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How to Make Your House Sell!!!

by Pat Wattam

Sellers always want to know what they have to do to make their home sell.  First off, real  estate is very local.  What works for Baton Rouge Real Estate might not work for Los Angeles real estate.  Our Market was very hot last spring and early summer but has cooled off significantly.  As I have mentioned before, the homes that flooded that are being rehabbed and flipped are gorgeous.  Most have been converted to more open floor plans, and everything is new - flooring, cabinets, counters, lights, etc.  It's very hard for a home that did not flood to compete with these unless the buyer is dead set against purchasing a home that flooded once in it's entire history.  But if the buyer has a choice between a beautiful flooded home and and updated home that did not flood, which one do you think they will select?

So here are my observations if you want to make your house sell:

1.  Roof - buyer and their insurer want a roof that has good life left it in and that it is in good condition.  Sometimes a few repairs are all that's necessary.  A roof near the end of it's life is a turn off for a buyer.  They will move on to another house.

2.  HVAC - again, the buyer is going to want a new unit if yours is at the end of it's life, even if it is in good working condition.  They know it's going to go out at some time.  You can always put a Home Warranty on it, especially if you have it serviced and it's shown to be in good working condition.  BTW, adding freon every so often is not GOOD working condition.  Let's face it.  Most of us live with small issues with our homes all the time.  But when it comes time to sell, the buyer doesn't want your small issues.  They want things to work properly and they don't want to be facing any additional expense, especially the first year they own the house.

3.  Wallpaper is really a matter of personal taste and those big cabbage roses on wallpaper from the 80's do nothing for young people today.  Wallpaper has to go.  Paint a neutral color but not white.

4.  Speaking of color, a little paint will go a long way to update a house.  Get a decorator to help you select what's current.  Make your house look it's best.

5.  No WALL OF FAME (hall with all those family photos) and DECLUTTER.  This means to depersonalize the house (don't take down ALL your family photos but don't have them in the buyers face either) and make the house as sparce as possible so the buyer can visualize their 'stuff' in your house.  Take a photo of a room with your phone camera.  Most people shop on their phone so look at the photo you took and see how cluttered a room looks or what is the first thing you see.  If the first thing you see is beautiful furniture, then that does not sell the house.  You are selling the 'purpose' of a room such as - is the bedroom large enough for a bed and whatever.  

6.  Furniture.  Yes, your old outdated furniture can affect the price you get for the house and can affect it selling at all.  The young person looking at your house will think it is really old if you have your 30 year old worn furniture.  Try to update it.  Sometimes the right throw pillow can do the trick.  Or the right bed covering.

7.  Curb appeal.  You have to get the buyer to want to see inside the house so the outside needs to be inviting.  Fresh landscaping can really make a house 'pop'.

8.  Outdoor kitchens are the rage these days along with deep covered backporches, expanded patios and pergolas.  If you don't have this, then set your backyard up with some patio furniture you will like at your next house and an outdoor grill of somekind.  Make the backyard inviting where people can see themselves enjoying their friends and family.

9.  Updated kitchens - especially countertops and appliances.

10.  Sparkling clean and good smell throughout.  Nothing like the smell of fresh paint and carpet.

11.  Speaking of carpet - I know you don't want to change the carpet because the next buyer might not like it.  They won't like you old stained carpet either.  Unless you have small children or pets, change the carpet.  If you do have small children and pets, then get a sample of the carpet you are going to change it to and leave it for the buyer to see.

12.  No bugs in the light fixtures!!  No dust on the fan blades.  Pay attention to the AC register vents - make sure there is no mold or mildew.  AND the intake register should be really clean plus a new filter.

13.  What makes your house special?  Each house has something very unique or cool that will make it memorable to the buyer.  Make your house STANDOUT from the comeptition!

14.  Price it to sell.  If you want a higher price, just show us the 3 houses the appraiser will have to use to justify the price.

15.  Seller the right REALTOR!

 

Want more tips?  Just look through the blog at http://www.BatonRougeRealEstate.com/blog  or give us a call at the Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First.  225-298-6900!!

Is My House Ready For It's Closeup? -In Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

One of the first questions my sellers ask in the greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market is "Is My Home Ready For Pictures"?  Here's a quick tip so that you know if your home is ready or not.  Remember, the marjority of buyers use their smart phones to look at houses.  That means, on a small screen, your house needs to look inviting.  Take a photo of each room with your cell phone camera and what jumps out at you?  You will quickly see how cluttered the house looks - even after you have removed most of the clutter!  What's the first thing you notice - BE HONEST!  Can you see the purpose of the room - or is all I can see in the guest bedroom is your furniture?  The buyers need to see how big the room is.  Are all your collectibles taking up the room?  The buyer doesn't want to see your but wants to be able to visualize theirs.  What about the color - is it something that would appeal to most people?  

I think if you are honest with yourself you will see what needs to be removed and changed to make the home inviting.  And by the way, if you have a beautiful outside, be sure not to block the view from the window!  If you have a nice big patio but not furniture, borrow some, rent some, buy something used - stage this area to make it inviting.  

Call on any of us at the Pat Wattam Team anytime and we'll be happy to look at your house and give you tips on getting it ready for us to sell!

12 Reasons To Use a Realtor

by Blake Hanna

12 Reasons You Should Use a REALTOR

1. Determine Buying Power

2. Home Search Assistance

3. Objective Property Information

4. Price Negoatiation

5. Management of Property Evaluation

6. Identification of Qaulified Lenders and Finacing Options

7. Smooth Closing Process

8. Up-to-date Selling Information

9. Marketing Assistance

10. Connections to Selling Networks

11. Objective Evaluation of Buyer's Proposal

12. Closing Assistance


Blake Hanna, Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

RE/MAX First

225-298-6903

[email protected]

 

*Source-fsbonightmares.com

3 Staging Tips - Baton Rouge Real Estate

by Blake Hanna

3 Staging Tips

 

  1. It's a good idea to de-clutter your house. We recommend using plastic bins to put items away. Go through your house and pack away things you don't need, don't use and clean areas that are messy. Clean off counters and tables throughout the house so that only the necessities remain.

  2. It's also a good idea to de-personalize the house. It's okay to have a few family items but the majority should be put away. A few pictures is all you need. You want to give the person viewing your house the idea that it could be their house.

  3. Curb Appeal and First Impressions are important. And the very first impression they receive is when they pull into your driveway.If you have children, clean up their toys. If you have shrubs, prune them. Lay fresh mulch. Put some grass seed on the bare spots in your yard. Paint your foundation. Plant some flowers. After all, you pull into your driveway almost everyday of your life.

What Does A Realtor Do for You?

by Pat Wattam

What does a REALTOR do?  What do they do for you?  That’s a loaded question.  Let’s start with putting a house up for sale.

THE LISTING PROCESS FROM THE AGENT'S POINT OF VIEW - sort of a job description I guess!

  1. Run comparable sales to give the seller the best advice based on the homes that have sold in the area
  2. Go over listing paperwork with seller and explain what the buyers expect from them
  3. Explain to seller what updates are necessary to EVEN get the house sold – each Market is different.  Some areas the buyers are just happy to have a house for sale and in others, like ours, the buyers don’t want to have to do any updating.
  4. Show the seller how to declutter and stage the house.
  5. Measure the house, inside and out  - rain or shine, in the heat of summer or cold of winter
  6. Prepare paperwork to turn in to real estate office
  7. Copy House  Key
  8. Put on lockbox with Key
  9. Put up sign
  10. Take photos
  11. Photoshop the photos
  12. Write comments that will engage the buyer 
  13. Write ads to engage the buyer
  14. Submit to Multiple List (MLS) in their area
  15. Create a virtual tour  See how wonderful it looks?!  Doesn't matter how large or how small, we make your house sing!
  16. Submit listing to personal websites
  17. Create a flyer/brochure
  18. Deliver flyer
  19. Talk house up to other agents
  20. Contact buyers in their data base
  21. Send flyer/brochure to other agents
  22. Answer ad calls/sign calls/internet leads on house
  23. Show house
  24. Monitor showings and feedback
  25. Call for feedback if not provided by showing agent
  26. Answer questions from feedback
  27. Perhaps hold an open house
  28. Determine when to reduce price
  29. Present offers
  30. If not sold, do another market analysis. Examine Feedback.  Try to determine buyers’ reluctance to purchase house.
  31. Explain all this to the seller
  32. If reduce price, then redo flyers
  33. Deliver flyers
  34. Sent notice out of change of price
  35. Present offers

 

ONCE OFFER IS ACCEPTED, then the agent starts the next step!

 

All this is done on each and every listing, plus agent is showing houses to buyers, handling closings, etc!  

 

When you hire the Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First, you will find a well oiled organization with systems and check lists in place to make sure we don't miss one of the steps!  

2016 Color of the Year in Baton Rouge

by Debbie Hanna

What will the new "in" Paint Color be for 2016, in the Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market? Benjamin Moore's "Color of the Year" for 2016 is called "Simply White". Sherwin Williams has chosen "Alabaster".  It seems that shades of "off white" are what many paint manufacturers are predicting as a trend this year. Many new construction homes in our area have already been using this as a basis for their palette of colors. Here is a list of Benjamin Moore's "Color of the Year" choices for the last 6 years. Did you follow any of these trends?

 

  • 2015 Guilford Green
  • 2014 Breath of Fresh Air
  • 2013 Lemon Sorbet
  • 2012 Wythe Blue
  • 2011 Vintage Wine
  • 2010 Cedar Green
Debbie Hanna, Realtor
 The Pat Wattam Team
 RE/MAX First
 225-298-6899

 

 

Why Won't the Seller Accept My Contingent Offer?

by Pat Wattam

I am always amazed when I receive an offer on one of my Listings, in our Baton Rouge Real Estate Market, where the buyer is asking the seller to hold their house off the market in hopes the buyer can sell their house timely.  I think when you are in a slow market, and home sales don't move fast, MAYBE that works.  The buyer says "Just give me 24 hour notice if you get another offer, that way you can still market the house".  My thought is, can you, the buyer, remove that contingency within 24 hours if we get another offer?  If so, you don't need to write a contingent offer.  The typical scenario is that a buyer has a house to sell, and can't find homes that fit their need.  One comes on the market and their thought is, if I can buy THIS particular house, then I'll put mine up for sale.   I totally understand that.  If you seriously want to move, and there aren't homes to meet your needs, and you can't afford two house notes so that you can make an NON contingent offer, then you have TWO options. One, SELL your house first, move to a rental, then start looking for the perfect home.  Two, get to know the market REALLY well, make your house the most attractive home any buyer could want and price it aggressively, find the house the want to buy, put yours up for sale and when you get an offer, make an offer on the house you like - CONTINGENT UPON CLOSING YOURS!  If the other house sells before yours, pull yours off the market!  

Many areas in our real estate market or price ranges of homes for sale are very strong and homes move quickly - other areas do not.  To have an idea of where you and your home fit in this market, this have a professional sit down with you and give you advice.  Let them help you decide if you are a good candidate for a fast sale on your house.  Many times we can see the situation better than you can and can give you advice on getting the house ready, qualifying for a loan, we know what homes are out there or maybe even some that may be coming on the market soon.  Let the Pat Wattam Team guide you.  Trust me, if a seller takes a contingent offer, you are not going to be able to negotiate the best deal.  You need a position of strength and we can guide you there!  Call us today at 225-298-6900

Roof Damage After Storms?

by Debbie Hanna

Baton Rouge & surrounding areas have been inundated with significant storm events over the last few weeks. Those storms have produced heavy rains, winds & hail, all of which can create issues for your roof, now or in the not too distant future. If you notice missing shingles or see shingles in your yard, it's a no-brainer - call a roofer! Hail damage can also compromise a roof, but is harder to see from ground level. Hail can cause soft spots on asphalt shingles. It may cause the granules on the top layer of the shingle to loosen and crumble away (you may see evidence of this in your gutters, around downspouts, or just on the ground). Other evidence of hail damage may be on the metal parts of the roof, such as flashing & vent pipes, where you will see dents.

Many roofing companies will inspect your roof at no charge. If you think you may have storm-related damage, get a professional roofer out to your home as soon as possible to assess the damage & prevent any leaks from happening. If the roofer sees significant hail damage, which may warrant an insurance claim, make sure he meets the insurance adjuster when he/she comes out to inspect your home. Together they can do a thorough & accurate inspection to make sure no damage goes unnoticed.  

If you have questions about anything in this post, please call Debbie Hanna at 225-772-3662.  

 


Home Maintenance

by Blake Hanna

Your home needs regular maintenance to stay in best condition

Here are some items for interior and exterior maintenance


Exterior

  • Keep your lawn healthy and green.(Fertilize if necessary)

  • Keep plants and other landscaping healthy

  • Keep your grass cut.(Service your lawn mower when needed)

  • Clean gutters and downspouts

  • Wash windows and clean window wells

  • Repair or replace damaged windows

  • Touch up paint that is peeling or is damaged

  • Inspect you roof and chimney periodically for damage.(Especially after big storms)

  • Check for signs of moisture intrusion.

Interior

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors(replace batteries as needed)

  • Change or clean air conditioning filters.

  • Check windows for cracks and weather tightness.

  • Dust blinds and vacuum curtains.

  • Clean kitchen appliances inside and out.

  • Check appliances for leaks.

  • Check showers, tubs and sinks for leaks.

  • Check to make sure drains are draining properly. 

Blake Hanna, Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

225-298-6903

[email protected]

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

by Pat Wattam

Are you thinking about putting your home on the Market?  Every seller wants their home to sell fast and get top dollar.  Careful planning and knowing how to spruce up your home, will bring buyers in to see it!  Here are a few suggestions to prep your home before trying to sell it.

Disassociate Yourself from Your Home

Make the mental decision to "let go" your emotions and focus on the fact that the house will no longer be yours.  Don't look back - look toward the future.

De-Personalize

Pack up all of your personal photographs and family heirlooms.  Buyers can't get past looking at these items which can easily distract them.  You want the buyers to imagine their own items displayed.

De-Clutter

It's amazing how much junk people collect over the years!  Remove books from bookcases, pack up those knickknacks, clean off everything on kitchen counters.  If you haven't used it in a year, you probably don't need it.

Rearrange Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Buyers always "snoop" when they are viewing the home.  If things are organized, they will think you really take care of the rest of the house as well.

Remove/Replace Favorite Items

If there are things that you want to take with you when you move, go ahead and move those items now.  For example, if your grandmother gave you the chandelier in the dining room, go ahead and take it down.  The same goes for window treatments, built in appliances, and fixtures.  If the buyer doesn't see it, they won't want it.

Make Minor Repairs

Take the time to patch holes in walls, replace light bulbs, fix leaky faucets, consider painting the walls a neutral color.  

Doing these things will help put you ahead of your competition!

 


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Photo of Pat Wattam Real Estate
Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission