Bradenton Florida Real Estate News

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stop Foreclosure With a Short Sale


If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure we can help. Lenders are ready to accept short sales rather than taking a home back in foreclosure.


A short sale occurs when a lender is willing to accept less than what is actually owed on the mortgage. Why would they do this? A 2002 study revealed that the average foreclosure costs a lender over $58,000. They would rather accept a short-pay on the mortgage.


Put our experience to work for you and save your credit! Call today.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Do Open Houses Work?


Quite often when being interview by a seller, we are asked...."What about open houses??? Do you do them??" Our answer to most people is...While we are willing to do open houses they are not as effective as most people think.


Statistic show that 1 out of every 100 people that come thru an open house actually buy the house that is being held open. Even with internet advertising and newspaper adds, most people find open houses by following the signs in the neighborhood. Sometimes it is nosy neighbors or people just looking for decorating ideas.


Therefore, when walking into an open house, the public knows nothing about the house. They don't know the price, taxes or amenities therefore creating a lot of unnecessary traffic thru ones home.


This is usually a great opportunity for a REALTOR to find some buyers to work with. Most people that visit open house and are really considering moving are not loyal to a REALTOR, giving the agent that is holding the open house an opportunity to provide their services to that buyer.


On the other hand, because statistics show that 1 out of every 100 people that come thru an open house actually buy the house that is being open, you do have a remote chance of selling your home through a open house.


If you have 6 people come through an open house on a given weekend, you will have to have about 17 open houses to get 100 people thru. That is 17 weekends that you, the seller, have to be gone for 3 to 4 hours so that your agent can host the open house. Since most people work and use their weekends to catch up on household chores, hosting so many open houses becomes very inconvenient to the seller.


Now the questions is...Is the person who is going to buy your house the 1st person thru, the 50th person thru or the 96th person thru?


When looking to hire a real estate agent to market and sell your home, you want someone who knows what it takes to get the results. The results are just not there with open houses. Hire a REALTOR with an aggressive marketing plan that is going to get you ALL the exposure that you can possibly get. The more people that know about your home, the more likely you are to sell quicker and for a good price.


Let's face it....if the results were that great, there would be no room on the street corners with all the open house signs.
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I' m Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs. http://BradentonRealEstate.com

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer Maintenance Suggestions


You know all of those little things that you have been meaning to do this Summer but haven't gotten to? Now is the time.


As the end of Summer approaches, we will post tips and suggestions to spruce up your home before the Fall Market starts. Remember, with Buyers, first impressions count.


Today's post is about General Maintenance:


  • Oil squeaky doors

  • Tighten doorknobs

  • Replace burned out light bulbs

  • Clean and repair windows

  • Touch up chipped paint

  • Repair cracked plaster

  • Repair leaking faucets and toilets

  • Re-grout baths, as needed

  • Patch and reseal the driveway

  • Clean the gutters

  • Do all those other "little repairs" you need

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.


http://bradentonrealestate.com/


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Monday, July 30, 2007

“My home isn’t selling. Is it the market?” No, No, No!

It’s not the market that is keeping your home from selling, it’s the price. When the price reaches the point that a buyer is willing to buy, you have then discovered the true market value of your home.

I recently wrote an article to answer the question, “My home isn’t selling; is it my price or my Realtor?” The comments and responses were interesting. One agent wrote that “maybe it’s neither; maybe it’s just the market.”

Let’s think about that. Imagine that your home is listed. It’s in perfect condition and has a great location. Your Realtor is working hard and is using a proven marketing strategy that he or she has used to sell many other homes. The problem is, your home still isn’t selling.

You don’t think it’s the price. Your Realtor doesn’t think it’s the price. In fact, the Realtor states, “It’s just the market; hardly anything is selling in this market.”

I will be so bold as to say that this kind of thinking reflects a misunderstanding of what “the market” really is.

We talk about a “seller’s market” or a “buyer’s market,” but what do we really mean? And, if a home isn’t selling, can it be the market’s fault? A seller’s market simply means there are more buyers than sellers and that those conditions favor the seller. A buyer’s market occurs when there are more sellers than buyers and those conditions favor the buyer.

The market always is what the market is. What a home sells for is the market value of that home. And, we only know the true market value of a home when it sells. Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay. It is no more or no less. This is true in either a seller’s market or a buyer’s market.

Any home will sell today! Let me prove it. Imagine your home is on the market. It’s in the Multiple Listing Service and thereby shared with hundreds and perhaps thousands of agents. It’s also exposed to the public. Let’s suppose you put a price of one dollar ($1.00) on the home. How long do you think it would take for an offer to materialize? It would probably take only minutes or hours.

I’m not suggesting that one dollar is the market value of the home. That’s just an extreme way to show you that price is determined by the market. The true market value of your home is somewhere between one dollar and the price you are asking today.

It’s not the market that is keeping your home from selling, it’s the price. When the price reaches the point that a buyer is willing to buy, you have then discovered the true market value.

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My Home Isn't Selling, Is it My Price or My Realtor?

“My Realtor called to remind me that my home hasn’t sold. He says it’s because my price is too high and that I should drop the price. I think he’s not marketing it as aggressively as he should. Who’s right?”

That’s a question asked by many sellers in today’s real estate market. Actually, it’s a question that’s probably been asked since the beginning of time.

“Hello, Caveman Realty, may I help you?”

“Yes, I want to fire my caveman agent because my cave isn’t selling.”


Surely, that conversation could have occurred.

Let me try to answer the question with which I began. Is it the price, or is it the agent? First, it could be the price. Maybe your agent is right. Perhaps the market just won’t accept the price you are asking for your home.

If the price is too high, all the marketing in the world probably won’t sell it. You see, your home is just a commodity. If the price is right somebody will buy it. If the price is too high, nobody will buy it. That’s not rocket science.

The key is finding out exactly where the price needs to be. How do you do that?

You could interview several experienced agents to collect several price opinions. You could pay for an appraisal from a licensed appraiser (just remember that’s only an opinion too). But the best information is how is the market responding to your price? Are you getting showings? Are you getting offers? If not, your price IS probably too high.

“But no one has even made an offer.”

That’s right. Buyers don’t make offers on overpriced homes. They simply move on to find one that’s reasonably priced. If you fight this concept you are sure to lose. It is a basic truth.

Second, it could be the agent. If your agent doesn’t have a well conceived marketing strategy it certainly could affect the outcome. So, what should you expect from your agent?

Having sold over 1,000 homes here is what I would expect from any good agent:
  • Place the home in the local Multiple Listing Service
  • A professional sign in the yard
  • A brochure box which is kept full at all times
  • Strong internet marketing across multiple web sites
  • Color real estate magazine advertising
  • Open House if the home is located in a high traffic area


Everything else an agent does from networking to other forms of advertising generates very few buyers (no matter what they tell you).

I believe that price is 80 percent of getting the home sold. Marketing makes up the other 20 percent.

Some sellers jump from agent to agent when their home doesn’t sell. But 99 times out of 100 the home doesn’t sell unless the price is adjusted.

So, when your home isn’t selling, there’s a 20 percent chance that your agent’s marketing strategy is flawed and an 80 percent chance that your price is too high.


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I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

9 Home Staging Tips for a Faster Sale


In conjunction with Lowes we are able the offer these special tips to our clients.The concept may not be new but the term "staging" has taken the real estate industry by storm. Professional stagers can transform a home in a few hours, helping to highlight a home's best features and minimize its flaws.



Surveys show that staging pays off, often boosting a home's selling price by thousands of dollars.




In conjunction with Lowes we are able to offer these special tips to our clients. To receive these FREE tips by email send an email request to team@premierteam.com with simply the word "staging tips" in the subject line.




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I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

When Selling You Must Know The Market

A few months ago I listed a small home in Bradenton for $200,000. It was a cute home in a nice established neighborhood.

I explained to the Seller that we would know if the price was right but the number of showings and feedback from buyers.

We had a lot of showings!

We also received about 5 offers all around $185,000. Each offer was rejected by the seller, against my advice. (I always counsel that we should, at least, make a counter-offer).

This was a difficult seller and I ended up terminating the listing.

I see the home listed in the MLS now with another agent for $189,900. Since the market has declined significantly, I'm wondering if even $185,000 is possible today.

In this Buyer's market, most sellers are praying for at least ONE offer.

POINT: If you receive multiple offers all around the same price, that IS the market value for your property. Don't blow it.
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I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How to get top dollar for your home in a down market


Most sellers have one thing in common. They want to know how they can get top dollar for their home. Here are some suggestions from a top selling agent.

See your house through the buyer’s eyes

I spoke with an agent today who showed one of my listings. She and her buyer looked at 30 homes, before making an offer on another home.

I have been encouraging my seller to make some minor improvements which would help sell the property. The seller just doesn’t get it. The seller is not looking at the property through the buyer’s eyes.

Buyer’s today aren’t excited about a home’s possibilities. They get excited about a home that is completely move-in perfect….

What do buyers want?
· They want to see curb appeal.
· They want fresh and clean carpets
· They want a freshly painted home with modern colors
· They want appliances that are clean and modern


What buyers do not want:
· They aren’t excited about a converted garage
· They aren’t excited about a back-porch that’s been closed in.
· They aren’t excited about your above-ground pool or an in-ground pool needing marcite
· They don’t want to paint, clean, and update your tired home.
· They don’t’ want to pull weeds and rescue and dying lawn

Imagine yourself as the buyer. Take a good look at your home from the street out front. Then walk through your home with a critical eye. If you were a potential buyer, would this home excite you?


Spend a few dollars to make cosmetic fixes and save yourself thousands

Often times when we meet with a seller they want to offer a carpet or painting allowance. Their idea is that the buyer can then pick out their own colors.

We recommend that you go ahead and replace the carpet and that by doing so you will actually save money. You see, a buyer will often estimate four times what it actually cost to replace carpet. If it only costs $2,000, the buyer will imagine it is going to cost $8,000.

When a buyer is looking at your house they begin to discount the price for all the cosmetic deficiencies they see. Does it need painting? Ca-ching. Does the carpet need replacing? Ca-ching. Does it need new countertops? Ca-ching.

What kind of cosmetic fix-ups should you complete?
· Carpet
· Paint, caulking
· Countertops
· Cabinets, cabinet knobs
· Lighting
· Sinks, faucets
· Landscaping

It will cost you a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to make these cosmetic improvements. However, it will put even more money in your pocket at the closing.


Neutralize

One listing client had strong maroon colored walls in the family room and bright yellow and blue walls in the kid’s rooms. The home had failed to sell with the first agent with whom they listed.

We suggested they repaint the interior with neutral colors and replace the carpet with a neutral color as well. Buyers who walked into the home were pleasantly greeted by a home that was inviting and in which they could visualize their own belongings.

If you have a wall full of personal photographs, it’s best to remove them. Too many personal photographs, trophies, and the like make the buyer feel like a guest. It’s hard for them to imagine the home as their own.

Remove knickknacks and collectibles. De-clutter bookshelves and dresser tops. Throw out old magazines and newspapers. Clean out closets and garages. Create the illusion that there’s plenty of storage space throughout the house.

Remove ornaments from the yard and flowerbeds. I remember one client whose front yard looked like Disney World. The flower bed had about 20 statues of Mickey Mouse and his gang. There was no way that was going to make a good first impression.

If you need to see what a staged home looks like, take some time to visit new model homes. Many builders hire professional decorators and stagers to prepare their models. You are sure to pick up some good ideas.




Price your house competitively

I believe that proper pricing is 80% of getting the job done. In fact there are four factors that determine whether your house sells or not: location, condition, marketing, and price. The most important factor is price.

It’s common for Sellers to compare their homes with other active listings and think their price is fine. The problem is that the price of active listings is sometimes “fantasy land.”

Right now, we are seeing homes languish on the market for months without selling. Many of the neighbor’s homes are listed and not selling either. They all belong to the same club. It’s the “I’ve got my home on the market club.”

You must compare your price to the recently sold homes. This reflects what buyers are actually willing to pay. Compare the features and amenities of your home with other sold homes to determine what your home should sell for?

Should you raise the price to leave room for negotiating? That’s often a fatal mistake. Most buyers won’t make an offer on your home if other homes are priced more competitively. In fact, if your home is the best priced home you may actually get full price or more!

A skillful Realtor is probably the best person to consult about pricing. Realtors have access to all the active, sold, pending, and expired listings. They will know if a price accurately reflected the deal or if the seller contributed thousands towards the buyers closing costs. They will also know the features and amenities of the homes and have access to both interior and exterior photos.

Be careful when consulting a Realtor. Some may overprice your home just to get the listing. Inquire about the Realtors track record. How many homes do they list and sell? How of their listings expire? How long does it usually take them to sell a home?

Our advice for homes located in a buyer’s market is to be priced as the obvious best value in the area. This may mean pricing your home even below recent sales. In a seller’s market you may price your home a little bit above recent sales.

Implement an aggressive marketing plan

When I meet with potential listing clients I like to ask, “What are you looking for in the agent you choose?” Most sellers will say, “I want an aggressive agent.” I’m always happy to hear that because I am aggressive.

What you really want though is an aggressive agent with an aggressive marketing plan. Even if you decide to try to sell your house yourself, you’ll need an aggressive marketing plan.

Here is what I would consider to the minimum standard marketing plan:
· Multiple Listing Service entry with plenty of photos
· Virtual tour in the MLS and other websites
· Personal web site for the subject property
· For sale sign with a flyer box
· Full color real estate magazine ad
· Newspaper advertising (if warranted for your area)
· Open house depending upon location

My own marketing plan includes at least 30 steps to achieve maximum marketing exposure.

Offer buyer incentives

When buyers visit builders today they are likely to hear about incentives like free pools, free cars, free closing costs, and more. It’s hard to compete with builders’ incentives, but buyers are looking for whatever they can get.

You need to make your home the most attractive deal in the neighborhood. Incentives you might offer include:
· A free home warranty that protects the property for the first 12 months.
· Offer to pay some or the entire buyer’s closing costs.
· Offer the buyer a free gift card to the local home store.
· Throw in the big screen TV or appliances.
· Prepay the first year’s insurance or HOA fees
· Offer to buy down the buyer’s mortgage rate

Consider offering an incentive to Realtors as well. You might offer a higher commission than your neighbors are offering. This will get agents excited about showing your home.
It’s important to get your home on the showing list of agents. A higher commission will usually help.

Be Realistic

I recently had an inexpensive listing priced at $200,000. We have had 4 offers of $185,000 which the seller rejected, and another offer of $175,000 which was also rejected. The seller has maintained that his price of $200,000 is reasonable.

That’s unrealistic.

Finally, months later, the seller accepted the 6th offer of $199,000 with $12,000 credit to the buyer. Essentially, it comes out to $187,000. Obviously the market value of that home is $185,000 - $187,000.

To get top dollar in a down market you must be realistic about how much your home is worth. Remember the adage, “your first offer is usually your best offer.” I believe that’s right 99% percent of the time. Take you first offer, negotiate it up as high as possible and take it. An offer in hand is worth a lot more than hopes of future offers to come.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The $5 Home Makeover


Real estate professionals in Sacramento, Calif., suggest five $5 investments that boost curb appeal or make a listing more attractive to potential buyers:


• Give the trim around the front door a fresh coat of paint, covering up fingerprints and dings.
• Fertilize the grass so it’s bright green.
• Hang a small flag that says, “Welcome.”
• Place a big pot of yellow marigolds in the foyer – yellow makes people feel comfortable.
• Dribble a few drops of vanilla on the oven door and turn it to low. (It’ll smell just like cookies baking.)


Source: The Sacramento Bee, Jim Wasserman (05/04/07)


I would add:


  • Lay out a fresh welcome mat for the front door

  • Upgrade lightbulbs to a higher wattage for more light

  • Install a scented A/C filter

  • Spread a few bags of fresh mulch in the flower beds

  • Set the table with new attractive place mats

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

For Sellers: waiting can be costly


The Herald continues it's article series on the Manatee Money Squeeze. We encourage all of our listing clients to read this article:



In a declining market, like we have seen in the Bradenton - Sarasota , Florida area holding out for "your" price means only one thing. You will end up with even less in your pocket as the days tick by.


We have seen it happen for month after month now. We list a home at what seems like market value at the time. However, the market is declining every month. What seems like the right price is soon rejected by the market.


Sellers who wait too long to drop their price too little see their listing languish on the market. However, sellers who repond quickly to lack of showings and lack of offers with a significant price adjustment soon have offers. We have seen some of our clients receive 3 offers at a time and sell above the asking price.


Our recommendation:

1. Price it "right" to begin with.

2. If you have few showings, make a price adjustment.

3. If you have lots of showings but no offers, make a small price adjustment.

4. Have your house in super, tip-top shape.

5. Make it sparkle during showings.


We have sold 30 houses this year already. That's about 10 times the number sold by the average agent in our market. We know HOW to sell your home, but you control the price.


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Bradenton Real Estate

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Practical Advice for Home Sellers


A lot of sellers in today's market don't want to paint, clean or fix anything. The assumption is the house down the street sold last year for more money, and that home does not come close to comparing to theirs! Even when an experienced listing agent makes recommendations to the seller -- the seller's refuse to take them to heart. Why? They believe their home and situation is different from everybody else that is selling a home.


They feel they have the best home, or perhaps some aspect of their home that makes them totally unique. In the seller’s mind, they get an exemption from doing the required work.


But this can be the fatal mistake or real estate, failing to see that the home down the street is unique as well. Maybe it has been totally updated with new siding, or new roof.


Buyers will view your home with a critical eye -- all the while comparing current pricing and all other real estate in your area. They want to be certain the money they are spending to purchase a property is well spent! They do not want to overpay on a home that still needs work. So if the carpets are dirty and original, the carpet padding has lost it's resiliency, if there are water stains on the kitchen ceiling, there is rusty water underneath the hot water heater, the paint trim has yellowed, the windows are fogged up, the furnace is gasping, and the home is on the market with none of the needed maintenance taken care of, the buyer will say "Next!"


And then when the buyer does move on, the seller may be thinking that his agent is wasn't working for him -- not holding enough open houses or placing ads and classifieds in magazines. The truth is they were not listening.


Clean and staged homes are important. The buyer needs to be able to envision themselves living in the space. Spending weeks -- or months -- on the search for their next perfect home has tired the buyer out. They don't want to see the grimy floors and the minor repairs that they'll spend week fixing when they move in.


For some quick tips, have your homeowners:

+Mow the yard and weed the flower beds.

+Tone down the color. You love the red, but a neutral tone, such as beige. You are selling the room, not the color.

+Declutter, especially before and open house or a walk-through.

+If they don't want to clean, hire a maid service for a day. Have them mop and dust and scrub -- especially in the kitchen and bathrooms!


So sellers, listen to reasonable advice in the form of wisdom from the experienced agent you have hired to sell your home. Ask for the market statistics to be substantiated. Compare your homes to other homes in your own community "apples to apples!" Then paint, clean, fix, update, and still price your home or real estate competitively!


Source: Realty Times; Jim Crawford


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Bradenton Real Estate

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Bradenton - Sarasota Real Estate Market Has Hit Bottom

The Bradenton - Sarasota, Florida real estate market has hit bottom, and will stay there for the next 12-18 months and then begin a 3-4 percent annual growth climb.

At least that's the word from Hank Fishind a well respected Florida economist. And that's good news for our Bradenton Real Estate Market. Having seen a median price decline of approximately 22% since the high of 2005, it seems that we have finally hit bottom.

Personally, our real estate team is having a strong 2007 as we see buyers entering the market to take advantage of the price declines. Low interest rates and a great inventory selection makes this a perfect time to buy.

To our listing clients we reccommend the following:
1. Be sure you are priced competitively, because homes ARE selling. Buyers are buying the "obvious best value." What's that mean? It means your home should be the BEST priced home in the area, hands down.

2. Clean, paint, install new carpet. Do everything you can to make your home show perfectly and be "move in" ready. Buyers have 100's of homes to compare to yours, make sure yours shows the BEST.

3. When you receive an offer, be courteous, grateful, and negotiate it to it's highest, then seriously consider executing it. Many seller's have been on the market a year or more with NO offer. Don't lose an interested buyer.

To our buyer clients we say:
1. Have a clear picture of the home you want to buy. With so many homes on the market it's easy to get confused by looking at 20 homes or more. Narrow down your criteria to a short list of homes to visit.

2. Make your offer attractive by having a pre-qualification letter in hand from your lender. We can help you with that. There's no cost or obligation to that particular lender.

3. Be sure that your are working with a Realtor who is a Certified Residential Specialist or an Accredited Buyers Representative. These designations (which we hold) give you the assurance that you are working with a highly trained professional.

Fishkind's presentation yesterday in Manatee County was covered by our local paper. You can read the full story here...
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/17035333.htm

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Bradenton Real Estate

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Sell your home by offering a bigger commission


I was reading the ads of builders in new home developments in the Bradenton , Sarasota area and noticed something. Almost every builder is offering bigger commissions to real estate agents who brings them a buyer.


When it was a Seller's market builders were offering 2-3% to agents. Today's ads show builders offering 4%, 5%, 6% or even 10%. Some are evening offering vacations, cars, and other incentives.


How can the seller of a home or condo compete with that? If you are selling your home you may want to offer more commission than other sellers. This is one way to get agents excited about showing and selling your home.


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Bradenton Real Estate

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hold a garage sale and sell your house

My partner and I have been talking about some "out of the box" ideas to help our listing clients attract a buyer. In talking with others we would like to suggest that sellers hold a garage sale to attract more "eye-balls" and thus more attention to their home for sale.

We have heard of several instances where a sale occurred as a direct result of the garage sale. Not that the garage sale attender bought the home, but seeing the home for sale they told someone else about it. The key is exposure. The more people who know about the home for sale, the greater the opportunity to find the right buyer.

Here's a few suggestions:
1. Do advertise the yard sale to attract a large crowd.
2. You may want to use the words "moving sale" to create attention.
3. Consider asking neighbors to join in the sale, but be sure to hold it at your house. You could then call it a neighborhood sale.
4. Be sure to ask us to send you extra promotional flyers that attenders could have. Be a little agressive and hand a flyer to each attender. Ask for their help.
5. Put out plenty of directional signs on the morning of the sale.
6. If anyone shows and interest or says they know of someone who might like to buy in your neighborhood ask permission for us to contact them. Then call us right away with their name and phone number.
7. Consider putting out Open House signs too. We will be happy to provide the signs for you.

Good luck!

Dan Forbes & Marie Avery
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Bradenton Real Estate

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What slowdown? We're busy as can be!

In spite of all the news about a housing slump in the Bradenton - Sarasota, Florida market our team is busy. We have executed 21 contracts on our listings and with buyers since the beginning of the year. That's quite amazing.

How do we do it?

When working with sellers, we help them....
1. Price their home right
2. Give them tips for preparing the home for sale
3. Create a specific marketing strategy for their home
4. Employ our negotiating skills
5. Utilize our superb systems to achieve a smooth closing

When working with buyers, we help them....
1. By understanding their needs and just what their perfect home would be like
2. Narrow down their search from 100's of homes to the few that fits them perfectly
3. Help them understand their financing options
4. Employ our negotiating skills
5. Utilize our superb systems to achieve a smooth closing

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Bradenton Real Estate

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If my house doesn't sell, should I rent it?

In a market where selling a home can be a challenge many sellers are thinking about renting their house out. Does that make sense? For some the answer is, yes. For others, there are several factors to consider.

1. Do you need the proceeds from the sale of the home. If you are buying another home can you qualify for the mortgage without selling your existing home. Remember, lenders usually only count about 75 percent of the rental income toward your ratios. Talk to your lender before making the decision to rent out the home.

2. Will the rent cover your expenses? Add up the cost of your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and property management fees to determine if the rent will cover these expenses. If not, you’ll have a negative cash flow each flow. Don’t forget the cost of advertising, and vacancies as well.

3. How will it affect your taxes? If the home has been your primary residence for two out of the last five years you qualify for a capital gains exclusion of up to $500,000 (if married). If you rent the home out for a year or more, be aware of how it affects your tax situation.

4. Are you prepared to be a landlord? If you manage the property yourself, be sure that you’re prepared to be a landlord and to deal with tenants. Also, be aware that tenants rarely take as good of care of the home as you did. At the end of the rental period you may need to replace carpets, paint, and do other fix-ups.

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Bradenton Real Estate

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Friday, February 16, 2007

4 Improvements that net big results

Sellers who refuse to make minor repairs are likely to pay dearly for their stubbornness, says Sid Davis, author of the new book Home Makeovers That Sell (AMACOM, 2007).

Here are some of Davis’ suggestions for sellers who want to get the most out of the deal.

Start with the kitchen; it’s the most important room in the house for most buyers. Refacing the cabinets or sanding them and painting them white is often a worthwhile undertaking. If the flooring is in poor condition, replace that too.

Update the bath. While paint and flooring help here too, sellers may find spending $200 to replace the mirror and vanity set will net them the greatest payoff.

Clean the laundry room. Hire a carpenter to install built-in shelving and repaint and replace worn flooring. Upgrade the light fixtures.

Scrub, scrub, scrub. Squeaky clean wows buyers, Davis says. “If people think [a home] is super neat, they'll give [the seller] the benefit of the doubt. If it's dirty, they'll assume it's ridden with hidden defects,'' he says.

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Bradenton Real Estate

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tips for a faster sale

Here are 10 tips to help your home sell faster.

1. Paint the trim, columns, front door, and the light fixtures.
2. Replace the storm door with a full-view one.
3. Clean all the windows and window screens.
4. Add new mulch to flowerbeds and a colorful potted plant by the front door.
5. Remove mirrors from over the fireplace so buyers focus on the fireplace.
6. Move furniture 1 1/2 to 2 feet away from the walls to create the illusion of more space.
7. Get rid of any movable storage pieces/appliances in the kitchen and take all the clutter off the refrigerator.
8. Clean and regrout the bathroom floor tile.
9. Replace dated bathroom vanities with trendy (and economical) pedestal sinks.
10. Put colorful bedding and matching window treatments in all the bedrooms.

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Bradenton Real Estate

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