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Real Estate Conference Leads to Success

by The Pat Wattam Team

Many people and fellow REALTORS ask me how I have achieved the success I have in Real Estate.  Although there are multiple happenings that helped me reach the level I have, one memory is still vivid to this day!  I was stuck at a sales plateau for 3 years and then attended the Star Power Conference over 10 years ago.  I remember sitting in the classes taught by the STARS, successful REALTORS willing to share their systems, tips on creating a team, marketing samples - just anything you wanted to learn!!  I was so pumped after the conference that I subscribed to the Star Power Club, a monthly CD with Howard Brinton, founder of Star Power, interviewing a STAR, and a newsletter to go along with it.  Within 3 years I had doubled my production!

The one thing I have always felt very stongly about is education.  A lot of REALTORS don't want to spend their own money to seek out the education they need to achieve success and just wait for free classes to be provided.  You will find, for the most part, that very successful Realtors will find a national trainer to follow and for me, that person is Howard Brinton!!  I can't wait to attend the Star Power Conference again this summer, in Denver.  Why don't you join me there?  Let me know and I'll get you a discount to the conference!!!

Getting You Home Ready to Sell

by The Pat Wattam Team

Spring is finally here - as evidenced by the storms we had last week!!  If you are thinking about selling your home, this is the perfect time to prepare the outside of your house.  This is an area a lot of sellers skimp on but if you don't have the curb appeal to attract the buyers then they will never see what a great house you have inside!!  The the Baton Rouge Real Estate Market, and surrounding areas, the buyers have plenty of homes to choose from.  They will pass your house up if the outside isn't inviting.

Unless you have a green thumb, go to your local garden center and get advice on what flowers to buy - find some that bloom a lot and don't require a lot of maintenance!  Of course, this would be a good time to put in an inexpensive sprinkler system which would also make a good selling point.  When choosing the flowers, you want to have enough to be noticed, but not so much that it looks like caring for them will be a lot of trouble to the new buyer! 

Once you have the front looking inviting, remember, after the buyers look inside your home, one of the last places they look at is the back yard.  i see so many people who have a beautiful front year, then no landscaping in the back!!!  That doesn't leave the kind of last impression you want!  A easy way to dress up the back yard is to fill large pots with flowers.  The plastic pots that look like clay are great, inexpensive. I tend to kill plants because I busy and forget to water them!  When you have them in pots, you just throw out the old and put in some new ones (better pick inexpensive flowers if you are doing this!!)!  Also, you might want to get ride of your old patio furniture and get the new stuff you will want for your new house - just get it now so that it helps make a great last impression on the buyers!!

And, as always, if you need me to look at your house to help determine what needs to be done to get it ready for market, just give me a call!

Pre-Inspect Your Homes

by The Pat Wattam Team

Prior to the days of Hurricane Katrina I used to suggest to all my sellers to get their home pre-inspected so that we wouldn't have any surprises when the buyer had their home inspection.  Then came the hay days after Hurricane Katrina where buyers were just glad to have a home to purchase.  Now that the Market has shifted back to the norm it's time to consider making an investment in your home prior to putting it up for sale in the form of a home inspection.

The reason most sellers don't want to do this is the cost.  A home inspection can run from $250-over $500 - depending on size.  Let's say you spend $500 and find out that you have some wiring issues that are not up to code - and with FHA (government backed loans) being so popular the house does have to be to current code - and it's going to cost you $2000  to make repairs.  You can now factor that into the price you accept on the sale of your house.  To an appraiser, that $2000 is just maintenance so he isn't going to give you anything extra.  But, in a negotiation, wouldn't you rather know up front that you need this work done than wait until after you have negotiated a price on your house with a buyer AND THEN have to spend an additional $2000 you hadn't counted on.

One of the questions a lot of sellers ask me is why do they need to make repairs to their home when the condition existed whenever they purchased the home.  All I can say is that times have changed.  With the mortgage lenders looking harder at the houses they are doing the loans on, they don't want any possibility of problems in case they foreclose on this home in the future.  You may have lived with this condition for years, but that condition may no longer be acceptable to a buyer.

A home inspection won't take all the surprises out of the sale because the buyer's inspector might find something else, but at least you will have a heads up on the most expensive items.  An extra benefit of the pre-inspection is that you can advertise that this has been done so many buyers won't want to spend the money to have a second one performed, and if you have any major repairs, you can use that as a bonus to buying your house over your neighbors!!!! 

If you are contemplating selling your house in the next couple of years, now is the time to start preparing for that day by starting now to do that maintenance you have been deferring for years!  If you are planning to sell soon, call me and I'll get you a copy of a brochure called 'Passing the Home Inspection". 

 

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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