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9 Tips for Taking Photos That Help Your Home Sell

2016-04-PhotoTips

1. Turn off the flash.
Open the curtains and try to use as much natural light as possible. Flashes can create unattractive shadows and distracting bright spots.

2. Think big.
Shoot from the doorway or from the corner to include as much of a room as possible. Rooms shot from an angle seem bigger.

3. Avoid photobombs.
Yes, your kids and pets are darling, but you’re not trying to sell them (hopefully). Keep them out of your listing shots.

4. No selfies.
To avoid starring in your photos, shoot mirrors from an angle.

5. Shoot from the hip.
Or chest. Shooting from a kneeling position helps make a room seem more spacious.

6. Go for a close-up.
Highlight architectural detailing, such as molding or tile work, with a close-up image.

7. Overcast is underrated.
Exterior photos have more depth when they’re taken on a cloudy day.

8. Take tons.
Take several pictures from each angle and in different lighting schemes to give yourself some options.

9. Use photo-editing software.
There are lots of free, easy-to-use photo editing tools available online that allow you to brighten your images and crop away distractions.

Your Realtor can help you pick the best images of your home, or find a talented pro to take some. Find a RE/MAX All Pro agent here.

September 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

August home sales were 5.0% higher than August 2014 and were 27.6% greater than the sales in August 2008, the first month of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Completed transactions in August were 11.4% lower than in July, which was the second best month for home sales since 2008. Click here to download the August 2015 Housing Report.

Fit to Sell: Why a Home Doesn’t Sell

Help close the gap between what homebuyers are looking for – a home that’s updated and well-maintained – and what’s actually available on the market. By doing so, your home has a better chance of selling quickly and for more money.

Watch the most recent RE/MAX “Fit to Sell” video to learn what three steps are needed to sell your home – and which three major elements can affect its sale.

Looking for more tips and tools on selling your home? Watch all the videos in the RE/MAX “Fit to Sell” series.

Sellers: Disclose Before You Close!

Property Disclosure Report

It’s a few pieces of paper that can save you a lot of trouble down the road. It’s called the seller disclosure form, and it’s one of the most important things you, as a seller, will fill out in your home sale.

So what is a seller disclosure? It’s a form that outlines any conditions that might affect your property’s livability or value. Items a seller would disclose to potential buyers include termites, radon or other environmental issues, foundation problems and broken home systems or appliances.

Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and your real estate agent should be aware of what’s required in yours. Sellers who do not disclose major issues – let’s say a broken HVAC system, leaking pipes or mold growing in the basement – could be on the hook for paying to fix the problems or wind up in court, even after closing.

Marketing a home “as is” or claiming you didn’t know about certain problems doesn’t save you from the responsibility of completing a full and honest disclosure.

Most buyers will likely hire a home inspector during their home purchase to catch these types of issues, but if you’re aware of major repairs and problems ahead of time, it’s better to be safe than sorry and disclose what you know. It will save you time, money and (quite possibly) the entire transaction if you’re upfront with potential buyers.

Here’s a great article from the American Bar Association with more details about the legal responsibilities sellers have in the disclosure process to buyers.

Find a RE/MAX agent who can help you get started with listing your house for sale today.

RE/MAX #1 in Market Share Again

Once again, we’re proud to announce that RE/MAX is the leader in U.S. market share, web traffic, advertising and global presence. Based on 2012 data, this marketing piece compares RE/MAX with other major U.S. real estate franchises. RE/MAX agents closed the most residential transaction sides, while remax.com attracted the most visits among real estate franchise websites.

Nearly a third of all national advertising placed by national real estate franchises displayed the RE/MAX name, based on ad spend. RE/MAX is the real estate leader. Use “RE/MAX vs. The Industry” graphic here to spread the word with your friends and clients.

REMAXvsTheIndustry-V

Fireplace Maintenance Checklist

As days get shorter and weather gets colder, we retreat indoors to the warmth of our homes and hearths. If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to make sure the chimney and flue are in good working order. If your assessment uncovers any issues that gives you pause, call in a chimney professional to diagnose the problem before it gets big, expensive, and potentially dangerous.

 

Exterior
Visually assess the chimney from the outside. Is it leaning? Are there any chipped bricks or masonry joints? Do you see any cracks or holes? If your chimney is factory-built metal, look for any corrosion, stains, or loose sections. If your chimney is exposed to your attic, make sure to check there, as well. Look for any signs indicating that repairs are necessary.

Fireplace Maintenance Tips - Chimney Cap

Photo: Bat Guys

Chimney Cap
A good cap can reduce damage caused to a chimney by water and wildlife. Rain and snow can enter an uncapped chimney and subsequently freeze and thaw, causing expansion damage. Small wildlife can nest in chimneys, clogging them and potentially introducing fleas, ticks, worms and other disease-causing pests into the home. A chimney cap with screen mesh will keep animals out, while shielding your roof from embers and sparks.

Leaks and Stains
Inside the house, check the area around your chimney for any stains or dampness. These could be caused by faulty flashing around the chimney at the roof line, or by a damaged flue liner. If you see signs of water around your chimney, call a chimney professional right away.

Flue
Open the clean-out door from the base of the flue, located either in your basement or outside the house. Using a small mirror and flashlight to see up the flue, look for buildup of soot and also any cracks, holes, or separations. If in doubt, give your chimney professional a call for a good checkup and cleaning.

Fireplace Maintenance Tips - Wood burning fireplace

Photo: Fireplace Stop

Fireplace
Check the brickwork in your fireplace for wear. Check the damper, as well—it should open and close easily. Look into the smoke chamber above the damper to see if it has a buildup of soot. Again, call your chimney professional for service if you see any of those telltale signs.

Chimney safety should be a high priority for every homeowner. With regular maintenance, your fireplace and chimney can give you years of wonderful service. A chimney professional can spot things that even a diligent homeowner could miss. Call on a pro to do regular cleanings and safety checks as a part of your home maintenance routine. Then throw another log on the fire, sit back, and enjoy.

 

Article Credit: http://www.bobvila.com/blogs/fireplace-maintenance-checklist/

For more on fireplaces, consider:

Gas Fireplaces 101
12 “Different” Ways to Store Firewood
Quick Tip: Make Your Fireplace More Efficient

NEWS FLASH Call Your Member Of Congress Today To Protect The Mortgage Interest Deduction

NEWS FLASH

Call your member of congress today to protect the mortgage interest deduction
Congress, as part of negotiations on avoiding the “Fiscal Cliff,” has made direct references to
“closing loopholes” and “limiting deductions” as a way to raise revenues. Clearly, the mortgage
interest deduction is high on this list of revenue raisers.

Losing the mortgage interest deduction will disproportionately affect the middle class because a
larger proportion of the middle class takes the deduction. In California 89% of those who took
the mortgage interest deduction earned less than $200,000. Losing the deduction would cost
the average California taxpayer over $3,900.

What you can do to help:

Call Congress. First and foremost, we are urging the public to get involved by calling Congress
to ask that the mortgage interest deduction be preserved. The public may reach Congress by
calling 202-224-3121. The Capitol switchboard operator will help callers identify their member of
Congress and connect them.

The public can reach Congress by calling (202) 224-3121.

Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Eastern Time.

Get the word out. Many people seem to be blissfully unaware that their mortgage interest
deduction is in danger. Please do the following to make sure that the message spreads.

1. Forward this message to your family, friends, and clients.

2. Post this information on your personal and office websites and blogs.

3. Share this information on Facebook and urge others to share it as well.

4. Tweet about it on Twitter and urge others to retweet. Use the hashtag: #keepthemid.

5. Link to the following web page: www.KeepTheMID.com. This site has information about
contacting Congress, more information on the MID, and links to articles.

6. As you see new information and articles, share these on all your social networking sites.
Watch a video about preserving the MID at http://bcove.me/vfsh7hh4

 

 

It Will Be Easier To Sell Homes In Short Sales Under New Guidelines Now In Effect.

It will be easier to sell homes in short sales under new guidelines now in effect.

In a short sale, a home is sold for less than the mortgage amount owed, with the lender’s permission. Short sales have been notoriously slow and complex. The new rules are designed to simplify the process and speed up short sales for loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Sellers Won’t Have to be Delinquent

A borrower who can prove a hardship that requires a home sale may qualify for a short sale, even if current on the house payments. These hardships include:

  • The death of an owner.
  • Divorce.
  • Disability.
  • The need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job transfer or a new job.

“I think the biggest impact of these new rules is that people won’t have to miss payments in order to be eligible for a short sale,” says Lisa Miclot, a real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in Gainesville, Va. “A short sale will always cause your credit score to drop, but it’s much worse if you have several missed mortgage payments in addition to the short sale.”

Travis Hamel Olsen, co-president of the Loan Resolution Corp. in Scottsdale, Ariz., says the devil is in the details, though, because he wonders how hard it will be for some homeowners to prove they are in imminent danger of defaulting if they are current on payments.

Eliminating deficiency judgments

Miclot says that, under some conditions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to go after borrowers for the “deficiency” — the portion of the loan that goes unpaid after the home sale. To qualify for a waiver, the borrower will have to pay part of the deficiency or sign a contract promising to pay some of it.

“The idea is that if the borrowers have some money, such as $10,000, but not as much as the $100,000 gap between their home value and their mortgage, they can avoid future judgments by paying what they can now,” Miclot says.

Olsen says the idea behind the guidelines is just to make sure that homeowners have some “skin in the game” when it comes to a short sale.


Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/11/01/fannie-freddie-rules-hasten-short-sales/#ixzz2DdG3QvfQ

On The Street With RE/MAX

We let home buyers and sellers speak for themselves. Watch our On-the-Street man, RE/MAX ProfessionalsBroker/Owner Brad Whitehouse, poll downtown Denver to find out who is top of mind when it comes to real estate

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Tips for Successfully Marketing Your Home

Today more than ever homeowners need to focus on creating a comprehensive plan for marketing their property. Use this video to learn why RE/MAX agents are uniquely qualified to help you successfully market your home in today’s real estate market.