Posts

Deck Your Halls This Season

Thanksgiving weekend is behind us and we are all heading full force into the December holidays. It seems as though the exterior decorations go up earlier and earlier each year in my town. No complaints from me! I enjoy taking the long way through the neighborhood on the way home to see all the lights on the shrubbery and pines, the wreaths on the front doors, and the red bows on the mailboxes. I think holiday decorating is a great way to attract attention to your home and give it a different look than the every day.

Traditionally, real estate winds down toward the end of the year, as do most businesses. People vacation, focus on family, host gatherings, etc. and sellers don’t want to have the added stress of having their home listed forcing them to entertain showings on top of all the other things on their To Do list. As Realtors, our job is to make sure sellers are getting the most exposure for their home. Whenever a seller approaches me about removing their house from the market for the holidays, I discourage it.

Here’s why:

  • Some sellers insist on taking their houses off the market which would mean that those remaining will get more attention.
  • Buyers that are out looking at this time of year are serious buyers. We all know how distracting the holidays can be. There’s always shopping to do, cooking to do, cleaning to do, wrapping to do. Serious buyers, buyers that need to make a move in the next 30-60 days, are the ones out looking. You don’t want to miss these buyers.
  • This is relocation time. Many large companies will ask employees to start their new jobs in the first quarter. Relo buyers are out in force this time of year looking to find a home for their families that will allow them to be settled in by February.
  • Your house looks pretty this time of year! Spend some time decorating outside and in to make your home warm and inviting to potential buyers.

Wishing all of your a joyous holiday season and best wishes for a happy 2013.

Allyson Kane is a certified professional Realtor(R) and is licensed in the State of Connecticut. Having lived in the area for nearly 20-years, Allyson brings hometown knowledge together with her corporate marketing background and passion for the real estate industry to provide her clients with the best professional service in northern Fairfield and southern Litchfield counties. Wondering what your home is worth? Contact Allyson today for a full market analysis report.

Why We Really Should Be ‘Marketing Executives’

Much of what Realtors do is perceived as Sales, but when I think of a salesperson, I think of 1960 when men in suits traipsed door-to-door with gigantic vacuum cleaners or suitcases full of Encyclopedias. These were real sales people. These were unique skills that persuaded folks to purchase items they didn’t necessarily need. This is much different than what I do.

Once I list your home, I have a checklist of mini jobs to perform. I’ll be advertising the property in the local papers, scheduling Open Houses and Broker Tours, developing print campaign mailings, utilizing my social media and web outreach, and maximizing the Prudential name. By doing this, I am working to get your property the biggest and best targeted exposure that I can. Each of my listings has a personalized marketing plan based on demographics such as first-time home buyers, unique homes, commuters, etc. I am marketing your property, not selling it. I can’t force the buyers to be interested in your home. Perhaps it only has three bedrooms and they need four. Perhaps it boarders a main road and they’re insistent on a neighborhood. Perhaps they need a two car garage for their motorcycles and boat and your home only has one. Remember, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

The selling part comes into play when the buyers show interest. Once a buyer starts to envision themselves in your home, Realtors are able to reach into their sack of sales skills and start selling. That’s when I would point out the benefits your home has to offer – for example, how the pool is great for those hot summer days or the fact that there are so many kids in the neighborhood, the local elementary school can only send one bus to the neighborhood. I’d mention how low the taxes are for such a great house or how the home is wired for a generator. This is our time to shine and get the sellers the best possible market value dollar for their home.

When you hire me to represent you as a seller, we become a team. I’m out there looking out for your best interest. You can trust that I’m working daily to make sure your house is getting market exposure through every possible avenue I can access. My passion for this job is unlike any other role I’ve ever had and I want to help you meet your goals while also meeting your expectations.

Working With Buyers in the Age of Information

Have you ever used your smart phone to settle an argument? To find out that little fact nugget that you’re blanking on at the moment? To look up what the name of that actor was is that movie? We all know that in the digital age, everyone seems to have answers to everything at their fingertips. This is especially evident in the Real Estate industry where there are multiple apps and websites that are free to any user that knows how to navigate a smart phone, tablet, or the internet. Back in the days where the Multiple Listing Service put out bound paper books, the only people with access to these books were agents. Now, we have the same information that everyone else does (but we get it sooner and it’s more accurate).

Third party websites such as Zillow and Trulia and Realtor.com get property information from a multitude of sources including Public Records. My husband and I bought a home in October of 2012 and the public record town website still does not have us listed as the homeowner. It’s March. Public Record is a little behind. This is why you still need a Realtor. *wink*

Buyers call us up with a tremendous amount of knowledge. They know what they want (for example, a 3 bedroom house is a nice neighborhood with a flat back yard and a pool. And, oh! We need it for under $250,000) and chances are they’ve already searched the internet and done research on their town(s) of interest. Buyers may have been watching a house in their neighborhood waiting for the price to drop or for the perfect moment to make an offer. Often, buyers call us with a list of homes they want to see and don’t even give us a chance to show them others that we think they might be interested in based on their criteria. I was this buyer. I drove our agent crazy (and she reminds me of that daily!) with email after email saying things like, “Drove by this one today! There’s a sign! Can we go see it?” or, “Did you know this just came on? I saw it on Zillow.” (Yes, she knew. And she knew a week ago.).

Buyers are educated and hold their cards close to the vest. Realtors may need to have carefully worded discussions about how we’re on their side. We are a team. And we took an oath to put the needs of our clients ahead of our own needs. My clients are important to me. I don’t have set hours. I work nights and weekends. You can email me any time. I make sure my clients are getting the best possible service and when we part ways after a successful closing, I want you to have had a positive experience, remember me in a positive light, and tell everyone you know that your home-buying experience was stress free and easy. I want you to think me when it comes to real estate services and if you can’t do that, then I’m not doing my job correctly.

If you’re thinking about buying, now is the time to do it. We believe the market is heading back up. The low of the low has arrived. If you want to take advantage of the low market, start your search today. And if you don’t believe me, here’s a link to an article on that thing called the internet that tells you so.

DAN0641-THUMP

Allyson Kane is a certified professional Realtor(R) licensed in the State of Connecticut. Having lived in the area for nearly 20-years, Allyson brings hometown knowledge together with her corporate marketing background and passion for the real estate industry to provide her clients with the best professional service in northern Fairfield and southern Litchfield counties. If you’re in the market for a new home and are ready to take the next step in your search, contact Allyson today. 

Spring Market Is Here! And It’s Early!

shutterstock_8794708Everyone in the coastal northeast is digging out from Blizzard 2013 and cursing the Groundhog that promised us an early Spring. Perhaps he wasn’t talking about the weather!

Realtors spend most of January and early February prospecting and preparing for the Spring Market which typically begins in March. However, this year it appears to be quite early. New listings are hitting the market in abundance every day. Come March, the choices for buyers could be quite overwhelming. If you’re a buyer, this is a GREAT thing. If you’re a seller, you might want to consider listing your home sooner rather than waiting to come on the market with everyone else in March.

Want to List Your Home?I can provide a full Competitive Market Analysis for your property within 24 hours of a short, 30 minute visit to the home. I will give you a full analysis of what similar properties in your neighborhood are listing for and selling for as well as input for preparing your home for “Show Condition”. Prudential CT Realty is a FULL SERVICE agency and we are trained to provide our sellers with the best possible customer service which includes our professional take on what items  you might need to remove from rooms or, small, inexpensive updates you might want to make in order to get the most money for your property.

Ready to Buy?
Lets spend some time together! Give me a call or send me an email so we can arrange a short meeting. I can tell you about available properties that meet your Wish List criteria. I can also make referrals to area mortgage brokers, movers, insurance companies, and more to help make your buying experience as stress free as possible. Remember that third party sites such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com aren’t completely up to date. For the most recent and accurate information, contact me today!

DAN0641-THUMPAllyson Kane is a certified professional Realtor(R) aligned with Prudential Connecticut Realty and is licensed in the State of Connecticut. Having lived in the area for nearly 20-years, Allyson brings hometown knowledge together with her corporate marketing background and passion for the real estate industry to provide her clients with the best professional service in northern Fairfield and southern Litchfield counties. Wondering what your home is worth? Contact Allyson today for a full market analysis report.

Oh Connecticut, Are You Ready For Spring?

lake

I woke up to 6 degrees today. Minus 5 with the wind chill. I had no desire to get out of bed.

This photo was taken by my husband on Lake Waramaug in Warren, CT. The mere beauty of the mountains, the water, the tranquility that this image brings me is why I’m able to hang on through the bitter January and February weather. This photo is May. And it’s not that far away.

So hang on, Connecticut. The “Reasons Why I Live Here” are soon to be blossoming with the forsythia bushes.

Understanding Referrals

One of the biggest misunderstandings about the services  I provide as a Realtor’s is, “I don’t live in Connecticut. You can’t help me.”

Wrong!

One of the reasons I aligned with Prudential CT Realty is because of the strong brand and popularity the name “Prudential” carries. There are Prudential Real Estate offices and agents across the country. I can connect you with them in just minutes.

Networking is huge in this business. Without a network of people, it is near impossible to grow as a Realtor. Largely due to the popularity of Social Media websites, our networks have grown across miles.  I don’t know about you, but my Facebook friends range from my next-door-neighbor to my 2nd grade teacher (no joke!) and everyone in between.

Prudential agents are Full Service agents. We offer a multitude of services from within our offices such as buyer and seller representation, rental representation, mortgage help, insurance, and more. By calling on a Prudential agent, you’re gaining a professional representative in this industry.