By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
If you want to get the biggest bang for your remodeling buck, replace the entry door to steel, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling Magazine in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine. The entry door may cost about $1,162 but home owners could potentially recoup 96.6 percent of that at resale, according to the report.
However, not all remodeling projects offer big paybacks at resale. Remodeling Magazine evaluated 35 of the most popular remodeling projects and the potential payback throughout 101 U.S. cities. Check out our prior blog post to view the projects that topped the list: 5 Mid-Range Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns. But how about the projects that came in at the bottom of that list of 35 remodeling projects?
While all of these remodeling projects may be nice to have, home owners may not want to expect as big as of returns from their remodeling dollars with the following:
1. Home office remodel
Estimated job cost: $28,000
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 48.9%
2. Sunroom addition
Estimated job cost: $73,546
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 51.7%
3. Bathroom addition
Estimated job cost: $38,186
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 60.1%
4. Backup power generator
Estimated job cost: $11,742
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%
5. Master suite addition
Estimated job cost: $103,844
Estimated cost recouped at resale: 67.5%
By Charlie Allred
We all know keywords are important to your online presence, but did you know that keywords are important in Pinterest too? In my last two Pinterest articles, I’ve discussed best practices for your Pinterest profile and Pinterest boards. Once you’ve got these first two steps completed it’s time to start considering keywords.
It can be very overwhelming when you begin to market your real estate business online. I recently spoke with a successful real estate agent and blogger, and I asked her about her online marketing strategy. She said that she wanted to be everywhere online. But what should you do first? What’s most important? Keywords will help you determine your initial path and niche.
Let’s start by talking about the benefit of keywords:
Generally, the goal of your website is to appear in search engines results organically through a set of keywords that describe your market or niche. These keywords should help prospects find you online, thus helping you gain more real estate business.
For instance, while coaching a real estate agent here in Phoenix, I was helping her find the best keywords for the downtown Phoenix historic district, which is her niche. By using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, I did the keyword research for the downtown Phoenix historic district and found that the top keywords searched in order of highest searched volume are:
- Phoenix real estate
- Phoenix homes
- Phoenix homes for sale
- Downtown Phoenix
- Historic Phoenix
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s close enough for purposes of this article. So in all your website content, such as blog articles, videos, etc., you want to include the best keywords, for searchability purposes. In the case of the downtown Phoenix real estate agent, if I were her, I’d include “downtown Phoenix” and “historic Phoenix” in every article, because they describe her niche perfectly. I wouldn’t concentrate on using the keyword phrases “Phoenix real estate,” “Phoenix homes,” or “Phoenix homes for sale” as much, only because they are very broad and used often by real estate agents in Phoenix. The goal is to find the best keywords for your niche to attract serious prospects interested in what you have to offer.
Why do keywords matter in Pinterest?
All pins are now indexed by Google, so use of keywords will impact the overall SEO of your website. Each time you pin something, you should be using keywords to maximize your efforts in Pinterest.
Keywords should be used in:
- Your Pinterest profile
- Your board titles
- Your board descriptions
- Your pin descriptions
This may sound like a lot of work, but if you are pinning to your top boards regularly, it’s worth the effort to look up the keywords for those board at least once, and then keep them handy so you can reference them. Once you have your top 12 Pinterest boards, as discussed in last month’s article, look up the keywords for a few boards at a time, so it’s less time consuming.
For a quick starter guide to keywords, you can head to Pinnable Real Estate and download a free list of my favorite keywords in three topic areas (all home related categories): home staging, home organization, and home decor. These top six to eight keywords in each topic will give you a good starting point for using keywords on Pinterest.
When I meet with real estate agents, they often tell me they’re concerned because they built a really pretty website, but it isn’t getting them any new business or leads. Next month, I will discuss your website – specifically, how to simplify your website and blog content while promoting your site to gain more real estate business.
Charlie Allred is a Phoenix-based designated broker for Secure Real Estate and author of the book “Pinnable Real Estate: Pinterest for Real Estate Agents.” She is a Pinterest expert coaching agents on how to gain more leads, followers, and clients by using Pinterest. Learn more at her blog: www.PinnableRealEstate.com.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Nearly 70 percent of about 6,000 home owners surveyed by the remodeling website Houzz said they’re happiest in rooms that are comfortable. If you’re trying to hook a buyer, you may want to make sure your listings not only are stylish, but also show off some comfort too.
Popular furnishings today are modern with straight lines, which don’t always project the look of comfort. Luckily, it’s also trendy to be eclectic in mixing an oversized, statement piece — which can look comfortable.
That statement piece can add visual interest to the room too. It can be anything from a nail-trimmed, wingback chair to patterned club chair, says Audra Slinkey of Home Staging Resource, a national staging and redesign training company. Slinkey singled out the oversized statement piece as one of the top 10 staging trends for this year.
No room for an oversized chair? Go for an overall chic, comfort “Pottery Barn”-inspired look by using white slipcovers over the owner’s dated furnishings — a quick, budget-friendly transformation, Slinkey suggests.
Choosing the best home offer is a cinch for sellers who know what terms are their deal-breakers. Planning ahead can get your clients the most out of their home sale.
Help sellers have a seamless sale by sharing “6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home,” a free article from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five articles now available in the “Sell Before Snow Hits” article package.
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.
By Patti Stern, Principal PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
Staging is no longer optional for sellers who want to get the most value from their home. Many sellers are still reluctant to stage, making it a tough sell for their real estate agent. Several key points can help overcome skepticism and convince sellers to stage first if they want to sell.
1. Explain the difference between decorating and staging.
The saying — “Your Home is Your Castle” — often rings true with today’s sellers. Most believe their home is decorated beautifully, usually with their favorite colors and personal décor. But there is a big difference between decorating and staging to appeal to a large pool of buyers.
Décor choices are personal and most buyers can’t envision how a home may look if the seller doesn’t remove their personality.
Sotheby’s Julia B Fee REALTOR®, Megan Stilwell-Posner, a recent PJ & Co. client, often walks buyers through a property and they’ll comment that they don’t like an area rug or paint color, which even influences their decision on whether to purchase the home. “Explaining how we market your property versus how you decorate your property is very important,” she says.
2. Talk staging versus a possible price reduction.
Staging sets a home apart from the competition. Updating decor, particularly in key rooms such as kitchens and baths, can mean the difference between selling quickly and for top dollar or facing a price reduction if a home sits on the market for too long.
Busy, cluttered decor or outdated styles will distract buyers who won’t be able to envision living in the home. For many sellers, staging and low-cost renovations preserve valuable equity and can even boost a home’s selling price. For example, after PJ & Co. staged a property for real estate agent Rich Walker with Century 21, he decided to list the property for $20,000 higher than he originally planned. The property sold in 15 days at the asking price.
3. NOT selling a home is stressful.
We’ve all heard it – sellers who want to “test the market before staging” but months later haven’t received an offer.
Selling a home is difficult both emotionally and physically. Each day without an offer is stressful. Ultimately, I believe staging brings offers in quicker and makes the entire process easier.
In controlled tests conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association that compared identical homes, the non-staged houses sold in 102 days, while the professionally staged properties sold in 45 days.
4. The stager is going to do the dirty work.
Many real estate professionals we talk to are hesitant to discuss staging with their clients, unsure of how to tactfully approach necessary updates without offending their client. Enlisting a professional stager as a third-party expert and part of the selling plan provides tremendous value to both the real estate agent and seller. A professional stager takes the burden off of you, and can make recommendations without treading on the real estate agent/client relationship.
5. Execution will be key.
Hiring a stager who has a full team on standby to manage the entire process and deliver the home ready for market is key.
Some staging companies can be hired to just offer recommendations. For example, one client received a seven- page recommendation from a stager, but shopping for updated décor and managing the updates were up to the seller. It became overwhelming for the couple. They weren’t comfortable choosing the paint colors, picking lighting fixtures, or incorporating the right style trends to make a space vibrant and engaging to today’s younger buyer.
Other staging companies can offer the client one-stop shopping, from selecting the paint colors to coordinating the painter, carpenter, and selecting all of the materials needed to stage the property.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com or www.facebook.com/pjandcompanystaginganddecorating