Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marketing your home for sale Las Vegas Market

It doesn’t matter how much you advertise your home for sale, if you don’t have the other two elements in check. If you don’t price your home right and if you didn’t properly prepare your home for sale and it does not show well, it doesn’t matter how much you advertise it, you may end up having many calls but no bites.

There is many creative marketing strategies and approaches when it comes to advertising your home for sale.  There is no point on listing your house out for sale and you are the only person to know it, you need to let the word out.  First start by placing a for sale sign in the house, still effective, gets the phone ringing and neighbors wanting to find out how much the house is selling for, it is more than ok to share information with the neighbors you never know if they have a friend or a family member that loves that neighborhood and are in the market for a house.

Majority of house hunting nowadays starts on the internet, you have to create a strong online presence and fight for maximum exposure, so that you can sell your house in a timely manner. Your real estate agent will start by listing your property on the local mls where once it goes live it is available to all agents in Las Vegas and their buyers if your home fits their criteria, however listing your property it is not enough to sell it, make sure to enter as much information and as many pictures from your property, showcasing every room and highlighting any upgrades. Once on the internet you have only a few seconds to grab the buyer’s attention before they move on to the next one.

Encourage your agent to post as many pictures and even videos that will make your house stand out from all the other ones, the local mls in Las Vegas allows you up to 35, make a note advising more pictures available upon request. I receive emails from potential buyers all the time requesting more pictures. Make sure to include a picture of the exterior front, and back especially if you have a pool. I feel bathrooms and kitchen pictures help to sell a house all the time, especially if you have nice upgrades, this is the time to show them off.

Get with your realtor for feedback on the current market trends to determine your target audience many buyers look for Las Vegas homes as a second home due to our beautiful weather or a vacation home while they are in town. If your home is located in a community with a home owners association find out from them if rentals are allowed, to make sure you can also advertise for possible investors.

There is many other marketing alternatives as post cards, direct mail, newspapers, magazines however the internet is the strongest marketing tool hands down. Remember the purpose of marketing your home is not just advertise it with no results is advertise to accomplish the end result “sell the house”, so I would focus on the tool with proven results.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Preparing your home to sell

Preparing your home to sell
This is a lengthy topic, depending on the condition of the house for sale and how far is the seller willing to go to better show the property. The main advise I give to my clients is do not engage in conversation with the buyer’s agent or the buyer themselves, if they have any questions they need to contact us the listing agent, that is why we are here for, and also because sometimes sellers tend to give more information than they should and many times it could end hurting them from having the upper hand when negotiating the best price for their home for sale in Las Vegas. If possible leave the house while there is a showing.

Before placing the house on the market:
  • Start de-cluttering, you are planning to move anyways start putting away the excess furniture as well as all personal and family pictures, the more potential buyers visualize themselves, their furniture and pictures in the house the faster they will fall in love with it.
  • Free up space in closets and pantries, the less things you have in them the bigger they will appear.
  • Deep clean your house and carpets, wash windows and get rid of those grease spots in the driveway and garage.
  • Put away your jewelry and valuables in general.
  • A fresh coat of paint throughout can get rid of smells and brighten up the rooms, if you are watching your budget you can always touch up were needed and or get rid of any bright accent walls. You won’t believe how neutral colors could change the whole vibe of a house and will be more appealing to potential buyers and broaden your audience.
  • Start putting away the beautiful chandelier that you want to keep to avoid the buyers from making it a condition of the sale.
  • Get a handyman and patch any holes in walls, fix any bathrooms and kitchen leaks, tighten any loose hinges, door or cabinet knobs, replace any missing bulbs, re-caulk showers, bath tub and/or sink where need it do not give them any reason to find a negotiation excuse.
  • Clean up, weed out and fertilize your lawn to bring the color back and make it as green as possible, maintain the yard regularly, lay some fresh mulch on flower beds and plant some seasonal flowers to bring some color and freshness to it. Rake dead leaves if any and trim bushes and trees where needed.
  • If you have desert landscaping as many of us have here in Las Vegas, make sure all gravel and rocks are even and in place throughout. 
Before showings
  • Make sure to clean up, make beds and pick and dust after yourself, light some candles to welcome buyers with a warm smell.
  • Leave windows and interior doors open during the day and turn all lights inside and out to highlight all areas of your house.
  •  Leave dogs locked up.

“Image 1 courtesy of [debspoons] /”
“Image 2 courtesy of [renjith krishnan] /"
“Image 3 courtesy of [varandah] /"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Selling your home in Las Vegas? Price it Right!

The objective of selling a home is actually get it sold, not just putting up a sign and hoping to get some calls. There is more things involved in the selling process.

If you decide to sell you need to make sure that you price your home accordingly, that it shows well and is well advertised. If you are missing any of these three key elements, be prepared to have your home on the market for a long time. In this posting I will talk about the first one in depth Price it right, in my next posting I will expand on Preparing your home to Sell and the next posting we will tackle Marketing your home for sale.

Price it right
For some reason most sellers tend to strongly believe that their house is the best one in the neighborhood and there is no other house like theirs; there is also the misconception that because they invested in remodeling and upgrades, their house is worth more than the house next door. Personally, I believe there is a premium for upgrades, however it’s usually not near what they spend on the actual remodel, like with everything else, investments have to season and even then it is hard to recuperate 100% of that kitchen remodel they are so proud of. I’m not taking away from any upgrades or remodeling projects you have in mind, I’m all for it, it makes your home more attractive to potential buyers due to the upgrades that is where the added value and the premium comes in.
sell-your-home-las-vegas-price-it-rightIn every listing presentation I notice we start with the number the seller thinks their house is worth and the actual number that comes up from a comparative market analysis, which is what the market dictates your house should be sold for, based on the most recent comparable sales and listings, since you also need to be aware of your competition. I recommend to contact a real estate agent to provide you with a professional Comparable Marketing Analysis, walk you through the sale process and set your expectations as well.  The main issue we come across is to bring these to numbers to a realistic and attractive number for both seller and potential buyers. I’ve never even seen two appraisers come up with the same appraised home value for the same property, they’ve come close and in some instances far apart.

You don’t want your price to go too high off the market since this will only make your house sit on the market for a long time and age with no offers, by the time you decide to reduce the price sometimes buyers take this as an opportunity to submit a low ball offer since they assume that because the house has been on the market for that long the seller maybe motivated to sell and exhausted with the long wait and process, worn out with so many showings, or they just want to move on to their new house.

Keep in mind as well how much is it costing you to keep and maintain the house every month the house does not sell. I have seen seller’s sacrifice their bottom line waiting for that high offer and in the meantime they continue paying taxes, utilities, interest and maintenance on the house, which is at the same time depleting their profits; specially if this is an investment vacant home or even worse if you already bought your dream home and have two mortgage payments. I cannot put into words enough how the financial and emotional stress can weigh on a seller.

Some sellers decide to price it on the lower end hoping to get a multiple offer situation, which could lead to a highest and best which could drive their price up or not, this is the option some sellers tend to ignore and they are not prepared to receive a full price offer for the price they themselves set.

There is different approaches when setting the price of your house, first there is the fair market value based on the most recent comps as explained before, after that you need to analyze your situation and decide if you need a sale it right now price (quick sales price) i.e. When you need to sale fast due to relocation, or because your first payment on the new house is coming in next month… or if you are able to just price it right and allow the sale to happen organically.

I strongly believe in the price it right approach when possible. Rule of thumb, if you don’t have at least 2-3 showings a week chances are your home is not priced right. 

“Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /”
“Image courtesy of [renjith krishnan] /"
“Image courtesy of [stockimages] /"

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Home Safety and security tips

home-safety-security-tipsThe fact that you have top of the line security system it does not always prevent crime, it is unfortunate that sometimes we realize this after the fact. I had put together a few home safety and security tips to keep in mind at all times.

While at home, be aware of your surroundings at all times and act as if you do not have a security system at homeMake sure to install keyless deadbolts, peepholes (door viewers) or that you have a door with a window panel in all exterior doors and always lock your keyless deadbolt while you are at home. Do not open the door without first looking through your peephole and making sure you know the person on the other side of the door; if you have minors at home make sure they understand the importance of this security measure, regardless of the age of the kids; stress the fact that they should not let anybody in the house or open the door without first checking with an adult first. Make sure all doors and windows are locked at all times. Ensure that if you have a slider door it is properly equipped with a security bar, and that is in place at all times. 

While walking from or to your car, be aware of your surroundings as well, try and park in well-lit areas, and avoid areas that are isolated with little traffic, always keep your keys in hand and lock the car as soon as you get in the car. Make sure to put valuables away from view when leaving your car to avoid break-ins. If you have a GPS in your car do not set your home address as "home" in your favorites, just enter it as any other address; if your car is stolen and you have a garage door opener, all the robber has to do is follow directions to the address set up as home and use the garage door opener to let themselves in your home.

If you get home and find any doors open, or your garage door opened, do not just assume you may have left It open I will suggest not to go in, step out to a secure area and call police and wait for them to get in and make sure it is secured for you to walk in to your house, last thing you want is to walk in to find intruders in your home.

In case of any emergency call 911 for non-emergency issues please call 411, rule of thumb to differentiate when to call which is: if your life is in danger or you feel threatened it is an emergency, if not and you only need information then it is a non-emergency issue, use your best judgment.

These tips are not meant for you to act paranoid all the time, they are just to make you aware and redundantly be aware of your surroundings and possible danger and by doing that is easier to notice if anything is out of the ordinary; you do not have a sense of the ordinary if you do not pay attention to what is normal, if you do not pay attention to what is normal you may not notice something maybe out of place. 

Image 1 courtesy of [Gualberto107] / 
Image 2 & 3 courtesy of [twobee] /