Vallarta Real Estate: Best Tacos Around

One’s first clue when looking for delicious tacos in Puerto Vallarta would be how many Mexicans are standing in line. Following the locals is the best bet for finding good food; regardless of what city or country one is sampling the fare.

Taco stands often serve other food, such as gorditas and sopas, but the taco is the most simple and easy way to eat on the go and few will argue with this fact. It’s economical, tasty and tacos are, indeed, available everywhere.

Taco stands are often family run businesses and to find a fastidious clean one, you’ll note one person handling money, dirty dishes, hand-washing facilities and garbage; other employees are making the food. Plates are covered with disposable plastic and reused, a very hygienic solution to control waste. Hygiene facilities are usually present, such as a stationary or portable sink.

The results of a poll listed countless taco stands in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding area but we’ve selected five of the most popular.

Pancho’s Takos was above and beyond the top choice, even though many people refer to it as being too touristy. However, overlooking the fact that it seems to get a lot of PR on sites such as Trip Advisor, it’s also a spot-on favorite with Mexicans. You’ll find Pancho’s on Basilio Badillo, next to the famous Café de Olla, at the most crowded area on the street.

Tacos Revolucion is a restaurant on Olas Altas, a long time establishment, just up the street from Francisca Rodriquez, the street that leads to the pier. It has indoor seating, lots of tables and a varied menu.

Tacos Memo’s Grill, on the corner of Basilio Badillo and Aquacate is a favorite late night stop for many, opening at 8 pm and making sure everyone is well fed until 2 am. We’ve seen throngs ordering at midnight.

Mariscos Mismaloya is the place to go for ceviche, and fish tacos of all kinds, including shrimp, plus soups and salads. Open 10 am until 5 pm, located on Aquiles Serdan between Constitución and Insurgentes.

Mar Y Tierra is on the main highway, Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio, across from the Coppel and next to the HSBC. Favored by locals and tourists alike for many years, they specialize in both seafood and meat, as their name implies.

Listed as More-Than-Honorable-Mention is Taco de Marlin, often the last stop for those leaving the country. Located across the highway from the airport and accessible using the sky bridge, Marlin is known for quick service, making sure travelers in need of one final flavor of Puerto Vallarta don’t miss their flight.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Staging on a Budget

REALTOR® Magazine (http://ow.ly/VcSnz ) asked readers of our  Daily Real Estate News e-mail to send in their best tips for sprucing up listings on the cheap. Here are some of the quick, creative ideas that poured into our inbox.

LIVING ROOMS

Create a Focal Point

“Pick out the most visible corner and put a large plant—I’ve found that silk trees work best. Set up a spotlight behind it so it lights up the leaves and throws an interesting shadow on another wall. It really makes a difference in a person’s perception of the space, especially if it’s a large room without too much natural lighting.”

—Izabela Stone, Keller Williams Realty, Apollo Beach, Fla.

Set Up a Chat Room

“Be sure that the living room furniture is positioned for conversation as well as entertainment. Potential buyers should be able to easily envision sitting in a space where they can easily talk without having to move a chair or turn completely around.”

—Rana Lindhorst and Troy Schmidt, Prudential One Realty Centre, Edwardsville, Ill.

Get Rid of Carpet Dents

“Furniture often leaves indentations in the carpet. When a piece of furniture is moved, I tell my clients to put medium-sized ice cubes in the imprints. As the ice melts, it causes the compacted carpet to expand and erase those imprints.”

—Shawn Moss, Century 21 C.R. O’Neil & Co.

Accent Special Features

“Place an accent by a home’s feature, such as an attractive plant near a fireplace to draw the eye to it or a tall palm or two in place that directs the buyer toward another part of the home or suggests a separation of areas. This also ensures that someone often enters the home to care for it.”

—Susan Cramer, HomeSmart Real Estate, Temecula, Calif.

Invoke the Outdoors

“Use a little nature in each room. I create a flow throughout the home using cuttings, flowers, dried flowers, whatever will work. Simple things, such as twigs to spell out a word or a small cutting tied with raffia around a pillow on a bed, draw the eye into the room but don’t overpower it. I have even used a branch cutting to make a ‘tree’ in an empty corner. I try to use one piece of nature in each room to create an ongoing theme throughout the home. It works with any type of decor, whether it’s modern or traditional. One important note: Always check for insects!”

—Lauren Scurlock, North Star Real Estate Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.

BEDROOMS

Bring Your Own Bed

“I have a great way to add a bed to a vacant bedroom. I arrange moving boxes into the shape of a bed, and then I dress it up with nice bedding. It takes about half an hour and it’s really inexpensive.”

—Kria Lacher, Meadows Group Inc., Realtors, Portland, Ore.

Make a Bed

Another trick to add a bed: “Purchase an inexpensive air mattress that has a folding frame off the floor. Once the bedding is on and staged, it’s hard to tell the air mattress from a real bed. After the home sells, all the client has to do is deflate, fold and pack.”

—Jackie Limsky, ABR®, TX Cyber Homes, Hank Layton, Texas

Get a Fabric Donation

“Here is an inexpensive staging tip: Ask a local fabric shop to donate beautiful fabrics. Use it to cover the following: an air mattress with a not-so-great comforter (cover the comforter with an over-sized sheet, and then place a nice fabric in the middle or end of the bed). Or use the fabric to cover TV dinner stands, to appear as nightstands, entryway pieces, or any other decorated ‘table.'”

—Jannel Lee Allen, Keller Williams Realty, Livonia, Mich.

Add Luxurious, Affordable Touches

“If the master bedroom is too boring (and most are), I have my sellers go out and buy a new luxury comforter set with bed skirt, throw pillows, matching valances, etc. We have a Burlington Coat Factory here that sells dramatic sets with rich, embellished material for around $100. The right set will totally transform a boring master bedroom into a luxury hotel suite.”

—Karen Walton, Share Realty, Midlothian, Va.

Try a Dramatic Fabric Backdrop

“One surefire way to dress up a plain bedroom is to hang sheers, fabric or draperies on the wall behind the bed. (I often remove window treatments from the other windows to allow more light in and then use these for the fabric backdrop.) It serves as a headboard, visually raising the ceilings and, particularly in a master suite, adds a sense of elegance and luxury. It’s inexpensive but packs a dramatic punch.”

—Liz Harrison, Spruce it Up! Vallarta HomeStaging and Room Redesign, Salem, Ore.

BATHROOM

Add Bathroom Elegance

“Get some decorative hand towels, tie a sheer ribbon around them, and place them on towel racks in all of the bathrooms. This does wonders to dress up the bathrooms of your listings. I also put some dried flowers and candles in complementary colors to add a little more pizzazz.”

—Haley Hwang, e-pro, Coldwell Banker, Glenview, Ill.

Put a Lid on It

“The best thing you can do for your home, vacant or not, is to close all the drains, sinks, and tubs; close all the lids on all the toilets; close all the closet doors; and let all the sun in. You’ll get amazing immediate results and the cost is zero dollars.”

—Judith Preston, HomeSmart International, Anthem, Ariz.

Make the Old New Again

“I recently listed a big Vallarta home built in 1979. In the master bathroom was a sunken cultured marble bathtub and matching his and hers marble vanity tops in swirly 1970’s brown. The shower stall tile was gold and white speckled. The cost to update this bathroom would be a lot. So we got the tub and shower stall painted with epoxy paint in white and the marble tops a white with little tan specks. It was a huge improvement for about $800.”

—Linda Walker, Main Street Real Estate, Garland, Texas

COLOR AND LIGHTING

Go Neutral

“The moment the potential buyer walks into the front door they should be ‘wowed’ by the rooms on either side of the entry. Paint a nice neutral khaki color allowing for the painted or stained wood work to stand out. Make the color bold enough to make a difference, not just an off white. Tans and khaki’s ‘warm’ the space.”

—Julie C. Preston, GRI, REALTOR®/interior designer, Indianapolis, Ind.

Add a Splash of Color Everywhere

“Currently over half the homes we list are vacant and can look very sterile in photos. We ask sellers to neutralize their wall colors and carpet, but then we discover all the photos of the interior look similar and boring. Our best staging tip is to add bright, bold colors to the kitchen and bathrooms with accessories, towels, and plants. Red is a call-to-action color. A vase with red flowers can add interest to the photo when placed on a kitchen island or bar. We like burgundy or black towels in a neutral bathroom and green silk plants in the living areas. A colorful picture over the fireplace mantle with a couple of vases on each side can make a great vignette in the family room.”

—Holly Janney, Realty Executives Associates, Knoxville, Tenn.

Light It Up

“Replace the light bulbs in the home with higher wattage bulbs. Buyers like ‘light and bright,’ and the brighter light bulbs make all the difference in the world. Inexpensive and easy!”

—Ann Bishop, Ann & Denny Bishop Group, Realtors, Wichita Falls, Texas

KITCHEN

Tease Their Noses

“I believe in appealing to all five senses of a buyer, including smell. I always put something in the oven like apple pie or fresh bread.”

—Chad C. Caramanna, Shadetree Realty Group Inc., Fellsmere, Fla.

Accessorize

“Adding decorative items in the kitchen can warm up the area and make it more ‘cozy’. Go to a thrift or resale shop and get great deals on glass items. Use a tray (wood, silver, glass, etc.) with two coffee cups and a small package of Starbucks coffee displayed between the cups, and pretty paper or cloth napkins. Also, find a large glass—or pottery bowl—and fill it with individual candies, pre-packaged crackers, pretzels, etc. It looks nice and each buyer who comes through can grab a snack from the bowl. It’ll help them remember your listing.”

—Trina Griffith, Summers Real Estate Group, Longview, Texas

Go Green

“If your listing has some green features (EnergyStar appliances, generator, double-paned windows, bamboo flooring), continue the theme with strategically placed soy candles, homemade guest soaps, and green cleaning products under the sink area. People will notice!”

—Peggy Edwards, green, Coldwell Banker, Tampa, Fla.

DE-CLUTTER

Expand the Closet

“One of the most overlooked areas of staging is the closet. Most people will unclutter and move boxes out of the closet but forget about the hanging clothes. I tell my clients to remove the clothes they only wear once in a while. If the closet still looks stuffed, remove more. The ideal closet will have significant space (two hangers worth) between the next hanger.”

—Joseph F. San Angelo, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Clifton, N.J.

Offer Before and After Photos

“Have owners pack everything they don’t use daily and put in storage or in the garage. It neutralizes the home and allows buyers to picture their family living there. It creates a sense of cleanliness and order by having clean countertops, sparsely decorated walls and minimal furniture. I give sellers before and after photos of other staged homes and remind them that this is how model homes sell.”

—Amy Herring, Keller Williams, Tallahassee, Fla.

Create a Neutral Pallet

“When I first meet with potential clients planning to put their Vallarta home on the market, I walk through the home with them and make a detailed list of all furniture, clothing, and miscellaneous items that should be packed away. Staging a home requires that each space be defined, but that personal items and clutter be non-existent. Potential buyers need to see a neutral pallet: Rooms that they can envision themselves living. I then pay for the delivery and removal of a Smartbox portable storage unit as part of my marketing strategy.”

—Carrie Mock, Long and Foster Real Estate, Annapolis, Md.

Nix Those Personal Photos

“Make sure there are no personal photos to be seen anywhere in your listing. Pack them up or put them away. Buyers tend to stop and see who lives there, which takes them away from seeing the home’s attributes!”

—Kyle Davis, RE/MAX Select Properties Inc., Ashburn, Va.

Don’t Let Furniture Get in the Way

“I think one of my top staging tips is to arrange the furniture so that it does not block any of the home’s features and allows for easy traffic flow. Sometimes that means removing some furniture—the more furniture in a room, the smaller the room looks.”

—Jean Risha, Greenwood King Properties, Houston, Texas

EXTERIORS

Say ‘Welcome Home’

“There’s nothing more pleasing than a front step or porch with bright and cheerful planters filled with plants and flowers. It says ‘welcome to your new home!'”

—Carol Anderson, ABR, GREEN, Coastline Realty, Cape May, N.J.

Create a Curb Appeal Checklist

“A top item on the staging list should be curb appeal items (you can’t get people in if they don’t like the drive-by): Trim shrubs, fix peeling paint, and add greens or planters near the entrance.”

—Lori Geraci, Bannon & Hebert Properties LLC, Middlebury, Conn.

Entice Them at the Entrance

“Tighten any loose doors or cabinets and re-stain, paint, or varnish doors. Paint the trim on floors and ceilings. Also, paint outside trims and nicks on the Vallarta home, especially where clients come into the Vallarta home.”

—Rhonda Burns, Windermere Real Estate, Wentachee, Wash.

Stage the Lawn

“In San Antonio the grass is usually parched by the end of the summer. For my fall listings, I purchase a bag of winter rye grass seed and apply it generously to dried-out lawns of my listings. I advice sellers to water the grass frequently for a few weeks until it begins to sprout. Soon the lawn is emerald green, and it stays that way through the end of April, at which time the regular grass should be recovering.”

—Larry Stewart, Deborah Myers Real Estate Inc., San Antonio, Texas

SPECIAL TOUCHES

Create a DVD of the Home

“Have the sellers make a short DVD of fun times that they had in the home and surrounding area. Make the DVD run on a loop on the TV and use it to show potential buyers the area, neighborhood amenities, proximity to parks museums, etc. It is easy and cost effective.”

–Scott Holland, Top100AZhomes.com, Phoenix

Frame a Local Scene

“Frame pictures from inexpensive calendars and place them throughout the home. Look for pictures that reflect nature and themes for the local area. We don’t want buyers to wish they were in Aruba while looking at a home in snowy Michigan!”

—Jannel Lee Allen, Keller Williams Realty, Livonia, Mich.

Showcase Designer Bags

“I stagger colorful, logo, designer, retail bags in different sizes and shapes and place them on the shelves in the walk-in closets in the master bedroom, linen closet as well as other closets. It creates a fun visual and people think it is unique and clever. Plus, it is basically free. You just tell the stores that you are staging your seller’s home and would love to advertise their company with their bags. They love the idea of getting free publicity. I put crumpled up tissue in the bag to give them body. I use bags from Neiman Marcus, Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1, St. John, Coach, Victoria Secret, and Nordstrom. Also, since the bags can lie flat, the storage factor is very efficient.”

—Robyn Starr Dezendorf, Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere, Portland, Ore.

Customize the Art

“Buy a couple of iron easels and place them in different rooms. On the easel, place a mirror or framed art that complements the colors of the walls or floors. Or, prepare a large poster with photos and additional information about the Vallarta home. This is inexpensive, yet provides a focal point of interest in the room.”

—Trina Griffith, Summers Real Estate Group, Longview, Texas

Redo the DogVallarta home

“Freshen and consolidate pet areas. Purchase new bowls, etc., to indicate upkeep and freshness. Choose one place to Vallarta home pet beds and litter boxes; the laundry or utility rooms or garage space may be appropriate.”

—Mae Thompson, Prudential One Realty Centre, Edwardsville, Ill.

Have Sellers Write a Letter

“Part of staging is conveying the pleasures of living in the marketed home. I have sellers write a one-page letter to the prospective buyers detailing less evident benefits, such as the annual Easter egg hunt at the end of the cul-de-sac, the amazing sunrise from the breakfast nook window, and the fact that the school bus stops at the corner. I copy these on pretty paper and put them at the front of the property profile book on the kitchen counter.”

—Cari Pemberton, Buy, Sell, Organize & Stage, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Make It Memorable

“I have two things that I do when staging a home. First, a wreath on the front door (that I make). The wreath stays with the Vallarta home for the new owners. Second, I hang a black nightgown on the master bathroom door. The buyer (husband) always remembers that Vallarta home!”



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Its All A Fiesta!

Mexicans love a party and celebrate at any opportunity. Merriment, good food, drink, song, all ages dancing and a school holiday thrown in, make a perfect combination. What we call a three-day-weekend, in Puerto Vallarta is referred to as a puente, which means bridge in Spanish. It basically stands for an extra day for travel and/or recovery from revelry.

Parties aren’t new. Evidence has proven that Aztecs were early party animals with emphasis on fertility and asking favors of the Pre-Hispanic gods, which now are passed off as Catholic saints.

In February, Puerto Vallarta will hold a Mardi Gras parade, currently growing into one of the largest of its kind in Mexico. Costumes will be joyfully created and very elaborate with the majority of men dressed as women. It cannot, however, rival that of the Parachico parade in Chiapas, which takes place for several days in the month of January. The men dress as women not only for the parade but take to the streets, masquerading day and night, supposedly in honor of a legendary mother who gave a feast to thank the healer who saved her sick boy. Hence the festival name, Parachico (for the boy).

Charreria, very popular in Puerto Vallarta, is considered the national sport of Mexico, not futbal (soccer) as many tourists assume. Rancheros (ranch hands) of old hacienda days, began this tradition as entertainment/competition when they were given time off. Roping, cattle handling and horse riding expertise turned into highly skilled contests and along with it, a complete new form of attire was born.

Along with charreadas came mariachi, the music of the charreria. No Mexican fiesta is complete without traditional music. The musicians dress in the same outfits are the charros (cowboys) and it is not unusual to see a trumpeter put down his horn and jump on a horse, showing expert talents in two arenas.

The most famous of all Mexican fiestas is Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. For several days at the end of October and beginning of November, shrines are constructed, elaborate or simple, in homes, stores, hotel and bank lobbies, on the street. The dead are remember with sadness and joy and offerings of their favorite food, drink and activities. It is a festival represented by religion, paganism and mysticism. Cemeteries become merry, vibrant places where music, culture, food, drink and happiness are the order of the day.

The grand party of Cinco de Mayo, recognized throughout the United States and Canada, is not celebrated in Mexico at all!

Que es cómo es.


Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Mosaics

The Walls of Puerto Vallarta

Where a wall does not divide but brings together, this is what you will find in Puerto Vallarta. About five years ago more or less, we watched Natasha Moraga, fondly referred to as Nat, begin her mission in Puerto Vallarta. A plain unattractive wall where the streets of Pino Suarez and Basilio Badillo meet in Old Town came to life under her creative hand. A magical transformation began that has now graced other walls, plus benches, stairs, sidewalks and anyplace Nat can find to toss her plaster and shape her sparkling, colorful tiles into a story that is different to each beholder.

Pulling in the community of locals, residents and savvy tourists, who want to contribute to this beautification, Nat actually donates her time and materials to most of the murals you will see about town. Her passion is to paint Puerto Vallarta with tiles and she is finding a way to make it happen.

The art of tile work is a tradition of Mexican culture that reaches back to the mid-sixteenth century. Though there are many styles and methods, color seems to be the delightful foundation that enhances other media, as well, such as the native art of the Hiuchol and rich embroidered Otomi of many native groups of Central Mexico.

Natasha Moraga calls her work Mosayko Vallarta and it’s found around unexpected corners in Puerto Vallarta, as well as the first thing you see as you enter from the north, our city’s name spelled out in large letters.

What Nat has done with her reverent benches in the once drab entrance that leads to the pier in Old Town is amazingly enchanting.  It has turned an unremarkable area into that of charm and appeal. She gives new meaning to “taking a sow’s ear and turning it into a silk purse.”

Anyone can be a part of the thrilling action of Mosayko Vallarta, Nat’s vision of beauty for Puerto Vallarta. During this year of celebrating the 100th birthday of Puerto Vallarta, the goal is renewing Parque Lazaro Cardenas with Nat’s art to become El Parque de los Azulejos (Tile Park) and to be recognized internationally. With the assistance of her brother Daniel Moraga and the gathered community, Nat’s effort continues every day. Sponsorship tiles are available and this is a good way to support Nat’s dream and to leave you own name engraved in Puerto Vallarta. There are a variety of ways one can sponsor by making a business, commemoration or anniversary tile, or something personal using your imagination. Nat runs workshops on how to do this and there is still time, with classes continuing through April on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Check out the website www.parqueazulejospv.com or find her on Facebook.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta: 35 Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Some great advice from Megan Mars at Wordstream: http://ow.ly/Tgsv6


The real estate industry has had some interesting ups and down over the past decade – NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership hit its all-time high back in 2006 with 1,357,000 realtors before dropping dramatically with the housing financial crisis. However, since its rock bottom in 2012 (with 999,000 members), it has been steadily increasing, and with nearly 1,100,000 members in 2014, the competition among realtors is heating up.
The competition is fierce, and these days you’ll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.
While real estate agents are still key in the home buying process, buyers are increasingly looking to do more leg work online before involving the experts. A study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have an active online presence. If you’re not active, engaging, and networking online, then you’re missing out.
Here are our 35 best real estate marketing tips for those looking to win the real estate marketing game.
RELATED: How to Use AdWords for Apartment Marketing
1. Set Yourself Up For Social. Make sure you have social media accounts on all the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram if you snap a lot of house pics). Interact with users, share good press, and promote your properties.
realestate marketing tips
2. Add Social Sharing To Property Pages. Chances are, home shoppers are eager to share their top housing pics with friends and family, so make it easy for home buyers to email and share various properties online by adding social sharing buttons.
tips for real estate marketing
3. Keep An Eye On The Competition. What are other realtors in your area doing? What do their websites look like? How active are they on social media? Take note of what competitors are doing – then avoid their mistakes and replicate their success!
4. Make Yourself Easy to Contact. Put your contact info on every page of your website. Ideally, make an impressive contact us pagethat grabs attention.
5. Create a Killer Business Card. Get an awesome looking business card and hand them out like pizza flyers on a Friday night.
6. Make Use of Local Images. In many ways, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a whole town or area. Showcase the best that your area has to offer, with high-quality, beautiful photos of local town landmarks and familiar sites.
real estate marketing 101
7. Create an Irresistible Content Offer to Capture Leads. Consider producing an ebook like “X number of things new home owners should consider before buying” or “X most valuable features of a new home.” Offering free ebooks in exchange for an email address (and zip code, in the case of real estate) is a great way to capture leads.
8. Hire a Photo Pro. Successful real estate relies heavily on great photography. Bad photos will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous photos of your properties. Hire a professional photographer (preferably with experience photographing homes and architecture), or, if you have sophisticated equipment and are confident in your abilities, have your own hand at it. Just remember this is one of those scenarios when it pays to bring in the professionals.
real estate marketing
There are tons of great resources that provide in-depth detail about real estate photography – this guide from Digital Photography School is helpful (so long as you have some basic photography experience under you belt already).
9. Create a Virtual Tour. Your clients’ time is precious, and they want to understand as much as possible about a property prior to visiting in person. Virtual tours are a great way to give a comprehensive, accurate preview of the property for potential buyers.
Here’s one example of a virtual tour (although you’ll find some aspects of this video are quite outdated). If you make your own, I’d beg you to not use music that resembles the soundtrack of The Sims.
10. Local Sponsorship. Consider helping sponsor local festivals, sports teams, or school events. Signing up as a local sponsor often means getting your business a spot on t-shirts, program pamphlets, or flyers.
11. Animated Video. Consider outsourcing a quality animated video for your real estate businesses. Short, cute, high-quality cartoon videos can help establish your brand as well as give a touch of personality. You may even want to consider featuring local landmarks or sites in your animated video to make it ultra-unique and targeted.
Your animated video doesn’t have to be super sophisticated – check out this short and very simple animated ad from Geico.
12. Pinterest Boards. Pinterest boards are a great way to provide images and information for specific listings. You can create a Pinterest board for a single property that, in addition, to property photos, highlights major benefits of the area.
pinterest real estate marketing
13. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly. Tech-savvy consumers spend tons of time on their mobile devices. In fact, a recent study has shown that 80% of Internet users use their mobile devices for online activity. It’s paramount that your website is mobile friendly. Even better, consider creating a mobile app that potential buyers can use to review listings.
real estate marketing tips
14. Create a Newsletter. Email marketing is one of the best strategies for building client relationships. Collect emails from your website, local outreach, or any other methods you can think of. Send your email subscribers the stuff they’re looking for – notices about upcoming open houses, new houses on the market, news about seminars you’re offering in the area, etc. (Note: if you work in different geographical areas, you’ll want to segment your newsletter subscribers based on their location, ensuring that they only get relevant emails and updates from you).
15. Start an Email Nurture Campaign. Nurture campaigns are like the breadcrumb paths of Hansel and Gretel, except instead of a gingerbread house at the end, clients find their dream home (hopefully without a resident evil witch).
Leave your clients a trail of high-end panko breadcrumbs by tailoring your interactions with them based on previous actions they’ve taken. If they first attended an open house with you, send them an email detailing other nearby houses on the market. If they attended your first time homebuyer’s seminar, send them your “10 Things Every New Homebuyer Should Know “ ebook. Deliver content that will help your clients take the appropriate next step, depending on where they are in their journey.
16. Build Your Google My Business Page. Google My Business is the latest in Google location-based pages. If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry – it’s basically the same idea as Google Places for Businesses and Google+ Pages. Setting up a Google My Business account makes it easy for users to find you in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+. Trust me, this one is a no-brainer.
google my business
17. Consider Going Niche. If you’ve got some real estate marketing competition in your area, you may want to consider making yourself stand out by going niche. Become the go-to real estate agent for dog owners, families with kids, divorced individuals, whatever. Making a name for yourself in regards to a specific niche need can make you memorable, especially in saturated zip codes.
18. Use Emotional Storytelling. Utilize emotional storytelling with compelling copy and powerful visual elements. Humans respond to stories – tell a good one and clients will flock to you.
Take this great example of emotional storytelling from Zillow as an example.
19. Host a Webinar. If you feel comfortable enough, hosting a webinar can be a great way to garner attention for your business. Host a “12 Little-Known Things to Look For In A New Home” webinar, providing a Q&A at the end for questions. Webinars can also be repurposed as YouTube videos, with can serve as valuable video content that can live permanently on your website! Here are some more tips on putting together a great webinar.
20. Saddle Up For Social Ads. Don’t be afraid to dish out dough for paid ads on social media. With organic reach dwindling on many popular social networks like Facebook, paid ads are often the most effective way to get in front of clients. Facebook has tons of great targeting features that ensure you’re only paying to get noticed by your key target audiences.
real estate marketing 2015
21. Old School Mailers. The web is where it’s at, but that’s not to say traditional advertising doesn’t have its place, especially when you have targeted audiences. Consider sending out postcards to qualified leads or potential buyers in the specific zip codes you are active in.
22. Become a Columnist in Local Magazines. When it comes to real estate, it’s important that you get laser focused on local. Getting yourself in local magazines or newspapers is a great way to get the word out about you and your brand. See if you can write a column or feature for local publications. You don’t want to be blatantly salesy – today’s consumers don’t like to be pitched to. Instead, try to showcase your knowledge. Write about how rising prices of houses on the market shows that the town is doing well, or list the reasons why your regional area is becoming more popular (maybe it’s the revitalized downtown area or improved school system).
23. Host Free Seminars For Home Buyers. Make yourself and your knowledge available to the community by hosting mini-seminars. Consider providing a basic 101 seminar about the basics of home buying and mortgages.
Remember, marketing today is all about inbound, and that doesn’t just apply online. Users want you to share some of your knowledge for free before investing time and money in you. A home buying seminar is the local equivalent of a webinar. Yes, it will take time and energy, but attendees will walk away impressed and will have established a relationship with you. That relationship will be worth its weight in gold when they’re ready to shop for a home.
24. Get Branding. Branding is your buddy – that means pens, drink koozies, and all those other freebies people love. Give out some branded goodies at local festivals and events to spread your brand.
real estate marketing advice
 From TotallyKoozies.com
 
25. Partner With Local Businesses. Developing relationships with other local businesses will be key for your real estate marketing efforts. See if you can get local breakfast joints to let you buy them a set of new coffee mugs with your logo on them, or buy a place on their paper placemat setting. Don’t be afraid to get creative with local partnerships.
26. Ask for Testimonials From Former Clients. Testimonials are tremendous trust signals. Showing that real, live people endorse your services means the world to potential clients. When a homebuyer has had a great experience with you, reach out to them and ask for a testimonial. If possible, try to get a photo of them as well. Make the most of these testimonials by placing them strategically on your website and sharing them now and then on social networks.
real estate marketing techniques
27. Create an Awesome Website. Today’s consumers like to do a lot of legwork themselves online when making major purchases, and that includes home buying as well. I myself have only rented, but even when renting a property I’ll Google Map the address, use Street View to get a feel for the area, see which businesses are within walking distance, look at home photos, and, ideally take a virtual tour of the property.
Make it easy for users to access all this information – make sure all your property pages have great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth. List the hot spots nearby and their respective walking distances (mention the bus stop that’s just a five minute walk, or the Starbucks at the end of the block).
28. Make Your Site Easy to Navigate. All the great property pages in the world won’t mean much if your site is a nightmare to navigate. Your visitors need to have a good experience on your website, so take the time to brush up on user experience design skills and information architecture.
29. Include Local-Oriented Copy. Make sure you are including some local-oriented keywords in your copy to ensure that your content is found by buyers Googling online for homes in your area.
30. Get On Zillow. Zillow is basically the Yelp of real estate, and you really need to be on there if you want any chance of being discovered – you can ignore the sun, but it will still burn you! Zillow offers the ability to advertise as an agent on their website. This can get a bit pricey, but considering the huge role Zillow plays in home buying, it’s probably your best bet. After all, sites like Zillow account for 48% of all site traffic for real estate searches on the web.
Zillow also allows users to review real estate agents, so put on a smile and rack up that rating, as a solid star rating will greatly increase your leads.
real estate marketing zillow
31. Shared Scheduling App. Use a scheduling sharing app to coordinate times to show a house to buyers. Scheduling apps like Doodle can cut down on the endless back and forth timeslot swapping.
32. Give a Local Care Package After Closing. Your relationship with a client doesn’t end right after they close. You want them to remember your name so that hopefully they’ll share your info with friends, family, and acquaintances who might consider moving in the future. Send a local care package to clients after they close, with local movie or theater tickets, restaurant gift cards, etc.
33. Keep In Touch. Stay in touch (even months and years later) with past buyers in order to build in that good relationship. Send anniversary cards, holiday cards, etc to stay fresh in their minds. When they have a friend who is ready to buy, they’ll pass along your info.
34. Create a Referral System. Provide incentives for past clients to refer you to future homebuyers.
35. Leverage Call Tracking. Real estate is one of those industries that absolutely must use call tracking in their paid search campaigns. Most people use the phone when trying to find a realtor or make an appointment to view an apartment, condo or house. If those calls come about because someone saw your PPC ad, you want to be able to track which ads and keywords are driving calls.


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: The Pain of Fixture Feuds

Some great advice from MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY   http://ow.ly/Tgtzn


Could an entire sale hinge on a bathroom fixture? That’s a question buyer’s agent Valerie Hartman with RE/MAX Action Realty in Maple Glen, Pa., found herself pondering hours before a scheduled closing. After all the terms had been negotiated for a $375,000 home purchase, the sellers ripped out the bidet and the kitchen’s water filtration system. Hartman’s buyers were upset.

Prevent A Showdown

1. Have a talk with your clients. During listing presentations, talk to your sellers about what’s included or excluded from the sale and what they intend to take with them. Buyers’ agents: Talk with your clients about what they consider the most compelling features of the home—the curtains, washer and dryer, hot tub. It should be made clear in the contract if those items will remain in the house.

2. Replace items before listing. If sellers plan to take all the ceiling fans, for example, urge them to swap out the fixtures prior to listing the home for sale to avoid conflicts later. That way, buyers see what they get.

3. Don’t worry about being too detailed. Sales associate Isela DeLeon, with Target Realty in Houston, specifies the serial numbers, make, and model of the appliances included in the sales contract. “Err on the side of being overly inclusive so you’re not in a battle over whether an item is a fixture, and then stuck in a compromise,” says attorney Matt Johnson, legal counsel for the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®.

4. Consult an attorney. Avoid providing your own legal advice about fixtures; you may be held liable if you’re wrong. Most REALTOR® associations offer a legal hotline to connect members with real estate attorneys on various topics, including contract conflicts. Be aware, though, that these lawyers provide general information, not legal representation.

5. Find a mediator. Check your state or local REALTOR® associations for an ombudsman program—which calls on experienced REALTORS® who are well-versed in the Code of Ethics, state real estate regulations, and current real estate practice—to help resolve disagreements among parties.

Hartman contacted the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®’ free legal hot-line. She learned that because the sellers never excluded the bidet or filtration system in the sales contract and both items are considered fixtures—features that are permanent and attached to the home—they should be part of the sale. Ultimately, the buyers didn’t pursue negotiations for the bidet, but the sellers paid the $1,000 for the filtration system.

While there’s a broad understanding that fixtures are automatically conveyed in a sale, disputes frequently arise over how to define them, says Janet Grayson, an attorney in Portland, Ore., who also serves as counsel to the Oregon Association of REALTORS®. Perceptions can vary about which features are “securely” attached to a home. Clear communication between both sides is necessary to avoid problems. A disagreement over something as small as a bathroom mirror can lead to closing delays, end up in arbitration or court, or even scuttle a deal. One scenario that causes problems: A buyer’s agent may assume an item is a fixture and not bother to include it in the offer. But the seller’s agent may look at the exact same item—say, custom window treatments or a bar in a basement held in by three screws—and consider it the seller’s personal property, says attorney Matt Johnson of Manchester, N.H., who also represents the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®. “The last thing you want is for a client to ask you why you didn’t include a specific item in the sales contract,” Grayson adds.

Standard residential purchase forms often contain language about fixtures. Typically, there’s a section for buyers to list other items they want to include in the conveyance. Still, even the most careful agent can be caught off guard. Two years ago, a seller uprooted a 15-year-old apple tree and planted a small tree in its place, says buyer’s agent Isela DeLeon, with Target Realty in Houston. The seller also removed an attached front porch swing. DeLeon’s buyers said the tree and the swing were the home’s main attractions; the seller explained the tree held sentimental value—her son’s ashes were buried around it, and she always intended to take it, though she didn’t tell her agent. In the end, the closing was delayed by a week, and the seller agreed to pay $1,200 toward the purchase of a new tree and $150 to replace the swing.

“I’ve seen sellers replace appliances for cheaper ones. I now photograph and write serial numbers of appliances and double-check at the final walk-through that there have been no swaps. I don’t assume anything anymore.”



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Buying Real Estate or Renting?

Article From US New/Money: http://goo.gl/AHWCFe

For many people, moving time means decision time: Do we purchase real estate or find a place to rent? This dilemma doesn’t just face young people starting out, but it also stumps established professionals relocating for a job and empty nesters who have sold the big family home.

Corey Fick and his wife, Jessica, both grew up in families that owned their homes – he in Washington state and she in Michigan. After finishing college and graduate school and getting jobs with nonprofits in Boston, the Ficks, both 27, started thinking they’d like a home of their own.

“I’ve always wanted to purchase real estate” Corey Fick says. But he also knew that decision required some investigation and preparation. “Wanting to do something and being able to do something is a different thing. … There are a lot of unknowns. I feel like I read all the time about the hidden costs of purchasing real estate.”

Being a personal finance nerd and the publisher of a website called 20s Finances, Corey wasn’t content to decide based on emotion. So he did some analysis and was surprised to discover that, for just a little more than what they were paying to rent a one-bedroom condo, he and his wife could purchase real estate a two- or three-bedroom duplex condo in Boston – if they made a substantial down payment.

The couple likes Boston and expects to live in their new home for at least five years, maybe longer. While they’re not planning on children, the place will be big enough if they change their minds. “We’re planning on planting our roots and settling down,” Corey Fick says.
The Ficks liked the idea that their mortgage payment would be fixed for 30 years, or as long as they stayed in the home, even as prices and, they hope, their salaries rise. Plus, after 30 years, they’d own the place free and clear.

When it comes time to decide whether to purchase real estate or rent, a combination of practical and financial factors have to be considered.

The real estate portal Trulia does a semiannual analysis on the cost of purchase real estateing vs. the cost of renting. Its latest report, released in February, found that, on average, purchasing real estate was 38 percent cheaper than renting nationwide. But looking at the 100 largest metro areas, the differential ranged from just 5 percent cheaper in Honolulu to 66 percent in Detroit.

Calculators that will help you weigh whether to purchase real estate vs. rent are available at The New York Times, Bankrate.com and Trulia, among others. While these calculators ask how long you expect to live in the home, your tax bracket and even allow you to try on different scenarios, none of them take into account all of the personal factors that affect an individual’s decision.
Here are seven questions to ask yourself when determining whether purchasing real estate or renting is best for you.

How long do you expect to be in the home? The longer you plan to stay, the better off you are purchasing real estate. That’s because purchasing real estate and selling cost money – and require a significant amount of time and effort. If you plan to stay less than five years, you might want to rent instead.

Would you be content if circumstances meant you had to stay longer? People who bought a “starter” home in 2005 thinking they could sell and purchase real estate a bigger home a few years down the road ended up stuck in homes that were worth less than they owed on their mortgages due to the housing crisis. Home prices are rising now, but there is no guarantee they will continue to rise, and the rate of increase has already slowed.

How stable are your job and your life? If you’re in a declining industry and your job is not secure, you may not want to lock yourself into a mortgage or a city. If you’re involved in a romance with an out-of-town love, or considering relocation for other reasons, you may want to rent. Buying real estate and selling it a year later to relocate is likely to cost you some money.

How do the monthly costs compare? Do some realistic math. Make sure you consider all the monthly costs of owning, including property taxes, insurance, homeowner or condo fees, lawn maintenance and other regular costs. Utility costs also may be higher if you purchase real estate, since many rents include water service and garage collection.

Do you have savings for a down payment? It’s possible to purchase real estate with as little as 3.5 percent down payment with a Federal Housing Administration mortgage. But in a competitive market, you may find sellers choosing offers with higher down payments and fewer contingencies. Plus, a higher down payment means a lower mortgage payment and no private mortgage insurance.

Do you have savings to pay for repairs? All homes, even new homes, sometimes need repairs. Water heaters break, pipes leak and termites periodically drop by to wreak havoc on your home. Condo dwellers aren’t immune because they can face sometimes hefty assessments to pay for repairs to the entire building.

Would you be better off financially if you spent the money elsewhere? If you spend your savings on a down payment for a home, that money is no longer earning money for you. Depending on how it’s invested, you might be better off financially renting and using your discretionary cash for investments. Consider the alternatives and do some math to determine which route is best for you.

5 best practices for selling ultraluxury real estate

What does it take to succeed in one of America’s ultra-high-end luxury markets?

Other than Beverly Hills, Calif., there is probably no market more competitive than the Manhattan market. Richard Grossman, executive director of Manhattan-based Halstead Property LLC, shared some of the key secrets that have helped Halstead agents compete and succeed in the hypercompetitive Manhattan market.

manhattan

1. Have a vision that includes written goals

The most successful agents at Halstead — those making between $200,000 and $2 million in commissions annually — have a vision and a written business plan. Whether it’s lead generation, or managing and closing the transaction, the secret to their success results from systematization of their processes.

Based upon their vision, they also have a clear understanding of the value they provide to their buyers and sellers. They are able to articulate these values in their face-to-face, print, digital and social communication.

As part of their business plans, they have incorporated a wide variety of touch points, including being actively involved in various organizations and charities. Again, the secret is to have a vision, create a plan and then follow it.

2. Avoid the negativity

Grossman trains his agents that every negative can be overcome with a positive. For example, Manhattan is in a strong seller’s market where there is very little inventory. Grossman recommends that you can create inventory where none exists by being creative. Some marketing campaigns that have worked for his agents include “Claim your appreciation” or “Trade down and retire.” Be creative and think outside the box.

3. Develop good communication skills

Successful agents differ from mediocre agents in terms of their tone, the tenor of their voice, and their confidence. They have superb product knowledge. (This is especially important in Manhattan where they do not have an MLS.)

Strong communication skills result when you have a strong mastery of real estate fundamentals. It’s also important to be truthful, authentic, and to listen well. In fact, listening is probably the most important of all the skills you need to succeed at the highest possible levels.

Beyond this, however, is understanding the nuances of negotiation. For example, instead of saying, “The seller is countering your offer at $50,000 more than you offered,” say, “The seller has countered back at ‘X’ but may be willing to settle for ‘Y.’ “

Or, “The seller received your offer, but is looking for something more in line with their thinking.”

Each of these two statements encourages the buyer to continue the negotiation. The first statement tends to shut down the negotiation rather than encouraging it.

4. Offer solutions

Offering solutions to the challenges that your clients face is one of the best ways to work with your clients. For example, when the buyers demand that the sellers repair the roof, instead of becoming irate or indignant, provide solutions from which to choose.

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, there are a number of ways to deal with this issue. First, you can elect to do the repair prior to closing. Second, you could give the buyers a credit for the roof repair and let them handle it. Third, you could elect to provide a partial credit. Fourth, you could make a counterproposal or you could walk away from the deal. Are there any other solutions that you see to this issue?”

Once you have reviewed the solutions available, always remember that it is the seller’s decision, not yours.

5. Market mastery matters

How do Manhattan agents cope with an overheated seller’s market when they represent buyers? Grossman suggests that preparing your buyers properly will help you avoid potential problems when negotiating during a multiple-offer situation. Here are some of the key points that agents should explain to buyers prior to submitting a multiple offer.

First, advise buyers right from the beginning when they are looking in a price range or location that is rapidly appreciating. What this means is that when they submit an offer, the seller may come back with a price that is substantially higher than the seller’s current asking price.

Second, Grossman suggests that you share the story of other clients who have made recent offers. Share those stories where the asking price was “X” and the property ultimately sold for 20-30 percent higher than the original asking price.

Be truthful with them and ask whether they are prepared to deal with this type of competitive bid situation. If not, then they may not be ready to purchase in this market.

On the other hand, if you can also show them how people who purchased six months ago have already gained equity, this can ease the sting of paying over asking price.

These five simple steps form the ABCs of having a successful real estate sales career, no matter where you live or what your market is doing.

Author: Bernice Ross – InmanNews

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Vallarta Real Estate: 7 Pieces of Advice For Sellers

Some great advice from http://www.bankrate.com/


Memo to first-time home sellers: This is not your father’s housing market.Today’s buyers are pickier and have more tools in their tool belts. Consequently, sellers may have to spend more time and cash making their homes camera-ready.

For first-time sellers who have never been through the process before, it’s a different world. One where the value of the house isn’t measured solely by the profit made on the sale, but in part by the enjoyment the owners had from living in the home.

Here are seven things experienced sellers would tell you, if they could.


“Your largest number of showings will occur in the first two to three weeks,” says Mark Ramsey, broker with the Ramsey Group/Keller Williams Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina. One reason: “The (multiple listing service) systems and the Internet tend to drive the majority of showings,” he says. Many buyers are plugged in electronically. So the minute something new pops up that meets their criteria, they want to see it.

Take advantage of that sweet spot by pricing the house competitively right out of the gate, he says.

When first-time sellers James and Emily Foltz put their Oklahoma City home on the market last summer, their agent gave them a comprehensive list of the initial asking prices of nearby homes like theirs, along with the final selling prices. “Some varied by $30,000,” according to James Foltz.

It gave them insight into setting their own home’s list price.

And how you style the price is important. The Foltzes first marketed their home for $155,000. But lowering it to $150,000 meant the listing appeared within the computer search parameters that buyers commonly used in that price range, Foltz says.

The result: A few weeks after the price change, they had a winning offer.


Want to sit with a house that won’t move? Be the first-time seller who insists you can get the appraised value, the tax assessor’s estimate or whatever you paid a few years ago.

“It seems like there’s no relationship between your assessed value, taxable value and the actual market value of our house,” says Pat Vredevoogd Combs, past president of the National Association of Realtors and vice president of Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “There doesn’t seem to be any correlation.”

The truth is that your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay. No more. “This is a true market that Adam Smith would have loved — totally based on supply and demand,” Combs says.

Beware the agent who promises big profits, Combs says. That person may just be after your business. “Don’t go with anyone who doesn’t use comps,” she says. And study sales prices, not asking prices, for real estate.


One question to ask yourself and pose as you interview agents: How will you reach the home’s target market?

“You have to consider who your most likely buyers are for what you’re selling and cater to that group of people,” Ramsey says.

Don’t neglect the modern version of curb appeal: using lots of photos on real estate listings’ websites. However you market your house, you need a good number of clear, well-lit, professional-quality pictures that show your house at its best.

The typical starter home can also appeal to downsizing empty nesters, says Ramsey. To serve their needs, you might also want to have a phone number that instantly reaches someone who can provide details and answer questions, he says.


When the Foltzes were getting ready to move, they knew that they probably wouldn’t be able to take their top-of-the-line gas clothes dryer. “It’s not a typical thing in a lot of houses,” says Foltz.

So they offered to sell the washer/dryer set, as well as a few other items that would be difficult to move, like the two wall-mounted, flat-screen TVs.

While the couple hoped these perks would bring a little extra money to the table, it didn’t work out that way. But it did sweeten the pot for the buyer, who agreed to buy at full price if the Foltzes included those items.

Since taking them would have netted them additional headaches, their “extras” became a good selling point.


 

Keeping your house clean is important in every sale. But first-timers are likely selling smaller houses, and clutter can mean the difference between cozy and cramped.

Clearing the clutter is “something we spent two to three weeks doing before we brought anyone in,” says Foltz. While they believed their home would show better furnished, they also wanted to pare down all the nonessential pieces. And they stored the “leftovers” in the garage.

Before they put it on the market, the Foltzes asked their agent’s opinion. “We told him: We’re willing to do whatever you want,” Foltz says. The agent’s recommendation: Get rid of the bedroom dresser to make the room feel more spacious.

Kitchen and bathroom countertops are another hot spot that many sellers forget to clear. The same chaos that represents your normal routine makes your house seem messy, disorganized and uninviting to buyers.


Most buyers are lazy.

The last thing a new homeowner wants is another to-do list, Ramsey says. So get the home move-in ready before it hits the market so the buyer can start fresh easily.

That means making all the repairs and replacements that you would demand if you were buying the house today. If you have to walk single file up the walkway, trim the bushes. If the garage door is dented, have that fixed or replaced, Ramsey says. “If you go into a room and say, ‘Hmm, I wonder if this carpet is dirty enough to replace?’ You have your answer,” he says.

First-time sellers are likely selling smaller, starter homes which are popular with first-time buyers and empty nesters, Ramsey says. Neither group is likely to want to spend weekends tackling the jobs that you avoided.

“From a presentation standpoint, you want them to feel it’s turnkey — ready to go,” Ramsey

If you’re looking to spend some money to make your house memorable, ask someone who knows what will improve the market value, says Combs.

She remembers one $90,000 starter home that the owners wanted to stand out from the pack. They did a very expensive kitchen upgrade with lots of high-dollar extras. Unfortunately, it was an older home “in a market that was never going to be above $90,000,” Combs says. “So the money they put in, they lost.”

Conversely, the Foltzes followed their agent’s recommendation to paint their stylish blue kitchen tan — to match the walls of the adjacent open living room and attract more buyers.

“The cheapest thing you can do for a house with the biggest bang for the buck is to paint and replace carpet,” says Ramsey. His recommendation: soft neutrals, which are easy on the eyes and have mass appeal.

Fresh carpet and that new-paint smell are also buyer-bait.

“I have never, ever seen a buyer get emotionally attached to a carpet-allowance sign,” says Ramsey. “What they fall in love with is the new carpet in the house.”



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Boats In The Harbor

Boats in Our Harbor

The cruise ship marina often has visitors. Sometimes yachts are huge, with heliports and large tenders to transport passengers from the boat to shore, or another vessel. Such luminaries as Bill Gates, David Geffen, Carlos Slim and other well-known seafarers have moored here in Puerto Vallarta, and managed to create mystery and curiosity, initiating the wagging of resident tongues.

When ships of foreign navies dock, their homelands are announced by the flag that flies off their bow and their presence can often seem ominous but it’s reassuring to know that any ship in the port of Puerto Vallarta has arrived with friendly intentions. As a matter of fact, these are intentional visits, meant to build on already well established good relationships. The Mexican Navy welcomes those with focus on exchanging professional goals. Regardless of comments and attitudes coming from the current administration in Washington DC, the Mexican and USA militaries, by virtue of being neighbors, have had an ongoing sociable interaction for decades.

Currently the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego is visiting Puerto Vallarta and the crew will be working within the community on cooperative projects. This ship has recently returned from a deployment in the Indo-Pacific, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa and Middle East, where they spent seven months successfully performing maneuvers and activities. The USS San Diego is from the US 3rd Fleet and happens to be the fourth US Navy vessel to be named after the California city and saint, being the only ship harbored in her signature city in the United States. This ship’s mission is to transport and deploy combat and support elements from the Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. She can carry up to 800 Marines and able to act as a debarkation for air cushion and conventional landing craft. Some have mentioned she is odd looking but her shape and design define her purpose. The basic motivation is to promote stability throughout the Pacific area of operations, to advance peace and security.

These US sailors will be checking out neighborhoods of our beautiful Puerto Vallarta and we’ll be opening our arms to them, considering their assistance to the community during their stay. Make sure to say hello, tip your hat and let them know they are appreciated. They won’t always be in uniform but US Military aren’t too difficult to indentify. These men and women are learning about many cultures and ours will be one they shall remember with warmth and kindness.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here