The Importance of Great Photography

 

Research has shown that one of the most important elements that make buyers click on property images is ensuring that the images accurately represent reality. The most noticeable element of reality that is most often distorted in real estate photos is vertical alignment, or what real estate photographers refer to as verticals.
WHY ARE VERTICALS IMPORTANT?
Look at the two images below:

crop_verticals_off

Skewed verticals

crop_verticals_on

Correct verticals

 

Notice how the vertical lines in the first image are skewed and distorted? This has the unappealing effect of disrupting the viewer’s ability to connect to the image since it misrepresents real life.

In the second image, all the lines that are vertical in real life are vertical in the image, creating a much more lifelike and engaging experience. Buyers connect with the property on an emotional level, leading to clicks, showings, and ultimately sales.

Research shows that if our eyes see something that looks different than our brains think it should look like in real life, we find it hard to relate to what we’re seeing. That’s when your listing gets overlooked.

NextHome Utica Properties

Sell your house in the summer

How to Sell Your Home in the Summer

This Article By ELIZABETH WEINTRAUB entitled “How to Sell a Home in the Summer: 10 Sizzling Summer Home Selling Tips” was just too good not to share!

Spring is the most popular time of the year to put a home on the market. Fall is the second most popular time of the year to sell a home. It astounds most people that summer is not usually a popular time to sell a home. For that reason, selling a home in the summer can be a bit tricky.

Why It Isn’t Ideal
Summer is a good time for a lot of things, but home selling is not necessarily one of them. If you don’t have to sell in the summer, you might get more for your home if you wait until school starts. Why? Because in the summer:

People go on vacation.
Kids get out of school and require attention.
Summer activities distract homeowners.

Basically, there’s just too much going on during the summer to pay close attention to selling a home. Most sellers would rather wait until everything calms down in the fall. Further, most buyers are looking in the spring or fall, so there are fewer buyers to compete for your home in the summer.

If You Must Sell Your Home in the Summer
Not everybody can wait until fall to sell and relocate. Some people might be transferred to a new job in another state or be experiencing a pressing “life” issue that could necessitate an immediate sale. Here are a few things you can do to attract a summertime buyer.

Mow the Lawn Twice a Week

Grass grows faster in the summer so mow your lawn regularly. Every other lawn cutting, try mowing on the diagonal to add dimension and curb appeal.

Create Summer Curb Appeal

Curb appeal attracts people in the market to buy homes. Trim the bushes. Plant flowers. Scatter mulch. Paint your house number on the curb. Sweep the walk. Make your entrance welcoming and warm.

Decorate With Summer Accents

Look around your home for color inspiration. Add vivid blue decor items for a calming effect. Replace dark-colored accent pillows and throw rugs with brighter, summer hues.

Bring the Light Inside

If you have heavy drapes, remove them. They make rooms look smaller. Pull window blinds to the top and tape the strings underneath. Consider using tie-backs to hold open lighter-weight curtains. The only time you would leave blinds closed is if there was an undesirable element on the other side of the window, i.e., a neighbor’s trash can, and even then, open them slightly.

Have Flexible Showing Hours

Some people like to skip out of work early due to daylight savings in many states. You might find buyers are more interested in touring your home during twilight hours, just after the dinner hour.

Move Furniture Outside

Not only does moving out furniture free up more room inside the home, but it creates an outdoor living space with items you already own. It’s an illusion created for a buyer that says yes, you too can own this lifestyle.

Deliver Sparkle

Gold or silver or brass or pewter? Doesn’t matter. Mix them, if you like. Old rules don’t apply. Metals are summery. Vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters, and garden gnomes all work.

Offer Summer Beverages and Snacks

Classic summer means red-and-white checkered tablecloths, potato salad, hot dogs and mustard and roasted corn-on-the-cob. Every part of the country has its own summer food traditions. Fill the sink with ice cubes and chill bottled beverages for visitors and offer a few light snacks.

Use Natural Air Freshener

Fill the air in your home with natural fragrances such as those from fresh cut roses, grown in your garden as commercial has no scent.

Control Air Temperature

There’s nothing worse than a stuffy room on a hot day. Circulate the air in your home. Even if you have to place floor fans about the home, keep the air moving. Turn down the air conditioning to a level just below your comfort zone on extra hot days. A cool indoors will keep visitors indoors viewing your home for longer.

NextHome Utica Properties

Landscaping Projects that BOOST your Curb Appeal

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Bonus, if you’re interested in selling these simple projects will add a tremendous amount to your homes curb appeal!

Whether it’s as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

Create a pathway.

To guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pathway. You can use materials from a variety of materials, including reclaimed pallet wood, flagstones, gravel, and more to add texture and color.

Add a wall or border.

Installing a flagstone, rock, or brick wall around flower beds or trees adds a sleek, clean look to your landscaping and helps separate different sections of your yard.

Install a water feature.

Nothing says zen quite like the sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard. You can start simple with by purchasing and installing a small feature powered by a solar panel or create a larger focal point in your yard by installing a waterfall wall or small pond.

Light your way.

An easy way to transform your yard is to strategically use lighting. Place cool-colored lights high in trees to recreate a moonlight feel, use pathway lights to naturally guide the eye, or highlight objects or plants.

Plant upwards.

Expand your yard space by drawing the eye to the sky with a trellis fence or screen made of wood or metal. Once you install your trellis, select your climbing plants and vines and get to planting!

DIY Landscaping projects

Fire Season Evacuation Plan *Don’t forget about your pets!*

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially living in Calaveras County where fires are high a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

YOUR WILDFIRE ACTION PLAN CHECKLIST
Create an evacuation plan that includes:

  • A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
  • Several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
  • Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
  • A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)

 

Be Prepared:

  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them (check expiration dates regularly).
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located and how to safely shut them down in an emergency.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person, as recommended by the American Red Cross.
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone and in your emergency supply kit.
  • Keep an extra Emergency Supply Kit in your car in case you cannot get to your home because of fire or other emergency.
  • Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire.

 

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.

 

All About Conference 2019

Through the week of March 25th through the 29th four of our NextHomies Jeff Rasmussen, Tammy Dillashaw, Diane Bateman, and Omar Mansour traveled to Las Vegas Nevada to attend the 3rd annual NextHome Conference 2019. There they sat through training, motivational speeches, and all about what is Next for the company.

Now back with all of the knowledge they could possibly bring back, we are here to share that knowledge with you!

1. We are excited to be doing more than ever for you!

With new marketing techniques and products available to us it makes our job even easier to advertise your home. Options such as video marketing, social media optimization, and eye-catching designs for all of our physical products we offer, we are determined to improve your home buying or selling process.

2. Our brand is bigger and better than ever!

With Luke as our fearless leader, the homes we sell automatically look more attractive to the average buyer. NextHome is new, NextHome is fresh, and NextHome is different! At conference corporate announced so many new vendors they have partnered with including how we advertise your home. NextHome has re-imagined what a yard sign should look like in front of a home. The colors we use pop and draw attention with a reflective coating that is easily seen all day and night. The shape, content, and layout offers a clean, professional look in the front of your home.

3. NextHome is where you feel like family.

Our name is representative of what we do and how we help people buy and sell properties everyday. It speaks to our industry, our careers and our passion. NextHome is representative of the steps and transitional moments experienced by clients and our communities. We are dedicated to giving our clients the best service and success when they sell and buy their next home.

Top Tips for House Hunting Online

 

HUNTING FOR A NEW HOME ONLINE IS A GREAT PLACE TO START YOUR SEARCH, BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE YOUR END ALL BE ALL.
 
 
Computer-keyboard-house-for-sale-copyGood listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

  1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
  2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
  3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

Calaveras County ranked No. 14 most attractive place to live

vc_ca101_fiveamazingthings_calaverasbigtreesstatepark_videostill_1280x640

Imagine a place more attractive and desirable to live in than San Mateo County or Napa County.
The Washington Post and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that location is in the Mother Lode.

Calaveras County ranked No. 14 out of counties in 48 states, according to Christopher Ingraham with the Post, who used data from USDA’s natural amenities scale — an index meant to measure a county’s physical characteristics that enhance a location as a place to live — last August. The scale ranks areas based on climate and scenic beauty. Hawaii and Alaska were excluded.

Lisa Boulton, executive director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau, said it was a wonderful thing to be ranked No. 14. She added it is great that others outside the region are starting to recognize the area.

“It’s absolutely significant,” Boulton said. “We have it in our media kit. We want to capitalize on it.”

The USDA index was created by combining six measures of “climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.”

At No. 17, San Mateo County just missed Calaveras. Napa was 23. Ventura County, in Southern California, came in at No. 1 on the list and Red Lake County, in Minnesota, was the least desirable place to live.

Locally, Mariposa County came in on the list at No. 15. Amador and Alpine found themselves ranked in the 20s. Tuolumne and Stanislaus were found in the 30s. Outside the foothills, San Joaquin dropped to 145. The ranking included 3,111 counties.

Click HERE to finish reading why Calaveras County is the best place to live!

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Use a Realtor

1. They have turbocharged searching power
The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so they can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

2. They’re connected to everyoneThe-Problems-We-Solve-for-Complete-Competitive-Intelligence
Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your Realtor’s network. Use them.

 

3. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one
The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.

Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.

ar12539682723032

 

Read the full article here on Realtor.com

Helpful Apps When Looking to Buy or Sell

Mobile Connect Program

mobile_connectWith NextHome’s Mobile Connect, you will enjoy a modern search experience when using the easy-to-share app. You can refine property searches by city or zip code, calculate commute times, use augmented reality to scan for properties, and review all listing details and neighborhood information in a user-friendly interface. Just another way we bring value to your clients, while staying top of mind!

Houzz
1

Making upgrades or renovations can add value to your home. But sometimes it can be tough to gauge where you should invest your time and money.

The Houzz app lets you remodel your home virtually. The free app has over 10 million high resolution photos that you can skim through to see what your kitchen would look like after a facelift or what a new coat of paint would do to your living room.

Zillow

The Zillow app lets buyers browse homes across the country. Users even get access to more than a million listings that aren’t featured in the Multiple Listing Service databases that are widely used by real estate professionals. 

There’s another perk that the Zillow app offers. You can easily create and upload a video walk through so that prospective buyers can see what your home looks like inside and out, without setting foot in the front door.