HOME STAGING: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” No statement is more untrue when it comes to selling your home. A potential buyer sees a home’s exterior and makes an immediate judgement.

Most potential homebuyers will start their search for a home on the Internet. If the pictures of a home create interest, they will drive by that home to assess the home’s location and condition.

The drive-by is critical for the seller of that home, and while the seller cannot control where their home is located, they can control how the homebuyer initially perceives the home. This is done by creating curb appeal. Here’s where we need to make the most of that first impression!

Create Curb Appeal

Creating curb appeal is important and worth the time spent. Below are ideas for enhancing your home’s curb appeal. Ask your real estate professional what improvements they recommend.

Paint:

Peeling or Faded – Depending on the severity, you may want to paint the entire exterior. If the peeling is minor, simple touch-ups will be sufficient.

Dated – If your home’s colors have become dated, consider painting it with more neutral or traditional colors.

HINT: Tour a new home development for ideas on the latest color palettes.

Landscaping:
Lawn – Cut and edge your lawn once a week to keep it looking manicured. Be sure to rake your lawn free of leaves. In the winter time, don’t forget to plow your driveway and shovel the walkway!

Shrubs – Keep shrubs neatly trimmed. If they are near windows, cut them down beneath the bottom of the window to allow for more light in your home.

Flowers – Place potted flowers in your flower beds or on your porch to add a touch of color.

General:
Outdoor Toys – Store all toys in the garage when not in use. If you have a play set in your yard store that as well.

Trash Cans – Make sure your trash cans are sealed and placed inside the garage.

Front Door – Place an attractive wreath or other decorative item on your front door to make it more inviting.  A nice welcome mat will complete the entrance experience.

Next week we will cover Part two: Making your House a Home.


12/15 RADIO SHOW: BRIAN HIGGINS

This week, Peter Hunt, welcomes Brian Higgins to the show!

Brian Higgins currently serves as a Member of Congress representing Western New York. Brian represents New York’s 27th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of the city of Buffalo, most of eastern and southern suburban Erie County, and all of Chautauqua County.

Together, Peter Hunt leads the discussion on recent events with the Newton Elementary shooting and gun control. When things like this happen, many people turn to the government and wonder what can we do to make sure this does not happen again.

To find out more, listen to this week’s show! 


HUNT ERA GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

Company Participating Once Again in Buffalo News News Neediest Campaign

Buffalo, NY – Especially given the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy affecting so many households across the Northeast, now more than ever is the time for giving. All of the 15 Western New York residential sales offices of HUNT Real Estate ERA have been serving as drop off locations to collect much needed items and holiday gifts as part of the Buffalo News News Neediest Campaign. The campaign is now in its 31st year, and HUNT ERA remains a significant partner in this important cause.

“There is nothing more important to our organization than being able to give back to the people and communities that we serve,” says Peter F. Hunt, Chairman and CEO of HUNT Real Estate Corporation. “My grandfather, Charles S. Hunt, started the tradition back in 1911, and our commitment is as strong today as it was back then,” Hunt continued.

HUNT has once again joined the Buffalo News and its many partners in making sure that no child in our community is forgotten during the holidays. Sales Associates and employees are hard at work collecting unwrapped gifts for The News Neediest Fund. Because of the efforts of local companies and agencies like HUNT, every gift and donated dollar goes back into the community.

The Campaign is especially in need of gifts for children ages 8-12. Everything from arts & crafts kits to sporting equipment to books, games, electronics and more is needed. Donations will be collected at every HUNT Real Estate ERA sales office in Western New York until December 15. The HUNT offices are also collecting canned and other non-perishable foods for the holidays, to be donated to The Food Bank of WNY.

For the location of a HUNT office near you, visit www.huntrealestate.com, or call 716-633-9400. For more information on The News Neediest Campaign visit www.buffalonews.com/newsneediest.


HUNT ERA OFFICES’ HELP HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS

Rochester, NY – HUNT Real Estate ERA Columbus Division’s Greece office served as a donation drop-off location to help the district firefighter’s efforts to raise money and supplies for NYC area Sandy victims. Dedicated HUNT agents contributed over $1,000 in clothing, equipment and supplies that were directly distributed to victims by District Fire Trucks and local Firefighters. All contributions were delivered by numerous fire company vehicles directly to the storm victims. Among the donations were generators, batteries, blankets, winter coats and clothes, and assorted staple food items.

Buffalo & Rochester, NY – Many agents and employees made monetary donations towards the ERA Disaster Relief Fund. The HUNT Charitable Foundation also sent a check for $1000 (dollar for dollar match). Thank you to all who contributed!


Syracuse, NY – Syracuse: Manlius agents Jim and Tracey Siciliano, who both grew up in New Jersey, organized a collection for supplies that quickly grew to include all CNY region offices. Agents like Liverpool’s Bob Joeckel went door-to-door, and with the help of HUNT’s Kayla Shorney and the owner and staff of Always Dancing in Baldwinsville, they got a-hold of a company with a tractor trailer. First Choice Transport trucked all the supplies to an organization in New Jersey that distributed everything to shelters and families in need. Agents and customers alike dropped tons of supplies off at all of our CNY offices, and the outpouring was simply amazing! 

Capital Region – Our Capital Region offices collected much needed supplies and General Manager Dave Evans made the rounds to collect everything. Items were then given to The Rosenblum Companies, an Albany-based family-owned commercial leasing and development company, who ran a truck with supplies into the most affected areas.


12/8 Radio Show: Mark Poloncarz

This week, Peter Hunt, welcomes Mark Poloncarz to the show!

Mark Poloncarz is currently the Erie County Executive. Mark works with our partners in government and the private sector to ensure Erie County provides the best possible services to its residents at the lowest possible cost. Mark also reflects upon all the accomplishments that have been reached within the past six years. Over the years investments have gone into the economic development

Together, Peter Hunt leads the discussion on the Buffalo Billion and the economic development of the Bethlehem Steel Plant.

To find out more from this show, listen to this week’s show! 


HUNT Mortgage Announces their NEW Online Mortgage Application!

A message from Linda Mallia, President of HUNT Mortgage

Linda Mallia
HUNT Mortgage is excited to announce that they have launched a full online mortgage application. We know that today you are busier than ever, which can sometimes make it difficult to find the time to set up an appointment to apply for a mortgage. Now you can visit our website HUNTMORTGAGE.COM and actually apply for the mortgage 24/7.

Most online applications are currently run by larger lenders, and the lack of personalized service can be a deterrent for some people. HUNT Mortgage is staying ahead of our competitors by offering the same online service, but backed up with the Knock Your Socks Off service our agents and customers have come to expect from us. You can now have the ease and convenience of applying online, without feeling like you are just a number at one of the larger banks.

Our agents can still refer their buyers to their Mortgage Consultant by selecting their name on the HUNT Mortgage website before they enter their information. Once the online application is completed, the Mortgage Consultant will be in contact with you and everything proceeds just as it would with a traditional face-to-face application. We are hoping this new feature will allow us to better serve you, as well as help us keep the process running smoothly and quickly.

To check out the new online application visit HUNTMORTGAGE.COM.


Be Proactive When Selling Investment Property, Anticipate Areas That Could Break The Deal

open front door with window in itSometimes, when buying investment property you feel like you’re walking through a minefield. You look at properties available, have a licensed real estate professional draw up a contract, get necessary documentation from the seller and then, out of the blue the deal explodes! What appeared on the surface to be a solid investment suddenly vanishes into thin air. Now it’s back to the drawing board for everyone involved. What happened?

Were the expenses understated? Was the existing mortgage information incorrect? Were the rent rolls accurate? Was the property assessment misrepresented? Closely examining every investment property will usually reveal areas of concern that may need serious attention. If nothing else, be proactive, ask questions, seek total understanding of the property and its financial performance. By doing so, you will save a lot of time and eliminate the frustration of having to walk away from the deal.

For example, suppose the net operating income for a large apartment complex appears to be rather low. First, examine the expenses and verify their accuracy with the owner. If they are overstated, that will improve the financial picture. However, if the expenses are accurate, then look at each expense item to see where money can be saved. If the insurance appears too high, ask one of our HUNT insurance agents for a policy review to see if money can be saved. If the interest expense is too high, call HUNT Mortgage or a commercial banker and see what they offer. If the property uses a management company, are their rates competitive? If the complex does the landscaping and snowplowing, could they contract it out or vice versa and save money? Are the property taxes too high? Is the assessment accurate? Does the local municipality offer PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) programs? Every major expense category can and should be examined for possible savings. In addition, examine the rent roll. Are the rents too low? When was the last rent increase? Is there opportunity to increase the monthly rates?

An experienced real estate salesperson can assist you in asking the right questions early on in the game. Certainly due diligence will uncover possible “deal breakers,” but why wait? Take it upon yourself to carefully study the numbers, look beyond what you see on paper and develop strategies to improve the rate of return.

The point being, work with your real estate agent to come up with alternatives. Take the initiative, and talk to other professionals: insurance agents, mortgage brokers, bankers, management companies, municipalities and landscapers etc. By doing so, you will improve the value of the investment and save yourself time and money. Contact a HUNT Commercial real estate agent today and find an experienced professional to help you make the right decisions!


Our Vision is Simple …

At HUNT Real Estate ERA our vision is simple … to Always Be There For You – In All Ways!

As a leader in the residential real estate industry with over 100 years of experience, the HUNT brand is recognized for consumer-oriented real estate products and services and some of the most elite real estate sales professionals in the industry. Through our residential real estate division and our core businesses – HUNT Mortgage, HUNT Insurance Agency, Network Title Agency of New York, HUNT Commercial Real Estate and HUNT-Vanner Insurance – our organization provides services that make buying, selling, financing, insuring, maintaining and simply owning a home an easier and more satisfying experience.
We started this blog as a way to continue to reach out and commit ourselves to providing the finest products, services and information possible. We want to build a relationship with you and to Always Be There For You.  We understand buying and selling a home can be a stressful situation, and we are here to make that experience an enjoyable one!