The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 353
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December 7, 1997

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 353

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 7, 1997
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Page 353
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10 THE PALM BEACH POST RESIDENCES ADVERflSING SECTION 'SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7,' 1997 j Personal clutter distracts eye of buyers Smart Moves ELLEN JAMES MARTIN It was a two-story wood house of robin's egg blue. The place looked appealing from the street. But once inside, visitors realized it was crammed with collectibles. China figurines populated shelves and tables in nearly every room. Dried-flower arrangements abounded. And everywhere, there were items reflective of the owners' fascination with American history, such as antique baskets and witches' brooms. "The clutter was overwhelming," said Linda Cutter, the REMAX agent who listed the property. Try as she could, Cutter could not convince the home's owners, a nurse and an engineer, to place more than 20 percent of the items in storage. They were simply too attached to their belongings. As a result, it took double the usual time to sell the house, Cutter reports. Displaying a large number of collectibles distracts the buyer's eye from the property itself and makes it hard for the prospect to envision living there. That's because the display of a wide array of decorative items has already defined a lifestyle, Cutter said. "Too many collectibles can be devastating to the overall attractiveness of a house and make it look smaller. You don't want to hide your home," she stressed. Removing superfluous items, such as the photos and personal notes often at- soon changed the ad. Refusing to allow a "for sale" sign where one is permissible. Granted, there are condominium communities and new-home developments where "for sale" signs are prohibited and the homeowner has no alternative but to heed the rules. Still, among owners of houses in neighborhoods where yard signs are perfectly acceptable, about half refuse to allow the agent to use one, Fortin said. Why do they refuse? Some owners fear their home will be less secure if passersby realize it's up for sale. Others worry that their neighbors will think something has gone wrong in their lives, such as a financial problem or divorce. Generally, such fears are without basis, according to Fortin. And by declining to use a yard sign, a seller can greatly reduce full exposure of his property to the buying public. Though it's a low-tech marketing tool, the yard sign remains a highly effective way to get your message across, especially if you're on a busy street or live in a coveted neighborhood. Underestimating the marketing potential of your neighbors. Whenever someone in Fortin's office conducts a public open house at a property, he makes sure that 20 to 100 calls go out to those living in the home's immediate vicinity to invite them. Ellen James Martin is a columnist and senior financial reporter for The Baltimore Sun. peating the same old phrases, you diminish the impact of your advertising, said Michael McCann, a broker-associate who sells property through the ERA chain. What are some hackneyed phrases often seen in print advertising? McCann mentions two that he suggests avoiding: "must-be-seen," and "looks like new." Americans are awash in real estate advertising, and the best ads catch the attention of the reader in unusual ways that draw word pictures. For example, a home in a gardenlike setting might be called a "Garden of Eden." Fortin, of Century 21, likes to see print advertising changed each week to highlight various selling points and therefore appeal to different market segments. McCann also cautioned sellers against ads that make grander claims for a property than are truly justified. They can backfire on a seller by giving his property a bad name in the local real estate community. It's rare for an agent to write an ad that misrepresents a home, but it sometimes happens if the sellers insist on it. For instance, McCann said he recently showed prospects a property that was touted as offering "three bedrooms." When the would-be buyers arrived, however, they discovered that the purported third bedroom was really just a small den off the living room. The prospects were miffed, and the listing agent tached to the refrigerator doors, is a key point to the successful marketing of a home. Here are others: Hiring an agent who is responsive by phone. The lifeblood of home-selling is communication. The phone remains the leading way humans relate, despite the rise of computer communications such as e-mail. Your house could sell more slowly and possibly for less money if your listing agent is slow to respond to inquiries from prospects or other agents, said Patrick J. Fortin, who owns and operates an office in the Century 21 chain. A listing agent, or someone covering for that agent if he is away, should reply to phone messages by the end of the same business day, and preferably within a matter of a few hours, Fortin said. What's one good sip of an agent who is responsive by phone? He should return your own messages swiftly both before and after you engage him to sell your place. Using tired or misleading phrases in your advertising. To be sure, print advertising is a plus in marketing a home. But by simply re JUPITER ISLAND WATERFRONT ADMIRAL'S WATERFRONT FRENCHMAN'S WATERFRONT JUPITER ISLAND WATERFRONT ADMIRAL'S WATERFRONT FRENCHMAN'S WATERFRONT Q z Prudential Florida Realty f . - . , , - . - ; rW P ' t . g j VICTUAL KJALYPf WEMISTATE Interested in a 3D trip through your home or the property you're interested in purchasing? Call me for a private viewing of these and other luxury properties. JOHN O'MAHONY Waterfront Specialist Specializing in Unique Properties Office 407-744-2500 EXT. 213 Home 407-575-9542 Toll Free: 1-800-247-4191 EXT. 213 in -v nit Mllllll . l.ll,lll.ll,ILIUII.Pg I 1,1).) HllTOJUmiMI .re ?. ' -i E An Independently Owned and Operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. it 1 t iWPt T 'TUHiirrip',-1 1 t r.-7xu'ii iv )i'jA.iii-;.iaitnt. i j li J ::;--:r!!-SU.i-A- U3 tr it' r1 OAK HAMMOCK-CBStile, 54.5, soaring ceilings, lightbright, 3 car garage, direct intracoast-al, centered between Jupiter & Palm Beach inlets, .8 acre fully shaded, awesome lot., house & deal Asking "950,000 to '1,100,000 CLASSIC FRENCHMANSDEEPWATER- 3BR4.5BA, 2930 sq. ft. under air. Philippine marble floors. Up to 65' sport yacht. 15' clearance to Intra & ocean. Total privacy & security. Asking 729,900. Call John O'. J9' ""W . . ' X--0.-n. jrt yLat. ... - A . - . II f Sftrf:?.' it-tic ' , , " T " m ft m. ..... fs 1 " V -e 2L -UU si DYNAMIC OCEANFRONT S wll C EXTINCTION IS FOREVER - last oceanfront lot, 15 above ENDANGERED SPECIES -100 345' vacant land deep water, east eiposure easfateast views looking the length of the east tali ot the loianatcnee eM1K.tMm1l!mtk6!lliurllfilil) asking '440000 20 under last 5 nverfront sales on Anchorage Port Can John ff. OCEANFRONT HOUSE 699,000 - A top Corinthians Condominium in Jupiter. 33 w2750 living area plus mammoth 1400 sq ft deck, east & south exposure. Potential to combine wNeighboring unit to 66. Call John O' for details. marble, 2 fireplaces, gas, elevator, marblegraniteconan, wet bar, 15 above sea level means awesome views throughout Seller will take housecondo as trade. Seller will entertain sea leva, vsu ouMng envelope 1st floor. West ot XCCL . Asking '500,000 to "550,000, One lot South of the oceanfront properly listed to left. Pnvate dune crossover. Call John 0'. V) oners between l.soo.OOO to 2.000 000 Call John 0' ii i mm 2 Pl I IV 'la . m r KW LISTING ----- , I . ifJ-pl " - tr u. LOXAHATCHEE RIVER - East Exposure, Awesome views from this Great Family Home. Parquet Floors, Old Chicago brick fireplace. 55 W230 Alicante 33.5 wLoft (Study, Studio) 2 Masters, 2nd Floor Master wOcean view from the deck. Asking '595,000.00, Private Dune Crossover. STEEPLECHASE "BUILDERS MODEL" 43.5 CBSbarrel roofstudyformal dininggranite, pavers, pool, screen, lake views. Owner anxious. Available immediately. '449,900 DOUBLE MASTERS - lup - 1down, 2 lots from the ocean 33.5 wgourmet kitchenmaple whandpainted tile tops, hurricane shutters, heated courtyard pool, Reduced '574.000 rrontage. aener win finance Asking '1,150,000 Moitvateo sener. call John O . WATERFRONT SEMINOLE ' WATERFRONT JUPITER ISLAND WATERFRONT ADMIRAL'S WATERFRONT SEMINOLE WATERFRONT JUPITER ISLAND WATERFRONT . ADMIRAL'S

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