My first blog
this is my first blog….follow me I will blog everyday.
First and foremost, hire a Realtor®! I do not say this because I am a Realtor®; I say this because to get the most value from your home, marketing your home professionally is an absolute must! A Realtor® will be able to give you the best advice on areas that need attention and areas that will not provide more value for your home’s worth. You read that right, I cannot tell you the number of times I have saved a seller money by telling them not do to a specific project that they thought would maximize their profit margin. Think about it, we show homes every day… all day! We know what people want and what turns them away. Another tip, go to open houses to get ideas on what stands out to you as a priority and look for the tips listed below to see if you agree.
Here are a few action items to consider when marketing your home to get the most value:
1) Clean your home! Yes, this means baseboards, windows, floors, inside your refrigerator (although I still do not know why a potential buyer opens refrigerators that do not come with the home but you would be amazed at how many times this actually happens), bath tubs/showers, and please polish everything shiny. If you are not up for this task, ask your Realtor® for a recommendation for a reputable cleaning company. We are your best resource for referrals.
2) Although Fido may be your best friend, keep in mind not all people are animal lovers. (I know, I cannot figure out why either!) This is a great reason for your Realtor® to come visit your home. You know the commercial about becoming nose blind… he/she will let you know if that has happened. Please do not try to cover up smells with other “good” smells because it simply adds another layer of odor rather than remedying the initial cause. Odors can range from pets, your bedding, laundry, trash, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and even mold/musty smells. Your home should have a neutral smell.
3) Remove bulky furniture, excessive clutter and do not over do it with the decor; not everyone has your sense of style, although I am sure it is amazing. Keep everything as neutral as possible. You want a potential buyer to see themselves in your home with their belongings. Keep it cozy and tidy; this means closets too, and do not forget to simplify your counter tops.
4) While your teenager may be going through their best goth look, their rooms should not. Keep all paint neutral! Are you noticing a theme here? Touch up areas in need and do not forget your baseboards. Pro Tip: Be on special look out for door frames that are exposed to outside elements; they tend to need continual attention.
5) Let the light flow! Open all blinds and curtains to allow as much natural light in your home. No one wants to buy a dungeon, unless you’re a dragon! When leaving your house for a showing, turn on every light. Show off that fresh and clean home you have just worked so hard to obtain. Feel free to use lamps to create a relaxing ambiance in addition to overhead lighting.
6) Kitchens and bathrooms are said to sell houses. Make these areas feel like a retreat and update them accordingly.
7) Close your toilet lids; no elaboration is needed here. This is especially important to do before your professional photographer takes pictures.
8) Curb Appeal! Do not spend all your time indoors. Make sure your home is appealing from the outside. Pressure wash your exterior and walk ways if needed. Add a few planters or hanging plants. Do not go crazy with flower beds, while some potential buyers will see the beauty, others may be deterred because of the upkeep.
The biggest tool in your toolbox is your Realtor® so contact a professional today! After all, you would not call a plumber to cut down a tree.
Brandi Crass is an affiliate broker with Southland Realtors. Feel free to contact her directly at 865-323-7723 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for all of your real estate needs!
Things have really changed in my lifetime. When I was a kid, we didn’t have cell phones, internet, computers, etc. With all the advancements and technology we have now, you might wonder do I really need a realtor? There’s Zillow with their Zestimate giving you the estimated value of your home. You can put your own for sale sign up, right?
If you’ve never tried to be a for sale by owner, you might be surprised at how hard the process really is. Before becoming a realtor, I thought the same way. I decided to go the FSBO route. I made up flyers, bought a sign at the local Walmart, advertised my home on the internet, and waited. But no one came. I tried it for a few months before I gave up and called a realtor who quickly had professional photos made up, listed my home on the MLS, worked her realtor magic, and BAM! My home was sold quickly.
What did the realtor have or do that I didn’t? First, the realtor was a local market expert. She studied the market daily and used comparison sales from my area to help me accurately price my home. She visited my home and knew what condition it was in. Unlike a Zestimate, which uses an algorithm to determine the price, she actually entered my home, talked to me about the condition, and knew what was selling and for how much in my area.
My realtor knew that professional pictures sell homes. The ones I took on my cell phone didn’t even compare. The professional pictures were done at the right time of day for optimal lighting conditions and show the best parts of each room.
She marketed my home to a more widespread audience than I could. I thought putting a sign in the yard was enough. Let’s think about that though. I was the last house on my dead end street. Putting the sign up did draw more traffic, but how many cars driving by are actually looking for a home? I bet that percentage isn’t very high. My realtor put my home on the MLS, a tool exclusive to realtors to share listings with one another. She included a descriptive narrative explaining all the details of the age, condition and best features.
My realtor did the legwork. She filled out all the documents required by the state to keep the transaction legal. She worked with the buyer’s agent and understood the various means of financing a home and what my home was eligible for. That’s right, not all homes are eligible for every kind of financing. It’s important to know what the guidelines are for each financing option available.
Let’s say you’re a buyer, can you save money by representing yourself on a transaction or finding the home you like and just calling the realtor who has it listed? The short answer to that is no. The seller’s agent represents…the seller. Not you. They’re paid and legally bound to represent the seller’s best interests, not yours. Before the house is even listed, the seller and their agent have determined the amount of commission to be paid at the closing of the home. It doesn’t change just because the buyer has decided not to utilize the service of a buyer’s agent. Instead, the full commission goes to…guess who? The seller’s agent. And whose interest is the seller’s agent paid and legally bound to look out for? The seller’s! In reality, you’re purchasing a home unrepresented, and there is no savings by representing yourself. In many states, representing both parties (called “dual agency”) is illegal. In theory, when an agent represents both parties, her task is to merely “facilitate” the transaction. In fact, there is no transaction in which both the buyer’s and the seller’s interests can be represented fully and without conflict.
When buying a home, your agent is your biggest resource. Again, their local expertise is what’s most important to you. They are knowledgeable of your real estate market. Your realtor will have a vast pool of contacts to draw from including but not limited to home inspectors, appraisers, lenders, cleaning people, painters, handymen, etc. to aid with whatever needs arise during and after your sale.
Before hiring a realtor, do your research. Ask your family or friends who they would refer. What do others think about them? Look at the realtor’s reviews on Zillow. Don’t be afraid to be up front when you make the call to a realtor about what you’re looking for. It will aid the realtor in meeting and exceeding your expectations. And, of course, call Southland Realtors! We are your local experts!
Three generations of family members are now continuing the dream of Rufus Smith Jr. who founded Smithbilt Homes in 1956. Smith’s “One Man” business has evolved into a family owned and operated home construction and real estate business that proudly offers affordable, new homes in Knoxville and the surrounding counties in East Tennessee. Smithbilt takes great pride in its hands-on approach to home construction, guided by meticulous individuals who are involved from inception to construction and on to completion of each home. Considering all aspects of the home building process, the staff of Smithbilt dedicate themselves to producing a home that owners, their families, and neighbors can be proud of for generations to come.
As a family owned and operated business for more than six decades, Smithbilt’s management team knows the importance of family. For that reason, their goal is to build more than homes- the build communities in desired school zones with an emphasis on family friendliness. Those communities are replete with amenities including swimming pools, club houses, tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, and much more. So many of the essentials that improve the quality of life for the discerning home buyers who have chosen a Smithbilt home.
A BRICKLAYER’S DREAM
Rufus Smith Jr. was working with his father as a bricklayer in the late 1940s building small homes in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After a break for military services from 1950 to 1952, he returned to Oak Ridge and continued in the trade he learned from his father.
In 1954, he decided to venture into business on his own as Rufus H. Smith, Jr. & Company specializing in the construction and selling of quality, affordable homes. He first broke ground in the West Haven and West Hills areas, and soon grew the business into developing subdivisions. His Seven Oaks subdivision on Kingston Pike featured larger homes.
Smith continued to grow his business. After purchasing the Baum Florist property in 1966, he branched into the construction on commercial buildings, including warehouses, offices, storage units, and built the first mini-ware-house. Those properties continue to be owned and managed today by Smith’s children who followed their father into the business. He also built and owned six apartment buildings in the Knoxville area which have since been sold.
RECOGNITION BY HIS PEERS
Smith’s unwavering commitment to quality construction and his service to the industry have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. He was a long-time member of the Home Builders Association and served as the State President for Tennessee in 1971. Three years later he was awarded the Green Jacket as Builder of the Year. Smithbilt Homes were always included in the annual Parade of Homes. Smith was also active throughout his career in the National Home Builders Association and served as the organization’s Vice- President in 1983.
While Rufus Smith, Jr. passed away in 1992, his family members have continued pursuing the founder’s dream of helping people achieve the American Dream of home ownership. His children, Traci, Rocky, and Tom, remain active in the business today. Rocky grew up working with his father in the home and apartment construction side of the company. Traci handled the rental business. Tom joined the team upon graduating from the University of Tennessee.
With Rocky at the helm, the company separated the construction and the real estate division of the business. The real estate operations are now branded “Southland” while the construction activities continue the name “Smithbilt.”