My 2nd Fav’ Episode Live on YouTube

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

It’s premiere day today! Episode #4 in my 6-Episode Series, “Krisztina’s Real Estate 411” has hit the airwaves. In Episode #3, we prepared your home for listing. Now that it’s been priced, cleaned, painted and put on the market, the next big step is your Agent’s Marketing Plan. This episode is called “Marketing & Advertising” and discusses most aspects of the Marketing Plan – virtual tours, print ads, internet ads and the Open House.

As a Real Estate Agent designing a home’s Marketing Plan, I have to be keenly aware of who I am marketing the home to – essentially where the potential buyers are coming from, and then I mold the Marketing and Advertising accordingly. I am finding that Virtual Tours are becoming a key component as more and more purchasers are starting their home search on the internet. And if you’re on the websites, a virtual tour gives a much more complete view of the home than still photos. I appreciate Terry Kuivinen’s comment: “Krisztina really understands the value of a well-planned Marketing Plan” because I take great pride and care in this phase of the process and have even instituted a “Coming Soon” teaser policy on my websites for upcoming listings!

The Open House is obviously an integral part of the Plan and it is important to me to try and be available on the first weekend of a listing’s Open House. (Of course my hope is that there doesn’t need to be a second Open House weekend, but rather a SOLD sign outside!!) But I will also help influence the Open House to match the area – that is, if it is in a Polish community, I will do my best to have a Polish speaking Real Estate Agent run the Open House. My Open House philosophy is first and foremost, not to hover!! I believe in greeting people at the door, giving them a quick overview and an information sheet and then simply letting them go through the home on their own. My job is to be there to answer any questions about the home as well as the neighbourhood, because when you’re selling a home, you’re also selling the area. It is my responsibility to be well-versed on the schools, parks, rec centres, public transit, highway access, shopping and restaurants. And if I do my job right, the next step is putting out the SOLD Sign!!

I loved being a part of this informative video series and I’m thrilled with all the positive feedback you’ve been giving me. I hope you enjoy this episode and watch for the release of Episode #5: The Purchase on December 1st. Remember, they are “Real Estate Tips for Real People”!!

2009 We’eny Awards Handed Out

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Halloween yard

Rats and spiders and ghosts, Oh My!! Rats and spiders and ghosts, Oh My!! What a Hallowe’en it was in Oak Park this year! Thanks to all the witches, vampires and goblins (and their parents) who wandered our ‘hood on the big night. Your sheer numbers made our street festivities the best yet! We attracted a lot of attention on Roxton with crowds, and even drive-bys. Our own Crime Scene set-up brought in dozens (although the police lights going all night may have scared away a few of you!) According to my husband, CSI Pazz, he thinks a vampire was chained to a tree the night before and got burnt by the sun when daylight came. Yuck! (Oakville’s Councillor Knoll even sent out a Tweet with video proclaiming this the best Hallowe’en set-up – check it out. I’ve also linked my YouTube video of the Crime Scene!) As I mentioned I always over-buy in the candy department – but this year it was a good thing as I helped out some of my neighbours. (In truth, I am probably in part responsible for the excessive rush, but oh well!!) So here it is by the numbers…

Number of Trick-or-Treaters – 228

Number of Hot Apple Cider and Gluvine cups handed out – 175

The Perfect Pumpkin Destination – The Apple Factory

$ Spent – Top Secret

Hallowe’en Celebrations in Oak Park – Priceless!!

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The 2009 We’eny Awards for Oak Park’s Hallowe’en go to…

Best Crime Scene – CSI Pazz Neglia (Is a new career in the offing, honey?)
Halloween CSI
Best Lady in a Cage – Linda (I think she’s still complaining about the back pain!)

Best Scary Guy on Stilts – Hayden (How’re those calf muscles??)

Best Gluvine Recipe – ME!! (It’s a Hungarian specialty and I’d be happy to share)

Best Apple Cider – Cathy B. (More rum next year, PLEASE!)

Best Witch – Terry K. (and we’re not saying it’s every day…)

Best Pumpkin Carver – Deb K. (I’m thinking 8 next year…hmmm)
Halloween jack
Ugliest Troll – Richard C. (or were you a Leprechaun…???)

Cutest Elephant – Wyatt

Cutest Ladybug – Kenna

Unluckiest Vampire – Burnt One Chained to the Tree in Front of my House!! (I think I saw him on True Blood last season)

Best Trade with a Neighbour – 2 Bags of Candies for a Bottle of Vintage Port (thanks…you know who you are!)

Best Rat-Eater – My Dog, Kata (You’ll have to ask me about that one…and yes it was real!!!)

Best Repeat Customer – Carolyn and Paul R. (I think it must have been the gluvine!)

Best Post Trick-or-Treat Fest – Linda (Who exactly was it that kept refilling my wine glass…???)

Please feel free to submit any other deserving 2009 We’eny Award Winners, ‘cause the prizes are spectacular.. Ha ha ha!! Watch for Episode #4 of Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 coming to the airwaves next week. It’s called “Marketing & Advertising” and we discuss the Marketing Plan, the Internet, Print Ads and the Open House. I know you’ll love it…it’s my 2nd favourite episode!!…And you won’t believe what we’ve got cookin’ for next year’s Hallowe’en!!

Word of Mouth Strong for Krisztina’s Real Estate 411

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Episode#3

I have been receiving great feedback on the first 2 episodes of my Real Estate 411 series, so I am especially excited to bring Episode #3 to the airwaves – as it is one of my favourites. In the first 2 episodes we covered Choosing a Real Estate Agent in 2 parts. Now we move on to “Preparing Your to List Your Home” in Episode #3. It is a dynamic episode exploring Home Improvements for Resale and Staging – all the things an Agent and Seller must consider doing before the home goes on the market, and what the potential Buyer will be looking for.

Terry Kuivinen, an Interior Decorator & Professional Stager (and owner of Windgrove Designs) believes as a home seller, you must first take the mindset that it is no longer your home – it is a marketable property. She reminds us that first impressions are key. Coming up to your driveway, the walkway and into the front hall…a buyer will make an impression in the first 30 seconds. Make sure your front door is painted, the area is well landscaped and the yard is clean. When the potential buyers walk in, the house needs to look beautiful, smell clean and have something of interest to hook the buyer.

Rafal Tarasiewicz (RT Carpentry & Renovations) suggests 4 main areas of consideration with respect to home improvements for resale: the kitchen backsplash, light fixtures, new coat of paint and (sometimes) hardwood floors. Terry echoes the paint – it can make a dramatic difference. And for a good bang for your buck, replace taps or cabinet fixtures. Steve Botelho, a Client and veteran of many personal home renos for resale, emphasizes that the easiest thing to up the price would be to paint everything!! He also advocates hardwood floors and granite countertops. Rafal comments that hardwood is one of his most common jobs. It’s in style, makes the house look fresh and modern, and lets buyers know that the house has been kept up to date. Both Terry and Rafal (and yours truly!!) believe that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell homes.. Small improvements that make a big difference include painting cabinets, adding molding, changing out light fixtures and replacing countertops. But beware of over-investing – over improvement will not pay off on resale!

Sometimes I stage homes myself, other times I employ a professional stager, depending on the level of need. (My personal staging storage unit does give me lots of options!!) Some of the keys we cover in Episode #3 – Declutter!! Remove personal photos/trophies etc. Add light to show openness and airiness. Make the Master Bedroom fresh, modern and welcoming. And most of all, listen to your Real Estate Agent about who your market is and stage accordingly!! In the end, remember it is your Real Estate Agent’s job to advise on your home’s needs for home improvements and staging so that it will show well and get you the best price. Put your confidence in us!

Thanks to all who came by the house for Hallowe’en!! Watch my Blog next week for a full recap (with photos!) of the festivities!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYiFM8GHgOo