Real Estate Story

real estate photography

real estate photography

This house languished on the Orlando, Florida, market for 224 days, until professional real estate photographer Harry Lim re-shot the exterior and interior. It proceeded to sell in just eight days. Photos: Harry Lim

This month, there’s a story that’s gone viral by Orlando professional real estate photographer Harry Lim. His post, After Nearly 8 Months, Photos Help Sell Home in 8 Days, is remarkable because it shows the unmistakable difference professional photography makes in the marketing of a house (his before-and-after photos above make that clear!).

Here at CandysDirt, we could not agree more! In 2013, contributing writer Karen Eubank wrote an interesting series for us, Outside the Frame, which looked at the importance of professional real estate photography and offered the insights of Dallas’ leading real estate photographers (see parts one, two, three, and four).

Today’s real estate buyer is doing their home searches on the Internet, with 90 percent searching online and 89 percent using a mobile search engine. What they find first in their searches are photographs, and the quality of those can make or break a listing.

So today, we’ve made a list of five ways professional real estate photographers bring value to the marketing of a house.

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Real Estate Story

Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious. Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

(more…)

Real Estate Story

Harry Lim photography before

This house languished on the Orlando, Florida, market for 224 days, until professional real estate photographer Harry Lim re-shot the exterior and interior. It proceeded to sell in just eight days. Photos: Harry Lim

This month, there’s a story that’s gone viral by Orlando professional real estate photographer Harry Lim. His post, After Nearly 8 Months, Photos Help Sell Home in 8 Days, is remarkable because it shows the unmistakable difference professional photography makes in the marketing of a house (his before-and-after photos above make that clear!).

Here at Candy’s Dirt, we could not agree more! In 2013, contributing writer Karen Eubank wrote an interesting series for us, Outside the Frame, which looked at the importance of professional real estate photography and offered the insights of Dallas’ leading real estate photographers (see parts one, two, three, and four).

Today’s real estate buyer is doing their home searches on the Internet, with 90 percent searching online and 89 percent using a mobile search engine. What they find first in their searches are photographs, and the quality of those can make or break a listing.

So today, we’ve made a list of five ways professional real estate photographers bring value to the marketing of a house.

1. The pros know which shots offer value to potential buyers

In the average MLS listing, you’ve got around 25 shots to “sell” a buyer on your property. Poorly planned or executed photography might result in redundant shots (multiple angles of one room where no new visual information is presented), unnecessary photos (you don’t need a photo of the toilet—people know it’s in the bathroom), or just plain bad photos that make the property look boring at best.

A professional real estate photographer understands which shots matter and why, and can make judgment calls based on the features of each individual property.

“Normally I don’t waste a photo on a laundry room, but a condo unit that has a washer/dryer when the neighboring ones do not might be of great importance compared to the average property,” said Lance Selgo of Unique Exposure Photography.

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Selling Your House Infographic Header

So you’re thinking of selling? Now’s certainly a great time, and with buyers snapping up houses fast and furious, and sales prices up 12 percent in January! Think you don’t have to do much before you list, right?

Wrong. If you want top dollar for your house or condo, you need to create a love affair between your home and prospective buyers. Buyers may be eager, but they’ve still got options and you want to entice them.

We’ve talked to some of the very best Realtors in town to find out how they tell clients to prepare their listing, and created a handy infographic for you, too. So check out their home selling tips below!

 

1. CREATE CLASSIC CURB APPEAL

Dave Perry-Miller, owner of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, says curb appeal is like a first date.

“Would someone go on a first date with a stained shirt?” he asked. “Make your first impression one of excitement and fun anticipation!”

In fact, Perry-Miller says the front door should be the focus of your efforts.

“Start from the front door and move out from that. The further a buyer gets from the front door, the less impact,” he said. “If a buyer doesn’t like how a house looks when they drive up, it’s an uphill battle.”

Christy Berry, Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, agrees.

“Drive-up appeal is crucial and first impressions are everything,” Berry said. “Be sure your landscaping is groomed and there is a pop of color. Remove the wreaths from the doors, too.”

Curb appeal gets buyers in the door, so even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, make sure you get your front looking fresh and clean. Simple things, like power washing the driveway and sidewalk, replacing bulbs in outdoor fixtures, and repainting the front door can make a big impact.

“Have trees trimmed and the lawn manicured and free of weeds, and do landscape improvements, like fresh mulch in beds, seasonal color in beds or pots of flowers,” said Jacqui Bloomquist, Realtor and Marketing Specialist at Coldwell Banker, Apex. “Add sod in bare spots and keep your lawn watered and maintained at all times.”

For condo sellers, the common area needs the same level of attention.

“If you live in a condo, make sure the corridor to the unit is cleaned and refreshed before showings,” said Kyle Crews, a realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates Urban. “My Urban team knows I keep a bottle of diluted Fabuloso that I spray in condo corridors and in vacant units to eliminate odors.”

Jump to read more and see the infographic!

(more…)

i-dreamed-my-whole-house-was-clean1Number one, as Joanna has learned from her mother, better make sure your house is clean! (Mother is always right!) And if you plan to sell your home in 2014, get ready to have a house that is cleaner than you could have ever imagined.

house-cleaning-on-a-regular-basisYou know Dallas is a hot market, and while you will be required to keep this home cleaner than a white tornado all through the selling process, relax: it won’t last past 4 months. If it does, something is wrong. Latest MLS stats for December show 67 days on market is the current average.

There are, of course, tasks involved in pricing, preparing, marketing and selling your home. It is really quite a project. Some successful, surefire agents tell their clients to basically do these things, or find another Realtor.6002 Kettering The beautiful Preston Trails home of Lanny Wadkins recently sold at auction, without reserve, for less than $1.8 million. He had tried to sell the home for years north of $2 million. When I saw the home, I was surprised it had hit the auction circuit — this was a very, very well-built, lovely home. But it was also incredibly personalized with furnishings, photos and do-dahs that clearly belonged to the owners.Lanny Wadkins golf room 1

Would that home have sold sooner, and for more money, had the owner – 1 – let his famous name be used and -2 – de-personalized and staged the home for a more neutral taste?

We shall never know, but we can learn:

1. Do your due diligence. Selling your is exhausting. Plan for it, make time for it, don’t attempt it while starting a new job, a new company, or having a baby. Consider the time suckers:

  • Hours interviewing agents, check out our agents first from CandysDirt.com

  • Pouring over neighborhood sales and comps and try to figure out where your home should be priced

  • Critiquing your home seriously

  • Figuring out what to fix and what not to. Some agents even require an inspection to ward off “surprises”.

  • Hiring and riding herd on contractors

  • Downsizing your closets to make them look spacious

  • Staging and interior decor projects, in and out

  • Cleaning your home every single day, and keeping it so pristine a photo shoot could take place with a moments’ notice.

  • De-personalizing: removing photos, child’s artwork, all the cutesy stuff that personalizes your home and handicaps a buyer from projecting themselves and their family into it.

It’s a daunting list. And you cannot take shortcuts. Read all the disclosure forms.  Clean up before showings and develop a thick skin about your house. Remember, it’s not your child — well, almost!

2. Resolve to keep your eye on the goal of moving forward – and the priorities. This is the hard part. Many people do not know this, but when I sold my last home, I changed my mind after I had signed all the contracts. I asked my agent, a wonderful human being (he put up with ME!) to “get me out of the contract.” This after three years of marketing and a file bigger than three New York City phonebooks! I wanted out — why? Because it was daunting! I had 4,800 square feet of stuff jam-packed into closets!

What got me through that — the fear of a lawsuit? Oh hell no, I didn’t care. I wanted to crawl under one of those giant pup tents that was clogging the gameroom closets. My agent told me to think about the next step and how wonderful it would be — we wanted to build a home. It was going to take a year to get there (part of that was depressing me, too) but he helped me focus on the end result, the goal, the mission. I have actually used that technique when developing this blog!

Why ARE you moving? What is your vision? A larger home, a smaller home, more efficient living, freedom to travel without the encumberment of a huge house and all the upkeep, more or less luxury. Remember, luxury is wonderful but it has a price. As a friend with three houses told me the other day: it’s a constant systems management, and no matter where you are, the homes require management and upkeep.

Get clear on the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of your vision for this life change, and resolve to stay that way until escrow has closed. Focusing on your vision will force you to focus on your priorities. It becomes much easier to plod through setbacks and annoyances when you realize that you are really just marching ahead to your goal, moving on to the next exciting stage of your life.

3. Think things through from the other side of the table. I am involved in a lawsuit. One of the very best techniques one of my lawyers has used is to help me visualize why the plaintiff has sued me –try to understand it from his perspective like one big Kumbaya! As a seller, chances are you have been a buyer before. It helps to reach back to those feelings and fears, to understand what motivates your buyers. The perspective shift will help you detach momentarily.

When did you buy your first home? Remember how overwhelming it all seemed? The mortgage paperwork, the loan balance, the feeling of being in debt. Remember, too, frustrations as a buyer who could not get into the property you wanted to see, at a convenient time. Do they really want to sell, you asked? Do you? Don’t let your home be the listing that causes these frustrations for your target buyers. Instead, when you get an offer, look at comps; when you get repair requests, take a look, ask an expert’s opinion. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes before you freak out.

4. Come to Jesus: keep your head out of the reality sand. Sand is bad for your sinuses, anyway. Let’s say your house has not moved, the offers are coming in below what you really want, and buyers are hitting you up with a list of repairs. Of course, if you had the house inspected first, these lists could have been way shorter. But at some point you will have to accept that there is a rotted window on the back — you never knew about it, it has not harmed your lifestyle, but the buyer wants it replaced.

Or…are you asking more than the comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for?

Face the truth, then you’re in the power position, with the knowledge about what to do to “magically” sell your home and get it ahead of the competition.

And if you made a real estate boo boo, like borrowing so much against your home that you won’t be netting as much cash on the sale, let it go… but take the lesson. You have the power to make better decisions on your next home, and to avoid over-leveraging it.

Fortunately, the way our Dallas market steamed ahead in 2013, these tips might be moot unless you are selling a property over $3 to $4 million. In December, Dallas buyers snagged 94.3% of their asking price!

When selling your house in Dallas, make it your resolution to keep your eyes and ears open and face the truth throughout the course of your home’s sale. And of course, keep your eye on the ball — the end result goal of this whole crazy process!

And at least you will have super clean closets!