Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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What are the Hot Technology Trends in Real Estate?

Six Hot Trends that are Super Cool for Consumers!

Real Estate Technology Trends

Consumer-Friendly Tech Trends in Real Estate

  1. Virtual Experiences – The trend is to showcase properties while delivering consumers

Raveis 3Dan engaging experience that also saves them time. In addition to creative videos, this includes 3D touring, virtual reality, drone photography, virtual staging and even hologram projection of furniture into rooms.  3D tours enable viewers to virtually walk through a property while using their computer mouse to “go” anywhere in the home.  The tool also creates a virtual doll house that lets buyers float through the floors and get an overall feel for the layout, orientation, and flow. Inman News recently talked about virtual reality tours that use special goggles to create an experience close to being there in person as well as gear that projects holograms of furniture into a space to visualize it “for real”.  Last, but not least, busy or far-away consumers can benefit from a live virtual tour via Skype.

  1. Social Media Exuberance – Okay you might have guessed this one, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Social media can provide a much richer perspective and bring added value beyond what a typical website can offer when evaluating a potential Realtor.  Does the agent share useful information and resources? Do they have a strong presence on multiple platforms including a blog? Do they leverage this presence to promote client listings for maximum internet exposure? Are they creative, resourceful, knowledgeable, personable?  Do they share insights from past customers?  What do they do in their spare time? Many consumers are looking into these types of questions with a simple online search or searches within social media platforms.
  1. Mobile Optimization – Everyone’s on the go! The trend is for people to consume web content on their mobile devices.  Statista.com predicts a 57% increase in global mobile web traffic per year through 2019.  The most recent click reports I received from my e-newsletter show that readers opening the email on a mobile device versus a computer range between 50-70%. Mobile Optimization So more and more real estate websites and blogs are becoming mobile friendly and optimizing for the best mobile experience. Mobile apps are also on the rise.  William Raveis provides a comprehensive Real Estate App. The company has also released a Mortgage App that enables home buyers to start their pre-approval process right from their phone! And hot off the press is the Raveis Open House App that lets guests type in their name, phone, and email and then request a complimentary home value report, mortgage pre-approval and Local Housing e-Newsletter for the town of their choice!
  1. Mortgage Magic – Instead of misery. The complex process is now streamlined with new technology that gives consumers the efficiency and transparency they need and deserve. William Raveis Mortgage addresses the first critical step by providing buyers with a certified loan pre-approval followed by electronic milestone tracking of their loan process that also keeps all the players on track. Borrowers view a bold graphic showing a clear progression of the steps and status across their screen.  The icing on the cake? Sign documents electronically from wherever you are!Real Estate Value Forecasting
  1. Accurate Value Estimates – We’ve all heard of the Zestimate, and most of us are well aware of the frustrations with inconsistent results, incorrect data and inability to correct errors.  “What is my home worth?” is the question people are always asking. Savvy consumers want a quality tool to help them estimate the market value of their property.  William Raveis recently launched the RAVestimate. The interactive technology lets consumers  input specific home improvements and then work with comparable sales data that they select.  The company tested the tool and documented extraordinary accuracy.
  1. Predictive Marketing – Advanced intelligence and predictive modeling to help buyers before they ask are up and coming. Consumer data and predictive analytics will be used to anticipate home buying goals, preferences, and timing.  So in the not-too-distant future, Realtors, lenders, and perhaps the perfect home may be finding the buyer before they even know they are going to buy!
    Real Estate Technology, Predictive Analytics

 

Which trends to you think have the most promise?  What other trends are you seeing that are consumer driven?  From a consumer perspective, what new technology services would you like to see?

CT Post - Real Estate Tech Trends Dec 2015

For more information or questions about your moving plans, contact me using the form below.

5 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know about Lordship, CT!

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Here are five cool facts about Lordship Connecticut, that you probably didn’t know before. Read on and enjoy!

ONE – Two movies were filmed in Lordship: “Butterfield Eight” with Elizabeth Taylor in 1960, and “Hell Island” between 1981 and 1983.

Lordship

TWO –  The gigantic German dirigible, The Hindenberg was seen by residents flying about 1,000 feet over Lordship on Thursday, May 7, 1937 at about 2:30pm during the flight that would be her last.

THREE – The Dixie Doodle Diner was one of the first of Lordship’s drive-in eateries in the 1940s.

Dixie Doodle Diner
Photo courtesy of Stratford Historical Society

FOUR – In the 1890s, the Lordship Casino was both the commercial and cultural center in addition to housing the first firehouse on its first floor and the first school on its second floor.

FIVE – I can help you find a lovely home in Lordship!  Send me a note below and tell me what you’re looking for or ask any real estate questions.  I’m here to help you make you make your move!

 

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Tune in to HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation!

184 Harborview Rd, Black Rock

184 Harborview Road, Black Rock

Tune into HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation “An Old House Gets a New  Master Plan” on September 19th at 9:00 AM to follow my clients, Michael and Ella on their journey of selling their home in Black Rock and moving to Fairfield to get better schools for their blended family of three kids. Of course, yours truly helps them with this part.  I had originally helped them buy their house in Black Rock in 2010 and then got it sold for them the first day on the market which made them very strong buyers for this new home purchase.

Then the HGTV design team takes over to make their fixer-upper that’s missing one bedroom into a designer dream home that works for the whole family!

Below is a behind the scenes peak with Michael, Ella and the onsite director and camera crew at a lunch break during filming.

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With Michael, Ella the director and camera crew during a lunch break from filming.

The show went well, and Michael and Ella are enjoying their new digs as well as the excellent schools in Fairfield CT!


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What Makes Your Home Showroom Ready?

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Buyers’ first impressions happen within seconds of seeing a home.  After one glance from the street, a buyer may decide not to even go in!   So staging starts at the curb and continues throughout the house.  Staging is a marketing tool focused on the buyer.   Its goal is to attract the most buyers online and create an emotional connection for them once they are inside. Think about how you would have your car washed and detailed so that it looks showroom ready before trying to sell it.  Staging is a similar approach, but the goal is to appear better than new!   The house not only sparkles and shines, its assets are highlighted, its best use of space is demonstrated, disadvantages are downplayed and then the senses are tapped to maximize the home’s allure. Key elements of staging:

  • Eliminate clutter to create clean visual lines and show off the space.
  • Frame and showcase the home’s assets such as a fireplace or great view.
  • Downplay shortcomings of a home such as an undesirable view, tight space or low light.
  • Enable buyers to envision themselves living in the home by removing all distractions. The buyer should not know anything about the seller’s personal preferences in extreme color, art, decorating, religion, race, sexual and political orientation, hobbies, etc.   These factors are very distracting to a buyer, irrelevant to the sale and should not be seen.
  • Every inch is cleaned to sparkle and smell like new.  Strong odors from cooking, pets, smoking, mildew and general lack of cleanliness will instantly turn buyers away.
  • Appeal to the emotional power in our sense of smell, and simmer spiced cider on the stove, burn a scented candle or brew fresh coffee.
  • Play soft pleasant music in the background to further suggest an inviting home.
  • Let the sun shine in all the windows and the lights glow for the brightest space.
  • Overall, create a neutral but charming and welcoming space.

Your Realtor may recommend a professional staging company or just a few staging tips that he or she can help you with depending on the size of your home and how much work is needed to achieve your desired outcome.   Either way, launching a staging strategy for your buyers and pricing your house to sell will get you the edge on your competition, reduce the cost of a potential price reduction and extra months on the market and get you the best possible outcome from your sale. I’m happy to talk with you about staging resources and tips and your moving plans!


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How’s the Winter 2014 Real Estate Market Fairfield in County CT?

We sure have been hit hard with winter extremes since the New Year with everything from sub-zero temperatures to multiple blizzards and some freezing rain mixed in for good measure! No doubt the weather has been keeping our spring real estate market at bay, but how did sales look in our neighborhood markets in January after the holidays?
Let’s take a look at a few measures across three towns, and see how they relate to last year. Comparing the number of homes on the market, total sales and the average market time in January, we see some promising numbers.  View or print charts here.
 
In Weston, Westport and Fairfield inventory of homes for sale was up between nine and twenty-two percent suggesting stronger seller confidence in the market this year.   Sales in fact, were way up in Weston (50%) and Fairfield (42%) compared to January 2013. Westport sales were down twenty-two percent, but there had been a big spike in the December sales.  The average days on market was way down (-40%) in Westport, though up a bit in Weston and Fairfield (5% and 12% respectively).
 
Overall, the increased inventory and sales in addition to average market time as low as 80 days in Westport, suggest to me that there is pent up demand on both the buy and sell sides of the market.   It would be great to see the market jump up to the pace noted in my post from last June.   I expect to see a flurry of activity in the housing market instead of snow as soon as Mother Nature decides to get the weather under control!
 
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Cash is King- But So Is Excellent Credit!

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Sharing her wisdom as a guest speaker at our sales meeting this month was Tracy A. Becker, President of NorthShoreAdvisory, a Credit Education & Restoration Company.  This company is one of the very reputable firms out there to help us understand the credit mysteries and improve our scores.  Tracy is a Certified FICO Professional, author of two books on credit and is the “Credit Expert” on the Eye on Real Estate radio show on WOR AM.

She began the meeting by announcing that, “If your credit score is not 740 or higher, it is not excellent and you should call me.”  I was thinking, what’s wrong with Very Good, Impressive, or Decent?   Anything short of excellent is no good these days?  Apparently it best be excellent or you can potentially lose thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a mortgage with higher interest rates.  Some sources even say that insurance premiums are linked to credit scores.

We all know that we should pay our bills on time, but there is a lot more that most of us are unaware of that impacts our credit score.

Here are the top 5 tips from Tracy that I was surprised to learn,

1. “Seasoned” credit (over 2 years old) is excellent for your scores, and the older the better.  So don’t go closing your old credit card accounts!
2. A variety of credit is good for your score such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans and a mortgage.
3. Your credit can be pulled by third parties up to 5 times in a 12-month period with little impact to your score, but beyond this, your score can drop 30-40 points.  You can pull your own credit score as often as you wish with no negative consequences.
4. A new late payment can drop your score over 100 points.
5. The higher your FICO score, the bigger the hit your score will take if new negative information is added.

If you are getting ready to apply for a mortgage or other financing in the near future, Tracy says to go to Credit.com and pay to get your FICO score.  If it’s below 740, her company may be able to help save you big bucks!  She gives free consultations by phone to determine whether her company can effectively help you, and there is no charge unless you hire her.

To receive pdf via email of Tracy’s expanded list of “Tips on Credit” send a request below.