Open houses can be stressful events. How clean is clean enough? What food should you serve? Who should you invite? Where should you post signs?
We’ve asked leading real estate professionals for best open house tip, and their answers cover the basics (clean and stage the house) to the innovative (hire a drone banner to advertise your event). You’ll definitely want to take notes, and be sure to let us know your favorite open house tips in the comments below.
A huge thank you to everyone who offered their advice!
- Create a property website.
John Bodrozic, http://www.homezada.com
Most people when they visit an open house, are pulling out their mobile phone to take more photos of the house to remember / evaluate it later in the day or a day or two later. In addition, buyers usually end up visiting 3 to 5 house in the same day, so how do they remember your house versus the other ones they saw?
A good marketing strategy is to create a property website where you already have photos of every room in the house from multiple angles, as well as close up photos of all the interior and exterior features of the home. Once you have this, then provide a simple flyer with a QR code / short url link as an easy way for visitors to the open house to see all the photos, especially after the leave the house.
- Advertise your open house on Facebook.
Justin Kerby, Founder, CaveSocial.com
Open Houses: We’ve had great success promoting open houses on social media for our clients. Typically, we include 4-6 photos of the home in a boosted Facebook post, which links to a landing page where visitors can see a little bit more about the home, and fill out a contact sheet to be notified when the open house is taking place. This is a great way for real estate agents to generate leads for themselves, as well as draw attention to the open house they’re promoting.
- Paint the house in the best possible light.
Ryan Wilkerson, Realtor/Partner, SURE Group RE/MAX SAILS
Turn all lights on and open all blinds/curtains, remove everything off of countertops (not only does it look cleaner but it gives the appearance of a larger space which is very important in areas like the kitchen).
Remove all personal items if possible (family pictures on the refrigerator or framed around the house) you want all possible buyers to envision themselves in this home , by removing personal pictures you are no longer reminding them that they are walking through a strangers home.
It should go without saying BUT the home must be entirely clean, organized and tidy (beds made, junk should be organized or thrown away). A Seller’s home is their home until the day they decide to list, once that decision is made the home becomes a product. A product that is going to be consumed by the marketplace, so you always want to ensure you put your best foot forward.
- Team up with other agents.
Jay Thompson Zillow For Pros Blog
Talk to other agents with listings in the area and coordinate a “neighborhood open house weekend.” Having multiple homes in the area held open will attract more traffic, and you can all take advantage of each others’ marketing efforts. Try something fun like creating a “punch card” or “open house bingo” where visitors get a stamp at each house they visit and can turn it in at the end for a gift card or prize drawing.
- Partner up with local artists and/or interior designers.
Yvette Brown, Managing Broker, PARAMOUNT & BOND
Engage local artists and/or interior designers allow them to use your home as a staging platform for their works. Have the Open House showcasing their work and the home at the same time.
- Make sure you give attendees these 3 handouts.
Republished from Referral Exchange
Mortgage Loan Breakdown – Helps prospects understand the potential costs of financing the property.
Glossary of Home Ownership/Mortgage Terms – A single sheet of key terms and phrases can be extremely helpful to both first-time buyers and move-up buyers who haven’t purchased a home in a while.
Neighborhood Information – Note local schools, grocery stores or restaurants and the “walk score” of the home. And don’t forget today’s buyer concerns such as the best cell phone carrier/coverage for the area (very important in hilly, mountainous and coastal areas).
- Come prepared with the right information.
Zach Hammer, Marketing Director, The Snyder Group: Team Driven Real Estate
Here are some of the ideas from members of our team:
Know homes for sale, builders, and floorplans of the whole area around your open house. The people who come into your open house may have no interest in that home in particular, but you can still be valuable to them by knowing what is available and helping them to find the best home for them. For residents of that community, knowing the nearby builders and floorplans will allow you to talk to them with a degree of expertise, potentially lending more of an idea to them of what THEIR home could be worth.
- Collect email addresses to keep interested lookers informed about future open houses.
Trevor Ewen, Neosavvy Labs
Collect email addresses the moment people show up. Do not bother them with advertisement, but have photos sent to their email addresses immediately after they view the house. This will keep the property on their mind, and expose them to things they may have not seen/noticed (ideally nice things).
- List in the correct radius.
Republished from the Tom Hopkins blog
In order to have a productive open house, you have to invest time and effort–which is the same thing as money. Before you commit yourself to such an investment, make sure that the property you want to hold open has what it takes. Here are the five things you need:
Make sure it is priced right. Any neighbors who visit your open house probably have some idea of selling, or at least refinancing, in the not too distant future.
Create good traffic flow with directional signs off a main thoroughfare. It doesn’t make sense to hold an open house when no one can find it.
List within your service area. Don’t drive forty miles to hold an open house.
The sellers must be gone. Buyers only go to open houses to avoid contact with either owners or salespeople who are too pushy.
Stage the home. The sellers must know that the house must be impeccably clean for starters.
- Hold an agents only open house.
Troy Balakhan, Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate, Keller Williams Jupiter
Open house specific tips:
If you’re holding a broker’s open (an open house for agents only), build a list of every agent that has sold a house in the neighborhood in the past year, as well as all the active buyer’s agents in the area, and call them to personally invite them to the event. Have refreshments and hors d’oeuvres ready for your guests. This leaves a lasting positive impression.
At the open house event, make sure you know all relevant information from the neighborhood, such as the average (closed) price per square foot, how many homes are currently listed for sale and their prices, and what homes have closed in the past 90 days and their prices (if you have access to that information). Know the homeowner’s association dues and what they cover.
Source: fitsmallbusiness.com by By Jaqueline Thomas
Your Loan in the Valley
Meeting new clients, showing properties, holding open houses, letting strangers get into your car, and even your marketing may be jeopardizing your personal safety.
Here’s how you can stay on guard and protect yourself.
The Risk:You’re inviting the public to a property, which is an invitation to anyone, from thieves to those who might want to harm you.
- Promote security in your advertisements. When you advertise the open house, note that identification will be required at the front door and video surveillance will be in use.
- Partner up. When would-be assailants see two people at the front door, they’ll be less likely to go in.
- Introduce yourself to neighbors. Let them know you’ll be showing the house so others know that you are there.
- Watch for patterns. At an open house, note any patterns in arrivals, particularly near the end of the open house. One common scam: Thieves come near the end of the open house, working as a team. They have “buyers” distract the agent as others steal valuables in the home.
- Stow away your valuables. Never leave your purse, laptop, or wallet unattended on the counter in plain view. Keep them in the trunk of your car. However, always keep your cell phone on you so you can call for help if you need to. Also, before the open house, tell your clients to put away all of their valuables, prescription drugs, and mail. Source: realtor.com
Your Loan in the Valley
Here’s a collection of actions you can take during an open house and immediately after to increase the payoff:
- Don’t be a chatterbox. Greet your visitors, give them your card and a property brochure, and allow them peace and quiet while they tour the home.
- Be honest about the home’s features and improvements. A seven-year-old roof isn’t “new,” although the owner may describe it as such. Many owners think any improvement they paid for themselves is “new,” even if it was made more than a decade ago.
- Don’t drop vague hints about offers having been received for the home if that’s not the case. When the truth later comes out, the buyers may feel manipulated and back out of the whole transaction.
- Make copies of presale home and termite inspection reports available to prospective buyers along with estimates of the costs for any needed repairs or fumigation.
- If your state requires a disclosure form, have it completed ahead of time, and make copies available to prospective buyers.
- Display photographs of popular neighborhood amenities (e.g., local parks and recreation center).
- Have comparable sales data available.
- Give visitors property information sheets with important facts about the home and the community. Examples include a flyer highlighting the home’s features, summaries of room size, lot size, taxes, and assessments; and a map showing the location of schools, hospitals, public transportation, libraries, supermarkets and other services and retailers.
- Ask visitors for immediate feedback about the home. Also, use a guest book to collect visitors’ names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Follow-up with a telephone call or e-mail after the event.
- Don’t forget to turn off the lights, close the drapes, remove the guest book and brochures, and lock up before you leave.
- Provide visitors with a CD that includes information about the property, floorplans, views and anything else pertinent or unique about the home. This way they can review what they’ve seen and not just rely on memory. Source: realtormag.realtor.org
Your Loan in the Valley
El mal crédito puede hacer que calificar para cualquier préstamo sea un proceso difícil y desafiante. Conseguir una hipoteca para comprar una casa es posible con mal crédito dependiendo de las circunstancias. Tu mal crédito dará lugar a un tipo de interés más alto, que, alternadamente, te costará más que si la pagaras teniendo un buen crédito. Cuanto más puedas mejorar tu crédito antes de comprar un casa, mayor será el dinero que puedas ahorrar sobre el curso del préstamo.
- Ahorra tanto dinero como puedas para el pago inicial. El mal crédito requerirá un pago inicial mayor. Esfuérzate para alcanzar un mínimo del 20% del precio de compra como pago inicial.
- Realiza todos los pagos a tiempo. Los pagos tardíos afectan tu puntaje de crédito y no puedes permitirte tener algún pago tardío.
- Ordena y revisa tu reporte de crédito de los tres burós crediticios: Equifax, TransUnion y Experian. Puedes conseguir una copia gratuita visitando el sitio web annualcreditreport.com. Discute cualquier artículo en tu reporte de crédito que sientas que está equivocado. Al momento de recibir la disputa, el buró de crédito iniciará una investigación. Si pasan 30 días y el acreedor falla en actualizar, corregir o verificar la cuenta, ésta se deberá borrar por completo de tu reporte de crédito. Las instrucciones de disputa serán mencionadas en el reporte de crédito.
- Señala cualquier cuenta médica. Las cuentas médicas, negativas y actuales, frecuentemente no se consideran al solicitar una hipoteca. No pagues por ninguna o manejes esas cuentas hasta que hayas hablado con el prestamista hipotecario.
- Encierra en un circulo todas las cuentas de cobros en tu reporte de crédito. ¿Se ha pagado por cada una? Ponte en contacto con los acreedores para cada cuenta de cobro que no se ha pagado para llegar a un acuerdo. No externes que estás comprando una casa, ya que el acreedor sabrá que no puedes adquirirla con cualesquiera cobros pendientes. Declara que quieres resolver la deuda y ofrece arreglar del 25 a 50% de la cantidad original. Consigue que cualquier acuerdo sea escrito antes de enviar el pago. Envía el pago con un cheque certificado como evidencia de pago y guarda el recibo. Guarda la carta de acuerdo. Necesitarás mostrar estos documentos al prestamista hipotecario.
- Salda cualesquiera pagos de tarjeta de crédito que tengas para adquirir el equilibrio de entre 1 al 20% de la línea de crédito. La baja de tu equilibrio incrementará tu puntaje de crédito.
- Haz una lista de cada anotación negativa en tu reporte de crédito. Esta lista necesita incluir cada pago tardío inclusive si se trata de la misma cuenta. Explica porque sucedió la anotación negativa. Para obtener una hipoteca, necesitarás proporcionar una explicación al prestamista hipotecario.
- Reúnete con el prestamista hipotecario. Explica que te encuentras queriendo comprar una casa pero que tienes problemas crediticios. Él sacará una copia de tus reportes de crédito, observará tus ingresos y egresos y te aconsejará sobre cualquier paso adicional que necesites. Si no tienes ningún cobro sin pagar y no cuentas con un pago inicial, estás en la posición de calificar para un préstamo. Source: ehowenespanol.com
Your Loan in the Valley
Antes de entrar al 2015, revisa tus resultados y haz una lista para alcanzar todas las metas de tu negocio.
- Prepara el escenario para crecer. Revisa tus proyecciones para el siguiente año y asegúrate de ajustar apropiadamente el presupuesto en cada área.
- Ordena tus libros contables. Si no lo has hecho mes con mes y si tampoco has apartado algo de dinero, va a ser difícil acomodar todo.
- Reúnete con tu equipo. Tal vez piensas en el negocio todo el tiempo, pero es fácil olvidar comunicar tus pensamientos con tus empleados.
- Busca ahorrar. Los grandes gastos que prometen un buen crecimiento dominan tus pensamientos. Identifica los artículos costosos y ve si puedes pagarlos con esos ahorros.
- Evalúa la tecnología de la empresa. Cuando hagas una revisión, investiga cómo han usado los sistemas actuales. A veces si los empleados no usan cierto software, sistema o equipo es porque no lo saben utilizar.
- Ponte metas. Las mejores metas son las que son realizables. Es fácil olvidar esto cuando te pones objetivos a largo plazo.
¿Qué van a hacer diferente tu equipo y tú? ¿Gastarás en más marketing? ¿Te enfocarás en los productos más vendidos este año? Crea un plan de acción y llega a un consenso y entendimiento de los nuevos comportamientos.
- Contribuye. Realiza donaciones a diferentes lugares para contribuir antes de que acabe el año. Puedes organizar que tu empresa ofrezca regalos a cierta obra de beneficencia que vaya acorde a los valores de tu negocio. Source: soyentrepreneur.com
Yoru Loan in the Valley
Pre-qualify Prospects and Referring Partners so you get more Real Estate Business
1) Cooperate: When speaking with them, are they amiable and willing to cooperate? Although they may be facing challenges because of today’s market or because of credit issues, that is fine, but if they get belligerent or angry with you, you do not have to work with them.
2) Plea for Help: Do they want to be helped? Find out their “hurt” and show them how your product or service is the “cure”
3) Realistic: Do they have realistic expectations? Does the prospect realize that the current value of their home may not be the same as it was few years ago? If financing is involved, do buyer prospects realize that loan programs are not the same today as they were 2 years ago.
4) Conversation: Are they willing to have a conversation with you? Do they even answer the phone or have they been avoiding you for weeks? Are they short with you and give clipped, one word answers or do they at least provide a little dialogue? Follow the rule of three, once you have left them 3 messages if they do not respond throw them away and move on.
5) Action: Do they want to move forward anytime within the next 2-14 days? Are they motivated and ready to move forward now?
Qualifying your prospective clients quickly and effectively is a skill that is sure to bring you massive success in any industry. Source: propertysolutions123.com
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on interest rates, no matter where you are in the loan process. Here’s why.
If you haven’t applied for a mortgage yet.
Watching interest rate trends before you apply will help you determine what kind of loan to get. If rates are rising, you may want to stick with a fixed-rate mortgage to lock in a lower rate for the life of a loan. If rates are falling, an adjustable-rate mortgage might be the way to go. If you don’t plan to be in the house for an extended length of time, a hybrid ARM could be an option for you. These loans have a fixed rate for a period of time before converting into an adjustable-rate, usually after 1, 3, 5 or 7 years.
If you have applied, but haven’t closed.
Since it can take up to four weeks from application to closing, watch interest rates closely. If rates are rising, you may want to “lock-in”, and have the lender guarantee that day’s rate for your loan. If rates are falling, you may want to hold off locking in for as long as possible. Some lenders will even allow you to “float down” your rate if you’ve already locked, allowing you to take a lower rate if rates fall. (There may be a fee for this service.)
If you have an adjustable rate mortgage.
If rates are rising and your adjustable-rate mortgage is about to reset, crunch the numbers and see how much your payment is likely to go up. If you are going to feel the pinch, consider refinancing into a fixed rate mortgage.
If you have a fixed rate mortgage.
Just because you got a fixed-rate mortgage doesn’t mean you should fix it and forget it. When interest rates fall, you could save yourself significant amounts on your monthly payment by refinancing. Use our refinance calculator to ensure that the savings exceed the cost to refinance. Source: getsmart.com
Your Loan in the valley
CalHFA offers a variety of loan programs to help you purchase your first home.
FIRST MORTGAGE PROGRAMS
CalPLUS Loan Program
The CalPLUS program is an FHA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage. This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for down payment assistance only.
CalHFA FHA Loan Program
The CalHFA FHA program is an FHA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage. This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and can be combined with either the California Homebuyer Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) or the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP).
DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The money you put “down” or the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers. That’s why CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance. This type of assistance is often called a second or subordinate loan. CalHFA’s subordinate loans are “silent seconds”, meaning payments on this loan are deferred so you do not have to make a payment on this assistance until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. This helps to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.
California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP)
Offers a deferred-payment subordinate loan in the amount of (3%) of the purchase price or appraised value, which ever is less to be used for down payment and/or closing costs.
Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP)
Program intended for eligible teachers, administrators, classified employees and staff members working in high priority schools in California. Offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount not to exceed the greater of $7,500 or 3% of the sales price or in CalHFA-defined high cost areas an amount not to exceed the greater of $15,000 or 3% of the sales price. Assistance can be used for down payment.
OTHER PARTNERSHIP & PROGRAM OPTIONS
Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit Program (MCC)
A federal credit which can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income which borrowers may use toward their monthly mortgage payment. This MCC Tax Credit program may enable first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on their U.S. individual income tax returns.
Individual Development Accounts
IDA’s are special savings accounts designed to assist low income borrowers on their path toward ownership of a long-term asset, such as a home, through matched contributions by nonprofit organizations and eligible banks. These organizations may offer up to a 3:1 savings match (i.e., if you save $1,000, you will receive an additional $3,000). To find an organization that offers an IDA program please follow the link above.
HUD – Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may enable qualified first-time
homebuyers to receive monthly assistance for homeownership expenses in lieu of monthly rent aid. Pursuant to Congressional authority, HUD has authorized states and Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) to provide this assistance using funds available through the Section 8 rental voucher program.
The PHA’s may choose to participate in offering the Section 8 for homeownership but are not required to do so. Under the Program at least 30% of the eligible homebuyers’ income will go to pay the homeownership expenses with Section 8 covering the remainder.
For additional information:
- HUD – Housing Choice Voucher Fact Sheet
- HUD-approved Public Housing Agencies in California
Utility Energy Efficiency & Solar Programs
California’s various Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) and Publicly-Owned Utilities (POUs) offer a variety of Energy-Efficiency and Solar programs designed to assist single-family and multifamily owners in covering or deferring the cost of making their properties go green.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program reduces the heating and cooling costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and ensuring their health and safety. Among low-income households, the program focuses on those with elderly residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.
Looking for more information? Talk with a Your Loan in the Valley Loan Specialist today.
818 810 4646
Your Loan in the Valley