Archive for November, 2010

Local Housing Market Slows Following Tas Credit Rush

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Low mortgage rates continues to serve as an incentive for future buyers.

Real estate statistics released by the Genesee Region Real Estate Information Services (GENRIS), the information subsidiary of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR) revealed a third quarter slowdown in residential sales. GRAR officials state that the decline was expected when compared to the second quarter surge, which was bolstered by buyers who needed to close on their tax credit purchases before the June 30 deadline.

GRAR reported a 24 percent decrease in sales when compared to second quarter 2010, with a total of 2,664 homes sold. The overall median sale price of $122,500 reflected a 2 percent increase compared to last quarter and a 1 percent increase over third quarter 2009. Pending sales were also down 13 percent over last quarter. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

“The tax credit gave our housing market a much-needed „shot in the arm‟ in the first half of the year,” stated Carolyn Stiffler, GRAR board president. “What it also did was alter the timing of purchases because buyers wanted to take advantage of the tax credit opportunity. That, of course, contributed to fewer sales.”

Ryan Tucholski, GRAR chief executive officer stated that REALTORS® continue to remain optimistic about future home sales because of the current low mortgage interest rates and the availability of homes for sale.

“We will continue to market the advantages of homeownership,” stated Tucholski. “We know that there will always be people who are in need of homes. Rochester has always been and continues have a very affordable and stable real estate market,” he continued. This is still a great TIME2BUY.”

GRAR will continue to support the local residential real estate industry through its TIME2BUY marketing campaign, which focuses on the benefits of owning a home and using the services of a REALTOR® when buying and selling a home.

New Yorkers Support Homeownership

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By Carloyn Stiffler, Board President, Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®

A recent study shows that 84 percent of New Yorkers believe homeownership is a very significant part of achieving the American Dream. This was just one of the findings of a homeownership study conducted this year by the Siena Research Institute, in partnership with the New York State Association of REALTORS®. The study found that nearly all homeowners (97%) are satisfied with owning their own home.

History has shown that over the long term homeownership can provide a solid financial return, helps to build stable communities, and makes our community a great place to live and raise families. There are many good reasons to buy a home today, including record low mortgage rates and having a place to call your own.

Homeowners deserve the continued support of government through the mortgage interest deduction and incentives like the recent tax credit. REALTORS® and homeowners must continue to work together to support public policies that promote responsible, sustainable homeownership.

Building a healthy housing market with active buying and selling, while promoting responsible lending, is critical to creating and maintaining a healthy and stable economy and the future wellbeing of our community.

The Top 10 Tips for Home Staging During The Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Every time I have homes listed during the holiday season I have my clients calling me to ask if they can still decorate their houses even though they’re on the market.  In a word, yes.  Here are some of my favorite tips and suggestions:

Use white lights in your windows in the evening.  They’re simple and classic.

Take a step back.  Does the room you just decorated still look spacious?

Natural greens in vases, on windowsills, and anywhere you can put them are festive, inexpensive, and omit a great natural odor.

If possible, stick to solid color items instead of lots of patterns.  You can keep some of these items up and use them in a different way for the next holiday.

Balance your rooms.  In other words, don’t have all your decorations and furnishing on one side of a room and nothing on the other.  The room will feel awkward to viewers.

Use your vertical space evenly around the room.  If you put some items up high on walls, be consistent around the room.

Distribute your accent color around the room.  If you love bright turquoise ornaments, make sure you use a touch of that color around the room so that people’s eyes aren’t glued to one stand out accessory.

Try not to use more than 2/3 of a wall space.

If at all possible, leave a 3 foot walking path around the room.

Many people like to light candles for showings.  I’m not a big fan of that because not every buyer likes the odors of certain scents. LED lights create a beautiful ambiance and are safe.

Create a Fantastic Foyer

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By Lana Torre

The holidays are almost upon us. It just doesn’t seem possible but Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah are merely a few weeks away. Because we are all so bombarded with extreme shopping, cooking huge meals, and major to do lists, I thought, why not make this season even more enjoyable by preparing to transform the foyer now. We can begin with an autumn theme and work our way through to the winter holidays, while using green principles.

Now is the perfect time to take a stroll in your backyard, and finds lots of material to bring in to use in your holiday decorations. Let’s have our own personal scavenger hunt. Take a walk downstairs to the basement and then rummage through the garage to find old chairs, wooden boxes and picture frames.

Grab your garden clippers and gloves and let’s go for a walk. If you are fortunate to have bittersweet vine growing wildly in the back forty, clip it in long lengths. Look for wild grapevine, clip it also and make large circles of the vines, [much easier to handle when back inside]. Collect dry, fallen maple leaves. If rose gardening is your gig, clip the hips [or find wild hips on hiking paths or even roadside]. The wild hips are a beautiful deep red and resemble a small berry. Prune your evergreens now. Take small branches from the underside of the trees. When back home, put the cut part of the branch into a large bucket of water. If you have other greens like holly and cedar, you can clip and save them too.

The garage is the perfect hideout for hidden treasures. Search for old wooden chairs and large, wooden picture frames. By your husband’s work table, look for wooden boxes [he’s storing old tools in them].

Now down stairs to the basement. Search for old, glass canning jars in all sizes. Find your ribbon box and pull out any shade of green.

Let’s start by winding the grapevine in and out of the balusters of your staircase. This will create your base. Add snippets of bittersweet. Wire them on every other post. Make beautiful green bows and tie them to the newel posts. At the base of the newel, pile pumpkins, gourds and squash, or place a small pumpkin on each step. Place the old wooden chair in the foyer. Wrap bittersweet around the chair back and place your largest pumpkin on it. Scatter the maple leaves on your foyer table and add some acorns or walnuts for contrast.

Now, here is the easy part. When Thanksgiving has passed, remove the bittersweet from your vine base. Replace it with greenery and red rose hips.

Keep the wooden chair in the foyer, and add a sprig of green and a bow. Place the large wooden box on the floor next to the chair and fill it holly and cedar. Use the canning jars on your foyer table. Fill them a bit with kosher salt and add a white votive candle. Place the large, empty frame over the table and adorn with sprigs of green.

Get creative. Recycle, reuse, reinvent and relax this holiday season. Your work is done!

Do-It-Yourself Projects That Offer Big ROI

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By NewsUSA

The road to homeowner bliss may involve necessary upgrades, but don’t rush into large home improvement projects. Small upgrades can significantly boost the value of your home.

According to the 2009 Home Sale Maximizer survey, updating a home’s lighting costs $200 to $300 on average but increases home value by $1,000 to $1,500 — that’s a 572 percent return on investment. Repairing floors amounts to a 250 percent return on investment, while updating bathrooms means a 172 percent return on investment.

Some products enable homeowners and DIYers to tackle home improvement projects without spending money on multiple tools. For example, the new RZ2000 Spiral Saw from RotoZip can be paired with attachments that enable it to quickly and easily cut through a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, Plexiglas, drywall, ceramic wall tile and even porcelain floor tile.

Not sure where to start? Try the following home improvement projects to enjoy small investments with big returns:

* Install can lights. Recessed lighting is a great way to transform any room. To make perfect circle cuts, pair your RZ2000 Spiral Saw with the drywall XBIT and a circle cutting guide. Select the desired hole size, make a pilot hole, tilt the tool at a 45-degree angle and plunge it into the material, lining up the center point. As you plunge, bring the tool to a vertical position and cut in a clockwise direction using steady, even pressure.

* Update your bathroom. Decorative tile backsplashes are a natural choice when updating a bathroom. For wall-tile work, install a Wall Tile XBIT on the RZ2000. Start the tool away from the work-surface and then plunge the tool at a 45-degree angle into the tile while bringing to a vertical position. Follow a clockwise motion.

* Install hardwood floors. From shaping hardwood to cutting openings for heating registers, use the RZ2000 combined with a Jigsaw Handle Attachment and a multipurpose XBIT. Start by tilting the tool at 45 degrees and bring it upright as you plunge through. Finish with the tool vertical to the surface, and cut in a clockwise cutting motion.

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

By Kristen Noble

There is no trick to sell your house faster. The houses I’ve listed that I think will go quickly don’t, and the ones I think will sit don’t. People will speculate the real estate market and economy are bad and tax credits are no longer available. Instead of rationalizing why your house isn’t selling, get proactive. If your agent has used various marketing plans, taken great pictures to advertize, and you have followed professional advice regarding the listing price you need to ask yourself an important question. What have you done to sell your house?

There have been 123 new listings put into the multiple listing service, the MLX system, in the past two days in our area. Today, October 1st, 178 listings expired without selling. You have to put forth effort to sell your house.  It is not all up to your agent.

In a majority of cases you are selling your house to buy a new one. Put the shoe on your other foot. When you look for a future home on line what draws you to a property? I assume that when you see clutter, dirty dishes, pet food dishes on a countertop, overflowing garbage cans, a toilet seat up with colorful surprises in it, mouse traps, or crazy colors you immediately pick up the phone and beg your agent to get you a showing as soon as possible, right? Seriously, how does your house look on line? What has the feedback been on showings?

Paint with neutral colors before listing your house. If the photos used to advertise your house are showing distinct decorating styles, it may cause buyers hesitation to set up a showing. A house is an investment. The less work buyers need to do, the more likely you are to sell quickly. Each time a house has the right lay out and square footage, a buyer starts a check list of repairs and cosmetic changes that they want to make. If you have an individual that has never done any home repairs or painted, they are making those changes are more expensive than they actually are.  The higher the cost they calculate for making improvements or changes the lower the price you will be offered. That can of paint and a little elbow grease is a small investment for a faster sale.

Don’t advertise why you’re moving. If you are outgrowing your home don’t have photos of rooms look crammed. How do your online pictures look? Does your house look spacious and move in ready or not? Clean, paint, and de-clutter. By all means, if you have carpeting over hardwood flooring, yank up that rug. Invest in some inexpensive neutral curtain sheers to brighten a room. Buy a new comforter set that is neutral. To make a less expensive change, put a crisp new sheet over the top of your comforter. Add some throw pillows. To save some money, wrap pillows in fabric and use a safety pin to hold on that change. Decorate with mums, pumpkins, and gourds in and outside for a great homey atmosphere. Using plastic containers and place them in a linen closet or under the bathroom sink for all your toiletries. A quick trip to your neighborhood dollar store for clean white towels and dishtowels will help for photographs too.

Hiring a professional home stager is a lot less expensive than a price drop. Give yourself the best opportunity you can to sell quickly. If you don’t use a home stager, your competition may be.

December’s Dangerous Decisions

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Three Decisions and Actions Determine Your Strong Start to 2011

The year is ending. You can decide to coast through December or take a few simple actions that ensure a strong start and continued success throughout 2011.

The Actions: Complete a simple business plan. It is very important that it is both simple and completed quickly.

Take immediate action on the first workday of 2011 to ensure that you begin your plan within the first week of the New Year.

Begin to embed the actions of your 2011 plan as habits that ensure you stick with your plan for the entire year.

Your Simple Business Plan: Time Required -Approximately 1 Hour.

As you begin this plan it may seem familiar.  As you get to the last steps and beyond you will see why it is likely to be the plan that actually makes your goals happen.

Important: Complete these steps quickly. Do not dwell on or labor over them.

Your Motivation and Attitude: Write down why you want to sell Real Estate in 2011; and what you want your Real Estate results to do for your life and your loved ones in 2011.

Write down the minimum amount of income or sales production that would make you feel that you are achieving those things for you and your loved ones.  Review your past three year’s income or production so that your goal is based on facts.

Write down (or type on a document) the 12 months of the year one under the other.  Write down a production by contract date for each month.  Example: Jan: $300,000 under contract.  This is the total sale price of the homes you will put under contract in January.  (Note: contract not closing month)

Determine how many sales for the year that will require. Simply divide the annual goal by a conservative estimate of your average price. Example: Annual Goal is $3,000,000.  Divided by Average Price of $150,000. Total sales are 20.

Determine how many new Clients you will need for the year to achieve this. Double the number of sales. Example: 20 sales require 40 new Clients. (We have proven this statistic with thousands of Agents coast to coast.)

Determine how many new Clients you need each week. Divide by 40. We use 40 instead of 52 weeks for the year to be conservative and realistic. Example: 40 new Clients needed divided by 40 weeks is 1 new Client per week.

Decide what 2 or 3 activities are most likely to get you that small number of appointments per week. Base this on where your past business has come from.  Actually list where your sales have come from for the past one or two years so you are completely accurate about sources. The most common activities are: Follow up on current and past leads, Internet leads, ad and sign calls, open houses, calling or networking with your Past Clients and Spheres of Influence, personal marketing, hyperlocal marketing (farming), and if necessary expireds.

Take Action Immediately in 2011 to Begin Your Plan

Print the simple seven step business plan above. Right now, put an hour on your calendar to back through it and actually take each step. Then do this step (B.) and put the last step (C.) into your calendar for January. You will increase your chances of success next year by tenfold. In fact, it will guarantee your success in 2011.

Using the 2 or 3 activities you chose in number 7 above make a list of what actions will you take on January 3rd through 7, 2010 (Monday through Friday) to put your simple plan into motion?

These actions may include making calls, reconnecting with all or last year’s leads, web site work, e-mail blasts, preparing and sending your Sphere of Influence mailing, previewing homes in your farm, preparing and sending your farm mailing, communicating with your pending Clients and listed Sellers.

Begin to Embed The Actions as Habits

Embedding a habit turns single or random actions into consistent and dependable systems. A habit is an action that you take at the same time, on the same day, in the same place, and in the same way every day or every week. As you perform the action consistently day after day or week after week you become better at it. You learn how to continually improve it.

Following is the most effective way to turn your plans into results by creating the habits for those activities that ensure consistent results all year.

Choose one type of activity for each day of the week. And first thing in the morning before you open your e-mail (same time), on the same day of week, in the same place, schedule just a half hour to do each of the following. (You can expand the time later. A half hour helps establish the habit.)

Monday – Call Leads and Make Initial AppointmentsTuesday – Advance Your TechnologyWednesday – Traditional Sphere of Influence and Hyperlocal Marketing

Thursday – Communications with Pending Clients and Listed SellersAlso Thursday: Rehearse and Improve Presentations

Friday: Strategize by looking at results for the past week and plans for the following week

Important: As you begin each day review and remind yourself of A1 above, your motivation and reasons for succeeding with your Real Estate career in 2011.

There are many other activities in an Agent’s business that are hard or impossible to turn into daily habits; for examples, showings, writing offers, listing presentations, and negotiating,.  You will always find time for these because they demand your time.

Reaching your goals in 2011 depends on your commitment to make those “Daily Habits” a part of your business.  Your success or disappointment in 2011 depend on it.

It’s that simple; not easy but simple. The key to a strong start to 2011 and guaranteeing your success throughout 2011 is dependent on the simple planning and habits you establish as this year ends and the New Year begins.

The Success of Your Business Plan. You control it every day with your decisions. You have the power to make it happen for you each day.

If you want to schedule time with me to set your strategic plan for the year call our office. I have severely limited time but I love to coach. My Assistant will talk to you about fees and schedule time for you.

Rich Levin speaks to Real Estate audiences and coaches Real Estate Agents coast to coast raising their production. He motivates Agents into action and teaches them the most productive possible actions. He conducts a free live webinar every day to help Agents instill these habits. You can register at  Contact Rich at 585-244-2700 or

Mike Monile of Wells Fargo talks Mortgages on PSR

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Property Source Radio has Mike Monile of Wells Fargo giving the dos and don’ts about financing in todays marketplace.
Topics on todays show:
- Mortgage Rates
- Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval
- Sellers Concessions
- Credit Report Issues
- Credit Score
- Appraisal of sale homes
- Banking issues in today’s market

listen to this show now.
Mike Monile – November 13, 2010

Local Real Estate Sees an Up Tick

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

There’s a lot of opportunity out there right now.  Interest rates at historical lows, affordable homes, strongest buyers market we have seen in a long time!  Learn more with Sharon Quartert and Sharon Kunkel, your Keller Williams Real Estate specialists, today on PSR.  

Listen to this show now.
Sharon Quataert of Keller Williams – November 6, 2010