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Bitcoin Basics in 2021

Bitcoin Basics in 2021

Bitcoin Basics for Real Estate Agents in 2021 ( + Expert Predictions)

At Sheri Dettman & Associates, we have always prided ourselves on being ahead of the curve. Bitcoin, and blockchain, although they have been around for a few years, are still something that is not yet widely understood in the Real Estate world. This article makes it easy to understand! We look forward to using blockchain tech and being your go-to agents with, as always, the latest, and best technology along with the best personal service.

February 4, 2021/Courtesy of Emile L'Eplattenier

One of the most common questions we get from real estate agents these days is when, or even if, bitcoin will finally make its way into real estate transactions.

Of course, if agents are asking us that, it means their buyers and sellers are probably asking them. So it’s only a matter of time before understanding how this technology works will be necessary for any agent who doesn’t want to get left in the dust of yet another disruptive technology for real estate.

The only problem is that bitcoin is—and there’s no other way to say it—confusing. Don’t worry, though. Even people who are so-called experts in the field can have a hard time explaining it.

That’s why we put together this quick explainer on bitcoin for real estate agents and also talked to a few agents and brokers who have already taken the leap to get their take on how they think bitcoin will transform the real estate industry in 2021 and beyond.

Can My Buyers Purchase a Home With Bitcoin Yet?

Coding

Kind of. However, almost all real estate transactions using bitcoin have used a service called BitPay to convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars (USD) to transfer funds to the seller.

As far as “bitcoin-to-bitcoin” transactions go, where title changes hands and the bitcoin is never converted into USD—they still remain very rare. The sticking point is generally title companies and lawyers, both of whom are still somewhat reluctant to use the digital currency.

Douglas Elliman’s Stephan Burke and Carol Cassis sold the first property using bitcoin wallets in 2017, as well as a $6 million transaction after that, the largest fully bitcoin translation to date. Since then, they have closed more than $34 million in volume using cryptocurrency converted to cash.

However, while it has been slow going here, where bitcoin and blockchain show the most promise is for overseas transactions.

Over at the always-excellent Mansion Global, EminGun Sirer, associate professor of computer science and co-director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts at Cornell University, weighed in on why cryptocurrencies are ideal for foreign buyers:

EminGun Sirer Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts

“Cryptocurrencies enable the quick, frictionless transfer of value across the globe. This enables someone in Russia to be able to easily send bitcoins to purchase land in Belize.”

Should I Advise My Sellers to Accept Bitcoin?

In today’s market, bitcoin may not be ready for prime time, but there is one thing that is undeniable. Offering your listing for sale in bitcoin will get you instant free press. Remember the first listings that had drone videos? Imagine that times 10. Here’s Seattle Realtor, Sam Debord:

Sam Debord Seattle Realtor“I’ll sell my house for bitcoin” is the latest marketing tactic, and it’s working … at least for publicity.”

In order to accept bitcoin, you can either have the seller transfer into USD, work with a title company that will accept bitcoin, or have a lawyer write up a contract that covers all risks from bitcoin. At this point, most people will avoid actually paying in bitcoin, but the free press might be a good trade-off.

Can My Buyers Get a Loan With Bitcoin?

Yes. Startups like Unchained Capital allow people who hold bitcoin to borrow up to $1 million with no credit check and interest rates between 10% and 14%. However, these are not long-term loans; Unchained offers loan lengths ranging from three months to three years.

While not for everyone, hardcore bitcoin owners use services like this to get quick liquidity without cashing in their bitcoin portfolios. Think down payments, or maybe even bridge loans.

There Must Be a Catch … Is There Capital Gains Tax for Transferring Bitcoin to USD?

Yes. As of January 1, 2018, the federal government considers cryptocurrency as property and anyone selling (or trading bitcoin for U.S. dollars) will be hit with capital gains tax on the amount their bitcoins appreciated since they purchased or mined them.

Are Bitcoin & Blockchain the Same Thing?

No. While bitcoin is a digital currency that you can exchange for goods and services, blockchain is the underlying technology that stores bitcoin or other cryptocurrency transactions in a digital ledger.

Bitcoin

Okay, Then What Is Bitcoin Exactly?

Bitcoin is a fully digital currency created in 2009 by an anonymous person who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto online.

Like any other currency, bitcoin can be used to pay for goods and services, transfer funds, or as an investment. Currently, over 15,000 vendors accept bitcoin, from Microsoft to small businesses.

The main difference between bitcoin and say, an ACH transfer through a traditional bank is that there is no middleman in the transaction. The entire transaction from buyer to seller takes place on the Bitcoin network. Since a bitcoin transaction bypasses the different bank policies, or different regional banking laws that are part of any other transaction, transfers are much faster.

Since there is no bank or government to get in the way, bitcoin can be a great way to transfer money or make purchases overseas. Foreign buyers may find bitcoin’s speed and simplicity ideal for buying property in the United States.

Bitcoin is an example of a fiat currency; its value is not backed up by gold or other tangible assets. Instead, bitcoin relies on something called blockchain to verify transactions.

Got It. So What’s Blockchain?

Although blockchain is very complex, the best way to describe it to your clients is to compare it to ACH, the technology that lets you “wire” money from one bank to another. The main difference is that blockchain does not rely on banks to verify transactions have been completed. Instead, once a transaction is completed, it is stored in an encrypted digital ledger that is distributed among everyone on the blockchain.

This means that instead of relying on trusted institutions like banks to verify transactions, the verification is done very quickly by algorithms that check the stored transaction data on the millions of users on the blockchain.

What makes blockchain so powerful is that the ledger is stored on every single computer (node) in the system. This makes faking a transaction virtually impossible. Since the blockchain is extremely secure, it has many applications beyond verifying and storing bitcoin transactions. Everything from contracts to voting records can theoretically be stored on blockchain.

Which Technology Will Have a Bigger Impact in the Real Estate Market, Bitcoin or Blockchain?

According to most experts, blockchain will have a bigger impact on real estate than bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Here’s why: Transaction speed is not a very pressing problem for real estate transactions, but record-keeping and middlemen are. Here’s Jason Shepherd, co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group, on why he thinks blockchain technology, particularly smart contracts and other applications built on Ethereum, an alternative to bitcoin, will change the real estate market:

Jason Shepherd Atlas Real Estate Group

“It is important to separate the cryptocurrency from the underlying blockchain technology when discussing real estate disruption. The disruption in real estate will come from the blockchain technology (distributed ledger) and smart contracts like those found on the Ethereum platform.”

So What Are Smart Contracts?

Smart contracts are contracts between two parties that are verified and stored on the blockchain. Today, most smart contracts are built with the blockchain protocol behind Ethereum, another cryptocurrency.

The main benefit behind smart contracts is that there is no need for a middleman in the transaction. Everything is verified and stored on the blockchain.

In the future, blockchain can be used to store records of a transaction all the way from a blockchain-enabled MLS, to escrow, inspections, title, and sales contracts. Leases and other commercial real estate contracts could also be on the blockchain.

While smart contracts haven’t yet hit the mainstream for real estate, startups like Propy and Ubiquity.io are changing that.

To learn more about smart contracts, check out this excellent guide over on Block Geeks.

What Is This ‘Mining’ for Bitcoins I Keep Hearing About?

Man Mining

OK, from here on in, the process gets a bit more technical, and therefore much harder to explain. While it’s unlikely your buyers or sellers will grill you about this, having a basic understanding can help.

Remember how we talked about how transactions on the blockchain are verified by other users? Well, bitcoin mining is the process that verifies transactions and adds them to the public ledger.

Bitcoin “miners” are rewarded with bitcoin for using their computer’s processing power to verify transactions. Before you get too excited and start mining bitcoin out of your broker’s office, understand that in most places, the payment for mining bitcoin will probably be less than the electricity costs to run computers long enough to verify transactions.

What Advantages Do Other Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin & Ripple Have Over Bitcoin?

OK, now we’re getting a little too far into the weeds. Worse, the crypto industry changes so fast that by the time you read this, something will have inevitably changed. If you’re feeling brave, check out this cool infographic from Visual Capitalist:

Infographic Bitcoin Ethereum Comparison

How 10 Real Estate Experts Think Bitcoin Will Disrupt the Industry

So now that you have a basic understanding of bitcoin, here’s how 10 real estate industry experts see bitcoin transforming the real estate market in the coming years.

1. Jason Penner, Douglas Elliman, New York City

Jason Penner Douglas Elliman

“A brief way that I explain bitcoin is, it’s as if technology and finance had a baby. Humans survived for hundreds of thousands of years (if not longer) without money. Money is a relatively new concept to humans, and to think that the current financial system is the peak evolution of money and the storage of value is nothing short of naive. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies represent that next step in the evolution of storing and exchanging value.”

2. Jim Merrion, Coldwell Banker Realty, Colorado

Jim Merrion Coldwell Banker Realty

“The real estate industry’s appetite for using bitcoin to purchase real estate seems to be coming back in a big way in 2021! Being a Realtor who has helped a buyer purchase developable land using bitcoin converted to cash and marketed several listings willing to accept bitcoin as payment, bitcoin investors are finding me online and reaching out with plans to purchase property using these funds in 2021.

 

“Currently, I have one bitcoin investor looking to buy a 35+ acre ranch property and have spoken to several others over the past few months about how the process could successfully work for them.

 

“And Smart Contracts are starting to be seriously considered by at least one title company in Colorado now. With their inherent security and ability to prevent wire fraud, there is a lot of motivation by the transaction processing entities to find new technology solutions that reduce their risk and enhance the efficiency of the closing process.”

3. Tristan Ahumada, Realtor, Speaker & Co-founder of LabCoatAgents

Tristan Ahumada LabCoatAgents

“So far, most of the bitcoin transactions in the real estate world have had only one party dealing in cryptocurrency and the other one doing it the traditional way. The deal can still take place, but the cryptocurrency has to be turned into cash. I do envision cryptocurrency catching on more, but our society has to start using the bitcoin/blockchain technology more. I do see it becoming normalized—it’s just a matter of people getting used to it. It is just as easy as people using credit cards and Apple pay.

“For now, there are companies like BitPay and some other international banks that allow people to convert their bitcoin into cash.”

4. Jason Shepherd, Co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group

Jason Shepherd Atlas Real Estate Group

“The disruption in real estate will come from the blockchain technology (distributed ledger) and smart contracts like those found on the Ethereum platform. The escrow process will be replaced by a smart contract, using code as the intermediary to distribute earnest money. Imagine a real estate transaction where all of our inspection and due diligence information can be found in one public ledger on the blockchain—ownership, encumbrances, repair receipts, improvements, liens—all viewable and indisputable on the distributed ledger.

 

“This transparency reduces the need for title insurance and truncates the purchase timeline for a home from 30 days to a few days. Title and escrow will be the first layer of disruption, but increasing transparency will allow the public to access more information and be less reliant on real estate brokers. This won’t replace brokers, but it will warrant a repricing for what brokers can charge their clients.”

5. John Gilbert, Co-founder/Director Prime-EX

John Gilbert Prime EX

“The acceptance of cryptocurrencies into mainstream investment portfolios equals more buyers this year for major ticket items, such as houses. Many purchases are coming from people who have never purchased real estate before. This equals more sales for real estate agents who are willing to learn about cryptocurrencies, more sales for real estate agents who are willing to market to people who are invested in cryptocurrencies, and more sales for real estate agents who are willing to specialize in educating their home sellers on how to accept cryptocurrencies as payment in kind for their real estate.

 

“The cryptocurrency genie will not be put back into the bottle.”

6. Avani Desai, CEO & Co-founder of MyCryptoAlert

Avani Desai MyCryptoAlert

“Crypto will allow a homebuyer to gather funds quickly, sometimes in less than 60 seconds, and into the hands of the seller, instantaneously. All of this is done on the blockchain, so the transaction is recorded in an open distributed ledger using encryption techniques that ensure that a transaction was complete and accurate and can never be retroactively changed. I believe what brokers and agents are going to see aside from transactions being done with crypto are technology platforms that are built on the blockchain. Therefore, understanding the two most known and built on blockchains that are out there—the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain—is crucial. Agents will see everything from smart contracts executed, to title storage, to international money exchanges.”

7. Alan Lewis, Chief Investment Officer at DiversyFund

Alan Lewis DiversyFund

“We are already seeing real estate sellers finding creative ways to accept crypto from a buyer in order to expand the pool of potential purchasers. As a real estate investment platform, our online customers have prompted us to look into accepting crypto and also launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that is backed by real estate assets, which creates a perfect marriage of old and new asset classes.”

8. Sheryl Lowe, Broker Associate, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Sheryl Lowe Kuper Sotheby's International Realty

“In all of my 33 years of closing transactions, I honestly couldn’t have expected something so unique to go so smoothly. In a matter of 10 minutes, the bitcoin was changed to U.S. dollars and the deal was done!

 

“Of course, it helped to have the right team behind this—Laura Pagnozzi of Independence Title was a key player in keeping everything together.”

9. Hyun Lee, Communications & Marketing Director, Mothership Foundation

Hyun Lee Mothership Foundation

“With Ethereum, there are companies that wish to build smart contracts around existing services, including real estate. This allows for a fully digital real estate transaction. In fact, the first real estate transaction using only the Ethereum blockchain already happened. Michael Arrington, co-founder of TechCrunch, recently purchased a Kiev studio apartment for $60,000 via smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

“In this case, the smart contract allowed the sale of the property. If this template was to be copied and applied to all future sales, I would imagine real estate agents would need to pick up on using smart contracts.”

10. Dr. Lucas Lu, Founder/CEO, 5miles

Dr. Lucas Lu 5miles

“Fractional ownership. The high cost of home ownership in more and more markets has priced out many potential homebuyers, leaving them on the sidelines.

 

“Just as USD can be bought and sold in fractions, in a similar way the number of whole bitcoins (BTCs), for example, has a limit and can be used fractionally. This means that cryptocurrency holders can see the value of their currency rise, but also can pool their crypto resources with owners to purchase properties collectively, as investments.”

Bottom Line

No matter how much you fight it, bitcoin and the blockchain technology it runs on will revolutionize the real estate industry. Since your buyers and sellers will be curious about the potential of bitcoin for their transactions, agents need to have a basic understanding of how this technology works. This will not only allow them to represent their clients better, but also help attract and retain tech-savvy buyers and sellers, and create a buzz with marketing.

About Emile L'Eplattenier

As Managing Editor for The Close, Emile is responsible for the editorial direction of the site’s real estate content as well as curating actionable insights from top producing agents and brokerages from across the country. A licensed New York City Real Estate Agent and veteran of the marketing department at Tishman Speyer, Emile has been involved in every aspect of residential real estate from branding new developments to pre-war rentals and resales. Emile also regularly provides market insights and commentary for publications like The New York Times, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, Fox News, Yahoo, and US News & World Report. When he’s not writing or editing, Emile enjoys collecting vintage furniture and playing his guitar.

Palm Springs Area Hotel and Resort Recommendations

La Quinta Hotels & Resorts
Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa
Newer property close to Old Town La Quinta

Homewood Suites by Hilton
Highly recommend by Sheri's clients, this newer property is central to La Quinta, Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Indio and is reported to be a good value.

Chateau At Lake La Quinta
Botique hotel with unique rooms overlooking the lake. Meals by the water and more.

La Quinta Resort And Club
Quaint historical resort property dating back to the 1920's

Legacy Villas
2 & 3 bedroom condos and town homes next to La Quinta Resort. Daily and weekly rentals.
Contact Sheri for referal to our rental specialists.

Indian Wells Hotels & Resorts
Sands Hotel & Spa - Small, hip hotel next to The Nest.

Miramonte Resort & Spa - Smaller, more intimate then the Hyatt & Esmeralda Resorts - Highly rated.

Hyatt Grand Champions Resort & Spa - Large resort property w/golf, tennis, spa and more.

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa - Next door to the Hyatt.

Rancho Mirage Hotels & Resorts
Agua Calinete Casino - Resort & Spa - New resort tower and The Show Theater.

Rancho Las Palmos Resort & Spa - Lot's of families & kids. Walk to The River Shopping/Theaters/Dining.

The Ritz-Carlton Resort - Luxury resort recently opened high a hill overlooking the Coachella Valley.

Westin Mission Hills - Part of the Mission Hills Country Club development with public and private golf.

Palm Desert Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Paseo - Boutique hotel in the heart of Palm Desert.

JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort & Spa - Take a boat ride to dinner - Mega pool area

Homewood Suites by Hilton - Highly rated newer property. Reasonably priced.

Palm Springs Hotels & Resorts
The Rowan Palm Springs - a Kimpton hotel with roof top pool and bar.

Parker - Mod, quirky, with good restaurants.

Saguaro - Colorful, hip hotel.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club - mid-century desert modern, former Westward Ho.

Desert Riviera Garden Resort - Newly renovated and highly rated with adjacent casino.

Hotel Zoso - Was a Hard Rock for a minute and now back to Zoso. Funky.

Korakia Pensione - Unique Mediterranean-style pensione.

Avalon - Boutique resort property

Indio Hotels & Resorts
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino - Casino, concerts, bowling, dining and more on the other side of the 10 freeway (the wind belt).

Palm Springs Area Homebuyers Love Video!

View Sample Videos On The Featured Properties Page

Today’s Palm Springs area homebuyers love video. That said, there's a big difference between a poorly done and a professionally shot and edited HD video tour. A top-notch video tour should succeed in getting potential buyers excited about your home and motivate them to request a showing.

Not Exactly A Video Tour

 

Sheri's Exclusive Pro Video & LED Lighting Gear On LocationThe MLS, YouTube® and dozens of popular national real estates websites are packed with poorly produced real estate videos. Consider that most real estate videos on the web aren’t video tours at all, but slideshow images of homes that utilize still photos that fade in and out to music.

A real estate video’s goal should be to stimulate a desire in your property. And here in the Palm Springs real estate market it should also highlight your community and amenities. Keep in mind that most buyers aren’t coming to the Palm Springs area to simply buy a home–today’s buyers are investing in the desert lifestyle for their family and friends.

 

Professional Video Narration Of Your Video Tour

Another sign of a professional video tour is professional narration of the property tour. Adding narration holds viewer's interest longer. Sheri Dettman personally narrates each Sheri Dettman & Associates video tour (Sheri has extensive video presentation training).

 

85% Of Buyers & Sellers Prefer A Realtor Who Uses Video

Exclusive In-House Professional Video ProductionIn 2012, the National Association of Realtors found that 85 percent of buyers and sellers prefer to work with a Realtor who uses video marketing. But did you know that only 15 percent of agents are actually using video, and even less are using video correctly (still passing those old slideshows off as a video).

Another study by international listing website Domain.com found that a video tour increased real estate listing inquiries by a whopping 403 percent (403%). And that’s inquiries, not just views. In other words, properties listed with professional video tours generated four times the number of quality buyer leads. And according to the Online Publishers Association, 80 percent of online viewers remember what they’ve seen in online videos.

There’s a huge untapped audience of Palm Springs area homebuyers out there, just waiting to watch your videos. And since video-savvy agents are still very much in the minority, joining the Sheri Dettman & Associates video revolution can give your property a major edge over your competitors.

 

Over 25,000 Videos Viewed In Just 12 Months

Sheri Dettman & Associates gets video. In a recent 12-month period there were over 25,000 views of Sheri's exclusive HD videos on the Sheri Dettman & Associates real estate websites.

Sheri’s in-house marketing team produces each seller client’s exclusive video in-house using the best gear and talent available. Why not discover what a professional video tour can do for your property?

Sheri Dettman & Associates Video Studio Lighting Test Shots

 

Aggressively & Persistently Advertising Your Home

Sheri Dettman's exclusive in-house marketing team is unique to desert real estate. They'll work for you in promoting your property, and they embrace all available media to get the message out about your property. Consider that not every Palm Springs area realtor offers equal marketing, services or experience.

Sheri's marketing team will create a distinctive, effective, and results-oriented marketing campaign for your property utilizing our professional marketing and advertising staff, technological resources, and extensive marketing budget. And since today’s homebuyers can come from anywhere, your property will be exposed both locally and globally.


Sheri Dettman & Associates Marketing Channels

  • Listing Distribution To 83 Consumer Real Estate Websites: In addition to the MLS, Sheri will distributes your homes listing to the top 83 premier consumer websites in the United States and Canada including Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, HomeFinder.com and RealtyTrac.com.

  • Digital Marketing: Digital Marketing is the heart of our online world and includes the creation of our exclusive real estate websites, designed to easily make your property be easily found online. Properties featured on Sheri’s website usually receive 200% to 500% more property views than the major national real estate sites combined during the first 30-days. Your digital marketing will include your exclusive property webpage and your community webpage giving potential buyers an overview of your gated community.

  • Featured Property Listings: Your property will be featured on Sheri's Featured Property Webpage and popular Real Estate Blog

  • Internet Advertising: Sheri invests in extensive and ongoing Internet advertising campaigns that include Google AdWords, Facebook paid advertising, Bing, and Yahoo. Coverage includes the United States and Canada. Our marketing team includes a dedicated pay-per-click specialist.

  • Dedicated Social Media Team: Social media will help to find and engage with your target buyers online. Sheri's social media platform development has created a cohesive presence for marketing your home online and will identify your greatest opportunities for engagement.

  • Architectural Photography & Video: Sheri believes that each home deserves award-winning magazine-quality photography. And since over 90% of today's home buyers conduct their home searches online, it's a fact that homes offering the best photos will generate much more interest than homes with average or poor quality images. Beyond investing in the best photography possible, Sheri's marketing team also developed their own exclusive websites to showcase these high-quality images.

  • Exclusive Video Tour: A custom video tour featuring your home and your community will be featured on Sheri's Palm Springs area real estate websites, Sheri’s blog, and Sheri’s YouTube channel if appropriate.

  • Direct Mail: Your extensive direct mail campaigns will target potential buyers of your property and people interested in your community.

  • Property Brochure or Flyer: Print media will be developed for placement within your property.

  • Magazine & Newspaper Advertising: Sheri's in-house marketing team has extensively tested magazine and newspaper advertising during the past twelve years. From full page color ads to 1/8 page layouts. They know which media delivers buyer prospects and which media doesn't get results. According to the National Association of Realtors 2018 report, -1% of buyers come from print advertising, making it virtually useless in 2019.

  • Additional Proprietary Marketing: Sheri's marketing team also invests in several proprietary marketing and advertising channels that will gain additional exposure for your property. Many of these methods are both unique and exclusive to Sheri Dettman & Associates.


Not Your Average Real Estate Advertising

According to The National Association of Realtors, the average agent invests just $1,500 annually in advertising and marketing. And the top 10% of Realtors nationwide invests just $10,000 annually in marketing. In contrast Sheri Dettman & Associates will invest over $350,000 annually in what Sheri refers to as "Smart Marketing."

So why settle for average when it costs you as a seller nothing more to gain so much more exposure for your property?

8 Questions To Ask An Agent Before Listing Your Property

The days of simply listing a home on the Palm Springs Area MLS® and running ads in the local paper are long gone, or at least they should be. You can use these eight questions to help qualify prospective agents before listing your home for sale.

 

1. Can You Send Me More Information About You?

You can often get a good idea of which Palm Springs area real estate agents are the most professional by looking at their promotional materials and their real estate websites. If their own materials aren’t professional and stand out, how well are they going to be able to market your home?

Also, be aware of how long each agent takes to respond to your request and how quickly they follow up. If they don’t respond efficiently to your listing requests, imagine how they’ll handle inquiries from potential buyers or other agents.

 

2. Do You Have A Support Staff Or Assistants?

By employing specialists to handle the details of their business including marketing, advertising, and administration the agent can spend more time servicing your needs, looking for buyers, and being available when you have questions or just want an update.
 

 

3. Do You Provide A Written Marketing Plan For Each Listing?

Without a written marketing plan you won’t know how effectively your property is being marketing. A written plan also helps you keep track of any marketing promises that were made.

 

4. Where Will My Property Be Featured Online?

You’re looking for a professional marketing presentation of each of the agent’s properties and the community where your property is located. Agents who cast a wide net by exposing your property on multiple websites both locally and globally, can expose your property to a wider pool of qualified buyers.

 

5. How Do I Receive Communication And Feedback?

Today’s top agents provide excellent communication and feedback, keeping you informed at all times of your marketing results and property showings.

 

6. How Many Active Buyer Clients Are You Currently Working With?

The more active buyer clients your agent and his/her team have, the better. Top agents have a good mix of representing both buyers and sellers. If they don't have a record of finding and selling to buyers, then that agent is likely a listing agent.

 

7. How Many Transactions Did You Complete In the Last 12 Months?

You're looking for experience in negotiating and closing sales, not just showing a lot of properties. 24% of the active agents in the Palm Springs real estate market did not complete a single transaction in 2010. The average agent in the U.S. only completes seven transaction per year! It’s hard to stay on top of things professionally if you only work at it just a few times each year.

 

8. What Types Of Things Separate You From Your Competition?

Agents who are innovative and offer new methods of attracting buyers will measurably outperform agents who rely on outdated methods of the past such as newspaper ads or open houses. Marketing Palm Springs area homes effectively today requires progressive strategies which add value and service for both buyers and sellers and reach the largest pool of qualified buyers possible! Informative real estate blogs social marketing and online video are just three examples of media that today's top agents utilize.

 

If you find an agent that meets all of these qualifications, consider yourself being served by a true real estate professional. Your home will be marketed to the largest possible audience and allow you to get the highest price for your home!

<<< Back to Information for Home Sellers

5 Tips To Maximize Your Homes Sale Price & Sell Faster

 

by Sheri Dettman, Realtor

Would you like to sell your home faster and for more money? Hopefully your answer is yes, and in that case you’ll want to follow this time proved strategy. We call it getting ready to move! The National Association of Realtors reports that a staged home sells 50% faster and for 17% more money then unstaged. While hiring a home stager is an option, you can stage your home yourself very effectively by following the five key steps below. These tips can also improve your upcoming magazine quality photography and/or professional video shoot of your home.

 

1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

When you list your La Quinta or Palm Springs area home for sale, people will begin looking at your home, and they’ll be comparing it to other homes they also want to visit.

To each of these prospective buyers your home is now a product.  Say to Yourself: “I’m selling and moving so this is not my home it’s a product to be sold much like a color TV on display at Costco.

Decide to let go of your emotional attachments to the house because someone else will buy it, and you’ll be moving soon. Picture yourself moving into your new home and saying goodbye to every room.

 

2. De-personalize

Hide everything—family photos, awards, trophies, your collection of antique teacups—that might interfere with a buyer feeling like your home could be theirs. People get distracted when they’re surrounded by someone else’s personal stuff. Make your bathroom look like a hotel’s; no one wants to see your soggy loofah and half used bar of soap. Put all your beauty products in a shower caddy that can easily be stowed under the sink before a showing.

 

3. De-clutter

Clutter can lower a home's sale price and can make a home sell slower! Since you want to move now, it’s a great time to start packing! Most people have too much stuff, whether its tchotchke or paperwork or furniture. The goal is to create a sense of space in a room—and in all of your closets. Fight the urge to shove all your stuff in your closets, since many prospective buyers open every last one and love to examine nooks and crannies. An organized closet can send the message that, as an owner, you’re a person who doesn’t slack on any aspect of maintaining your home...

 

4. Clean and Freshen

No one wants to walk into a dirty house. Bathrooms and kitchens, in particular, should be sparkling. Pay attention to hidden corners like the nook behind a toilet or the inside of your refrigerator. You never know where people are going to look. Since only about a third of Americans live with pets, be sure you’re not alienating the other two thirds of the population. Remove all traces (leashes, litter boxes, dog beds, pet food bowls) of animals.

And since outdoor living is so popular here in the desert, be sure to make your patio, outdoor furniture and barbecue area appear ‘entertainment-ready.’ Adding a color bowl or two full of seasonal annuals is an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up your patio, as well.

 

5. Lighten and Brighten

You want to have as much light as possible filtering through your home. Start by cleaning the windows. Prior to a showing or open house, make sure your shades are open. Check to see if all your bulbs are working, and replace low-watt bulbs with high-watt ones to maximize brightness.

 

Bonus Tip: A Pre-Listing Home Inspection Can Add Value

After accepting an offer for your home we will open an escrow account, and during escrow most buyers will order a home inspection. You can avoid any potential surprises during escrow by having a pre-listing inspection completed by a qualified home inspector.

Taking care of any needed repairs before your home is listed and before opening escrow removes a potential roadblock that buyers could use to re-open negotiations by asking for concessions during their due diligence period.

Sheri Dettman & Associates suggests that your investment in a pre-listing inspection could prove to be of significant value prior to receiving an offer and opening escrow.

<<< Back to Information for Home Sellers

Insuring Your Palm Springs Area Home or Condo

by Sheri Dettman, Resort Lifestyle Realtor

Many Palm Springs area home and condo buyers choose to live in their new property on a part-time basis. Others consider their desert purchase more of a vacation property and rent it out when not using it personally. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you discuss your property’s potential use and/or non-use with your insurance agent.

What's Considered A Vacant Home?

Many insurers will consider a Palm Springs area home vacant if it is not occupied for extended periods of time. But what is considered a vacant home? I checked in with local agent Richard Cox of Cox Insurance to get the scoop on this subject.

“Insurers know that vacant homes have a much higher occurrence and possible severity of damage,” Richard said. “Most companies want the homeowner to be in the home every 30 days, but they will accept a visit from friend or even a hired property watch-type service.”

“There are many official and unofficial services of this type offered in our desert. Most carriers will accept this type of service. Many of these services will feed cats, walk dogs, flush toilets and even run sinks and water plants. Some will even send or email a ‘property check report’ to the homeowner at a very reasonable cost on a regular basis. These documented reports are perfect for showing insurance carriers that the property was not abandoned in the event of a claim.”

Short-Term Palm Springs Area Vacation Rentals Are Often Miss-Categorized
“Short term rentals are often the most miss-categorized property. Second homeowners really need to let their insurance agent know if they are renting their property for periods of less than six consecutive months. There is almost nothing worse than finding out there is a problem when you are filing a claim,” Richard said.

Local property watch services charge as little as $30 to $35 per visit to check a property and then send you a report. Rental management companies can also include this service in addition to booking rentals of your property.

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