Open House

Open House Tips!

Jovan Hackley
May 12th, 2015

Traditional tools of the trade come with the danger of repeating the same old, bad habits. Open houses may be a routine part of your marketing process, but here are a few bad habits you can break to make them more effective.

1. Neglecting the “Neighbors”

The Web is great, but never forget the local nature of real estate; especially when it comes to marketing. If you really want to drive traffic, make sure the neighbors nearby know about the open house in the weeks and days before it happens. In a world where 92% people trust personal recommendations, these local evangelists are one of your best marketing tools.

2. Tug-of-War Timing

One of the biggest open house hurdles is timing. Most open houses are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. To generate real traffic, consider deviating from the norm and combining the open house with a target-appropriate activity like a week-day happy hour for the young professional demographic or a post-dinner cookie tasting for families with kids. If you eliminate your competition with timing, you’re more likely to keep buyer’s attention.

3. Over-“Helping”

Open houses are about giving a property the time to sell it itself. That means you have to resist the bad habit of hovering. When it comes time to show, you have to trust that you’ve done the best job possible preparing. Most people are attracted to open houses because they create a low-pressure opportunity to see the home. If you ruin their zen moment to view and bond with a property, chances are you’ll scare away potential buyers.

4. Showing without Security

In the mad dash to move the property, don’t make the mistake of neglecting your personal safety. While open houses are a great opportunity to sell, they can also put you at jeopardy if you don’t cover a few of these basics:

  • Schedule Check-ins – Whether with your broker, colleague, or team member, schedule periodic check-in phone calls or visits to confirm your safety.
  • Institute a Distress Code – Check-ins are good, but having a short code, such as “I need the purple folder,” to let colleagues know you’re in trouble can save valuable time if you need help.
  • Eyes up, Not on Your Phone – Until you’ve done a safety check, avoid responding to emails, text messages, or other phone activities that may capture your focus and leave you vulnerable to potential danger.

For a larger list of safety tips for open houses and other agent situations, check out the list of 56 Realtor Safety Tips from the National Association of Realtors.

5. Going Too Big on the Staging

Showing success isn’t always about maxing out on luxury; sometimes it’s the details that help a property move. Installing new lighting and renovating key rooms are a great way to bring positive attention and traffic. However, ignoring the finer details, like a fresh doormat and well-cleaned trim, can distract from or mar a property’s perceived value.

These are just five of the open house bad habits we’ve seen. What would you add to our list?

Posted on May 12, 2015 on Trulia Blog

Jovan HackleyWRITTEN BYJovan Hackley
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Six Habits of a Successful Real Estate Agent!

Six Habits Of Successful Real Estate Agent

Six Habits Of Successful Real Estate AgentsJust about every broker or agent has their own style. Some are extroverts, some are more laidback. Some are fun and flamboyant, some are cool, calm, and collected.

In the course of my career, I’ve been lucky to meet or interview hundreds of Realtors and I have a huge respect for them. Many of the agents I have connected with have large offices and do huge amounts of business.

So what makes a successful agent?

The first thing is always passion. It’s a hard business and it takes a lot of attention to detail and a commitment to great customer service. In talking with agents I’ve noticed that the truly great agents also share the attributes below:

They return calls and emails at lightning speed – These are the people that get a lead and don’t let it go. They immediately make contact and they follow up.  They answer any questions and are happy to stay on the phone with nervous clients. They are the warriors of email, text, and phone and they keep that rhythm right up through the whole transaction, busy Washington DC agent Jeff Vinson told me he calls it his land, sea, and air approach, reaching out to clients through as many channels as possible in the beginning even using Skype.  Their clients feel like they are very important to the agent. They also switch their communication style to match the client. If the client prefers text, they text, if the client wants a phone call, they call. They mirror the client’s communication style so the client feels more comfortable.

They are up on the latest technology – They are iPad toters and smartphone addicts. They do everything from anywhere. They don’t just have a tablet and a smartphone; they make sure they have great data plans so they are never stuck without an internet connection. They try to go paperless as much as possible. They read a lot of information both about the real estate industry but also about general trends regarding technology.

They know their neighborhoods intimately – The phrase “neighborhood expert” gets bandied about quite a bit but when it comes to top agents, they are walking, talking encyclopedias of neighborhood lore. Ask a question about a street and they know what’s on the market, what sold recently, and the overall status of the neighborhood. Tell the agent what you like in a neighborhood and suggestions on places to look will come tumbling out. Looking to sell? The agent knows what is on the market, what just sold, and what you can get for your money. Top Santa Cruz agent Sally Lyng told me that she teaches map classes for her agents to help them get familiar with the area. These days anyone can look at houses online but the top agents know what lurks below the surface and they keep their value that way.

They explain everything they are doing – Like straight A students doing math homework, successful agents show their work. When they meet with the client for the first time they explain the process, the potential roadblocks, and a few scenarios that could occur. They let the client know that they are negotiating, they keep in regular communication, and they adjust their strategy as needed. When I attended the Hear It Direct conference in Orange County last fall, one of the things that sellers told the audience made them most satisfied with their agents was regular communication on what was happening with the efforts to sell the home.

They get leads any way they can – Nobody really likes to talk about leads but leads are how many agents get clients. A lead is an introduction to someone the Realtor hasn’t met yet. Smart agents are experimenters, they try out different types of lead sources, they explore different types of ad campaigns, and they take notes on what works and what doesn’t. They understand that having a social presence is important and that staying top of mind means being active with their clients through social media, through advertising, and even through more traditional methods such as postcard mailings. Postcards and bus stop bench ads are still around because they still work in some cases.

They have a great network– These agents don’t just have a network to bring them clients they have a network of top-notch partners who provide the same level of service they do. They know the best contractors, appraisers, lenders, and insurance providers in the business. They are what Malcolm Gladwell designated in the Tipping Point as a connector. The agent is the hub of a group of professionals that can advise and assist with anything real estate or home related. Top agents care for their network and are happy to refer clients that they know will get top care. They are ruthless about cutting out anyone who doesn’t provide great customer service to their clients.

Overall, great customer service is about two things, knowledge and authenticity. The agents that succeed are able to treat each client’s purchase as vitally important. They are able to steer the client through any hiccups in the process and leave the client feeling that the whole process was as easy as possible.

These are just six of what are many ways to succeed. Tell us your story how how you stay on top of the industry and we may use it in a follow-up post.

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Kick Start Spring Planting!

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It’s time for Spring Planting.  Now is the time buyers are looking for houses and nothing enhances a home’s curb appeal than Spring landscaping.  Try some new ideas.  A trellis is always a welcome addition to any yard.  You can buy a nice wooden trellis at any Lowe’s or Home Depot.  You can plant different flowers to twine around it such as ivy, passion flower or for something new try scarlet runner beans.  They grow quickly and have hummingbird-friendly blooms which become edible pods and shellable beans later.

Large pots on the porch can add a splash of color.  You can plant many annuals such as gerber daisies, pansies, verbena, or geraniums and add a few greens also to fill out the pot.

Take stock of your perennials.  Do they need thinning?  Some plants can grow out of control and take over the beds, such as helianthros, chives, or hostas.  Thin them out and keep them controlled.  Try some perennials which always deliver beauty and don’t spread so readily.  Some of these include lupins, astilbe, peonies, or hydrangeas.  These come in a variety of colors and come back year after year with very little work.

Keep the beds mulched weed-free and mulched and this will contribute to the beautiful look and keep the soil moist.

Don’t forget a veggie garden. You can do some vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, lettuce or herbs in a relatively small space.  You can put some in raised beds or pots if space is an issue.  This is a great project to keep the kids interested and eating healthy.

You can start your flower planting now and your vegetable garden by the end of May.  Enjoy your summer with a great start now.

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Disclosing Energy Costs!

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When you are listing a house, revealing the energy costs could put you at an advantage.  According to Realtor Magazine, listings that disclose energy costs have a higher close rate, spend less time on the market, and sell closer to the asking price compared to homes that do not disclose this information.

A study was done by Elevate Energy of homes for sale in the Chicago area and found that attached homes either a condo or townhouse that disclosed energy costs spent about 25 fewer days on the market compared to homes that did not share this information.  Single-family homes spent eight fewer days on the market.

The City of Chicago became the first city nationwide to allow direct disclosure of residential energy costs, gas and electric, on the MLS listing service.

With the emphasis on going green for many consumers, the energy costs for a specific house being revealed is a win-win for everyone.  The buyer will know exactly what they are getting into in terms of costs to maintain the house.  This can be a great bargaining tool for sellers, especially when they have made improvements on the house concerning energy efficiency.  A more energy -efficient house will save buyers money in the long run and may encourage them to offer a higher price for the house.

The more a buyer knows about a house, the more apt they are to put in an offer.  It may be the new wave of the future.  Soon we may be seeing energy costs on a seller’s disclosure.

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Is it Time to Sell?

home.-the-nicest-word-there-is-195x300Is it time to sell your house?  The housing market is starting to turn around and in some states such as Los Angeles,  San Francisco and New York City, the real estate market is actually booming. There are many factors that can affect your decision to sell.

During the housing crisis, many people bought over priced houses.  Then the market dropped and they saw their house values plummet.  Many owed more than their house was worth and were forced into foreclosures or short sales.  Now with home values rising, there may be enough equity in your home to make it worth your while to sell.

What about the size of your house?  Maybe your family has grown or you’ve taken in a parent.  Now is a great time to look for a larger house.  Many new homes are coming on the market this spring and interest rates are still low.  Now is a great time to find the larger home to accommodate your family.

Maybe the opposite is true and you’ve become an empty-nester.  Your looking to down-size to a home which is smaller and easier to maintain.  There are some great small homes on the market or maybe a condo would better suit your lifestyle with little or no maintenance.

Interest are at an all-time low and have nowhere to go but up, so now is the time to make the move.  Be practical, pick a house you can afford.  You don’t want to be house poor.  You want a house that you can afford to live in but also have money left over at the end of the month to enjoy an occasional vacation or the night out on the town.

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Fairhaven/ Acushnet Broker Tour April 2 !

Broker Tour

 April 2, 2015

Please join us 

1st Thursday of every month
Includes:Current Listings in Fairhaven and Acushnet

Where: Tour starts promptly at 9:00 am at the first house scheduled on tour

*Light lunch served at last house on tour
Please submit 
listings by Tuesday March 31
Dave Garro
Looks like the Market is Off and RUNNING ….lets see those 


You can’t sell a house unless you’ve seen it!!!

Please join Dave at this week’s Fairhaven/Acushnet Broker Tour.  Tours are always full.  Professional brokers and agents only.  It’s a nice way to network and see what houses are available for your clients.

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This blog was originally posted on on March 30,2015

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Get Your House Ready for the Spring Market!

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Spring is officially here!  Although it may not seem like it, now is the best time to get your house ready to sell!  Inventory is still low and now that the weather is starting to cooperate, it’s time to think about sprucing up your home and boosting its curb appeal.

Studies have shown that renovations that improve a home’s function may not be worth the investment. Small cosmetic changes that cost little may give you the best bang for your buck.

Many buyers do judge a book by its cover.  The front of your house is their first impression and many buyers will turn away and look elsewhere if they are not pleased with the look of the house.

While there are certain features you can’t change, there are some things you can do inexpensively to make your home look like the gem of the neighborhood it is.

A new front door, or simply painting the front door can add a whole new look to your home.   A fresh coat of paint on the house itself or powerwashing the shingles or clapboard can make a big difference.  You want your home to look clean and fresh.  Don’t forget the garage door too.

Check your mailbox.  Does it need some sprucing up or a coat of paint also?  You may even want to replace it if it’s in rough shape.

Landscaping can also make a big difference.  Although it’s not time to cut the grass yet, as the snow melts you may be able to clean up the flowerbeds of debris and weeds.  Soon it’ll be time for putting out some nice pots on the porch or front steps with some colorful annuals.  The key is to keep your yard as manicured as possible with freshly cut grass and mulched flowerbeds and shrubs.  If your yard lacks for color, you may want to plant some flowering trees or shrubs to help.

It’s also time to wash the front windows.  This will let the sunshine into the house and also make the outside look fresh.

Lastly, don’t forget the driveway.  Spray away the winter’s grime and oil stains with a powerwasher.  It will add to the clean, sparkly look of the house.

Now’s the time to spruce up and get your house on the market.  Rates are still low!  It’s a great time!

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Budgeting Tips for First Time Home Buyers!

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Buying a House for the first time can be nerve racking, but with better budgeting, First Time Home Buyers can get into a house that suits their family as well as their budget.  There are many extra expenses that can go into purchasing a house that the buyer does not anticipate, but with a good real estate agent guiding them as well as their mortgage lender, they can buy a house with confidence.

Mortgage calculators are readily available online to help buyers calculate their mortgage payments including interest, insurance and taxes.  Keeping within their budget is important to avoid being house poor.  Calculating their budget now and keeping within it along with some savings for unforseen circumstances can give them a good idea of what kind of house they can afford.  Their mortgage broker can also help them with this  and have a wealth of ideas on which type of loan would suit them better.

There are some extra costs which should be factored in.                                                                                                Home Inspection:  Having a home inspected by a licensed Home Inspector, while not mandatory , is critical to making sure you know everything about a house prior to owning it.  They usually cost around $500 but are well worth the money to ensure there are no costly surprises waiting around the bend.

Closing Costs:  These average around $5000.  These include all the fees associated with buying a house such as lawyer,appraiser, title and recording fees.  They should be included in the budget.  Sometimes, closing costs can be included in the offer to be paid by the seller but generally the offer must be higher to take this into account.

Monthly bills:  Monthly utility bills for the house may be different than what they are currently paying.  The realto may be able to give a rough estimate what the monthly bills are for the house so that they can be budgeted in.

Maintenance:  Home owners know there is always maintenance to be done.  The Home Inspection will give an idea of what will need to be done in the near and distant future and can be included in the home budget.  A good idea is to set a weekly amount in a separate account to take care of home maintenance.

Purchasing a home can be exciting as well as scary but proper preparation can make the process much smoother and keep the anxiety down and make it the exciting and satisfying experience it was meant to be.

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It’s a Good Season for First -time Home Buyers!

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It’s a Great time for First-time Home Buyers!   Real estate has gone through tough times and many people suffered though foreclosure or short sales, but the market is turning and conditions are great for first-time home buyers.

There are many programs out there for first-time home buyers.  There are education programs as well as incentive programs.  Interest rates are still low and home prices have not started creeping up yet.  This makes owning a home an extremely good idea.

As part of the economic stimulus package, a tax credit worth 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8000 is available as long as they buy this year.  This tax credit does not require repayment.  There are certain income requirements.   If you are single, you must earn less than $75,000.  Married couples can only earn less tha $150,000.  If they are above these guidelines, they can receive a reduced credit.

There are different loans which can help the first-time home buyer such as programs through the Federal Housing Administration or FHA.  These usually have less stringent requirements and allow the home buyer to use financial gifts from family members, nonprofit organizations or employers to pay the entire down payment.  The required down payment has risen to 3.5% but that is still better than 20% down on a conventional loan.

There are also no money down USDA loans available.  First-time homebuyers need to limit their search to towns that are eligible for this type of loan.  Some towns are not included.

All in all it is a great time to encourage your home buyers to take the plunge and start on the path to home ownership.

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Real Estate Class Starting Soon!

Scorecard bookAgent Rising Real Estate School located at the Bold Welcome Center on 145 Fairhaven Rd., Mattapoisett, MA will be starting a new series of classes soon!

Are you looking for a new career with flexible hours, meeting new people, and helping them find the house of their dreams?   This may be the career for you.   Forty hours of class are required before you take the test.  Agent Rising Real Estate School combines good old-fashioned round-table learning with up to the minute technological training modules online as well as IPad learning  and good old paper books.  You learn at your pace with the tools you are comfortable with.

Classes are held Mondays and Thursdays from 5:00-9:00, next session starting April 6th! Contact Agent Rising today for more information 508.997.8844.

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