Since practically everyone is familiar with some kind of social media profile picture, you know that you really only stop and look at the interesting ones. If you get a request for a mystery person that has a picture of a sunset, baby, or worse nothing at all, you are most likely going to “decline” whatever request they are making. Or if you get a request from someone whose name you don’t recognize, maybe you would recognize the photo and accept the request. The same concept is applicable your home’s property profile photo.
In many cases this photo is the first image a prospective buyer is going to see. You want it to make that property shine! The average person will give something about three seconds before they decide to either move on or look further. If the property photo really stands out, they are going to look further! Compare this idea to direct marketing material – the picture has to be great or you will throw it away without a second look.
The property profile photo should be of the front of the house. A buyer wants to see what he or she will be coming home to. They don’t want to see a close-up of the flowers in the front yard or a huge oak tree. The seller might be passionate about these pretty features, but the buyer most likely will not be. Once you’ve got their attention, they probably want to see more of the house. If it’s impossible to get interior shots, just skip the “scenery” shots. No one really cares about the closest street sign or cul-de-sac. Keeping these tips in mind will make people look closer at your property listing.
Many people don’t realize that there’s a difference between what they own personally and what their home owns, and when it comes time to sell, the confusion can cause a lot of problems. Take the period chandelier in your entryway, for example. It’s the perfect example of personal versus real property. So, who does it belong to?
When a buyer purchases a home, they are entering into a contract on real property, or anything that is part of the land or attached to it. But real property can also be something that is considered immovable by law, while personal property, by contrast, is any item that is movable and can be taken from the property. Of course, this can lead to confusion and disputes when the seller considers the chandelier personal property, but the buyer believes it should come along with the house.
Fortunately, there is criteria in place for determining whether something is real or personal property. The law takes into consideration how the item in question (i.e. the chandelier) is attached to the property. Of course, there is still room for interpretation, so it’s important for sellers to list personal property items in the purchase agreement that are to remain with them and give it to the closing agent. Similarly, if there are items they intend to keep with the property, those should be included on a Bill of Sale, which will transfer ownership to the new owners.
Other items that you should consider when selling your home are radiators, appliances, and built-in bookshelves. Because removing these items could cause damage when removed, they are often considered real property. Window treatments also fall within a grey area, so it’s important to clarify whether they will stay with the home or go.
There’s no way to eliminate the payback amount for those who used the Homebuyer Tax Credit starting in 2008, but the IRS has taken steps to make the process less painful. While the chance to pay it back over time through tax returns has come and gone, borrowers can now use an online tool to view pertinent information about their no-interest loan. The idea is to give taxpayers more visibility to their obligation as it relates to the Homebuyer Tax Credit.
At the IRS website, taxpayers can create a profile by entering their social security number, birthday and some other identifying information. From there, they will be able to see their balance, amount paid back to date, total tax credit received, annual installment amount, and also includes their exact payback amount.
While the first-time homebuyer tax credit was an honorable move by lawmakers to counter the effects of the housing market, unfortunately, it was done away with in 2009. Borrowers, including those who used the tax credit in 2009 and 2010 and sold their home within three years of purchase, are required to repay their benefit.
The IRS’ new tool aims to streamline the process and keep information more organized. For more information, please visit the IRS website.
You can make a big impression in 140 characters, especially to savvy first-time home buyers who are avid users of social media. An impressive 15% of the 18-49 age group uses Twitter, so it’s important to realize that you can generate real estate leads by using it. Here are some tips!
1. Creating a Community of Followers: Like Facebook, your network gets stronger by connecting with more people. When you follow someone on Twitter, or they follow you back, you’re each indicating an interest in what the other has to say. So, create a community of followers by giving them useful information, like real estate news, advice, and tips. They followed you because you know real estate, so prove to them what you can offer!
2. Retweet Your Followers: One of the best ways to engage in conversation on Twitter is by retweeting the interesting content that your followers post. Many will send you a Tweet saying thanks, creating the perfect chance to dialogue. And by retweeting, you’re pushing that content to your own followers. If someone retweet something you wrote or posted, be sure to say thanks. You can also direct message them to see what they liked about the article.
3. Market Your Tweets: No, you don’t need to hire an ad agency, but this simple tip will get you more retweets. Keep your tweets short (fewer than the allowed 140 characters) so that your followers can insert their own two cents before your content. And don’t forget to account for your Twitter handle (your username) because it will be factored into the character count. Make your tweets easy to share and that’s exactly what people will do!
4. Search Your Area: A great feature of Twitter is the ability to search. And it’s easy to find tweets about your area by typing in your city and a keyword. For example, “near: Los Angeles real estate” will bring up tweets about real estate in the Los Angeles area, the very topic you’re covering giving you an opportunity to retweet and engage potential followers.
5. From Twitter to Your Site: Twitter is great, but 140 characters means you have to brief. It’s important to get your followers over to your own website so you can tell the whole story and share more specific information with potential clients. You can also use direct messages to obtain their name, phone number and/or email address if they’re willing to give it to you. Just don’t be pushy, and make sure you’re highlighting why you can help them.