Showing posts with label selling your home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label selling your home. Show all posts

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Value of a Real Estate Professional

The Value of a Real Estate Professional Blog Title, male and female smiling with man holding paperwork
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, it can be appealing to sell your home yourself. It can’t be that hard, right? Don’t be so sure. As anyone who has tried to sell their home without the help of a real estate professional can attest, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sales aren’t as easy as you might think. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 8% of home sellers in 2017 sold their homes on their own, while 89% of homes were sold by an agent. There are some good reasons for using an agent instead of trying to sell your home on your own.

There are many challenges that people face when selling a home on their own that they may not consider. For example, did you know there can be over 20 different pages of disclosures and addendums in a closing? Your agent will help you to not only understand these documents, but also make sure all are all filled out correctly to avoid future liability.

Selling your home on your own can also prove to be costly. 38% of FSBO transactions were to a friend, family member, or neighbor. The median sale price of FSBO to a known person (s) is only $160,300, compared to the median sale price of a listing sold by an agent at $250,000. Those who did FSBO to someone they didn’t know fared a little better, but not by much: the median price was $190,000, which is $60,000 below the final price for homes listed with real estate agents.

You will also have to list and market your home, and that takes more than just placing a sign in your yard. With the evolution of the real estate industry and the methods homebuyers use to research homes shifting to online, digital marketing of your home is more important than ever. Real estate sales professionals have multiple sales and marketing tools at their fingertips. They will use these tools and their knowledge to set up a personalized marketing strategy for selling your home. Most importantly, agents have connections. They know other agents who have clients that may be interested in your home, giving you a larger pool of potential buyers, which means better offers on your home!

A real estate agent offers great value to anyone looking to sell a home. The process of selling your home can quickly become complicated, and agents are there to help guide you through every step of the process with their sales and marketing tools, their connections in the real estate industry, and their knowledge of the market and what will sell your home. Get in touch with a HUNT agent today to keep your sale stress free and so you can move onto your next adventure into your new home!

Source: National Association of Realtors

Monday, July 2, 2018

5 Tips for Staging Your Home on a Budget

blog title with dining room table with basket and oranges.
Table with black chairs, empty glasses and plates. Wall art with colors.We’ve talked about staging your home before, and with good reason: not only will it help your home appeal to more buyers, but it can also ultimately affect your home’s sale price. So it’s definitely always important to stage your home before you sell. While some people entrust the process to a professional stager, we have a few tips here that will allow you to keep the cost down and stage your home yourself. Here are a few pointers for staging your home when you’re on a budget:

1. Create an enticing entrance. Many potential buyers will spend time passing through your entryway, so you want to make it as inviting as possible. Buy an inexpensive welcome mat and place a few plants near the door if you have a front porch, and this will provide a low cost, welcoming entry point to your home.
2. Set up your rooms for entertaining. Many people want to have a home that will be conducive to entertaining their friends and family, so make sure you take this into account when staging your home. Set your table for an elegant dinner, complete with plain white plates, cloth napkins and wine glasses, so prospective homebuyers can envision themselves entertaining in the space.
Bathtub with window, bathroom sink with mirror above and towels. 3. Make your bathroom into a spa. It’s easy to create a spa-like bathroom on a budget! Replace your old mismatched colored towels with matching white towels, place them on your towel racks and replace your bath mat with a white one to match. You can also swap out your plastic shower curtain for a white fabric one to further transform your bathroom.
4. Mount mirrors. Mirrors can help your rooms feel larger and can help lighten up a dark room. Mount them where they catch the most amount of light and use different sizes and shapes to create an interesting art piece.
5. Organize and depersonalize. A clean canvas allows potential buyers to see the possibilities in your home, so make sure to organize all of the rooms in the house and remove personal photographs if at all possible. Replace those photos with a simple art piece, or replace personal photos in frames with an artistic landscape photograph. A quick way to make the home feel organized and clean is to ensure beds have clean linens, and to keep all cabinet and closet doors closed.

These quick, inexpensive changes are easy to do and can create a more polished appearance for your home. This can contribute to your home being more appealing in photographs and in person – increasing the likelihood of your home being sold, and for top dollar!

Friday, June 8, 2018

6 Tips to Help You Hold the Best Summer Open House

After a long winter, we finally made it – summer is here! For many, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the nice weather and to list their home for sale, complete with summer open houses.

While warm weather and sunshine are definitely pluses when holding an open house, there are a few things you should consider when getting your home ready to show prospective buyers during summer months. Here are a few tips for holding a summer open house:

1. Maintain the landscaping. Summer can mean long periods without rain, which can lead to your lawn drying out. Potential buyers don’t want to see a home with a burned out, brown front lawn, so make sure you water your lawn often and keep the grass at a reasonable length. Weed your garden and trim your landscaping too!
2. Clean windows and doors. Winter can take a toll on windows and doors. Keep the windows sparkling by cleaning them both inside and outside your home. (This has the added bonus of allowing as much natural summer sunlight into your home as possible!) You should also wipe down your front door weekly during high pollen season.
3. Add light. Place exterior lights around your driveway and/or walkways to make your home's exterior more appealing. This is also a good safety measure for those walking around your property.
4. Highlight your outdoor areas. Now that the long, cold winter season is over, most of us are eager to spend as much time outside as possible. Highlighting the exterior of your home can be a great way to showcase the property to potential buyers. For example, a great way to feature your backyard and its possibilities for a future homeowner is to set up your patio with outdoor furniture, tables, and a carpet. This creates the image of an inviting outdoor living room.
5. Keep it cool. Air conditioning thermostats should be set a few degrees cooler than normal for your open house. Buyers will stream in and out of your house, meaning your doors will open frequently. No air conditioning? Make sure rooms are well ventilated and fans are running before the open house as well.
6. Keep your basement smelling fresh. As the weather gets warmer, damp and musty odors in your basement may worsen. Clean your basement thoroughly to remove as much of those odors as possible, and once clean, invest in a dehumidifier to continue keeping the musty odors at a minimum.

Taking a little time to fix up your home to its best advantage in the summer months can make a huge impact on your open house. Keep in mind the season and you’re sure to have success!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to Sell Your Home on a Timetable: 5 Tips to Help Sell Your Home Fast

When you’re selling your home, timing is everything. Sometimes, though, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the perfect time to list your home on the market. So what can you do when you’re on a timetable and you need to get your home sold quickly?

Here are 5 tips to help you sell your home fast:

1. Declutter and Depersonalize. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you want to make sure your home is looking its best, both in both pictures and in person. Cleaning and removing clutter from your home makes the space appear larger, and depersonalizing your home by removing items such as personal photos or toys allows prospective buyers to view your home as a blank slate to potentially make their own.

2. The Price is Right. It's difficult to competitively yet objectively price your own home - and price is one of the biggest factors to take into consideration for potential buyers. For those reasons, and many others, it’s always best to work with a real estate professional when it comes to pricing. The experience and resources at a real estate agent’s disposal will be invaluable in determining the pricing that makes the most sense for your home so that it sells quickly.

3. Be Flexible.
It will be difficult to sell your home in a short timeframe if your home is not available for viewing! Make sure your house is always ready to show, and that you’re always ready to have it available and accessible for viewing by potential buyers.

4. Consider Incentives. You might not think that certain items you own have much value, but you never know what could appeal to potential buyers. Moving out of state? Consider leaving large furniture, like a couch or dining room table. These items may appeal to first time homebuyers, who see furniture as a major expense for their future home.

5. List with HUNT.
Did you know that HUNT offers a Seller Security Plan? The Seller Security Plan provides confidence that the sale of your home will be completed in a timely and efficient manner—or ERA will buy it from you. The ERA Seller Security PlanSM (SSP) is designed for the single family home seller on the move, and if qualified and accepted into the plan, you’ll get peace of mind knowing your property will be taken care of in a finite sales period. Reach out to a HUNT Agent to learn more.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Your Home

Do's and Don'ts blog title. 3 people discussing a paper.
Whether you’re looking to move across the country or across the street, selling your home is an exciting and emotional time. There’s a lot involved in the process, including decluttering, pricing, and preparing for open houses, so before you place yours on the market, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to consider when you’re selling your home:
  1. DO prepare your home for sale. Step one should be to make sure that your house is cosmetically in the best shape possible. Do minor repairs, paint touch-ups, and declutter before placing your home on the market so your house can appear its best in photos.
  2. Empty room with view of kitchen. Wood floor and bookcase.
  3. DON’T list your price too high. It’s natural that you love your house - you’ve put a lot of time and effort over the years into making it your home! However, sentimentality and your attachment to the memories made in your home can cloud your judgment when it comes to pricing. You don’t want to list your home too high, or you could risk it staying on the market for too long. Statistics show that homes that stay on the market longer typically sell for less money. Many different factors go into pricing your home correctly. One of the best ways you can set your home for sale at the correct and the most competitive price is to work with a real estate sales professional.
  4. DON’T hang around during showings or open houses. While you may be tempted to stay and watch people tour your home, it’s better to resist the urge and to make a point to stay away during showings. The owner's presence in the home can add pressure and stress to potential buyers looking at the property, and may even cause them to feel rushed and not want to return for another look. This can also lead to inaccurate feedback because the potential buyer may not want to insult the current owner with negatives.
  5. woman in green shirt smiling and holding cell phone.
  6. DO hire a real estate professional. Working with a real estate professional can change your entire outlook on the home selling experience. A good real estate professional will take away the stress involved with selling your home. Your agent will market your property, negotiate potential offers, set up open houses, and answer incoming calls and questions about your home. They market and negotiate on your behalf, so don’t take this decision lightly. Make sure your agent is not only someone who you trust, but also someone who has the knowledge and tools to get your home sold quickly and for the best price.
If you’re interested in working with a real estate sales professional, reach out to us today!

Friday, March 9, 2018

How to List Your Home at The Right Price

Pricing can be a tricky component when selling your home. In order to sell quickly and to receive the most amount of money for your property, it is important to price your home correctly. However, listing for sale at too high of a price may limit your pool of potential buyers, and pricing your home too low can deter some buyers who may question the reasoning behind the low price and whether that is reflective of something wrong with the property.

So how do you find the “sweet spot” for the price at which to sell your home?

Enlist the help of a real estate professional.
The best way to make sure your home is placed on the market at a realistic and competitive price is to work with a real estate sales professional. The insight on the market that a real estate professional can provide is invaluable in many aspects of the home selling process, including their knowledge of what potential buyers are willing to pay for a property in your neighborhood.

Price Per Sq. Ft.
The cost per sq. ft. is often a good starting point for determining your home's cost. It should never be the only factor in your home’s listing price, but can help your agent get an idea of what your home is worth in your market. Your home’s layout is also taken into consideration.

Competitive Market Analysis
A competitive market analysis is a major factor in determining the sale price at which your home will be listed. This analysis looks at three factors: the homes currently for sale in your area, homes that previously sold in your area, and homes that are not selling in your area. Each facet is a great indicator of what prices are and aren’t working. Your real estate sales professional will have a database of resources to help research these factors.

Market Conditions
Your agent will also look at current market conditions. This is where the expertise of your real estate professional will shine. Real estate agents are trained professionals working in real estate every day. They can tell you if your home is in a “hot” area, how long you might expect your home to be on the market, and whether homes are for sale by owner or if the properties are an agent listing.

A competitively priced listing, along with the assistance of a trained real estate sales professional, will help to ensure that you get the most potential offers for the sale of your home.

Interested in selling your home? Reach out to a HUNT sales professional today.

Monday, March 5, 2018

What to Expect and How To Prepare For Your Home's Open House

Listing your home with a real estate sales professional has many advantages. One of the most valuable assets a good real estate agent can offer? Providing an effective marketing strategy to help promote your home. Chances are, an important part of this marketing strategy is going to be scheduling an open house for your home. Open houses are one of the most effective ways to go about promoting a home for sale because they create interest in the area where the open house is taking place.

If you’ve never sold a home before, you may be asking what to expect and what you need to do to prepare for an open house. The good news is, if you’re working with a true sales professional, there isn’t a lot you need to do on your end. Your agent will have all of the marketing materials and promotions planned, removing a significant amount of responsibility and stress from you as the homeowner.

Here are a few of the details you can help with in order to prepare yourself and your family for a successful open house:
  1. Clean and organize. The most important task you do to prepare for an open house is to take the time to make your home neat and tidy. Need some help on the best way to keep your house clean and ready for potential buyers? Check out our blog on how to declutter and organize your home.
  2. Keep your dinner menu neutral. There are certain meals that linger on long after you’ve enjoyed them. So even though you may love fish, garlic, or onions, these types of foods generally have scents that may remain even after cleaning. During the timeframe when your open houses are scheduled, try to avoid making dishes that may leave behind odors that are not enjoyable for buyers.
  3. Plan to leave. Your agent will want to host the open house without you there. Why? Because while constructive feedback is useful, it can also hurt to hear as the current homeowner. As an impartial party, leave it to your agent to hear the responses from potential buyers, both good and bad, so they can use this information to help the marketing strategy they’ve built for selling your home.
  4. Set up a pet-sitter. Since it is best for the homeowner to not be at the open house, it also means you should find a place for your pet too! It's difficult to keep animals safe and contained when there are large groups of people opening and closing doors. If you don’t have a family or a friend’s home to go to while your open house is going on, be sure to set up a pet sitter to take care of your pets.
  5. Let your agent do the hard work. Part of your agent’s job is to make sure that your home is getting in front of the most potential buyers in the most effective way. That’s why they have a marketing strategy they’ll share with you, which shows you where they are promoting your open house, and how they’re getting the message out that your home is for sale. They will gather the names and information of those coming to the open house, and take note of the truly interested buyers.
Trusting in your agent’s abilities to take care of your open house can be a key component in getting your home sold quickly. HUNT agents are always training to have the tools and knowledge to help market your home. Reach out to a HUNT Agent today to learn more about how they can help you sell your home.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Digital Marketing Makes a Difference in Real Estate, and We've Got the Facts to Prove it.

In order to keep up with the changing market, the real estate industry is always evolving. Nowhere has this evolution been more present in recent years than in real estate marketing. The methods with which homebuyers look for homes have changed, and with it, the expectations sellers should have of their agents in marketing their homes.

With most buyers searching on the internet for their new home, how your listing is presented online is crucial to selling. Having a strong digital marketing plan can influence how swiftly your home is sold, and sometimes even how much it sells for, so keeping tabs on the market is important to understanding how to promote your home to potential buyers. The results of an annual survey of home buyers and sellers by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) further confirm the need to understand this digital revolution in real estate marketing.

According to the NAR, 82% of non-homeowners are looking to become homeowners in 2018, with almost half of those non-homeowners being under the age of 36. With this in mind, when selling your home, you should consider the search habits of this group. With 99% of potential buyers 36 and younger stating that they use the internet as a major resource for their home searches, it makes sense to build a strong online presence for your home in order to market to the most potential buyers.

But just having your home online isn’t enough. The quality of your advertisement will play a key role in your home’s visibility once online. Buyers in every age group were more likely to walk through homes they had first viewed online. In fact, 8 out of 10 buyers stated photos and property descriptions were the most important features on a real estate website. With the standard home search lasting an average of 10 weeks, and the median number of open houses attended at 10, it is important for you to differentiate your property from all the others.

Now that you know the facts, how can you be sure you have the best marketing plan in place for your home?

HUNT sales professionals will have personalized and innovative strategies to make sure your home is visible and top of mind for potential buyers all over the web. With new digital technologies from HUNT that meet and complement the changing landscape of the real estate market, your listing will stand out from the rest on digital, social media, and more. Reach out to a HUNT real estate professional today!

Friday, February 16, 2018

How To Give Your Kitchen a Quick Facelift: Agent Advice

Looking to sell your home? You may consider updating your kitchen to add value to your home. If you can’t afford the time and money required to do a full kitchen overhaul, HUNT Real Estate Sales Professional Lauren from out Brighton Pittsford office has some great tips on how to give your kitchen facelift.

  1. Trade out your old appliances. Old black or white appliances can make a kitchen look old. Swap out your old appliances for stainless steel appliances. This can update the look of your kitchen instantly.
  2. Switch out your old countertops. If your home has laminate or Corian countertops, replace them with granite. Granite can get expensive, so stick to some of the more affordable granite options including Napoli, Baltic Brown, and St Cecilia. Save the more expensive granite for your new home.
  3. Paint. Repaint your kitchen cabinets and add new hardware. This simple change can have a big impact, and doesn’t cost much!
Try these three quick fixes to update your kitchen in time for your open house! Contact a HUNT Real Estate Professional if you're thinking about selling your home.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

10 Tips to Get Your Home Organized for An Open House

So you’ve decided to list your home and you’re feeling good about the steps you’ve taken so far to ensure a successful, non-stressful sale: you’re working with a real estate agent who understands your needs and expectations regarding the process, there are plans being made to market and promote your home, and you’re ready to prepare for an open house by organizing and decluttering years worth of items you’ve accumulated in your home.

…Okay, that last step has the potential to be a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry – we have a few tips to help you tackle what could be years of clutter in a short time.

Before we get to that, though, why is organizing and decluttering your home such an important part of selling and preparing for showings, and why go through those motions when you’re going to sell your home anyways?

First, decluttering creates a clean, fresh canvas for potential buyers who are walking through your home, allowing them to envision themselves living in the space and the ways in which they can make it their own. Keeping rooms in the home clean and free from clutter also makes the space and storage areas seem larger, which is an important consideration for many buyers.

So what are some of the best ways to go about easily organizing and decluttering your home?


It’s always best to start with rooms you use the most – like your kitchen. Because it is used daily, the kitchen is one of the rooms in a house that tends to collect the most clutter. Here are a few pointers on tackling your kitchen:

  • An easy way to organize, according to Martha Stewart? Store items close to where you use them. For example, try to use the cabinets near your stove for your pots and pans. If you prep your food on a specific counter, use those cabinets for your mixing bowls.
  • While your special silverware and fine china are great showpieces, find them a home outside the kitchen if they aren’t used on a regular basis.
  • Maximize your space by nesting bowls, stacking plates, and use baskets to keep things structured within your cabinets.
  • Store items by category. For example, keep all of your cooking spices in the same drawer. It gives a uniform look and will help you keep the kitchen organized and neat for open houses. 
  • Make sure your refrigerator is clear of notes and messages! A fridge covered in paper can give a disorganized look to the whole kitchen, especially in pictures. HGTV suggests building a bulletin board to have a home for messages.


Another important room that needs a little attention is the bathroom. The difficult part with organizing the bathroom is while you need to declutter, you also need to maintain its functionality:

  • Find plastic bins and boxes to organize under your sink. Group like products (cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc) together, and label boxes before storing
  • Another great way to declutter is go through cosmetics, medicines, and lotions in your medicine cabinet. Most have a shelf life and should be disposed of once they are past the listed date.


    Most people find storage space very important when searching for their new home. In fact, REALTOR Mag states, “Homeowners typically had buyer's remorse when buying a home that was too small or didn't have enough storage space,” so you better believe new buyers will be checking out your closets and storage spaces!

    • Maximize your hanging space in your bedroom closet by hanging multiple rods to hang trousers, skirts and shirts, and save longer items, like dresses and coats, for another closet.
    • Bins and boxes to organize are helpful for organizing items within a closet, both for easier access and for making the most out of the space available.
    • Light can also play a major role in making your smaller closets seem larger. If your closet is dark, consider adding lighting to the inside to help brighten up dark corners and allow buyers to see the entire space inside.
    When you’re going through everything that you don’t use anymore, make sure to take the time to donate items in good condition to your local charitable organizations.

    Keep your home decluttered and organized while your house is on the market, and you could have a quick sale and an easy move when the time comes.  Don't get overwhelmed with all the things that go along with selling your home! Contact a HUNT Agent today to see how they can help you sell your home today.

    Friday, February 2, 2018

    What To Expect When Selling Your Home

    So you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home.

    …Now what?

    First - don’t panic! While this can seem like a massive undertaking, there are ways to make things easier on yourself as you navigate the sale of your home.

    One of the most effective ways you can simplify the home selling process is to work with a real estate agent. The experience a good agent can bring to selling your home is invaluable, and with their expertise, the daunting task of selling your home can be broken down into manageable next steps, right through to the final closing.

    Here are some of the things you can expect once you place your house for sale with your real estate agent, and how your agent can help guide you through each stage:
    • Discussing Expectations: Make sure that you have an honest discussion with your agent about what your expectations are regarding the sale of your home. Feel free to ask them about how they will promote your home, and even discuss pricing. If their pricing suggestions aren’t the same as yours, be sure to ask them their reasoning. A good agent should have a logical explanation, including comps in the area on which to base their pricing strategy. If you and your agent don’t agree on basic elements of the sale such as list price and marketing techniques, they may not be a good fit for you.
    • A Shift in Mindset: Your home is where you have created many cherished memories. However, once you decide to place your home on the market, it is important to look at the upcoming sale as a business transaction. Instead of thinking of yourself as a homeowner, it may be helpful to think of yourself as a “home seller”. This can be difficult for many people during the selling process, which is where having a real estate agent can be immensely helpful. Agents can handle potential buyers and impartially listen to feedback, both positive and negative, to help you get the best price for your home.
    • Marketing and Promotion: If you are working with an agent, expect to start having your home promoted. Photographs will be taken for real estate websites and the MLS (the main resource for real estate listings). Open houses will be scheduled and signs and flyers created to advertise the opens with the help of your real estate professional. If you’re working with a HUNT agent, you can expect your home to be promoted instantly once your home is listed for sale with marketing tools designed to get your listings online, in the right area, and to the right audience.
    • Signage and Lockbox: Agents will have a sign installed to let those passing by know that your home is for sale. They will typically also have a lockbox installed on your front door so that other agents have access to your home to show their clients.
    • Keeping Your Home Clean: One of the most important elements of the selling and showing process is making sure that your home is clean and organized. Potential buyers want to envision themselves living in your home, and any dirt or clutter may affect their perception of your property. Pets can make this task difficult, so be sure to keep things like animal cages and litter boxes as clean as you can for house viewings. If you have pets that are not allowed to be let outside, it may be a good idea to let your agent share this information with potential buyers, or find a new location to leave your four-legged friends while buyers are viewing your home.
    • Offers: Following the promotion, ideally there will be multiple offers coming in. This is where your agent can really help you get the most for your home. They can evaluate each offer and let you know which are the strongest. For example, your potential buyers should always have a pre-approval letter to show they are financially qualified to pay the offered price. Your agent can review all of your offers and let you know which ones are potentially weaker and which ones should be given serious consideration.
    • Closing: You and your agent will have worked hard to get to this point! Fortunately, your agent will handle all of the paperwork for you (which can be a lot!) regarding the sale of your home. The expertise of your agent will be immensely helpful in easing your stress by ensuring that all of the inevitable addendums and additional paperwork that springs up are completed, and that you are doing everything correctly to complete the sale.

    Friday, January 26, 2018

    Staging Your Home: Why It's Important To Selling Your Home

    Every home tells a story. The pattern of the furniture, the items that are kept in each room, the color scheme and even the amount of light allowed into the space can all paint a vivid picture of the people who live there, and who have spent months or years investing themselves in their home.

    When it comes to selling, however, it is important to remember that “how we live is not how we sell”.

    In other words, presentation is a crucial part of the home selling process. When preparing to sell, you want to create a pleasing environment that highlights your home’s best features so that it speaks in a compelling, positive way to the most potential buyers. Preparing your home for sale in this way is commonly known as ‘staging’.

    Statistics show staging your home can increase the probability of selling your home more quickly. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 39% of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home decreased the time a home was on the market. Additionally, with a majority of buyers starting their home searches online, the internet is now an important tool in home sales. Agents stated 40% of buyers were more willing to go through a home they had first viewed online. This trend also means that your home’s appearance in photos has become an even more valuable asset in selling.

    So how can you stage your home on your own, and even better, on a budget?

    Here are some quick tips on how to help make your home look its best:

    Declutter: The items you have accumulated in your home says a lot to potential buyers. For example, if your kitchen counter is full of clutter, it may tell buyers you don’t have enough cabinet space in the kitchen.
    Clean: And we mean deep clean! If your home is dusty, buyers may get the idea that the home is not well-maintained, and that there may be other issues of neglect in the home.
    Light: Open curtains to let as much natural light as possible into the rooms to make the space feel larger and brighter. During winter months, be sure your rooms are well lit with lamps or overhead lighting.
    Remove odors: Make sure you clean your carpets to remove any lingering odors, especially if you have pets. Just be careful: avoid odor eliminators with heavy fragrances, as many people are sensitive to various scents.
    Depersonalize: Do your best to remove pictures, trophy collections, and hobby collections from your home. This creates a clean canvas for potential buyers to imagine your home as their own.

    These staging tips are easy, affordable and require minimal work on your end to set your home up for success, and to create a new narrative for potential buyers as you go through the process of selling your home.

    Your real estate professional will also have great advice on how to set up your home for a successful showing. Contact us to help you sell your home today.

    Wednesday, December 27, 2017

    The Importance of Taking Great Photos

    The National Association of Realtors Home Buyers & Sellers Survey states that 9 out of 10 people use the internet to search for a home, and they overwhelmingly state that photos are the #1 aspect they value most when searching for a home. Great photography skills have become essential for creating polished and professional looking home listings.

    If you were a potential buyer, which of these homes would you be more interested in?

    HOUSE #1
    HOUSE #2
    Would you believe that these photos are all of the same house?

    If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, check out some of these sites dedicated to awful property photos:

    While these are entertaining to look at and share with our friends, what would your client do if their home ended up on one of these sites? Chances are they’d be looking for a new real estate agent. Property pictures are a direct reflection of your expertise and professionalism. You’re doing yourself and your clients a disservice if you’re not taking the time to take great photos.

    For HUNT-approved professional photographer references, contact

    Thursday, December 14, 2017

    What's Your Home Worth?

    In today’s hot real estate market, this question is the most important one on the mind of homeowners who are looking to sell their home. While there are many considerations that should be taken into account when determining the price point at which to sell, there are three key factors that will impact the value of your home:

    Location is one of the primary factors that will affect what your home is worth. This includes where your home is relative to schools, shopping and public transit in the area. Location also takes into consideration the quality of the schools in the area, the sense of community, the proximity to highways, and the “walkability” of the neighborhood.

    Age, Condition and Style will also come into play when determining your home’s value. While this does not discount the worth of older homes, it does take into account that outdated furnishings and finishes will decrease the value of a home. The age and condition of the appliances in your kitchen, your heating and cooling system, and even the crown molding in your home can raise or lower the selling price.

    Believe it or not, one of the most important factors when appraising a home is considering what the comparable homes in your area have been selling for. These “comps” can have a direct influence on what your home may ultimately sell for, so be sure to keep an eye on the sale of homes in your neighborhood and in your area.

    Enlisting a Real Estate Professional can also make a huge difference in finding out what your home is worth. Your HUNT agent is a trained expert in understanding local market conditions and will be a great resource to help you price your home accurately and competitively!

    Another great way to see how much your home is worth? Try HUNT Real Estate’s Buyside tool, a completely FREE search tool which gives you an estimate on your home value from three different sources. You’ll also get additional information like a breakdown of how many potential buyers are in your area, along with recent nearby home sales.

    Contact us today to how you can fully utilize our Buyside tool.

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    The Digital Shift: Why the Future of Real Estate Ads is Online

    There’s no denying it: the future of real estate advertising is digital. For years, real estate sales professionals have been moving away from traditional mediums like print ads and hopping onto digital listing sites and social media networks to showcase their homes for sale. This digital shift is evident in the real estate trends and stats we’ve been seeing over the past year.

    The success of online real estate websites demonstrates how both buyers and sellers are heavily utilizing online mediums for their real estate advertising. In fact, just this past quarter, Zillow reported a record 1.68 billion total visits (total number of times the site was viewed, regardless of how many visitors), with 187 million of those being unique users (distinct individuals that make up the total visit number). Zillow isn’t the only real estate website posting record numbers either: also reported over 55 million unique users per month for their fiscal fourth quarter, with about 50% of those visiting from a mobile device.

    Even Facebook is getting in on the real estate game. Back in August, Facebook introduced Dynamic Ads for Real Estate. Realtors can upload information regarding a home they have for sale for (photos, address, home information, price, availability) and create an ad in Facebook. Facebook then uses the manually entered information and combines it with a user's browsing history to determine if Facebook will show the home ad on a user's Facebook and Instagram feed. The ads link to the realtor’s site or app.

    With so much emphasis on digital marketing, how do you navigate it all? It’s simple: use a real estate agent with the professional training and knowledge to effectively market your home online. Every HUNT real estate professional is educated and equipped with the tools to place your home online quickly, efficiently, and accurately. This ensures that each and every house is promoted and visible to potential buyers. Contact us to learn more about HUNT’s digital marketing plans for your listing.

    Monday, November 6, 2017

    Stress Free Selling with Tracey and Jim Siciliano

    Posted By Sarah Klaiber

    Are you ready to take advantage of a seller’s market?. When demand is high, it’s easy to assume all that’s needed is a yard sign. As you prepare, don’t underestimate the little things that can make a big difference. Do your research and let Tracey and Jim Siciliano’s 4 simple steps guide you to a stress free process.

    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    Tips for a Winter Open House in Upstate New York

    Having the perfect winter open house doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. Your chances of a successful, quick sale can even increase in the winter, research shows.

    Many house hunters stop the search in colder months, but determined buyers don’t let the weather deter them. Don’t spend time showing your house to vaguely interested buyers; get in front of the people who are ready to buy. Your HUNT Real Estate sales professional will help advise you on how to make your property shine, but here are some other steps you can take to show off your home with a beautiful open house that will stand out during the bitter cold season.

    Curb Appeal

    Curb appeal can help sell a house in the spring; all you need are beautiful plants and a clean washed patio, but winter can be slightly more challenging. Be weather-aware and make sure your guests can safely walk into your house. Clear sidewalks of snow and ice. If you have a beautiful deck or outdoor patio, show it off by brushing away piled up snow or leaves. Another unfailing way to stand out is by adding some light features to your outdoor area, providing a cozy and welcoming touch.

    If you are celebrating the holidays, festive lights and decorations can provide warm, fuzzy feelings, but keep it tasteful.

    Clean and Open

    An exquisitely designed house can’t mask a dirty one, so make sure to clean every nook and cranny and show only a sparkling clean house. By clean, we also mean not crammed with unnecessary things. Your shelves should be beautifully decorated, but not crowded.

    Pay attention to all of the rooms in your house, not just the obvious ones. Every room should have a clear purpose and not be filled with miscellaneous items. Even if it’s your workout/study/kid’s projects room, choose one and stick with it for showings.

    Stand-Out Features

    It’s freezing outside in New York during winter. A wonderful, clean fireplace immediately makes guests feel welcome and can be the key to acing a winter open house. Clean your fireplace of extra soot and polish any glass doors with a mixture of ammonia, vinegar, and water to get it shining so your fireplace is gleaming.

    Buyers appreciate unique and useful shelving and storage areas. Be sure to show off any built-in shelving or handy storage rooms your house includes.

    Updated Look

    Updating any old appliances, d├ęcor, or paint can improve chances of a quick sale, and you can achieve this with small, affordable changes.

    The coloring of your house can change the overall vibe. If your house is too dark, adding a little light paint can work wonders to brighten it up and make it feel updated. Be sure to open curtains and let some sunshine into rooms, because no one wants a dreary house.


    Another big thing to consider is the temperature; you don’t want people sweating while looking at your house. If your open house is a huge success, which it will be, consider turning the temperature down a bit lower than usual since multiple people in a house can raise the temperature. When people are uncomfortable, they won’t have a pleasant feeling and won’t be in the mood to make a big purchase.

    Smells are also very important and memorable to people so make sure that your house smells nice and leaves a good impression. A good holiday candle might be just the perfect cherry on top of a decision to buy.

    Convenient Time

    If you want a good turnout at your open house, you must think of others’ schedules. Whether you are a huge football fan or not, many potentials buyers probably are, so don’t schedule a showing at the same time as a big game.

    While your HUNT Real Estate sales professional will insure your home is properly marketed to drive traffic to your open house, it never hurts to invite people you know and create a fun, welcoming vibe. Turn to friends on social media, people in your gym class, or co-workers, and invite them or ask if they know anyone looking for a house. Take it upon yourself to help sell your house; you never know who will make the final purchase.

    Contact us today and let one of our agents help!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    Small Improvements that Make a Big Difference when Selling Your Home

    As homeowners begin the process of putting their homes on the market, deciding what to improve can be overwhelming. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you'll want to concentrate on upgrades that will provide the best return on investment, as well as maximize the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

    The first step to deciding what to do to boost the value of your home is to take stock of its current condition. Come up with a list of upgrades that would increase the quality of life of you and the other people who live in your home. Let’s look at a few areas that can increase your home’s value.

    Upgrade the Kitchen to Appeal to as Many People as Possible
    The kitchen is the one room that can have the biggest impact on how potential buyers view your home. Instead of upgrades that focus on maximizing the appeal to a certain type of person — such as those with serious culinary skills — give the kitchen a general face-lift. You can cost-effectively increase its visual and functional appeal with a fresh coat of paint and possibly new tile.

    Installing a back-splash in a complementary or contrasting color provides an excellent way to provide a previously uninspired kitchen with a pleasing pop of color. If the existing tile is dingy and worn, a fresh replacement will give the kitchen the bright boost that it needs.

    Create the Right Type of Curb Appeal
    Most homeowners already know curb appeal plays an important role in maximizing the saleability of their property. Curb appeal is more than just adding a few colorful annuals to flower beds and keeping the kids' toys picked up most of the time.

    To create authentic curb appeal that works no matter what the time of year, concentrate on the front entryway of your home. Begin by painting the front door or, if necessary, replacing it with a new doorr in a color that plays well with the rest of the home’s exterior.

    Create a small seating area on the porch or in the yard area off to the side of the entryway, keeping in mind that the key to a successful home sale is creating an ambiance that inspires prospective buyers to imagine themselves and their loved ones having pleasant experiences in the home. Making the entryway as welcoming as possible catches attention in a positive way and makes people feel welcome.

    To finish the look, add a flowerpot brimming with lush, blooming vegetation on each side of the door and an attractive welcome mat.

    Dress up the Bathroom
    The bathroom is another part of the house that can make or break a possible home sale. Naturally, the room should be as clean as possible. You want to try to capture the look and feel of a well-appointed restroom in an upscale hotel or spa. Replace worn and frayed towels with thick towels in tasteful solid colors and stack them on open shelves and display them on racks. Beach towels should be left in closed cupboards.

    Covering the floor with a sumptuous bathroom rug, hanging an appealing piece of art, performing paint and tile replacement jobs as needed, and placing an attractive bowl on the counter full of scented soaps will complete the upscale ambiance.

    As you can probably see, all of these upgrades have several common themes. None of them involve significant financial commitments, and all are designed to make the property appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. The goal should be to provide a framework for the personal needs and preferences of buyers where they can imagine their own art, furnishings and appliances fitting in seamlessly.

    If you’re looking to sell your home soon, get in touch with a HUNT Real Estate agent. Our qualified sales professionals can advise you on all aspects of selling your home.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Pets and selling your home | HUNT Real Estate ERA

    We love our pets, and we want them to feel welcome in our homes. However, there’s no denying that they can be a nuisance when trying to show a home to potential buyers. Many pet owners are fraught with anxiety over the thought of how to handle their furry friends when trying to maintain a clean, presentable environment.

    Making sure you’re prepared to keep more energetic pets from running around the house and bumping into guests is a top priority when putting your home on the open market. A member of the family should be responsible for taking a dog out for a long walk, or you may want to find a local dog daycare center to handle these situations.

    In a pinch, keeping your dog in a kennel crate can help, especially if you provide plenty of snacks to keep your pet preoccupied. Laying a blanket over the crate can keep the dog from seeing intruders in the home, which may keep them from barking excessively. Of course, people tend to take personal judgments into consideration when viewing a house, and some might look unfavorably on an owner who keeps a dog cooped up in a crate.

    Keeping a clean house is so much more important when you have a dog or cat to pick up after. Try to remove as many toys and food dishes as possible, and make sure you sweep all hard floors to get rid of hair. For cat owners, leaving a litter box out isn’t awful but make sure that it’s pristine before anyone views the home. You may also want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service that can give the home a deep clean to remove any smells and allergens, like pet dander.

    Owning a pet will not keep you from selling your home. When you need expert advice on getting your home ready for any potential buyer, trust the real estate experts at HUNT Real Estate ERA. Our experienced agents will provide the tips and recommendations you need to present your home and close the sale.

    Peter F. Hunt