Real Estate Information

Novi / Northville Michigan Blog

The Jamey Kramer Group


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 414

Top 5 Seller's Myths You Need To Forget

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale depicting seller's myths

When it comes to selling your house, many people assume they have put their hard work behind them. Yes, buying your house was hard work, and maintaining a home can be as challenging as it is rewarding.

Selling your house is no different.  Unfortunately, myths about the selling process abound. Here are the top five myths about selling your home; debunked.

Myth Number 1 - You're better off selling your house yourself.

I can't tell you how many times this one comes up for people who don't want to pay seller fees to a realtor.

Of course, you want to get as much as possible back from the sale of your home. However, it's easy to underestimate how much work it takes to market a home correctly.

Those who want to sell their homes themselves are often relying on an anecdote from someone who did it successfully rather than the wealth of data to suggest that it's best left to a professional.

If you decide to go it alone, not only will you be responsible for the online marketing - pictures, website, online tour, etc. - but you will also be the one weeding out the undesirable buyers. There can be a lot of those. There's a reason this is a full-time job (for someone else).

Myth Number 2 - Your home will sell as-is.

While your home may sell as-is, you could be missing out big-time by not making some simple changes that will boost your profits.

This is another reason to hire a realtor: we see these same improvements get positive results time after time. Pay most attention to your walls, doors, floors, and kitchen.

However, don't get too hung up on gutting and re-doing your kitchen and bathrooms. You will never see a 100% return on investment for big projects like that. It's better to freshen up those spaces relatively inexpensively.

Myth Number 3 - When it comes to pricing your house, you know best.

Unfortunately, sellers are the worst at pricing their homes. Not only do they not have access to all of the data realtors do, but they value their homes emotionally.

Even if you are excited to be moving, or you never liked your house very much, you would be surprised by how invested you can become when it comes time to sell.

It makes sense: your hard-earned cash, your sweat equity, or both went into making that place your home. The trouble comes when owners want to overprice their homes. A perfectly good house that is initially overpriced can get caught on the market for too long and then automatically get ignored by buyers who assume there's something wrong with it.

Myth Number 4 - Buyers can see past paint colors.

Do you want to paint your whole house? No? Neither does your buyer.

Of course, they know they can do it, but most buyers want a home in turnkey condition. That means fresh, neutral paint colors they can see working with their furniture.

It's up to you: you can spend about $6000 for a painter, $500 to do it yourself or lose potential buyers before they step into your house because they can't see past your cranberry accent wall.

Myth Number 5 - It's the inside that counts.

Of course, we want all of our sellers to have clean, staged interiors. However, all that work would be meaningless if the outside looked trashy.

The exterior of your house is the first thing buyers are going to see, either online or as they drive by. This is why a new coat of paint on your front door is one of the most significant returns on investment you can make. Exterior work doesn't have to be extensive, but it does need to be done. Clean up your landscaping, invest in some colorful potted plants, put up new house numbers, and paint that front door.

Bringing it Home

The best thing you can do to help sell your house is hire a qualified real estate agent. If you have any questions about selling your home in the Detroit area, we would be honored to help!


Upcoming Events for Northville, Novi, and South Lyon Michigan - February 2019

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Upcoming events - Northville, Novi, & South Lyon, MI

Beat the cold and enjoy some of Southeast Michigan's unique and exciting events! From a play at the Tipping Point Theatre in Northville to a Contractor Show in Novi, there are plenty of events to enjoy in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan.

Northville, Michigan Events February 2019

The Last Five Years

  • February 07, 2019 through March 03, 2019
  • Location: Tipping Point Theatre, 361 East Cady Street, Northville, MI

Do you like a good love story? Better yet, do you like musicals? This is the show for you. Tony Award-winning playwright and composer Jason Robert Brown premiered this show at Chicago's Northlight Theatre in 2001. It was produced off-Broadway and won two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Music in 2002.

Come and experience the love story of Jamie and Cathy through unique storytelling and musical arrangement. It's one of the most endearing love stories you'll encounter!

Ticket Prices

  • Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 8 p.m. - $31
  • Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. - $38
  • Saturdays at 3 p.m. - $34
  • Sundays at 2 p.m. - $34
  • To purchase tickets: Center Stage Ticketing

English as a Second Language Conversation Group

  • Days: Tuesdays through February
  • Time: 10:30 am - 11:30 am
  • Location: Northville Library, 212 W. Cady Street, Northville, MI

Come to improve your English with informal conversation in a relaxed setting! The group meets every Tuesday in the Carlo Meeting Room.

For more information, please call the Northville Library at 248-349-3020.

Monday Night Live Interactive Coaching

  • Date: February 11, 2019
  • Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Location: PCS Training Room, 145 N. Center Street - Suite C, Northville, MI
  • Cost: $35 per session

Get ready for dynamic personal growth with these sessions. Dr. John & Matt Swartz hold weekly gatherings.

For more information, please see Downtown Northville’s website.

Novi, Michigan Events February 2019

Contractor Showcase

  • Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Time: 7:00 am – 1:30 pm
  • Location: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI

Are you a contractor just starting your business, or looking for more pro tips and inspiration? This is your go-to event of the season. Attend this free showcase and learn from the masters. Browse new products, new ideas, and new techniques and get business advice from seasoned contractors.


  • 7:00 am - 8:30 am: Registration, hot breakfast and vendor fair
  • 8:30 am - 9:30 am: Hardscape insights and construction seminar
  • 9:30 am - 10:00 am: Break and vendor fair
  • 10:00 am - 11:30 am: Hardscape construction, live demos, and new products
  • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Lunch, vendors, product displays and prizes
  • 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Owners and managers hardscape business conference (in partnership with LMN)

For more information and to register, please see Eventbrite.

Breastfeeding Basics Class

  • Date: Monday, February 11, 2019
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Location: Providence-Providence Park Hospital, 47601 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI
  • Enter through Heart Institute Entrance Conference room C
  • Cost: $45.00

Are you an expectant parent? Are you hoping to get a sense of what to expect about breastfeeding when your little one comes? This is the class for you.

Join other parents-to-be for a crash course in breastfeeding. For 2.5 hours, the class will cover how to achieve long-term breastfeeding success by showing the proper latch, different holds you can use, troubleshooting when problems arise and proper breast care during the breastfeeding months.

The class fee includes expectant mother and one support person, and you go home with a breastfeeding booklet and web access to videos and resources.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please see Evenbrite.

South Lyon, Michigan Events February 2019

Doorway to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Detroit and Oakland County

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Time: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Location: Lyon Township Public Library, 27005 Milford Road, South Lyon, MI
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

Come to hear lecturer Jamon Jordan, a historian with the Black Scroll Network History and Tours speak about Detroit's central position within the abolitionist movement. Detroit was an essential part of the Underground Railroad, led by the African American community in Detroit. Learn about the people and places in Oakland County who were integral in the fight for freedom for slaves.

For more information, please call the Lyon Township Public Library at 248-437-8800.

Bringing it Home

The middle of winter can be tough - especially when the weather gets colder instead of warmer after Christmas! Keep your spirits high and learn or see some new things in February in Northville, Novi, and South Lyon, Michigan!

How to Fairly Price Your House to Sell

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sell

One of the most significant concerns clients have is whether they are pricing their homes correctly.

It makes sense that this would be an area of anxiety because most people want to get a fair price for their home. In addition, they don't want to have to wait for an unnecessarily long time for it to sell.

It can be a balancing act to find the right price, and it often involves trust between our clients and us.

The good news is that pricing a home isn't a shot in the dark. There are some tried-and-true methods to find out the best and most efficient possible price for your home. These methods are what your realtor will use to give you a recommendation.

Comparative Market Analysis

You have probably heard of the term Comparative Market Analysis or CMA. Any real estate agent will be able to provide you with a CMA. It is a compilation of:

  • The most recent sales in your area taking into account the size of the homes sold and other comparable details.
  • How many days the house spent on the market.
  • The final sale price.

Since this information is public record, you can usually obtain a CMA from several potential agents if you are still in the interview stage of your process.

If you want to do some preliminary research on your own, you can most likely find this information yourself. Or you can hire an independent appraiser and pay a few hundred dollars to get a fair market value.

For any of these methods, you need to look at comparable houses:

  • Within ½ mile from your house.
  • Listed in the last three months.
  • About the same square footage as your house.
  • About the same age.

Learn From the Competition

The next thing your realtor will do is to look at the details of the other listings in your area. Considerations include:

  • Of the homes that sold, what was their initial asking price?
  • How many price cuts did they make before selling?
  • Did they price their home too close to the asking price of a similar property?
  • Are their homes objectively nicer or less nice than your home?

In this way, you can learn from the mistakes of your competition. If there are already several homes for sale at a similar price point, it makes sense to choose something higher or lower that will bring in a different pool of searchers.

You can also avoid making several small price adjustments - which can be more detrimental to your sale than one significant correction, and you can see if your neighbors made the mistake of pricing their home too high to begin with.

Many sellers mistakenly believe they can wait for the "right" offer to come. However, the truth is if you aren't getting an offer fairly quickly, it may end up hurting your chances of ever receiving an offer at all.

We know your home is special to you, even if you want to move on. But it helps to look at the competition with a critical eye.

Is the competition showing something a little more beautiful than you are?

Then, it is time to be honest with yourself and price accordingly - to sell.

Price for Online Searches

A majority of all real estate transactions begin online. Next to first-rate pictures and descriptions, your price is the first thing attracting buyers to your house.

You want to avoid random pricing, no matter how significant a certain number is to you. Make it a number that is easy to understand at first sight, not $234,567.

Another tactic is to avoid century pricing, but price a bit below. So, don't list your home at $300,000, but rather something like $285,000 or even $299,000.

Keep in mind, as well, that if you price your home at $305,000 you will be cutting out a large portion of people searching in the $300,000-and-under range. Better to get more eyes on your house than to try to obtain an extra $5,000.

Bringing it Home

Home pricing isn't an exact science, even with the tools explained here. That's why you have to work with your realtor and not be afraid to make a change to get your house sold.

If you have any questions about pricing your house to sell, we would be honored to help!



5 Things Your Realtor Won't Tell You But Should

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House after snow storm

Successful real estate agents are the ones who always give advice based on their client's best interest over their own financial interests.

However, this success depends upon your agent's taking the long view of his or her business rather than in trying to make the biggest dollar on each project.

You may not know the difference between these two approaches as a client, because often you only meet an agent when the action is about to happen: you're about to buy or sell a home. In many cases, the interests of all parties are aligned, and there's no problem.

But what happens if you make a bad decision? Will your realtor stop you if it's not in his interest to do so?

If he's taking the long view and he wants what's best for you, he will tell you these things. He knows that keeping your good opinion after the deal is done is worth more than what he makes on your transaction.

Here are five things your realtor may not tell you if she's just in it for the money:

#1: Staying Put Is Often The Best Option

A good realtor will ask you why you are moving. Often, moving isn't the best option.

For one thing, it's expensive. There are transaction fees, the cost of moving itself, new furniture and all that goes along with maintaining a new house. It's a better strategy to move as few times as possible in your life.

For the first few years of a new mortgage, you are paying off interest, primarily. The longer you hold a mortgage, the more of your principle you pay. Not only does staying put save you money in the short-term, but it also saves you money in the long-term.

#2: A Bigger House Almost Always Creates More Problems

A family looking to upgrade to a bigger, more expensive home does look like a good client to most realtors. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to upgrade.

However, your realtor should tell you to find the most modest house that will fit your needs and advise you to try to adjust your expectations accordingly rather than to buy the most house your budget will allow.

Homeowners find out the hard way after they buy that big, expensive house: the more money you spend on a big house, the more you will continue to spend on upkeep.

It's especially unwise to spend money on space you won't use. If your realtor has your best interest in mind, he or she won't steer you toward more home than you can use.

#3: A Great Deal and a Great House Are Mutually Exclusive

The truth is, the better a house is the less room you have to negotiate. And if you are considering whether to buy a house based on getting a good deal, you may be stuck with something much harder to sell in the long-run.

Your realtor should not play up his or her ability to negotiate to your disadvantage. He or she should be honest and tell you that if you want that great house, you probably won't get a good deal.

He or she will also tell you that what you paid for a house is public record. If you got a good deal, your prospective buyer down the road would also expect to receive that same "good deal.” It doesn't matter why you got it, whether your seller was motivated, or your realtor was skilled.

#4: Buying a House Won't Fix Your Life

Of course, it isn't the job of your real estate agent to get into your personal business or to be your counselor. But he or she should be advising you that when you purchase a new house, it's a long-term investment.

All real estate appreciates in value given enough time. Your chances of getting caught trying to sell in a down market increase significantly the fewer years you own the house.

If you aren't thinking long-term - in other words, if you're making a big decision about a new home thinking it's going to solve all your problems. Your agent should be the person letting you know the risks.

#5: Buying a House Isn't an Investment

Clients want to know whether the particular home they are considering is a good investment. Your agent should be able to tell you how well it will sell when it comes time to sell it, but it's best not to think of a new home as an investment at all.

Investments generate cash flow, whereas a house will be a constant source of expense for as long as you own it. The larger or more desirable your home is, the more of an expense it will be. It doesn't mean your house isn't the right purchase for your family; it just means you shouldn't consider it an investment.

Bringing it Home

There are many unpopular truths about real estate. A trustworthy agent will be able to be transparent about all of them, and about any potential conflicts, he or she has between your needs and financial gain. This is what makes for a long-lasting business.

If your agent won't tell you these things, it's time to think about finding someone who will. As always, we are honored to help you with any part of the process. Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions and we can serve your needs in Southeast Michigan!



Why It's Not Too Soon to List Your Home in February

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale

There seems to be a consensus that the spring market is the best time to sell your house. Most real estate agents will tell you this. But why is that?

Problems Leftover From The Recession

The real estate market is still trying to work out the problems it has had since 2008. Homeowners who wanted to sell in 2008 or subsequent years were stuck. Either their homes were worth less than what they paid, and they couldn't sell, or they didn't want to sell in a recession.

So many owners waited until the market started to creep back to normal to sell. And when they did, they all listed their homes in the spring. As that season wore on, more and more houses were stuck on the market, not selling, and owners were forced to lower their asking prices.

As a result, one of the trends we have seen is that the spring market has been pushed back to start earlier and earlier in the year.

What often happens is that owners who come late to the market have to lower their prices to meet a moving deadline. Or, they do so to avoid being on the market in July or August - which can be a dead time for selling a house. This causes everyone else to have to lower their prices as well as more and more homes come on the market in May and June.

What You Need To Sell In Peak Season

Spring does bring out lots of buyers. However, the truth is that spring often brings out many more sellers than buyers.

In the last several years in Southeast Michigan, competition has been high, and inventory has been low. However, we're about to see a change in this pattern.

When more homes like yours - either in your neighborhood or your city - hit the market, buyers can afford to be choosy. This makes it hard on homes that aren't in tip-top shape.

If you're planning to try to list in April or May, you could be in for a big surprise when many other homes in your neighborhood are being listed as well.

Does your home have fresh carpet and paint? Is it completely clutter-free and clean like new? If not, you are in for an uphill battle.

Start Your Listing Early

This is why you may want to consider getting your house ready to list now if you're going to plan to sell by spring. It does sound very early. After all, the winter holidays have just ended.

But I'm here to tell you that it's not too early to put your house on the market in February for the spring market.


There aren't as many hard-and-fast rules in real estate anymore. Buyers start searching when they are ready. They can often begin this process from the comfort of their couches. Thus, the season doesn't matter quite as much as you might think.

This means that selling a home often requires a strategy, and it requires an expert set of eyes to watch the market and react accordingly. This, in turn, means that you as a homeowner have to be able to be flexible - as much as you can.

Listing your home in February gives you the advantage of entering the market before it starts to ramp up. There will be fewer homes for buyers to compare.

A good rule of thumb is to watch your neighborhood to see how many homes are for sale. National and regional sales statistics can tell you some important things, but it's your neighborhood that will determine when and for how much you sell.

Bringing it Home

Although the spring market for real estate is still a good time to sell, this may not be the rule to follow every time, especially as the market starts to slow down a little bit.

If you are thinking about selling this spring, now may be a good time to start getting your house ready to list. Call the Jamey Kramer Group RE/MAX Classic in Novi, Michigan today!



Top Blog Real Estate Articles in 2018 - Jamey Kramer Group

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Top 20 Real Estate Articles 2018

Happy New Year from the Jamey Kramer Group! We hope you are having a great 2019 so far: staying warm and enjoying some of the warmer, sunnier days of this winter so far.

As we do every year around this time, we are enjoying the process of looking back at what made 2018 so special and what our valuable clients and readers have meant to us.

We are always so grateful to say that we serve the beautiful communities of Novi, Northville, and South Lyon in Oakland County, Michigan. It's a beautiful place to live and serve - and you all are what make it that way. We are honored to have your support and your trust.

Because we value this community so dearly, and also because we see what a fantastic job it does serving its citizens at every level, we always want to partner with these cities and promote all of their best aspects. One way we do this is through this blog, as we highlight community events and activities for each month.

This past year, 2018, has been another hopeful one of those of us in the real estate market. The economy and real estate trends have continued to stay strong, and we've been able to see many people buy and sell their dream homes.

We find it to be a unique privilege to be in the lives of the many singles, couples, and families as they are buying and selling, and 2018 was no exception. It's often one of the most exciting and momentous processes in anyone's life, and we get to walk alongside you! We are committed to doing our best to be there for you in this time of your life to make sure you're as supported as possible.

To that end, we try to offer the most helpful tips and information for the current real estate market in the current season. We make sure when we write that our information is up to date and that it's helpful for our readers as they make decisions about their homes.

As exciting as it can be to go on a new adventure - to buy or sell your home - we know that it's often stressful and exhausting. We want to be there to help you through it, either with the knowledge and expertise we've gained from our many years of working in this business, or with the simple, personal touch of having one of us by your side.

After all - we do this all the time! Hopefully, you will only have to do it once or twice in your life. And we're just a phone call away.

Every year we assess what you wanted to read by rounding up our top most popular articles from the year before using Google Analytics. We get to see what you liked most and found most helpful - both in our real estate section and in the community section of our blog.

At the beginning of the next year, we put them all in one place, so you have a handy recap. Without further adieu, here are the top most popular articles from 2018! Happy New Year and happy reading!

Top 10 Real Estate Articles in 2018

1. Is Novi, Michigan a Safe Place to Live?

2. Is Northville, Michigan a Good Place to Live?

3. Novi, Michigan - The Origin of Its Mysterious Name

4. 3 Manageable Strategies to De-clutter Your House Before Selling

5. Top Kitchen Fixes For Mass Appeal
6. Deep Cleaning Checklist to Sell Your Home Fast

7. What Matters When Applying for a Mortgage
8. Hottest Design Trends to Help Sell Your House Quickly

9. Cheap Fixes To Sell Your House Quickly

10. 4 Reasons Your House is Sitting on the Market     

Top 10 Northville, Novi, & South Lyon Community Event Articles 2018

1. Easter Brunches in Novi and Northville, MI

2. How Many Snow Days Are Michigan Schools Allowed

3. Easter Egg Hunts in Novi Northville and South Lyon, MI 2018

4. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

5. Best Local Places to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Northville and Novi Michigan

6. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

7. 4th of July Events for Novi and Northville, Michigan 2018

8. Easter Brunches in Northville and Novi, MI 2015

9. Christmas Events in Northville, Michigan - November 2018

10. Thanksgiving in Northville and Novi, Michigan



We appreciate your input and requests! Please feel free to let us know if there is any subject you would like us to cover. And please remember, we are here whenever you need us!

Local Events in Novi, Michigan: December Break - January 2019

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Novi, Michigan Events January 2019

Do you ever feel deflated after the holidays are over and the reality of a long winter is stretching out in front of you?

It always helps to know about all the cheery community events right around the corner to fill those long December break vacation and January days! And, Novi, Michigan has a great lineup of exciting events.

Kick off the New Year, Novi's best kids New Year's Eve celebration that is perfect for those little ones in your life who won't be up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Check out what else January holds for you and yours.

Novi New Year's Eve Bash

  • Sunday, December 30, 2018, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Paradise Park
  • 45799 Grand River Ave., Novi, Michigan
  • Admission cost: $13.95 each and $10.95 ten-years-old and younger.

Bring your kids for a New Year's Eve celebration in style! This event is everything your family could ask for - in the middle of the day. The party begins with a pizza buffet served from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. The admissions price includes laser tag, crafts, a countdown, and balloon drop, prizes and much more.

Reservations and payment are required. Call 248-735-1050 to make reservations or for more information.

Novi Travel Camp

  • Dates: December 26-28 and January 2-4
  • Time: Wednesday - Friday, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Age: 6-13
  • Price: Residents $40 / Non-Residents $48 per day
  • Location: Civic Center, 45175 10 Mile Rd., Novi, Michigan

The City of Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department puts on an excellent day camp, perfect for kids on winter break. Every day is a new location with new activities to keep them active and engaged, just like summer camp. Regular daily activities will include kickball, soccer, relay races, arts, and crafts.

For more information, please visit Novi Now.

Reindeer Camp

  • Dates: December 26 - 28, January 2 – 4
  • Time: Wednesday - Friday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Ages: 4-12
  • Price: Residents $150 / Non-Residents $180
  • Location: Carousel Acres

If your kids are into nature and farming and they love making nature crafts, Reindeer Camp may be just the place for them on winter break! Winter animals like reindeer, arctic foxes, and other farm animals will feature as a big part of this experience. Crafts made with antlers, wood and animal fiber take the fun to the next level.

For more information and availability, please call 248-347-0400.

Nerf Wars

  • Date: Friday, January 11
  • Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Ages: 8-12
  • Price: Residents $15 / Non-Residents $17 per person
  • Location: Novi Civic Center, 5175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI
  • Registration Ends: Jan 6

Are your kids already tearing down the house with their extra energy now that cold weather has hit? Get them to Nerf Wars! Bring your own Nerf guns and be ready to battle it out with other kids ages 8-12. Capture the flag, target practice and freeze tag are only part of the fun. Darts are supplied, so don't worry about losing yours! Pizza and a drink are included.

Register online on the City of Novi’s website.

Chili Chilly Softball Showdown

  • Date: Saturday, January 19
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Age: 18+
  • Price: $250 per team
  • Location: Ella Mae Power Park, 45175 W 10 Mile Rd, Novi, MI
  • Registration Ends: Jan 9

If you are native to Michigan, you know that cold weather doesn't stop us from getting outdoors and having some fun. This adults-only game is co-ed, features one pitch per at-bat, lunch from Kerby's Koney Island and prizes for everyone involved.

Each team will be part of this double-elimination tournament, and games last six innings. Wooden bats are provided, and the nearby Novi Civic Center will be open for those whose hands need thawing!

To register your team, go to or call 248.347.0400 to be put on a free agent list.

PLEASE NOTE: If fields are not playable due to unseasonably warm weather, the makeup date will be Saturday, February 9.

The Extraordinary Genius of Michigan's David Barr

  • Date: Thursday, January 31
  • Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Villa Barr books will be available for purchase ($20)
  • Registration Required at or 248-349-0720

This Premier Event highlights international artist, sculptor, author, and teacher David Barr. Come to see his work and hear him speak!


There are plenty of events to keep you warm and busy during the end of December and January in Novi. It's a great time to turn over a new leaf and try something new!





3 Manageable Strategies to Declutter Your House Before Selling

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Are you contemplating selling your house? Do you need to get your home sold quickly? Do you look around at the clutter that inevitably finds its way into your house and have no idea how you're going to fit selling into an already-packed lifestyle?

For most people, save those who are exceptionally disciplined, clutter is the unfortunate by-product of life. Things make their way into your house, and you deal with it as best as you can within the time you have.

Many of the organizational magazine articles and books require an entire overhaul of your life. While that may sound good, who has the time to make that a reality? You have a full-time job, and a family to take care of. Who has time to gaze at each possession, trying to decide whether it sparks joy in one's heart?

Don't get me wrong - if you want to make the time for that, more power to you.

However, if you need a strategy that will work right now to beat the clutter in manageable chunks of time, read on!

Minimalism Doesn't Work For Everyone

While the basic ideas behind minimalism can be helpful for just about anyone, remember that you're not going for no possessions at all. For most people, it simply isn't practical to get rid of almost all of their stuff.

Instead, one essential question to ask yourself as you work through the rest of the steps below is: "If having this item is stressing me out, why do I still have it?"

This essential question can set your priorities straight. Are you ever going to fix that chair, those boots, that broken monitor? If not, why keep it? Looking at it makes you think about another project you don't have time to do.

Instead of minimalism or perfectionism, let realism be your goal.

If you're cleaning up to sell and move, be realistic about what you want to unpack on the other side. And if you find yourself unable to make a decision, let your boxes decide for you.

Pack away whatever you can't decide about and label it. If, on the other side, you find that you don't miss anything in those boxes, just donate them.

Better yet: the prospect of having to cart all that stuff around might just inspire you to donate now!

Make Cleaning a Game

Okay, it might not be the most fun game, but if you can find a way to set a goal that is manageable but still gets results, you've beaten the system.

One way to "gamify" cleaning is by giving yourself a time limit. Clean for 20 minutes and then take a break for 10. Or set a timer for 45 minutes and try to get one thing completely done in that time: that junk drawer you've wanted to tackle forever, or all the dusting you've been putting off. Then pack up and save the next part for the next day.

What you want to avoid with this strategy is twofold: avoid allowing the clutter and dirt to build up in your house until it feels unlivable and you have to spend a whole weekend trying to get on top of it. It's a vicious cycle. The other thing you want to avoid is trying to tackle a big organizational project all at once.

Remember those organizational TV shows, where professionals make homeowners dump all their possessions on the lawn and sort them all? What people don't realize is that it takes a whole team of people to achieve that process.

If you start this on your own, you will quickly be overwhelmed and left with a bigger mess than when you started - that will work against you!

Before and After Photos Are Their Own Reward

In the age of social media, why not put it to your advantage? If you're brave enough, post a before photo of the room or dresser you're about to tackle.

Getting to that after photo, and all the encouragement you will receive from friends and family will spur you on toward the finish. Just make sure it's a doable project!

Your "after" photos of your home ready to put on the market will just be the icing on the cake when you've tackled your house in manageable chunks.

Bringing it Home

Any real estate agent will tell you how important it is to have a clean and organized house when you want to sell. The good news is that if you master this, it makes your move that much easier! Happy cleaning!

Real Estate Marketing: Top Pros and Cons of an Open House

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale with open house sign

Are you trying to sell your house? Are you thinking about how to manage showings during the busy holiday season? Does your realtor believe you should hold an open house?

The practice of holding an open house may appeal to you as a seller, or you may think it doesn't make any sense to hold one in the digital age. Even in 2018, there are benefits to an open house. And yes, there are drawbacks as well.

The following list should give you a good starting point as you think through the idea. Be sure to talk through it with your realtor as well. He or she may have some good points to add either for or against the idea.

Feel free to question the realtor who wants to push an open house on you when you would rather not. It can be an excellent opportunity for a realtor to hand out business cards and meet potential clients.

However, any good agent knows that has to be secondary to your needs as the homeowner. Here is what your realtor should already be doing for you:

  • Lending his or her local competitive presence to the sale of your home.
  • Providing excellent photography and a vivid description of your home, and being willing to go above and beyond with other advertising measures.
  • Showing willingness to communicate with you quickly and consistently.
  • Exhibiting honesty and trustworthiness and, above all, treating you the same way every other client is treated.

Drawbacks of Holding an Open House

Open Houses Don't Sell Homes

One of the main drawbacks you will hear about is that it isn't necessary to hold an open house to sell your home. This is true in the sense that interested buyers will schedule a private viewing to see your house.

They won't rely on an open house to view your home. Some studies indicate that only 7% of sales come from open houses. It's no longer the most popular way to spread the word.

Open Houses Mostly Attract Looky-Loos

Another potential criticism from a seller's perspective is that only nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers will be coming to walk through your home and see how you live.

The majority of lookers won't be there to consider buying your house seriously.

Seller Competition

Open houses, by their nature, give anyone the opportunity to see what you are doing. So you may get neighbors stopping by with other ideas in mind: namely trying to see what they are up against if they decide to sell their home too.

While this shouldn't be a big problem for your agent, it can be unnerving to know this might happen.

Potential for Theft

Yes, one of the nasty surprises that can come from an open house is someone walking away with a valuable item. If your realtor knows what he or she is doing, they are going to recommend you have insurance. In addition, he or she will recommend that you put any valuables you might have into storage before you even list the house.

However, if your open house gets slammed, your realtor won't have a chance to keep an eye on every couple or family all at once.

Benefits of Open Houses

There are still benefits to holding an open house. If your realtor thinks it's a good idea to hold one, hear them out. You might get more benefit from it than you think.

Open Houses Are Free

You can't go wrong with free advertising. And even though many Americans look at homes from the comfort of their couches first, many of them do still take the time to go to open houses.

It's also an opportunity for you to get many people in the door with a clean house. Private viewings are great, but you have to clean every time.

Social Networking Opportunities

Your savvy realtor will know that just because you're attracting looky-loos doesn't mean that's worthless. If your house is clean and appealing, the people who visit it are going to be talking about it to their friends and social networks.

You never know who will recommend your house to someone else. Free, word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.

Your Realtor is Working for You All Day

Real estate agents are usually very busy. However, when they are at an open house, they are focused on the sale of your home for that day. If you stay for your own open house, you get even more of his time and attention to ask questions and clarify your strategy with him.

Bringing it Home

Ultimately, you decide to hold an open house. Don't get bowled over by a pushy realtor, but don't discount what he or she says, either. Seeing a home in person is always the best way to see it, and real social networks do sell houses.

If you are interested in putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We will be happy to help!



4 Top House Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House marketing mistakes - caution

It happens eventually: the housing market takes a downturn. When the market slows, it becomes more difficult to sell your home. And the market downturn has hit Southeast Michigan.

It can be baffling for some sellers. Why is your house not selling when it seems like plenty of other homes like yours are selling quickly?

We see this scenario over and over again. The problem has very little to do with the house itself and everything to do with the marketing efforts you are making.

If you are trying to sell your home and are having no luck, take a look at the following list to see if you are making these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Poor Photographs and/or No Virtual Tour

Selling a house is a highly visual endeavor! Sellers often get wrapped up in the other aspects of selling their home without first taking into account that they must entice sellers to look at it.

If you have uploaded bad pictures or too few pictures and you have no other way for potential buyers to browse online from the comfort of their couches, you are losing the bulk of your business.

Most buyers only choose from homes whose pictures are top notch. A preference for quality photos is especially relevant in a housing market where inventory is high.

Do you have to spend thousands to have your home professionally photographed?

It would help, but no. You will be doing better to avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Dark photos.
  • Photos of cluttered rooms, or with pets.
  • Unflattering or uncropped photos - showing either not enough of the room or unnecessary elements.
  • Photos uploaded turned sideways or not scaled to be viewed on the internet.

A virtual tour is also a great way to entice buyers to make an appointment to see your home. If you can market your house in both of these ways, you will be much closer to getting your house sold.

In addition, make sure you have worked out any technical kinks. Providing potential buyers the ability to share photos of your home with friends and family is crucial. However, not having good images is a one-way ticket to having your home ignored.

Mistake #2: Restricting Showings

Showing your home at all hours of the day is a hassle, and we know it. However, if you're trying to sell your home, you have to get used to the idea: you are going to have to show it!

The more showings you have, the more potential for good competition and multiple offers. If you restrict showings, buyers and agents aren't likely to keep trying. They will move on to a more readily-available listing.

Here is what you need to do to make sure you are staying competitive with other sellers:

  • Make sure your home has a lockbox.
  • Don't restrict the hours available for showings! You might want to cuddle up in your pajamas after 7 pm, but many potential buyers may only be available for showings after 7.
  • Don't require 24 hours notice. Commit to keeping your house ready to show at a moment's notice and make a plan for where you will go. Agents and buyers will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile!
  • Allow showings without an appointment. When buyers take time out of their busy schedules to look at homes, they often want to see as many as possible. You will gain a leg up on the competition if your home is available at a moment's notice.

Mistake #3: Offering Less Commission

Like it or not, real estate agents get houses sold, and they expect to get paid for their hard work.

Think about the last time you used the services of your agent. He or she did their best to be available to you at all hours, right? It will work against you if you are trying to save money by offering lower commission - especially in a cooler market.

It doesn't mean agents are motivated by greed. It's actually illegal for them to avoid showing homes offering lower commissions.

However, what your buyer's agent will see - whether it's true or not - is that you aren't very motivated to sell or that you aren't willing to negotiate.

If buyers and agents have a choice, they are going to work with sellers who are generous and willing to negotiate.

Mistake #4: Not Providing Buyer Incentives

Likewise, when you offer buyer incentives, you are acknowledging market conditions. Providing a buyer incentive doesn't have to cost you any money.

In addition, it can be an excellent way to say "I know you could look at five other homes. Let me show you why this is worth your time."

Your agent can give you great ideas for buyer incentives, but here are a few:

  • A certain amount toward the buyer's closing costs
  • A buy-down mortgage interest rate
  • Pre-pay their first year of homeowner's association fees
  • Offer a home protection plan

Bringing it Home

The reality is that the housing market is changing and it's not likely to snap back to the highs of the last several years. A softer market doesn't mean your house won't sell! With the right attitude and marketing tools on your side, your home will sell in no time.

If you are interested in selling your house, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!







Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 414