SRES® Blog

Get More Eyes on Listings with Better Descriptions, Careful Staging

Get More Eyes on Listings with Better Descriptions, Careful Staging

With 25% of buyers making offers without even seeing a home -- a statistic from a recent Redfin survey -- it may be more important than ever to showcase features that are most important to today’s shoppers. In addition to detailed MLS descriptions, images and videos are crucial in conveying the features, feel, and flow of a property. Keep an eye out for new surveys and studies to stay up to date on how the pandemic changes homebuyer preferences and how your listings can accommodate those wishes. For example, 35% of consumers are changing what they’re looking for in a home. That’s according to

Create a Workspace that Sparks Joy

Create a Workspace that Sparks Joy

With more people staying home to work – perhaps for some time to come – you and your clients may be struggling to find the right home office setup and ways to stay focused and productive. Look to Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying up guru, who wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, who developed the KonMari method of home decluttering. “Spark joy” is Kondo’s famous rallying cry. Here are some KonMari-based strategies for creating a comfortable, productive work-at-home life. Create an ideal work spot. Imagine how you want your workspace to look when you walk in in the morning. Do you want

Mortgage Assistance for Homeowners Hit by Natural Disasters

Mortgage Assistance for Homeowners Hit by Natural Disasters

If you work in a place that has been hit by recent natural disasters — Hurricane Sally and the wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington — homeowners in your area may benefit from disaster relief policies from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. According to Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages impacted by a natural disaster, homeowners could get their payments suspended or reduced for up to 90 days. Some may be eligible for reduction or suspension of payments for up to 12 months. During the payment break, such homeowners won’t face late fees and foreclosures, and other legal

NAR Survey Looks at Market Recovery

NAR Survey Looks at Market Recovery

During the Covid-19 lockdown, what would happen to the real estate market was an open question. Now that some cities and towns have opened up, the answer has gotten clearer. For example, the 2020 Market Recovery Survey, conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® in June, shows that markets are recovering and that both buyers and sellers are returning. The data can help you give clients a better picture of what’s happening, buyers’ and sellers’ timelines, and the home features that now are important. For example, 35% of NAR members polled reported that buyers had changed at least one

Planning Phase for Home Remodeling Can Last Longer than Construction Time

Planning Phase for Home Remodeling Can Last Longer than Construction Time

When planning a home renovation, most people focus on how long they’ll be inconvenienced by a home that’s torn up. But what your clients may not factor in is the amount of planning time it takes to get a project off the ground. That’s one takeaway from the “2020 Houzz & Home Overview of U.S. Renovation in 2019 & 2020.” Though construction required between 2.7 and 4.5 months on average to complete various projects that the survey examined, the planning phases took nearly twice as long. Kitchens, for instance, required an average of 8.3 months of planning and only 4.5 months of actual

Pandemic Mortgage Relief

Pandemic Mortgage Relief

Clients who are struggling financially because of the pandemic may look to you for advice if they can’t pay their mortgage. Keep up on mortgage relief options, so you’re prepared to guide them to appropriate resources. For instance, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, homeowners with government-backed mortgages (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA, and USDA) can request up to a 360-day payment forbearance without proof of hardship. They’ll incur no additional fees, interest, or penalties for the forbearance. Also, talk with clients about how they can set

5 Tips for Launching a Caremongering Group

5 Tips for Launching a Caremongering Group

If you’re looking for ways to serve your community and build stronger local connections, consider launching a caremongering site on Facebook. Caremongering is a grassroots phenomenon that has swept across Canada to respond to community needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Facebook sites give people a way to find and assist neighbors in need. Locals post requests for help – grocery shopping, protective masks, medicine pick-ups, and so forth – and volunteers step in to fulfill those needs. Some Caremongering site examples: Kelowna (https://bit.ly/2RyJyZf) Oakville (https://bit.ly/2Vn91py)

Questions and Considerations for Selecting an Assisted Living Facility

Questions and Considerations for Selecting an Assisted Living Facility

When interviewing potential assisted living facilities, it’s a good idea to have a standard list of questions to ask each one so you can make relevant comparisons. This may include: What levels of care does this facility offer? What abilities and degrees of self-sufficiency are required of residents? What happens when these abilities change? Do you conduct an initial patient health assessment before admission? How often are assessments repeated? Are they written and available for the family’s review? What is your staff-to-resident ratio during the day? At night? Is a nurse on-site around-the

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

1. Start with the easy stuff. Eliminate anything that’s broken, damaged, or no longer wanted. Then, go to the out-of-the-way spaces like attics, crawlspaces, and garages. Progress in these "easier" parts of your home will help you build momentum and tackle the harder-to-decide areas. 2. Ask yourself, "If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it?" If you wouldn't miss it or need to replace it, it's probably not worth keeping. 3. Don't be a storage unit for others. If friends or relatives have left things for you to store, it's time to ask them to pick up their possessions—or

3 Ways Gen Xers Can Start Tough Chats with Boomer Parents

3 Ways Gen Xers Can Start Tough Chats with Boomer Parents

3 Ways Gen Xers Can Start Tough Chats with Boomer Parents Even if you’re a Gen Xer and your parents are younger baby boomers who are healthy and fit, it’s not too early to start talking with them about their future. You can start addressing some of the more challenging topics – finances, housing, and health directives – to get a feel for your parents’ plans and thinking. Weaving them into conversations early and making them natural discussion topics can lay the groundwork for later when you need to have more in-depth decision-focused discussions. Rather than always relying on direct questions