A Great First Impression Starts with the Foyer

The foyer is the gateway into your home, and if people don’t like what they see upon their first entry, they may not chose to proceed. This first impression will stick with potential buyers should they continue through the property. Sellers want to make sure that those potential buyers are put into the right mood right away. They want them to feel invited in to tour the rest of the property.

This can be achieved by making sure that the foyer and entryway are first and foremost clutter-free. We know that everyone needs a place to store their stuff, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Also that right place is never the FLOOR! The foyer should also be well-lit. Buyers do not want to feel like they are entering a cave.  Here are some fabulous ideas for creating attractive storage space and showcasing a bright entryway.

Great cubbies for every member of the family to store their stuff.
Great cubbies for every member of the family to store their stuff.

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Gray Is Here To Stay

Gray is everywhere! From upholstery to counter tops, this color have become a trend with some serious staying power. I see it in many of the new home models that have been staged by decorators, and gray furniture has become increasing popular in home magazines. Since I am often asked about paint colors for resale, I try to keep up Dark Gray CouchSoft Gray Sofa & LoveseatGray Accent PiilowsGray Paint ChoicesSherwin Williams GrayGray BathroomGray Kitchen Cabinetson the trends, and all I can say is GRAY is the “go-to” choice right now. It is both perfectly neutral and wonderfully modern. If you are looking to make a change, check out these options.

How Can a U.S. Property’s Value Be Determined by Someone in India???

Bloomberg News posted an article the other day that really struck a chord with me. First off no one ever likes to here that jobs for potential American workers are being moved to another country, but I also thought about the absurdity of the change referenced in the article.

Th article states that 4 Bank of America insiders have reported that appraisal review will now be completed by a review center in Bangalore, India. Yes, INDIA. We all know that many call centers have been outsourced to India, but this change of venue really floored me. The premise, of course, is to lower Bank of America’s costs throughout the mortgage process.

That is all fine and well if the savings are passed along to borrowers, but will they be? Plus, and here is my #1 problem with this, how can people who are unfamiliar with U.S. homes and the housing market here correctly assess the accuracy of these appraisals? Unless you are familiar with the market in a particular area and understand the appraisal process, you can not be expected to accurately assess the validity of the comparable sales chosen by the appraiser to use or whether or not the property is located in an upward-swinging market. There are so many factors that have to be taken into account, and not they are proposing that the reviewers merely assess these appraisals with a checklist form.  With prices in many areas on the rise and comparable sales sometimes hard to find, I think this policy change could throw a monkey wrench in Bank of America’s plan to rebuild its share of the U.S. mortgage market. For every loan that gets denied due to appraisal review, Bank of America loses thousands of dollars in paid wages for man hours spent working on that file, and of course that also means no revenue from the interest of that loan.

It looks like I will be continuing my practice of referring clients to mortgage brokers instead of large faceless lenders.

Make Your Small Space Seem BIG

Whether you are planning to put your property on the market and want to make the most of it or you are just wanting to take betteradanavatof the space you have, here are 8 things you can do to make your small space seem bigger. These tips will help you maximize what you’ve got by making better use of the space you have.

1. Let Furniture Float.

Many people make the common mistake of pushing everything against the wall, but the room will actually have more flow if you move pieces 36 inches away from the walls. It offers greater range of movement as people can then pass comfortably behind or in front of your furniture pieces.

2. Cover the Territory.

Select a large rug instead of a small accent rug.  A good rule of thumb is to have the rug extend to just pats where the furniture is situated.  Anything else will actually make the room appear smaller.

3. Expand Your Horizon.

Using mirrors is an old decorator’s trick, but it works.  They help reflect light back into the room and make the walls appear further away.  One is plenty per room though and it should not be any more than 3/4 the size of the wall.

4. Aim High.

Whether its floor lamps or bookcases, pick tall pieces.  They will draw the eye up and make the ceilings appear higher.

5. Go Big, Not Bulky.

It’s okay to purchase large-scale sofa, but make sure that every inch counts.  You want to have lots of seating space, but don’t buy one that has lots of bulky, unnecessary details like overstuffed rolled arms.  They take up too much space and don’t provide any function.

6. Lighten Up.

Stay away from heavy-looking furniture.  Opt for something light and airy instead.  Having glass pieces also help to make the room feel open due to their transparency.

7. Stack Artwork.

Hanging two pictures vertically forms a column of art that makes the room appear loftier.

8. Fake Being Taller.

If you are not lucky enough to have floor-to-ceiling windows, mount curtain rods high above the window frame.  The long sweep of fabric lends an air of grandness.

With these easy and inexpensive tips, you can make the most of your small room in just one day!DiningRoom

Video Is a Must for Sellers

The internet plays a huge role in the real estate industry, much like every other industry in today’s world. Several years ago it became the great equalizer that allowed small firms to have as much presence as the larger firms with the right online marketing strategy, and it offers prospective buyers and sellers a glimpse into the current market conditions in real time.

One things that has changed though is how we use the internet. As our needs and preferences have evolved, so has the way we use the largest, most used research tool out there. Once upon a time the most used function for the internet was email, then it was social media, and now those 2 things are not even the most frequently used application. According to the Pew International Report on Internet Behavior, Video Viewing is the number Internet activity. I was shocked at first, but think about how often you are watching something online whether it is a tutorial for how to do a home project or that funny commercial everyone told you about. With smartphones, we don’t even have to be in front of a computer to watch them.

What does all of this have to do with real estate? Well as a era estate agent who often deals with out of state or even out of country clients, I can tell you that the thing buyers ask me for most is a video of that property they like. Does it have a virtual tour? If not, (and this is often the case, will I go shoot a video for them and send it their way. I have sold many listings to clients because they watched the video. I have even sold homes to clients who never personally saw the home prior to making an offer, because they watch the video. Yes, it tis that important to have a video up of your home is you are a seller in today’s market. Buyers want to see them! I would also like to clarify that when I say video or virtual tour, I mean an actual movie not the series of panoramic shots that some people put together. Those do not buyers any sense of space of scale for their surroundings. They want to see what we call a “virtual showing” where I walk through the home pointing out special features and giving the potential a sense of the property’s space and flow. We do this with all of our listings, and it has been very successful at helping us get that property in front of more potential buyers.

So when you are ready to list your home, remember how important having a video tour is and call us.  We have our camera ready and look forward to helping you achieve your goals!

Check out the video for our new listing, here.

Picnic Time is Here

So since the weather has decided to finally break here in Central Florida, I thought I would share some pictures of all of the beautiful places that you can hang out outside here in Celebration.

2013 Disney Weekly Park Surprises

Disney recently announced that in 2013 they will have weekly park surprises, and social media will play a huge part in getting the word out each week. These will take place at all of theme parks here in Lake Buena Vista Florida – Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.  It will add a new dimension to the park experience.

The “Limited Time Magic” offerings will include special menu items at restaurants, character meet & greets, impromptu concerts, special merchandise, and other new events. The Walt Disney Company will be using Twitter, blogs, Facebook, websites, and other online activity to let guests know. This is just another way that Disney is looking to engage park-goers. They have released a sample of some of the weekly events that will take place next year. There will be a July 4th themed week, “Pirate Week”, and my favorite so far, “Long Lost Friends Week, which will feature lesser-known Disney characters.

I can’t wait to see what the new year holds!

 

Changes to Celebration’s Farmers Market

If you’re like me and love to spend your Sunday walking around downtown Celebration and enjoying the Farmers Market, then take note of these changes. First off, there will be no Farmers Market the first 2 Sundays in August ( August 5 & August 12), it will return on August 19th.

Secondly, the Farmers Market is moving to a new location beginning September 9. It will be located at Lakeside Park , 631 Sycamore Street, still in downtown Celebration. The time, however, will stay the same, 9 am to 2 pm. So whether you have never been to the Farmers Market or you’re a regular, make sure to stop by its new location in September.

Nectar Real Estate Client Testimonials

Hear What Our Clients Have to Say!

We think that it is really important to ask our clients how we did once a transaction has closed.  It allows us to grow as a company and as a real estate professionals.  Here is what some of our clients had to say:

Davenport FL homes for sale by Nectar Real Estate
“Jana is awesome! When we started looking at homes in Florida, we were in South Carolina.  She asked what we were looking for and we sent her a list. She would send us updates for new homes on the market. And her website is awesome.  Great maps, great information, great pictures!  When we came down to do some house hunting, she came to the hotel and picked us up.  Jana took us to the houses and even walked around inside just looking at the layouts.  No Pressure at all!  We were very comfortable with her. 

Once making a decision on a house (last one to look at, first one picked), she made the paperwork process so easy and simple.  Jana will try to get as close to the ideas that you have for a house.  The house I picked had everything I wanted.  She made our move to Florida very smooth.  Went to all the inspections since we were in South Carolina, and took extra care to make sure that all our requests were taken care of!  I have recommended Jana to several other people and will always recommend her.  She will bend over backwards to make sure the house is the right one!  I can’t thank her enough!”  ‐ Tamara G.

orlando homes for sale by Nectar Real Estate
Click Here to View Orlando Homes for Sale

“My wife and I were introduced to Jana Renner and Nectar Real Estate through a trusted friend who also lives in Celebration, FL.  Jana went above and beyond in helping us to find the perfect property, dedicating several days to our search.  She was extremely patient and explained details through multiple calls and emails.  Her thorough knowledge of the Kissimmee area helped us make an informed decision about which property to buy. 

When a home inspection for one property uncovered a problem Jana quickly identified our optionsand helped us find an even better property.  Keith Renner also pitched in by taking photos and a video, giving us the opportunity to walk through the property several times before making a final decision, then meeting me late at night to deliver the keys.  Nectar Real Estate exceeded our expectations in helping us realize our dream of having a vacation property in Orlando.”  ‐ Tom F.

 

“After two weeks of extensive negotiations involving both the buyer and their agent, you (Keith) achieved the first arms‐length sale on Eastlawn Drive (in Celebration, FL) in many years and the highest price per square foot on Eastlawn ever.  The sale closed under three weeks later.  Throughout this time you (Keith) conducted yourself to the highest standards of professionalism and we want to thank you for selling our home.  In a difficult market, you achieved what others had failed to do.  You sold our house.”  ‐ Phil W.

 

We are truly dedicated to each individual property. Contact Nectar Real Estate today to see how our marketing system can work for you!

Nectar Real Estate is the Best!

As a reader, I am sure you feel that my opinion is biased. I, of course, work for Nectar Real Estate and write all of our blogs. I can assure you that this excerpt is not just propaganda, and I can prove it!

celebration florida homes for sale
Over the course of the past several years, the real estate market has been on a roller coaster ride -­ huge highs, huge lows, and everything in between.  Many real estate brokerages and agents have gone out of business.  At Nectar Real Estate, we have done a mixture of staying the course and making great strides to become more innovative.  We have never changed our approach to our clients, no matter the market situation.  Each client is given the utmost personal attention and customer service, and they always get to speak to their Realtor, noassistants.

As for progression, we have implemented a new website with intuitive search tools and reached out to prospective buyers and sellers around through social networking like LinkedIn and Facebook and through our blog.  Last week the New York Times published an article titled, “Assent of the Little Guys”, in which many big names in real estate talk about how smaller boutique firms are the future.

Ms. Corcoran, who sold her firm The Corcoran Group in 2001, said, “On the internet everyone is equal.  The small agent can look as classy as the big agent.”  She added, “Ten years ago if you wanted your property noticed, you were better off with a large brokerage firms because they were the big buyers of print ads.  That’s out the window now.”

The overall sentiment behind the article was that smaller forms are more nimble and often offer clients a more personalized, hands-on experience.  This is not to say that all firms have perfected this yet, but we have.  See what some of our clients have to say just in the last couple of months:

“My wife and I were introduced to Jana Renner and Nectar Real Estate through a trusted friend who also lives in Celebration, FL.  Jana went above and beyond in helping us to find the perfect property, dedicating several days to our search.  She was extremely patient and explained details through multiple calls and emails.  Her thorough knowledge of the Kissimmee area helped us make an informed decision about which property to buy. 

When a home inspection for one property uncovered a problem Jana quickly identified our Orlando homes options and helped us find an even better property.  Keith Renner also pitched in by taking photos and a video, giving us the opportunity to walk through the property several times before making a final decision, then meeting me late at night to deliver the keys.  Nectar Real Estate exceeded our expectations in helping us realize our dream of having a vacation property in Orlando.”  ‐ Tom & Kim Fowler (Closed February 2011)

orlando homes available

“Jana did a great job of guiding me through the buying process. As a first time homebuyer, I had a lot of questions and she carefully answered every one.” -­ Amanda Dailey (Closed January 2011)

“Keith, after two weeks of extensive negotiations involving both the buyer and their agent, you achieved the first resale on Eastlawn Drive in over 4 years and the highest price per square foot on Eastlawn Drive ever.  The sale closed in under three weeks.  Throughout the time, you conducted yourself to the highest standards of professionalism and we want to thank you for selling our home.” ‐ Phil & Kay Wigglesworth (Closed in October 2010)

We can provide you and your property this same great service and dedication.  Contact us today!