Real Estate Tech, Selling

11 Ways Tech is Helping Sell Homes Faster

Statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that up to 90% of home buyers start their house hunt online. In my experience, selling a home has become much easier than it used to be a decade ago – all because of technology.

The days of driving down streets and talking to other agents is becoming less rampant.  Tech-savvy listing agents and homeowners can leverage cutting edge innovation – from drone photography to digital transaction services – to make the entire process easier and friendlier.

This post highlights the top 11 tech tools that will help you sell a house fast.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”images” wrap=”i”] High Quality Images

Gone are the days when taking a few cellphone snapshots was enough for a real estate listing. Because real estate is such a visual product, younger buyers expect nothing less than the best visuals. 

Potential prospects are searching online with smartphones, tablets and computers that allow them to see in high resolutions. They want a perfect visual depiction of every room or facility in the home before they even express interest.  Otherwise they’ll just skip to the next listing.

In our experience at Palmetto Park Realty, professional photography can be the difference between listings that attract a lot of attention and those that don’t. Fortunately for real estate sellers, affordable digital photography equipment allow you to show off a home’s best vantage points. If your in-house real estate team is not well-versed in the art of photography, consider hiring a professional real estate photographer to capture the best angles and lighting.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”camera” wrap=”i”] Drone Photography

The National Association of Realtors agrees that pictures and video taken from drones are an incredible tool to sell homes fast. These are especially ideal with large properties and more expensive homes. Drone photography allows potential buyers to see any large homes with unusual features in all its splendor. Clear aerial shots easily highlight the property’s unique features. 

Bird’s eye view drone photography works like magic when it comes to showcasing estate properties with horse stables, farmlands, sports courts, lake or oceanfront access, swimming pools, mountain views, and other outdoor features.

Buyers who are looking to buy in a new town or location will also benefit greatly from drone photography because they can see the entire home within its locale. This ‘bigger picture’ helps buyers visualize the property as well as what’s around it. For real estate sellers, drone photography will enhance the appeal and potentially the price of property whose best side is not easily shown in street view and interior photos.

Real estate agents can use drones to obtain inexpensive images of homes for sale, commercial properties and parcels of undeveloped land.

48% of professional drones are used primarily for ‘aerial imaging and data collection, which includes real estate photography. – Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)


Read –> How Technology is Disrupting the Traditional Real Estate Model 


[wp-svg-icons icon=”stack” wrap=”i”] Floor Plans

Let’s admit it, many real estate agents see floor plans as “unnecessary” to the selling process. Contrary to that, buyers love floor plans.

When it comes to showing a home’s photos online, it can be difficult for buyers to figure out how the images fit together in the whole house. This is more so true if the property you are showcasing is empty. A floor plan helps buyers piece together the photos and entire property in their mind. This is important for real estate sellers because buyers are more likely to choose to inspect a property that already ‘makes sense’.

Out of town buyers consider floor plans to be a highly valuable tool because it helps them figure how the property ‘comes together’.

Many serious buyers will inspect multiple properties per day. The challenge for sellers is to make your property more memorable. Adding floor plans to your open home brochures or marketing materials is a great way to establish the listing as the most professional one the buyer came into contact with that day.

Another great advantage of using floor plans is that they allow buyers to draw and visualize their furniture inside the home. When buyers do this, they are more likely to become emotionally attached to the property.

Tech tools such as VHT Studios make it easier for real estate sellers to integrate floor plans into their listings. VHT interactive floor plans combine professional photography and a realistic illustration to enhance a buyer’s viewing experience and motivate them to take action.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”camera-2″ wrap=”i”] Immersive Video Tours

Because it shows a virtual tour of your property (both interiors and exteriors) video is a powerful imaging tool for real estate sellers. Today’s real estate videos go beyond the empty home virtual tours that were popular in yesteryears.

A video tour provides excellent interaction for online viewers so they get a walk-through-the-home experience.

The video will include narration, music, and scenes of people enjoying the features of the property. Video gives you an opportunity to create an emotional connection, which makes it a huge tool for buyers, sellers and agents.

Multiple studies back the claim that video is the newest frontier in real estate marketing. 50% of online interactivity is video based and consumers are 41% more likely to click a video thumbnail compared to a picture or link. Video content also leads to 403% more enquiries. The good news for real estate agents and individual home sellers is that you don’t require high-tech equipment to shoot a great video of a home.

Toolkit for taking real estate video tours

A simple smartphone or tablet may be enough to shoot a superb video tour. Where necessary, consider hiring the services of a production company that knows how to get the best angles and footage.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”books” wrap=”i”] Virtual Staging

This is another incredible piece of technology that will help attract multiple offers for your home. Virtual staging is essentially the digital enhancement of a home’s listing photos to show what the rooms would look like with furnishings and décor.

Because bringing in furniture to improve the look of an empty home can become prohibitively expensive, virtual staging is becoming increasingly popular with real estate teams across America.

This cool technology allows buyers to see photos of any home online with furniture and different colors or flooring.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”joomla” wrap=”i”] Interest Maps

This is a tech hack that many real estate sellers – not just in our Greenville backyard –  are using to quickly cash in homes. Most listings integrate Google Earth’s maps that allow viewers to see the physical locations of properties.

You may include an extension for interest maps that show a certain home’s proximity to schools, shopping centers, and landmarks. This can be a major influence point especially for online viewers who are not able to visit the property in person.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”mobile-2″ wrap=”i”] Real Estate Mobile Apps

Real estate shoppers – especially younger buyers – want to be able to look at listings on their smartphones. These clients want an easy and convenient way to view photos, look up details of a property, find directions to a home, or get details of the agent in charge of it. It’s no wonder that most major real estate marketplaces and brokerages have mobile apps. 

Zillow’s chief marketing officer, Amy Bohutinsky, says that about 600 million homes are viewed on mobile every month. That just shows how many buyers are using mobile devices to search for homes. By going the extra step to make sure that their listings look GREAT on mobile, real estate sellers can attract more cash offers.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”facebook-2″ wrap=”i”] Social Media

When it comes to spreading the word about a property on sale, social media is an indispensable tool. Social media feeds have become so interconnected that they provide a valuable marketing tool for selling homes.

At Palmetto Park Realty, over half of our social media website traffic comes from Facebook alone. We believe that in this digital age, all real estate sellers should leverage a vibrant social media strategy that includes paid advertisement.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”screen” wrap=”i”] Friendly Online Search Tools

Millions of home buyers across America are already using Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin and other online portals. A decade ago, there was a huge gap when it came to searching for listings online. Customers are able to access real estate listings quickly with more targeted searches than ever before.

Because they allow people to search for homes that match their lifestyle, smartphones and mobile devices have been a real catalyst in the entire real estate process. Real estate sellers should utilize these search platforms to increase the exposure of their listings.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”github-3″ wrap=”i”] Virtual Reality

Virtual reality brings three dimensions (3D) to how real estate agents showcase homes. Although this technology is still new to real estate, it’s catching up fast. Imagine your buyers being able to use an inexpensive viewer such as Google’s Cardboard to tour a home in high resolution. The experience is very immersive, almost as real as being physically present for an open house. The buyer will be able to look up and down, climb stairs, zoom in and out, and view (in great details) all the features that make a home sellable.

By allowing clients to truly experience a property without ever setting foot in the physical space, virtual reality will lead to less time wasted touring properties and faster closes.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”profile” wrap=”i”] Digital Transaction Services

Digital transaction services are also having an impact on how Americans sell real estate property. These technology services simplify the home-buying process by allowing buyers and sellers to complete their transaction online. Perhaps the best example is DocuSign, which allows parties to complete offers, counteroffers, contracts and other documents online with eSignature technology. Notarize.com makes it possible for buyers and sellers to have legal documents notarized online. This process will entail uploading the real estate documents, and participating in a video call with a notary public in Virginia. The company’s services can be used in any U.S. state except Iowa.

Although not as popular as the other innovations we have seen above, these digital services can make everything easier especially in situations where distance is hindering a buyer who’s interested in a property.

Contact Palmetto Park to list your Greenville home

Time to sell? Forward thinking real estate professionals are using  technology to attract top dollar home prices on their listings! At Palmetto Park Realty, we utilize these measures – and many more – to sell homes faster while saving thousands of dollars in costs per sale. Contact us today to request your free listing analysis with our Greenville, SC team!

Selling

How To Prepare Your Home For Real Estate Photos

When it comes to preparing one’s home for sale, most people generally understand that getting their home as clean and organized as possible is more or less a requirement. However, rarely do homeowners put too much thought into preparing their homes adequately for real estate photos. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 92% of homebuyers begin their home search online so it is important to make the first impression count!

Professional and attractive photos increase the likelihood that a potential buyer will decide to schedule a tour of your home. If you are getting ready to sell your home, preparing for real estate photos will take some work so give yourself adequate time to get your home picture perfect.

General Guidelines for Real Estate Photos

Everyone knows that first impression matters. The exterior is the first thing that people will see when they pull up to the house making it extremely important that the curb view is neat and tidy.

General rule of thumb when prepping for these photos is that less is more. It is always best to clear the clutter out of every room because a clean space makes a room look larger. The goal is to create generic but pleasing rooms that a potential buyer will find inviting and attractive to picture himself or herself living in your home.

It’s very important that all areas are also thoroughly cleaned and spotless. You’ll want to walk through your home and remove hard water build up, dirt or anything else that might be visible. Wipe down all the windows so they are spotless of marks and fingerprints.

Last, you’ll want as much light as possible to show how bright and vibrant your home is. Prior to the photo session you’ll want to turn on all of the lights in the house to make sure the light bulbs are in working order. It’s also always best to raise all of the window shades and blinds at the same length and in the same direction as well. Below you’ll find we’ve created a list to help you prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.

Kitchen

  • Put away any dishes in the sink
  • Clear as much as possible off counters including food, cutting boards, and small appliances
  • Remove fridge magnets and other items off the fridge
  • Remove dish liquids/towels, cleaning products as well as garbage bins, brooms and mops
  • If possible, put out a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table
  • Clean windows and all shiny surfaces

Bathrooms

  • Clean tub area/toilet and leave the shower curtain open
  • Clear off the counter tops including toothbrushes, soaps, razors, lotions and beauty products
  • Remove garbage cans, bath mats, scales, spare toilet rolls, and toilet brushes
  • Remove shampoo and other products from the shower/tub area
  • Close toilet lid

Bedrooms

  • Remove items from bedside tables, including books, magazines, cell phone chargers and jewelry
  • Clear away clothes, shoes, laundry baskets, and make sure that nothing shows under the bed
  • Put away stuffed animals and excess toys from kids rooms
  • Remove portable fans, heaters and waste baskets

Dining Room

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Use decorative place setting if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • If you have a China cabinet make sure things are straight and tidy inside.

Living/Family Rooms

  • Put away all TV/stereo remotes
  • Conceal all electric cords as best you can
  • Remove piles of newspapers and magazines
  • Remove excess clutter

Exterior

  • Move garbage and recycling bins out of sight
  • Keep lawn moved and trim trees/overgrown shrubs
  • Close Garage Doors
  • Sweep porch and sidewalks
  • Remove pool equipment from homes w/ pools
  • Remove visible water hoses

Pets

  • Hide pet beds, toys, water and food bowls
  • Hide pet crate
  • Secure pets in hidden crate or outside
  • Clear back yard of pet waste & toys
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair

*Handy Tip: Your photographer will not photograph inside your garage, so it is a good place to store excess items.

Selling

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

With school back in session and the holidays right around the corner many think that now is not the best time to sell. We are here to show you that now might actually be a perfect time to put your home on the market. Inventory is below historic numbers and buyer demand is still strong, which means waiting until next spring to list your home could mean you’re missing out on a great opportunity. We’ve listed five good reasons to consider selling your home this fall:

1. Demand Is Strong

According to the latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors the buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase..and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market!

2. There is Less Competition Now

According to the National Association of Realtor’s latest Existing home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7 homes. This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. With so few homes available, sales prices are up – another plus for sellers.

Take advantage of less competition and higher sales prices!

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to get pre-approved before looking at homes. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler as buyers know what price point to look at.

Fannie Mae also announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

Quicker selling process means faster selling of your home!

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you’re looking to move up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. Higher priced homes will wind up costing you more in raw dollars between both the down payment and mortgage payment if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report effective September 15th, 2017, you can lock your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.875%. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

Lower interest rate will drive buyers to buy now!

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look back at the reason you decide to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on he market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on ad start living the life you desire.

This is what is truly important!

 

Boca Raton, Selling

Drone Photography Sells Boca Raton Homes for More Money, Here’s Why.

Photographs of important real estate have been taken from the sky forever.  High impact photos of skyscrapers and massive ranches and estates were the purview of a niche industry of helicopter and small aircraft pilots since at least the 1950s.  Then something changed.

About three years ago, aerial photos began cropping up on listings that were outside of the parameters where it made sense to pay the high cost of a helicopter flyover.  These weren’t particularly unique listings, and weren’t priced high enough to warrant potentially thousands in aerial photography.  Instead, these were photos taken by some of the first pioneering real estate agents with drones.

Fast forward to 2016, and drone photography is an important addition to any listing of even minor significance.  By giving potential buyers and their agents a bird’s eye view of the home, its surroundings, and community amenities the listing comes alive in ways that may surprise you.

Take this home, for example: NW 39th Drive, Millpond.  You may not have even noticed the outdoor gazebo, but once you see an aerial shot on a sunny day, it really starts to pop.  In Florida we’re lucky to have year round days of sunny weather when a listing can be shot in bright sun and show off the gorgeous landscaping and surrounding fauna of a home, especially in leafy suburbs with nice lawns.

Accentuating Water Features

If you’re located on any sort of water, like this one in Weston: https://www.palmettopark.com/weston/580-coconut-cir/ – a shot taken from the water looking back on the home can be awesome.

The feeling of freedom one feels from looking at that skyline is hard to put into words!

Putting Large Homes and Estates in Perspective

Another great use of drone photography is with large properties.  In Florida especially, it can be hard to get the scope/scale of a flat property from the ground. A larger property really stands out when viewed from a bird’s eye perspective.  Here’s a large equestrian property in Boca Raton that shows well from any angle, but especially from the sky:  https://www.palmettopark.com/boca-raton/8700-surrey-lane/

Check out that lake behind the property, an important detail that would be missed from a curb photo