Stewart Woodward, REALTOR Selling Metro West Real Estate


Posted by Stewart Woodward on 3/29/2018

Experienced, knowledgeable real estate agents are experts in attracting potential buyers to home showings.

When you initially meet with prospective real estate agents to determine which one would be the best fit for your needs, you can get a pretty good sense of how marketing-savvy they are.

Since marketing is one of the most important parts of their job description, a well-trained, motivated real estate agent will know how to effectively use the Internet, their network of personal contacts, and a variety of other techniques to draw in qualified prospects.

Is there anything that you, as the homeowner, can do to help market your home?

Although it's your real estate agent's role to advertise, promote, and publicize your real estate listing to targeted groups and the general public, there is one huge thing you can do to help: Try to keep your house and property looking impeccable at all times. While that goal may be easier said than done, it's worth some extra time and effort to make your home as inviting and appealing to house hunters as possible.

Here are two ways you can increase your home's marketability and help spark more interest among prospective buyers:

  1. Meticulous neatness and cleanliness gives your home instant appeal. On the other hand, a messy, disorganized home or yard will send the wrong message to people touring your house. While it may be counterproductive to have your house reeking from ammonia and harsh cleaning chemicals, keeping countertops, floors, and walls clean will help your real estate agent present your home in its best possible light. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist the help of everyone in the family (except pets) to clean up after themselves and keep their rooms and play areas looking civilized!
  2. Help maintain curb appeal! As the cliché goes (or was it an old mouthwash commercial?): "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression!" For that reason, it's vitally important for your lawn to look well manicured and your house to be free from peeling paint and yard clutter. Another eyesore that detracts from first impressions is the sight of weeds growing out of cracks in your driveway or walkway. The cracks, themselves, are a problem you might want to address, but the weeds (or grass) poking through them is like adding insult to injury! If you don't want to spray them with some toxic, store-bought weed killer, then research natural ways to kill weeds.
Although your real estate agent will gladly handle 99% of the marketing for your home, you can help give their efforts an important nudge by making sure your home and property always look their best!





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 10/13/2016

Accessories are the things in your home that give it character. There’s plenty of things in your home that give visitors an idea of who you are. When we want a house to feel like a home we add the small touches. There’s ways that you can make every room of your home visually exciting without breaking the bank. Whether you’re selling your home, or it’s just time for a change, these tips will keep your home feeling like a place anyone would want it to be-cozy. While home staging is an important part of real estate, there’s a human factor involved in the marketing of homes that is completely authentic with each family that resides in a home. From keeping things organized to using personal memories, there’s ways to make your home attractive to both visitors and potential buyers. Keep everything organized Less clutter equals less fuss. When everything has a place your house just works better for everyone. Even pictures laid out on the coffee table should be placed in a strategic manner. Items like souvenirs, pictures, or vases shouldn’t be placed in your home without a rhyme or reason. Be sure that you have the tools needed to keep organized. When the time comes that company is coming or you’re selling your home, you’ll be glad that you’ve kept organized. Use color The power of color can make any room visually exciting. Even one item that may seem out of place in a room can help bring character into your home. Funky looking mirrors, outrageous artwork, or a brightly colored wall can bring a focal point to a room that lacked one previously. Color can be a powerful tool to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous with color. Remember that memories are priceless Your life should be reflected in your home. You can creatively use pieces of memorabilia to display in your home and tell a story. Not only will this remind you of your favorite moments, but it will allow you to give visitors insight into your life and share your experiences. Use your judgment Decorating with accessories doesn’t have to be complicated. If items can simply be lined up and look great then keep them the way! The science behind making a house a home is all about what makes you feel comfortable. What looks great to one person may not look as attractive to someone else. But there’s something to be said for being true to the way you like to live. The key here is to use your best judgment when decorating the inside of your home.





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 9/1/2016

First Impressions In real estate, as in most other areas of life, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. As the homeowner, you may have gotten used to bent rain gutters, loose roof shingles, or miss-aligned shutters. However, to a potential buyer, these items stand out like a “sore thumb” and alert the first-time homebuyer to avoid your home. Know Your Home Both Inside And Out How old is the roof? When was the furnace last inspected and serviced? How much are the taxes? Potential buyers want to know everything. Be up front and honest. When you employ a realtor, they will buffer these questions for you. Gather Your Paperwork Review your mortgage to determine if there is a pre-payment penalty. Know the amount of annual property taxes, insurance, homeowner’s association dues and assessments, annual maintenance such as lawn services and pest protection and if there are any liens against the home. Do you have a current termite inspection? Price Your Home Correctly Taking a realistic approach when it comes to pricing your home is one of the most important decisions you will make in the marketing of your home. It doesn’t matter if you are attempting to sell the home yourself, or enlist the services of the most reputable realtor available. No matter the amount of advertising or best sales efforts, you cannot sell a home that is overpriced. Your realtor can help you review neighborhood comparisons and determine a fair, realistic price. Your realtor’s knowledge of local properties, market values and trends can correctly start the process that will ensure that you get the best price and the best results. Let Your Realtor Do Their Job It is best to vacate the residence when an agent is showing the home to a prospective buyer so that they may have a candid conversation with the realtor to resolve any issues that may arise. A buyer is not going to voice what they don’t like about the house if you are in hearing range. Perhaps the prospective buyer can’t stand the orange carpet in the den. If the realtor doesn’t know what a buyer likes and dislikes he/she cannot overcome the objections. If the realtor knows the carpet is a “turn-off”, the realtor can include it’s replacement in the negotiations, rather than lose a sale. If you are home when an agent shows the property, stay out of the way. You do not want a buyer to feel pressured and that you are looking over their shoulder as they inspect the house. Consider All Offers Carefully When you list your home with a realtor, they are obligated to bring you all offers. Don’t dismiss a low offer out of hand. It may be more cost-effective to take a bit less for the sales price than to have the home sit on the market for months. If you are making mortgage payments, it may cost you in the long run if you delay.  





Posted by Stewart Woodward on 2/25/2016

Nothing makes more of a statement about a home than the front door. The front door is the first thing people see when they go to your home. Since the front door is a key focal point when people go to your house it is important to make a good impression. Remember first impressions may end up being lasting impressions. According to the latest research, it takes just ten seconds to decide whether or not you will buy a house. Four of those ten seconds will be standing at the front door. According to designer Ceciia Neal, “Your front door reflects what you think about a house. A door can sell a property.” You never get a second chance to make a good impression, so why not get it right the first time? There are many ways to make a front door and entry way more appealing without breaking the bank. If you have an open porch, spruce it up, add seasonal decorations, a basket of flowers. Use window boxes or hanging baskets. Put down a new door mat, nothing to crazy. Make sure the front door is not in need of any repairs, and give it a good cleaning. Create a welcoming entrance leading to your front door with flower beds and big pots of flowers. Consider painting your front door to an eye catching color that makes a statement. Change your door knob, maybe try decorative hardware. You will be surprised how these few changes can transform your front door into an inviting entrance




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Posted by Stewart Woodward on 10/8/2015

When it is time to sell your home you may have much work to do before the sign is placed on the front lawn. If you would like to sell your home for more money or in less time you will need to prepare your home to sell. One way to sell your home for more money in less time is to stage your home. Statistics show that home staging is credited with selling 95 percent of homes within 35 days or less. Here are some tips to get your home ready for the market: Prepare your home to sell to the most likely buyer. The average buyer nationally is 32, while the average seller is 57.  Remove items in the home that may be out dated and add in more modern items that appeal to a younger buyer. Start at the front door. The front door is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make a good impression. Spruce up the landscaping, wash the front door and clean up the trim around the door. Make the entry neat and welcoming. Clear out the clutter. A good rule of thumb is to remove about one third of your belongings. Pay special attention to removing extra pieces of furniture, like ottomans, bookcases, and decorative pieces. Depersonalize the home by removing all photos, memorabilia and other personal items.  This will help the buyer envision the home as their own, picturing their personal items around the house rather than yours. Clean the home very thoroughly. Dust under the furniture, clean the grout and all the other places that may not receive everyday upkeep. “ Freshen up the paint and neutralize your wall colors. It is best to stick with white, cream or pale earth tones.