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Dealing With Unrealistic Sellers


Scott Newman

By Scott Newman

The market is recovering—in some areas it’s even a seller’s market—and that means sellers can once again be a little more demanding…and a little more unrealistic.

So your client is turning into a “sellerzilla.” What do you do when your relationship with the client is on the line, but you need to get your point across?  Read on…

Show Them, Don’t Tell Them

If my seller client isn’t willing to listen to my pricing advice and they think they know better me, I prove to them that I’m right. But I don’t do this through arguing, CMAs, or anything of that nature. Instead, I utilize their own two eyes.

If your client wants to list for $275,000 and you know the house won’t sell for more than $240,000, schedule 45-60 minutes with your seller prior to listing their home and take them to see homes for $275,000.  When your client sees that the homes in his or her intended price point are bigger, nicer, and overall more appealing, then you significantly strengthen your argument without having to risk isolating your client.

Stay Consistent

They say it takes 21 days of doing something everyday to make it a habit. The same concept comes into play with unrealistic sellers.

So you’ve done the CMA, shown them competing listings, but they still want to list a little high. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! Make sure you don’t shy away from confrontation, and make it a point to call them once or twice a week and review the latest data and push for that price drop.

Let Them Hear It Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

No one wants to upset their client, but the reality is your client needs an adviser, not a cheerleader. That means sometimes having an opinion or giving advice will contrast to what your client thinks or feels is best.

Rather than risk damaging the relationship with your client by directly pushing for a price drop, instead try letting the buyers do your dirty work for you.

At my company, we made the decision a while ago to set up a feedback system, so anytime a buyer’s agent leaves feedback about one of our listings, it goes directly to both the client and us. This way, the feedback arrives unfiltered and will demonstrate that it’s not just you who thinks the price is off.  These e-mails also serve as jumping off points for discussion about a price drop, which should help you got the ball rolling with those uncomfortable conversations.

Not every listing is going to be perfect. But by staying on top of your clients and following these tips, you’ll be able to circumvent the objections and concerns of unrealistic sellers and make listing property a profitable part of your business model.

Scott Newman is the broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago. Connect with Scott at or @newmanrealty.

Seasonal Tips for a Great Looking Property This Fall


By Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz

Photo credit: Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz

It’s hard to believe that fall is already upon us. Summer may be over, but now is not the time to neglect a home’s exterior, especially if it’s going to soon be listed for-sale this season. Here are a few tips to help you embrace the fall season and keep your property looking its best:

·     The most obvious tip: rake up leaves on a frequent basis;

·     Inspect your gutters regularly and remove any leaves that get trapped;

·     Carry on weeding garden beds and walkways;

·     Remove all annual flowers that are no longer blooming and plants that are past their “best before” date.  Dead vegetation gives the impression of a home not cared for;

·     If you’re experiencing a warm, dry fall in your area, you’ll still need to irrigate your lawn (according to local by-laws of course);

·     Fertilize your lawn before the ground freezes (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a year-round warm climate).  This will give your grass a head start in the spring.  However, check with your local garden center first to find out if this is the right course of action for your particular environment;

·     Readjust the timers on outdoor lighting displays since it now gets dark earlier;

·     Give your gardens some liveliness by planting fall flowers such as chrysanthemums. Choose a color that compliments the exterior of your home;

·     Redesign your urns and flowers pots – it’s time for a fall theme;

·     Add some vignettes. Sometimes, it’s the little things that produce the most attention.  My personal favorite for generating anticipation in potential buyers is to create a simple fall vignette on the porch. Pumpkins add a punch of color and provide a warm, welcoming look when blended with something interesting like a couple of antique lanterns, for example.  Be careful not to add too many items to the vignette or it will appear too cluttered.

If there’s a swing or rocking chair on the porch, add cushions with a generous amount of orange in them to tie everything together.  If you pay this much attention to the exterior of your home, buyers will be anxious to see what awaits them behind the front door.  The photo above was taken at the side door of a property that was never used as an entry point. Be sure when creating your vignette that you don’t block access to the front door.

These are just a few things that will help keep the exterior of your home looking terrific right through to the next season: The dreaded winter.  We won’t think about that right now though!

Have I missed anything?  Feel free to add your fall tips to the list!

Charlene Storozuk

Charlene Storozuk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of Dezigner Digz, a professional home staging and interior decorating company based in Burlington, Ontario. Her work is featured in the book FabJob Guide To Become A Home Stager, 2009 edition. Sheserves as regional vice-president, Canada for the Real Estate Staging Association and is a past recipient of the North American Leadership Award for her work as founder and president of the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth RESA Chapter.

Stock Cabinets Save Money on Kitchen Redos


The cost of quality stock cabinets for an average-sized kitchen generally runs $8,000 to $10,000, according to consumer website Houselogic. Semi-custom cabinets would cost about twice that, the site reports, and full custom cabinets would cost even more.

Help home owners make such smart choices with stock cabinets that look like they were made to order at an astronomical price. Post to your website a free article, How to Choose Stock Kitchen Cabinets, from REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the October “Save Big While Boosting Home Value” article package.

You can also post to your website (or your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed; email; add to your e-newsletter; or brand, print, and hand-deliver) any of about 1,000 always-free home listing, selling, and ownership articles. Just search the REALTOR® Content Resource by keyword or topic for other content ranging from home improvement and maintenance to taxes and finance.

While you’re adding REALTOR® Content Resource materials to your marketing communications, be careful not to download photos or videos on the site. The REALTOR® Content Resource doesn’t have permission to allow others to use them, and owners of the images actively search online — and charge violators for — unauthorized uses. Learn more in the Reprint Rights Policy.

The REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

Lead Consolidation: Two Forgotten Words in Online Real Estate Marketing


Adam Ailion

By Adam Ailion

If you are anything like me, you are tired of hearing about the latest and greatest app you have to learn how to use, or the next best service to buy. My mind is going through “technology overload,”  making it difficult to stay current — and many times a good idea or service may go unnoticed.

Let me start off by saying I am frugal when it comes to spending money on tools to grow my business. It might not always be a positive trait to have, but on the plus-side, if I buy into something it has to be good — so listen up.

Last month I was at a technology summit where a real estate panelist mentioned a new service called “FiveStreet,” which was revolutionizing his business by consolidating his online prospects. I have been on the quest for something like this for more than three years, so hearing that this product is available got me a bit excited.

If your business is anything like ours, we get 15-25 inbound leads a day. It has been a constant struggle to manually input all the data, respond to all online inquiries in a timely manner, properly track them to see where they all come from, all while being able to route them to the proper team of agents. We’ve tried our hand at various CRM tools, and we boast about being equipped with tools to serve our business. But one thing I have noticed over the years is that many of the CRM software providers don’t fully communicate with the real estate syndicate websites. There is always a missing piece to the puzzle. This FiveStreet service seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle that can tie it all together.

FiveStreet screens your Gmail account for online prospect notifications, and consolidates them into one database, regardless of their source. It then pulls their phone number and e-mail address and sends them an automated e-mail/text within minutes of their request, it also researches social networks for their accounts, and easily allows you to collaborate and route the leads to other team members.  Best of all, it communicates with other major e-mail providers, as well as Mailchimp, BombBomb, Contactually, and Top Producer.

This has to be one of the most useful real estate services to come across my desk in over a year. We have been using this tool for about a month and we’ve seen great success consolidating online prospects, improving response rates, and getting insight into ROI tracking for premium paid advertising on the real estate syndicated websites.

As an advocate for new innovative ideas, I urge you to look closely at this service if you are having a hard time consolidating online prospects and quickly and effectively responding to them.

Adam Ailion is a managing member of the Ailion Team at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. Connect with Adam at http://www.LocationLocationLocation.com, or