Oct 122011
 

EntryDoorArtworkWe’re moving to the cooler months where spending time indoors is the norm in central Indiana. If you are thinking of selling your home next spring, now is the time to start getting ready. We are going to talk about looking at your home through a potential buyers eyes (and nose).

First, while it’s still nice out, take a walk around your neighborhood and get some fresh air. While doing that make note of the homes that seem attractive to you. Neat yard, nicely trimmed hedges, colorful flowers, no peeling paint, etc. Look at those compared to the homes with weeds, broken fences, missing gutter, etc and think which home would you think about buying? Now when you get back around to your home, stand out front and look over what you might want to address before next spring and make a list before you forget!

Now step inside and take a deep breath. Smell anything at all? This morning’s breakfast or something currently cooking aside, make note of the source and make sure that it is addressed before you market the home. Anytime friends are over ask them if they notice any smells. Sometimes you get used to a home smell and don’t even notice it.

Now to the interior of the home. Walk around with a clipboard or notepad and make note of ANY defect you notice. Dirty ceiling lights, broken outlet cover, broken trim board, etc. Don’t think about how you can hide it with furniture, it must be cleaned / fixed / replaced! No detail is too much. Buyers will pick apart the home and when a list gets too lengthy in their mind, they will walk out and move on to the next home. They want a “Move In Ready” home.

Start with the simple things, like cleaning dirty items. As a rule of thumb we say clean it to make it look like new. If it won’t come clean replace or paint it. Not sure on what to replace it with? Look at home centers for ideas, or go visit nearby new model homes in the price point you expect (or want) your home to sell in.

Next look at more major things such as painting a room or replacing carpet or flooring. Try to look for what fits with the room’s original use; like hardwood in a dining room you’re using as a playroom now. Again you can get ideas from model homes and improvement centers / magazines. But don’t go crazy with colors when painting. Neutral tones or single accent walls are a safer bet. Tone down any walls you have that are currently really loud if at all possible. For projects you cannot do yourself, get quotes and mark those costs on your list.

Then there are the major items that can be really pricey to replace so first consider the value they add to your home before a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover. Again get quotes on these items and mark those costs on your list.

This is the point where you want to talk to a REALTOR about local home values. This will help you determine improvement vs. home value to see if it’s worth the costs. The Derrick Team will be glad to come talk to you months before you are ready to sell. And you are under no obligation to use us at any time. We just love to help people sell their homes. Call or text The Derrick Team anytime at 317-563-1110, we work 7 days a week including evenings!

Sep 262011
 

Selling property takes teamwork from both the seller & family and the REALTOR® who is under contract. Most people will think the REALTOR® is solely responsible for selling the property but that in fact is only partially true.

The Derrick Team

Teamwork Sells Homes!

The REALTOR® under contract with a seller is responsible for marketing, talking with other REALTORS® with clients interested in the property, and making sure all offers have complete contracts before the actual sale is completed. A good REALTOR® will advise their clients on items that help the property show better along with possible sales prices based on a Comparative Market Analysis.

But the main thing that makes this a true teamwork situation that most people don’t realize is the seller sells the home, not the REALTOR®.

Seller Responsibilities
While the REALTOR® advises a client on possible sales prices, it is the seller who sets the price the property is to be listed at. We know that overpriced property can take a long time to sell, if it sells at all. Proper pricing is the responsibility of the seller. Add the fact that only the seller can determine the offer price which they are willing to accept and you see, the seller has complete control on selling the property, not the REALTOR®. And the final part the seller controls is the actual showing condition of the property. This can make a big difference on how buyers view the property and ultimately the price offered. All that makes the seller & family very important team members in getting the property sold at a good price.

REALTOR® Responsibilities
So what is important about the REALTOR® you hire? A good REALTOR® will make sure contracts are in order and list your property in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). A great REALTOR® makes sure you have a good photos and description in the MLS. The BEST REALTOR® will market you home to make sure the most buyers view your home in increase the odds of the right buyer finding your property and bringing a great offer. The Derrick Team with our Above & Beyond Marketing will do that for you.

With a dedicated web site and extensive Internet exposure you’ll find The Derrick Team a very valuable member of the team to sell your property! Especially since you get 2 agents for the price of one! Get more details at www.DerrickTeam.com then call us at 317-563-1110 or drop us a note at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com!

Sep 042011
 

One thing we find that people selling their home take seriously is the buyer feedback, (sometimes a little too seriously). I’m going to break it down how we use feedback, because it’s important to pay attention to it.

We push for feedback from the agents who show our listings. Some agents are better than others about getting us feedback in a timely fashion, or even at all. The agents can easily send feedback through our showing service CSS (Centralized Showing Service) via automated emails they receive. But if they choose to ignore those requests we will call them after a few days. It’s really that important as part of marketing the home.

There are two types of important feedback, then others that sometimes make no sense.

First (The Good) is the overall reaction from both the agent and their buyer, such as ‘home shows nice’, or ‘home smells like animals’, and the most common one, ‘home needs updates’. Things like this tell us if the seller needs to do more preparations or not. Basically this is the feedback we need because there are ways to overcome these buyer objections.

The second type (The Bad) is good to know but probably no way to overcome. This includes things like ‘the kitchen is too small’, or ‘didn’t like the floor plan’. Since the seller probably is not willing to knock down walls to enlarge the kitchen or change the floor plan, we just make note of these and work to market based on the positive feedback.

Then there is the feedback that usually upsets the seller (The Ugly). We try to coach our clients on what is important but some tend to take feedback personally. These can be along the lines of ‘need a home with a basement’ when the home was not marketed as having one. Or ‘need a 3 car garage’ when clearly the listing information says 2 car. You just have to expect these as misguided buyers change their minds all the time and we have seen these on practically all our listings at some point. As the seller you just have to ignore them and use the good feedback to continue to tweak how your home shows.

One final note on the ‘home needs updates’; unless you just replaced all your homes fixtures, remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, and put new flooring in the entire house, you will probably hear this comment, often from the agents themselves. We typically chalk this comment up to people who want a brand new home but cannot afford one. So we don’t recommend to our clients to replace anything, unless its worn or broken. Otherwise just expect to hear this anytime you sell a home.

So when selling your home, be prepared for feedback. It’s important for us to market your home and we will push to get it from buyers, agents, and open house visitors. Just don’t take it personally because people all have different opinions, and some just don’t matter. We just pay attention to the ones that do.

 

Jul 092011
 
Connie Derrick

Connie Derrick

Connie Derrick – REALTOR:
With 30 years of customer service experience she connects well with all our clients, sellers and buyers alike. She’s held her RE license since 1997 and has been with Carpenter Realtors since 2001. She stays in touch and returns calls and emails promptly. As many of our clients can attest, she will become your friend during and after all transactions with The Derrick Team. She’s also out marketing face to face with potential and existing clients almost every day.


Dennis Derrick – REALTOR:

Dennis Derrick

Dennis Derrick

He has been working with remodeling homes, well since that first tree house as a teenager. He understands the common and even the unusual construction techniques used and can help clients make informed decisions on selecting the type of house that would be a good fit. He’s also been involved with Information Technology in some form or another for most of his life. Include that he’s been designing and building web sites for over 10 years and you have the perfect person for online marketing of your home. He’s actively marketing your property online in the 24/7 social media world to give you the best exposure to bring that buyer to you.


Vicky Peters – Managing Broker at Carpenter Realtors Avon West:
Vicky is our mentor, broker, and manager all at the same time. Having been in the business for many years he as seen it all and helps us with the more unusual issues. He is there to assist us at any time and is a very important member of the team.


Debbie – Avon West Office Coordinator:
Debbie is who keeps us all in line while supporting us with just about any request we have. She keeps our paperwork in order and makes sure our print ads are setup. She’s a woman with many hats and we would be lost without her support on our team.


Carpenter Realtors Corporate Offices:
A small army of dedicated real estate professionals who focus on the Carpenter Realtors marketing, training, Internet leads, and all types of support. All of which makes for an invaluable member of our team.


Financial Gurus – Many we work with:
Finances are always important in real estate transactions and we have many we work with. We will work with the finance people on any side of a transaction to make sure everything proceeds smoothly. These gurus are a very important member of our team.


Title Insurance companies – Many we work with:
Title insurance is an important part of finishing the process of any real estate transaction. We work very closely with all title companies to make sure all the paperwork is ready for a closing, the most important part of any real estate transaction, thus a key member of our team.


Home Inspection companies – Many we work with:
We really depend on the professional guidance with home inspectors on the condition of a home, even a brand new one. We always recommend a buyer gets an inspection and will assist in finding one available in the allotted time frame after an accepted purchase. They’re advice is a valuable service of our team.


 

HSA – providing home warranties for buyers and sellers:
HSA provides a great service for both our listings and buyers. We recommend home warranties for either side of a transaction. We have seen our clients save hundreds of dollars afterwards so we know the benefits for both buyers and sellers that makes them a great part of our team.


 

There are many others that are often brought into a transaction as needed for quotes, repairs, staging, etc. But as you see, when you use The Derrick Team to represent you in your real estate transaction, you have a large team ready to make sure everything goes smoothly, for you, our client. Give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110. We work 7 days a week, including evenings!

awards

 

 

Mar 302011
 
What were they thinking?

What were they thinking?

While I am a fan of some shows on HGTV in real estate we often see houses with a condition I like to call ‘HGTV Syndrome’. Sometimes it is done in moderation and with good taste. But more often it is more of good intentions gone badly.

What is ‘It’ you ask? ‘It’ is the trendy ideas that come from some shows on HGTV (and other channels as well), that give the homeowner the idea that they know how to make their home look like the one on TV. It doesn’t help that we have stores full of stuff to sell homeowners to do these ‘ideas’ like Lowes, Home Depot, etc in every major metro area that of course also promote ‘It’, and the fact that anyone can do it.

In most cases the worst damage is in the form of wild paint jobs, which will just take someone, sometimes a professional, to undo. This would be a house with a mild case of HGTV Syndrome. In the worst cases, you’ll find the home will do very badly in the home inspection. Home Inspectors find things all the time that are obviously a DIY job and in some cases very dangerous such as bad electrical wiring work.

So when showing homes to our buyers, The Derrick Team will always point out when we see the home is suffering from HGTV Syndrome. The question at that point is how hard will it be to repair the damage.

We personally talked to a homeowner that purchased a home in Avon used in Trading Spaces. He said it took a lot of work to cure that home of its HGTV Syndrome. So beware if you get the urge to decorate after watching a TV show. You might end up making your home worth less or even too sick to sell!

If you are thinking of doing some updates, give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110. We’ll be glad to come take a look at your ideas and let you know how that might effect your homes value. It’s what we do for our clients, for free!

Feb 142011
 

IMG_20150212_165246So you contracted with a real estate agent to sell your home, and it didn’t sell. Why?

Well that’s not always simple question. Many factors could have impacted this so we’ll just look at the basics.

1. Did you price your home for the current market?

Your agent should have given you a Comparative Market Analysis report when you first put your home on the market. Did you look it over carefully? The Derrick Team will give you a report with a range. Based on your personal motivation, you start with a price in the range of what the CMA shows. For example, if you are highly motivated, set the price in the low range. Good pricing gives you an edge over the competition in the market. Your agent should have kept giving you reports on area activity. But it’s up to you to determine your motivation. If your home didn’t sell, this is the first thing to reexamine before putting your home back on the market.

2. Did you properly prepare your home to show?

Your agent should have suggested how you should prepare for open houses and showings. The rule of thumb: Clean and Neat. If your home shows great, you’ll have a much better chance of getting offers.

3. Did your agent aggressively market your home?

Were you happy with how your agent advertised to attract buyers? Some agents will tell you putting your home on the MIBOR Broker Listing Service (BLS) and a sign in the yard is all you need. Occasionally this does work. But you have a much better chance of attracting more buyers and getting better offers if your home is actively marketed. The Derrick Team excels in Above and Beyond Marketing.

If you feel you are OK with # 1 & 2, then examine if you think your agent did # 3 to your satisfaction. If not, check out what The Derrick Team can do for you. Look at our web site: http://derrickteam.com/ for more details. Then give us a call at 317.563.1110 or shoot us an email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com.

Feb 022011
 

The Derrick Team ~ Listing Leaders

Give us a call to sell your home or buy a home today!

Jan 172011
 

A deed is a document that conveys an ownership interest in real property from one person or entity to another. The specific type of deed that is utilized to transfer an ownership interest will depend on many factors including: the jurisdiction, the circumstances, the intent of the parties, and the legal capacity of the grantor. Below is a brief overview of several types of deeds and how they are used to convey ownership interests in property.

An owner’s title insurance policy protects the buyer should a covered matter or title problem arise. It is purchased for a onetime fee at closing and lasts for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.

But does he have title insurance?

But does he have title insurance?

General Warranty Deed
This type of deed is typically used to convey ownership in real estate transactions in which the grantor fully warrants good and clear title to the property. The Grantor (seller) makes certain warranties or promises to the Grantee (buyer) including, but not limited to: the Grantor has the rights in the property being transferred, that Grantor has the right to convey the property and that the property is free from liens or claims of third parties.

Special (or Limited) Warranty Deed
A deed often given by fiduciaries that hold property of behalf of others (trustees, personal representatives, guardians) as well as builders, and lenders that typically have owned a property for a relatively short period of time. A special or limited warranty deed only warrants that the grantor has not impaired the title during their ownership of the property. It is not a warranty against defects or claims against the property that arose prior to the grantor’s ownership nor does it obligate the grantor to do anything further once the title is transferred.

Quit Claim Deed
A deed of conveyance that operates as a release, it is intended to pass any title, interest, or claim which the grantor may have in real property, but does not warrant the validity of the grantor’s interest in the real property. A quit claim deed is often used when a family member conveys title to another family member and it is commonly used by divorcing couples where one spouse signs all his or her rights in a property to the other spouse.

Certificate of Sale/Tax Deed
A Certificate of Sale is issued to the winning bidder at a judicial foreclosure sale. The document indicates that the bidder will receive the property’s title once any conditions of the sale are completed and confirmed by the court. A tax deed is an instrument used to convey legal title to property sold by a governmental taxing authority for nonpayment of property taxes.

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is given by the owner of mortgaged property to the holder of the mortgage when the mortgage is in default and foreclosure is threatened. The actual deed utilized is oftentimes a quit claim deed, and it is given to a lender as an alternative to foreclosure.

Deed of Trust
A deed of trust gives a lender a security interest in your home, just like a mortgage. In exchange, you give the bank a deed of trust, which says that if you default in repaying the loan, the bank can foreclose on your home and sell it to pay off the loan.

Trustee’s Deed
The document that is given to the individual or entity that successfully bids at a Trustee’s Sale and purchases the foreclosed property. This document transfers ownership and the sale must be recorded with the county recorder in the county in which the property is located. (A trustee’s deed is also an instrument that can also be used to convey property out of a trust.)

This information provided by Larry Coplen at First American Title Insurance Company in Avon.

The Derrick Team is not associated with First American Title Insurance Company but is providing this information to help you understand deeds for buying or selling property. This information is not provided as professional advice. When you’re ready to buy a house, give us a call or text at 317-563-1110. As a buyer being represented by a Realtor costs you noting!

Dec 052010
 

We just received the first real snowfall in central Indiana, 2 weeks before the official start of winter, but in Real Estate we are already thinking spring! And if you are planning on putting your home on the market next spring you should start working right now.

First let’s explain the real time frame from which real estate works. Most people know that annual property sale transactions peak during the spring. We can verify that as springtime is typically real estates busiest period. But actually buyers start looking seriously soon after the first of the year, in the middle of winter. Sitting around on cold snowy days, searching available homes on the Internet, and getting ideas what to look at as soon as the weather is a little warmer, as in maybe the January thaw we often see here in the Midwest. So the best bet to get those early buyers is to have your home on the market no later than the third week in January. The earlier the better!

The reason you need to get started today is you probably have a few things to do to spruce up your home before you get it listed on the market. And what better time for indoor projects than the cold days of winter. Maybe a room needs a quick paint job. That loose railing you’ve been meaning to repair. A broken light fixture that needs replaced. You want to have all those things done before the first showing. It is hard to explain to buyers that this or that will be done soon, as they base everything on what they see right in front of them. And in some cases what they see can be potential deal killers.

So if you are planning to sell your home, your spring season starts right now. Feel free to contact The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 with any questions. We’d be happy to come by and look at your home and offer suggestions on getting it ready to show. We’ll also do a Free Comparative Market Analysis of your home with no obligations to use us when you’re ready to sell. But we’re sure when you see The Derrick Team Marketing Advantage, you’ll realize we can do the most for you to give your home the exposure it needs to find buyers looking on those cold winter days in January.

Also be sure and download our free booklet Some Tips For Preparing Your Home To Sell

Oct 292010
 

 How important is it for you to sell your home?

There are different types of Realtor services available to those who are looking to sell your home. Each one has a general base commission rate that is determined by what they provide the seller to help get the property sold. But what most people don’t realize is the whole commission that is charged is normally split 4 ways.

RallyAwardFirst you have the split between what the listing broker/agent and what selling broker/agent (who brings the buyer) receives at the closing. The second split is referred to as the Broker-Agent Commission (BAC). The BAC is important as this amount attracts the agents with buyers to your property. A lower BAC could make a difference in a sale as an agent may guide a buyer to a similar listing with a higher BAC. So a home with a 3.5 BAC will be considered more often than homes with 2.5 or even 3.0. We always recommend at least a 3.5 in this market and even 4.0 if you really want motivated agents showing your property in today’s market.

Second each of these halves are split again in a predetermined percentage between each agent and their associated broker. In most cases this is a 50/50 split so the listing agent and the selling agent actually end up with about ¼ each of the total commission.

In the Indy Metro area you will find that most full service brokers generally start at a 7% commission and reduce them on a sliding scale depending on the properties listed sales price. Your discount brokers will often reduce this down to 4 to 5% but offer a much lower BAC to agents bringing the buyers.

Now keep in mind the agent who is working the hardest to sell your home is only getting ¼ of the commission. So the selling agents income difference between 5 & 7% on a $100,000 sale is $500. Do you really think that the agent with the lower commission rate can afford to invest as much time and money in marketing your home as would a full service broker? Also note, a well marketed home with more buyers looking at it typically gets a higher sales price.

So again we ask: How important is it for you to sell your home?

Carpenter Realtors is a full service broker that provides a wealth of marketing tools including the exclusive Home Marketing System for all their agents.

The Derrick Team uses these tools and even more (like dedicated listing web sites) to achieve maximum exposure of your property to buyers in today’s market. Call or text us today to find out more at 317.563.1110. We work 7 days a week, evenings too!

Oct 062010
 

BrookBendSOLDIn the first part we discussed the types of REALTOR®s in this area. Now as you interview agents, here are some of the things to ask to see how agents work for you to sell your property.

Things to ask a REALTOR®

What is all the information you will put on the MLS?

How many pictures do you put on the MLS?

Can I see some examples of pictures you used before?

What do you offer as the BAC?

What kind of print advertising do you do?

Do you distribute books or flyers with our properties information?

Do you offer flyers for people driving by?

How will you show our property?

Is there someone else available for us to talk to if you are not available?

Do you offer books with additional information for showings?

Will you get feedback and follow up with agents who show our property?

How often are you willing to do open houses?

What kind of Internet marketing do you provide?

What kind of Internet presence do you or your broker have?

Do you provide Internet traffic reports on our property?

Will you provide a dedicated web site for our property?

These are just some of the things a good REALTOR® should be willing to do to help you sell your property. Be sure and ask for examples and give them some concerns you might have. If you don’t feel comfortable with all their answers, be sure to interview some more agents before making your choice. You want to sell your property and should want the best REALTOR® doing it!

The Derrick Team would love to answer these questions and more as you go through your selection process. We feel confident that we can market your home with the best tools and more. Give us a call or text today at 317.563.1110 to setup a no pressure, no obligation discussion on selling your property. We’ll do a free Competitive Market Analysis and give you tips on what your property needs to sell in the current market.

Sep 292010
 

So you are getting ready to list, or relist your property with a professional REALTOR®, here is a rundown on what to look for as your options.

Listing Service

This is a company that charges a flat fee to provide you the services of a broker to assist you in selling your home. This is only an option if you are willing to do most of the work yourself. They do the minimum amount of work to place your home in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After that you’re on your own to market, show, and hold open houses. You have to determine your BAC (what an agent who sells your home gets) which can determine how many showings you get. If your property doesn’t sell, you’re out their fee and all your time and money spent marketing the property.

Discount Broker

This is an agency where you will have an assigned agent to work with you to list your property and only charge you a discounted fee (typically 5 to 6 %) if your home sells. They will provide you the necessary service to list your home in the MLS, usually show your home or provide a method for other agents to show the home, and maybe even do some limited marketing. They might do open houses if you request it but probably won’t offer that willingly. They will list on the MLS at a reduced BAC rate depending on what the commission is set at, which can sometimes impact the amount of showings. The better ones will offer some extra marketing such as virtual tours but don’t count on it.

20150811_150744Full Service Broker

This is an agency where you will have an assigned agent to work with you to list your property and charge you a fee based on several factors for the area (typically 7 % or more in the metro west area) if your home sells. They will provide you the necessary service to list your home in the MLS, show your home and provide a secure method for other agents to show the home, and will do much more marketing. They typically will provide a improved web search ability to help sell your home on the Internet (where 90% of buyers start their home search) and some additional print marketing such as flyers and books for potential buyers to have. Most will have their own sections in the newspaper to advertise homes and open houses. They will offer the highest BAC which draws other agents to show your property. And most will offer to do open houses if you want.

So to summarize:

Listing Service: Flat fee, home on MLS, sign in yard (you pay for it), show the home yourself, you pay out the BAC, out time and money if home doesn’t sell.

Discount Broker: Lower commission, home on MLS, sign in yard, take care of showings, lower BAC, some marketing and maybe open houses. No charge to you if home doesn’t sell.

Full Service Broker: Standard commission, home on MLS, sign(s) in yard, take care of showings, offer attractive BAC, extensive marketing and open houses. No charge to you if home doesn’t sell. They will work the hardest to sell your property as they will put more time and money into selling your property and will get nothing in return if they don’t succeed!

The market for selling homes is very competitive, especially in this current economy. You need to compete with homes being marketed by Full Service Brokers. Is it worth the risk to try saving a few dollars in a large financial transaction when there is so much at stake? Contact  your Full Service (and more) REALTOR®s, The Derrick Team today to find out more what we can do for you. Call or text 317-563-1110 anytime, we work 7 days a week, evenings too.

Aug 142010
 

EntryDoorArtworkStart With The Exterior
First impressions count thus the outside ‘Curb Appeal’ is a must for items to be taken care of for preparing to sell a home. If the outside looks rough, they assume the interior is the same.  Step out to the street and note the condition of the following items: trim work, shutters, gutters, shingles, mailboxes, windows & window screens, walkways and the driveway. Then clean, paint, repair, or replace as needed to give the fresh look to prospective buyers driving by. Now look at the landscaping be sure and make it look its best by mowing, edging, seeding, fertilizing and weeding the lawn. Next look  at the trees and shrubs and trim and/or remove overgrown plants and don’t forget to weed and mulch the plant beds. A nice touch is planting colorful seasonal flowers in the existing plant beds. Then continue to clean, mow and trim while the home is on the market on a regular basis, especially for showings & open houses.

Take A Hard Look At Your Front Door!
The front door to your home should invite buyers to enter. Look at the condition of the door and clean, paint, or replace anything that looks really bad. Make sure everything works properly like the latch that clicks shut without fidgeting with it. Look for details like the screen door, the doorbell, the porch lights, and even the house numbers. For the extra touch, place a new welcome mat and a group of seasonal potted plants and flowers by the entry.

Inside: Remove Clutter & Depersonalize
A buyer cannot envision living in your home without seeing it. A home filled with clutter or even too much furniture distracts buyers from seeing how they can utilize the space your home offers. If you have limited storage space, you may want to consider renting a temporary storage unit to place items you wish to keep. Start by holding a garage sale to prepare for your move getting rid of unnecessary items (see our post on Garage Sales). Then box up and store items like books, magazines, toys, tools, supplies and unused items from counter tops, open shelves, storage closets, the garage and basements. Consider storing out-of-season clothing and shoes out of sight to make bedroom closets seem roomier. Go thru the home and organize bookshelves, closets, cabinets and pantries. Serious buyers will tend to look at everything. Depersonalize by putting away most if not all of your personal photographs, unless they really help showcase the home.

Fix Basic Items In The Home
Focus on the minor repairs that will make your home visually appealing such as ceilings and wall cracks, faucets, banisters, handrails, cabinets, drawers, doors, floors and tile. Look at caulking and grouting in tubs, showers, sinks and tile and clean or replace if needed.  Consider painting ceilings, walls, trim, doors and cabinets that are scuffed or have faded or stained areas. Check all the door handles, drawer pulls, light switches and electrical plates and repair or replace as needed. Be sure and lubricate door hinges and locks so there are no creaky scary sounds when they open the doors.

Everyone Looks At The Kitchen
If you are thinking of spending any money on renovations, this is the one area where you will see the greatest return. Even with a modest budget you can focus on a few key areas like replacing cabinet doors and hardware. Or something simple like installing under-cabinet lighting or replacing older style light fixtures. Be sure to clean or replace outdated shelving with pantry and cabinet organizers to maximize space. Consider replacing the sink and/or fixtures if there are water stains that cannot be removed.

Arraigning The Furniture
Furniture placement can enhance the space of your home while giving buyers an idea of how to best utilize the space with their own belongings. Take some time to rethink how different areas in your house could be used. Consider moving couches and chairs away from walls in your sitting and family rooms to create cozy conversational groups. Use a comfy chair with a lamp and table to create a reading corner in the master bedroom. Give empty rooms a purpose with a spare bed & dresser for guests or a desk and bookshelf for an office.

Clean And Keep Clean
The cleanliness of your home also influences a buyer’s perception of its condition. The appearance of the kitchen and bathrooms will play a considerable role in a buyer’s decision process, so pay particular attention to these areas.  Be sure and clean all windows, fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans, vent covers and appliances. Don’t forget to clean inside the refrigerator, the stove (especially if included in the sale) and all cabinets. Unless you’ve just installed new flooring be sure to remove all stains from carpets, rugs, and floors. And most importantly be very sure to eliminate any source of bad odors, especially if you have pets as we’ve seen buyers walk in and turn right around if they smell something bad. A nice touch would be using air fresheners or potpourri but you have to be careful as some buyers might think you are hiding something.

Light Up
Create a sense of openness and cheerfulness in your home through its lighting. Simple items, like opening shades and drapes to let the sunshine warm and brighten rooms are easy (make sure the windows are clean). But consider the next step by installing brighter light bulbs in rooms that tend to be dark or adding additional lamps for ambient lighting. And be sure to turn on all the lights for a showing.

Final Touches
You can easily add color and style to your home by adding fresh touches throughout. Consider placing fresh floral arrangements in the entry and master bedroom and placing bowls of bright-colored fruit in the family room and the kitchen. Fill an empty corner with a (healthy) potted leafy plant or an antique table or rocker.
In the bathrooms always have new hand soap and clean fresh towels near the sinks.

While all this seems like a lot to work on, consider you want to sell your most expensive asset for the highest amount the market will bring. Nice looking correctly staged homes will always sell faster for more money than those that are worn and will need a little work by the buyer to get move in ready. When you are just in the beginning stages of preparing you home be sure and call The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 as we will gladly come take a look at your home and suggest what items are most important to help sell your home. Roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Jul 102010
 
Dreaming of a New Home?

Dreaming of a New Home?

Even if it’s a year or two away, there are things you should consider now so you are better prepared when the time comes. We’ll discuss the basics and point you to some tools you can use to get started. Even if you are selling a current home and moving into a new one, much of this applies as well.

Financing
First and foremost, work on your financing. The sooner you figure this out, the better you’ll be prepared for everything else. I would suggest working out a budget if you don’t already have one. This can help determine what you feel you can afford for a house payment. Then when you talk to a finance person you have a better understanding when they explain what a monthly payment amount covers and how much ‘home’ you can afford. (The homes costs include the mortgage, money down, and other costs for the transaction). There are also online tools such as this calculator that give you a rough idea: How Much Home Can I Afford?

If you don’t already have it, it’s a good idea to check your credit report. This is a great tool that I’ve used myself and you are allowed to use it once a year for free to check all three major credit services: Annual Credit Report . They will try and sell you extra services but if you just use it to check your report it costs you nothing, (by law the credit services must supply you one free report per year). Look your reports over carefully and if you see something wrong, now it the time to fix it, before you go to secure financing for the home you saw and fell in love with (and then can’t get the financing).

Searching For Homes
Next, start thinking about the type of home you’ll want and the area you think you want to move to. This is where I recommend you hook up with a REALTOR®. Find one that knows the area you’re looking at and see what they say about the availability and prices you would be looking at. Remember, when buying a home using a REALTOR®, you pay nothing for our services, (as explained in this earlier post).

Of course I hope you will consider The Derrick Team as your REALTOR® of choice. Connie and I have no problem working with you long before you’re ready to make your purchase. We want to guide you in your search and even when it takes a year or two we’ll be glad to help you get started. We have the knowledge and tools of our own with which we will assist you in your search. One such tool is on our web site, the Search and Save feature located on the menu at DerrickTeam.com. It’s free to use and allows you to create searches, save and email the results to yourself or others.

Selling Your Home
If you have a home to sell you definitely want to get a REALTOR® early on, so we can help you determine your homes value as it currently is, thus guiding any improvements you make to prepare your home for sale. Depending on shows like you see on HGTV could really make you waste a lot of money on things that don’t help in your neighborhood.

Give The Derrick Team a text or call today for any current or future Real Estate needs at 317.563.1110. We’ll be glad to talk to you about anything you’re thinking about doing now or two years from now. It’s never too early to start planning such a big purchase. And remember, we work 7 days a week, evenings too!

Jul 012010
 
Many people get ‘the bug’ to get a new car occasionally. No real reason to replace the one you have, just ‘they see something new and just gotta have it’. Most people view this as they’re already making a payment, might as well make it a few more years. This mentality can lead to perpetual car payments for the rest of your life. Great when things are good but, well you get the idea.
Derrick Team Transport

My Reliable 10 Year Old Car

So the best advice I’ve heard when you get ‘the bug’ is really true. Since you get the best bang for your buck if your trade-in vehicle looks top notch, spend a day cleaning, waxing, and making it look its best before you head to the dealership. The reason that’s such a good idea is that you might sit back and realize your current car looks great and will be paid off next year. And common sense kicks in and you keep it and save a lot of money.

OK, now let’s think about your home the same way. There are always reasons that trump this way of thinking like job relocation, don’t like the area, or just tired of walking up and down stairs.  But if you just think it’s a tired old home and you want something new, keep in mind you need to freshen up the look to sell it, so what the hell, figure out what you don’t like and work out a budget. Then decide if you made those changes to the house it would be fine. Need more room? Maybe you can add an addition for less than all the moving expenses would add up to. Kitchen just not up to par? Would a remodel be worth the effort instead of an entire house replacement? Just sit down and write up a list and get some quotes. Then check with a REALTOR® to see what the current market is like. This gives you an idea of what the real costs of staying vs. moving are.

If you find yourself in this position, feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110. I’ve done a lot of remodeling myself and can give you real world advice on what’s worth the effort, and what to walk away from. And we’ll help research the market to see what’s the best approach.

You’ll get a much better feeling with whatever decision you make then as you know it was the ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with ‘the bug.’

Apr 202010
 

So you’ve decided to sell your home yourself. We won’t discuss why you chose this route yet. But let’s discuss the process of selling a home first.

Selling your home is a very serious financial transaction. Quite possibly your home is your most valuable asset so when you are ready to sell, you want to make sure you do it properly. Statistics show that 80% of the homeowners that try to sell on their own home eventually use a REALTOR and then realized they wasted a lot of time and effort before they did. There are a lot of things to consider but the basics are broken down to these items.

You will need to: 

  • Price
  • Prepare
  • Market
  • Show
  • Negotiate

You may be able to figure out some of this on your own but you really should consider using a professional REALTOR to make sure each step is done properly and results in the best return for your valuable investment.

Here is what The Derrick Team will do for you to sell your home:

Price for the Market
For pricing we will do the footwork and evaluate your home and property to help you get the best price for the current market. We do a complete Comprehensive Marketing Analysis to guide you to a marketable price for your home. If a home is overpriced, it might never sell, or at least it will sit on the market for a very long time. Plus if the buyer is financing most of the purchase, it might not appraise for the loan and the entire deal will fall through.
Question: Do you have access to proper property comparisons to determine the current market value of your property? If not you might easily underprice and lose financially on your investment or you might overprice and find later it doesn’t appraise killing a possible sale.

Prepare to Show
To help you prepare we will offer suggestions for staging your home to make it attractive to buyers. We make suggestions on both what to make it stage better and what is not worth spending your money on. A well staged home will show better attracting more viewers and ultimately better offers from impressed buyers. A well staged home often sells sooner and for more than a similar home that doesn’t look as nice. First impressions make a big difference in home sales.
Questions: Do you know what to focus on so your home shows nicely? Are you going to have to spend money to spruce it up? If so do you know the least expensive way to approach this?

Marketing Your Home
For marketing we use the best tools available to realtors including the comprehensive set of options available through Carpenter Realtors that are exclusive to Carpenter agents. The Carpenter Home Marketing System is provided to Carpenter Sales Associates regardless of the agent’s income so every property gets the best marketing available. This system includes print, newspaper, Internet, and even TV with Carpenters Showcase of Homes on every Saturday morning. In addition to all this The Derrick Team also utilizes our own “Above and Beyond Marketing” detailed later in this book.
Questions: How much money are you going to pay for marketing? Can you possibly get as much exposure as what The Derrick Team / Carpenter Realtors can give you? Do you realize we would market your house at our own expense and you would owe us nothing if your house doesn’t sell? Can you understand our dedication to marketing and selling your home as we make nothing if we don’t succeed?

Showing Your Home
We use the SentriLock lockbox system which allows us complete control over who has access to your home. This is part of the MIBOR BLC system so all member agents using a security card will be able to show your home without inconveniencing you. Carpenter Realtors uses Centralized Showing Service (CSS) who will coordinate with you and simplifies the ability of buyer’s agents to schedule a time to show your home. This also allows us to track all showings and send you reports with feedback from the buyer’s agent. We also will be happy to hold open houses as we know they do help market your home.
Questions: Are you prepared to take calls from all sorts of “unqualified” buyers who will be coming by to see your house for the first time? Do you have the marketing ability publicize your Open Houses if/when you have them?

Negotiate for You
Finally, the most important step is when a buyer makes an offer. We will work with you for negotiations such as sales price, included items, and any inspection issues that may arise. We will be there at closing to help you with any questions that may come up. We will work closely with you all the way through to make sure no unexpected surprises come up at the last minute.
Question: Are you ready to negotiate with a professional REALTOR when they bring a buyer’s offer (and pay them the BAC fee)? Educated buyers will have a REALTOR as they know it costs them nothing and if you don’t offer a BAC REALTORs will go elsewhere with their buyers.

Door to Door Service
The Derrick Team will also help you find your new home and help negotiate that sales transaction with you. We can even help if it’s on the other side of the country. So we can make sure you go from one house to your next with the least inconvenience to you and your family.
Comment: You might consider that a REALTOR whom you pay to sell your home will help you buy your next home at no cost to you. Thus you are only paying for part of their services.

 Other items to consider:

  • Do you know when to provide the Lead Paint disclosure?
  • How will you negotiate with inspection issues? (Educated buyers will always insist on a home inspection)
  • Do you know when you are supposed to provide the sellers disclosure?
  • Do you realize since you need to be prepared to pay the buyers’ agent’s BAC fees, you only save half the commission selling it yourself?

When it’s OK to Sell Your Home Yourself:

  • You are selling to a good friend or relative on an already agreed upon price. (You’ll still need a title company to properly transfer the deed; we can recommend one for you).
  • You are going to put the wheels back on and deliver it with your pickup truck. (You’ll need to finish the paperwork at the DMV).

If neither of those reasons applies, you might want to reconsider selling your home without professional assistance. Even if you don’t use The Derrick Team, we strongly recommend you use a REALTOR to sell your home.

No Obligations – Call or Text Us Today – 317-563-1110
Give us a call and we’ll be glad to come to your home and talk to you about selling your home with no obligations or hard sell. The Derrick Team just wants to help people sell their homes. We want to help you sell your home for the best possible price, in the least amount of time, with the least inconvenience to you and your family. The Derrick Team / Carpenter Realtors are the best Full-Service REALTORs in Central Indiana.

Feb 222010
 

 The Google Factor

youtubeIn my many years in the Information Technology field, I’ve seen things come and go. Technology changes quickly so time is measured in months instead of years. What’s hot now is old news 12 to 18 months later. Obviously the Internet is one technology that has lived on for a long time because of it’s usefulness to spread information. Google has become the champ of search engines (for more than the usual lifespan of a few months) and so we measure information dissemination as to how Google finds and distributes it.

 Now you ask, “Why is this important to selling my home?”

Statistics show that a large percentage of home buyers noted they first saw the home they ultimately purchased on a web site. In Real Estate this is known as the ‘First Showing’. Virtual home tours have become a nice addition to displaying homes on the Internet so The Derrick Team takes this one step further. We are launching a new marketing tool available to our Sellers at no cost. We will build a complete web site dedicated to each of our listings packed with even more information than normally distributed via the MIBOR BLC listing. This will include additional photographs and video clips to give the buyer a complete tour of your home. This web site will be a link on all distributed web site materials from the BLC so there is always an option for a Buyer to visit the site from any of the normal home search services.

In addition to this site we utilize many tools to make your site Google friendly including Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, & Google Alerts. This allows us to effectively fine tune our marketing and make sure we increase your homes’ ‘Internet Presence’ effectively. We also utilize the latest Internet social media tools to market you property which also makes it even more Google friendly.

Now is the time to sell your home with a powerful Internet Presence. Give the Derrick Team a call or text today at 317.563.1110 or use our Contact Form here.

Dec 302009
 
Early Technology

Early Technology

Over the years we’ve seen technology grow in leaps and bounds in every aspect of our lives. Some of it works to help us, while other things turn out to be a little lacking in practical sense. But for Real Estate it has helped make tremendous gains in how we buy and sell property today.

The main item we’ve become accustom to using for daily tasks is the Internet. It has gone from a small group of computers connected via telephone lines in the late 80’s to the all encompassing information resource which search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use to bring us results for our information requests.

Where does this fit into Real Estate? Lets start with what Realtors have used for years to share information about regional property listings. Generically known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS but here in the Indy area the BLC), this is a collection of local property information that is on the market at any given time. For years this was only available to members of the listing service which was local brokers, agents, and other MLS members. This information was printed in a book format on a regular basis and distributed to the MLS members. In each book there were pages and pages with many properties on each page in tiny little boxes with a tiny picture and not much information on the property. To get more information the agent had to call the MLS and had a larger sheet Faxed to them.

Fast forward to today and the Internet.  Now every property listed for sale by MLS members is posted in a database which is then accessible via the Internet. In the Indianapolis Metropolitan area we have MIBOR and the excellent system known as the BLC (Brokers Listing Cooperative). This information is then spread to many other sites that display the basic information to the ever growing property shoppers. According to many studies done today at least 90% of home buyers today first search on the Internet to find information about properties for sale in the area their interested in. Why is this important? How that information is displayed can make a great or lousy first impression on what is commonly referred to as the “First Showing”.

This is where an “Internet Savvy” Realtor can make a difference in selling your home. In future blog posts we’ll cover more on what a good realtor can do for you. But if you cannot wait, call The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 and we can show you what we will do for you to market your home to that 90% of Internet searching buyers! Or use our handy Contact Form here!

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