Good marketing might not necessarily sell your house but it will make the phone ring, and if buyers don’t call, you won’t sell. I believe that employing strong marketing techniques is just smart business, regardless. Here are some of the ways you can sell your homes fast and easy.
- Photograph the front
Take pictures of the front of the house. Clear pictures of how the house looks like without cars or side walk images. Most home buyers begin a home search online, so good photos are essential. Listings without a photo or with only an exterior shot are often passed over and ignored. Buyers are visual.
- Exterior Photographs
Make good use of your environment. If you own a home or an apartment without a yard, then take pictures of the clubhouse, pool, spa or tennis courts. If you have a yard, however, buyers will want to see it.
- Emphasize space and shoot long.
- Mow the lawn & trim bushes.
- Remove evidence of pets.
- Put away children’s toys.
- Avoid shooting into the sun
- Interior Photographs
Take photographs of every room, the living area, kitchen, bedrooms, washrooms and garages. Even if you suspect the room won’t photograph well, shoot it anyway because the photo quality just might astonish you and be useable.
- Open drapes & blinds
- Turn on lights.
- Focus on interesting details.
- Remove trash cans & close toilet lids in bathrooms.
- Use floral arrangements in kitchens & dining rooms.
- Avoid shooting into mirrors because your image will reflect.
Signage encourages home shoppers to immediately call you or your agent. It’s free advertising! A well designed for sale sign will generate phone calls. If your home is a corner lot, put up two signs.
- Try talking to a neighbor whose home is located at the corner of a busy street, asking for permission to put a sign in that yard with an arrow pointing toward yours.
- Agent signs should include the phone number of the closest office, personal phone numbers the type and exact location of the house.
- Open Houses
Not every home is suitable for an open house due to location or other factors, and sometimes the only way to determine that is to try it. If nobody comes, that’s probably a good indication. However, if your home is in a gated community or located near an area where buyers often swarm, then it’s a good candidate.
- Place open house signage throughout the area directing buyers.
- Advertise in the newspaper.
- Invite the neighbors; they might know a friend or a relative who wants to move in close by
- Virtual Tours
Virtual tours aren’t just to showcase million-dollar homes anymore. Every home should have virtual tours, even if it’s only two spins. This form of advertising is new in Ghana but people are catching on quick. Buyers love, love, love virtual tours.
- A good virtual tour will grab a buyer by the hand and lead her from room to room, whether 360 or a video.
- Depending on the tour company, you can add sound, music or an exciting, professionally written description that scrolls with the movement of the tour.
- Virtual tours can also include individual photos available for download or to print.
- Send E-Flyers
Technology has made it very easy to create and send electronic flyers. Thanks to social media platforms, you can send it to as many people as you wish; and also include multiple photographs of your house. Electronic flyers can be distributed on Whatsapp broadcast messages, Twits, Facebook shares and even snap chat. Here are ideas for recipients:
- Real estate agents who sell in your area.
- Friends, family and coworkers.
Some homes cry out for drone photography, especially if the home is situated on waterfront, in the mountains, near a park or on large acreage, anywhere an aerial view would be an important advantage to showcase the surrounding neighborhood. Another interesting element often utilized in luxury home marketing is a night view of the home illuminated by outdoor lighting.
“For Ghanaians and non- Ghanaians looking to buy property in Ghana, it’s advisable to secure a mortgage even before you begin your search. This ways you can avoid delay in the buying process once you find your dream home.” This is what you hear on the market when you are trying to buy a house; some might ask what a mortgage is and which one is suitable for me? Well, no need to panic. Mortgage is a legal document that pledges a property to a lender as security for payment of debt.
For decades, the only type of mortgage available was a fixed interest loan repaid over 30 year. It offers the stability of regular, and relatively low- , monthly payment. In the 1980’s came adjustable rate mortgage (ARM’s) loans with an even lower interest rate that adjust every year for the life of the mortgage . At the apex of recent housing boom, when lenders were trying to squeeze even unqualified borrowers into mortgage, they began to offer creative or more suitable ARM’s with shorter rest periods, mind blowing rates and no limits on rate increases. Some of the Mortgage offers available on the market right now include.
Home Purchase Mortgage (HPM)
This type of mortgage is designed to assist companies and individuals in buying a property for their own use or for rental. The borrower is usually expected to make a minimum 15% down payment and the bank will provide a loan equivalent to a maximum 85% of the purchase price. The loan terms are usually 15 years and as with all home loans in Ghana, the interest rates are variable (ARM) rates.
Home Equity Mortgage (HEM)
This product is designed for people who already own property to release equity in that property in order to improve their liquidity. Only people or companies that already have properties which are fully paid for or are currently financed may apply for this mortgage. The maximum loan allowed under this programme varies from bank to bank, but the interest rate is always variable and the duration is generally 15 years. For banks such as HFC, Loans shall not exceed a maximum of 80% of the forced sale value (FSV) of the property. The maximum term for this facility is 15 years for both cedi and foreign currency loans. There must be clear and undisputed title to the property. The title must be duly registered.
Home Completion Mortgage (HCM)
Borrowers needing a loan to complete the construction of their home should apply for this product. The house could have been initially funded by the owners own money, their employer, bank or another mortgage company. Again, the maximum loan varies from bank to bank but the loan term is 15 years, the maximum loan-to-value is usually 50%, and the interest rate is variable.
Home Improvement Mortgage (HIM)
This loan is designed to help existing owners to improve their property or business premises. It is similar to the HEM above, except the loan must strictly be used on the designated property.
Construction Finance / Home Construction:
Construction Finance is currently offered in three (3) different ways (a) Construction finance to the real-estate developer (b) Construction finance to the borrower and (c) Construction finance to the customer of the real estate developer. In all cases this facility will be for the construction of homes. The target market for this product is mainly real estate developers.
Housing is very important to the social and economic fabric of the nation, hence the need to have insight into the industry that produces and manages the development of housing in the economy. Before you worry too much or get yourself in deep irreversible depth, find out what type of mortgage suits you and which payment plans is more convenient for you.
Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Do you ever notice that certain places especially irritate you? Or that certain places are especially relaxing and calming? What if I told you that the colours in those spaces play a part in these reactions?
Researchers and experts have made a few important discoveries and observations about the psychology of color and the effect it has on our moods, feelings, and behaviours. According to them, colour could cause a notable change in blood pressure and body temperature and can even alter our perception of space and distance. This means that certain colours (Brighter colours like yellow or even white) can make your room appear more spacious than it actually is. Colour also has a marked influence even on our appetite. Interesting right?
More compelling evidence which proves that there is more to colour than just aesthetics lies in the expressions we use all too often to describe our emotions, like ‘Seeing red’ (angry), ‘feeling blue’ (calm or sad), ‘green with envy’ (envious or jealous). There’s no denying that color and our mood are are directly linked.
The fact is that People spend majority of their time either at work or at home. But we have more control over the decor in our homes right? If that is the case, you might want to pay particular attention to the colours you paint and decorate the rooms in your home with.
If you’re planning on re-painting your walls or redecorating a house or room, you might want to consider some of these suggestions:
Red is good in the kitchen and dining room as it increases the appetite but at the same time Sitting for long periods of time in a room painted in this color could also make people feel anxious and angry.
Yellow or Orange are lively, welcoming colours so they would be perfect in entranceways and family rooms.
Pale blue or soft green are great bedroom colours as they have a calming effect. blue is typically a calming and serene color, said to decrease respiration and lower blood pressure. And the color green is said to be less strainful on your eye muscles. The bedroom is a great place to use these colors as they should help you relax.But at the same time, Blue and green can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference, depending on the shade used.
So now you know what to do to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety. Go for it!
Written by: Daphne Amarkai Quayson
Real estate minute with Cyril and Daphne is an educative radio show that gives its listeners daily tips on real estate. The show aired on Starr 103.5 FM for the first time on Monday the 22nd of August 2016. This fun, family oriented segment explains everyday real estate words in a funny but memorable way. Make a date with Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh and Daphne Quayson every weekday at 6:59am on Starr FM 103.5 and learn how to speak fluent real estate. This segment is proudly brought to you by Emerald Properties, Luxury Homes, and Great value.
Emerald Properties organized a focus group at its office premises to discuss and obtain feedback from stakeholders in the real estate sector on affordable house prices, location, designs and features that influence the purchasing decision of prospective house owners.
The focus group was attended by 14 stakeholders across the industry; amongst them were Ghana Homes Loans, HFC Bank, Incept Architectural Consult and individual home owners etc. Topics ranging from pricing and functionality of units were discussed.
At end of the session, it came to light that, pricing, availability of amenities and expandable units ranked very high on the purchasing decisions of prospective home owners.
Cyril Tetteh, the Business Development & Marketing Manager, who moderated the session, introduced Harry Quartey, C.E.O of Emerald Properties who closed the session by expressing his appreciation to the discussants for their input and time.
Owning a home is certainly a dream come true isn’t it? But imagine how fast that dream could turn into a nightmare if you find out that there are legal issues on the land you purchased and on which you have built your home. Or that the house or land you bought was sold to you by a fraudster and the real owner shows up and starts demanding his property back? How about if you bought the property from the real owner , only to find out that your newly acquired property has been sold to two or three other people besides you? What a sad day that will be.
How can you prevent this heartbreaking situation from happening to you? How can you legally save or protect your investment or as we say in Ghana, “what are the legalities?”
Conduct a search
Before you purchase any type of property, you need to conduct a search at the Lands Commission if it’s an indenture or the Land Title Registry if it is a Land Title Certificate. It is important to have the title reviewed by A real estate lawyer and cleared by the land registry office. This process may seem cumbersome and tiresome because it takes a little over a month and some leg work to complete, however you will find that it is well worth it. Why? Because it’s the only legal means through which you can ascertain if the person selling you the land or the house is the rightful owner of that property.
Sign a Sale and Purchase agreement
It is also important that upon the purchase of any property that a sale and purchase agreement is signed. A sales and purchase agreement is a legal contract that obligates a buyer to buy and a seller to sell a product or service. This is a way of finalizing the interests of both parties before closing the deal. Upon the signing of this document, ensure that the title is transferred correctly to your name.
Transfer and Registration of the title
No one else apart from the legal owner of the land can transfer the land title into your name. This is a meticulous and complex process which requires that your name be captured correctly with no mistakes or typos. If this is not done correctly, you will not be able to sell the property in the future in which case It will be considered a dead asset.
Unless a registration has been done, the property’s search at the Deeds Registry or Lands Commission will not indicate you as the owner. The land will still be in the name of the vendor or the one you bought it from.
If you painstakingly complete this process, you will not have to worry about other people encroaching on your property or making claims over it.
Obtain a building Permit
Before you even think of seeking a building permit, you need an architect, quantity surveyor and a structural engineer to come out with the drawings (plan), feasibility and an estimate (budget) for the building. After all this is done, you may go ahead to request for the building permit from the appropriate Authorities.
In Ghana, building permits are issued by the Metropolitan, Municipal or District assemblies. In Accra for example, permits are issued by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). This process could take up to 3 months. Depending on the type of building you wish to put up, you will also need permits from the fire department as well as the Environmental protection agency. Do not start the building before you request for those permits. When their inspectors visit your site and they find that you do not have proof of compliance, namely; evidence that you have either received a building permit from the regulators or put in a formal request for one, it will result in fines, delay in the construction or in serious cases, a demolition of your property. Ensure that you follow due process in obtaining all the necessary permits.
Meet Development Timelines
If you are building a new home, the government requires that you meet certain timelines. You will likely need to have the foundation and walls completed within 2 years from the date of land purchase. Real estate professionals will work with the local government offices to make sure that any other building timelines are met.
These seem like a lot. However, these steps when followed to the latter will help protect and secure your investment.
Alternatively, if you buy a house from a trusted property developer, it will save you all the pain. The Estate developer will take care of all these processes on your behalf.
Before you sign any documents or any money changes hands, you would be well advised to seek professional help from lawyers and real estate professionals.
Now let the search begin!
Written by Daphne Amarkai Quayson
Sales and Marketing Officer
What would you do if you found yourself in such a dilemma? Many people who find themselves with more than one residential property often grapple with making the decision as to whether to sell one of them or rent it out.
Renting out as an option
You may view renting out as simply making money off the property while still having ownership of it, probably because the rent from your tenant is either paying your mortgage or providing you with a steady flow of monthly cash if your house is already paid for.
However, it’s not that simple. Being a landlord comes with its own responsibilities.
So what if you decide to rent out? What are your responsibilities?
- Mortgage payment(if applicable)
- Property tax
- Homeowner insurance
- Homeowner association dues (if applicable)
- Property management company (if applicable)
- House maintenance
it is your responsibility as landlord to do major repairs and wear and tear on the property, like tiling, painting etc. except for major damage, which is generally borne by the tenant.
The truth of the matter is that there are challenges to being a landlord. These challenges can be quite emotionally, financially and physically draining, like handling difficult tenants and their complaints, maintenance problems, and possibly having to evict tenants. You need to weigh the emotional and financial cost of being a landlord against the potential for making profit.
To help you make the best decision as to whether to rent out or to sell, you need to know what it will cost you every month to own that property. You also have to examine what the rental value is every month and calculate whether this amount can cover the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and any management fees. Remember, you want a breakeven or better still, a positive cashflow . Any extra cash from the rent can be used for maintenance, repairs, or to pay down the mortgage.
How about Selling?
Some have found themselves in need of significant bulk money in which case selling might seem more appealing to them. However there are a few things to consider before taking this option.
- Do you have significant equity?
- Are you going to make a profit from the sale?
- Will you re-invest the money from the sale?
If you have significant equity, you are better off selling. It actually may be a relatively lower risk to choose to sell, provided your plan is to turn a profit or make a wise investment with the proceeds from the sale.
So what do you want to do?
Written by: Daphne Amarkai Quayson
Sales & Marketing Officer, Emerald properties
This article was first published in the June 16, 2016 edition of the Business Finder Newspaper.
Have you stayed in the same house for a long time? Are you tired and bored with your house because you keep seeing the same wall colours and furniture all the time? Are you looking to bring the spark back into your home but you fear it will be too expensive?
Here are 5 simple ways you could revamp your home to give it a new look without spending too much:
- De-clutter : Get rid of all the things you have not used in a long time. Are you still keeping those plastic baskets you got as a gift from that engagement ceremony even though you never use them? How about those shoes you never wear because they have become too tight? Or the cookbooks, old wedding invitations and order of service from funerals you have piled up but will never use again? Or the clothes that you or your children haven’t worn in years because you have either outgrown them or they are worn out? Why not give them out to others, sell or throw them away? Human as we are, we have the tendency to hang on to old things for sentimental reasons thereby creating clutter. In my opinion, if you have not used it in six months, you do not need it. Get rid of it.
- Re arrange the furniture: If you cannot afford to buy new furniture, do not worry, Move the old furniture around in the hall, change their positions to give your hall a different look. Why not get rid of that room divider that is taking up so much space and replace with a small television stand, a cupboard or a table for the television and its related appliances? Or better still why not hang the flat screen television on the wall? You could also change the fabric of the cushion cover or drape the old chairs with new decorative coverings to give it a new look.
- Give your home a good paint work: Did you know that certain colours can determine your mood? Yes, some colours could dampen your mood whilst others can lift your spirits. Make good use of the internet to find the best indoor colours. The customer service persons at the paint companies also come in handy with their palettes that have an array of colours to choose from. Carefully choose some fresh colours for the hall. Go for bright and refreshing indoor colours that will bring a smile to your face each time you step into your home and choose a calming colour for the bedroom. And do not forget to paint the ceiling. It will surprise you what a difference that will make in your home.
- Floral arrangements: In Ghana most people grow flowers in their homes if you do, bring some fresh flowers from your garden. Get a simple cup or a vase and make your own floral arrangement. More often than not, The simplest arrangements are the most beautiful ones.
5.Change your door handles and knobs: the gold, brass or silver colours of the door handles and kitchen cabinet handles may have faded by now. Invest a little money into buying new ones to replace them, and see the difference it makes.
These suggestions will leave your home looking new, spacious and different. Go ahead and breath life into your old home.
Writer: Daphne Amarkai Quayson.
Sales and marketing officer, Emerald Properties.
This article was first published in the June 9th 2016 edition of the Business Finder Newspaper.