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Social Media And Real Estate

Social Media And Real Estate

The real estate business has been transformed by technology, specifically by social media sites. Consumers are searching online for information and resources during the increasingly complicated real estate process. They are also sharing content and opinions before, during and after their real estate transaction.

The Internet and how people use it has changed drastically over the past five years. There has been an explosion of social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube commonly referred to as known as “web 2.0”. These platforms, along with others give users the power to create, collaborate, and share content online, forever altering how consumers gather information and make choices on products and services.

The positive social impact of these sites is building close social ties, developing more trusting relationships and community engagement.

Having access to more unfiltered information, real-time search capabilities and instantaneous access to their real estate professionals is now part of the norm. Information for buying or selling decisions can be shared across social media platforms, making this process more collaborative. Specifically, younger generations tend to share information and consider opinions of their peers during their decision-making process.

Traditionally, many consumers choose their real estate service provider based upon a referral from a trusted friend or family member due to the fact that testimonials and endorsements from a third party have more weight and creditability. Social media gives consumers a platform to openly review services and share their experiences with those whose opinions they value.

Trust, reputation, and market knowledge still factor into these choices and social media can greatly amplify that feedback. For these consumers an agent’s online presence (or lack thereof) factors into the decision to hire them, today’s consumers want an agent who is keeping with the times and technologically savvy.

Ironically, listening is the first step for a real estate service professional to remain relevant to their clients. Social media sites provide a platform to easily disseminate valuable, and timely information. It’s also an opportunity to engage and interact with clients who may have questions.

Expect social media usage to continue to grow and be an integral part of the real estate process with clients.  Increased usage of social media is anticipated as another tool for real estate companies to build upon their trusting relationships, create even better connections, and enable them to provide more resources for their clients.

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, FeaturedComments Off on Social Media And Real Estate

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling a Vacant House by Birgit Anich

There are many reasons why a home might be vacant when being sold – various reasons include:

  • New construction
  • Relocation property
  • Seller has already moved into their new home
  • It was a rental property that is now for sale

In all these cases the bottom line is that SELLING the property FAST is CRITICAL. There is a lot of money on the table because of ongoing mortgage costs, maintenance cost, insurance cost, and other carrying costs that need to be paid for all these months that the property is sitting on the market.

Selling fast in a buyers market and a down market is a challenge, but especially it is difficult for vacant homes. Vacant homes sell typically slower than occupied homes.

So, what are the 5 biggest mistakes when selling a vacant property?

Mistake #1: Selling the house as a VACANT property

We just said that vacant homes sell slower than houses that are occupied. Why is that?

a. People don’t buy houses, they by homes, they buy a lifestyle! Without furniture, wall art, rugs, lighting, décor,… there are no emotional connection points in the house – the house does not show its soul and any lifestyle buyers can aspire to.

b. Buyers do not have a point of reference

  • empty rooms look smaller
  • buyers cannot see how much furniture they will be able to fit in the room
  • they cannot envision how to set up the room functionally – how should I face the sofa, where does my TV go, can I fit…..

Adding the right furniture, rugs, lighting, wall art and other décor that reflect the target buyers’ lifestyle will make them feel drawn to and helps them envision themselves living in that home.

c. When a room is empty, buyers focus on the negative details
It is so much easier to notice cracks in the walls, paint chips, missed repairs,… if buyers have nothing else to look at. Providing them with a welcoming home they will focus more on how they can live in that house rather than what they don’t like about it. With staging we emphasize the positive features of the property while downplaying the negative features.

d. Only 10% of home buyers can actually visualize the potential of a home

Nine out of every ten people walking in your home have no imagination of the wonderful possibilities your house has to offer.

Mistake #2: Wait to see if it sells vacant

As a home stager in Connecticut, I often receive the response from clients “I want to see first if it sells vacant before I consider staging”. This can be a very costly mistake.

Selling a house is all about FIRST IMPRESSIONS. On a new listing most of the traffic is generated within the first 2-4 weeks.

The Real Estate Brokers open house will get the buyers’ Realtors into the property. They are your “sales staff”. If these brokers do not get excited about what they see, they are less likely to bring their buyers to your property instead of your neighbor’s house on the market.

Let’s say you change your mind down the road and have the property staged and then have another Realtors open house. It will be hard to get Brokers to come back to the property as they have already seen it and do not want to waist their time, nor will their buyers come back for a second time.

So, now you have wasted all that traffic and time on the market without showing the house at its’ best potential. If you had it staged upfront you may have it already sold by now.

Mistake #3: Not Differentiating Your Listing from the competition

Put yourself into the shoes of a home buyer – 94% of home buyers start their search online first looking at all the photos of houses within their qualifying criteria. This is what they might see:

House #1:

 

 

 

 

House #2:

 

 

 

 

What makes your house different from these other vacant houses? Why should they visit your house? There is nothing that would draw a buyer into these houses.

Remember – A SALE CAN BE LOST BY ONE MOUSE CLICK – if your house does not stand out and attract these buyers for a visit, you have lost a potential sale.

Mistake #4: Price has now become your only marketing strategy

Selling a house, typically the home owner’s most valuable asset, is not any different than marketing a commercial product. Location, Condition & Showcasing, Price and Promotion need to be considered together. There is nothing that you can do about the location of the property, but you can influence the other marketing factors. The price is being influenced by the Location and the Condition & Showcasing (the packaging) of the house. The Promotion to bring the traffic into your house will be most effective if the Showcasing and Photographs are professionally done.

So, if there is no showcasing, the promotional pictures will not stand out, so price is now your only marketing strategy. (click here for more details about the marketing strategy)

Buyers are willing to pay more if they feel emotionally connected to a house – on average staged homes sell for a 5-10% higher price tag.

Mistake #5: Seeing home staging as a COST instead of an INVESTMENT

Staging a house for sale can help you MAKE money. It is an INVESTMENT into your home selling process – most investments into home staging range between 1 and 3 percent of the listing price, which yield in a 5 to 10 higher sales price –how nice is this, but this is not all. If selling your house faster you will SAVE ongoing mortgage payments and carrying costs. See more details and examples on how Birgit Anich Staging and Interiors helped their clients MAKING a PROFIT by staging.

Barbara Corcoran, one of the biggest real estate experts in the US, says: “Never sell a home without furniture!” “Once the staging is complete you might even find that you can raise the price”

see Barbara’s 2 mintues segment on The TODAY SHOW

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Birgit Anich is the president and chief  stager of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC, a Real Estate Home Staging and Interior Styling Company in Fairfield county. Birgit is a National and Regional Awards Winner by the Real Estate Staging Company (RESA). Having been trained and mentored by HGTV star Matthew Finlason (“The Stagers”), she specializes in the most advanced and successful staging techniques of Target Staging & Lifestyle Merchandising. Birgit has been featured on local TV stations of FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, the radio, Life@Home Magazine, and other media. For more information contact 203.807.4040 or birgit@BirgitAnich.com or visit www.BirgitAnich.com

 

 

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Featured, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Selling A Vacant House

Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

Real Estate Home Staging is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to home sellers to sell their house or apartment faster and at the top dollar. Home Staging can make the difference in selling a property versus languishing for months on the market or not selling at all. One of the goals of staging is to strategically differentiate your property from the competition – other houses on the market.

HGTV shows such as The Stagers, Get it Sold and Designed to Sell have increased awareness of the importance in staging a home for sale, especially in today’s tough real estate market. There is however often confusion about how to go about staging a home. There are three distinct steps involved in staging a property for sale:

While these steps seem relatively simple there are still many questions that home sellers have. I want to discuss some of these most common questions.

What if I only want a home staging consultation and do the work on my own?

Most professional home stagers are flexible in the way they work with home sellers who are on a budget and will provide also a written consultation report that can be used as an action plan for DIY-ers.

My husband and I are both working full time and we do not have the time to implement all the suggestions on your consultation report.  How can I get this work accomplished?

Coordinating quotes and overseeing tradesmen such as contractors, electricians, carpenters, painters, flooring specialists, landscapers, and professional cleaning services, can be very time consuming and involves decision making on the spot. Many home sellers simply do not have the time or experience to take care of all this coordination. Ask your home staging company if they also offer project management services to make it all happen for you. While much of this coordination can be handled by a home stager, some aspects will still require your time – e.g. sorting through personal belongings, ….

We wanted to list our house as quickly as possible. Since we will not be able to get through your list of recommendations immediately, we will just list it as is and see how it goes. We can then work on it if we cannot sell it.

Is selling your house fast and at the top dollar your priority when selling your house? If that is your goal, then waiting to stage your house can be the biggest mistakes you can make in the home selling process. This is a whole topic for another blog post as there are many reasons. Here are a couple. If your house is not dressed to stand out from the competition, your real estate agent’s marketing efforts will not stand out and create the marvelous first impression needed to attract the necessary traffic to your house to get a quick offer. With 94% of buyers looking online first and being in this highly competitive market, your online photos need to be immaculate. The most traffic when selling a home is occurs in the first two to four weeks after it is listed on the market.  The first price drop typically happens after four to six weeks on the market. So don’t waste valuable time on the market not showing your house at its very best right away – first impressions are lasting impressions. Keep in mind “you can loose a sale by one click of the mouse”.

We have removed personal photos, de-cluttered and painted – We are ready to put our home on the market!

Congratulations on these accomplishments! But not so fast….you have now completed step 2 – you are still missing the showcasing of your house.  I know – there are many people who think that staging is just de-cluttering, neutralizing and removing photos. However, these are only the pre-requisites for properly staging a house or apartment. Now the most important part starts! Designing emotional connection points with home buyers. This can involve  bringing in different furniture, accessories, artwork, lighting, rugs, bedding, etc. Each house has different needs and every item that is being used in a staging design plan has to be carefully thought about to ensure that it emotionally connects with buyers. I recommend to leave this last step of showcasing the house to an experienced and knowledgeable professional stager.

My house already looks beautiful. I even had an Interior Designer design many of my rooms – I don’t need to stage.

Interior designers do wonderful transformations based on your personal style, but this is not necessarily what buyers are looking for. Once you put your house on the market it no longer matters how beautifully it has been designed to suit your taste. It is now all about the buyers and how to attract them and how to present your home so they can see themselves living  their dream lifestyle in your house.  Nobody wants to buy your old house.  They want to buy their new house!

Selling a house or apartment is for most home sellers very emotional and stressful. The better your house shows in conjunction with the right price, the faster your house will sell and the faster you will be able to move on with your life.

About the Author:

Birgit Anich is the president and chief lifestyle stager of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC, a Real Estate Home Staging and Interior Styling Company in Fairfield county. Birgit is a National and Regional Awards Winner by the Real Estate Staging Company (RESA). Having been trained and mentored by HGTV star Matthew Finlason (“The Stagers”), she specializes in the most advanced and successful staging techniques of Target Staging & Lifestyle Merchandising. Birgit has been featured on local FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, the radio, Life@Home Magazine, and other media. For more information contact 203.807.4040 or birgit@BirgitAnich.com or visit www.BirgitAnich.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

Fairfield County Connecticut real estate, specifically, Westport real estate is inextricably linked to New York City. Many of our residents work in New York City and our economies are directly tied. While the real estate in New York is wildly different from Fairfield County, we are seeing some of the same trends and buyer and seller mentality. I thought it would be interesting to include a guest post from a long-time friend and super broker in NYC. Michael Shapot is a SVP at the preeminent NYC broker, Prudential Douglas Elliman. He is sharing his long-time, practical experience and real estate savvy on http://www.michaelshapot.blogspot.com Feel free to follow and add your insights or questions.

Posted in Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

Sellers Fairing Well In Lower Price Ranges in Westport Connecticut

A price distribution report for Westport Connecticut shows us how quickly our inventory is being absorbed into the market (through sales). Despite popular belief, some price ranges are either geared toward sellers or are balanced between buyers and sellers. Lower price points have been more well-balanced in the past year. However, $700,000-$749,900 is oddly at 2 years of supply. This could be a result of this being a popular price point in contiguous, more well-valued towns such as Fairfield. Any supply time of 6 months or less is encouraging to sellers with the prospect of a buyer coming in and beginning the negotiation process. We have some very consistent, fast-moving price ranges, particularly in the middle of the market: $1,200,000-$1,299,000. Inventory in this price point tends to fly of the shelves and condition is not as important of a consideration to a buyer. The brakes get slammed on at $1,400,000 and buyers are showing considerable resistence. For the most part, luxury buyers are relunctant and extremely discriminating when it comes to placing offers and making purchases. In some cases, we will be trying to rid the market of a severe over supply of listings in the upper end for many years.

 

 

 

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Sellers Fairing Well In Lower Price Ranges in Westport Connecticut


Buying, Selling Or Renting In Fairfield County Connecticut? Contact Us At (203)253-9222

FreshPickedRealEstate.com is known as "Fairfield County CT's Favorite Real Estate Blog". We feature market statistics, community events and interesting happenings in and around lower Fairfield County Connecticut, including Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Fairfield and Easton. Look for real estate tips with a focus on "green living" in the area.
Contact me at MelissaBrownRiley@gmail.com or at (203)253-9222 for info on all real estate services, including buying, selling or renting in Fairfield County, Connecticut or in any other county or state through our national network. We also specialize in buying or selling "short sales" and foreclosures.

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Do you think online marketing makes a difference in exposing your home to the market?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 91% of all buyers begin their search on the internet. As a seller, having a definitive online strategy creates a differentiation to maximize your exposure to the right target market. I offer 31 years of real estate experience with a strong technology twist and focus on utilizing Google to attract attention to your listing. Find out how we can create an advantage for you.

Investors from New York Searching In Fairfield County

Are you an investor from New York looking for well-valued properties in Fairfield County? We will pair you with an experienced agent who can assist you in your search. Melissa Riley (203)253-9222. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-New England Properties

Luxury Rental Listings Are Needed

Fairfield County, including the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Wilton and Norwalk are highly desirable towns for rentals.
We are experiencing a lack of quality luxury rental listings in lower Fairfield County. We have tenants looking for rental properties that fit their needs.
We will assist you with establishing the rental value on your home and helping you through rental process. Proper representation is the core of our business and I we zero in on your needs no matter if you are landlord or tenant.

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