Lakewood Pointe at Lakewood Yacht Club

Grand Opening Event Saturday 6/10/2017 at 2425 E. Nasa Parkway Seabrook Tx 77586.  Gorgeous homes to be built!  Come see the model home and take a tour of Lakewood Yacht Club (LYC).

Come to the model home for your tour and visit the new home sites.  Only of these luxury homes are to be built and the new homes to ever be available at the Lakewood Yacht Club (adjacent to LYC with access through the LYC gates).

Call 713.305.9924 for more information

Staging your home to Sell in Summer!

Any home stager will tell you that “staging is staging” and the principals remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But that doesn’t each season comes without its own brand of staging magic.

For summer, there are a number of things you can do both inside and outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

Barb Schwarz, creator of Homes Staging® and CEO of Stagedhomes.com, suggests adding splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. She favors larger pots placed on each side of the front door bearing tulips or daisies with greenery in the middle.

Bringing spring colors into a home is just as easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads.

“Change accessories and the whole house changes,” Schwarz said. Swap-out decorative pillows on a sofa for a fresh, new look. “This year nature colors are really in; green is really big and hot orange is an accent that is strong.”

Designers recommend using other knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, sea shells, nature, leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal as contrast.

Schwarz said it’s also a good idea to replace the drapery panels in a home or office. She recently changed a den from a daisy pattern in blue to cream plain panels that went from ceiling to the floor “and the whole room looked bigger and more elegant,” she said.

Of course, all rooms in the house are important and there are ways to liven up each one as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to buy the whole house, not just one or two rooms staged, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

Yet don’t forget your “great outdoors.” Clean up your yards, remove fallen leaves and dead plants, and trim bushes and hedges.

Indeed, spring brings more buyers so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.

We can refer you to our own staging and remodeling folks if you prefer not to do it yourself!  Should your home need more than just staging, a bit of cleanup could mean replacing your carpet or changing out the old tired tile in the baths.

We are Sell This Place Now.com and  BuyThisPlaceNow.com!   We can help you if you are buying or selling!

Call us at 713.818.0829

 

 

Home Staging Should Include the Male Perspective

Professional home stagers consult with homeowners on ways to sell their homes quickly and for the most money possible, but often lost in the design process is the fact that men are involved in buying decisions as well.

When having your home staged, it’s important to remember to appeal to both sexes and do some things that will pique a man’s interest just as much as a woman’s.

Professional stagers take into account buyer demographics, buying psychology, and utilize design elements in planning out the rooms and space and the use of lighting and its effect on the space. Don’t be afraid to let them know if the home is leaning too far on the woman’s side.

Women tend to look for cozier settings or rooms that facilitate intimate conversations, while males gravitate toward rooms with gadgets, televisions and electronics.

Open spaces and higher ceilings are also a draw for men as psychologically they have a larger sense of personal space. Professional stagers with men in mind try to create rooms where a man can feel as if he can walk through the house easily without stepping around all sorts of furniture.

When it comes to men, the garage and yard tend to be high up on the priority list, so it’s important to get these areas as perfect as possible.

Garages that have painted walls, clean floors and enough storage for various male-oriented hobbies will impress. Shelf space is almost always looked at as a good thing here and a place to hang tools or a workbench would make a fine addition to attract male buyers. And remember, an empty garage looks much bigger than one with a car parked in it.

With the yard, showcasing a well-maintained lawn will help sell the male. Thick, healthy grass, minimal bushes to trim and easy to clean garden beds will meet the landscaping criterion the male buyer looks for.

Appealing to both sexes when staging and selling a home requires an emotional investment that will pay off in the end for all parties, just don’t forget that men need a connection, too.

At SellThisPlaceNow, we can guide you in getting your home professionally staged. Call us today at 713.818.0829

Norman Frenk can be reached at 713.818.0829.

8 Home Staging MISTAKES!!

You may love your home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their home themselves and, in doing so, create mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.

Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to the professional home stagers at www.RedesignmyPlace.com

1. Getting too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. This is not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you.

2. Using dark colors: If painting, you should choose a nice, neutral and warm color, such as beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a few coats of fresh paint will make on your home.

3. Not taking advantage of natural light: People love natural light, so blocking off any light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale, especially if the home has attractive views. Anything dated in a home is a turn-off to a potential buyer and window treatments are one of them.

4. Thinking more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room and the other furniture in it. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where. It is not meant to show that you can provide seating for 15 in your living room and every seat has a side table to rest drinks on.

5. Leaving pets at home: You need to remove all traces of animals from the house and make sure “Fido” or “Sunshine” is away during showings. Having a pet could kill a sale before someone even steps into a house.

6. Neglecting the outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories for the kids.

7. Only dealing with “main” rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but don’t forget to spruce up the garage, basement and closets as well.

8. Forgetting fixtures: When staging a home, it’s important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and that all fixtures are working.

Remember, staging a home means showcasing the property’s many features, not concealing its flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in the best light.

You’re only as good as your Realtor….

Over 23+ years in residential real estate I have evaluated selling and buying from all angles.  Why are some Realtors so successful in moving their buyers into homes and in getting their seller’s homes sold while listings of other Realtors may languish or buyers are not taken as seriously?

The answer is: The Realtor.  A good Realtor knows how to package your offer. He or she knows how to relay information back to other Realtors when in negotiations.  Two recent examples:

I had this wonderful listing in The Heights recently.  We had overwhelming interest and numerous offers.  We could not afford to select a buyer who might not make it to the closing table.  All buyers are very qualified. Many offer similar dollar amounts.  How does one decide?

As they say, “You are known by the company you keep” so knowing who the Realtor is, you have insight into the buyer. Strong Realtors rarely use their time with non-qualified buyers. They cannot afford to.  In this case, the buyers with the most established and renowned Realtor would win this bid.  As great as the buyers may be – it was by knowing who the Realtor was that obtained this home for the buyers.

In the above case, all worked flawlessly and closing occurred on time.  All deadlines were met or exceeded in the contract – all thanks to the work of the Realtor.

Alternatively, many Realtors can be argumentative and try to be a “hero” to his or her clients. These Realtors often times lose the home for their buyer and future offers or dealings with that Realtor will be suspect.

We also recently had the unfortunate incident of a buyer’s Realtor trying to become a hero for his client be discrediting  everyone else in the transaction including the seller, title company and others, putting himself above the rest. Coming in with a bad attitude can really ruin the buying experience and add stress to an already stressful situation.

So how can you, the consumer, know which Realtors work hard and work with all parties to get a transaction completed?  Which Realtors strive for a win-win so that their names are not tarnished and your offer will be considered at least equally with other offers?

Answer:  not the argumentative ones – but the knowledgeable and aggressive ones.  Additionally, look for those agents associated with reputable companies.   The smaller agencies often do not provide sufficient agent training and do not have the volume of business to warrant many types of advertisement which you would receive at the bigger agencies.

Look for agents that answer the phone promptly.  Those who will tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear.  Ones who have a track record of selling homes or representing their clients. Those agents who already know what to do and present their ideas to you – not just the ones that take your ideas and use them (after all, the Realtors are the experts in selling / buying – not you.  Even if you have sold and purchased 25 homes in your lifetime,  a good Realtor has done that even 25 times over).

The Realtor you can trust won’t just be found on a billboard or a magazine – they will be found answering their phones when you call. They will be the ones asking you the tough questions to (ultimately) make your decisions a bit easier.  They will have contacts such as plumbers, electricians, contractors, inspectors at their fingertips and won’t expect you to find your own.

With The Frenk Team you can be assured that we have the track record.  Currently noted as the #2 Team at the #1 Real Estate Company in the entire Houston Metro area, we forego all the gimmicks and are hard at work ensuring that YOUR home is sold or that we find you the DREAM HOME that you are looking for!  Call us at 713.818.0829 and see if we answer (probably on the first ring!)

 

Why YOUR home did not sell….

 

home1I have been selling Real Estate for 25+ years and I have taken over and sold more than my fair share of “expired” listings – those homes other Realtors had that could not or would not be sold during their original listing term – and for all these years I had the duty to find out why the home did not sell and turn the marketing around to overcome the thoughts that this may now be a stale listing.

How I did this is somewhat proprietary, but I can tell you that it takes a lot of marketing. And therein (marketing and how to apply it to your home) lies the difference between the services of a great marketing Realtor and that of the average Realtor.

If your home was marketed by another Realtor / firm and is not selling or did not sell you may ask: How much marketing was done to ensure the sale of the home?  MLS? Flyers? Real Estate Book? Open House?

Frankly, very few homeowners know how much (or how little) their Realtors really do in actual marketingDo you think you received more marketing or more excuses?

Over my 23+ years, I have developed a list of why homeowners became dissatisfied with their Realtors. Simply e-mail me from this site and I’ll send you the list..

There is much more marketing that we do that gets your home out there to 97+ websites and in front of thousands or hundreds of thousands of potential buyers and their Realtors.  One of the best is personal contact.  Having sold for 23+ years, I have developed quite a list of buyers, sellers and other prospects.  Whereas I use the trendy “social media” (10,000 twitter followers, for example – www.twitter.com/normanfrenk, www.twitter.com/sellthisplace) ), I still rely on the good old fashioned face-to-face and telephone marketing to qualify leads personally.

There are 3 reasons that YOUR home did not sell:

1) Price

2) Location

3) Marketing / Staging

Within these 3 categories are sub-categories.  Such as:  if you own a home that floods occasionally and flood insurance rates are high you have a combination of 1 and 2 above but as such, there is only one factor that is in your control: Price.  The value of a home that floods or is in a flood zone that is not optimal is less than one that does not have this noted problem.

GIven, however, that your home is in a subdivision, for example, and does not back to a busy road or have other problems and that the location of the neighborhood is desirable we are left with items 1 and 3 to contend with.  Poor marketing, staging, upkeep will certainly affect price. The staging and upkeep of the property are the Listing Agents’ responsibilities as it is incumbent upon them to ensure that the sellers are aware of what needs to be done to get the home sold.

Keep in mind:  “Price cures all Objections”.   This simply means that any home will sell at some price.  A home – no matter what condition will sell at the right price – whether it backs to a busy highway or has flooded or has not been updated.

75%+ agents do NOT give homeowners the guidance with regards to how the property should look in comparison to the competition and 50% of those that do have little knowledge about design and how to make a home stand out in the crowd.  That would leave approximately 12.5% of the agents that not only give the homeowners advice as to how to ensure their home stands out, but also give the correct advice.*

Was your agent one of the only 12.5%?

Norman Frenk, M.B.A., I.R.E.S.  of the Frenk Team at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate – Gary Greene Realtors has not only successfully re-marketed homes but personally has shown homeowners how to stage homes – in many cases with reasonable effort – to ensure a sale. Additionally, while working for many years with interior designers, stagers, painters and other trades people from within the remodeling industry, has recently applied to become certified himself by the American Society of Interior Designers (A.S.I.D.).

It takes more than a yard sign, lockbox, flyers and an open house to sell a home.  It takes more than a weaker agent willing to give up their commission because that is all the know-how they have.  It takes knowledge of the market, knowledge of design and ability to fight for your home and negotiate.

You don’t have to wait to call us to re-market your home – call us in the first place!

see other posts on this blog site to find out about Staging Mistakes, Why Discount Brokerage may NOT save you money at all, How to Sell a House & so much more!

 

* data compiled over last 23 years in the industry from homeowners whose home did not sell with their previous listing Realtor. Data from 1992-2016.

 

 

Will my Home Sale close on Schedule?

That’s the million dollar question these days.   Everyone needs to schedule their move.  Sellers have to have the movers and buyers have to have their funds to close.

What happens when the bank can’t get the papers done or there are still conditions to be met?  Closing is delayed.  And how many closings are delayed?  Actually, in the real world, about 50% to 60% of the loans close on time.  Others may be a day late, a week late or even several weeks late.

Who is responsible for charges incurred if a buyer does not close on the home on time?   Well, we’d like to say the buyer because 9 out of 10 times it is the buyer’s mtg company that delays the closing due to various reasons (buyer did not get paperwork to them in time, underwriting came up with new requirements, appraisal wasn’t ordered because buyer and seller were still negotiating repairs, etc.), but that is not always the case and here’s why:

IF a closing goes past the agreed upon date, neither party is obliged to close.  It is wise to get an amendment to the contract immediately upon knowledge that a closing will not take place as scheduled.  IF it is a seller’s market – the seller could demand that the buyer pay for holding costs of the home until the closing date.  IF it is a buyer’s market, the seller would probably not be negotiating from a position of strength in asking the buyer to pay.   In either case, without a signed amendment, the seller is perfectly within his right to sell the home to another party and buyer is perfectly within his right not to close (unless he had something to do with the closing delay such as failure to get documents to the mtg company in a timely fashion, etc.)

 

 

Color Psychology for Homes

 

            I frequently suggest that homeowners paint before placing their homes on the market. Don’t be offended!

I want my customers to understand “color psychology,” which focuses on color’s effect on human behavior and emotion. Since people’s reaction to color is immediate, color has a tremendous influence on the choices they make every day.

            Color choices are very personal and when selling your home, it’s critical to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. With so many people beginning their search for a home on the Internet today, your home and listing photos must stand out from your competition. Color is one very simple way to do this.

            Painting your house’s exterior before you put it on the market will give the biggest bang for your fix-up buck, as long as you are using colors that conform to the neighborhood’s decorating tastes.

            Colors affect human beings in many ways, and by using the principles of color psychology, you can make your home stand out from the competition, sell more quickly, and at a higher price. In short, the stimulus and effect of colors normally cross cultures. Blues will feel cool, reds and oranges feel warm. Deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity.

Your home’s exterior color is the first thing most potential homebuyers see when they drive up or inspect the property on the Web. The correct color may be the most powerful and cost effective design tool at your disposal.

What is “correct” these days? My research shows that homes painted in pale yellows with cream or beige accents have sold fastest during the past few years.

In general, lighter colors are favored for exterior as they make the property seem larger. Conversely, painting your sideboards with a darker color will make the house seem smaller, though dark colors can draw more attention to home’s details.

            For those painting an older home, you may want to consider historical accuracy, as this could be a big selling point as well.

            When choosing interior colors for the home, consider the purpose of each room. Kitchen and dining areas painted in “food colors” such as coffee browns, celery greens and scrambled-egg yellows will make the rooms feel more natural.

            Hallways are a great place to bring in the exterior colors for overall harmony.

According to Jeanette Fisher’s book Joy to the Home: Secrets of Interior Design Psychology, since, deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity, she recommends painting master bedrooms a medium shade of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Other bedrooms can be painted in creamy tones of green, blue, or a pale shell pink.

            For your bedroom and bathroom, cool colors can form a relaxing atmosphere with paint. Consider shades of blue, green or even lavender.

            Of course, common sense should help you with any color choices. You need to match other things in your home and keep a comfortable environment as well.
Call Me for more color tips and to get a no-nonsense review of your home!


Flood Insurance for Coastal and higher risk areas

A little known act which is only now rising to the attention of all of the U.S. coastal cities is now becoming a nightmare to homeowners. The Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform act of 2012 is now set to affect millions of homeowners from the coasts of Maine down to Florida through Texas and then over to the west coast.

This act appears to have the effect of raising insurance rates from $500 to $2500 to $10,000 and higher. In addition, the increased amount of homes drawn into the flood plains by raising the base flood elevation (BFE) in areas means that homes that did not previously require flood insurance may now require it or those that already required it are now placed in even higher risk categories – all of this with just the stroke of a pen – increasing the BFE.

The Biggert-Waters Act is first reforms began Oct. 1 and the first round of people affected are those with subsidized flood insurance.

For years, homeowners with subsidized insurance were allowed to pay lower rates because their homes were built before the original flood maps were adopted decades ago. Now, those with subsidized insurance on businesses, secondary homes, or homes that have flooded multiple times are seeing rates increase substantially.

Rates are also spiking for new purchases, dating back to July 2012. Thus, if you purchased a home prior to July 2012 that is your primary dwelling your rates could be grandfathered in. If you purchased a home in August of 2012, for example, you probably have already received your notice of rate increase. Grandfathering of current rates for those homeowners who purchased before July 2012 is also set to disappear in a future round of the reform act.

Donald Matter, former Mayor of Nassau Bay said that his rates could hit as high as $30,000 per year just for flood insurance on his $685,000 home.

Congress passed and President Obama signed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. It extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. It also calls for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to make changes to the way in which the NFIP operates.

The act makes several major changes. Higher insurance premiums will be charged for homes and businesses below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Rates for some homes in high-risk areas will increase 25% of the newly established premium each year over the next four years starting in 2013. No discounts will be given to homeowners for properties below the BFE, even if they met the building code at the time they were built.  Older structures built before a community’s first flood map was issued are known as pre-FIRM buildings. The grandfather rule applies to homes that were built in compliance with the flood map that was in effect at the time the structure was built. Finally, subsidized insurance rates will be phased out for all properties except pre-FIRM primary residences that have not lost their qualification for the rate.

What does this mean to you?  Even more – what does this mean for the country?

If the Biggert-Waters act continued, homeowners would be driven from their homes in (pardon the pun) floods – leaving because they cannot pay the insurance rates. Foreclosures would rise and no one would be there to purchase those properties anywhere near the previous values.  Values along all coastal areas would plummet to land value where people could obtain the land and build structures that are higher than the current BFE.  Biggest losers?  Current homeowners, banks holding those mortgages, cities and businesses wherein those homes are located.

Will this really happen?  Well, this IS a government program and let’s see how the Post Office is doing. How about Social Security?  Freddie MAC? FannieMAE? Now let’s throw Obamacare in the mix – and, well – you see how this is going – all programs that are government run are failing or destined to fail.   FEMA is no different – another failed system.

In all actuality we will see increases in insurance rates for those on the coast.  Will it ultimately be $30,000 as Matter believes will happen for his home in Nassau Bay – leading to devastation across the country?  Very doubtful.  We will finally have some resolution that makes sense and keeps home values virtually intact.

Norman Frenk, M.B.A. is a Realtor at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate – Gary Greene (www.SellThisPlacenow.com and www.BuyThisPlaceNow.com) and owner of Modern Home Designs (www.RedesignMyPlace.com)