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?

images-4

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


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

What’s going on with downtown Berwick, Maine anyway?

IMG_6908If you live in Berwick, Maine, it is very likely that you have heard of the grants the Town has recently secured to start the cleanup of the former Prime Tanning site. Wondering what is going on down there?

Recently the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast hosted a 2 day charette in Berwick. “The Charrette is meant to envision what workforce housing opportunities there may be in those communities. Community members, property owners, and an all-volunteer design team comprised of housing professionals will work together to create a vision for what workforce housing could be developed.”

IMG_1997

As a member of the Charette Planning Committee and the Design Team, I was able to work directly with the designers, engineers and architects who were envisioning what downtown Berwick could be. This project was much different from most as we were working with an almost blank slate and envisioning an entire downtown. On Day 1 of the Charette, we hosted a site walk of the Prime Tanning and Estabrook School properties and then invited the public to identify what the Town needs. Here is what we came up with. (Thank you to our scribe, Ron McCallister for these notes.)

What would you LIKE to see? Restaurant/brewpub, senior housing, community center, small businesses, access to river, gathering places, small homes, parking, retail stores, small grocery, public transportation, repurposing, sustainability, new Main Street with amenities, walkability, character, rural atmosphere, sense of community, playground, community college, nightlife, character, old world charm, residential over commercial uses, community garden, outdoor film fest, movie theatre, affordable housing for all, open space, skate park/rink, trails, space for non-profits, shops and green space, safe bike paths, links to sites, connectivity, bandstand. These were organized into a variety of categories by Kristen Grant and Sarah Hourihane.

What would you NOT like to see? Fast food, chain stores, McDonalds, video stores, roundabouts, lots of bars, prefab row housing, big box stores, more than three story buildings, big houses/apartments, large industrial buildings.

What are some unique opportunities, considerations and challenges of this site? Senior housing in safe environment, environmental contamination, community college, traffic from Somersworth, the abundance of parking on the Estabrook land, purchase Catholic Church for housing, culture, open space, a blank slate for changes, sustainability.

IMG_8133

IMG_9533

Here is a design idea for the Estabrook/Doran School Parcel, which includes a Common Green (for concerts, movies in the park, gathering), Community Center, Senior Housing and Workforce Housing/Apartments over commercial space.

IMG_8144

Below is a workup of the Prime Tanning Site which includes housing and Commercial space to include shops, restaurants and even a brewery. There is also plenty of green space, tying the whole area together.

IMG_0183

Here are some streetscapes:

IMG_6340

It is important to remember that this is just an envisioning process. Nothing is set in stone, there are no developers bidding on projects, this is just the first step in the process. We are so lucky to have had access to all of that talent at no cost to the taxpayers of Berwick. This is truly a positive step for the community.

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

What can your Realtor do for YOU? Buyers’ edition.

Nichole Fecteau
As a buyer of real estate, it is often the case that a real estate agent’s services are of no cost to you. Now, this doesn’t mean your agent works for free, it means that the listing agent of the property you’re buying compensates your agent. Sometimes your agent will charge you to represent them, this is not uncommon. It is not a practice of mine, however.

How do I find a buyer’s agent?

The best way to find any real estate agent is ask someone you know who has recently bought or sold property. They have firsthand knowledge of their experience and can share. Another great way is to look for an agent who is actively listing property in the areas you are looking in. You can go to Realtor.com to look at houses currently listed and see who the listing agent is. Be aware that when you use sites like Zillow and Trulia, you may not be led to the listing agent, but agents who pay to advertise and buy business. They are not necessarily experienced in the areas where they pop up. http://www.Realtor.com is the BEST source of information directly from the MLS.

So what does a buyer’s agent do, anyway?

Your agent should sit down and walk you through the process of identifying, viewing and purchasing property. Choose a creative agent who finds properties by not only doing MLS searches, but also utilizing their network and social reach. Some of the best transactions are ones where the home was never listed for sale on the MLS. Once you find the perfect home, your agent should guide you step-by-step, keeping your interests ahead of their own. Your buyer agent should explain every facet of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, answer and clarify any questions you may have as well as refer you to experts for further advice.

The agent wants me to sign a contract with them. What should I do?

The first thing to know is that a contract protects both you and the agent. When you sign a contract with a real estate agent, they owe you fiduciary duties. They must be loyal, keep your information confidential and act in your best interest, among other things. The contract protects the interest of the agent if they introduce you to a property (they are the procuring cause) that you wind up purchasing. It ensures they will get paid for their services. Ultimately, signing a contract is your choice. Be sure to read it thoroughly, ask for an explanation of everything you are reading, and only sign if you understand what you are signing.

This is just an overview of what your buyer’s agent can do for you. Stay tuned for more in-depth information! For specific questions, feel free to comment below or send an email to nicholefecteau@gmail.com. I am always available via cell phone/text at 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

Penny Pond Trail, Berwick, ME

Here is a link to a (shaky) video of a walk down the Penny Pond Trail in Berwick, ME in October.

Penny Pond Walk

The Penny Pond Trail is on a large parcel of land owned by the Town of Berwick that borders the downtown area. Two trailheads allow access from the library or Dobson Road with a third trailhead on Logan Street being planned for the future. This trail will be vital in fulfilling the Townspeople’s vision of a safe, walkable trail network connecting the downtown area with the outskirts of town.

In the Spring, Summer and Fall, this trail is a delightful place to stroll or even walk your dog. Recently installed bag holders at both trail heads provide a means to clean up after your pup (please bring it with you) or help beautify the trail and our streets be removing litter. Thank you to Robert Flynn, member of the Berwick Trails Committee, for crafting and installing the bag holders. In the Winter, members of the committee shovel Penny Pond (a shallow but wide pond) for ice skating and the trail is perfect for easy snow shoeing.

Check it out sometime and post your experience here!