly invested in the property and willingly express that to the sellers.  

I have added my own touch to those presentations on occasion (with the buyers' permission, of course) proposing, "So, your daughter is such a cutie...shall we use that to our benefit?" They chuckle and respond, "Absolutely.  Here's a terrific shot of her playing princess."  I know for a fact their lesser bid won because of that picture.  Or the buyers who tapped into the emotion of a home that was part of an estate when they spoke of envisioning their future children playing in the backyard, and promised to build upon all the wonderful loving memories they must have by creating their own for years to come.  The listing agent was quite candid when delivering the surprising acceptance, clearly expressing his own disbelief since we knew they could have countered for much more.  "I told them they should counter but they said they just felt this was the couple who deserved the home and were happy to accept at that price."

If you are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home give me a call today and I will give do my level best to turn your dreams into an address.  

"Soothing" Staging Tips

by Ro Reed

Our homes are filled with little things that annoy or aggravate us all day long.  No, not the kids, not the neighbor’s dog, but tasks that never leave our mental “to-do list.”  You know what I mean:  nicks on the baseboards or chips on the painted wall corners, a loose doorknob, a squeaky door hinge.  Every single day you encounter these things and you say “I’ve gotta take care of that” and you walk away and forget. While you may have momentarily forgotten, you have not let go of that nagging feeling that, on some level, adds to your daily stress.  So, commit to get these little things done…now.  And from here on out, take a few moments to act upon those “to-do” thoughts.  Tip:  If you don’t have time to complete the project immediately, get it started by leaving out a visual reminder.  Set that can of WD-40 right in the middle of the kitchen island so when you do get time you simply pick it up and get it done!

For many years the decorating trend for the master suite has been one of creating a spa like, relaxing environment.  Look for soothing colors; the new neutrals, which are light blues and greens (think aqua and seafoam) can be used as features or accents.  Nothing spruces up these rooms like new bedding and towels.  Nowadays you can purchase some very stylish ensembles without breaking the bank, and there are luxury hotel linens available at the big warehouse stores.  And while you’re at it, pick up some fluffy new pillows. 

Did you know that de-cluttering is also an exercise in de-stressing?  It’s true.  Talk about annoyances:  have you ever thrown something into a closet and closed the door before it could roll out?  If you’re selling, that’s a very bad thing since you’re buyers will undoubtedly open closets.  Being assaulted by falling objects could give the impression of a lack of storage space…or bring a claim against your homeowners’ insurance ;-).  Even if you are staying put, few things are more relaxing than the feeling that comes after organizing a closet, finding long-lost items, and putting things back where they belong.  Remember, without order there is chaos.  

We have little control over many things that add to our daily stress.  Today’s world assaults our senses; our homes are our havens away from that barrage.  Take control of these unconscious stressors you are surrounded by and have some fun decorating along the way.  

Simple Staging

by Ro Reed

Are you planning to list your home for sale soon? Is the cold weather keeping you indoors and you’re tired of what you see?   Here are a few tips to freshen your look.

While many staging experts recommend you scrub your home of all personal photos I find that to be overkill.  Instead I recommend you make a grouping on one wall of all the personal photographs.  Use frames that are the same color and vary the sizes, using a few mattes for added interest.  

realtor ro

 Bookcases are meant to hold books but rows of bound pages are not the most interesting sight.  Small stacks of like colored books, one group horizontal, another group vertical.  Display small collectibles in between or to the side of stacks: candlesticks, a ceramic plate, a figurine, a unique vase.   Remember the eye needs a place to rest so leave space between groupings.

When displaying a collection always group in odd numbers.  Groupings of three or five are optimal; vary heights, as well.  (Think thirds, as in high, medium, and low.)  And on that note, if you have a “collection” (salt and pepper shakers, signed baseballs, Disney memorabilia)  group the items in one area so your buyers don’t go on a “scavenger hunt” during the showing.  You want people to see your home not your tchotchkes.  

4 Questions to Ask when Searching for a Listing Agent

by Ro Reed

Selling your home is one of the most important and biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime.  Choosing the right agent to entrust that task should not be taken lightly and certainly not decided by the luck of the draw by who answers the phone at the local real estate office.  Here are some suggestions to help you make the right choice.

1.  "Do you know a REALTOR you trust?"

A referral from a colleague or family member can go a long way in pointing you in the right direction.  If someone whose opinion you value says they love their agent that should be a great place to start your search.  My business is referral based because I have built relationships with my clients that continue long after the ink on the closing papers dries,  the lockbox is removed, and the commission check is cashed.   

2.  "What do others say about this REALTOR?"

While I do not care for the erroneous information filling many real estate websites, there is a value to client reviews of agents.  Most, if not all of these sites, do have a verification process in order to publish the review.  As with anything else in life ignore the “canned” or half-hearted (“There…I wrote something”)  type of reviews and look for genuine success stories.  Make sure to ask the agent if you can contact a few of their past clients. The best clients in the world fill my website with reviews, written and videotaped.  We are each other’s biggest fans.

3.  “What do you love about my town/neighborhood?”

An agent should be able to sell buyers on more than your mortar and bricks.  Not everyone knows about your community, its hot-spots or hidden treasures.  I prepare a binder for every listing, which includes not just the listing brochure and copies of disclosures, but a section filled with pertinent info about your community.  I also have my sellers fill out a questionnaire letting the buyers know why they love their area and why they fell in love with their home.

4. “How will you market my property?”

Would you be impressed if I told you I will prepare an internet listing for your home that will appear on hundreds of websites?  You really shouldn’t be.  Yes, 10  years ago that was a pretty impressive stat.  Nowadays, not so much.  What ELSE will  your agent do to make your home stand out from the crowd?  Ask to see some of their current or previous listings:  what do you think of the photography?  Does it look like it’s time they upgrade from that flip-phone they obviously used to snap those shots? What about the listing remarks?  First, not every home is stunning---in fact, very few homes are truly STUNNING—so that might be a tip off of a tired vocabulary.  I’ll let you in on a secret…we can actually upload 35 photos and publish 1500 characters.  And while there’s an argument to be made for not making a listing that wordy, “Too much to list here” is a sure sign the agent is not putting much effort into selling that home.

In addition to all the “standard” things agents do and the extras I’ve listed above, I also design business cards for your home, record DVDs of the virtual tour and listing info, assign a personalized text messaging code...actually there’s “too much to list here.” ;-)

So, when you are ready to meet the best agent to list your home, call or message and let’s take a step in the right direction to turn your dreams into an address!

 

 

Every REALTOR who acts as a listing agent definitely has a listing presentation they give to sellers when they meet.  It is important to have a smooth, information packed sales pitch to get a seller to list their home with you. However, as an ABR* I also put together a buyers presentation so that my first meeting with a buyer is an informative introduction to the buying process. realtor ro

Most agents will field a phone call from a buyer and set up an appointment to meet at the property for a tour of the home.  Hopefully they are in receipt of a pre-approval letter before crossing the threshold (that's the subject of another blog) but I believe they are putting the cart in front of the horse and doing their client a disservice.  While buyers do not pay the commission, they are no less important in the transaction and their involvement is integral:  Without buyers, sellers can't sell. 

Buying a home is, in almost all cases,  the biggest purchase of your buyer's life,  Throwing out occasional asides about the buying process while walking through a home is not the best way to educate and prepare them.  I meet buyers in the office for approximately one hour and review an automated email system which provides a direct link into the MLS; how to narrow down choices by using google maps and drive-bys;  the do's and dont's of financing, and much more.  Another part of the presentation is a detailed review of the 5 page purchase agreement: it's a good idea to familiarize my buyers with the lengthy document before the emotion of writing an offer on "the one" intrudes into the process.  When the time comes to prepare the document they feel much more comfortable since it's not the first time we've discussed "contingencies" and "earnest money."   

Buyers will sometimes apologize for wasting my time if they don't find something the first night out:  I call that the "House Hunters" mentality (from the HGTV show where buyers see three houses and choose one) but I assure them that, as long as they are following the methods we discussed at our initial meeting I know we are making progress and not wasting anyone's time.  Throughout the process we reassess their goals so they are assured their best interests are at the top of mind with each door I unlock. 

*The ABR designation is held by less than 4% of REALTORS nationwide.

The State of the Market

by Ro Reed

If there's one question I'm asked more than any other (well maybe second to "Are you almost ready to leave?")  it's "So, how's the real estate market doing?"    Well, up until about a year and a half ago, there were two words I was sick of hearing and those were "open concept."  (I blame the Property Brothers for that.)  Now it's "tight inventory"  and unfortunately we do not see that changing any time soon. 

So, what does that mean for you as a buyer?  Stop waiting and jump into the market.   While the number of houses available will increase somewhat in the Spring so will your competition in the number of competing buyers.   And the other thing increasing as this year progresses will be interest rates.   

And what does that mean for you as a seller?   Stop waiting and get that sign in the yard now!  I sold a house last month in 24 hours.  How many showings did we have?  How 'bout 24!  And they resulted in 4 over-asking price offers!   Now at this point I feel the need to insert, "Your results may vary"  like they do on those diet commercials, but I think you get the picture.  If, in the dead of winter there are that many pent-up buyers, there is no need for you to wait since, come Spring, you will have more houses to compete with.  

Now, I know you trust me, but just in case you'd like to hear this from someone in an authority position, check out these quotes below. 

National Association of Realtors

“Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 10.8%...which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 19 straight months and is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com

“More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago.” 

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“The dismal number of listings in the affordable price range is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most. As a result, young households are missing out on the wealth gains most homeowners have accrued from the 41% cumulative rise in existing home prices since 2011.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic

“The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”

Peter Muoio, Chief Economist at Auction.com

“Tight housing inventory remains a constraining factor limiting stronger sales growth…

We expect further price growth to entice more homeowners to list their homes, particularly as existing homeowners have greater equity."

Getting Ready to Sell: Show Time!

by Ro Reed

The listing is live and you wait for the phone to ring. And it does...at the worst possible time.

 

 Your daughter just had a slumber party and the guests practiced makeup application in your bathroom; your toddler has decided the toy box is no longer a necessity; your mother-in-law is coming to visit.  Okay, I can help with some of that.

Prioritize!  The mess in the bathroom...you guessed it. Time to get your daughter to put on some latex gloves to cover that new manicure and get to scrubbing.  

While she erases the evidence of the party, you need to grab a laundry basket and start throwing in everything that's out of place.  Take the laundry basket with you when you load up the kids and the dog.

 Genius, right?  And you thought you couldn't do it.  Revel in the moment...cuz that whole mother-in-law thing...you're on your own with that. 

 

 

Getting Ready to Sell: Lights, Camera, Action!

by Ro Reed

Okay, you've gone through each room and made the necessary improvements.  You've made 

sure to clear the home of any offensive smells replacing them with CLEAN supplemented with a fresh scent of bakery or fresh florals.  And now it's time for buyers to fall in love. 

Hopefully your home has been presented in its best light by the photographer.   Check to make sure each room is represented and with multiple angles.  

No clutter, no evidence of pets? Rugs are vacuumed, pillows are fluffed? Drawers are closed?

AND you've turned on ALL the lights: 

Table lamps, corner uplights, overhead ceiling lights, under-cabinet lights...all of them!  You want all that hard work to be presented in... well...the best light!  

Remember the saying about "first impressions"...it's so important in real estate.  Don't accept a last minute showing out of desperation, letting the perfect buyer see your home in disarray because you just couldn't say "No."  

A buyer who wants to see your home, ESPECIALLY with such tight inventory, WILL understand your need to accommodate a different time and you can make sure they are afforded the opportunity to see your home in all its splendor.  

Lights. Camera. Action. Yes, you are going to be living in your home, and yes, things are going to get messy; I always remind my sellers to just look at those MLS photos*  and leave your home looking like that when they leave for a showing. 

 

*I am making the supposition you have chosen a REALTOR who ensures your listing is filled with quality photos.  If you have not then please follow the advice given above. And don't be shy about requesting new photos be taken:  remember, your "first impression" at the front door is actually a second impression after they've seen your home online. 

Getting Ready to Sell: Pleasing the Senses

by Ro Reed

Once your buyers enter the home you want to appeal to all five senses.  Pet odors, cooking aromas, and cleaning chemical smells are all no-no’s.  Light fresh florals and home baked goods scents score high.

Make sure you turn on lights, especially in rooms that border shady areas or have small windows.  Table lamps and corner uplights do wonders. Everyone likes well-lit rooms so make sure to turn everything on, even during the day. 

After a marathon of showings, buyers appreciate offered goodies. A plate of cookies next to an info sheet about the home and neighborhood encourages lingering. I have a prepared sheet that gives sellers the opportunity to share what made them fall in love with the house, as well as some insider info about the area. 

Show off the whole house sound system by tuning into smooth jazz on the cable music channel. Or placee a few Bluetooth speakers in rooms playing a pleasing Pandora channel.  If you own an Amazon Echo and Dots, just say, "Alexa, play some smooth jazz" and she will take it from there.   

Finally, all that cleaning you've done will entice buyers to touch that smooth granite counter or polished wooden banister.  Remember, anything you can do to make your home comfortable enough to encourage the buyers to linger increases your chances for a sale!

Getting Ready to Sell: Room by Room, The Bedrooms

by Ro Reed

You're almost ready to put your home on the market. Final step, spruce up and stage the bedrooms.  

While it can't be said enough that kitchens and baths MUST be sparkling clean when a buyer walks through your home, the cleanliness of a bedroom should not be overlooked.  No one wants to smell body odor, a copious amount of Axe body spray, nor look at dirty laundry.  Buyers want to feel comfortable when they enter a room and those things discourage that, to say the least. 

Launder your bedding, and if it has seen better days, toss it!  New bedding gives an immediate facelift for little investment.  Remember to keep it gender neutral so as not to distract.  

Is your room a little tight on space? Is their room in your closet for that dresser? Closet floor space is less valuable real estate than the rest of the room....move it.  

And speaking of space, this is one area where it's tough to say just what kind of a premium to place upon your bedroom square footage. Some buyers demand  spacious bedrooms while others rather larger living areas viewing the bedroom size as inconsequential..."I've got my eyes closed when I'm in there so who cares."  So remember to highlight the positives, playing up your strong suits and don't sweat the things you simply can't change. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 42

Contact Information

Photo of Ro Reed Real Estate
Ro Reed
RE/MAX Crossroads
5155 Buehlers Drive #103
Medina OH 44256
(330) 571-9931
Fax: (866) 247-3433

Ro Reed, REALTOR®, ABR®,​CRS,  e-Pro®, MRP, SFR
RE/MAX Crossroads
5155 Buehlers Drive, Medina, Ohio 44256

    Direct Line or Text Messaging:    330.571.9931

            Office:    330.722.7500