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We all know the saying:  “A picture is worth a thousand words…”  That holds true in real estate also.

In one of my multiple listing systems I only have room for around 100 words to describe a home so I especially need that adage to be true!  However, I firmly believe with regard to real estate photos, there needs to be one more word in that saying:  QUALITY.  “A quality photo is worth 1,000 words!”

There are many technical reasons why a quality photograph goes a long way – one of the most important ones being search engine optimization (SEO).  When I tell you I will market your home for a successful sale – I will do so taking all the internet sources, resources and criteria in mind.  The quality, pixels and number of photos is one way to maximize the exposure of your home on the internet.

But even still, when your home comes up in a potential buyers search, I have about 1 second to capture their attention.  In order to do that – the photos of your home have to “Wow!” them immediately!  How do I accomplish that?  By employing two tactics:  1) Professional photography and 2) Staging.

Below I will show you the difference between photos taken with a phone camera (which astoundingly is done a lot these days) and those taken by my professional photographer.  But before I get there, I’ll say a few words about Staging.

The beautiful thing about professional photography is that they have the proper equipment and expertise regarding light saturation, etc. to show every detail in a room, right down to seeing the trees outside the window. That same “beautiful thing” can also become a homes’ undoing if there are too items in a room. Many small items on horizontal surfaces become magnified.  In the television industry they used to say that the camera “adds 10 pounds” onto the actors.  In room photos, a bunch of small items sitting around have that same effect.  You may be surprised at the items I ask you to move, hide or remove for your photo shoot.  I ask for these things because I have learned over the years that our eyes catch things that our brain registers and gets distracted by – even without being conscious of it.

Remember, my goal is to absolutely capture a potential buyer’s attention.  Which one of the following photos catch your eye?

photo I took with my phone...

photo I took with my phone…

Photo by my professional photographer:

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

My phone:

As shot with my phone...

As shot with my phone…

Professional:

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

My photo:

2013-05-31 16.15.34

Professional:

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

photo courtesy of Gaffan Digital

Every home size and style benefits from quality photographs:

2013-01-15 13.29.10

Professional:

photo by Gaffan Digital

photo by Gaffan Digital

Mine:

2013-01-15 13.32.16

Professional:

photo by Gaffan Digital

photo by Gaffan Digital

 

I do not believe in just “listing” a home and snapping photos – I  believe in showcasing a home in such a way that it takes advantage of that very first moment a buyer sees your home on the internet.

– Laura

 

 

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photo courtesy of tampabay.com

photo courtesy of tampabay.com

When a property transfers ownership, the new Taxable Value of the property becomes what was previously shown in the property records as the State Equalized Value – or SEV.   Although these two values have equalized out in the past 2 – 3 years, depending on what township/city you reside in, the possibility still exists that the SEV is higher than the TV (Taxable Value).

Traditionally, when a lender determines your complete monthly mortgage payment – a total of the Principal mortgage amount, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (PITI for short) – they use the current amount of taxes paid on the property, as determined by the Taxable Value times the local millage rates.  The current tax bills are the amounts used for tax prorations on the HUD statement.  (Tax prorations are the amount of money you have to pay back to the seller, if the property is in a township that collects taxes on a “prepaid” basis.)  However, once the Property Transfer Affidavit is filed with the local township or city Assessing Department, this will trigger the removal of the Taxable Value “cap” so your taxes could be higher on the next tax bill.

To have a clear, accurate picture of the future annual taxes on a home, the State of Michigan has a Property Tax Estimator feature on their website.  You simply need to enter the current SEV amount, County and School District and the calculator will give you annual tax rate with and without the Principal Residence Exemption.

Click on this link to begin the process:  State of Michigan Property Tax Estimator

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The following infographic is the best, well put graphic I’ve seen to clearly outline how many – and who – my advertising is impacting.  If you believe in the 6 degrees of separation theory…then just imagine how the circle of people who are able to view your home through these networks expands, and expands…

I am happy to provide other, relevant, ways to show your home to many potential buyers!  Thank you for the opportunity!

The Social Network Info

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