Blog :: 06-2012

Welcome to our blog!

Below you will find information on real estate, our local area, and the community. Please feel free to comment on any posts, we would love to hear what you think! 

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don't forget to clean out the garage, too. 2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home. 3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It's worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it. 4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help. 5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint. 6. Don't disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression that the house isn't well-maintained. 7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway. 8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable. 9. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa. 10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently. 11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers. 12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress. 13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one. 14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it's not in use. 15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight. 16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that's not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they will be to eliminate surprises. 17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it's impossible to watch everyone all the time. 18. Leave the home. It's usually best if the sellers are not at home. It's awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

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Say The Right Thing

The right description can get your home a second look; the wrong one can sour buyers on the property in a matter of seconds. So choose those words wisely. Photos provide a stunning visual, but you can truly capture your audience by showing them the "unseen"

1. Highlight amenities. Data fields on a listing convey the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a house, but they won't tell you the whole story. The description is the place to provide the extras that are not provided by data field info. Key details such as "heated garage" or "stunning views" should be played up in the description. Is there a picturesque vista from almost every room in the house? Does the house have direct access to the ski slopes? Say so. Give potential buyers a reason to take a closer look.

2. Be specific. Phrases such as "beautiful remodeled kitchen" are abstract; instead, point out features that prospective buyers desire. Identify granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Mention appealing features such as pullout shelves in the kitchen cabinets or the walk-in pantry with plenty of storage.

3. Use the right adjectives. Buyers are savvy; too much fluff can be off-putting. Use descriptors sparingly and choose the words that pack the most punch. "Spacious" is a relative term but "open floor plan" is understood by everyone

4. Advertise lifestyle. Buyers are often motivated by emotion. A home, whether primary or secondary, is a place where memories will be created. Suggestions such as "Relax with a glass of wine in the hot tub" or "entertain friends in the gourmet kitchen" provide buyers with some ideas about what those memories might be. Don't forget to mention the surrounding community. Buyers are looking for a home, not just a house. Seasonal activities like golf or skiing, proximity to a lakes region or quaint village are all reasons to consider buying in a specific location.

Convey the biggest selling points of a house in the first couple of lines. Don't feel the need to point out flaws. Buyers will discover a home's quirky floor plan or tiny garage once they visit. For some it will be a deal breaker; for others, maybe not.

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A great deal that doesn't close is no "deal" at all.

Yes, as a seller you care about getting top dollar for your home, so offer price is the primary factor that can make or break the deal. However, as a seller you need to be aware of some other factors. The last few years of very high contract cancellation rates have put sellers on high alert, the offer may be great, but can you close? With these conditions top priority should be given to offers that have both (a) strong price and (b) a strong likelihood of closing.

Be aware of the most common deal killers:

  • Low appraisals
  • Mortgage approval failures

  • Condition problems revealed by inspections

Though some of these potential deal killers are beyond your control, as an informed seller, you can make smart decisions that can lead to a successful transaction.

Look beyond the buyer's offer; a great deal that doesn't close is no "deal" at all.

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Realtors Care about Community

We work hard to achieve excellence in all real estate transactions with our buyers and our sellers and to cooperate and maintain healthy relationships with our competitors and other fellow REALTORS 

Recently our office participated in the Crown Point Board of Realtors' 5th Annual Tag Sale.  Over the past 5 years this single day event has raised more than $8,000 benefiting various needs. In the past, this event has given funds to the 5 area food shelves and a local family whose home needed to be made handicap friendly when their son suffered a head injury while snowboarding. This year we were able to raise over $1,500 with the proceeds going to a local family that lost their home in a recent fire.

This community event is held on the Saturday of Memorial weekend.  It is organized and staffed throughout the day by area Realtors coming together with donations from customers and clients. Vermont Properties is proud to be a part of a local Realtor board that continues to value its communities by serving them with care and integrity. Mark your calendar for next year and join us for the 6th Annual Crown Point Board of Realtors' Annual Tag Sale.