18 Mistakes Most Sellers Make When Putting Their Home on the Market

  1. Pricing your home too high: Have a professional determine comparable sales and listing competition. You want top dollar, and you want all the buyers to see your home.  The top agents know how to walk that fine line.
  1. Small repairs bring big profits and fast sales: Have a professional give you low-cost solutions to minor repairs that will yield big profits. I arrange for a professional inspection for my sellers so we are actually selling “pre-inspected properties”, which is another reason why I get more showings for my sellers.
  1. Not considering other financing terms (besides cash): Have a professional give you options that may be better than cash for you, the homeowner, and financing options that excite a buyer. All of my sellers have a flyer that we give them on the “Fifteen Ways a Buyer Can Finance” detailing how new buyers can finance your home.
  1. Market Timing: Have a professional determine if the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. At least ask to be shown how you make profits in a down market.  There are opportunities in good and bad markets.  At Sanford Systems, we study market trends and know what is around the corner.
  1. Providing easy access for showings: There are many ways to show a home. Appointment only is the most restrictive; lock boxes are the least restrictive.  Have a professional help you determine which is best for your lifestyle.  I have a full-time staff that will make sure your home is shown when that buyer is ready.  Another exclusive service of Sanford Systems is that we train each of the agents in our office on how to best show your home.
  1. Staging your property correctly: Can you put items in storage? Create more light or music?  Walter can help you with ideas, a handyman, or designer.  We have the experience and ‘know how’ to make your property a better value every week.
  1. Choosing the right REALTOR®: If your home didn’t sell last time, make sure and get it right this time with someone who knows the market and how to create a customized marketing plan to bring top dollar.
  1. Believing that selling property is seasonal: Do not base selling decisions on the seasons. Property is always selling.  In fact, in the traditional “off times” there is less inventory, and, therefore, more activity on individual properties as a result.  One of my biggest months for sales and seller success has been XXXX.
  1. Pricing their home too low: One reason to hire Walter is to make sure that no money is left on the table. We will make sure all of the features and benefits are not only brought out in a real world marketing campaign, but also that you get paid for them.
  1. Not using current marketing technology: Make sure your agent is on the “Information Highway” with 800 interactive voice recognition systems, personal web sites, search engine technology, and the latest in buyer communications. Check out our web site and buyer resources here XXXXX.
  1. Re‑evaluating the marketing plan every 10 days: The market, you, and your property require intuitive changes on a regular basis. That is why we schedule a meeting with our seller clients every ten working days.
  1. Believing the agent is not doing the job: Do you know that 80% of buyer activity comes from signs and the MLS? Even the most mediocre agent can bring these tools.  So if you lack showing problems look at your price, terms, and staging first.  At Sanford Systems we can add value to your property in many ways.
  1. Ignoring first impressions from the buyer: Sales are often hampered by unkempt lawns, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, hard‑to‑work locks, dead light bulbs, bad colors, stains, unlit areas, and unusual smells. Spend time on the little things; double up on your gardener, keep things cleaner than usual and “marshal” the pets.  Understanding you still have a life, I will give you a simple list of small items to consider.
  1. Not giving the sales effort enough time: You should never give too little time to something that is inherently a long process. Estimate the time you have to sell and then add some time so that you are never put in the position of having to do something based on deadlines. Walter can help you with the average time on market in your area in your price range.  We do, however, pride ourselves on beating the average days on market, as published by our Multiple Listing Service.
  1. Dealing with unqualified or unsavory characters: One of the best reasons to hire a real estate professional is they have the ability to pre‑qualify a prospect before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, they have the tools to discover if a prospect’s motivation to see your home may be other than purchasing a house.  Understand that I use a team approach in achieving your goals as a seller.  One of my team members is a local lender who I will involve in your sale early who will pre-approve every buyer that I show your home to.
  1. Believing they are powerless to make a difference: Top agents in the industry report that sellers themselves are responsible for one out of six sales. You can network with your business and personal friends, hand out flyers to your personnel department, and keep the house “ready to move into.”  Your professional real estate agent should be ready to hand out all sorts of easy assignments to make the “team effort” successful.  I have a list of thirty items you can help with, if you are so inclined.
  1. Testing the market: Never put your property on the market unless you really want to sell. Get ready for a professional sales effort if you list with a great agent.  If your plan includes indecision, be prepared for frustration because top dollar sales success is Walter’s objective.
  1. Not setting up expectations with their agent: Your agent needs to guarantee how fast the return phone calls are made, how many websites your home will be on, numbers of showings, and a myriad of other goals. Sanford systems provides these guarantees (as many as 300 marketing points) in writing.

by Walter Sanford

2495 S Tropical Trail

Nestled in a picturesque setting of mature trees and manicured greenery, this 5 bedroom, 4 bath home is the ultimate oasis directly on the IntraCoastal. As you enter the heart of this home, you embrace a spacious living, dining, and entertainment area with a wall of cathedral windows overlooking the Indian River. The spectacular kitchen boasts rich wood floors, granite counter tops, two full size ovens, an abundance of cabinets, and a breakfast nook. An additional 2nd kitchenette, laundry, and entertainment area make this home complete. Step onto your enormous back deck with never ending views of the river where you will find your 235 foot private dock, jetski and covered boat lifts, and lush landscaping offering “green” privacy. Enjoy the dolphins and manatees with spectacular sunsets.

5 kitchen design trends you may want to rethink

Serious home chefs, or just house-proud owners, might consider the kitchen their showstopper room—the one that will stop potential buyers dead in their tracks. And that’s why they add all the upgrades, accoutrements, and trendy new finishes they can possibly find. To some extent, they’re absolutely right—a great kitchen can make a buyer fall deeply in love.Open Kitchen Storage

But it doesn’t always work that way.

An inherent danger of taking a deep dive into modern design is accepting the harsh fact that today’s trends may be tomorrow’s “Oh, God, remember that?” fads such as fake brick or hideaway appliances. With the average kitchen remodel pushing $20,000, designing without foresight can be a costly and embarrassing mistake.

Some trends such as subway tile and granite countertops have a long tail: Designers expect they’ll be in style for the foreseeable future, so you’re safe giving them a starring role in your makeover.

Others are doomed to fade hard and fast. Such as…

Mixed metals

Combining bronze and copper in the kitchen might give the room an “eclectic” look, but in a few years, chances are good it will just look confused. Same goes for stainless steel and gold, or nickel and brass.

“Anybody who mixes metals besides Rolex is an idiot, and maybe Rolex is an idiot, too,” says Chicago kitchen designer Scott Dresner of Dresner Design. “Some people think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s just not. I think it’s appalling.”

He should know: Dresner has designed more than 7,000 kitchens, and his airy Chicago renovation won K+BB’s 2014 Kitchen of the Year Design Award.

Still want the look? Try mixing in different metals with replaceable hardware such as drawer pulls and towel rings, so you can easily ditch them if you put your home on the market.

DIY concrete countertops

Making your own concrete countertops is all the rage on Pinterest, but kitchen designers think the trend is already passé.

“The DIY concrete countertops have become a nightmare,” says Yarmouth, ME, designer Jeanne Rapone. “Every call I’ve had about those counters  is all about people calling me wanting them ripped out of the house they just bought. They hate the concrete.”

Because countertops are the kitchen’s primary focal point, it’s important to ensure their longevity. Picking a trendy material will—at best—annoy the hell out of you in a few years. In a decade, it might make your home impossible to sell. Better to spend a bit more on a surface you’ll love for a long time.

Open shelving

There’s a time and a place for open shelving—a few simple marble-and-steel slabs can look stunning. But swapping all of your cabinetry for open shelving is a soon-to-be-outdated fad.

“Open shelving is a thing that could be done very elegantly or very cheaply,” says Dresner. Simply pulling off the cabinet doors to mimic the effect is a surefire path to an unattractive, dust-collecting kitchen. If you’re interested in the look, a designer can help you combine minimalism, style, and functionality.

Rapone believes open shelving was a “complete economic response to the 2008 recession,” when homeowners wanted to redesign their kitchen but lacked the budget for extensive cabinetry upgrades. Under financial strain, “they’re willing to do stuff like open shelving in the kitchen, which saves a lot of money. It came out of good intentions, but now people say, ‘No, Jeanne, I’m tired of dusting shelves. I’ll pay for the doors now.’”

Reclaimed wood

Another recession response that’s fast approaching (or already surpassing) its sell-by date, reclaimed wood can look either superb or terrible, depending on its application.

As an accent, it’s perfect: “I love reclaimed wood. I love the idea of reusing something,” Dresner says. “Reclaimed wood on your island top could be gorgeous.” But what happens when you go beyond accents? “If you’re using it to make cabinets, I think it’s garbage. It looks horrible, and it’s not the right way to use that type of wood.”

So if you’re itching to integrate repurposed wood into your kitchen style, focus on horizontal surfaces, where it has a tabletop effect.

“We see people going a little overboard with the reclaimed look,” Rapone says. “A reclaimed wood island countertop will last a lifetime, but reclaimed cabinetry with barn doors and a real rustic look—that’s a trend that will be way out of style soon.”

Industrial style

Unless you’re living in a loft, skip the stainless-steel countertops, exposed Edison bulbs, and aluminum shelving.

“The industrial look is making its way out,” Rapone says. If you want the effect without the commitment, she recommends finding an industrial-looking lamp that can be easily swapped out when the trend passes its prime.

“In five years—when everyone’s, like, ‘Wow, remember when we did that in 2014?’—you can take it down and replace it with something else,” she says. “That way, you’re not changing out $30,000 in cabinetry.”

But whatever you do, Dresner strongly recommends avoiding the exposed-lightbulb look.

“There are so many cool lights at Restoration Hardware that have that industrial feel, versus something that looks like it should be in the basement of an old building hanging from a block,” he says.

Jamie Wiebe has written about home design and real estate for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Veranda, and more. She loves vintage furniture, collecting fluffy blankets, and DIY-ing everything.

 

Posted from Crystal Edgerly

Norwegian Cruise Line returns Saturday to Port Canaveral

Norwegian-SpiritWhen the Norwegian Spirit enters Port Canaveral today, it will mark the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship based there since 2012.

The Spirit will operate weeklong cruises from Port Canaveral from now through mid-April, alternating between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

“Having Norwegian Spirit home-port in Port Canaveral represents a big opportunity for the Norwegian brand,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer.  “We know that there is pent-up demand from our loyal guests to cruise from Port Canaveral, and we are excited to bring this spectacular ship to the Greater Orlando area.”

In another cruise development, Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Walsh said Port Canaveral has overtaken Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale as the world’s second-busiest cruise port, behind Miami.

“There’s no more slippery slope there,” Walsh said, referring to the tight battle between Canaveral and Everglades a year ago for the runner-up position. Now, he said, Port Canaveral is “a solid second.”

Walsh said Port Canaveral now will take aim at Miami for the top position, and it could challenge that port by 2017. Walsh said he is projecting a 9 percent increase in cruise passenger volume in 2016 at Port Canaveral, then a 20 percent to 25 percent increase in 2017.

“It will stay a competition for some time, which keeps it fun,” Walsh said in his report to port commissioners. “Being No. 1, you only have a target on your back. No. 2 can be a lot more fun in the process.”

Stewart Chiron, founder and chief executive officer of CruiseGuy.com, who closely follows the cruise industry, said Port Canaveral’s cruise passenger numbers were helped by a growth spurt in port-of-call visits. Port Everglades was hurt by a reduction in the number of ships there during the summer, including the move to Europe of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.

“It’s nice to see Florida ports continue to lead the way as being home to the three busiest cruise ports in the world,” Chiron said.  “These three ports alone had 12.38 million passengers visit, bringing billions of dollars to local economies and generating thousands of jobs.”

“The Caribbean remains very strong” as a cruise market, Walsh said.

Walsh said the booking figures on the Norwegian Spirit for its first sailing from Port Canaveral are strong as well. The ship will have about 2,200 passengers on its first cruise out of Port Canaveral, which is higher than the Spirit’s double-occupancy capacity of 2,018. Some of the cabins will have three or more passengers.

The ship, which has a crew of 962, is scheduled to arrive at 6 a.m. today  at Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 1 after a 16-day trans-Atlantic cruise that originated in Barcelona, Spain. Walsh said there are about 1,890 passengers on that cruise. The ship is scheduled to leave Port Canaveral at 4:30 p.m. for an Eastern Caribbean cruise.

Norwegian joins Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean as cruise lines with ships now based at Port Canaveral.

But Norwegian isn’t a total stranger to the Space Coast. In the last year, three Norwegian ships based elsewhere on the U.S. East Coast — the Breakaway, the Gem and the Jewel — made a total of 43 port-of-call stops at Port Canaveral. A year earlier, Norwegian had 45 port-of-call stops there.

The Spirit entered cruise service in 1998 as the SuperStar Leo. It was renamed when it joined the Norwegian fleet in 2004, and was refurbished in 2008.

Norwegian announced in August that it would base the much-larger Norwegian Epic at Port Canaveral, starting in November 2016. The Epic, built in 2010, has a double-occupancy capacity of 4,100 and a crew of 1,753. The Epic will offer seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, as well as three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas, from Port Canaveral.

Chiron said it is nice to see Norwegian returning a ship to Port Canaveral, albeit initially with an older and smaller ship. He said it was a good sign that Norwegian in 2016 will replace the Spirit with one of its newest and largest ships.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 and dberman@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDaveBerman and on Facebook at facebook.com/dave.berman.54

Posted from Crystal Edgerly

Caesarea, Israel

israelIt’s our honor to present you a sophisticated, one-of-a-kind palatial estate located in the most sought after clusters in prestigious Caesarea. Perfectly outfitted for enjoyment and pleasure, each floor of this exquisite mansion is meticulously designed to give its inhabitants the finest, most pampering experience which only Caesarea can offer you with its unbelievably beautiful seashore and ancient historic sites, Golf course and tennis courts. This astonishing estate includes a magnificent large living room, 10 spacious bedrooms, fully equipped Viking kitchen, 25 person formal dining room, a study for formal meetings with in built multi screen command center, a modern gym with various appliances for you to keep fit, a heated 12 person Jacuzzi, a climate controlled wine cellar, a special poker and cigar entertainment room with a buffet serving table and an acoustic enhanced cinema room. A 120 sq. m. master bedroom complex offers you 2 closets, 2 separate bathrooms, sauna and is equipped with 42 inches Panasonic TV, a Pioneer Receiver, DVD plus 5.1 Surround System JBL. For the devoted lovers of reading there is Mahogany book shelved library which provides you with great opportunity of enjoying your favorite book sitting near one of the fireplaces during cold winter evenings. There are 5 additional en suite bedrooms and 3 fully equipped bedrooms for guests, staff. This stunning mansion contains fine finishes such as gold leaf inlay ceilings and moldings, artistic commissioned chandeliers, lighting fixtures, private elevator, marble countertops, under floor heating and central vacuum systems, etc. 365 days a year you may enjoy swimming in heated 150 cubic meters ceramic tiled free form pool surrounded by a beautiful orchard and a lovely spice garden. And what can be more exciting to have a great time with your family making a barbeque with the help of specially constructed Viking outdoor kitchen. Being stretched on 3870 square meters, this 4 floors mansion occupies 1620 square meters built. Perfect location within walking distance from the seaside, the town center, a synagogue, outstanding schools, historical site and art museum along with ultimate privacy provided by 120 zone security system which includes 23 joystick controlled CCTV cameras, turn this marvelous mansion into the most attractive and gorgeous estate in the neighborhood and, probably, in whole Israel. Indulge yourself by living in accordance with the highest standards and royal luxury enjoying breathtaking panoramic sea views and contemplating amazing sunsets over the Mediterranean Sea.

Offered by Sotheby’s International Realty