5 Things Agents Don’t Want You To Know About Open Houses

Open House Sign

They are an integral part of many marketing plans, but do Open Houses really work? Here are some things agents don’t necessarily want you, the seller, to know about them.

  • Open Houses Don’t Sell Houses
    • It is highly unlikely that the buyer for your home will be found at an Open House. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, as I have sold a few homes at Open Houses, but it is highly unlikely. To make the most out of an Open House opportunity, it should be held within the first 5 days of your home being listed for sale or a dramatic price improvement. If you’re not getting showings on your house, an Open House isn’t the answer. (Don’t believe me? The National Association of Realtors® reports that in 2014, only 9% of buyers found the home they eventually bought at an Open House.)

 

  • Open Houses Are A Great Source of Buyer Leads
    • The main reason real estate agents hold Open Houses is to get new business. Many buyers that are driving around looking at Open Houses don’t have an agent yet, many of them aren’t even prequalified. Agents in the know who need new business hold Open Houses to hook up with these buyers. Open Houses are also held by agents-in-training as a way to gain some startup business and learn the ropes.

 

  • Open Houses Are Used as Advertising To Secure Future Listings
    • Listing Agents know that holding Open Houses gets your name out there. Sellers notice agents who are doing this and often appreciate an agent who does this “extra advertising.” I have noticed a recent movement to hold grand scale Open Houses to become known as the “celebrity agent,” thus securing more business. The moral of the story? It’s not to sell your home.

 

  • Open Houses Are a Liability
    • In this day and age, it isn’t unheard of for criminals to send in some “interested buyers” to talk up an agent while they are walking through your home and rifling through your things. At an Open House, you really have no control over who shows up and is walking through. It could be a highly qualified buyer who wants to buy your home, but chances are, it is your neighbors, “tub kickers” and potential criminals.

 

  • Turnout At Open Houses Is A Crapshoot
    • You just can’t predict turnout at an Open House. There are so many factors and no matter how well advertised it is, you still may not get a single soul to show up.

 

So, before you spend hours cleaning up your home, baking cookies and getting the kids and critters out, consider how effective an Open House really is. If it is a brand new listing, it may be worth it. If you are not having much luck selling, an Open House isn’t your answer, the price is.

 

 Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member

Nichole Fecteau on Zillow

Should I Keep My Home On The Market Over The Holidays?

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This is a question I get often this time of year. Sellers are wondering if it’s worth it to keep their home on the market through the holiday season. There is no right answer to this question, but there are some considerations that may help you make the best decision for you and your family.

My main goal for my seller clients is to make selling their home as stress free as possible. I know, many of you are chuckling because you know that selling your home ranks within the top 5 most stressful situations, right below death and divorce. That being said, there are many things you can do to make it as smooth sailing as possible. If getting your home prepped for a showing while dealing with the holiday hustle and bustle will be stressful, withdraw it from the market until January. Also, if you will be having company over, you may want to withdraw it just for those times your home will be full.

There are serious buyers out during the months of November and December. As a matter of fact, the buyers that are out during the holidays are probably the most serious. These are people that need to relocate because of job changes and people whose homes are under contract and most find a place to live. The pool of buyers is definitely smaller, but so is the amount of homes available for them to see.

Here are some pros and cons of keeping your home listed during the holidays.

Pros
-House looks warm and welcoming
-Less competition on the market
-Buyers tend to be serious
-If you are on vacation or out shopping, showings could be held then

Cons
-If there is too much decor, it may repel buyers who would otherwise consider the home.
-Taking your home off the market for a few weeks gives it a fresh appearance on MLS in January.
-Your agent may be on vacation over the holidays.

As you can see, there is no right or wrong answer and hopefully this helps you make the right decision for you.

 

 

Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member

Nichole Fecteau on Zillow


Brownsfield Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting In Berwick, ME

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Everyone that drives through Berwick, ME in their daily commute notices the giant eyesore that is the former Prime Tanning building(s). These buildings occupy a 13 acre site that is directly in the middle of what should be “downtown.” Through years of work, the Envision Berwick Committee has secured 3 grants that will allow for the cleanup of parts of this site. Yesterday, November 12, 2015, was the first meeting of the Brownsfield Advisory Committee. I am honored to represent the Berwick Planning Board as a member of this important committee.

The purpose of the Brownsfield Advisory Committee is to promote community outreach, gather community input and give partner insight into the project. The chairman of the committee is John Stoll, Berwick Town Planner. Other key figures of this committee are Rip Patten, Environmental Engineer and Program Manager; Johnathan O’Donnell, Engineer and Project Manager; and Rick Vandenberg, who will be in charge of the demolition design.

Rip and Johnathan work for Credere Associates, LLC and Rick is with Weston and Sampson. Both companies have won awards for this type of work and have worked together successfully in the past. Some projects you may be familiar with are the Woolen Mill in North Berwick or the Mill Building in Sanford.

brownfields

There are some environmental issues already identified at the site through testing. They include:

Outside-
PAH’s (a petroleum chemical in heavy oils, from burning fossil fuels)
lead
-buried tannery waste, scraps of hides
subgrade soil vapor: chlorinated volatiles (dry cleaning, solvent chemicals)
-groundwater contamination (perchloroethylene, chromium)

Inside the Buildings-

-asbestos
-universal waste (lighting, batteries, fuel tanks, electronics)
PCB contained building materials/paint is highly likely though not positively identified yet (boiler rooms, high moisture situations)

The grants the Town has received are for $200,000 each (with a $40,000 in-kind requirement) and are for lots 4,5, and 6. A map of the lots can be found here. Civil Consultants of South Berwick are preparing an existing conditions survey which will mark out the lots on the property (some lot lines are inside buildings.)

Ready to see some action in downtown? You will soon! Here is the schedule of work. Note that Winter 2015/2016 is planning and paperwork, etc.

Spring 2016
Phase 1 (abate asbestos, demo buildings, look under slabs)

Summer 2016
Phase 2 (addressing source area soils that need to be removed *removal soil gas source, etc)

Phase 3 *Pending* (development ready to start)

I will be updating with more information as I get it. For renderings of potential development in the downtown, check out this post A Vision For Downtown Berwick or What’s Going On In Downtown Berwick?

 

 

 
Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member

Nichole Fecteau on Zillow

A Vision For Downtown Berwick, ME

Have you been following what’s going on in downtown Berwick, ME? As you probably know, there is a huge (13 acre) site right smack in the middle of what is our downtown that is occupied by the former Prime Tanning building. It’s been an eyesore for a while and is quickly deteriorating. The tenacity of the Envision Berwick committee secured some funding to start the cleanup of the site for redevelopment. A Brownfield steering committee has been identified and will be meeting Thursday, November 12 to begin the process of cleanup.

While thinking about the cleanup of the site, naturally, we thought about what that area could become. With the help of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast we were able to bring together the vision of the community with area professionals to work out what the future could look like in downtown Berwick. For a walkthrough of the process that we went through, check out the Community Listening Session, where we took the ideas of what the citizens of Berwick want to see (as well as what they don’t want to see.) Then watch the Design Reveal Session where the professionals who worked on the project reveal their vision and discuss the benefits as well as challenges the Town will have.

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About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member
Nichole Fecteau on Zillow

10 Points To Cover When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

So, you’ve narrowed it down to a few real estate agents you are considering hiring. One is a recommendation from a friend, one is an expert in the town you live in and one you found online. Now what?

The first step will be setting up an interview. This is a time for you to interview the agent as well as for the agent to interview you. Your personalities should gel and you should get a good feeling about how you communicate. If you prefer to communicate over the phone, call the agent and set the appointment, see how long it takes to get a return phone call from them. If you are more likely to communicate through text messaging, send the agent a text and see how fast/clear of a response you get. Having an agent that communicates in the same manner you do is important.

The interview should be about an hour long. It may include a tour of the house, a review of marketing strategy, a breakdown of your net proceeds, a review of a market analysis or any combination of these. There should be plenty of time for you to have your questions answered as well. Here are 10 bullet points you may want to cover.

-How long have you been in business?
As the market gets better, more newly licensed agents will be entering the business.

-Do you primarily work with buyers or sellers?
Working with buyers requires a different skill set than working with sellers. It’s important to know what the agent has more experience in.

-What do you do that sets you apart from other listing agents?
Anyone can put your house on MLS and pop a sign in your yard, what does this agent do that nobody else is doing?

-Where do you spend your marketing dollars and how much success do you have with your marketing methods?
Agents should give you a breakdown on how much money they are spending to market your property. They should also be able to tell you how much success they have with these avenues.

-How much is your commission?
This will be the largest expense you have when selling your home. For more information on commission, check out this Blog Post.

-What will my net proceeds be?
An agent should be able to accurately estimate your net proceeds from the sale of your home.

-Will you be at all of the showings?
This practice varies throughout the country and even town-to-town. If you are adamant that your agent be present for every showing, have that conversation before you sign listing paperwork.

-Will you put a lockbox on the house?
Some agents like to keep the key at the house so they always know where it is. If you are concerned with security, this is a great question to ask.

-How and when will I get feedback from showings?
Once your home starts being shown, you will want to know what the buyers thought of it. Sometimes it is difficult to get feedback from the buyers’ agent if there isn’t any interest, but your agent should be able to provide you with something based on their experience at the showing.

-Will you have open houses?
Open Houses are waning in popularity for many reasons. Agents are more mindful of their personal security as well as the security of your home. Criminals could use an Open House as an opportunity to scope out the home or rifle through your things while your agent is occupied with other buyers. If this is important to you, be sure to ask.

Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

For information on buying or selling, or for any other inquiries, please email NicholeFecteau@gmail.com or call/text 207-251-9535.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member

Nichole Fecteau on Zillow

Selecting a Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

If you are thinking about selling your home you may be wondering just how you find the right real estate agent to work with.

Unlike finding a great local restaurant, Google is probably not the best resource for finding an agent. It *may* be a great place to get more information once you have an agent in mind. Many people ask around- if you know a friend or family member who recently purchased or sold a home, they are a great source of a recommendation. Another way to find a great local agent is to check out Realtor.com for agents who have homes listed in your town/area. While there, you can take a peek at their marketing. Are the photos professional? Are the homes similar to yours? (sidenote: Realtor.com is the only source of accurate information directly from the MLS. Sites such as Zillow and Trulia may not show the “listing agent” but another agent who is paying for advertising. Beware of the bait and switch!)

Once you have a few agents who interest you, check out their Facebook business page, their blog and see if they would be a good fit. It is great to have a few agents to interview so you can make a great choice.

So I have a few agents I am interested in… now what? Check out my blog on 5 questions to get the conversation started with a listing agent and 10 interview questions for your real estate agent and stay tuned for my next blog post!

Nichole Fecteau, Realtor 207-251-9535
About Nichole Fecteau:

I have lived and owned in Southern Maine for over fifteen years. I raised a family in Berwick, ME and my children attend the SAD 60 school district. When not listing and selling property, you can find me enjoying the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire. I am an avid hiker and have logged countless miles on the Appalacchian trail. I particularly like the rugged Northern Presidentials. Not only do I carry a backpack and tent on the weekends, I can also be found with my fishing pole in the water of backcountry rivers and ponds. My personal motto is “work hard, play hard!.”

I began my real estate career when my youngest son was about to enter Kindergarten. Sales has always been a passion of mine and I considered homes the ultimate items to sell. Once I got my feet wet in the field, I realized that Real Estate is less about sales and more about connections and helping others realize their dreams. I was hooked right from the beginning. I love helping both my clients and colleagues realize their dreams. Each day I walk into my office energized and ready for a new start with fresh challenges and rewards. My passion is selling expired listings- quickly and for top dollar. I focus on Southern Maine and am licensed in NH as well. Nothing makes me happier than giving homeowners hope in selling their homes where they thought there was none.

2012 & 2013 Associate Leadership Council
2012 & 2013 Technology Committee Chairman
Martha Squires Award
Rising Star Award

2010 Berwick Library Committee member
2011 Berwick Recreation Committee member
2013-present Friends of the Berwick Riverfront Chairman
2013-present Berwick Trails Committee Chariman
2015-present Berwick Planning Board member
2015-present Berwick Brownfield Steering Committee member
Nichole Fecteau on Zillow