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Posted by on in Flagler County Real Estate
How many people feel that way about the house they are about to sell? It is there house and they are proud of it and sure it is worth a lot of money. A broker who works with them should come up with some contracts from qualified buyers for the best possible prices. Right?

Certainly, that is ideal. And every real estate broker wants to get the most money for their seller that is reasonably possible to get. But there are a few things the seller can do to help bring that about. The seller has to take themselves out of their homeowner mindset and take a good long look at their house from the perspective of a potential buyer. What will the buyer see?

The best scenario would be for the buyer to get out of the car and fall in love with the house on the spot. Then, as the buyer comes through the front door the impression should be of a gracious home with plenty of space. The home should seem well maintained and easy to care for. Bathrooms should look sparkling, kitchens and eat-in areas should look inviting. The garage should be clean and uncluttered.

What does it take to make the buyer feel that way. For starters, follow the path the buyer will take and have a pad and pen with you. Start at the curb. Does your house have strong curb appeal? Sometimes just trimming a few bushes and doing some small plantings around the door will be enough to increase the charm factor. Then come in the house and look around. Are there some areas that could use a coat of paint or a little maintenance? Do it.  Spruce up bathrooms and declutter and make kitchens a little prettier.

Now the hardest part: de-personalize your house. Take the cute collection of dolphin knick-knacks and put them in a box for now.  The refrigerator doesn't need a huge assortment of magnets and children's drawings. That afghan your Aunt Nancy knitted can be taken off the couch and stored until you are in your new house. It seems like a lot but it is worth doing. Remember, it's your chance to help the house fetch, "Top Dollar."  Not sure about where you should start with de-personalizing? Click here to check out this helpful video!
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Posted by on in Flagler County Real Estate
A lot of the United States is holding its breath hoping that the recovery of the economy will continue. Since housing is an important vital indicator, a lot of eyes are turned towards the housing market. This focus on housing is not just because home prices help drive key economic indicators but also that home sales help drive many sectors of the economy in general. Construction, lending, home services like pest control, and all of the industries related to home improvement depend on a healthy housing market. Homeowners do not spend money on their homes if the values are declining.

So, for those who have eagerly awaited news of how the real estate market is doing, the news is wonderful. September was the 20th consecutive month for year-over-year increases in both sales volume and prices! The median price of $185,000 was 12.2% above the price in September 2012. According to the RE/MAX Housing Report, inventory continues to decline at a slower rate. Is that good? Yes, that indicates the market is coming closer to the 6-month supply that indicates a balanced market.

housingMany other indicators suggest that the recovery is moving along well. In a recessionary economy, the population pulls back from luxury purchases and makes do with just necessities. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that boat sales are up 10% over last year. Just like with real estate, that means the myriad industries based on boating will also do well. Marinas, repair and service companies, upgrade parts, and storage facilities will all be more successful, will add jobs, will be stronger.

In our own market area of Flagler County, we are seeing similar increases to the national trends. Home sales are up over last year, home prices are increasing at a reasonable rate, home service industries are bouncing back. We think it's a wonderful sign! How do you feel about the way things are going? Are you as optimistic as we are?!
Tagged in: home sales real estate
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Sometimes people wonder, "Why would someone go into the Real Estate business and want to be part of a franchise? Aren't there higher fees than if you just opened a storefront and started doing business?"

The first answer is, "Yes, it costs more to open a RE/MAX brokerage.  But it is well worth it!" And, more importantly, it is well worth it to the buyers and sellers that come to us. We are better able to help them because we are with RE/MAX.

For one thing, think about how franchises work. Some body has a recipe for fried chicken that everyone loves, and he is making more money running his chicken restaurant than any other restaurant around. So he decides to franchise it, and fried chicken restaurants pop up all across the country. And they thrive. They outlast local independent restaurants and make more money. Why? Because the first fried chicken company was doing it right and he taught all the people who bought franchises from him. They got a recipe that was popular and a formula that worked to make money.

In Real Estate it is much more complicated but the basic principle is the same: the original RE/MAX office knew what they were doing. They teach their franchisers how to do a good job doing things the same way. They tweak things throughout the years and communicate the new information to all their franchisers. So every office knows the "best" way to do things. This cuts through much of the confusion a new broker has when they open an independent office.

If you travel you probably see your favorite chain or franchise restaurants and you stop there knowing you will get food cooked just the way you like it. The same way, people who move across country look for a RE/MAX office when they relocate because they know they will be treated professionally by the brokers there.

Is that really worth the money? Does it really work? Yes!! Franchise Times named RE/MAX the top real estate franchise in 2013. RE/MAX was also in the top 20 of all franchises in all industries. That says a lot!

And what does that say for you, the home buyer or seller? It says we know the absolute best way to help you find a new home or sell your old one!  Stop by our office and see!

Source of Franchise Statistics

 
Tagged in: RE/MAX real estate
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Today's real estate market is a very different scenario from the market of just a few short years ago. Houses are selling faster, banks are approving loans more willingly, time on the market is shorter. Sounds like a wonderful situation for sellers! And it is; but that doesn't mean that there are not some hurdles in selling a piece of property and most of those can be overcome by a savvy listing agent.

Finding qualified buyers - not every buyer has bank financing lined up, good credit, or their down payment money ready to pay. One of the first thing an agent advises a buyer to do is to get pre-approved. Once a buyer has been pre-approved through a lending source, it is clearer what they can qualify for and how much down payment they are prepared to pay.

Getting exposure for your house so that buyers find it - RE/MAX has many ways to help a seller get their home's photos and descriptions in front of buyers. As well as a large nation-wide website that showcases homes, your Realtor® will list your home in the MLS system, provide you with for sale signs, and feature it on their website and social media. This guarantees that buyers who are looking, are finding your house.

Showing your house off to its best potential - Are you worried that your home doesn't have the pizzazz to attract a buyer? Your RE/MAX professional can make staging suggestions or even help you find a professional stager who can come in and dress your house for a whole new look. Perhaps you know your home is 'perfect' but you are afraid a buyer won't have the discernment to recognize that. Your RE/MAX professional can introduce you to a home inspector so that you can provide potential buyers with a home inspection report showing your home is in tip-top condition.

Finally, contract negotiations can be emotionally draining. You want this; they want to pay that. Don't worry. Your agent will work with the other party's agent and everything will get resolved. And, your agent will do his or her best to get you the best possible price. You don't have to do a thing but show up at the closing!
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Everyone knows a Realtor®. Actually, everyone probably knows two or three, maybe even a family member dabbles in real estate. And none of us like to hurt anyone's feelings so deciding who to use to list our home can be a delicate decision. It is, also, a business decision. Your home is possibly the largest purchase you will make and the largest asset you will sell in your lifetime. Doing it correctly can save you money, make you money, and save you time and aggravation. Or it can be one headache after another.

To answer the first question in our headline - why RE/MAX? - that is a question we had to ask when we opened our brokerage. Would we join an established corporate team like RE/MAX or one of the others, or would we be independent. That was an easy question to answer. An independent agent may do a great job but they do that great job without the support that are team like RE/MAX can offer. Nationwide advertising, brand awareness, and a tremendous number of tools provided by RE/MAX make our jobs not only easier but allow us to do them in the most professional manner possible. We don't have to anxiously second guess trends and learn by the sink or swim method when challenges like short sales crop up. Our offices are informed and empowered to work seamlessly with our buyers and sellers using the most up-to-date methods available. So, in order to give our customers the best service possible we joined the RE/MAX team.

Why RE/MAX Flagstaff? Because we are committed and conscientious professionals. Our team is absolutely devoted to making sure you find the house you dreamed of at the price you can afford. Or, that your house sold at a price you are delighted with, in a time frame you needed. Do we believe that we can deliver those goals? Yes. To date, our office is the most productive office in the county. With only 5 sales associates our per agent productivity is $2,139,522 for the year.  And this year is promising to be an amazing year! RE/MAX Housing Report.

So, we understand that the decision to choose a Realtor® is one that has some emotion in the balance but it is also one that will impact many other decisions and have more than a small financial impact. Please consider choosing RE/Max Flagstaff when you buy or sell a home in Flagler County not only because we are your friends and neighbors, but because we will do the best job possible for you. We promise!
Tagged in: RE/MAX Realtor
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As interest rates slowly rise, builders and developers are reporting that new home sales fell by more than expected in the 2nd quarter of 2013. Mortgage lenders have been writing loans, buyers have been shopping, but the slight rise in interest rates has been enough to keep people out of the new home market. That's one side of the story,

The other side is existing home sales. Existing homes are still selling and inventory is still very low. Some of those sales can be accounted for by investors who continue to purchase either for income property or with a plan to flip as the market prices go up. Some sales are accounted for by the in-migration of people from northern states and Canada to Florida's sunny shores. Buyers from other areas often prefer established neighborhoods with mature landscaping and a proven economic trend over a development that is not built out yet.  Established schools and other support services can make a difference to a family moving in to the area with school-aged children.

I have also spoken to real estate appraisers who say that no matter what the appeal of a home where you pick the colors, the finishes, the landscaping, a model home does not have the appeal of a well-maintained home that is being lived in.  That existing house has a homey-feel to it and many sellers are adept at staging and showing their homes off to potential buyers.

There are plenty of diverse reasons but however you look at it, existing home sales are strong and show no sign of slumping; new home sales are struggling. We cannot be sure that interest rates that continue to rise would not have an affect on existing inventory but for now we are cautiously optimistic.  We see strong sales trends here in Flagler County home sales and we are delighted to be a part of this trend. If you have thought of listing your home, contact us! We're ready to sell it!

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Tagged in: home sales property
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