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Open Houses that Rock!

Most Realtors hate open house since it consumes the majority of your Sunday, but I love them! You need to prepare properly and advertise the property and Open House “EVENT”.  Notice I refer to an Open House as an “Event” which elevates it to a different level. Use Facebook and other social media outlets to advertise the Open house days before the event takes place. When you list a home it’s very important to do a proper “Launch” or “Blitz” of the market to introduce the home and you as the formidable expert in the area. This is your time to showcase your style to the neighbors selling your services for future listings. Neighbor take notice the activity and when you have an Open House that is well attended … you will “Rock” the community and profile on how your market to everyone in the area. Another secret on the first Open House event, especially In the Spring Market is to hit Costco before the Open house and purchase 3 dozen long stem roses. Punch your business card with holes in advance and attach your card to the rose stem. Make sure you bring colorful cocktail napkins that the stems can be wrapped in as people walk through the home, it makes a lasting impression and creates a buzz as people walk around the house all holding colorful roses!  It works…..try it.

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Selfie in Real Estate

Selfie is a photo image of yourself taken with your smart phone and posted. It’s all the rage in Hollywood and pop culture today so join the trend and post your REALTOR SELFIE today.

People are voyeuristic today thus the success of the reality TV shows.  I don’t know if you feel it or not but the real estate business is the greatest reality TV show!

A Selfie will gain publicity for fast for you and your brand image in the market. Do a selfie in front of your sign and new listing “Post it” have fun!!

Join the craze and do a Selfie today!

 

Bill Sands – Realtor

Jerry Pelker – Realtor

Sands & Company Real Estate

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What Satisfies Women When it Comes to a New Home

A growing segment of the housing industry is studying what in a home matters most to women. Real-estate agents, designers, marketers and researchers say some of women’s home preferences are purely functional: Moms like dining areas with easily wiped hardwood or tile floors, not carpeting, for example, and the location of a laundry room is likely to matter deeply to a female homebuyer.

Selling to women also requires catering to differences more innate. Its an emotional process for women.

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, and they’re the major influence in the purchase of 91% of new homes.

Women respond most to a home’s aesthetics, such as paint and flooring, interior design, appliances, layout and functionality. Men seem more interested in the homes spaces and dimensions as well as how efficient a home is to operate.

Top 10 things Women want in a new home:

  1. Large walk in closets
  2. Location
  3. Security
  4. Dedicated Laundry Room
  5. Social Space
  6. Low maintenance
  7. Spacious spa like bath with separate shower and jetted tub
  8. Awesome  kitchen with Island
  9. Smart layout with good functionality
  10. Attached two car garage

 

 

Bill Sands – Realtor

Jerry Pelker – Realtor

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Jeepers Creepers

Today, major cities around North America — Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco, Newark, N.J. — and worldwide all have problems. So, too, do smaller cities such as Reading Pa, as travelers bring the insects back home with them. They’re not just wreaking havoc on lives but affecting real-estate deals, too — not just renters but also buyers!  Bed bugs infestations are being  reported in high end clothing stores, like office buildings, banks, hospitals, and the air plane seat you just left yesterday!

National Pest Management Association, 95% of 521 pest-control companies nationwide said they’d dealt with at least one bedbug infestation in the past year.

“So what?” you say. “Bedbugs are a problem for the poor, right?” Hardly.

They’ve turned up in New York’s East Hamptons beach community and New York City’s ritzy  Upper East Side. Bed Bugs are nondiscriminatory. They don’t feed on filth, You could check into a five-star hotel, you could live in a multimillion-dollar house, you could have your kids go to the finest universities, and you could still have bedbugs.

Are you worried about things that bite in the night? Fear no more: We have all you need to know about bedbugs but were too skeeved out to ask.

Know the enemy

 
Bedbugs are small, reddish to mahogany-colored, flat-bodied bugs nearly the size of an apple seed. They eat blood — your blood and your pet’s blood. They hide during the day and feed on their sleeping host at night, leaving behind small, roundish, dark-red fecal stains or speckles (your digested blood). Females can lay up to 500 minuscule white eggs, in batches of up to 50 at a time!

What makes bedbugs particularly maddening is that they can go dormant and go without feeding for several months — adults have been known to go without feeding for 18 months — only to reappear later when there’s a warm body to feed upon.

Bedbugs like to live where they work; research reports that more than 85% of bugs are found on or near the bed, But they also appear places here people lounge — upholstered sofas and chairs, for instance.

If you are bitten at night, you know you have bedbugs, right? Not so fast: A bedbug bite leaves a red mark that’s hard to distinguish from other bites, such as mosquito bites. And research by the University of Kentucky has shown that nearly 30% of people don’t react to the bites at all. That means people often don’t know they have an infestation until it has exploded enough to be obvious — and has spread far beyond the bed.

“They can be in virtually anything — we get them in the pages and bindings of books. We’ve found them in the head of an adjustable wrench,”   Reports claim they  have found them inside coffee makers and sticks of deodorant.

“The key is early detection and awareness. If you find an infestation, let’s say within a few weeks or a month of the bugs entering the apartment, you have a good chance of stopping them with relatively straightforward measures.
How do you know if an apartment you’re thinking of renting, or a home for sale, has had bedbugs?

The quick answer: It’s not easy.

“It’s actually kind of difficult if you’re inspecting a vacated dwelling” because the insect can go dormant, The insects could hide under floorboards or behind walls — places not easy to access.

“If you see evidence of speckling toward the top (of the wall) where the wall meets the ceiling or the upper corners of the room, that means you had big problems before you arrived there.With bad problems, you’ll sometimes see (speckling) around or behind electrical face plates.

Also, look for evidence of bedbugs around edges where carpets have been. Don’t assume that just because any bedbug-infested furniture is gone, the bugs are gone, too: What happens with a vacant unit is that a lot of the bugs get taken out with the furniture, but if it’s a significant problem, not all of them do.

It’s not unheard of for bedbugs to scuttle a real-estate deal. In Chicago, condo owners sued a property-management company, saying the company should have told them there was an infestation in the building before they bought their units. The condo owners won,  an attorney and chairman of the department of hotel management at the William S. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas who speaks often about the legal aspects of bedbug infestations.

Know your rights going into any lease or deal; the law around bedbugs is changing quickly. In New York, for instance, Gov. David Paterson is expected to sign a law that would require New York City landlords to tell prospective tenants whether any units in an apartment building they are considering had been infested within the previous year. As this problem magnifies expect to see similar verbiage in the SDS, Seller Disclosure Statements in the near future

Keeping them out: Coming home
let’s say you’ve just come home from showing a home that you suspect has bed bugs?

  • Strip down. As soon as possible — such as when you’re just inside the house — take off the suspect clothes and empty your clothes and bag into plastic garbage bags. Seal them.
  • Dry it. “If you want to wash the stuff, that’s fine, but the heat from clothes dryer will kill them As little as 10 minutes on high heat “will kill everything.” Backpacks, shoes, sneakers — “all that stuff can go in there.” Even most “dry clean only” clothing can be put in a clothes dryer on a low to moderate setting with no harmful effects, as long as it’s dry.
  • Be aware of where you sit on upholstered furniture and beds

 

Bill Sands Realtor/ Jerry Pelker Realtor

Sands & Company Real Estate

www.PaRealEstate.com

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The Sliding Door

We’ve all experienced those sliding closet doors that stick and rub. Did you know there is a simple fix?

All sliding closet doors hang from a horizontal metal rail. Rollers fastened to the top of the door fit into a J-shaped track above. By adjusting the roller bracket, you can raise or lower the door.

 

The key is to understand how your particular door’s bracket needs to be adjusted. As the illustration shows, you’ll be looking for one or more screws within a slot. Loosen the screw(s), and then tip, turn or slide the bracket to raise or lower the roller.

 

Often you will find that loose screws in the bracket have allowed the door to drop or tip. Inspect the clearance between the door and the bottom guide, and make sure the door’s edge is parallel to the vertical door frame. Once you’ve found the proper roller setting and clearance, the door will operate properly.

 

Bill Sands / Jerry Pelker Realtor

Sands & Company Real Estate

www.PaRealEstate.com

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USVI Hotel Tax

If you are planning to rent your condominium it’s imperative that you follow a few steps:

 

Obtain a Business License from the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs of the U.S.V. I. The phone numbers is 340-776-8303 or visit their website www.dlca.vi.gov

 

The task of obtaining a license is easier then ever before since you can now go through the steps on line. The license is renewed each year.

 

The hotel room tax is 10 percent of the gross rental and will apply to every guest that resides in your condominium for a period of less than 90 days.

 

The 10 percent hotel room tax should be separately stated on the invoice to avoid any appearance of collecting more tax than is allowed by law. It is imperative that this particular tax not be lumped with any other condo charges. Taxpayers should be able to easily identify the tax charges on their bill. The Hotel tax returns are due on the 30th day after the end of each month by completing Form 722 V.I and mailed to:

 

Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Bureau of Internal Revenue

St Thomas, U.S.V.I. 00802

 

Confirm with your association how rentals are handled. Some associations require all rentals to be run through an onsite agency known as a “Hotel Plan” others are o.k. with the owners handling their own rentals as long as certain basic steps are met.

It is also recommended that you post the Condominium Rules & Regulations in your unit as well as the Parking Rules and Regulations so that your guests understand the parking requirements specific to your association.

The Lt. Governor of the USVI is cracking down on violators and they are monitoring advertisers on the popular vacation rental websites.

Bill Sands

Realtor

www.PaRealEstate.com

Sands & Company