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Have you ever noticed that Petrus Pomerol wine ($1,459/bottle) doesn’t advertise their product during ultimate fighting matches or football games? And have you also noticed that you don’t see billboards for “2 buck chuck” (Charles Shaw wine – $3 buck chuck in New Hampshire!) at Yacht races or Polo matches?
The purveyors of these respective products, or their salespeople at least, know their market and know how to get the most mileage out of every marketing dollar they spend. Are you doing the same thing while trying to sell your home? Is your agent?
The trick to selling almost anything is to know where your potential customers are and putting your product in front of them. Saturday morning cartoons give us toy commercials. Monday evening news gives us car commercials (and “little blue pill” ads). Once you see this pattern, you will start to notice “who” the advertisers are going after as it relates to what show is on TV.
We are starting to see this trend online as well. If you utilize a “portal” site or news aggregator like (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) you will notice that there are ads displayed all around the main data section of the page. They make no apologies for utilizing your browsing patterns (yes, they can see that!) to determine which ads you are most likely to click on. (Yahoo! does give the user the right to edit this feature or simply turn it off.)
I stand at 5’ 10” tall and weigh a tolerable 175 pounds. Every time I land on my news site (I’m a Yahoo! guy), I am presented with weight loss ads! Clearly they have some work to do in perfecting their algorithms, but the technology is there. Perhaps all my searching for cycling and hiking equipment has belied my fitness level.
Getting back to selling your home, I’m confident these same principals apply. Badger Realty did some research a few months back, to determine the best market in which to sell higher end or “luxury” homes. It turns out buyers for these homes, just like everyone else, are looking online to start their search. We also learned that referrals are of even greater importance when dealing with higher end homes. People trust their friends and relatives over a salesperson any day of the week. The trick is making sure you are the one they recommend!
Which brings us back to knowing your audience or “market”. Where are your buyers? Where do they live? What do they do for fun? Why are they moving? Who do they socialize with? When are they moving? Is this going to be a second home? Are their kids in school? All of these questions will help you (and your agent) narrow down the field of possible buyers and allow you to produce more targeted, efficient and effective marketing.
In the North Conway market, much like many of the destination-resort towns in the White Mountains, a significant portion of our homeowners do not live here full time. In the Loon Mountain area, the percentage of second homeowners is around than 70%. Here in North Conway, we are at nearly 60%. That means your buyers are not likely to be your year-round neighbors.
When marketing your home, you and your agent should have your “selling” sites set firmly on the MA and RI markets. Google and Facebook offer geo-targeted ads and Facebook even offers demographic-targeted ads. This helps eliminate displaying your “North Conway home for sale” ad to an audience of 13 year olds from Omaha!
The data is out there which helps you determine exactly where they buyers are coming from. Simple adjustments like marketing to INSIDE the 128 belt in Boston, vs. OUTSIDE that belt can make a huge difference. People in Western Massachusetts tend to ski in Vermont so they don’t buy ski-homes in North Conway. Of course these are just general observations, but the numbers don’t lie and why not stack the odds in your favor.
Knowing your existing market as well as knowing your “potential” market is vital to the success of any business. The sale of your home is vital to you and your family taking the next step in your life’s journey. Make sure you and your agent are both educated on how best to take this next step. And save the advertising during cage matches for the beer guys!
Filed under: New Hampshire Real Estate, NH Real Estate Sellers | Comments Off
Some might wonder just what printers have to do with Selling New Hampshire Real Estate, but our friend Matthew Ferrara does a great job explaining!!
Since we’re well into the new millennium, I thought we’d dedicate this installment of technology ideas to modern marketing. As my travels take me across the country each day, I certainly encounter every form of marketing in the real estate industry – from postcards to flyers to web sites. Yet the most popular, most common technology still in operation, perhaps now more than ever, is the dreaded color printer. Dreaded, you might ask, what is so dreaded about the color printer Well, in the language of politics so hot these days, I declare that all color printers are downright evil! Sure, they crank out nice color photos and full-page flyers, but did you ever consider at what cost No, I’m not talking about saving trees and recycling plastic cartridges – I’m talking about saving plain old dollars and cents – which, when you come down to it, should be one of the most important goals in your technology strategy.
Color printers were invented for one purpose: to sell ink . It’s a remarkable, devious idea: printer companies create low-cost printers, sell them with 100% rebates, and then sit back while you use your wonderful new toy. Trouble is, once you start printing in color, you’re bound to get hooked; just ask any office manager how much crumpled, color-filled pages end up in the wastebasket for proof of how addicted to printing we have become. About two weeks later, it hits you: your cartridge runs dry and it’s time to replace it. I bet you didn’t think your jaw could drop so low in aisle six of Staples, staring at those $30, $40 or even $50 replacement cartridges! So, that’s their game, is it Now don’t get me wrong – I wish I had thought of it – finding a way to get consumers back to the inkwell every few weeks to feed their color-hungry appetites. Maybe somebody will figure out a way to do it with your car, say, offering a nice new Mercedes that only accepts special, $7-per-gallon gas…
But, I digress. What does all of this have to do with the price of ink in China It’s simple really: if you want a raise this year, or you simply want a better return on your technology investment, why not start by unplugging your color printer
Insane, you might argue. However shall you conduct business How, for example, will you get contracts to clients, property flyers to buyers, or proposals to potential sellers Won’t the world come to a halt without your postcard mailings filling the mailboxes of local neighborhoods Who could possibly greet new clients without a paper business card Read more »
Filed under: NH Real Estate Mortgage | Comments Off
There is certainly plenty of chatter out there about the mortgage industry and, of course, how it relates to the customer’s decision to purchase a home. We’re certainly not proponents of the “Chicken Little” approach but more-so strongly feel this is a big decision and should be taken seriously. Dean Hartman of Continental Home Loans has been in the mortgage industry for 25 years and has a proven track record of customer service and team building. We always appreciate his input and advice, not only on the current state of the market, but also the valuable advice we can pass on to our buyers.
Take a second to breeze through his article below and then venture on over to our website and either find a New Hampshire Real Estate Agent to work with if you don’t already have one, or just spend some time in our Mortgage Information center.
Buying and/or financing a home are major decisions for anyone. We all look for referrals from friends, family and co-workers who have gone through the process successfully. But we wonder…
“Are there geographical differences?”
“Has the market changed since they did their transaction?”
“How has the ever-changing technology impacted real estate since their closing?”
“Are my personal circumstances (income, assets, and credit) the same as the person who is giving the referral?”
So, how do you know if the agent and/or loan officer you are working with (regardless of how you found them) is a “keeper”? It’s got to be more than a personality match in the current environment. It’s about effectiveness and leadership. I believe that you need to judge them by three criteria:
1. Are they an EXPERT?
Do they know everything about the home, the neighborhood, the other available homes, the pricing trends, the loan product and qualification thresholds, etc.? Are they able to target a likely buyer, if you are selling? Are they certified or have specific designations? What formal training have they had (say, in the art of negotiating, as an example). Do they know anything about quality of construction or when you are likely to need to replace a roof or boiler?
2. Are they looking to serve?
Unfortunately, many sales people operate in their personal best interests. Today, more than ever, you need someone who puts your needs ahead of their own. Whether you are looking to sell quickly or for the most money, you need an agent who acts in the best ways to help you achieve those objectives. Likewise, when looking to buy, is your agent asking you the right questions and listening, so that they can streamline your search?
3. Do they have creative solutions to your challenges?
Are their presentations to you basically the same as every other agent? Do their print ads, postcards, open house plans, and promises of fifty websites sing as monotonous? You need an agent with unique approaches though marketing plans that are comprehensive with online and offline components that speaks to a targeted buyer pool (Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers, certain employment groups, particular cultural components, and so on).
If you believe you are working with a great agent and/or loan officer, thank your lucky stars and be loyal to them because they are worth their weight in gold. On the other hand, if you’re concerned that you have a run-of-the-mill person, don’t settle! Go on a search for excellence. It’s too important not to.
Filed under: NH Real Estate Buyers, Real Estate Trends | Comments Off
From our friends over at the Keeping Current Matters Crew! They put together a list of a few “experts” that are OUTSIDE of the Real Estate world and got their input on the industry. It is always so nice to hear someone ELSE say the same things Coldwell Banker Team New Hampshire has been saying for years!!
We have taken the stance that real estate is currently a great investment. There have been MANY that have let us know that they think we are crazy. Today, let’s look at a few prominent people, media sources and one very important group that agree that now is the time to buy.
Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal
John Paulson, billionaire investor.
Donald Trump, no introduction necessary.
Barbara Corcoran, real estate TV personality.
A pretty impressive list! The question: Is anyone listening to them? The answer: The wealthiest people in the country. According to the most recent Existing Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, at a time when sales of all homes have decreased 2.8% compared to last year, homes over $1million dollars are selling at a rate 3.9% higher. Why are the wealthy purchasing real estate right now?
- Money is cheap. The 5% interest rate will not be available forever.
- The ability to lock in that interest rate for 30 years may soon disappear.
- Getting a mortgage may get much more expensive soon.
- They want to buy low and sell high. The price of real estate is low.
We know many will disagree with us about now being the time to buy. But if the wealthiest people in the country are buying, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility?
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I think this article on the correlation to the gold industry is pertinent. Once again from our KCM Crew friends.
Everyone wants to comment on the current real estate market. They want to talk about how now is not the time to buy a home. Some even argue owning a house has never been a great investment. Most say it will be a long time before real estate, and certainly North Conway Real Estate, again begins to appreciate. It all sounds so familiar to me. It was just a decade ago that many made the same arguments about gold as an investment.
Gold had dropped from over $400 an ounce to $250 an ounce (a 40% decline) from February 1996 to August 1999. People ran from gold as though it was a plague.
Lord William Rees-Mogg, the current Chairman of The Zurich Club, in 1997 said:
“No investment has been so thoroughly exploded as gold; most people think that there will no more be another gold boom than there will be another boom in tulip futures in The Netherlands.”
Two years later in 1999, Don Wolanchuk author of the Wolanchuk Report explained:
“Everybody hates gold. You can’t have a bottom until everybody is out. And everybody is out of the gold sector.”
Everyone knows what happened next. The proclamation of gold’s death was rather premature. Gold rose from $250 an ounce to over $1,400 an ounce in the next twelve years. I see the same situation with real estate today. I am not predicting that real estate will see the same levels of appreciation. I do believe however that the market will rebound strongly.
Those who continued to believe in gold as an investment were rewarded. Those who continue to believe in real estate as a sound investment will also be rewarded.
Here is what Adam Hamilton wrote in October 2000 in an essay titled Is Gold Dead?
The road for gold investors has been long and parched in the last five years. They have wandered through a seemingly endless desert, occasionally tempted by what proves to be an illusory mirage. Many have fallen beside the sun-cracked path, their white bones picked clean by buzzards and gleaming in the sun. Nevertheless, a brave contrarian core continues to march forward. They have studied history, currency, gold, investments, economics, and finance. They understand the timeless value of gold, the cyclical nature of the markets, and the vagaries of human psychology. They realize it is darkest before the dawn, and the journey most difficult right before the homestretch is reached. Gold is in an INCREDIBLE position, and it will have its day. Nothing goes up in price forever, and nothing goes down in price forever. Investments are cyclical. Gold is NOT dead, it is simply biding its time, waiting for its next earth-shattering mega-rally. The spoils that go to the few remaining gold investors when that day inevitably arrives will be fantastic. The stunning victory will quickly blot out the painful memories of the long struggle…
You could replace the word ‘gold’ with the words ‘real estate’ throughout this essay and it would apply today.
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If you look at NH real estate strictly from a ‘dollars and cents’ view there are many factors that come into play:
A home requires care and maintenance, such as painting, landscaping (read lawn mowing and garden weeding), snow shoveling unless you escape to Florida for the winter. You will need building insurance in case Mother Nature has a fit or some litigious person slips on ice on your steps. Then there are real estate taxes. Home and land owners have to pay for all the helpful services provided by your town, not the least of which are road maintenance and plowing, policemen, who make sure you are secure and, of course, school costs, even if you don’t go to school now someone had to pay for your education when you did attend school., now it is your turn.
All of this adds up to a pretty penny but if you don’t own your own home you would paying your landlord rent, which by all accounts would be more than the total of the above expenses.
If you put all of your money into stocks and bonds you might see some income and appreciation or then again you might not. If a particular business, you not so wisely invested in, goes belly up, you may be left with nothing but pieces of very expensive wallpaper. Whereas real estate may go up and down with the economic cycles but it never goes away. You still can use it as your home, or if it’s just land, you could pitch a tent and enjoy the great outdoors on your property, (maybe Florida in the winter wouldn’t be a bad idea).
If you look at the bulk of your investments on a long term basis as a balanced stock portfolio you will probably have obtained appreciation based on historic Dow Jones Averages. But the same is true of real estate. I know of many properties that have gone up and sold at 10 to 20 times their original cost over a span 10 to 30 years. Of course both securities and real estate go thru cycles of ups and downs. The last dip the stock market by 50% +/- but the property values only went down 20% to 30%. This recent experience makes real property a better bet. But that alone doesn’t make a home a good investment.
Your home offers so much more. No matter its size, or location, or condition, it is your castle. Color it whatever pleases you, remodel to your heart desires, limited only by your skills and pocketbook. Decorate it in any scheme that pleases your eye and tastes. As long as you haven’t burden yourself with a mortgage that’s strains your budget you can live there, snug and secure, no matter what the economic conditions are generating.
Added to all of this, there are tax advantages to owning a home. You are allowed to deduct the interest on your mortgage payments, as well as your property taxes, from the taxable income.
If you rent a home, you can be pretty sure that the price of rent will go up each year. When you own your home, assuming your mortgage is a fixed rate mortgage; your monthly payment will remain the same for the duration of the mortgage. That in itself is a pretty big savings! Not to mention that you do not have to worry about being displaced if the landlord decides he no longer wishes to continue to rent his property.
Is a home a good investment? The answer is no. A home is a great Investment!
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There is lots to think about when it comes to passing NH real estate
along to the next generation. Hopefully this insightful article by our friend Clifford A. Hockley from Realty Times
. will get you thinking about some of the decisions you’ll need to make.
You have worked your whole adult life to establish a real estate legacy. These real estate investments have paid for your kids’ college and your retirement. You put your blood, sweat and tears into them and now you have to make key decisions regarding passing the assets on to your spouse and kids.
What do you want your estate to do with your real estate assets?
- You could give your assets to a charitable foundation who will promptly sell them. Typically, they want cash and do not want to manage your real estate assets.
- You could have a trust company or bank mange your real estate assets in trust for your kids and/or wife. They typically charge a percentage of the assets as a management fee which is a high price to pay. (For more thorough overview of how fiduciaries work click here.
- You could leave your assets to your children and/or nieces and nephews. They have to choose what to do with the assets, after estate taxes have been paid. They can keep or sell the assets. If you want your kids to keep the real estate, instead of selling them, you will want to leave instructions. My estate attorney calls that managing your estate from the grave.
As you aged, you decided that you needed help managing your real estate investments. The kids have moved far away and lack interest in managing the assets. You have turned to a property manager, who is handling the day- to- day operations of the properties.As part of the transition process, you had a choice of gifting shares (portions) of your real estate assets to your kids before you and your spouse passed away, but you decided that the tax benefits were not worth the risk of losing control of your assets.
One question you have to ask yourself is: do you trust your kids? Do they care enough about not stealing your assets from you before your death? What about their spouses? How you raised your children will have a huge impact on your decisions. You also need to consider if they have the interest, time and skill-set to take care of the assets the way you do.
- Remember, it was your risk-taking, your entrepreneurial energy that created this legacy. They may not have your drive and focus.
- Will they destroy your assets? This is a good question. Maybe a better question is how you can help them make these assets into a family legacy.
Some families start early and have the kids clean and paint vacant apartment properties with their parents. Other families have regular family meetings (say once or twice a year) to inspect the properties, review financial statements and make major decisions. These meetings can be held face to face, over the phone or using tools such as Skype. As the asset base gets larger, say over $2,000,000, you might consider involving a property manager. The property manager can then facilitate the family meetings and help with the decision making. This is a huge responsibility and will take a sophisticated, well educated and experienced property manager.Recently, one of our clients whose shareholders are spread out all over the west coast, agreed to fund the further education of the next generation by paying for basic real estate finance classes for the next generation.Another issue you need to come to grips with is the age and maturity of those that are going to lead the investment decisions in the future. One of our attorney friends advised us to write a letter to the next generations that gives them a theme and context of past investment decisions, the establishment of financial cash reserves and why holding onto real estate and developing a large asset base is a good long term strategy.This may work well for the second generation, but by the time you get to the third generation you may have 10 grand children vying for cash and an input into the decision making process.
To create a real estate legacy you need to start with leadership and real estate training early. Not all have an aptitude for leadership and interest in real estate or financial analysis. You will need to develop fair and transparent procedures that can be adjusted to the personalities in the next and following generations. This will take an investment of time and money with real estate and estate attorneys, property managers and CPA’s. If you want to leave a legacy, the payoff will be large and in your heart of hearts you will have succeeded not only for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren.
Filed under: Home Maintenance & Improvement | Comment (0)
There’s always some great ideas for sprucing up your property before you sell. Here are a few we collected from our friends over at US News.
1. Retouch the front shell
If your property’s exterior isn’t appealing, no one will want to see your newly remodeled kitchen. So Loon Mountain area property sellers must first ensure that their home projects a cozy, inviting feeling. “The shell–the outside front–is probably the most important area for improvement, the area where you can make the biggest improvement with the smallest amount of cash,” says Pat Lashinsky, the president and CEO of ZipRealty. Touching up the paint on the front-entry portion of the house can be an inexpensive but effective way to make the entire property more inviting, Lashinsky says. “Really focus on that outside, external shell,” he says. “You would be amazed by the amount of people that drive by a house and say, ‘Ah, that’s not for me.’ And they can tell just by the way the upkeep and the outside looks.
2. Trim the greenery
Ensuring that the lawn, hedges, and flowers are well maintained helps make your home more alluring to prospective buyers as well. Property owners can hire professional landscapers or break out the lawn mower and get busy themselves. “Many people have landscaping that is overgrown and too heavy, and it is concealing a lot of the house,” says Paul Zuch, the president of Capital Improvements. “Trim the trees, trim the hedges … [and] add a little color to the flower beds.”
3. Paint the interior
Putting a fresh coat of paint on the home’s interior is a cost-effective way for sellers to make their home more appealing to buyers, says Ron Phipps, a broker with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. But when choosing the color, homeowners should be conservative. “The caution is that your favorite color may not be the favorite color of the buyer.” Instead, homeowners are best off using neutral colors, Phipps says. “Go with something that is a very light yellow or a light cream with a contrasting white, so it just looks very fresh and crisp . … Having the paint in good condition is almost more important than the color.” Read more »
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In the last few years, home staging has become an increasingly popular method of preparing a home for sale. However, home staging involves far more than the cleaning and minor repairs required to put your home on the market. The process of staging Concord NH real estate is actually an in depth dressing of a home to make the property seem as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. Home staging professionals use a variety of methods to help homeowners sell their properties, incorporating both amenities already inside the home and a number of special products. When preparing to sell your NH home, you may want to think about some of the home staging methods outlined here to help you find the right buyer.
At its most simple, home staging is about setting the right mood for prospective buyers. By decorating and arranging a home’s interior to present an ideal way of life, buyers are assisted in visualizing themselves in your home. Whether you undertake the process of staging your own home or decide to consult a professional, there are a number of different “props” that may be used around the home. For example, to add a vibrant sense of life to the home, many home staging professionals recommend using different types of potted plants and arrangements of flowers and fruit. Throughout the home, they tend to utilize soft, luxurious fabrics – such as satin, lamb’s wool and silk – to create an atmosphere of comfort. This process can also extend to the exterior of the property, where patio furniture can be added in the backyard and colorful flowers or unique accessories outside the front door.
Many home staging professionals come from interior design or art-related backgrounds. Hence, when working on staging a home for sale, these professionals utilize a number of visual tricks to capture the attention of potential buyers. For instance, furniture is always arranged very carefully to simulate the ideal living space. In living rooms, home staging professionals often use loveseats and ottomans in lieu of large couches to create the illusion of added space. Likewise, mirrors are often placed throughout a staged home to make the living area seem larger to potential buyers. In areas where you hope to focus a buyer’s attention – like a hand built stone fireplace or a remodeled kitchen – staging professionals can place unique artwork or accessories to catch the eye.
One of the most important steps in home staging is the exchange of your personal decorations with more neutral furnishings. Beyond replacing family pictures with more design-friendly items, a successful home staging will attempt to eliminate any idiosyncratic tastes and represent a living space that has broad appeal. Though this process may feel like a slight on your family’s home, you should hardly take offense. This commonly used tactic simply helps potential buyers view the property not as someone else’s home, but as something they can call their own.
Most real estate experts claim that home staging is especially important when the home is empty. Without any furniture or amenities, even a home for sale in the most attractive area can make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. If you are trying to sell your home and have already moved out, you may want to consider working with your agent to stage the home’s interior. With the assistance of your agent and a home staging professional, you could quickly transform a lifeless house into dream home.
In the end, home staging is about making the most of your home’s potential. If the staging of your New Hampshire home is completed effectively, it is also possible that your home may receive better offers from potential buyers and spend less time on the market. By minimizing the flaws of your home and making the living area seem larger, brighter and more appealing, home staging may be one of the most important steps in selling your home quickly and at the right price.
The Team of Coldwell Banker Agencies serving NH write select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit the NH Real Estate Experts today.
Filed under: Real Estate Trends | Comment (0)
Great article by Amy Chorew
Internet search has grown to become an integral part of the lives of savvy retail consumers. Many consumers now find it convenient to shop and buy commodities online. While the retail industry still leads the pack in e-commerce, the real estate industry is quickly catching up.
Just a few years ago, it was hard to believe that some of the best leads in real estate would come from consumer online search. Consumers appreciate the simplicity of online resources, making an online search a main means of researching their future home.
Prospective Homebuyers Are Online
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that 74% of homebuyers are astute in using the Internet to jumpstart their home search. This shift does not mean that offline marketing is dead; it only indicates the growing desire that consumers have for valuable information via the web. Even with the increased prospects of homebuying online, consumers will consult real estate agents to supplement their search for homes. This means buyers still look forward to agents assisting them. The challenge is connecting with them while they are online by making their search as convenient and efficient as possible.
While online real estate search tools have not reduced the business prospects for real estate agents, they have driven consumers away from the conventional sources of real estate information. Some time ago, homebuyers would peruse newspapers and real estate property magazines to get leads to property. The case is now different as the number of prospective homebuyers who still consult newspaper ads and magazines has fallen to about 9% and 6% respectively. Read more »