During this time of the year, all that’s going through your mind right now is decorating, planning meals and your family’s wish list. The thought of listing your house hasn’t crossed your mind since the holiday hustle and bustle started and you don’t plan on revisiting the notion until well after the New Year. Although it’s not thought of as the best time to list, putting your home on the market during the holidays can actually give you a few advantages that you won’t get any other time of year.
Since it’s not the preferred moving season, you’ll find that buyers who are shopping during the winter months tend to be a little more serious when it comes to selecting their home. January is the month in which the most work transfers occur so you’ll find that these buyers generally have a truncated shopping period and can be much more decisive since they cannot wait until for the spring market.
On another note, is there a time of year when your home looks better than it does right now? Your twinkling lights and garland wrapped around the banister makes your house feel even more like a home and can help potential buyers see it as so. Your curb appeal may be masked by the 3 inches of snow covering the ground, but it’s nothing that your outdoor holiday decorations can’t bring back.
It’s also not uncommon to have less showings that you would in the spring time, but the few buyers that will be touring your home usually are already pre-qualified and very motivated. Moreover, it is also a time when the ratio of homes sold becomes significantly higher than homes going onto the market. With that comes less competition for you and a very good possibility of multiple buyers competing for your home.
It might seem to be a daunting task to add onto your hectic to-do list but it’s never a bad time to start thinking about making a move. Depending on your home and the current market, it may very well be the perfect time for you to sell and when you list with a Real Estate One agent, you can trust them to handle the sale of your home professionally and with care so that the holidays are still your only concern this time of year.
Recent events in the real estate community have brought to light the necessary precautions that all agents must take to protect themselves. The very recent slaying of Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter, along with the string of thefts that have happened in Oakland County over the last few months, make it critical to remember that there are, in fact, many ways to keep yourself safe as an agent and even a few technologies that can help with that.
Any Realtor should have a couple basic guidelines to should follow when they go on every showing. No matter who the client may be, always verify their info; making a copy of their driver’s license before showing a home is a policy of many agents already. Many also employ the buddy system; enlisting a fellow agent to accompany isn’t entirely unheard of either.
Once you enter the home, keep your cell phone in hand at all times and always keep the client insight. It may be beneficial to scope out the home real quick first in order to know the location of all possible exits.
Taking a self-defense class can leave you prepared for being in vulnerable situations frequently; enrolling in a class can be a life-saving decision. Even if you don’t have the time to take a class, consider purchasing a defense spray like Mugger Slugger; a quick spritz will incapacitate any threat you encounter and the product itself can even be attached to a key chain.
In addition, putting your technology to work for you can also be life-saving. Make sure that your phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) is always enabled. That way, emergency services can locate you based on the position of your phone. There are also apps available for purchase, such as Guardly, that can automatically connect you to law enforcement as well as providing a real-time notification of your location to people you have designated.
If all else fails and you do have access to your phone, a dial to 911 would provide an emergency response as well. Even if you have to hang up without reporting an incident or even speaking at all, the authorities will dispatch regardless and locate you based on your phone’s GPS.
Statistics from the FBI tell us that a crime is committed every 2 seconds and recent incidents prove that protecting yourself can make all the difference. Thinking ahead and being prepared can save your life, especially when working in an industry where men and women are constantly in situations that could potentially have a very high risk.
With the surge of real estate information being readily available on the internet, hosting an open house has certainly taken a backseat. The priorities of Realtors have definitely shifted; having an online presence through social media and even a blog has now become crucial to maintaining a great reputation as an agent.
While Realtors holding open houses for listings has seen a slight decrease in the last few years, more agents are beginning to realize that they must not only take on today’s required digital persona but also juggle the traditional ways of the Realtor- such as hosting an open house to the general public. As an excellent method intended to not only market the property but also the agent as a real estate professional, the open house is making a comeback.
Let’s look at the stats.
According to the National Association of Realtors, almost half of all home buyers attended an open house and regarded it as a crucial part of their search process. Of those attendees, 47% of them found out about the open houses online, demonstrating how important it is for Realtors to make sure that their open houses are listed somewhere on the web.
In 2013, 9% of all buyers found the home that they purchased at an open house, and 6% of all buyers and 4% of all sellers met their agent at one. If done properly, hosting an open can benefit you greatly as an agent.
Holding a successful open house.
If done correctly, the open house can not only be a great way to market your seller’s property but can also be an excellent networking tool for yourself. The biggest mistake that so many agents make is deciding to host an open house at the last minute. Start planning for your open house on Monday, not Friday, so that you have plenty of time to assess what the home needs in order to be in “open condition”. If you can, sending out a mailing announcing the details in advance can also help get the word out.
Talk to your clients about home staging.
Don’t be afraid to offer your professional opinion. It’s an important conversation to have, even if you aren’t exactly not keen on having it with your client. Some clients may find it insulting when you ask them to remove their favorite plaid recliner that one can tell has seen some definite use over the last 25 years, but it’s important to remind them that you’re on their side 100%. As a Realtor, you’ve seen what works and what doesn’t so be sure to give your clients the benefit of your experiences.
Tips: Landscaping can be a major factor; it can either get people out of their cars and into your open or it can cause them to slowly drive by, examining the home and never stopping to come in. Sometimes talking to your seller about investing a little in their exterior can go a long way.
How hosting a Broker Tour can give any Realtor an edge.
If done correctly, a Broker open can be extremely useful in piquing interest in your listing and is a great way to network with fellow agents. It may take some money to make money though- offer eats from a great local restaurant or have a plate of delicious goods from a nearby bakery. It’s important to elevate the Broker tour from a regular open house.
Reaching out to brokers yourself instead of waiting for agents to come to you is essential. Also crucial is your knowledge of the property; since it’s your listing, you must demonstrate that you have a commanding grasp of its features.
Also, always follow up with your visitors- never be afraid to call them and answer any questions they may have. Having other Realtors tour the home can provide useful feedback when it comes to pricing and how the shows.