4 Things Sellers Need to Know About Open Houses

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4 Things Sellers Need to Know About Open Houses

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
March 3rd, 2014
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Sometimes, just getting the listing agreement signed and price agreed-upon seems like the end of an intense, effortful, laborious process. But as you well know, it’s really just the beginning of helping your new seller through all of the twists and turns of selling a home.

In the course of working through these items with internet-savvy sellers, agents may run into increasingly vocal, surprisingly strong opinions on a seemingly innocuous topic: Open Houses. Camps are divided pretty neatly between sellers who think that open houses are a total waste of time and those who think that open houses are the go-to way to getting a home sold at top dollar and in record time.

Inquiring sellers want to know, which is it: a waste of time or time well-spent? If you want your sellers to come out of this question on the side of “time well-spent,” here are a handful of talking points and scripts about open houses you can use.

1. There are different types of open houses, and type matters.

There are two basic types of open houses, a Broker’s open house and a public open house. Public open houses are the traditional Sunday afternoon affairs where local buyers, neighbors and looky-loos alike peruse your property.

Broker’s opens are held for the benefit of the real estate brokers and agents in town, who can stop by one-by-one or may visit in groups or caravans. Most often, listing agents will hold the Broker’s open house on the day of the week that brokers usually tour the neighborhood, and will try to time it very soon after the home goes on the market—before the public open house.

Over 90 percent of qualified buyers will start their house hunt online, so it’s essential to make sure your home is well-marketed, digitally speaking. But over 80 percent of qualified buyers will ultimately work with an agent or broker, so sellers can’t afford to miss them, either!

Broker’s opens are an efficient way to expose a home in its best light to a large number of brokers who are on the lookout for their buyer clients at one moment in time, early in the life of your home’s listing. They also create a rich opportunity for local brokers to see the home in close succession to similar, nearby listings—so if the home is well-prepared, well-staged, and well-priced against the competition, Broker’s opens make that very clear.

On the flip side, if the home is staged, marketed or priced in a way that puts it at a competitive disadvantage, local brokers and agents will often give the listing agent that feedback during the Brokers’ open—giving the seller the opportunity to course-correct or put some final touches on the home’s staging before most buyers see it.

Verdict: Broker’s Open Houses = Time Well Spent.

2. The role of the open house has shifted.

To maximize their chances of successfully finding a property that meets their needs, today’s buyers have to see a lot of houses—and they have to get out and view properties as soon as possible after they come onto the market.

At the same time, though, buyers live busy lives, and so do their agents, which makes the prospect of making an individual appointment to see every listing that comes on the market daunting. If a buyer views 30 or 40 properties before they buy, imagine how many individual appointments that is to wrangle! One strategy many smart buyers and buyer’s agents are adopting is to keep a standing appointment every Sunday afternoon during the time homes are normally held open and view as many properties as possible in one fell-swoop.

Open houses aren’t just to help early-stage buyers discover listings anymore, they serve as a convenient way for serious buyers to access and view them, too.

Verdict: Time well-spent.

3. Few homes are actually “sold” at the open house, but occasionally one is.

No doubt, open houses take a lot of time and energy to prepare for, and sellers don’t want to do all that work, have a well-attended Open House and end the week with no offers.

But think about this: A listing only needs one buyer. Ask your seller if the inconvenience of having to clear out for a couple of afternoons worth missing the potential opportunity to find your home’s ultimate buyer.

They won’t want to miss the opportunity.

Also, there of course other ways open houses can indirectly lead to a sale. Buyers use homes not just to discover new listings, but to actually access and view homes they’ve seen online. And sure, those neighbors that may seem like looky-loos might be curious about the home decor choices, but they also might have friends, colleagues or relatives who’d be interested in buying the home.

Verdict: Could go either way, but the chances the time is well-spent are greater than they seem at first glance.

4. Prepping for an open house is time well-spent no matter its outcome.

The truth is, the time a seller will need to invest in sprucing and primping the home to prepare for an open house is not much greater than the time they would ideally invest in doing these things to put the home on the market even if they weren’t holding it open!

Setting a time and date for an open house and marketing it widely is a powerful “forcing factor.” It provides both a hard deadline for property preparation efforts and sets a higher bar for the prepping and staging of a home than a seller might set otherwise.

Verdict: Time well-spent.

How to Find and Keep a Real Estate Agent You’ll Love

In some ways, the buyer-real estate agent relationship is similar to a romantic one. In either situation, the relationship’s success or failure depends a lot on picking the “right” partner from the beginning. Chemistry and communications also play an important role.

Here’s how you can find the best real estate agent “match” and nurture that relationship to achieve your goal: buying your dream home.

Do your homework

Today, buyers start researching properties online well before they contact an agent. This early research period should also be the time to have your feelers out for a good agent. In fact, the best time to connect with an agent is when you’ve got some knowledge of your local market but need more input, a second opinion and a professional’s guidance.

Asking friends, family and coworkers for referrals can be helpful for finding an agent. Posting what you’re looking for in an agent on social media might also help lead you to the best real estate “mate.”

Take it slowly

Would you introduce to your parents someone you’ve only had one or two dates with? Probably not. Before getting serious with a potential mate, you’d get to know them, learn about their history and understand your compatibility.

It’s not too different in the real estate agent-buyer relationship. Buying a home is an extremely emotional time. Your real estate agent will be front and center with you through ups, downs and trying times. Through the buying process, your agent might learn a lot about your personal life as well as your finances. For these reasons, take the time to ensure you have the best person by your side. If you rush into a relationship with the wrong agent, you’ll regret it later.

Pay attention to chemistry

An agent could come highly recommended and be thoroughly experienced. But with any relationship, chemistry (or lack of it) comes into play. When you first talk to an agent, ask yourself: Is this someone you’d want to spend time with? Does the agent “get” you? Will you feel comfortable sharing your financial and other personal information with him? If you answer “no,” keep looking for someone you click with.

Avoid the blame game

In today’s often-competitive real estate markets, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get the first or even the third home you try to buy. This may cause buyers to get stressed out or upset after losing in a bidding situation or when faced with a seller who’s just “not that into you.”

Unfortunately, buyers sometimes take out their anger and frustration with the market on their real estate agent. But don’t assume that the fact your bid wasn’t accepted is your agent’s fault. The agent can’t control the seller or the seller’s agent any more than you can. Pick the best agent for your needs; trust your agent to do the job; treat the agent as you’d want to be treated; and chalk up a losing bid to experience.

Practice patience

As with romantic relationships, there may be times when your agent tries your patience. Maybe you’ve been looking for a month now and still haven’t found your dream place. Whatever the situation, keep in mind that buying the right home shouldn’t be rushed. Give the process, and your agent, time. On the other hand, if your agent seems to be neglecting you, speak up.

Communicate clearly

This is probably the most important step to any successful relationship: maintaining open, honest communications. With your real estate agent, be upfront from the start about how you like to work and what you might expect from them. Express concerns you have along the way. Above all, give the agent constructive feedback that will help him succeed.

In most cases, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your agent during the home buying process. So choose wisely. Picking the wrong agent can add to the stress, frustration and uncertainty of buying a home. On the other hand, choosing the right agent can make the process significantly easier and more successful.

By Brendon DeSimonePublished February 21, 2014Zillow

Seller Mistakes

Data provided by ActiveRain.com.

ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

The biggest seller mistake is overpricing their home. Regardless of the comparables, their home is “Better”. So it sits on the market until it has to be reduced. Then buyers start asking, “What’s wrong with that house”. READ THE COMPS!

Recently, one of my buyers walked away from purchasing a home because the seller refused to do any repairs. HELLO …..negotiate the repairs!

All of the items on this chart are important….Sellers take note!

IT’S THE PRICE THAT SELLS A HOME

Location affects the value of a home, but it’s price that sells a home.

Oceanfront, mountainside, or penthouse, the most desirable location in the world won’t sell at the wrong price.

Every property has a potential buyer, but like rock, paper, scissors, it’s sometimes hard to know which factor is going to win the showdown.

A good location will sell at a fair price. A bad location will sell at a fair price, too. It just won’t be as a high as it would be for a good location.

A home in good condition will sell for a fair price. A home in poor condition will also sell at a fair price. Again, it won’t be as high as a comparable home in better condition.

But neither location or condition will sell any house. Only one thing does that – price.

So if you’re a seller waiting for that “special buyer” who will appreciate your faded pink and black bathroom tile, your vintage orange shag carpet and is willing to help you put your kids through college because of your real estate prowess, you’re going to have a long wait.

So if your home is represented by an agent, and it’s been on the market for a long time, chances are it’s your own fault.

Maybe you didn’t listen to your agent when he said you’re pricing your home above the market. Maybe you got mad at the first few folks who looked at your home and didn’t make offers.

When the showings stopped completely, maybe you accused your agent of not doing a good enough job.

You put the blame on everyone except where it belongs – on you. It’s not about you, what you want, or how much you need for your retirement.

It’s about the price.

Forbes: Nashville a top market to invest in a home for 2014

Scott Harrison
Staff Reporter-Scott Harrison
Staff Reporter-
Nashville Business Journal

In its housing outlook for 2014, Forbes has ranked the Nashville metropolitan statistical area as the fourth-best U.S. market in which to buy a home next year, noting a growing local economy and housing prices that are still under-valued despite a recent uptick.
For its list, Forbes joined with Local Market Monitor and ranked the best housing markets based on high population and job growth, home prices and the local economy.

The average home price in Greater Nashville is estimated at $199,506 — which is 16 percent less than the market’s actual value, according to Local Market Monitor’s “equilibrium home price” measure.

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn.
Pop.: 1,582,264
Actual Home Price: $199,506
Equilibrium Home Price: $238,411
Difference: -16%
3-year Growth Forecast: 23%

Happy Holiday Handhelds Top 5 Apps For Stress-Free Merrymaking

Want to make this year’s holiday season the most enjoyable and relaxed one on record? From tracking your spending to hosting a holiday party to keeping the kids entertained at Grandma’s, making your life easier requires looking no further than these handy holiday apps.

Food 52. Food 52 Party planning just got easier for iPhone users. Armed with recipes, tutorials, and event-planning tips and tricks of experts, this “Entertaining Handbook” helps you plan for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter and more.

Pickie Gifts. pickie GiftsWracking your bran to come up with the perfect gift for someone? Help is on the way with Pickie’s algorithm-based gift ideas culled from your friends’ Facebook Likes and other Facebook activity. Early reviews say the gift suggestions are right on the money.

Postage am. Postagram. Takes your favorite photos from Facebook, Instagram, phone, or computer and transforms them into actual postcards, then snail-mails them to family and friends! Need we say more?

Flightcaster. FlightcasterPredicts flight delays by analyzing ten years of flight data combined with real-time information up to six hours before the airline announces the delay. For iPhone and Blackberry devices.

FarFaria. FarFariaWith over 500 children’s books in the queue, and new books added each week, FarFaria is the premier story time app for kids ages four and up. Features include offline access to books, an audio “Read To Me” option where any book is read aloud by a storyteller, plus songs, games, personalized libraries for each child, and much more for a monthly subscription of $3.99.

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Pumpkinfest Save the date for Saturday, October 26

Historic Downtown Franklin is gearing up for its 30th Annual Pumpkinfest, one of the town’s favorite traditions on and around Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. The free festival, presented by Bank of America, is in full swing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and festivities will include live music, children’s activities, a Franklin Tomorrow chili cook-off, a costume contest and more to highlight the fall season.

Pumpkinfest activities include:

More than 75 arts and crafts booths will feature handcrafted fall and holiday items. Booths will be set up from the Public Square and East Main Street to First Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Children’s activities on Third Avenue North will include pumpkin painting, free games with small prizes offered by several local non-profits, inflatables, games and more.
Returning this year is the Great Pumpkin, delivered to Main Street by Franklin’s Sister City—Carleton Place, Canada. The fun will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, with some free activities.
Entrance to the festival is free and open to the public.
Live music, anyone? Two stages will offer continuous entertainment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Main Street and Fifth Avenue, and on the Public Square.
The annual Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook-off will feature at least 10 teams, who will serve up to two-ounce portions of chili per person. An $8 ticket includes 10 samples from local chefs! The tent is at Third Avenue South, between City Hall and the Courthouse, and they’ll be serving from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children can compete in four categories during the annual costume contest on the Public Square. The categories are: pets; children, ages 0-5; 6-13; and 14+. The entry fee is $2, and sign-up is next to the stage in front of City Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a maximum of 50 contestants in each category. Contestants must be entered and present on the Public Square by 3 p.m. to participate.
For some spooky fun, tours of downtown Franklin’s two historic cemeteries on North Margin Street (two blocks from Main Street) will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening. In “Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones,” costumed actors relay fascinating stories of the cemeteries’ inhabitants. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up, and $5 for ages 7 to 13. Tickets may be purchased at www.franklinonfoot.com, at the Heritage Foundation office at 134 Second Ave. N., or at the gate the night of the event.

Now in its 30th year, the annual fall event is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association. Pumpkinfest is presented by Bank of America, Waste Management, the City of Franklin, Williamson Medical Center, Publix Super Markets, Fox 17, Williamson A.M./The Tennessean, Clear Channel Radio and Williamson Medical Center.

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Delightfully Frightful Halloween Decor on a DIY Budget

Decorating your home for Halloween doesn’t have to be scary (unless, of course, you want it to be).

Some home owners go all out in a manner more often reserved for Christmas. David Gugel, for instance, takes Halloween decor to stop-and-gape levels. It’s no surprise to learn that he once designed retail window displays for Disney. About.com featured before-and-after photos of his otherwise typical suburban home transformed into a wild October frightfest. If you’re like us, there’s never enough time to pursue all the wild home styles that people create.

For those of us with less dramatic homes, budgets and taste, a little sweat equity can still bring a delightfully eerie air to your abode. Herewith, some relatively simple do-it-yourself ways to capture the spooky season.

Front Yard

Pumpkins and mums add a classic seasonal touch with minimal effort. They can welcome guests at the foot of a driveway, line a walkway to the front door or gather around a tree. The tree itself could sport eyes, cut from felt and held aloft with environmentally friendly adhesives. The truly ambitious could carve Styrofoam headstones, but the faint-of-heart, beware — that’s a half-day project.

Front Door

Classy or ghastly? The options run amok. Amazon sells bloody footprints on paper, but why not make your own? A roll of kids’ mural paper from any craft store, some red acrylic paint, a bit of soap for those dirty feet afterward, and before you can say “wrap the body in a rug,” there are telltale prints leading to your door.

Or stick with simple. Hang a witch’s hat on the front door as you would a wreath. Sit the kids down with scissors, black felt and a stencil, and create a colony of bats. Paint Chinese paper lanterns like jack-o’-lanterns and hang them from the eaves — no scooping innards or tossing rotting (gourd) flesh.

Living Room

Tossing a sheet with eyeholes over a kid’s head and calling them a ghost may be a cliched holiday cop-out, but the same idea can feel almost fresh on furniture. White sheets covering the furniture can lend an air of mystery to a room, as guests (or inhabitants) ponder what goes on underneath. And don’t underestimate the power of low light. If your circuits are on dimmers, you’re ahead of the game, but even candlelight or a well-placed dim bulb can throw unexpectedly fun shadows.

Fireplace

Burn the evidence — but not all of it. Dirt piled where the logs go can host fake bones peeking through. Perhaps there’s mulch left from summer planting? Put it to good use. While it is possible to make your own plaster bone molds, $20 on eBay goes far, too. If you don’t dig dirt, a handful of red glass votives in the fireplace can add a ghoulish air.

Dining Room

For a creeptastic look, think red and black. Yard-sale candlesticks, the more dented the better, covered in high-gloss black spray paint can hold red candles. They’ll give off an eerie glow atop a red tablecloth. Sprinkle plastic bugs around the plates and drape gauze or cheesecloth between the candles and across the table. Watch your guests shudder.

Bonus Bucket

One tip for the frugal: Start thinking about next year now. Come Nov. 1, if not earlier, stores will deeply discount their Halloween offerings. Even if you don’t have the time or funds to spruce up the house this year, some judicious shopping could get you all set for 2014.

If the monsters haven’t gotten you yet, we flipped over some the home styles bursting with gourds and color pictured here — the looks can transfer to any home, even on a smaller scale. But if you want to go big, you have company. Don’t even bother counting the skeletons — of course, there are 13.
By Anne Miller, Realtor.com

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Franklin Party with a Pupose

Join us Saturday, October 19th from 10am to 2pm at Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin for an arts and crafts show featuring local vendors! You will be able to shop early for unique Christmas presents for your family and friends. Local Artisans in jewelry, crochet, monogramming, lamps, paintings, “to die for” fudge, jams/jellies, bread and baked goods, Christmas ornaments…and so much more! Bring the whole family for a Farm Fest Picture and then kids can play on the farm, see the chickens and goats and walk down the nature trail.

The Fall Fest will be benefiting “Leaving the Cocoon” – a ministry established for women reentering life after prison, through mentoring, counseling, and a ‘continuum of care’ services.

Complimentary refreshments will be provided. List of vendors coming soon. Hope to see you all there!

Please visit our Facebook Page and share with your friends to help us support “Leaving the Cocoon”.

https://www.facebook.com/stoneycreekPWP

Stoney Creek Farm
4700 Coe Lane
Franklin, Tennessee 37064
Phone: 615-591-0015
www.stoneycreekfarmtennessee.com

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25 Percent of Tennessee Firms on Inc. 500 Located in Williamson County

August 20, 2013

Nashville Business Journal
By Jamie McGee

Seven Middle Tennessee companies have landed on the 2013 Inc. 500 list, which features the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.

Value Payment Systems, a financial services company based in Nashville, ranked seventh, climbing 17,404 percent in three years to $25.5 million in revenue, according to Inc. ASE Direct, a Brentwood-based company in government services, came in at No. 83, climbed 3,924 percent in the same period to $26.2 million in revenue.

The Inc. 500 list also included area companies Reboot Marketing (No. 306), EHD Technologies (No. 383), Santa Rosa Consulting (No. 415), PlayMaker CRM (No. 453) and Medical Direct Club (No. 463).

Several area companies made the larger Inc. 5000, which lists the 5,000 fastest-growing firms. Those include the following Middle Tennessee companies: Reliant Realty, Ingenuity Associates, Continental Health Alliance, LPS Integration, Cumberland Consulting Group, Vertek Solutions, Qualifacts Systems, W Squared, Advance Financial, Advent, Brand Imaging Group, Medi-Copy Services, Confirmation.com, Teknetex, Concept Technology, Rustici Software, Music City Tents & Events, CentreSource, Automates Collection Services, Mankin Media Systems, Werthan, SRS, Trades Unlimited, Metova, Hiller Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Centerre Healthcare, Vaco, Randa Solutions, Stringfellow Technology Group, LetterLogic, NovaCopy, Allen Printing, Jonathan’s Grille, Comfort Supply, Associated Packaging and Latitude 36.