10 Creative Ideas To Help Sell A Home

Orlando Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Whether your home is in great condition or it needs a ton of work, the key to selling is a great marketing plan. As a motivated seller, you want your home to stand out among your competition to potential buyers in any way that you can.

A strong basic marketing plan is good…. but not good enough. There are a lot of little things that are often overlooked by Realtors. These real estate marketing tools take a bit of extra time and effort to prepare but they can have a huge impact on getting your Orlando home sold for top dollar.

If you team up with the right Orlando Realtor who’s willing to put in the extra effort, everybody wins!

These are some often overlooked real estate marketing ideas that have served us well and incorporated into your marketing plan.

Create A Floor Plan

By creating an attractive and professional-looking floor plan which represents your home, buyers get a clear picture of your property at a single glance. In addition to having paper copies available, take it a step further by making it available online.

A floor plan isn’t hard to make either… Your Orlando Realtor should be able to do this for you at no charge. After all, it’s going to benefit them as well by making your home that much more buyer-friendly.

Create A Professional Video

Video is more popular than ever and only continues to trend upwards. Just go to Facebook and you’ll see more videos than images. A professional-looking video tour of your home is important in selling an Orlando home these days.

Our company Youtube Channel “Orlando Realty Consultants” contains a video for every one of our listings and has proved to be an invaluable tool in our home selling arsenal. A well-made property video will engage a potential buyer much more than text and images.

Your Orlando real estate agent should offer this service to you. If they aren’t using video as part of their home selling marketing strategy then you’re missing out on a serious amount of exposure to potential buyers.

 Provide Utility Bills

In my experience, only about ten percent of home buyers will ask for the seller to provide them with a copy of their utility bills so they know what their monthly expenses will be.  Instead of waiting for them to ask for this information, why not have it available before they even think about asking. Buyers will appreciate it … especially the ones that wouldn’t have even thought about asking.

Provide A List of Service Providers

Everybody loves convenience. They want to start enjoying their new home as soon as they get moved in and settled. If you have service providers that you are happy with such as lawn maintenance, pest control, house cleaners, etc… then share this information. Compile a list of service providers that you’re happy with and have it available to your buyers. This will show buyers that you care about your home and that it’s been well maintained since the time you lived there.

Home Owners Insurance Provider

Depending on how experienced home buyers are with the process, they may be clueless in some or even all aspects of the home buying process. Homeowners insurance is a big one not only in price but in service. If you’re happy with your homeowner insurance provider, then you should make your potential buyers aware of what company you’re using. You should even give them the contact info of whom you deal with. You never know, it could end up saving you a few bucks on your next house.

Neighborhood Info

If you live in a neighborhood like mine you’ll be dealing with a very strict homeowners association. It’s best to let your buyers know about the basics. Although this may seem unimportant to some buyers, others will most definitely appreciate knowing what to expect moving forward.

Local School Information

If you’re in a grade-A school district, you should make your buyers aware of that. Even if you don’t have any children of your own. Being in a good school district is advantageous for maintaining property values.  Also, let them know if the local schools have won any awards or are involved in anything else important within the community.

Public Transportation

Although it may not be important to you, it may be extremely important to the new homeowners. Things like bus transportation, train stations, bike paths, etc. are all great to have in your information packet.

Share What You Love About The Town

Provide a written description of the reasons you love your neighborhood. This should be easy to do because it taps into your emotional side… just as it will into theirs. Writing a well-prepared narrative about things you love most about your home and neighborhood is a fantastic way to add a personal touch….emotions sell real estate!

If you think that the above information will be useful in the marketing of your Orlando home, then here are a few more…

  • Touch Up Paint- provide the paint colors of both the inside and the outside of your house so buyers can easily maintain the paint or buy more of the same if need be.
  • Water Shutoffs- If your water shutoff valve is in an unusual place, let the buyers know in case they need to get to it in a hurry.
  • Trash Days- Inform the new buyers of trash and recycling days.
  • Appliance Info- Provide as much information as you can about your appliances including warranty information, etc.

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Orlando Home Buyers Guide 2015

First-time Orlando home buyers are always bursting with questions about the home buying process, and they should be. Buying a home is one of the most if not the most important decisions of your life, especially if it’s your first time. For most people, the process can be overwhelming and even discouraging at times.


In a perfect world, your first home buying experience should be stress-free and enjoyable but chances are there will be a few bumps on the road to the closing table. However, with the right Orlando realtor in your corner, you can rest assured that any problems or issues that may arise will be handled diligently and professionally. 


Over the years, I’ve helped hundreds of first-time Orlando homebuyers through the process so I decided to put together a list of questions and suggestions designed to people prepare to buy that first home.

6 Steps To The Closing Table

  1. Pre-Qualify for a loan
  2. Find a house
  3. Submit an offer
  4. Secure your financing
  5. Appraisal & Inspections
  6. Close the deal


How Much Can You Afford?

The answer to this question is different for everyone. Lending institutions resolve how much you can afford by looking at your monthly gross income, existing debts, and your monthly mortgage payment by using 2 ratios. The first one is the front-end ratio which compares how much your monthly mortgage payment will deduct from your monthly income. The back-end ratio compares how much your entire debt payment will deduct from your monthly income.


The ratios differ a bit from lender to lender but a high credit rating may help you to get a larger loan than would be normally allowed. I would advise any potential home buyers to consult with several lenders to see which one has the best rates and fees.


How Much $ Will You Have To Bring To The Closing?

The dollar amount that you will have to come up with to buy the house depends largely on the type of loan and the purchase price of the home. The first fee that you will be hit with is an earnest money deposit when your offer gets accepted. Inspections are also the responsibility of the buyer which can cost between $200-$800 depending on the size of the home and what kind of an inspection it is.


The down payment on your loan will be by far the biggest out-of-pocket expense. This is the percentage amount of the purchase price that you have to pay in order to receive the loan. There are several loan options available depending on which one you qualify. Buyers are typically required to pay for part of the closing costs on the transaction. These are fees associated with the processing of all the paperwork, notary fees, and other odds and ends provided by the title company. It’s common practice for the mortgage broker to provide you with an example of what the closing costs will be based on the size of the loan they qualified for.


 I always suggest that when homebuyers sit down with a mortgage specialist that they ask to be shown an example of what their closing costs would look like, based on what they qualify for.


  Make Your Wishlist

Put on paper what the perfect home will look like for you. Things like location, square footage, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms should be at the top of the list. Don’t let everything on the list be a deal-breaker. You don’t want to let your dream house slip away from you because the downstairs bathroom is a bit small when the rest of the house was wonderful. Remember that anything can be renovated to meet your taste eventually.


 What Will My Orlando Real Estate Agent Do For Me?

Your Orlando realtor is there to assist you during the home buying process from A to Z. Their job is to scour the MLS until they find you a list of homes that meet your needs based on your wishlist. Depending on the inventory that’s available, they will show you any homes that meet the criteria. When they do find a home that you love, it’s their job to negotiate the price on your behalf to make sure that you get the best deal possible. They will also prepare the purchase contract to make sure that it’s in your best interest. It’s your realtor’s responsibility to work directly with the title company, mortgage company, listing agent, inspectors, etc. to make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly. They should keep you in the loop every step of the way while answering any questions you may have.

What Won’t My Agent Do For Me?

A real estate agent is not qualified to provide you with legal advice and should refer you to a real estate attorney if the situation requires it. A realtor won’t provide you with financial advice either like how much you should spend on a home. Realtors are there to provide advice, give you facts about the market and provide you with all the information you need for you to make an educated decision.


At the end of the day, you the home buyer will be the one paying the mortgage, not your realtor, so the final decision has to rest with you. If your agent is doing anything to make you feel uncomfortable or pressured to make a decision, then either set them straight or hire another realtor.


Closing Costs, What’s That?

Closing costs are fees that are associated with the closing of the transaction not including your down payment. These costs include title ins policies, recording costs, appraisal, courier fees, lender fees, etc. Typically closing costs will run anywhere from two to three percent of the home’s purchase price. Closing costs are usually paid for by the seller and the buyer depending on what was agreed upon.


Inspections And Appraisals

A buyer should always have a home inspection done as soon as the contract has been accepted. The home inspector should address all the structural components of the home as well as things like the electrical, plumbing, A/C, roof, insulation, and appliances. This will give you peace of mind of knowing if everything’s in good shape or not.

Appraisals are a much more in-depth version of an inspection and it’s used to determine the value of a home. Many times, the value and the sale price don’t match up. The appraisal also ensures that the home meets FHA standards and is fully functional. This is beneficial for the buyer and also helps to protect the bank’s money.

What About Down Payment Assistance?

There are several down payment assistance programs available in Florida, one of the most common in Orlando is through Orange County.  The amount of assistance available is from $7,500 to $10,000 and applicants have to complete a homebuyer’s education program, as well as secure a first mortgage and the property must be located in Orange County.

As an Orlando real estate agent, I have helped countless first-time home buyers reach their goal of homeownership. If you need help finding your Orlando dream home contact me, Jenny Zamora at https://orlandorealtyconsultants.com/contact/



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Choosing The Best School For Your Child

If you’re a parent like I am, you know that when you make everyday choices in life it’s all about what’s best for your kids first and foremost and everything else comes second. Even the friends that we hang out with these days are other parents we’ve met either through school the soccer team or some other activity that our kids are involved in together, with the common denominator always being the kids.

Back in the day, people wouldn’t put too much weight into what school their kids would be going to when searching for a house to call home. Mostly because their options were very limited, you would either send your child to the closest public school or you would enroll them in a private school. I personally went to a Catholic school in New Jersey [and my ears still hurt]

As parents today we have so many different options that the challenge now is choosing the right school for your child. There are several factors that you should consider when determining the best educational choice. For example, if your child is a soccer star, you may want to pick a school with an outstanding soccer program. Maybe you would like for the school to be close by so that your child can walk to and from school. Whatever it is that you’re looking for in a school, you have to do some research so that you know which school will be best for you and your family.

Working as an Orlando Real Estate Agent, I always try to educate my buyers on the schools that are available in the area they’re looking to buy in. If someone’s not happy with the school that their child will be attending, then they should probably consider living in a different neighborhood if at all possible.

How To Start Researching Schools
A good start would be to write down what your child’s needs are first then the needs of your family as a whole. `
What are your child’s strengths? What are they excelling at? What’s their best shot at getting a scholarship!? For example, if your child excels in science or math, you’d be better off with a school that is known for having a strong science or math program. If your child happens to be a talented guitarist, why not send them to a school that specializes in music.

Once you’ve imagined what the perfect school would look like, you can move forward to the next step, online research. There are countless online resources available to help you get information like national testing scores and how the schools rank statewide as well as nationally.

Go In Person
It’s an amazing time we live in where we can research soo many things at the touch of our fingertips. However, when it comes to finding a school for your child, it’s worth taking that extra step to do an onsite visit of your top choices if at all possible. And if you have the option of bringing your child along, even better. Have a list of questions ready for your visit. Like the ones listed below.

Some Basic Questions To Ask On The School Tour

How many classrooms are there?
What’s the average number of students per classroom?
What facilities do they have?
What extra-curricular activities do they offer?

One of the best ways to research a school is to talk to other parents. They are experiencing the school the same way as you will be. Parents will be able to tell what they like and what they don’t like about the school within a matter of a few minutes. At the end of the day, just knowing that you have different options is a great thing.

Here are some fantastic resources for researching schoolshttp://www.greatschools.org/florida/


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Finding That Perfect Orlando Neighborhood

Choosing an Orlando neighborhood to plant your roots and live out the rest of your life is a huge deal!  Choosing the actual home in which you want to live is equally important. This will be the place where you and your family will create memories for many years to come.

Homebuyers need to consider many things before when deciding on which home to buy; like becoming part of a new community, so you need to make sure it’s a good fit. So how do you know if the neighborhood’s a good fit for you and your family?

Here’s a 5 step list to help you decide what Orlando neighborhood is right for you.

1- Make your wishlist:

Make a list of the things that would make your ideal neighborhood and put the most important items on the list at the top and things you could live without towards the bottom. Things like the commute to work and good schools always seem to rank highly for most people.

Having a list of what you don’t want is also helpful like; being too close to a highway or living across the street from Walmart.

2- Online Research:

Like everything else these days, start your research online. Take the list that you just made and Google it! Start by typing in things that are on top of the list and work your way down, “Orlando Neighborhoods with the best Elementary schools” or “Orlando best neighborhoods for pets”, you get the picture. Once you get a feel for the neighborhoods that interest you, you can use our Florida home search tool to see a list of homes are for sale in the area just like a licensed realtor.

3- Time To Visit in Person!

So you’ve done as much research as any one person can do on a computer, now it’s time to check out the area in person. Check out the local schools, supermarkets, and restaurants, and drive around the surrounding neighborhoods at different times of the day. Talking with some local residents will also be helpful.

Are there enough parks? Is there a park for your dog? Is the homeowners association controlled by robots? Can you see yourself living here for the next five, or ten years!!?

All of these are valid questions that you should be asking yourself.

4-What’s the local crime rate?

Ok so you like the neighborhood that’s good but we’re not done yet. It’s time to find out about the local criminal activity, especially if you have children. Visit sites like https://www.crimereports.com/ which offer really cool interactive maps where you can view crime data in real-time. Concerned about sex offenders? You should be, visit http://www.familywatchdog.us/ to get a list of registered sex offenders in the area.

You can even take things a step further by visiting the local police dept. and having a chat with one of the boys in blue.

5-Check local school ratings:

Whether you have kids or not, you need to research schools. It’s a known fact that school districts are usually the biggest beneficiaries of property taxes. In addition, schools that are highly sought after will typically raise the value of the surrounding homes. Check sites like greatschools.org/is a great tool for finding the best-rated schools in the area.

Finding that perfect home goes much deeper than what’s between the walls of the house itself. Take the time to do your research to make sure that the neighborhood you choose would meet all or needs, or at least most of them.

If you need help finding your perfect Orlando neighborhood, I’m happy to help. Call 407-902-7750 or visit https://orlandorealtyconsultants.com/



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Orlando Listing Agents Vs. Buyer’s Agents

You’ll probably never hear a listing agent ask a buyer’s agent, what’s the highest amount their client [the buyer] is willing to pay for a property. So why is it that some buyer’s agents think that it’s OK to ask listing agents how low their client [the seller] is willing to go on the price?

I don’t know of any good listing agents that would spill the beans anyway, why would they? When I became an Orlando Real Estate Agent, one of the first things I learned is that there are 3 things that you never reveal in a real estate negotiation…seller’s motivation, seller’s price, and the terms. It would be kind of like showing your cards to the other players at the table in a high-stakes poker game.

I guess you can’t blame buyers for wanting to feel out what the seller’s bottom line is before making an offer in writing. It’s mostly about saving time and effort. If the seller isn’t interested in accepting a lowball offer, then the buyer could save themselves the hassle of preparing a contract, pre-approval letter, etc. After that, the buyer then has to wait and see if it’s been accepted or not.

Although the seller’s “bottom line” as well as the buyer’s “best and final” is eventually revealed to each other, you can’t just skip the first part of the dance that we call negotiating. Sometimes I wish we could cut to the chase because it would save the realtor some time also.

So when a buyer’s agent asks me what my client’s bottom line is. I say “put your best and final offer in writing and I’ll present it to my client”, and that’s when the real negotiating begins.

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