Right Now, Human Connection is a Priority – Just Ask Brian Buffini

Brian Buffini believes that prioritizing self-care and the well-being of others is at the forefront of success in 2021.

Buffini is the founder of Buffini & Company, one of the top real estate coaching services that has trained more than 3 million professionals from 37 countries worldwide.

Buffini joined RE/MAX Chief Customer Officer Nick Bailey on a recent episode of Good Morning RE/MAX to share his thoughts for real estate agents growing business and nurturing relationships this coming year.

According to Buffini, between 14 and 23 million people plan to relocate in the next year due to shifting work environments, like work-from-home flexibilities and new remote work policies. Calling this the “decentralization of how people are living,” Buffini says that RE/MAX agents are well-positioned to assist with the needs of buyers and sellers everywhere.

With heightened movement across many markets these days, it remains an asset to be connected with a global network whose affiliates support – and refer business to – one another.

Amid uncertainty, like the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buffini says an agent’s priority should be on their own well-being, and that of their clients. One essential component lacking from our new routines is human connection.

“There’s never been a better time to call people on the telephone and actually have a conversation – they actually will talk to you. You know, people want to hear you, they want to see you [and] they want to have some kind of human interaction,” Buffini says.

What he calls “pop-bys” – essentially goodie bags with health and hygiene essentials – have become a popular way for agents to show their clients love from a safe six feet away. He says that agent who are dropping off small gifts on their clients’ doorsteps are going a long way in stirring smiles.

“Find a way to reach out to people [with a] personal touch – do the little things,” he says. “Every little personal touch right now, to me, is magnified enormously.”

A real estate agent’s job, by nature, is to be a source of trust and comfort to families during pivotal moments in their lives. And especially during trying times, an agent’s role is more important than ever before.

“There is no technology that competes with personal trust,” Buffini says.

“You can have that old-school philosophy [and] you can have new-school techniques, [technology] and marketing to support it.”

6 Common Mistakes Made When Selling a Home, and How to Avoid Them

Selling a home can be a complex process. To keep it hassle-free from for-sale to sold, consider these common mistakes people make when selling their homes – and avoid making them yourself.

1. Skimping on necessary repairs

Some sellers ignore major repairs in hopes of closing the sale before anyone notices. However, if the home inspector catches detrimental damage, it will likely halt the sale until repair – or an agreement – can be made.

To save yourself the hassle and to streamline the selling process, assess any serious repairs before listing your home. It may feel unnecessary to repair a home you’re soon to leave, but it could help you pass inspection – and possibly get top dollar – on your property.

2. Not prepping the house for showings

Your home is bound to be filled with mementos, photographs, kitchen magnets and all of the wonderful details that make it unique to you. But an important part of preparing your home for showings is to minimize knick-knacks.

To do so, store away any clutter that would distract an interested homebuyer when they enter a room or open a closet or cabinet. Tidy up all surfaces, including bookshelves, end tables and kitchen countertops. By cleaning up messes, you’ll help rooms appear larger, so buyers will be able to envision their own belongings in the space.

Don’t forget about curb appeal. Buyers will likely form an opinion of your home before they enter the front door. When you clean and stage the interior of the home, head outside and give a bit of TLC to the exterior too. Depending on the season, this could include anything from weeding mulch beds, putting out planters or touching up chipped paint on the house’s exterior.

3. Using inadequate listing photos

Listing photos can make all the difference when attracting homebuyers who begin the homebuying process online. Digital listings for even the most magnificent of homes will receive far fewer clicks if they aren’t presented with high-quality photos.

For example, photos with ample lighting can help a room appear spacious. As mentioned above, prepping the home before listing it for sale by cleaning and decorating helps ensure that photos capture each room looking polished and sophisticated.

4. Listing it FSBO

Sellers who list their homes for sale by owner, otherwise known as FSBO, could face major setbacks along the way and may even end up receiving significantly less money in return. In order to ensure the sale is legally sound, and that you’re receiving competitive offers, it’s important to hire a real estate agent.

As your representative in the sale, a real estate agent will offer guidance and make sure the process goes smoothly. Qualified agents dedicate their lives to helping people navigate the buying or selling process – so why attempt it alone?

5. Setting an inflated price

Be realistic and timely when setting an initial listing price. Read up on your local housing market to learn the current trends of buyers and sellers. For example, selling in a seller’s market may mean that you list your home for sale at a higher price to account for the increased demand.

Hiring a real estate agent, who can help guide you to a fair listing price, can be critical. Sometimes, setting a price that is disproportionate to the value of the property means that the home will sit on the market for days on end. Accordingly, buyers who see a home sitting on the market endlessly without any movement may question the integrity of the home.

6. Underestimating costs associated with the process

Before your home hits the market, make sure you’re aware of the costs associated with the process. While your initial investment may be some routine repair, staging and professional listing photos, bear in mind that, as the sale progresses, you’ll typically be paying for closing costs, moving expenses and fees associated with hiring a real estate agent.

Consider these costs to be investments. The return is when you receive higher value back on your home due to how it was presented to interested buyers or how it was represented by an experienced real estate professional. That said, make sure to budget for these costs in advance to avoid any surprises.

How a Death in a Home Affects Its Value

Death is never an easy topic, but some real estate agents have to deal with home sellers who disclose a grim past and wonder if the property’s history will take its toll and leave them with fewer dollars in their account. So, yes, death has an unsuspected impact on real estate and like many, you would like to find the value of a house after death.

Read the article on RealEstateAgent.com…

Scents that Attract Home Buyers During an Open House in the Fall & Winter Months

Believe it or not, when a person walks into a home for the first time, the smell that first resonates, is the memory they will hold in their mind moving forward about the home they have entered. It is their “first impression” for the house, therefore it’s important that their first impression or in this case “first smell” is one that is inviting and not overpowering.

During an open house it is even more important to have an inviting smell upon the initial foot in the door. The first smell attracts people to come in, look around & feel like they are at home. Finding an odor that is attractive without being overpowering is the trick to a successful open house.

Read the full article on RealEstateAgent.com…

7 Important Things Home Sellers Often Forget to Do

When you’re selling your home there’s so much to do: find a Realtor®, do touch-ups, get that balky air conditioner fixed, look into staging… It’s no wonder that sometimes things fall between the cracks. Big things. (I’m not pointing fingers, promise!) An arsenal of experts—aka real estate agents who have worked with many home sellers—identify the to-do’s that sellers typically overlook. I promise you, these tasks are well worth the time it will take to complete them (which isn’t very long at all).

Heed this sound advice, and there’s a good chance selling your house won’t be nearly as stressful as everyone tells you it is.

Follow-Up Info Homeowners Want From You

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Are you trying hard enough to keep in touch with past clients? You may want to reassess your efforts, as nearly half of homeowners say they don’t have a “go-to” real estate agent, according to the 2016 Homeowners Survey conducted by Happy Grasshopper, an email marketing software company. The survey, based on responses from 300 homeowners, suggests many real estate pros are leaving future business on the table by failing to follow up with clients. Furthermore, 70 percent of survey respondents say they did “very little” or “some” research before selecting a real estate agent.

“The study shows a large percentage of the market is up for grabs, not only because many homeowners do not have a preferred agent, but also the fact that most homeowners aren’t doing heavy research before hiring one,” says Dan Stewart, CEO and co-founder of Happy Grasshopper. “This suggests communication initiated by an agent might be enough to turn a lead into a sale, even if it takes years before the client is ready to buy or sell. Agents are missing opportunities to cultivate relationships with past and potential clients so when it is time to move, they know who to call.”

Thirty-six percent of homeowners say they find it beneficial to receive communication from a real estate professional, even if they aren’t in the market to buy or sell, according to the survey. They say they are particularly interested in receiving information such as listings and open houses in their neighborhoods. Forty percent say they would like to receive home maintenance tips and information on neighborhood events.

But only 19 percent of homeowners say they actually receive such communication from their real estate professional. The study found that homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to receive information via email instead of text message, phone call, or social media communication.

“Staying in touch is possibly the most underrated and underused tactic that I see from my colleagues in the industry, despite the fact that it’s as easy as sending an email,” says Matt Bohanon, ABR, SRS, a team leader at Keller Williams Realty Select in Sarasota, Fla. “Keeping frequent communication, even with the people who seem like they’ll never buy or sell, will eventually pay off — maybe not through a transaction, but they’ll most likely refer you to their friends.”

Source: Happy Grasshopper

10 Reasons to Sell Your House This Holiday

Thinking of selling your home, but planning to wait until spring? There are many reasons to list your home now! Watch this video…

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Virtual Reality in Real Estate

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The day many tech lovers have been waiting for is here: Google Daydream View is now available in stores. The new virtual reality headset connects with a smartphone (specifically, Google Pixel) to immerse users in their favorite games, movies or even the latest news story. And at just $79, Daydream is making VR technology more accessible to consumers than ever before.

But the uses of virtual reality technology go beyond entertainment. Here are a few ways VR is making its way into real estate.

1. Open houses

Virtual reality headsets, about the size of a scuba mask, can provide 360-degree virtual reality property tours of homes. The headsets completely fill the user’s field of vision with a view of the home, allowing them to look up, down and from side to side. Developers are working on adding more tactile features to the experience, so users can do things like see their own hand opening a door, reports the New York Times.They’re even developing smells. One day Realtors might be able to add the smell of virtually baking cookies to their virtual open house.

2. Long-distance shopping

Virtual reality home tours give out-of-town buyers (and local buyers, too) another tool to help narrow down their choices of homes they’d like to physically visit in a limited amount of time.

3. Staging

More affordable than hiring a pro to stage your home, several virtual options allow you to add furniture and decorations to vacant rooms using computer technology. It can help buyers envision a property with different furniture and paint.

There’s a lot more to a real estate transaction than VR goggles can replace. When you’re ready to buy or sell your home, I’ll be happy to help!

6 Essential Steps for Selling a Home With Pets

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We love our pets, whether they be dogs, cats, hamsters, capybaras, hedgehogs, or pygmy goats—but that doesn’t mean that they want to see said pets (or any evidence of them) when looking at a home they’re thinking of buying.

“Pets are either an attractive distraction, so cute they distract prospective buyers from looking at the real estate, or completely the opposite—smelly, frightening, or otherwise off-putting,” says Diane Saatchi, an East Hampton, NY, real estate broker with Saunders & Associates.

Don’t want your precious property to be known as “that dog house”? Well, you need to pet-proof your place when preparing and showing it for sale. Here’s how, in six simple steps.

Staging Tips for Sprucing Up the Basement

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Basements often have the reputation as being dark and dank. But the basement shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to staging a property.

“Buyers will definitely poke their heads down in this cold, dark place,” notes an article at realtor.com®. “So, imagine their pleasant surprise when it’s actually a functional, comfortable room where they might even want to hang out.”

Here are a few tips…