Going from Stink To Sold – Make it Smell Good to Sell Your House

Selling a house in Murphy, North Carolina, or any area for that matter, is really hard when it stinks. Both literally and figuratively! If a buyer’s nose is negatively assaulted by a strong smell when they arrive in a house, they’ll often leave with a bad impression no matter how perfect everything else is. I’ve literally shown houses where the buyer took two steps inside, then turned around and left over stench.

There are all kinds of offensive odors which stand out in buyer’s minds. Something you may have become completely desensitized to will stick out like a red flag and cause buyer not to purchase your nose-knows-a-smell-when-selling-your-househouse. Common foul odors are:

  • Pets
  • Smoke
  • Staleness and must, especially when caused by excessive moisture
  • Mold or mildew
  • Trash
  • Sewer or septic odor

Some smells can be particularly challenging to destroy, and for those, we have vendors who can take care of the worst of the worst. However there are easy things you can do to make a world of difference and ultimately contribute to hanging a SOLD sign in your yard.

Febreeze works miracles! This is one of our top secrets to make your home smell fresh and inviting to a buyer. Don’t get any “fancy” sprays or scents that particularly stand out (many folks think you’re trying to hide something if its too strong), but rather the original Febreeze seems to work the best. It doesn’t particularly standout nor is it overpowering. It makes for a fresh, clean house worthy of buying. I would encourage you not to use anything that smells stronger than Fresh Baked Cookies.

Get rid of the perpetrator! If you have a pet bed Fido has been using for the last 15 years, it may be time to go shopping for a new one. If you have covers on sofas, curtains, soiled rugs or carpeting, or any other fabric needing to be washed, now is the time! Then, maintain it with Febreeze.

As part of our service to you, we won’t sugarcoat smells! If something stands out to us, we will tell you so you can identify and take action. The nose is a sympathetic organ and can omit alerting you to a smell, especially if it has been around a while. Don’t take offense! Rather, as constructive feedback. Our goal is selling your house for the most money in the shortest period of time, and bad smells can definitely cause the opposite if you’re unaware of an issue.

Please give us a call or contact us here and let us help stage your house so you can get the best results and ultimately get your real estate sold!

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com – 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Importance of Removing Family Pictures to Sell Your House

Family Portraits are great for memories, not for selling your house.
Family Portraits are great for memories, not for selling your house.

Whether you are an HGTV fan or not, you have likely heard this tip before: remove family pictures before selling your house. This is a good rule of thumb whether you are selling real estate here in Western North Carolina or anywhere in the nation.

This does not mean strip your house of all artwork. You want to stage it properly, and artwork can play a role. Scenery, decorations, etc. can make it perfect. The end goal is to ensure prospective buyers walking through your house admire your home, not the people you know and the places you’ve been. Having them picture themselves in the home, notice its features, and admire the quality is key to their buying process.

Go ahead and box up all the family pictures and get them ready for their next home. If you have lots of holes in walls as a result of taking them down, you’ll want to patch them. If you like, you can always find a handyman on our Gotta Guy list.

Ready to sell? We can help! Call us today on the number below or contact us here and let us know what we can do for you! Any time you need us, we’re never more than a call or click away.

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com – 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

The Simplest Thing That Will Make Your House Sell

When we bought our first house here in Murphy NC, it was a foreclosure and there was maybe one light bulb in every room that actually worked. It made showing it miserable and difficult. In fact, I tried to sell it no less than three times to different buyers before I made an offer on it, and no one would buy it! I decided it worked wonderfully for my family, so Jessica and I purchased it. 

Perhaps I’m wrong; I suspect a major reason it didn’t sell is because of how poorly it showed. There were obvious things wrong with it: disgusting carpet, it needed staining outside desperately, the basement wasn’t completely finished, and a few other things. It was all cosmetic. The location was prime, repairs were reasonable, and the price was right. I, to this day, believed it didn’t sell for one simple reason – light bulbs.

This bathroom vanity is a perfect example of what you don't want!
This bathroom vanity is a perfect example of what you don’t want!

Too simplistic? Perhaps; perhaps not. Lightbulbs are one of the most overlooked yet effective tools in showing a property. In fact, anyone who has ever had their house listed for sale with me has probably heard me say, “When you have a showing, turn on every lightbulb in the house. I want it to look like the house is on fire!”

If you’re selling your house here in Murphy NC and surrounding, or anywhere for that matter, make sure that every light bulb in the house works. It may sound like a no brainer, yet you’d be amazed how many houses we show where there’s no light working in the stairwell, the kitchen, bathroom, you name it. Switch broken and that’s why the light won’t turn on? Replace it. This is simple, yet important.

The lightbulb itself matters. You want something in 3000k range of light. The “old fashioned” incandescent light bulb is the standard, yet is getting hard to find. It turns on to peak output instantly and provides a comforting, warm light. You do not want the “spaceship blue” lights as I call it (I believe the industry calls it Cool Blue or something of that nature). You also do not want the curlicue fluorescent light bulbs… unless you set the stage for each showing. The light itself is fine in terms of output and color, however they tend to take a significant period of time to warm up and reach maximum output. By then, your prospective buyer is gone and on to the next room and didn’t get the best impression, whether they realized it or not. LED’s work great – instant on, easy to find color temperature, however can be cost prohibitive. When it comes to selling, or not selling your house, a light bulb is certainly worth the cost.

Don’t overlook the little things: lightbulbs go a long way. Want to know what else it takes to sell your house? That’s what we are here for! Call us on the number below or contact us by clicking here and we will guide you on what it takes to get it sold!

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com – 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Questions to Ask A Realtor When Selling Your House or Real Estate in Murphy NC

When it comes to selling a home in Murphy, NC, you’re selling one of your largest assets in life. It’s a big deal and should never be handled an amateur. Just like any profession, there are great Realtors and just plain bad ones. There are a few questions you can ask to help ensure you get the best possible, and here they are! Feel free to ask us these Question Buttonquestions!

  1. How long have you been in real estate sales? You want someone with experience.
  2. Is it your full time job? I’ve never understood how someone can do real estate “part time” and do it well. You want a full-time professional!
  3. Would you trust this real estate agent with a suitcase full of cash? Whatever your home is worth, it’s like handing them a suitcase full of cash in that amount and saying “take care of this for me.” Do you feel like you can trust them with it? If not, you shouldn’t hire them.
  4. How many transactions did you sell last year personally? You want to know what that person did, not just their company. The average Realtor sells a mere 6 homes per year – you should want far better than that. An agent that sells less than a million dollars in real estate doesn’t sell much.
  5. How long will it take to sell my house? Every market is different and its important to have realistic expectations.
  6. How will you keep me informed about my transaction? Communication is imperative and if they don’t have a plan on how to keep you in the loop, they simply don’t have a plan period.
  7. Will I get Showing Feedback? It’s important to know what buyers and other agents are saying when your house is showed. The average agent doesn’t take the time to obtain it and that’s a mistake. If you don’t get feedback, how can you make your house more attractive?
  8. Has a client ever filed a complaint against you? It’s important to know this one. Even a great Realtor who has handled hundreds or even thousands of transactions is likely to have one or two. However, if there is a big history of complaints made against an agent, there’s probably a reason.
  9. Can I have references to past clients? Testimonials are important and past experiences can tell you a lot about an agent.
  10. What if I’m unhappy with your services? What kind of guarantee are you given?
  11. What sets you apart from other agents? Ask this one open ended – there’s a lot you can learn that you might not think to ask simply by using this question.
  12. Can you refer me to reliable service providers? During the process, you may need everything from cleaners to a handyman. You want to ensure your Realtor has a good referral network so you are well taken care of.
  13. Do you have an assistant or support staff? Support staff is extremely important. No one person can do everything and do it well. If your Realtor handles enough volume, they should have an assistant to help them and you.

Other considerations to ask yourself:

  1. Were they prepared for my appointment?
  2. Were they on time?
  3. Do I feel comfortable with them? Use your gut – it’s usually right.

Looking to sell your property? Call us! We’d love to help and share our experience with you so you have a good experience and get results.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Internet Real Estate Advertising Levels out the Selling Season in Murphy NC

Internet has easily changed the world – no doubt about it. We receive our news online, pay bills online, read more email than snail mail, are tethered to our smart phones, and shop for more and more items online too. The Internet has no doubt changed the face of our lives – and it has certainly done the same for selling real estate here in Murphy, NC.

Traditionally, we as Realtors experience a “selling season.” From May through the first two weeks in December was busy and the rest of the year was “dead,” as so many retired real estate agents explain. I have been told by many when Christmas rolled around, you might as well take an extended vacation through April or May. This likely was because if someone from out of town wanted to purchase a home, they had no way to see what homes and land was available for sale. Because of that, they waited to travel till the weather was more favorable for them.

The dynamics have changed drastically. No longer is this old adage true. I most certainly attribute it to the Internet. Now, no matter the time of year or temperature, folks can sit in the comfort of their home and shop for homes and properties online. They can find a plethora pictures and virtually walk through a home almost as if they were here in person. Now, they can find a house they want to see and buy throughout the entire year and can easily jump in their vehicle to come see it.

We experience this “leveling” of the season first hand as sales during the “off months” continue to climb to higher levels. I was amazing just how busy and how many properties sold in January, February, March, and April. The fact is, people’s desire to purchase a home never changes in the time of year. Now, the Internet brings properties right to their home no matter where they are located in the world.

The Internet is a wonderful and powerful tool to sell real estate. No matter the time of year, if you want to sell your house, call today! The prior thoughts of “let’s wait till [Spring, Summer, Fall, etc.]” are no longer necessary. Call today and let The Poltrock Team get you the results you need. We’re happy to share our advertising strategy with you to show you how we get properties sold when others can’t. Don’t take our word for it – check out our Testimonials and find out directly from our customers.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

REMAX is Rated the #1 Customer Satisfaction for Home Buyers AND Home Sellers Among ALL Real Estate Firms by JD Power

That’s right – RE/MAX was just awarded TWO awards by J.D. Power. That’s amazing – especially to get both awards! It takes hard work, dedication, and a lot of good customer service! You’ll see what we mean by checking out Testimonials to The Poltrock Team at REMAX.

Selling your house? Buying a home? Call The Poltrock Team today at REMAX! After all, what other real estate agents in Murphy NC can say they have an award from JD Power? 😀

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

Flat Rate and Fee MLS Real Estate Listings in Murphy NC

In the height of the real estate market, there were several flat rate and fee MLS listing companies that arose when you could slap a yard sign up on a house and it sell practically instantly. After all, who needed a Realtor? Real estate practically sold itself!

Times have changed and you can tell just by turning on the news that the real estate market has changed and shifted drastically. Often it leaves the average seller and spectator in the dark as to what’s happened. What’s my property worth? How long is it going to take to sell it? What advertising do I need to do to get my home or land sold? These are common questions that may go through your mind – along with countless others.

Flat rate and fee MLS services aren’t available in Murphy NC largely. Even if they were, they’re dangerous no matter where you are selling a home. Why? It’s easy to look strictly on the up front financial side of the net sheet and say you save yourself thousands of dollars by skipping on a Full Service Realtor. However, consider these thoughts:

  • Advertising sells homes. You’ll never find a buyer, especially with remote locations in the mountains of Murphy NC, if folks don’t know your home is available for sale. With flat rate services, they don’t offer advertising other than the MLS. That’s only a very small portion of the equation. Expansive advertising, reputation, and a marketing plan with follow up is key. Also consider, do you have the time to put it in all the advertising venues your house deserves?
  • Leads come from advertising. Leads are prospects who inquire about your home. Without advertising, you don’t get leads. Even in the off chance on comes from the MLS presence, who’s going to follow up on them? Without someone to return calls, show the home,  answer questions, and close the purchase, you’ll never stand a chance of getting it done. A flat rate broker can’t do this.

    I shouldn't have paid the up front fee!!
  • Legalities. Do you know what can protect you from getting sued by your prospective buyer? There are a lot of legal ramifications that can come back to haunt you if you don’t dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Do you know which ones to do? This is a huge implication and saving  few bucks for a tens-of-thousands liability isn’t worth the gamble.
  • Negotiations. Negotiations is a HUGE part of a real estate transaction. In fact, it’s probably one of the largest parts of it. Once a buyer is ready to purchase your home, let the negotiations begin! Price is always ones of the first items – the buyer wants the cheapest price and the seller wants the most money. It’s an age old story yet you want to make sure that it works out the best for you it can. Then, there are repair negotiations after the home inspection that can often destroy a transaction if not properly handled. It’s imperative to have experience, training, and a true advocate for your position. Otherwise, you’re liable to “give away the farm” when you don’t have to. How much would that cost you?
  • Lender Negotiations. With many homeowners owing more on their home than it is  worth in today’s marketplace, we often have to negotiate with lenders to find a way to get the home sold. This takes a high level of training and experience. Would you want to try to tackle a mortgage company or bank on your own?
  • Pricing. Pricing a home is one of the most key elements to getting it sold. We all have preconceptions of what our home is worth, and understandably so! You’ve worked hard on it, perhaps raised a family in it, and it simply becomes a part of you. Mispricing a home happens a LOT and it’s important to make sure you “hit the nail on the head.” How many homes have you sold? What comparable sales did you use? Those are important and you won’t get any guidance from a flat fee broker – they don’t care if it sells or not because you just paid their full fee upfront. Hire someone who can guide you and show you a logical pricing strategy.
  • Performance Based. As I mentioned above, a flat rate MLS system doesn’t care if you sell because they just made their fee… upfront. In my book, you just paid too much because they have no vested interest in you OR your home! A traditional Realtor has a vested interest in your home… just like you do. They have time and money in advertising, showing, enhancing, and doing all the things they do for you. Regardless of whether they charge 5% or 20%, you don’t pay them a dime till they’re successful! Now that’s how you get your real estate agent’s interests in line with yours… and certainly not through an upfront fee.
  • Scams – some of these internet MLS sites I researched are straight money stealing schemes. They charge usually $500+ and it doesn’t go anywhere but their website. Some even claimed “MLS Exposure.” Their site has little traffic and it doesn’t go to the MLS that is used in the area of your property. If that’s not a ripoff, I don’t know what is.
  • Time. Do you have the ability when a buyer prospect calls to drop what you’re doing and go show the house? In today’s world, jobs, children, distance from the property, and more can make it REALLY hard to this!

So don’t come out of your real estate sale looking like the broken piggy bank! Hire a professional, full time Realtor with your best interests in mind. Call The Poltrock Team in Murphy NC today and find out the difference! 🙂

Be sure to check out Testimonials to The Poltrock Team and you can even fill our Sell My Real Estate form and we’ll contact you!

The Poltrock Team – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

The Disconnect of Tax Value and Real Estate Prices in Murphy NC and Cherokee County

When folks look at their tax value of their real estate in Cherokee County (which encompasses Murphy NC, Andrews NC, and many others), it looks awfully good – if you sell it for that price, that is! However, there’s a substantial disconnect of what the tax assessed value vs. the price real estate is actually selling for.

When we do a market analysis for a prospective seller on a piece or real estate, we use many different approaches to come to a final valuation to determine what we can expect the home or land to sell for in today’s real estate market. One of many things is the tax assessment value.

We’ve been tracking what homes actually sell for vs. their assessment value. We’ve found that, on average, homes are selling for 70% of their tax value. For example, that means a home with an assessment of $100,000 sells for $70,000, on average. Although it amazes me how accurate this can be in a substantial amount of homes, we still find “outliers” where this doesn’t apply. For example, land can fall way outside these parameters in either direction. One large factor is how long the owner has owned their real estate. I’ve noticed the longer a property is owned, say 30+ years, the values tend to be closer to the market value. There are also other factors as well.

As we speak, Cherokee County is working on the new re-evaluation of all the real estate in the county. This is a massive undertaking! To ensure they are as accurate as possible, they have hired an outside and unbiased appraisal company to help hone the values. The new evaluation is scheduled to become “active” on January 1st, 2012. It’s very likely residents and property owners will be notified of their new evaluation a few months before it becomes active.

Are you thinking, “Sell my house!” or “sell my land!”? Let Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team help you! We’re always here to help guide you through the entire process. If you’d like to know how we’ve worked for clients like you? Be sure to check out our testimonials. Contact us today! 😀

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at REMAX in Murphy NC – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – www.MyMurphy.com – www.iLoveMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496



Sell Your Home and Real Estate for More in Murphy NC

As I was laying in bed the other night watching an episode of Pawn Stars on the History Channel, I saw where one of the guys bought an old Coca-Cola machine that was a prop for sales guys back in the 1930’s. It was rusted, beaten up, and looked pretty bad. They bought it for $100 and went to a restoration specialist and got it cleaned up for $300 or so bucks. It looked brand new! It went from being worth $1,000 being a rust bucket to being worth $2,500 cleaned up! That’s a 500% return on his $300! I thought to myself, “I wish I could find a neat investment like that…”

Truth is, I work in it every day! Your house is one of the largest investments you and I will ever make. You spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on it. You fix it up, put your own personal touches in it, and make it better than when you bought it or built it. Your house works the same exact way as that rusty old Coca-Cola machine. There are certain things you can do to make it show like a million bucks and ultimately cause it to sell faster and for more money than if you didn’t.

For example, a couple just moved out of their home and listed it with us and wanted to make sure that it sold fast and wanted to know what they could do to make it happen.

  1. Pressure wash with a qualified professional. $175 later, the decks look brand new and the house looks like a showcase.
  2. Clean. Even though its vacant, $100 later, it looks totally different.

They’ve invested less than $300 and its going to make their home sell faster and for a higher price than it would without. Every case and every home is different, so there’s places you can invest your money to make your home go for the best possible scenario.

Also be receptive. Everyone asks, “what can I do to my home?” What I find is that even though the words come out of everyone’s mouth, they don’t usually mean it. Whether its because they don’t want to spend the money or just don’t feel like putting forth the effort, most people don’t want to do anything. Ask the question, do the suggestions, and don’t get mad at the messenger! We give suggestions to help you, not hurt your feelings, so please don’t take it that way. Uncle Vern won’t be mad at you if take his picture down for a few months while you’re selling the house!

When you’re ready to sell your house, give us a call. We can guide you through the entire process of selling your house, provide tips and things to do to make your house sell the best, and get you to the closing table! If you want to know what it’s like to work with us, be sure to read our Testimonials to The Poltrock Team.

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX Mountain Properties in Murphy NC – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – www.MyMurphy.com – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

Should I Sell My Murphy NC Home Furnished?

Tastefully Decorated Cabin Decor
Tastefully Decorated Cabin Decor

There are a lot of home owners who wrestle with the question, “Should I list and sell my home in Murphy NC fully furnished?” When it comes to working with real estate buyers, this question doesn’t have a direct answer because there are a couple considerations that come in to play.

Is your furniture nice and will it target your likely buyer? Then you certainly need to consider the option of selling it furnished. If it’s cabin furniture in a nice chalet or something of that nature, then you’d better believe it will help. If you want to keep some pieces for yourself, you need to say so in the listing or leave a “Detail Sheet” that will specifically tell them what goes and doesn’t.

Does it clash? You don’t want Florida beach decor in a mountain cabin, and believe me, people try to. If it doesn’t fit the look and style of your home, it’s likely that it will hurt you and you need to get rid of it.

Is the furniture junk you don’t want to move? Although an abrupt and direct question, if its junk and you don’t want it either, the buyer probably doesn’t want it either. In fact, it may be advantageous to get rid of your furniture and spruce it up. You can donate it to many organizations who will appreciate it, like Christian Love Ministries. You’re paying for professional service, so ask your Realtor what to do – what to keep, get rid of, etc.

Not sure – it’s not junk and not sure if the buyer will want it either? Ask your Realtor. Also, I would encourage you to separate the furnishings from your listing. In other words, put “Furnishings Negotiable” on the listing. That way, if they want them, you can work out a separate agreement while keeping them out of the real estate side.

Each case can be different, so be sure to hire a professional who can not only sell your home in the mountains – but can also guide you through the process and coach you on how to capitalize the best from your investment. If you don’t have a Realtor, call us!

Sell your Real Estate with Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – Call The POLTROCK TEAM Today! Toll-Free 1-866-687-7496 – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – REMAX Mountain Properties in Murphy NC