Articles tagged with: Photography

A golden opportunity in Golden Hills: Can we stay under budget and on-schedule?

A golden opportunity in Golden Hills: Can we stay under budget and on-schedule?

At Bobbett and Associates, we do all we can to help our clients see the highest return on their investments, and we do so by advising them on key improvements they can make upon listing their home that enable us to ask a higher asking price than we might otherwise be able to.

Our latest renovation project is an exciting one. We were called by an out-of-area property owner who was looking to sell a very special house – a property in the Golden Hills neighborhood that’s been in the same family since it was built in 1956.

The home was in need of some strategic improvements to ensure we would be able to maximize the current market value. With a firm budget of $10,000 or less, and with a 12-day timeframe to complete the upgrades, we certainly have our work cut out for us!

We are in the process of completing the following improvements:

  • Refinishing the beautiful original hardwood floors throughout
  • Full interior painting, including painting of the original kitchen cabinets (this is a fantastic way to update a kitchen without spending a lot of money, we’ll finish the cabinets off with new hinges and hardware as well)
  • New tile floor in master bathroom
  • Various handyman fixes from plumbing to electrical as needed
  • Light landscape clean-up in the backyard and removal of an old metal patio cover

Once these projects wrap, the final steps will be a full house cleaning and then home staging by Martina (a complimentary service provided by Bobbett & Associates). A professional shoot with a real estate photographer will allow us to show off our beautifully updated home in the best possible light.

Without the improvements, the home would likely sell at $625,000 or less. But with a strategic budget of $10,000, we hope to get well over $720,000 for the home, in other words, a net gain of $85,000 to our home seller!

We can’t wait to show off the huge improvements at this house when we go to market in a few short weeks. Stay tuned for an update on how everything turns out.

Bobbett & Associates: All spruced up after strategic improvements make best use of seller’s budget

Bobbett & Associates: All spruced up after strategic improvements make best use of seller’s budget

As our clients’ advisors and support, we make every effort to guide home sellers toward home improvement projects that will add value to their home and maximize their sales price.

Our latest project property had been a rental for many years and was in dire need of some TLC, and we were faced with some large home improvement chores.

We oversaw every aspect of this renovation project on behalf of our out-of-state seller: new roofing, permitting, landscape clean-up, interior painting, hardwood refinishing and a variety of repairs and updates throughout the home, primarily kitchen and bathrooms

Because this house required some big-ticket fix-it items, our costs turned out to be higher than usual at $28,000, with the final cost for improvements coming in slightly higher than the $25,000 budget we initially estimated.

Half of our budget went to the new roof, which is not a common improvement for most home sellers before selling their home. But the roof on this home was the original 50-plus-year-old wood shake roof. It had to go!

Two other items on our wish list could have used attention, central air conditioning and updated windows. In a perfect world, the home would have already had central air and updated windows making the property more comparable to others in its price range. We advised our seller to skip these projects however, because it would have been difficult to recoup the additional out-of-pocket expense and we wanted to ensure we could maximize resale value for our seller.

Our out-of-state seller was thrilled to see the massive improvements and the higher sales price. She loved how we strategically and logically made the best use of her budget by making repairs and updates that were the most cost effective. Once the home improvement tasks were completed, we turned our attention to developing an effective home staging strategy to ensure the house made a positive impression on prospective homebuyers.

As we’ve noted before, a beautifully staged home can make such a strong impression on would-be homebuyers, they may wind up offering above asking price.

In the end, our home improvement advice and home staging efforts on behalf of this lovely homeowner and house in Fullerton paid off. The house sold for $115,000 more than the sitting tenant had offered the owner.

Home improvement advice and project management, as well as the home staging services, were inclusive and at no additional cost to the seller – just part of what distinguishes Bobbett & Associates from ordinary Realtors® – truly FULL service real estate representation.

Weekend open houses happening in Orange County, CA (Sept 24 + 25)

Do photos on your real estate listing show your house or condo in the best light?

As real estate agents in Fullerton, we spend quite a bit of time scouring photos on the CRMLS. We like to share our favorite photos each week in our “Upcoming Open Houses” feature.

Occasionally, photos we come across leave us feeling a bit perplexed. Sometimes the photos are blurry or focused so closely on an object in the house, such as a vase of flowers, that they lack a greater context. Other times the there’s so much clutter in the photos or the house is vacant and lacks a human touch.

Looking over photos this week got us thinking about some of the more common mistakes we see when it comes to real estate photography. Strong photos and smart décor are becoming increasingly important in terms of real estate marketing, especially because more and more homebuyers are first turning to photo galleries on the Internet before they ever ask to speak with an agent or tour an open house.

So without further ado, here are some of our pet peeves when it comes to real estate marketing and photography:

Real estate photos show empty house

We understand that sometimes a homeowner may need to move out before she is able to sell her condo or house. Often times, though, the owner will pack up all of her worldly possessions leaving behind an empty shell of a house. Sometimes even the refrigerator has been removed from the premises so photos of the kitchen are marred by a gaping appliance hole.

At minimum, it’s a good idea to style the living room and one of the bedrooms. Images used to market the home on various websites should highlight those rooms that are furnished and downplay any vacant rooms. Remember the goal of the photos on your online real estate listing should be to entice would-be homebuyers to tour your home. It’s much easier to forgive a vacant house in person than online.

If it’s not practical to leave some of your personal furniture behind to stage your home, consider hiring a real estate agent or firm that specializes in home staging techniques.

Personal items, clutter visible in real estate photos

We’ve come across a number of listings that showcase the homeowner’s unique personality and lifestyle in the photos: kitschy wall décor, kitchen counters overloaded with appliances, an excessive number of religious items, rooms bursting with children’s toys. There is a time and a place to broadcast the lovely qualities that make each of us unique, and real estate photos is not that place.

Selling your home is about highlighting the features that make your house attractive. It can be hard especially for long-time owners to de-clutter their spaces but it makes a huge difference in terms of selling for the highest price as well as time spent on market.

Once you get to the point where you are thinking about selling your house, consider any steps you’ll need to take to get the house is selling order. Your real estate agent should be able to help you determine which items to display and which ones to give away or place in storage.

Photos are blurry

In this digital age of photography, there is no excuse for blurry photos. Also in this category are listings where the photos are turned sideways or upside-down. Any quirks about the photos on your listing will distract prospective homebuyers and possibly turn them off to the idea of touring your house or submitting an offer.

And while we’re on this topic of quality real estate photography, invest in professional real estate photos. It may seem like a waste of resources when you have a perfectly good smart phone, but studies continue to show that strong real estate photography yields better results for sellers in terms of time spent on market and selling price. One study even showed homes with strong photography listed in the $400k to $499k range sold for more than $11,000 extra compared to comparable listings with lesser quality photos.

A professional real estate photographer does so much more than stage photos, too. Editing software allows him to touch up photos – manipulating color saturation to make photos pop, cropping photos to highlight key features and more.

Photos are too close, lack context

Occasionally we come across listings that will feature extreme close up photos that don’t seem to contribute to the story of the house. It’s one thing to get in close to show the detail of a granite counter top such as if it accompanies a couple other photos of the entire kitchen.

We’re talking about listings where there’s a photo of a solitary window or a frame that focus on the vase on a coffee table with an angled view to the kitchen doorway. We love art and artistic expression, but when it comes to selling real estate we think it’s more effective to share photos that offer a complete picture of why someone should buy the house.

Basically when it comes to real estate photography, we should all take a page from the glossy magazines. They offer the idea of a home and lifestyle in a tastefully designed abode and make it easy for their viewers to see themselves living in those photos (homes). We believe in taking a similar approach at Redux Realtors.

Weekend open houses happening in Orange County, CA (Sept 10 + 11)

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Realtor / Equal Housing