I was looking at visitor statistics on my No Hassle Home Search
this morning, and one detail jumped out at me.
With over 20,000 page views so far this month, 25%, over 5,000 of those views were in Photo Galleries. I.e., consumers routinely look at the property photos when surfing the internet to search for homes. And I am sure that other agents generate more traffic than I do.
It is not unusual for potential buyers to email me and inquire if more photos are available for someone else’s listing they have found on my IDX. Then I have to explain the nature of IDX services. And, sometimes I find that the Listing agent has used the tax rolls photo, which is NEVER complimentary to the property. Ouch! for that Home Seller.
Which do you think presents that home better to Buyers and Buyer Agents? I’m picking the top one, the one I shot. And when you multiply those page views I see by the number of agent IDX sites and scraper sites, the impact of poor real estate photos is exponentially increased. Like having a bad product and going international to purposefully gain more bad press on it. Why? Poor photography going viral to diminish property interest? How is that good for home sellers? Lack of photos, poor photos, etc, actually can be one of the worst marketing investments home sellers can make.
QR Codes are a great marketing tool in Real Estate and are popping up all around Cary NC.
QR Codes in Cary NC Real Estate
QR Codes in Real Estate
QR Codes in real estate are a hot item right now. Using QR Codes in real estate marketing is in its infancy, but beginning to gain serious traction.
QR Codes can be used to convey great amounts of information to smartphone users who scan them.
I like the use of QR Codes for offering GPS coordinates, and since most smartphones have GPS capability, that seems like an efficient use.
But one can also use QR Codes to offer purely real estate data and information. A listing agent can connect buyers to photos, flyers, documents, and make it easy for buyers and buyers agents to gather data they need to write an offer on a listing.
So, I am seeing more QR Codes on real estate listings in Cary.
One criticism of QR Codes is their industrial/utilitarian appearance. Some folks call them "ugly." There is little doubt that, with some care, a real estate agent can present an appealing QR Code. They may never be confused with seascapes by Monet, but QR Codes can look better. The video runs nearly two minutes, but “60 Seconds” just didn’t seem adequate:
Cary home buyers who want basement homes often have to compromise. Many select finished attics.
Basement Homes in Cary NC
Basements in Cary NC
Cary home buyers from other regions often are shocked that many Cary homes do not have basements, and buyers agents need to do some explaining.
There are several contributing factors to that situation.
1. Basements are not structurally necessary, so they are luxury priced. We just don't need them. In the north and midwest states, it is necessary to excavate footings 4 to 8 feet below grade to get below frost depth. We only need, by code, to bury footings 15 inches below grade, so further excavation is unnecessary. And expensive.
2. Many Triangle areas have high water tables on site. Water around foundation walls is more likely to intrude into the interior of the basement.
3. Expansive clay soils. Our soils will expand and contract as they get wet and dry. This movement can stress walls, and allow more opportunity for water intrusion.
4. Cost of finish. It is usually more cost effective to convert attic space and finish it than to create and finish a basement. And the home buyers benefit from being high, dry and lit by sunlight.
Yes, you can get a basement in Cary NC. Commonly, it will be a "walk out" basement, also known as a "daylight" basement. one or two walls will be above grade, with exit doors and windows. And the lot will have some slope to accommodate this. Dugout, hole in the ground, basements are extremely rare.
Buyers look for items that are dealbreakers for them. When deficiencies cannot be cured, smart Sellers and their listing agents price homes accordingly.
Buyers and Dealbreakers
Buyers will often cite a "dealbreaker" when considering a home. In Cary, NC, some of those items are steep driveways, proximity to large powerlines, proximity to busy thorofares, railroad tracks, or excessive airplane traffic.
Some buyers are willing to work with a home that has only a single negative feature, but when they add up, those buyers often lose interest.
A few years ago, I listed and sold a home with a steep driveway, powerlines and a railroad behind it. How can that be overcome?
We have a saying in real estate, that "Price fixes all deficiencies." In other words, when a home's price recognizes the diminished value created by excessive incurable deficiencies, and there is an affordable home with otherwise great features, there will be a buyer.
Smart home sellers and their listing agents in Cary will take negative items they cannot change into account when pricing the home for sale.
Discussion of termite plans, termite inspections, and how that varies from pest services in Cary.
Termites? In Cary NC? Well…. Yes.
One home inspection that home buyers always have performed on a Cary home is to have a licensed pest firm check for termites. Termites are very common in the Cary area and a smart buyers agent will press the home buyer hard to have the property checked out during the due diligence period of the contract.
It is also common for a home owner to carry a termite protection contract, which usually includes a repair policy for any termite damage. If the home seller has carried such a plan, the seller should let the listing agent know, and that becomes a selling point in the listing. If the plan is transferable, it is even more affordable and valuable to the home buyer.
Some folks confuse a termite plan with quarterly pest service. Those are two very different services, even though they are offered by nearly all pest and termite control firms in the Triangle area.
Listing Agents should encourage de-cluttering of storage areas to impress buyers and buyers agents.
Cary NC Real Estate Talk
Selling Your Home? De-Clutter Your Attic!
Many home sellers in Cary have embraced some degree of staging their home for sale. Listing agents are seeing more interest in home staging, de-cluttering, and generally making the home show better.
And then we get to the attic, basement, or garage. Those areas are all too often overlooked in the staging process. Large spaces show well when they are open, and the home buyer and their buyers agent are impressed with spaciousness in storage.
My advice? De-Clutter the auxiliary spaces and storage areas for better showings!
When listing a home for sale, whether Home Sellers should do updates and minor repairs prior to listing or to just offer allowances for home buyers to handle updates themselves is a common question.
I fall into the freshen, repair, and update camp. Of course, that is dependent on the ability of the Home Seller to afford the costs of work out of pocket prior to receiving sales proceeds.
I like to say that it is about "conversations." Fewer defects and issues are fewer items of conversation, fewer things to talk about, whether it is the agent coaching buyers that they can handle updates, or the negotiations between the buyers themselves. Less conversation may well mean more money in a faster sale.
Smart Cary Home Sellers want Buyers and Buyers agents talking among themselves about how fresh and up-to-date the property seems, how little updating the Buyer will need to do after closing, how that may create a more affordable home.
Buyers need to know when they will receive keys to the house. Typically, that is after Closing.
Settlement vs. Closing in Cary NC Real Estate
Folks buying or selling a home in Cary need to plan well for activities around Settlement and Closing. And they should be able to expect some guidance from their Listing Agent and Buyers Agent.
And, many home buyers in Cary do not know the difference between Settlement and Closing in a North Carolina Real Estate transaction. When using the NC Association of REALTORS® Standard Offer to Purchase and Contract, the two terms have significantly different meanings. "Settlement" is the signing of documents related to conveyance of the property. "Closing" is when the Closing Attorney actually records the Deed at the Wake County Courthouse. Buyers are still Buyers until the Deed is recorded. After Recording, i.e., "Closing," Buyers become "Owners."
We are seeing more and more Cary homeowners test the market with For Sale By Owner, AKA FSBO, offerings.
I think right now that approach takes some guts, as even the Cary NC real estate market is a little soft at some price points. Hopefully, the FSBO Owner is trying to present more affordable home pricing to potential buyers and their Buyers agent.
But, I stop short of harassing For Sale By Owner sellers to convince them they are mistaken if they do not use me as their listing agent. Whether they are listed on the Triangle MLS or not, I assume that most people are sharp enough that IF they want a listing agent, they will hire a listing agent.
If you have ever had a home on the market, with a Triangle MLS Listing that expired before you were able to sell your home, you probably experienced an onslaught of REALTOR® traffic, with a wide variety of professionals telling you they had the answers to your problems.
Me? I don't call folks whose listings have Expired or been Withdrawn. I figure they are deflated enough. Yet, I have had some success selling homes after others were not able to. Some times it is just because my photos are better than a lot out there, or because I do a better MLS presentation, along with some more aggressive internet marketing. Sometimes it is because I tend to keep an eye on my vacant listings and primp them a little so they show well.
Whatever. I'll keep doing what I do: Servicing clients' needs.
And I will keep not being a nuisance to people who are on the Do Not Call list, or who are besieged by hopeful potential listing agents.