Emotional Traps of Selling Your Home

I absolutely feel for clients who are stressed out during the sale of their home. While we do everything we can to make the process as smooth as possible, there are always high-stakes feelings on the table. Unfortunately, these mistakes can cost sellers thousands.

In the interest of protecting sellers everywhere, here are some of the common “emotional traps” that can directly impact how well (and for how much!) a home sells:

Emotional Trap #1: Pricing High

You’ve loved your home. You may have raised kids or started a marriage there. Everywhere you look, you see history, memories, and the reasons you fell in love with the place. I guarantee you: Buyers can’t see these. Remember: What you may think is an amenity might not be for a buyer, too. It could even be a negative. Distance your emotions from the list price.

Emotional Trap #2: Hovering at Showings

Sure, there may be times when you need to be there. But 9 out of 10 times, you’re only going to make buyers uncomfortable, get your feelings hurt when the buyers don’t like something, or take each minor complaint as commentary on how you’ve treated the place. Perhaps worst of all? You might prevent them from giving the agent honest feedback that would help you and your agent sell your home faster.

Emotional Trap #3: Turning Down the First Offers

Some of the sweetest interest in your home is going to happen in the first 14 – 21 days it’s on the market. If offers come during this time, consider them seriously! The longer it sits, the more likely it is you’re going to face price reductions. Don’t get cocky early on when offers come in and think there will be a steady stream. You might end up selling the home to these same people for less down the line.

Emotional Trap #4: Feeling Insulted by Negotiations

This may sound crazy, but when you’re in the middle of a sale, it’s a very real phenomenon. Remember: They’re not buying you, they’re buying the house. Negotiations prove the buyer is serious, so unplug from the nitpicking fast.

We provide our clients with the rational balance and support they need during the marketing and sale of their home. We’ll be glad to help you sell yours: just call us at 484-893-1234 or email homes@debandjoe.com

Beware the Phantom in Your Home!

LED lightsIf it seems like your energy bills keep going up and up while you’ve been doing everything you can to reduce your usage, read on! There’s a “phantom menace” that’s at work here and it’s all the rage in consumer electronics.

While increased energy costs are certainly playing a part, long gone are the days when shouting at the kids to “turn off the light!” was a sure way to save on electricity (though installing reduced-energy bulbs is a good move, too).  75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while products are turned off, according to the The U.S. Department of Energy.  The term to describe this is known as “phantom load.”

Home entertainment systems with remote controls, wireless routers, appliances with clocks, electronics that use a power adaptor (i.e. a wall cube) and computer printers are all good targets for reducing phantom loads. If you can feasibly eliminate these loads, you can save a lot of money over the course of the year.

So how do you eliminate phantom load? Unplugging devices every day is a hassle, but one sound alternative is the use of power strips which allow you to kill the connection to the main outlet without having to unplug devices.Check out Staples or your favorite office supply store to find a variety of options for allowing certain devices to “pass through” while others are shut off. This can be useful when you have certain devices which do need to be “on standby” while others do not.

While going green is a perfectly good reason to reduce your power consumption, the money you save on power can go to other household expenses, family vacations, and perhaps even the down payment on your next (or first!) home.

Keep an eye out for those energy vampires! Usually you can tell who they are by their LED lights glowing in the night.

I love to help my clients get the most out of their home. If you’re thinking of selling or searching for a home soon, please get in touch today by calling my office at 484-893-1234 or by email at joe@debandjoe.com.

The 8 Worst Listing Photos I Have Ever Seen

Really bad real estate photo

This one makes 9!

When you’re thinking about hiring an agent to help you market and sell your home, it’s probably a good idea to ask to see listing photos of homes they’ve represented in the past. A true real estate professional will go the extra mile to make sure there are plenty of high-quality, detailed photos and a complete video tour to help market your home online.

At the minimum, the photos should be well-lit, the homes should be tastefully presented, and the photographs should appear to be taken by a professional. Less than that, and you might want to consider looking for a new agent.

There are, of course, major red flags you’ll want to look for in sample listing photos. Consider some of the following:

– No owners sunbathing in the pool in Speedos.
– No attic rooms cluttered with personal massagers and ashes/dust.
– No master bedrooms with lingerie models lounging in a red velvet four-poster bed.
– No bathroom shots in which the photographer appears in her bra in the mirror.
– No pics featuring the owners engaged in questionable activities in the background.
– No creepy dolls by the fire place.
– Seriously, no creepy dolls anywhere, not even in the living room!
– No stains of murdered bodies on the bare floors.

Now, it may sound like I’m joking, but I’m being 100% honest when I say these are flaws seen in actual listing photos represented by real agents. What’s more, I can prove it.

See every single one of the above listing photo disasters in this slide show:
http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2012/03/05/what-not-to-do-when-selling-terrible-listing-photos/

Incredible, isn’t it?

Please, whatever you do, be sure to hire an agent who takes their listing photos seriously. After all, your home is your largest investment! I’ll be glad to treat it with the respect it deserves. Let me help you market your home the right way. Contact me today at 484-893-1234 or joe@debandjoe.com.

New iPad Reminds Me of Great Apps for the Home

Photo of iPad

The announcement of the new iPad this week got me to thinking about some really cool apps I’ve seen over the last several months.  Here are the five best, most of which are free. (Even the ones that aren’t free are so worth it that you might want to try them out anyway.)

Who would have thought that you could control your TV with your iPad? And match colors you see in the world to exact hues with Sherwin-Williams? And carry a comprehensive wood grain library with you everywhere you go? Oh, and did I mention: An app to measure your rooms and a different one to help you decorate them? 

ColorSnap: Capture real world colors and match them to Sherwin-Williams paint colors—for free.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorsnap/id316256242?mt=8

Remodelista: Looking for the perfect couch, stylish DIYs, or inspiration to refresh your space? Get your daily deco fix with the new Home Design App from Remodelista.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/remodelista/id377290615?mt=8

 Control4: Turn your iPad into a touch screen remote! Control your TV, lights, sound system and home security from one place:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/control4-my-home-for-ipad/id364304056?mt=8 

Photo Measures Lite: Photo Measures is the most elegant and the easiest way to save measures on your own photos on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-measures-lite/id417222688?mt=8

I.D. Wood: A powerful reference guide to help you ID any kind of wood, or choose a color and grain for future projects.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-d-wood/id325838725?mt=8 

Not a homeowner yet?  I can help you with that! I guide first-time buyers through a pain-free process all the time. Reach out to me today and I’ll send you a free copy of a great book called “Your First Home”.  E-mail or call me at 484-893-1234 to get yours!

Why Would You Use a Ceiling Fan in the Winter?

Image
Are you using your ceiling fans the right way?

We all know that In the summer a fan can provide cooling breezes, but during winter they can also assist in circulating warm air through your home.  The trick is understanding the switch on the fan which controls the direction of the fan blades:

During the SUMMER months, the standard setting of COUNTERCLOCKWISE provides cooling down drafts.  During the WINTER months, the reverse setting of CLOCKWISE creates an opposing updraft, which redistributes the warm air which rises to the top of the room. By pulling cooler air up from the ground, the warm air is more efficiently distributed throughout the home.

Some fans have a wall switch or remote to control the fans direction, but most ceiling fans have a simple toggle-switch which flips to change the direction of the fan’s motor.

We like to help people with their questions about their homes and hope you find these tips helpful  Remember, if anyone you know is thinking about buying or selling a home in the Lehigh Valley to give us a call at 484-893-1234 or email us at homes@debandjoe.com!