Interviewing a Web Savvy Listing Agent to Sell Your Home in the Crowded 2009 Atlanta Market

Over the last 24 months, particularly in large metropolitan markets like Atlanta, real estate print media has all but disappeared in favor of Internet promotion of listings and services. Web advertising continues to evolve; the ability of agents to provide enhanced listing details has captivated consumers who want easy access to every bit of online information that can be provided before they get into a car to begin the search. In the crowded 2009 Atlanta market with huge and stagnant inventories, differentiation is crucial. With approximately 45,000 single family homes and 10,000 condominiums available for purchase, there is significant motivation for sellers and listing agents to understand and implement high impact web marketing.

Customizable search criteria, birds eye views, street views, back yards, parking, amenities, questionable structures, bodies of water and topography are information used by enlightened Atlanta area buyers to eliminate properties in an oversupplied inventory. The Atlanta metro area has two MLS systems with significant overlap, so many agents list properties on both. In practice, a Multiple Listing System creates an equal playing field, so to leverage their listings, proactive agents are likely to advertise beyond the content of these systems. Powerful area specific websites, such as The Atlanta Journal Homefinder, Craigslist, Backpage, and Creative Loafing have evolved quickly to include extras like mapping tools and photo tours. However, these opportunities remain underutilized by listing agents, even when the advertising is free.

Specialized Internet marketing is not included in the skill set of most agents. Tech savvy agents who really get Internet marketing and property promotion are unique. An example of the typical disconnect is the property listing website, indexed by the house address url. What buyer knows your address before searching for their target dream home? How many web paths does your listing agent provide to move the buyer toward a site that showcases your home’s most appealing features?

More importantly, how does your agent achieve front page ranking on Google for your home? Occasionally I see listings that have placed an informational link in the private remarks section of the MLS listing, so that it may be viewed only by agents. If that is the sole online visibility of the path to a home’s virtual tour then everybody loses. The consumer browsing on a public access listing website misses some of the most compelling information. When I see this error, I know the agent has limited Internet marketing savvy; the chances of this home ranking high on Google are slim.

Descriptive property pages which achieve a high ranking on Google are not the result of large corporate brokerages which “stuff” listings into national real estate websites. In the large inventory of urban, suburban, and rural Atlanta housing, a home search can quickly confuse and frustrate buyers. The most successful web advertising for your home is a carefully crafted product managed by an agent who knows what really matters when consumers begin the search process. If Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park, The Avenue of East Cobb, or Roswell Square are popular destinations near your home, then the agent will incorporate this information into the web page title to capture additional traffic.

Relevant interview questions to help you identify a web savvy listing agent capable of creating a high impact marketing campaign to sell your home are:

* On which local and national real estate websites will you list my home?

* How often do you update my home’s listing information on these sites?

* What keyword searches can consumers use to find my home on the front page of Google?

* Explain how you incorporate SEO techniques into your overall marketing plan.

* Which Atlanta area specific domain names do you own that help potential clients find my house?

* Do you hire a professional photographer to showcase my home’s interior and exterior?

* How many pictures will appear on my home tour and which websites will display the tour?

* Will you add information to the pictures to create additional interest?

* How many seconds does it take for a buyer to load and view my tour?

* Can the photo tour of my home be emailed?

* Can you show me an example of your high impact listings?

* Will you walk me through the process that demonstrates how a buyer will find my home online?

* Will you show me all the details of my home’s listing profile as the public will view it?

* Will I receive weekly emails showing the number of views of my home’s virtual tour?

In the crowded 2009 Atlanta real estate market, the answers to these questions and the derived benefits are important differentiators between top sales achievers and those who won’t get to the closing table.

All You Need to Know About Affordable Home Insurance in Edmonton

Why You Should Get a Home Insurance Quote in Edmonton

· To avoid overpayment and save a significant amount of money

· Insuring your house, cottage, or rental includes protection from flooding

· To get any information about home insurance from a live agent

· To get a quote from 10 insurance companies

Sample Home Insurance Quotes in Edmonton

Example 1: Insurance on a two-story house in Allendale, about 2,000 square feet, including flooding coverage, costs around $93 a month, or $1,116 annually.

Example 2: Insurance on a condo with two bedrooms in the downtown area of Edmonton, near Canadian Western Bank Place, costs about $22 a month, or $264 annually.

Example 3: Insurance on a one-story house near the intersection of 107 Ave and 142 St NW, in the Grovenor neighbourhood of Edmonton, costs $65 a month, including flooding protection, or $780 annually.

Home Insurance Premiums in Edmonton – Average Rates

Home insurance policies change for different types of properties. Tenant insurance (also called renter’s insurance) only covers the contents of a rented house and, depending on the policy, liability. The homeowner’s coverage, on the other hand, is focused on the insurance of the building itself to ensure protection in instances that are related to natural hazards, fire or earthquake, or due to unlawful human activities like vandalism.

Home insurance covers the rebuild value of a dwelling, but not the market value, which is, in fact, higher. That is why, when the property has undergone some damages, the insurance provider will carry the rebuilding costs so the policyholder is able to restore a corresponding property.

This chart features the average premiums for rented and homeowner’s insurance in Alberta and Canada. As the chart shows, owned property insurance is, on average, higher than the renter’s policy.

Condo and Tenant Insurance Policies in Edmonton

Condo owners in Edmonton are protected by their own condo insurance policy, which they must buy, and the condominium corporation’s policy, which the corporation must buy. The first one covers the contents of a condo, modifications, theft, liabilities of a third party, locker contents, additional expenses and insurance assessments. The second type, the condominium corporation’s insurance, provides coverage for exterior parts of a building, like the roof, infrastructure (the building envelope) and areas like halls, lobbies, elevators and so on.

Condo tenant insurance, which is insurance of a rented condo, provides protection of the contents in case it is damaged as a result of theft, fire, etc. This type of policy also covers third party liability and additional living expenses. For example, if your condo was damaged due to fire or flooding, making it unsuitable for living, your condo tenant insurance in Edmonton can cover your temporary stay at a hotel room or rental unit.

8 Ways to Decrease Costs for Home Insurance in Edmonton

1. Quit smoking. Since smoking can pose a danger to your lungs and health overall, and since it also creates a higher risk of fire inside a house, insurance companies don’t welcome this habit, so they increase premiums for home insurance.

2. Choose a safe area to live in. Be careful not to buy a house in flood-prone or earthquake areas as the risk of damage to your house is double, and so are your premiums.

3. Check for recent claims because, if you have not made one for a long time, you can get a discount. However, not all insurance companies in Edmonton provide such an option, so you should ask around to be sure.

4. It is time to upgrade your home since houses that are well maintained get much lower premiums in comparison to ones that are very old and in poor condition. Be sure that when you spend money on upgrading any part of your house, like the bedroom or basement, you save on your home insurance by reporting the upgrades. In fact, call your insurer before you start and ask how much you can save!

5. Get alumni discounts. If you are a graduate of some post-secondary institutions, like McGill University or the University of Toronto, you can get alumni insurance discounts. Check with your university to see if it provides this advantage.

6. Union memberships may include insurance discounts. Some large corporations or unions also provide their members with insurance policies.

7. Take care of your plumbing since many insurance providers prefer copper and plastic pipes to the galvanized or lead ones. Perhaps one of the renovations for your home will involve upgrading the plumbing because, in Edmonton and Alberta, this will mean lower premiums for your home insurance.

8. Read consumer reviews. Consumer reviews help you choose among the variety of insurance providers in Edmonton to find the one that will be suitable for you in terms of finances and your situation.

Top Five Home Renovations Before Selling Tips

If you’ve done your homework and found that property makeovers are a financially sound decision to make before selling, there are a number of aspects you should keep in mind before you let a contractor begin swinging his sledge hammer.

Particularly, choosing to complete home renovations before promoting may be decidedly different than if you were making the house renovations for your own satisfaction. We have therefore put together a list of the top five things to consider when dealing with property restorations prior to selling:

Get more than one estimate

Within the rush to get the work completed and the house on the market, many sellers fly through the procedure for choosing a contractor to accomplish the work. However, not taking the time to find the right licensed contractor can mean disaster, both for the renovations and the following effect it can have on your ability to sell your property.

In short, get at least three estimates from three contractors who come with sparkling references. Also, don’t forgo calling references provided to you, and ask important questions, such as: Did they complete the work on time? Was the job completed to your full satisfaction? Did they accomplish the work on spending budget? Would you use them once again for a property restoration project?

Check and double-check the actual deadline with the service provider

Unless the contractor can definitively complete the actual project within your time frame, choose another expert, as deadlines for people selling their property are more important than ever. Make sure you reiterate the significance of finishing the job on time, and make sure the contractor incorporates this deadline within the contract.

Get just about all applicable permits

Don’t skimp on the details with your property renovations before selling, as the buyer may very well ask to see the permits. Display for the buyer that you required all necessary steps to ensure that the job had been completed professionally and safely by getting all appropriate permits.

Stay neutral

When selecting finishes for your home renovations, think neutral. In other words, you may enjoy red tile in the bathroom, but the truth is that most buyers will not. Think in terms of a wide audience, and stay as neutral as possible as to appeal to the majority of potential buyers.

Think mid-range for many projects

In order to ensure that you stay within budget and that you realize a return on your investment, think mid-range in terms of materials and finishes, (the only time this particular rule may not apply is in very expensive houses or mansions). Although many buyers would appreciate stainless appliances in the kitchen, the very fact of the matter is that you may not see a return on this investment. Choosing good-quality, sleek black appliances, on the other hand, will still show well in your renovated kitchen, however will cost you about a third of stainless steel home appliances.

Of course, before starting upon any house renovations before promoting, consult a real estate agent to make sure you will be able to see a return on your investment whenever selling.