7 Reminders to Offer Prospective Clients – Inman.com

Rhonda Duffy is a featured author on Inman.com with an article called “7 Reminders to Offer Prospective Clients”. Here is an excerpt from the site:

“The value you can give your clients will depend largely on your experience, knowledge, resources and the volume of transactions your agency handles. Reminding clients what you do for them and being transparent throughout the process could save you sales and add to your referral business.

Here’s why:

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A major contributing factor to these stats, as we found in recent research, was a lack of property guidance from agents.

Guidance is a critical part of the services agents must provide. It’s the agent’s job to keep the client informed throughout the entire process. Our business depends on being able to provide value and help buyers and sellers save money, time and headaches.”

To read the full article and to find out the 7 Reminders to Offer Clients, please click here!

The Ins & Outs of the Real Estate Market

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Harding

Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

“Duffy Realty was the perfect company to fill our needs.  The property was listed and moved very quickly.  The contracts department was great and worked quickly.  Thank you to Duffy Realty for helping us sell our home and purchase another using Caroline Gamma as our buyer’s agent.” K. Schneider – Milton

“Me and my wife had no clue how to purchase a house.  I looked up Duffy Realty because I hear the ads on the radio.  Met with Todd Edwards, who was very informative and friendly.  Not too long after meeting, we found a place we agreed on.  It was a very good thing knowing that if I had any questions day or night I could get them answered.  Referring my friends to the Duffy team now.” S. Cox – Conyers

“We would like to give a hardy thank you to the entire staff at Duffy Realty for their courtesy, patience, and professionalism in our recent purchase of a new home.  It has been very comforting to know that someone was going to bat for us the entire time, in every facet of this very detailed negotiation.  From the very beginning to a successful completion, Duffy Realty has truly taken a lot stress out of a very trying time.  We do thank you all, but specifically Michael Brooks for his countless hours spend in the pursuit of finding us the ‘perfect’ home for some very specific needs.  Michael tirelessly researched every question we had for him and got us an answer quickly.  He is very knowledgeable of every aspect of real estate and provided us with tremendously useful information, gently guiding us to make the best decisions.  Thank you!  We are now looking forward to listing our current home with Duffy Realty and feel very reassured that this experience will be equally as gratifying.” S. Harding – Woodstock

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Patheja

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Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

“Eden was unbelievable. She’s a straight-shooter. When you need a “Yes” or a “No,” she gives you a “Yes” or a “No.” When you need to have a long, thoughtful conversation and ask a lot of questions, she shares her expertise, she is patient, and she explains things in a way that can be understood. Throughout our experience with Eden, her responsiveness was better than I could have ever hoped for. I think it took her more than 24 hours to get back to me once, and most of the time it is within a few hours. Eden has a strong team supporting her and her preferred lender, Paul Hart, was great, too. She helped us buy our house, and now we’re excited to have her help us sell our house. I’d recommend her to my family and friends!” T. PresleyMarietta

“Thank you for helping us find our dream home. We looked for months with no luck until we found Duffy Realty. Randall really put us at ease by doing all the work for us. Randall was in contact with us on a daily basses informing us of the new listings. Not to mention finding all the houses we looked at. Thanks to Randall, we found our home and closed on time. The whole process was smooth and quick. We’re so happy with Duffy Reality we recommend them to any one looking to buy a home. Duffy Reality took the hassle of finding a home and turned it into a stress free journey.” K. & R. DehmCovington

“I worked with Todd Edwards from Duffy Reality on my recent home purchase, and he was a pleasure to work with. Todd was extremely knowledgeable about the local real estate market and buying process. He replied to all of calls and emails in a timely manner. This was my first home purchase, and I would have been completely lost without Todd’s expertise. I would recommend him to any of my friends or family.” S. PathejaAtlanta

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

How to Sell Your Home: Take the First Steps

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Now that the prime selling season is upon us, it is time for you to take action. Whether you are selling your first home or you are a veteran in the home-selling game, there are some things that you need to keep in mind before and during your listing.

Start from the inside-out.

You should make sure that your home is in the best possible condition before selling. To prepare your home properly, you need to begin by clearing out all clutter. Throw away or donate old clothes and trinkets, and eliminate or file away papers in your office or on your counters. Once you’ve effectively de-cluttered your home, you can tackle small jobs around your home to ensure that it will pass inspection. Stick to the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Fix major issues like leaky faucets or broken down, old, or outdated appliances. Don’t waste time renovating if you are hoping to make a quick sell this summer, though. Your buyers can always make aesthetic changes to the home when they move in. But if you want to make small aesthetic edits to your home, try a new coat of paint. Once you’ve made your fixes inside, move outside to improve your curb appeal. Keep your lawn and flower beds tidy and trimmed back. You may even want to plant some colorful, eye-grabbing flowers and shrubs to really stand out from the crowd.

Be picture perfect.

Take photos that feature the best characteristics of your home. Try not to take pictures of works of art or of furniture in your home, since these are all things that will be going with you to your new home anyway. Take multiple photos that will reel buyers in. The majority of buyers start their home-buying process online, so photos can be a big part of selling your home. Make sure they are of the best quality possible and that they showcase your home in a way that persuades buyers to see it in person.

Be accessible.

Allow for buyers to access your property as easily as possible. Add your contact number to your listing and answer all calls that come so that you can open your property for all agents and prospective buyers. On your counters or dining table, leave some fliers or information for buyers and agents to look through. You can include in this information your contact information, seller’s disclosure statement, and information about the property and community.

Overall, be proactive and ready for anything on this journey. Whether you sell your home sells in two weeks or two months, be aware of ways that you can improve the marketing of your home and boost traffic so that you can get your home sold.

Duffy Realty Buyer Testimonial from Peguda

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Here are what some of our happy homeowners have to say about Duffy Realty’s Buyer Agent Team:

“Deniesha was really pleasant to work with. She was very organized when scheduling our appointments. After, we selected our home, she was able to answer our questions and keep us abreast of any information we needed in a timely manner.” K. Creel – Loganville

“It has been a true pleasure working with DeAnna Stephenson. She is thorough with the entire real estate process.  DeAnna Stephenson is an excellent negotiator, she is friendly and a trustworthy professional. She has put me at ease during the transaction, she was always prompt & available to speak with via text/email or phone. I would highly recommend this Real estate professional.” K. Speas – Stone Mountain

We highly appreciate the cooperation from Mr. Todd Edwards in this deal. He helped us a lot. He was very polite, and he did answer lot of questions with patience. It was nice working with him, and we are very happy to tell you, the way he helped us in this deal.” S. Peguda – Alpharetta

Be sure to visit the Choose Your Buyer Agent page to browse through our fantastic team!

Schools Can Make the Grade for Your Home

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A good school district when buying or selling a home is a huge asset. If you are a seller, you should use the school district to your advantage and market it as a part of the package that a buyer gets when buying your home. If you are a buyer, research the best school districts in the Atlanta area and consider the benefits of buying in that area. You’d be surprised how much a successful school district can help you in the home buying or selling process.

Do your research.

There are many different resources you can use to research the caliber of schools in an area. You can start at the Georgia Department of Education website to research important statistics like teacher to student ratios, enrollment information, and graduation rates. You can even look into the performance on each school on tests and assessments. Another avenue to explore is the actual district website, where they have more specific information about the schools in their area, or you can visit the websites of the schools in your area to see exact information about the community that surrounds individual schools, as well as the courses and services they offer. Keep in mind, sellers: any stellar information you find about a district or school should be a part of your marketing plan. Report information about the schools in your area to buyers so they can see what kind of benefits they will be getting from your property. Buyers, if the seller does not provide this information for you, do some research for yourself to see what kind of investment you’d be making by buying in a particular school district. Another great way to find out more about the school is by talking to parents of students at the school. During a showing or open house, ask the seller or neighbors what they think of the schools in the area, especially the public schools. You may even want to visit the schools in the area to see what the atmosphere is like and meet some of the administrators. If the property is located near high-scoring private schools, it would be wise to also research those schools, their performance, and obviously, their costs.

High-performing schools increase home value.

Even if you don’t have children who will be attending the excellent schools in your area, keep in mind that those schools increase the value of your home. High-scoring schools can increase home value by $205,000 in the surrounding neighborhoods. Buyers should keep this in mind when buying, since this will greatly improve their investment. And sellers should keep in mind that some buyers may actively avoid areas that are in low-scoring school districts. In those cases, you should market your home in different ways.

Overall, never discount the importance of the school district in which a property is located. Even if you don’t have children who will attend the school, consider the effects of living in a particular school district.

Getting Your Home Ready: What Projects Should You Take On Before Selling?

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Before selling your home, you may feel like you need to do some updates to your home or general maintenance projects before listing. There are definitely some things that should be updated or fixed before selling your home to help sell your home quicker or to ensure your home passes inspection. Be warned, though: only take on projects that are extremely necessary and that can be done in your budget.

Maintenance projects should be your priority.

Do you live in an older home? Maybe it’s about twenty years old or so, and you’ve started to notice some signs of aging or breaking down. The first, and possibly most expensive projects you should begin with, should be any kind of repair or maintenance projects. You should make sure that everything in your home is in proper working order before even starting to think about aesthetic projects. These projects could include roof repairs, sink and faucet repairs, HVAC repairs, etc. The best way to figure out what you should fix before selling is to go through a seller’s disclosure statement or consider what is checked during a home inspection and fix the most important things first. This will assure that your home will be able to pass inspection before closing, which is why these repair projects should be your priority.

Put your best front yard forward.

This has been said time and time again: curb appeal sells homes. It’s true. The first thing a buyer sees before even entering your home is the front yard, mailbox, driveway, and front door. First impressions are important. Wow your buyers from the minute they drive up by sprucing up your front yard with some colorful flowers and greenery, pressure wash your driveway, and repaint your front door. Improving your curb appeal will make a huge difference, and it should be the next project after your required maintenance projects.

Clean and de-clutter.

During your preparations to sell your home and consequently to buy a new home, cleaning and de-cluttering your home will be one of your saving graces. Getting rid of junk and unnecessary belongings from your home will eliminate a lot of the clutter that can distract buyers when looking at your home. Moreover, you won’t want to bring any of that junk with you on your move anyway, so throw away all of the papers that clutter your counters, donate old clothes or toys that fill your closets and rooms, and store personal items away. You want to create a clean, depersonalized space for buyers to imagine themselves making their own space in your home.

Take on aesthetic projects last (if you have time and money for them).

These projects should be saved for last. Oftentimes, you should assume that your buyers might want to renovate to their liking. But painting or carpeting certain rooms can give a nice, fresh new look in your home without going to any renovating extremes.

Buying a Fixer-Upper? Prepare Yourself!

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Buying a fixer-upper can be daunting, but it can also be the exact right thing to do when considering the area that it’s in. If you happen to find an older home with some need of TLC in your dream neighborhood, buying a fixer-upper can give you the chance to renovate and decorate to your exact specifications to create your dream home. Plus, you have the added benefit of a somewhat discounted home so that you can put the money you saved from buying an outdated home towards your desired renovations. Before doing this, though, you need to consider all of the angles.

Get ready for an ongoing project.

Updating and renovating a fixer-upper will force you to take on a myriad of projects to achieve the exact look and feel you imagined. This can take a lot of time and money. Even if you are an avid DIY-er, you will have to prepare yourself for some grueling projects that will require much of your time. Life can get in the way sometimes, too, so be sure that you are ready for your home to be in all kinds of disrepair while you are in the process of working through your new home. The most efficient way to work through the projects on your home is to focus on one to two projects at a time. Finish those before moving on to the next task. The worst thing you can do is start a bunch of projects at once and then never finish them, since this might leave your home worse off than when you found it.

You will have to pay a pretty penny.

Before budgeting for what projects you know you want to accomplish in your new home, put aside some money first for one big unforeseen project. With older homes, sometimes something will end up breaking down in the first year of owning the home, and you should be prepared to fix it in a pinch. So, it is important to keep in mind that while your fixer-upper may have passed inspection, it is not a guarantee of complete working order. If, after the first year of living in the home, nothing needs repair, then you have extra money to put towards more of your cosmetic projects. Once you have budgeted for this possible unforeseen project, then you can consider how much money you have to put towards the rest of your planned renovations. If you aren’t the DIY-er you wish you were, you will have to hire some contractors, which means shopping around for the best deal for the best job done. Add some wiggle room in this budget since most contractors will come in for a job you want done, but will then suggest a mini side project that they can do while completing the task you hired them for. For example, a contractor updating the floors in your bathroom might also suggest updating the vanity while they’re at it.

Saturated Spring Market: Stand Out From the Crowd

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With the spring season upon us, sellers throughout the metro Atlanta area are feeling confident and putting their properties on the market to sell. You might even find that multiple homes in your neighborhood or area are selling, creating extra pressure and competition. With such a saturated market, you might feel a little discouraged and worried that buyers might not come to your home when there are so many properties on the market. How can you get your home to stand out from the crowd?

Curb appeal is key.

With multiple properties on the market in your neighborhood or community, buyers are sure to do drive-bys to check out the homes, and they are going to judge a book by its cover, so to speak. Buyers will cross properties of their list that don’t have pristine curb appeal. During the spring months, improving your curb appeal with simple landscaping and gardening is the best thing you can do. Keep your yard clean and introduce some color to really draw buyers in.

De-clutter and de-personalize.

You need to create a blank space of sorts for your buyers to imagine themselves living in. The best and easiest way to do this, is to clean and de-clutter rooms and spaces in your home. Put into storage or get rid of things you know you don’t need or you know will definitely come with you on the move to your new home. Also, pack up personal mementos and pictures that might distract buyers from looking at the features of the home itself. You don’t want buyers to feel like they are moving into your home; they need to start imagining where their cherished belongings will go in their new home. Consider staging and your home to really impress potential buyers.

Take impressive photos.

Since the majority of buyers begin their home buying process online, it is ideal to have impressive pictures taken to show off your home in the best way possible. These photos will most likely be the first thing a potential buyer sees, and if you only have one photo or poorly taken photos, those buyers may simply decide to pass on your home. Draw them in! Show off the best features of your home in good lighting, or hire a professional photographer to take excellent photos.

Use comps to your advantage.

The best way to be competitive in a saturated market is to price your home correctly. Use the comps your agent provides you with to knowledgeably price your home. Consider what homes have sold for in your area recently and what homes are priced at that are currently on the market in your area with similar features. Stay close in price range to these properties to really be competitive.

Overall, you should try to stand out by going the extra mile to have an inviting and pristine property and listing so that other sellers will try to compete with you.