You have probably heard of the 80/20 rule. In brief, it states that in most things, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It was developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, and is known in academic and business circles as the Pareto Principle. He observed when gardening that about 20% of his pea pods held 80% of the peas. He further observed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was held by 20% of the population. People have observed this ratio in every walk of life and field of endeavor.
What does this have to do with real estate? Think of it this way–20% of potential buyers have 80% of the interest in your house. How to attract those buyers? The 80/20 rule comes back again–roughly 20% of your home’s features contain 80% of its appeal. In promoting your house, a skilled real estate agent will highlight the features that will bring the most interest and the best price. Case studies abound where agents neglected to mention a stunning view or a huge yard or even a swimming pool.
Selling for the best price requires effective marketing. Look at any real estate web listing site and you will soon be wondering what agents were thinking to have included some of the photos! Professionally taken photographs are almost always required, as well as skilled selection of the photos taken. Both photos and listing copy should highlight those selling features that will bring in the 20% of buyers. And it seems obvious, but spelling and grammar count.
This is the point where I tell you to call me to help you sell your house. You knew it was coming, right? Call me at 914-297-8475.
Everyone who knows me knows I love to eat, and I especially love fresh summer produce. I wax sentimental over strawberries and peaches, and some of my favorite vegetables produce similar reactions in me.
Knowing where to find the best summer produce without driving very far is essential for feeding your family and entertaining. I’ve extracted the following list or lower Westchester sources from an article on LoHud.com (link).
Croton-on-Hudson: 9 a.m.-2 p.m Sundays, May 7-Nov. 19 in the lot on Municipal Place off Route 9. Vendor list includes Wave Hill Breads and Bishop Farms with meat, poultry and eggs. 914-923-4837. FMNP accepted. www.downtoearthmarkets.com
Hastings-on-Hudson: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturdays, biweekly, Apr 1-May 20; weekly June 3-Nov. 26. Outdoors, library parking lot, at 7 Maple Ave., with free parking available. Expect live music, food trucks, activities for children and more. hastingsfarmersmarket.org
Irvington: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sundays starting June 4. Main Street School parking lot, 110 Main St. irvmkt.org
Ossining: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, May 21-Dec. 17. Parking lot at Spring and Main streets. 914-923-4837. www.downtoearthmarkets.com
Peekskill: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, March 19-May 28. Micheal J. DiBart Neighborhood Center,4 Nelson Ave. and Main Street. Starting June 4, Saturdays, 8-2 p.m. Bank Street between Park and Main.
Yonkers, Get Fresh Yonkers Farmers Market: Noon-5 p.m. Fridays, June 2-October in Van der Donck Park across the Yonkers Metro North Train Station. Hosted by Groundwork Hudson Valley, the market features produce grown within 100 miles of Yonkers, local baked goods and breads, and jams made by Yonkers public high school students. www.groundworkhv.org
Yonkers, St. John’s Church: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays, July 7-Nov. 17. In addition to farmer stands, the market includes a rummage sale, flea market, hot dog stand and coffee and doughnuts. 1 Hudson St., 914-963-3033. email: email@example.com. stjohnsgs.blogspot.com
Larchmont: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, April 22-Dec. 16. Municipal parking lot off Chatsworth Avenue, near the Larchmont train station. Enter on Myrtle Boulevard. 914-923-4837. www.downtoearthmarkets.com
New Rochelle: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Fridays, June 2-Nov. 17. North Avenue at Huguenot Park, near Iona College. Nearly 10 vendors, selling local vegetables, cheese, fruit and baked goods. 914-923-4837. www.downtoearthmarkets.com
New Rochelle Grand Market: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, June 3-Oct. 28. Ruby Dee Park at Library Green on Huguenot Street between Lawton Street and Memorial Highway (next to the New Rochelle Public Library). Look for weekly children’s entertainment, interactive art exhibits, cooking demonstrations, live music, food trucks and crafts from local artisans. www.newrochelledowntown.com
Rye: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, May 21-Dec. 3. Parking lot on Theodore Fremd Avenue, with artisanal food items, farm fruits and vegetables, pies and cheese. downtoearthmarkets.com
Have you found your dream house and want to make an offer? The real estate market is very competitive and you have to be prepared to take the lead. If you don’t, other buyers will pass over you. Here is some solid advice, based on a blog post by fellow realtor Manuel Barrios, that will help you win your house:
• Avoid Delays
“Time kills deals.” Be prepared and have all the paperwork ready: pre-approval letters, evidence of funds, etc. This way you can present a more eye-catching and organized offer and make a good impression on the listing agent and the seller. You should supply the pre-approval to your agent before you start looking, to help him choose appropriate properties for you and to be prepared to act quickly.
• Don’t make an offer for your lender’s pre-approved amount
Chuck Silverston (principal at the Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline Mass) says this about making such an offer:
“Many buyers come in with a pre-approved amount for the exact offer price, but when competing against other offers – including cash offers – people need to show financial strength.”
Then he adds: “An exact pre-approved amount can make alisting agent nervous because the buyer not only will not have room to negotiate, but may also not qualify if the interest rate increases. ”
• Don’t make a lowball offer
Submitting an offer significantly lower than the asking price can bring you negative consequences. Always base your offer on the current market–recent sale prices of similar homes in the area. Otherwise you might cause the owner to reject you completely and refuse to listen to any subsequent offers. (The one exception is if the property has been on the market for a significant period of time because it is overpriced, but until the buyer realizes this, your chances are not good.)
• Don’t waive inspection contingencies
It really does not matter if it is a new construction or if you are buying the property from a relative–you should get it inspected no matter what! If you waive the inspection contingencies in your offer, you could lose money and bargaining power by not knowing about problems with the house.
• Make a good impression
There is nothing more important than giving a good impression to the owner and listing agent. Just as buying a home is an emotional decision, so is selling a home. In addition to a solid and advantageous financial offer, a seller might also be swayed by your enthusiasm, your story, any personal appeal you might make through your agent to sweeten the offer. Although I don’t have data on this, there are cases where a seller with a strong emotional attachment to a home accepts an offer from a buyer he or she identifies with over one with a higher offer.
To discuss these points and any other questions you may have, feel free to contact me. I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Westchester County.