Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2010

Over the years, I’ve had the dubious experience of becoming a myth collector.  Specifically, regarding the myths around why a home has not Sold.  As I talk with agents around the country, it has become clear that these myths are actually very widespread and have developed a life of their own…sometimes with variations which are location specific.

As a public service, I am going to do a mini-series regarding these myths and give some insights regarding why they ought to be dismissed and rejected.  Continuing…

Myth #4…Smart Sellers know their home and are the best people to show & sell it!

FACT: This myth is hard to argue against on it’s face.  It is true that as a homeowner, you do know the most about your home as you have been the one living in it…not your agent.  But the myth is that KNOWING your home is the same as knowing how to SELL your home.  These are two different things.

Marketing a home requires a number of skills.  These include, amongst other things, an understanding of market conditions and pricing, a network of potential prospects and fellow professionals, the ability to broadcast and highlight a home’s best attributes and a familiarity and knowledge about online marketing.  Marketing a home is a skill set that successful agents build over time and requires an investment of time and energy well beyond the traditional 6 months listing contract.

*On another note, most real estate agents can readily share at least one instance in which a home sale was LOST because an overly zealous homeowner insisted on showing every nook and cranny of the home and seriously undermined the prospects of a home sale from a qualified buyer.

Myth #5…I must have an Open House.  How else will people find/see my home?

FACT: Open Houses are a staple tradition in real estate marketing.  And they certainly have a place in the marketing effort particularly if done properly.  However,  they are not the most efficient method of marketing when it comes to home sales.  In fact, 96% of homes which are SOLD across the country are NOT Sold via Open Houses.  The vast majority of sales for homes are procured through: proper pricing,  keeping your home in tip top shoe condition and aggressive marketing, promotion and follow-up efforts by a diligent real estate professional.

Many agents will hold a home ‘open’ to fish for additional clients.  This can be a very effective way of touching base with nosy neighbors who might be thinking about listing their own homes soon.  Other reasons to hold a home open include having the opportunity to talk with the buying public about what is preventing them from moving forward in putting in an offer on your home.  All of these are viable reasons to hold a home open, but if you want to sell your home you should make sure it is priced properly for your market.  Then your Open House has a much greater chance for success!

Myth #6…My Home has to be Perfect…Please let me spend another Million Dollars. 🙂

FACT: Now, at first glance, it may seem as though I’ve contradicted myself.  Afterall, in the earlier blog post one of the points of counsel was to make necessary repairs.  The key is in one word…NECESSARY. Some improvements will sell a home, some will not.

Here’s where the counsel of your real estate professional can save you a lot of time, aggravation and MONEY.  Every year, the National Association of Realtors® publishes a guide which gives statistics about how much you will recoup by investing in certain home improvements. It’s helpful to know what your rate of return on investment is likely to be if you invest thousands of dollars in a project which is unlikely to increase the amount your home will sell for.

You may enjoy reading this guide offered by the National Association of Realtors® about interesting aspects of the home selling process provided in short statistical style.

 

I hope that this post has shed some light about WHY a misunderstanding about the nature of the market can adversely impact the sale of your home.  I will be sharing more Myths in upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned! Wishing you a Happy New Year in advance and the joy of a successful home sale.  If we can be of help to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact Audu Real Estate.

 

Read Full Post »

Over the years, I’ve had the dubious experience of becoming a myth collector.  Specifically, regarding the myths around why a home has not Sold.  As I talk with agents around the country, it has become clear that these myths are actually very widespread and have developed a life of their own…sometimes with variations which are location specific.

As a public service, I am going to do a mini-series regarding these myths and give some insights regarding why they ought to be dismissed and rejected.

1.  Myth #1…My home is Special.  It is much nicer than the home down the street.

FACT: Every home is special to the owner.  It is where we live and experience the personal moments of our lives.  However, special has nothing to do with market value.  Market value is set by the forces which dictate the reaction of the market to any product including a home.

Market value is affected by things like:  the perceived value of a product in comparison to other similar offerings, the cost of acquiring the product as in available finance options and the competition for the purchase of the item.

TRANSLATION: If there are many homes of similar type and within nearby locations, buyers will make a choice based on their valuation not on the basis of the experience of the current home owner.

2.  Myth #2… When Buyers get inside my home they will LOVE it!

FACT: It used to be that buyers would drive by a home and curb appeal would make or break the deal. Today, curb appeal starts with a ‘click’…the click of a mouse that is.  If your home does not show well online, OR worse yet does not have any pictures online, the likelihood that potential buyers will actually get into the house to see it and fall in love with it diminishes by quantums.

FACT: Today’s buyer is utilizing the tools of technology to save time and money.  Do you know how your home looks online?  Have you checked on how your listing is being marketed across various portals?

3.  Myth #3…I’ll negotiate that issue IF they make an offer!

FACT: Most buyers today PREFER a home in move-in condition.  With busy schedules and limited resources, most buyers would prefer to not have to fork over additional money to deal with home repair issues.  If your home is in competition with other homes…and if you’re living in the Grand Rapids, Mi area, it certainly is…then it is a logical conclusion that you will be impacted negatively if a buyer has a choice of a home in which the repairs have already been attended too.  In fact, some buyers will even rationalize paying MOREfor a home that they don’t have to make major adjustments to.  Why take this chance?

I hope that this post has shed some light about WHY a misunderstanding about the nature of the market can adversely impact the sale of your home.  I will be sharing more Myths in upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned! Wishing you a Happy New Year in advance and the joy of a successful home sale.  If we can be of help to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact Audu Real Estate

Read Full Post »

We’vesimplicity all had the experience of over-eating and suffering a tummy ache as a result.   When the feast before our eyes overwhelms our better judgement, it’s easy to turn off the natural sensors which tell us that it is enough.

But we pay for it long after the tickling sensations which enticed our taste buds have been satiated.  It is during these moments of miserable regret that we ache for simple things.  The simplicity of being able to eat without pangs of pain and digest without regurgitation.

Excess is not limited to the arena of food, it’s become a large staple of modern western life.

The challenge of Simplicity is simply this…we love our excess; even when we know it is not good for us.  The mega movement in Christianity today has produced the fastest growing, largest  churches in the history of America.

But what is the result of the excess?  How has excessive growth in the physical dimension impacted the transformation of our culture?  And to what degree is a form of contrived simplicity merely another type of outward process which creates a false legalism that shields our conscience from the areas that really matter?

In some ways, I think simplicity is complex…it’s far more nuanced than the wider path which seems so tempting in an arena of abundance. I think that  Simplicity is calling to an inner state of being…not merely a thing to do.

It’s a shedding, stripping and pruning which opens up the cluttered regions of a stuffed up existence so we can breathe and enjoy life fully and abundantly once again.  But it will not necessarily come easily…something as solid as simplicity requires a dedication of commitment and focus.  In other words a singleness of mind & body which we instinctively crave but often ignore.

*An unedited version of this blog post can be accessed on ‘The Challenge of An Excellent Life”

 

Read Full Post »

It is said that music is the language of the soul.  A universal tongue, spoken in countless variations of dialect.  Every instrument has it’s own particular rhythm of communication.  As a young girl, growing up in West Africa, the drum was a central component of the musical dialog in a literal and figurative sense.

The ‘Talking Drum’ is a unique element within African cultural heritage.  Drumming is a highly developed skill in native cultures as a means of communication, not just an instrument for social enjoyment. Historically, the talking drum was used to introduce new arrivals, announce departures and transmit information that was important to the society.

This past year, I’ve served in the position of President-Elect of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors®. Throughout the year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with brokers, agents as individuals and in groups…listening to their concerns and gaining insights into the dynamics of our industry.

As I’ve listened to the groundswell, the process has reminded me of how the message is carried by the the beat of the talking drum.  Each beat carries it’s own unique message and when added to the whole creates a message.  In the same way, the different voices in my real estate community have provided insight about ways in which we can all work together to re-invent our industry in a way that works to the benefit of our community and members.

Leading with an ear to the ground has also involved touching base with individuals through social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter as well as blogging. Drumming is a social activity, one in which the message of the beat enhances the contributions of the other instruments as well as the vocals.  One thing which has emerged very clearly for me is the fact that although our industry is comprised of many different segments often with competing interests, we can align ourselves in sync with the rhythmic interests we all share and combine our best efforts to deal with the economic challenges facing our communities today.

I was recently interviewed for an article in the Grand Rapids Press, our local paper.  As the article notes, my election is in many ways historic as the first person of color to occupy the position of President in the Associations 117 history.  It’s also remarkable to reflect on the fact that this election was not primarily about the color of my skin, but rather members of my professional community were also acknowledging the contributions that they have witnessed over the past 15 years.

My goal this year is to continue to ‘lead with an ear to the ground’. I appreciate the rich diversity that is a part of our community and know that we need all hands on deck to deal with the challenges ahead.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview with Cami Reister, the reporter from the Grand Rapids Press which can be read in it’s entirety online:

On Audu’s leadership style…

“Over the past year I’ve been reaching out to brokers,” she said, seeking a sense of what is needed and important. “I lead with my ear to the ground.”

From that research she is launching her tenure with four priorities:

• Supporting brokers through education and professional development.

• Ensuring the financial health of the association by seeking efficiencies and strategic alliances.

• Developing a leadership track for young members and staying current with the changing market.

• Giving back to the community through “50,000 Points of Light.”

Audu is challenging members to avoid focusing on the negative aspects of the business and instead dedicate 60 hours of service each over the next year.

“We can either wallow in self pity, or we can take up arms and go out and gift our community service,” she said. “If I get 50 percent who give 60 hours, five hours a month, we can do this. We can do more than this.

Leadership is not just about making money, it’s about serving people.”

SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG VIA E-MAIL

VISIT MY HOME PAGE FOR MORE GREAT ARTICLES…

CONTACT AUDU REAL ESTATE

LOOK FOR GRAND RAPIDS, MI HOMES FOR SALE


Read Full Post »

What started with gently falling flakes  which quickly melted has now tossed a snowscape blanket of brilliant white throughout Grand Rapids, MI.  It’s beautiful!  The first big snow fall of the year always is.  I’m looking out my window and admiring how pristine everything looks.  The trees which were devoid of leaves are now flecked with specks of white.  Time to get out the Christmas tree and think about Christmas shopping…

Today, the numbers for November sales were released by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors®.  There’s definitely some news to bring good cheer to the season.  November’s sales numbers have held steady,  which is particularly significant given the drops in sales which the industry experienced in the summer months.  Inventory remains high at 9.9 months of supply, but this is lower than the almost 12 months of supply that we had 12 months ago.  Condo sales are a surprising bright spot with an increase in sales of 23% over the same period last year.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a condo, there are a lot of attractive options to look at.  If you will require financing, make sure you check with your lender to ensure that your condo will qualify for the particular type of financing that you need.  This is especially pertinent if you are going to be using an FHA type loan.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, it’s important to understand the specific dynamics in your area and price range.

Every neighborhood in Grand Rapids has it’s own trends and these need to be understood in order to have a home listing enter onto the market successfully.  Because Short Sales and Foreclosures are still a factor in our area, it’s critical that the impact of any home sales activity include this data and that home sellers understand the time it will take to market a home and what needs to be done to facilitate a Sale.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: