Pinterest for real estate


by Kathryn Dean Posted in For buyers /   April 15, 2013

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When you think of house hunting online, sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com probably spring to mind. Our new favorite resource? Pinterest!

Pinterest for homebuyers:

One of the most popular categories on Pinterest is Home Décor. Homeowners and aspiring homeowners love to collect decorating ideas into a Dream Home board, whether they're in the market for a new home or not. 

Even if this kind of hobby isn't for you, you may want to try it out if you're house hunting. Why?  

  • Pinning can help you pin down what you really want in your next home. A lot of home design ideas are fairly universal—color schemes and furniture styles, for example, can translate well into many different spaces. However, if your heart is set on built-in home features like a covered patio, fireplace, granite countertops or coffered ceilings, that could influence whether you'll focus your search on new homes or stretch your budget to renovate a resale home.       
  • You may get some new ideas and inspiration. Homebuilders, furniture manufacturers, interior designers, DIY networks, real estate agents and bloggers have shared millions of photos and videos on Pinterest. This is your chance to learn about the newest home technology, shop products from stores around the globe and get the scoop on the latest design trends, all in one place.  
  • Pinning photos of homes you like can help you and your real estate agent get on the same page in terms of what you're looking for. Just remember, you aren't likely to find a home that has every detail you've pinned. Be prepared to be flexible on less-important details. 

Ready to join Pinterest? Sign up for a free account here & check out our boards

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Pinterest for real estate agents:

If you're a real estate agent, you may have already discovered the social networking power of Pinterest. After all, it's a great brand-building tool and web-traffic driver. But, have you considered using Pinterest for something other than lead generation? 

With the creation of secret boards, Pinterest has become a useful tool for one-on-one client communication.

  • Having trouble getting a feel for your client's taste? Set up a private board and invite her to pin photos of homes she likes.    
  • Want an attractive way to present home listings? Rather than emailing a batch of options, create a board with the best photos and most important selling points highlighted. Pinterest's app and mobile support mean that you and your clients can always communicate on the go. Remember, if the listings aren't yours, you may need to get permission from the listing agent to repin them. 
  • Have a video tour to share? With Pinterest, you aren't limited by what will fit in the MLS listing. You can link video tours, additional photos, area maps, HOA rules, real estate articles, blank forms—virtually anything that you want your client to see can be posted on Pinterest or linked from it using a placeholder image. But, be sure not to post or ask for any personal or confidential information via Pinterest. Just because it's secret doesn't mean it's secure!  

Additional resources: 

Pinning 101 – A Pinterest tutorial for beginners. 

Houzz.com – A Pinterest alternative that focuses on home design. It has over a million photos you can add to your Houzz Ideabook. 

3 ways to take advantage of the current housing market


by Julia Miller Posted in For buyers /   April 8, 2013

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The Steinbeck new home in Colorado

Have you read the positive housing market news lately? From many accounts, the economy seems to be on the road to recovery. But the question remains: Is now a good time to buy a new home? There are positive aspects to every market. Here's how to take advantage of what's happening now:

1. Secure a mortgage before rates rise (even more)

Interest rates are on the rise, but that doesn't mean it's time to hold off. Rates are still much lower than in previous decades. Only five years ago, interest rates were at five or even six percent. If the current trend continues, you may end up wishing you acted sooner. After all, refinancing is always an option if rates drop, but if rates rise, there's nothing you can do to get a lower rate.

2. Leverage the seller's market

In many regions, experts are declaring a seller's market, meaning there is a high demand for homes and fewer homes on the market. In a seller's market, homeowners selling their homes have the advantage. There are usually more buyers willing to pay higher prices and bidding wars can be common. See also: Buying in Low Inventory Housing Market »

If you're looking to sell your home, you may be in luck. Now may be the time to get a great price and sell quickly. But what if once you sell, you want to buy a home that better meets your needs? Consider buying a brand new home. With new construction, you can avoid the resale bidding wars and still personalize your new home your way.

3. Work the pricing curve

Rates aren't the only thing on the rise. The basic principles of supply and demand are driving home prices up in many areas across the U.S. Does that mean you should delay your home purchase? Absolutely not. The sooner you buy a home, the more likely you are to leverage the pricing trend to start building equity.

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