Author Archives: sherry simoes

How to Remove Winter Ice Around Your Home Safely

When it comes to winter ice around your home, the best defense against property damage and personal injury is to know how to make things safe, especially when you are selling your home as traffic will be increased and so are the chances of someone getting hurt. If you are a real estate agent, these are some great tips to pass along to your clients!

Keep Things Under Control
When shoveling snow, the key is to do it early and do it often so that the snow doesn’t have a chance to build up or melt! Nothing is worse than removing wet, heavy snow! If you let it build up and temperatures warm up, snow melts turning into a mush mess, and then it can even freeze again turning your property into a skating rink.

Remove the Icicles
Take an extension pole or a long broom and simply knock them down. Do NOT stand directly under the icicles when you do this. That’s the whole point of using the long pole. Try to avoid swinging wildly around windows (for obvious reason), and if the icicles are near an electrical line, then just don’t do it!

Invest in an Easy-to-Push Snow Scoop
A snow scoop is ridiculously easy to push when the snow is nice and fluffy and it makes clearing larger areas of snow a breeze. When in a hurry a driveway (if the snow is not too heavy) can be cleared in an instant without having to start the snow blower! Tip: If you find snow to be a bit sticky in the scoop, feel free to squirt some WD40 inside of the scoop. It should help the snow slide off more easily.

Keep Plenty of Salt on Hand
Depending on the winter, it can be a great idea to have large buckets of salt on hand. Ideally, you would remove the snow before it has the chance to turn into an ice skating rink, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

Use a Heavy-Duty Ice Scraper on Solid Ice
This is a great and easy to use tool to chip away at small sections of ice as to reduce accidents. If you tend to get areas where ice forms, this tool is a must-have item!

Winter is a beautiful time of year, stay safe and keep things safe for your potential buyers!

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Getting Your Home Ready for Sale in the Fall

The fall real estate market is almost always a hot season. Home selling in autumn or fall is the second best time of the year to sell a home. Families have returned from summer vacations. Kids have gone back to school. The holidays aren’t yet upon us to slow down sales! In our part of this country with four seasons, we watch leaves change colors as for sale signs pop up.

Here are 10 tips for attracting home buyers in the fall:

Clean Up the Yard
Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers. Make the most of autumn weather in the fall real estate market.

Create Fall Curb Appeal
The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums) and they bloom for a long time. Marigolds are also beautiful for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow which is a colour that pops from the road as driver as passing by checking out homes for sale!
You may want to plant them in pots and place on steps and along the sidewalk and for an added fall touch, accent with pumpkins.

Clean the Windows
Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by the tie fall rolls around. Remove screens and spray them down as well so your windows sparkle.

Replace Furnace Filters
You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat as the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your home goes on the market.

Clean Out the Fireplace
Ah, nothing smells more like fall than smoke from a wood-burning fireplace.  If the fireplace is filled with cobwebs because it hasn’t been used for months, vacuum it out and wash it down.  If you have a gas fireplace, light it when buyers come through

Bring on the Fall Scents
Speaking of autumn scents, you might set out freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or simmer hot apple cider on the stove. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. One of my Prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew. Fill a bowl with crisp red apples.

Utilize Fall Accent Colors
Accessorize with bright red, orange or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you’ve cleared away the clutter and depersonalized each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3’s and 5’s. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.

Turn on the Lights Everywhere
Bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights.

Offer Parting Treats to Potential Buyers
Potential buyers will feel more welcome if you leave them a gift like Fall treats, packets of candy corn or a snack-sized candy bars or even something as elaborate as a caramel apple, tied with a fall colour ribbon!

Making fall buyers feel welcome and at home is the key to selling a home in the fall. Everyone loves the colours of fall!

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Tips for using Pinterest in Real Estate

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a huge presence on Pinterest and you’ll be reaping the benefits soon!

Create Eye Catching Graphics

In order to be successful on Pinterest in real estate, you need to create graphics that will catch people’s eyes for your content.  Since Pinterest is all visual, no graphics results in no opportunities for your content to be pinned.  It’s vital to your success on Pinterest in real estate that you create at least 2-3 memorable graphics that relate to the topic you’re writing about.  There are several user-friendly websites and programs that are available that make it easy to create great, eye-catching graphics.  One easy way to create graphics for Pinterest is Canva. If you use 3 graphics that are 800px x 1200px they will perform very well on Pinterest.  It’s important to remember to use Royalty free photos and not do a Google Search to find images.  If you don’t have the rights to use a graphic, you’re opening yourself up to potential legal problems.

Create Local Boards

Pinterest provides an excellent opportunity to prove you’re a local expert.  As you’re building your Pinterest presence, you need to make sure you’ve created local boards. Your local boards shouldn’t only be filled with your greatest and latest listing.  These local boards should provide people who are interested in learning about your communities some helpful information.  Pins about the local dog parks, events and important news in your area will help position you as a local expert!

Join Powerful Group Boards

One of the best ways to effectively use Pinterest in real estate is to join powerful group boards.  There are dozens of excellent real estate group boards on Pinterest.

The primary reason group boards are so beneficial to join is because they improve the reach of your pins.  For example, if a group board has 10,000 followers, any Pin you share with the group board will now have the ability to reach these 10,000 followers.

Follow Other Successful Real Estate Professionals on Pinterest

Regardless whether you’re looking to build your Pinterest presence or another social media network, it’s highly recommended that you follow those who are having success.  One of the best tips for using Pinterest in real estate is to seek out and find those professionals who are having great success on Pinterest. As you discover these real estate professionals on Pinterest, evaluate how they are using Pinterest.  In most cases, these professionals are more than happy to answer questions you may have about Pinterest.

Don’t Forget About Your Pins!

One of the most common reasons why real estate professionals don’t succeed at Pinterest is because they publish a piece of content, shares it all over the place right away and never share it again.

Only pinning a pin once is a missed opportunity to reach the a large portion of the potential followers of these boards.  Unless these group board followers happen to log in to their Pinterest account in the near future, your pin will likely go unseen by them so re-purpose your pins and share them often so after you pin something share the same pin to a couple different group boards for the next few days, keeping in mind to space the Pins apart a few hours.  This greatly improves the chances that more people will see my graphics, which will hopefully result in them Pinning my graphics to their own boards. Do not be afraid to go back even in a month, 3 months or 6 months and share it again!

Happy Pinning!

Sherry Simoes, Marketing Mentor

www.sherrylynnsimoes.com

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Attractive Curb Appeal Increases Interest in Listings

I am sure you have heard about the importance of “curb appeal”, and know that first impressions are HUGE in real estate. Encouraging your clients to pay some attention to their curb appeal can greatly increase interest in your listings.

Here are some easy and virtually cost free things you can suggest:

  • New Mulch – The fastest way to freshen up your landscaping is new mulch. Spread a layer of it all throughout your landscaped areas. This is inexpensive and requires very little time commitment.
  • Colourful Flowers  – An even better first impression can be made by planting some colorful flowers which will make your new mulch stand out even more.
  • Hedges and Bushes – Trim any over grown plants and bushes.
  • Weeds  – there are most likely some weeds that have been ignored. Weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks can easily be taken care of.
  • Windows & Screens –  Make sure the windows are clean and in working order.  Replace any screens that have been damaged.
  • Gutters – Clean the rain gutters out
  • Siding – Wash any dirt, mold or mildew from the siding.
  • Shutters – Fix any shutters and repaint if paint is peeling
  • Porches – Fix porch railings and steps and replace boards that may be rotting.
  • Fences – Fix any broken fences, latches or hinges.

For a welcoming touch suggest that they hang a welcome sign on the front door!

Here’s to a successful Summer!

Anne Marie

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Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

Getting your home ready for sale means having your house clean, decluttered, simplified and fresh! These are all a must if you want to get the best offer on your home. Here is a checklist of things to do to prepare your home for sale!

  • declutterthe entire house – get rid of anything you don’t need anymore
  • depersonalize – take down all family pictures, awards, certificates
  • get rid of fridge art & magnets – they are fun and cute for us but just makes things look messy when you are trying to sell
  • hire a cleaning company – a super thorough deep clean before your house goes on the market and then regular cleaning can really pay off and save you the stress
  • have the carpets cleaned – using a professional carpet cleaning company may be a good move if you have high traffic areas.
  • touch up paint – unless you have not painted in a while you may get away with just touching up
  • fix broken things – like a broken hinge, door handle etc.
  • weed and landscape outdoor areas – make things look beautiful outdoors too
  • neutralize – get rid of any bright, trendy colours and replace with neutral tones
  • eliminate clutter – simplify any area that has too much “stuff”
  • minimize or re-arrange furniture – make each room look as big as possible
  • stage simply – use only a few pieces to try to make the spaces look as uncluttered as possible like items on a shelf
  • clean towels in bathrooms – make the bathrooms look clean and fresh with clean towels that are hung neatly
  • check light bulbs – make sure they are all working and replace any that are burnt outmade kids’ toys look as
  • clean and neat as possible – put toys in plastic bins
  • have professional photos taken – don’t risk having less than the best and use a professional photographer
  • clear off surfaces – remove most of the stuff off of our kitchen and bathroom counters, dressers, nightstands, and desks to make spaces look uncluttered and as large as possible.
  • do not forget cabinets, drawers, and closets – assume every drawer and door will be opened!

Do Not forget to leave the house “SHOW CONDITION” anytime you leave. To avoid the panic and stress of not being ready here are some simple things you can do each day.

  • make beds as soon as you get out of them
  • keep up with the dishes
  • keep up with the laundry
  • wipe down counters daily
  • sweep/vacuum daily
  • clean bathroom mirrors daily
  • open all curtains and blinds

BONUS! Handy Tip

KEEP A LAUNDRY BASKET HANDY FOR A QUICK ESCAPE

In the case that you need to get out of the house quickly for a showing, keep a laundry basket handy and you will be ready to quickly scoop up anything that is laying around like paperwork and kids homework! You can put the laundry basket in the trunk of your car when you need to make a quick exit for a showing!

Get Your Home Ready to Sell Checklist

Agents – there is a spot for you to attach your business card!

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Videography Maximizes Real Estate Listings

We’ve all heard that saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Have you ever wondered how that can be multiplied to generate greater impact? The answer is video.

Phelan Photography now offers professional real estate video packages for real estate agents and property sellers, thanks to a partnership with professional videographer, Michael Kovach. These videos go beyond what a traditional virtual tour can offer by creating a better feel for the finer details and true ambiance of a home and property.

There are many benefits to including a professional real estate video with your sale listing, in addition to the traditional static photographs and/or virtual tours.

A Permanent Open House. Instead of an agent needing to invest time sitting at an open house and hoping that prospective buyers visit, a real estate video is like having a 24-hour-a-day open house. Prospective buyers can “visit” anytime. The video, which showcases internal and exterior features of the building as well as the surrounding property, can be accessed multiple times, at any time of the day, from wherever the interested individuals are located (at home, in the office, or even on their mobile device when they see the “for sale” sign and pull over right away to check out the listing!). Exposure of the listing is maximized, increasing the chances of a quick sell for the highest price.

Save Time. Because agents aren’t required to sit at an open house to try to bring in possible buyers, it saves time for them to work on other areas of the business. In addition, home buyers can use the real estate videos to pre-qualify the property by making a pre-determination of whether or not the property for sale has a majority of the features and requirements they’re looking for in their next home. This will save them time in their search by not attending open houses or making appointments to view homes that don’t fit their needs. This saves time for both the agent and the buyer. If a prospective buyer makes an appointment to view a property for which they already viewed a real estate video, the agent can be sure it offers much of what the buyer is looking for.

Easy to Share. A link to a professional real estate video is easy to share over e-mail and social media channels. Prospective buyers often start their search online and narrow down their search to a few properties solely from viewing online listings. Videos of homes and properties for sale often go viral online, with viewers who like something about a property they see and then sharing the link with their followers. It just takes that one perfect person to click on it to generate a sale!

Adding a professionally shot and edited real estate video to your listing is a win-win situation. It’s an excellent pre-selection tool for buyers, who will use it to determine their true interest in a property for sale, and for agents, who will more easily bring in suitable prospects to view the listed property.

If you need more information about using a real estate video to maximize your listings, have a look at the packages that are available, or send an email with any questions.

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