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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Pinterest for Real Estate agents Series

I have heard of pinterest but what is it?

Pinterest as most of you know is a social media platform using groups of pictures to share with others.  Think of it as a picture list divided up in different categories of all your favorite things in one place. My son created a pinterest site http://www.pinterest.com/gemstonecabs/ to show of his favorite lapidary gemstones that we created over the years.  Even though I worked on each of these stones, I love going and seeing all the colors and patterns in these stones. Right now he has 556 followers and 1050 of the pictures have been “pinned” by other users.  Since all of these pictures were taken from our gemstone site we get about 60-100 people a day that are interested in gemstones come in to the website from his pinterest site.

Gemstone Cabs on Pinterest

 

How do I get started on Pinterest?

The basics-

Get a business account on http://www.pinterest.com,

fill in your profile,

put in the web url to your website and you are ready to start creating your pinterest site.

 

Boards, Pins and Repins what are they?

You will start by creating boards.  My next blog will get into some suggestions on the boards you may want to create for your real estate business.  A board is just a category or folder that your putting your pictures into

 

A “pin” is an image that you add to your boards that is pinned from a different website or that you upload from your computer.

To repin is when someone else re-pins a pin they found on your page to one of their boards.  All the original embedded links stay intact. Remember word of mouth in all forms is some of the best advertising.

 

When you find a pin that you like, click on it.  It will show you a larger picture along with the information on who pinnedthe picture, ne name of the board, the number of repins and likes and how old the pin is.  If you click on the picture you are taken to the website that it was pinned from. Click on the pin it button and you can write in your description and post it to one of your boards.

 

So how do I know if I get visitors to my pinterest site.

 

Once you have a few pins and boards under your belt you can go to https://analytics.pinterest.com/?source=pinterest_business_search  Click on the link to verify your website and follow the directions.

Once verified you will start seeing the pinterest analytics  for your pinterest site.

7 day

See your daily impressions, avg daily and monthly views, which pictures are shown and repinned the most, what your audience is interested in.  Here is a picture of the last 7 days.  An extra 14,276 people viewing your site is bound to build your brand.

 

SO how does this help me in Real Estate

I would have originally told you that you won’t get a direct sale, but I actually did get a sale directly from Pinterest.  The client even made the comment that she never dreamed she would find her dream home on a pinterest site and buy it.

For the most part though you are posting pleasing pictures, interesting ideas and people will follow you and repin your pictures.  Along with these pins is your name, advertising your website, your listings, and establishing you as a real estate expert in your area.  A pictures is worth a thousand words and 800 repinned photos mean that the world is going to find you and think of you when they have real estate needs in your area.   This is a great place to repin the pictures you use in your blogs, on your website.  You can give a visual tour of your town and get the word out that you are an expert in real estate and your area and put you in contact with people.

 

Come back tomorrow to learn what kinds of boards you may want to include on your pinterest site and keywords to use to bring in the traffic.

Here Are 3 Tips to Help You Secure a Favorable Mortgage Rate

 

 

The best way to ensure you get a good rate on your mortgage is to become an informed buyer. The more you know about mortgages, the more you’ll be able to save, and that doesn’t just mean knowing where to find the best interest rate. 

While interest rates play an important role in determining the price of your mortgage, there’s always more to a mortgage than just the interest rate. Here are three things you need to know about mortgages to make sure you secure a favorable rate this  buying season.

 

Understand The Fees Involved – And How To Avoid Them

 

Aside from the interest rate, the biggest factor affecting the price of a mortgage is often the fees involved. These fees won’t always be easy to find, so you might have to do some homework if you want to compare fees charged by different lenders. 

Sometimes, it’s possible to have these fees waived or removed. For example, if you end up moving your mortgage from one lender to another, the first lender will often charge some sort of mortgage discharge fee. In many cases, the new lender will be willing to cover that fee as a price for obtaining your business.

 

Understand How The “Lock-In” Process Can Affect Your Interest Rate 

When you get a quote for a mortgage, each lender will offer a “lock-in period” in which the interest rate for their mortgage stays the same. Because interest rates fluctuate so often, this “lock-in period” ensures that you end up paying the same rate you were initially offered should you choose to take out a mortgage with that lender. 

If you need a longer lock-in period of two months or more, many lenders will charge a higher interest rate for that provision. For this reason, it’s a good idea to be sure about the closing date of your sale so you can avoid missing out on the lock-in period or asking for an extension.

 

Understand How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage Rate

 

Generally, a better credit score means a better mortgage rate, but it’s important that you don’t damage your score while you’re shopping around for mortgages.

 

Every lender will want to know your credit score and see your credit history. Rather than letting each lender make a credit inquiry, however, it’s safer to request one copy of your credit report yourself that you can show to each lender, as too many inquiries into your credit history can lower your credit score.

 

Of course, it’s always important to shop around and compare rates when you’re looking for the best mortgage deal. And now that you know these extra pieces of information about how mortgages work, you should have an easier time differentiating between a good mortgage rate and a bad mortgage rate. A mortgage rate that looks good at first could end up being a bad mortgage rate in the end because of hidden fees and other cost factors.

How to get multiple offers on your house for sale.

The Price Is Right

A house priced too high will languish on the market. Before listing your home for sale, make sure the price is appropriate.

Look at the prices of recently sold homes in your neighborhood. Focus on houses of similar size and condition to yours to find the best comparable sales prices. Also, it may be worth having your home appraised to ensure that the list price is close to the actual market value.

Lean, Mean, Cleaning Machine
Prospective buyers want to see a pristine house. Make your home look perfect, inside and out, before you list it. Stop putting off all those repairs. Replace the cracked window, and fix that leaky faucet!

Curb appeal is a huge selling point. Your yard should be neatly trimmed and completely clean. It’s time to put away the garden gnome. Consider hiring a professional landscaper to make your house stand out from the crowd.

The inside of your house should be spotless. Research home staging or hire a professional stager to prepare your home for listing. At the very least, de-clutter your house and remove all personal items. Prospective buyers want to imagine a house as their home, not yours.

Strike A Pose

Photographs accompanying a MLS listing are typically a buyer’s first introduction to a house. Buyers often dismiss a house based on photographs alone, so make sure that yours are the best quality possible. Hire a professional photographer. Make sure your house is clean and well-staged. More photos are always better than less.

Agents Sell

A good real estate agent is key to selling your house quickly. Find an agent experienced in selling homes in your community and who has a well-organized marketing plan. A good agent will not only give you the above tips, but will also customize them to the demands of your neighborhood.

Pick up the phone today and chat with a real estate agent for more information. Soon enough, you’ll be loading boxes onto a moving van as you journey onto your next adventure.

Pay attention to the terms, not just the price

Giving and Getting: Why the Terms of a Home’s Sale Are Often More Important Than the Price Paid

 

One of the most important points that home buyers and sellers focus on when buying real estate is the negotiated sales price in the purchase and sale contract. While the sales price is undeniably important, the fact is that other terms in the sales contract may have more far-reaching and significant effects on the transaction.

With a closer look at some of the most important terms, you will see why you and your agent should actively negotiate for improved terms rather than a lower sales price.

 

Closing Costs

Some buyers and sellers will haggle over a few thousand dollars in the sales price without paying attention to the closing costs, but the fact is that the closing costs for a typical transaction may cost the buyer between two to five percent of the sales price on average. A sales contract may be negotiated so that the seller assumes some or most of the closing costs, and this can result in considerable savings the buyer. Likewise, when a contract is negotiated in the interest of the seller, the seller may save thousands of dollars at closing if the contract states that the buyer is responsible for these costs.

 

The Property Inspection

Many home buyers opt to obtain a property inspection to determine if there are hidden issues with the property structure, foundation, roof, air quality and other components. Some inspections reveal that a home is in fairly good condition, but others may reveal that a property needs thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Some sales contracts may be written so that the buyer may back out of a contract within a certain period of time after receiving the property inspection report or so that the terms of the sales contract may be re-negotiated once the property inspection report has been completed.  One of the best things that a seller can do is to get an insepction ahead of time and fix the issues that can be fixed.  This way there are no surprises and you may even save the inspection period when a buyer is more likely to back out of a contract.

 

The Appraised Value

In an ideal world, a home would appraise for the contracted sales price, but this is not always the case. A sales contract may be written with terms that allow for the sales price to be renegotiated after the appraised value is confirmed, and this may benefit both parties. Some sales contracts, however, state that the negotiated sales price is final regardless of the appraised value. If the buyer is seeking a loan most banks will not allow the sale to go through and most buyers will not pay more than a house is worth.

Special Contingencies

A real estate transaction may extend for several weeks or even months while the buyer contracts with a lender, an appraiser, a property inspector and other third parties. During this period of time, many events can occur that may adjust the interest level or even the ability of the buyer and seller to fulfill the contract. Some sales contracts are written so that the buyer may opt out of the contract within a certain period of time with minimal expense and regardless of other factors related to the appraisal and inspection.

Generally, there are standard terms found in many real estate sales contracts, but these terms can be adjusted by either party to benefit buyers or sellers. If you are buying or selling a home be sure to take into account the terms of the contract.

 

Preparing Your Roof for the Harsh Winter

 

 

While the days may be  sunny right now, the transition to fall and winter will soon be upon us. Winter weather can be harsh, and it can also be destructive to your property. From the snow and ice to the frigid temperatures, winter can wreak havoc on a property.

If you haven’t already done it now is the time to  restore your roof to prepare for the harsh winter ahead. This effort today will minimize damage that the home may endure throughout the cold months of the year. Here are some steps you can take to winterize your roof before the weather gets colder.

Steps to Take Now
As a homeowner, you can easily take a few steps today to prevent your home from being damaged in the winter months. From the ground level, inspect the home for signs of roof damage. You may notice a few shingles not laying flush on the roof, or you may see that some shingles are missing. Check the valleys of the roof to ensure that they are also free and clear of debris that can  act as a barrier to rain and snow and add to the weight.  Check that the roof jacks and flashing are intact and sealed. 

Do you have a metal roof?  Hot and cold temperatures will cause screws to back out.  Check for any screws that are not well seated.  Don’t just tighten them down, remove the old screw and replace it with a new  screw and grommet.

Make sure you can trim away tree limbs and branches that hang over the roof. These can become heavy with the weight of snow and ice, and they can break entirely or hang low to cause ice dams and damage to the roof.

roofpreparations

You also should clean out your gutters now. When gutters become clogged, they are ineffective at handling snow and ice melt. Cleaning your gutters every spring and fall will ensure they are prepared to handle inclement weather.

Coats for Kids program in Sandpoint Idaho

Coats for Kids program. Winters coming and Baby its cold outside. Each year we collect new and gently used coats to give to children in the area. Hats, gloves and snow boots are also needed. Please dig through your closets and bring your warm weather items to the
Selkirk Board of Realtors
325 S. Marion, Sandpoint, Idaho.

There is also a drop off point at the library in Clark Fork Idaho

For those of you in other areas, the coats for Kids program is Nation Wide so be sure to find your local drop off spots.

Low price wooded lot offers the perfect vacation rv spot.

Congratulations Melody and Kevin on their purchase of 1.03 acre lot.

Lot in spirit lake

Lot in spirit lake

NICELY TIMBERED lot in the town of Spirit Lake. Very private location on the corner of 14th and Maine Street. A great place to get away from it all for an affordable price of only $9,500. This section of town has not been improved so there is no water or power to the property. Septic tanks are not allowed in the city.

 

This was the cheapest sale I have ever made and I think the most excited clients ever.  What a win win situation.  Living in Canada, they wanted something that they could park a self contained RV for their vacations to Idaho.  Just a few minutes from the lake in a private wooded area in town, this was a perfect lot that we picked up for $8500 and a week later we closed escrow.  These lots are part of the city of Spirit Lake however the city has decided not to extend the water and sewer to them.  You literally feel like you are lost in the woods with just the occasional ATV going by.  For this price it just can’t be beat.

Aerial of lot in spirit lake

Aerial of lot in spirit lake

The appraiser wants a heater in every room. Envi Heat saves the day!

How often do we get almost through an escrow and the appraiser wants a heat source in each room. The worst are log homes where a hard wired installation is an expensive ordeal.

 

As an experienced agent you may have prepared your sellers for this but most of us have had this hit us like a bomb at least a few times in our careers.  While there are several options for the installation of heaters, I have a new favorite that is low cost, quick and easy to install, meets the appraisal requirements and is actually a maintenance free, hypo alergenic, low cost heating that those new buyers will appreciate.

Envi heat

So what is the solution?  It is called Envi heater and can be found at http://www.eheat.com or on Amazon.  They are a a safe flat panel cool to the touch fanless wall heater.  This new stack convection technology – circulates heat without fan and is only 475 watts to run – At 4 cents per hour I think it is one of the most economical heaters to run.

 

They come with an auto thermal shutoff a thermastat and the unit is cool to the touch so it is safe for kids animals. It does not circulate dust or allergens or dry out the air.  It is silent and has an auto dimming power light.  These wall mounted units come in both a hardwired model and a plug in model which makes it perfect for installation that will satisfy an appraiser.  It can be mounted on any wall including drywall, into studs, on masonary tile concrete or log with nothing but a screw driver and the included allen wrench.  Just install it, turn it on set the thermastat and leave it.  Built in America and eco friendly green heaters cost under $140 and there is no need to cut into the wall.  They also often run specials on the pricing and free shipping.

 

I originally got one of these to heat a 400 sq ft guest cabin and liked it so much that I bought 2 more the next year for my house to keep pipes from freezing when I am away. Since then I have saved several closings in a hurry by suggesting these heaters. 

Thinking About a New Floor? Five Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring

Time to update your flooring? How about hardwood flooring for your home. A new hardwood floor will give your home an impressive look and prevent scratches and stains. Here are five very good reasons why you should consider a hardwood floor for your next remodeling project.
Hardwood Is More Durable than Other Materials

Hardwood is much more durable and longer lasting than many other flooring materials. If there’s a lot of traffic in your home, hardwood floors are less likely to get scratches and dents than vinyl tiles or laminated floors. On weaker floors, damage is often permanent – but with hardwood floors, any imperfections can be sanded and refinished to make your floor look as good as new.

Hardwood Offers A Wide Array Of Styles

Hardwood flooring is very versatile, and it comes in a wide assortment of styles and colors. Hardwood is also available in a variety of textures to compliment any decor or color scheme. It’s easy to buy small area rugs that match the flooring rather than having wall-to-wall carpeting installed that may have to be replaced when it gets worn.

It’s A Good Long Term Investment

Hardwood flooring is one of the most practical investments you can make in your home. Carpeting, vinyl tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring will eventually need to be replaced. Although the initial investment of installing hardwood floors in your home is more than you’d spend on some of the alternatives, hardwood lasts much longer than other materials – so you spend less money in the long run.

Selling Your Home Is Easier

Hardwood flooring is an extremely attractive material that a lot of homeowners love. It also increases your home’s value. If you put your home on the market, you’re making a good investment by making your home more appealing to buyers.

You’ll Experience Fewer Allergy Problems

Carpeting can cause symptoms from allergies to get worse, because dust and other allergens like pet dander can get trapped in the fibers. Doctors often recommend that patients with severe allergies get rid of the carpeting in their home and replace it with hardwood flooring. With this type of flooring, it’s a simple matter to sweep or mop the floor, so allergies are no longer an issue.

Hardwood flooring is a highly popular interior design choice that is taking modern homes by storm. If you’re renovating your home in the near future, consider installing hardwood flooring as a means of giving it a classic floor that you and your guests will adore.

Rain Silverhawk reviews