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Happy New Year!

March 6, 2014

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Happy New Year???????? It’s March 6th of 2014 and I have to admit…I’m a wee bit late getting this blog up and rolling again. The holidays flew by in a flurry of activities and closings. Seriously…lots of closings. I’m thrilled that 2014 was a great year in real estate but it also leaves me little time to update the blog and chat with my favorite peeps. So, I’m starting my New Year’s resolution a few days late (well, a few months late) and letting you know that I resolve to keep you updated on Orlando real estate and I resolve to be a better hunter and gatherer of information on all things real estate. I don’t take these things lightly and I LOVE what I do. I will just work on being more communicative with you about selling Florida homes. Cheers my friends.

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It isn’t easy being GREEN – How to Stage a Home with Green Resources!

August 19, 2013

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“Green” home staging can mean a variety of things, but one emphasis is on creating a “green story” for prospective buyers.

 

With green home staging, companies usually try to reuse or integrate as much of the seller’s original furniture as possible. In instances where new pieces are needed, green stagers will often reuse furniture from their own collection, or select pieces which are on consignment from local shops.

 

This can actually save a seller a fair amount of money in the staging process. A green staging company will also be sure to recycle all packaging associated with new furnishings used to stage the home.

 

In terms of paint and carpeting, green stagers will recommend eco-friendly replacements. One of the advantages of making green replacements is a home is the added selling point an agent can use with prospective buyers. Consider, for example, a couple looking to raise their first child in a new home. It’s not hard to imagine how fresh, non-toxic, environmentally friendly paints and flooring might favorably improve their view of the listing.

 

In addition to cosmetic recommendations, green stagers are specialists in pointing out improvements a seller might consider to both improve the energy efficiency of the home as well as further the green story for potential buyers. Air filters, weather stripping, and programmable thermostats are just a few details green home stagers often recommend.

 

What do you think? Can green staging matter? Do you think green staging ever presents an edge over traditional staging approaches?

 

(By the way… If you’re interested in green staging, I’d be happy to help you research the option for selling your home. Contact me today for more information: Linda Hutchinson, REALTOR @ lindahutchinson@msn.com or407-925-7721 Cell or Text.

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Show me the money – from contract to close on a home…

July 16, 2013

In today’s real estate world…financing is critical. It is often the difference between deal or no deal. So, how do you make it work? There are a number of factors to consider:

1. Is the buyer’s lender local and reputable?
2. Has the buyer been pre-APPROVED?
3. Is there a significant down payment?
4. Will the house appraise?

Without a yes answer to the above questions, your contract could be in jeopardy. It is always important to work with a lender who properly qualifies prospects, No ambiguous language allowed on that pre-approval letter (look for the “out” clauses”)! Make sure you actually talk to the lender and find out the specifics on the borrower. Is the buyer putting down some funds…money talks in this market and deals are done when the buyer has contributed to the bottom line. Finally, is the home priced right? In today’s market…we don’t want to be a part of the problem. We have to be problem solvers!

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Underwater Owners Try Landlord Role

May 28, 2013
Daily Real Estate News |      Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Home owners who are still underwater on their mortgage—owing more than what it is currently worth—have emerged as a growing crop of “accidental landlords,” CNBC reports. While home prices are on the rise, about a quarter of all home owners are still underwater, according to some survey estimates.

Some home owners may find they need to relocate for a job, but can’t afford to sell their home yet so they opt to put it up for rent. But jumping into the landlord role isn’t always easy, particularly for novices.

“When the market dropped, many people emerged with a life event prompting their need to move,” Todd Allen, a real estate professional in Northern Virginia, told CNBC. “Fortunately for many in the D.C. metro area with higher incomes and lending guidelines softening a little, individuals and families were able to qualify for the purchase of a second home, but their new landlord status did not necessarily generate positive income—often they incur a loss. Furthermore, many of my own clients have learned many other downfalls in being a landlord.”

The growing number of “accidental landlords” is one of the reasons behind today’s low inventory issues, real estate professionals say. “Usually a buyer is also a seller, making the transaction a wash in terms of inventory, but if the buyer is not a seller, and instead becomes a landlord, inventory takes a negative hit,” CNBC reports.

Source: “Underwater homeowners find they’ve become accidental landlords,” CNBC.com (May 24, 2013)

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Stumped on home upgrades??????????? Here’s some ideas…

May 16, 2013

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Stumped as to which home upgrades make sense? Interested in renovations for value, but you’re unsure what to tackle? I have a few simple guidelines I use to help clients narrow their scope and focus on the right choices.

Question #1: How long will you live in your house?

If you’re hunkering down for the next decade or two, don’t hesitate to do what you would most appreciate in your home. This is especially true of cosmetic changes, when appealing to potential buyers is a non-issue. After a decade or two, your upgrades might need upgrades, so go with projects that make the most sense for your taste and the way you prefer to live in your home.

Question #2: What have the neighbors done?

There’s wisdom in getting an idea what the surrounding homes look like. On one hand, you may get inspiration from ways in which your neighbors have transformed homes which are probably similar to yours. On the other, you’ll get an idea how much renovation you can get away with in your market. Upgrade to hard and heavy and you might not be able to get any of that money out if you’re going to sell, since the home will need to be listed far above market comparables.

Question #3: What’s a hassle in your house?

If something in your home is a hassle, it’ll probably bug prospective buyers as well. Is there limited storage space? Nowhere for guests to stay? An old-fashioned bathroom with a funky layout? There’s good reason to handle these headaches. You’ll not only enjoy the upgrade while you live in the home, but you’ll improve it for buyers when the time comes to sell.

When you get down to actual projects, there are details to consider, such as budget, timing, and design choices, but these three questions go a long way to getting your upgrade ideas organized.

I’m also available to offer my professional thoughts on possible upgrades. Get in touch if you’d like me to stop by for a walk-through of your home. I’ve seen hundreds of homes and would love to provide a helpful perspective: Call me at 407-925-7721 or email: lindahutchinson@msn.com.

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The Art of Real Estate (or any type of) Negotiation

March 19, 2013

In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don’t “win” a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again.  When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:

 

Set the stage: I like a location that’s quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion.  It’s best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.

 

Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)

 

Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client’s position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private

 

Leave attitudes at the door: It’s very simple… treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.

 

Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can’t reveal all of my secrets here… suffice it to say I take it all in!)

 

Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients beforehand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.

 

I don’t harp about points that don’t matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point.  I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.

 

Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients’ position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.

 

If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly: 407-925-7721 (Cell or Text) or lindahutchinson@msn.com.

Posted in Buyers in Orlando, Central Florida real estate, Florida real estate, Home Buying, Home Purchase, Market Conditions, Orlando, Orlando real estate news, real estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

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Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

Posted in affordable homes in Orlando, buyers, Buyers in Orlando, buying a home, Home values, Homes in Central Florida, housing industry, housing trends, orlando home sales, Orlando Home Statistics, Orlando homes, Orlando lifestyles, Orlando real estate, Orlando real estate news, Orlando Sellers | Tagged , , , | Leave a Comment »

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