With February coming to a close I thought it would be a good idea to update my blog on the past two months. While pretty much trying to work through the apocalypse of snow the region has seen these past two months, the real estate market in Belleville has remained pretty active. With the select few motivated individuals getting their properties listed and online was a top priority to be ahead of the busy spring time market and to have their homes ready for the military postings. However I do still find that the buyers continue to dictate prices and the market trends. Besides listing and helping buyers look for their next home, I have been following up with people who are from out of the area and looking to move closer to town and to amenities. What I find to be lacking in Belleville are homes that have bigger lots and that don’t back onto another person’s yard. For people moving from the country to main cities, it is quite an adjustment to have people living in such close proximity to you. Although there are plenty of beautiful new builds and recently built resale models for sale (including this one built June 2012, http://www.century21.ca/Property/ON/K8P_0C1/BELLEVILLE/MEAGHER_PLACE/10) green space is a valued must have for some buyers and these properties with adequate green space tend to come with a premium on the list price.
Once the snow begins melting, I do anticipate a busy spring market as I know the snow and bad weather has been a huge deterrent for some people. However I do know that buyers are always looking online if the weather makes visiting the homes impossible at the time, so that is why I think always having a strong online presence is vital during the winter months.
In this month’s Real Estate Magazine (REM), an article called “Maximizing Virtual Curb Appeal” discusses how a positive first impression online is essential. The article states that almost 73% of sellers are more likely to list with an agent who is using video. I know that sounds like a large percentage of all sellers but if you think about it having video included in the marketing strategies for your property make it stand out that much more from the competition. Colleen Depodesta, a sales representative with Re/Max Garden City Realty in Burlington Ontario stated that, “Consider that almost every home buyer conducts their home search online and over half of those people are on mobile devices. You have about 3 seconds to capture the attention of an online consumer.”
Another bonus the article states for having videos of the property is that search engines prefer videos. Forrester Research did a study on the subject and found that videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page on Google as opposed to traditional web pages without video.
Here are some tips the article gives on how to create virtual curb appeal:
-Clean, tidy and well kept are the only options
-Think like photographer- consider camera angles, sightlines, lighting and vignettes
-Create a focal point in every one room
-Highlight key features- architecture, views an d landscaping
-Create an inviting feeling that suits the potential buyers desired lifestyle.
As usual, I have continued to volunteer for the United Nations Association of Canada-Quinte region, and have been recently designated as Director of Communications. In this role, I hope to unveil the organizations website by the time our next event rolls around (March 20th, an anti-racism initiative put forth by UNAC-Quinte was adopted for the Belleville area) and help with the spreading of the organization’s message of educating, in the Belleville area.
My next venture is to get a Young Professionals Group off the ground in Belleville and have enlisted the help of Belleville’s Chamber of Commerce to help round up some young professionals in the area who would like to get more involved with the city.