33 Day Market Time All Hallmark Listings Sold

Hallmark Idaho Properties in alliance with Cablela’s Trophy Properties is proud to announce that YTD for 2013, all company listings sold and closed had a market time of just 33 days from date of listing to contract sale date.

Utilizing a series of marketing strategies and systems, plus working hard at working with servicing other real estate agents within the local community has been essential in achieving such positive sales results.

While complying in the information is was also noted the many of the listed properties had multiple offers for sellers to choose from with many sales prices above the asking price.

If your considering selling and want results, give Hallmark a call!


CONSIDERING SELLING? Why Settle For 1989 Marketing & Technology

They say of picture is worth a thousand word. When it comes to real estate the saying should say

Professional photos can be worth Thousands of Dollars in your pocket!

Why settle for less?

Hallmark Idaho Properties is on the cutting edge when it comes to “Real Estate Marketing”.

Don’t just “List” your property when

     Hallmark Idaho Properties will “Market Your Property”!

Call today to see how we can help market your home for top dollar now matter what price range your home is in.

As always . . . we’re here to help.


Realtor® Association Warns About ‘Pocket Listings’

It's A Secret - A Pocket Listing In IdahoPocket listing are nothing new, but before putting your home on the market with just an individual agent or company, i.e. not listed in the MLS,  you should be aware of the pitfalls as it may reduce your final sales price. It doesn’t matter if your in Sun Valley Idaho or New York, the sames issues apply.

Below is an article about how the California Association of Realtors is dealing with this issue in an attempt to make sure these potential problems are disclosed to sellers prior to putting their properties on the market for sale. Many times the only person that gains from a “Pocket Listing” is the listing broker.  Now to the article, plus a link to the disclosure publication CAR created.

Pocket listings can adversely affect a seller’s goal of getting the best price reasonably for a home

About 1-in-4 home sales are reportedly pocket listings in some Northern California markets, and the California Association of REALTORS® is warning agents to tread carefully.

Sun Valley Idaho Pocket ListingsCAR says that pocket listings or off-MLS listings are not illegal if the listing agent fully discloses the pros and cons to the home seller and follows the rules, but CAR says pocket listings “may not be in the best interest of the property owner — particularly if a client does not know about the benefits of marketing his or her property through the MLS.”

CAR warns that “pocket listings” can adversely affect a seller’s goal of getting the best price reasonably for a home.

The increase in pocket listings has alarmed many in the industry, particularly at a time with inventory shortages in many markets. For example, 26 percent of home sales were pocket listings in the first quarter of 2013 in some Northern California markets, according to a recent study by MLSListings Inc. That’s an increase from 15 percent in 2012

CAR has published a booklet on pocket listings for agents to provide to their clients, “The Pros and Cons of Off-MLS Listings: What Consumers and Real Estate Agents Should Know.” CLICK TO READ

Announcing the “Early Bird Special”

ComingThisWeekAs the saying goes, “The Early Bird Gets The Worm”

The same can be said for savvy buyers digging for the latest information regarding new listings, prices changes, etc., when searching for that perfect property.

We are proud to announce a brand new program that will give buyers that “Early Bird Advantage” using their own computer, tablet or smart phone to access detailed listing information in “Real Time”.

Real Time Real Estate Listing Updates for Sun Valley Idaho

Currently working with an agent that’s not a Hallmark agent?


Providing reliable listing information to the general public with no strings attached also creates additional market exposure for Seller’s we represent.

Of course if your not currently working with an agent, please consider using our professional services.

Check back for details  . . . as always, we’re here to help

Bad Online Advertising – Why You Should Care When Selling

Below is a reprint of a recent article on a generic Seattle Real Estate Website. The same market strategy is true here as many of the Greater Sun Valley buyers come from out of the immediate area. Good and/or Bad Online Marketing makes a difference as to the end result.

Choosing the right marketing agent can make the difference between failure and success. Before listing your property for sale, compare the online marketing presence and strategies of agents you interview. Ask to see what type of proactive marketing they will do “For You” to help sell your property. Now to the post . . .

– – – – –

With 90% of buyers starting their home search online, and the Seattle area being so tech savvy, the days of bad online advertising is over. For a long time the trend was for sellers to choose a real estate agent based solely on who they know, whether it be a family friend or the agent they used to originally buy the house. More and more I’m seeing sellers abandon this strategy and interviewing multiple agents, searching for one that know’s how to beautifully showcase a property online. As a result, you’re going to see the marketing for listings improve (and buyers everywhere rejoice!).

Another trend I see coming to an end is the seller paying for the buyers closing costs. For the last few years the real estate market was down, and it was almost a given that the seller would pay at least a portion, if not all of the buyers closing costs (up to 3% of the purchase price). There are plenty of buyers but not enough inventory right now, therefore sellers are rarely paying closing cots. Of course if the market turns this trend will come back, but for the time being it’s on its way out.

SOURCE: Seattle.Curbed.com

FORECLOSURE: What It Really Means & How to Avoid It.

Mortgage debt relief extension should help distressed home owners

One measure tucked into Congress’ action to avert the Fiscal Cliff will help distressed home owners by approving the one-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act.

Since 2007, that law has given homeowners an exemption on federal taxes when they obtain debt forgiveness on their primary home. For example, a family with a short sale for $100,000 less than their mortgage would otherwise have to pay taxes on that difference as if it were income. It also applies when lenders forgive a portion of mortgage principal without the home changing hands.

Without a tax exemption, some homeowners might chose to lose the home to foreclosure instead of facing a large tax bill.

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act will last until Jan. 1, 2014.

“This extension will help struggling homeowners take full advantage of the assistance offered them by the national mortgage settlement and other foreclosure relief programs.”

9 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure:

REINSTATEMENT: Bring the loan current
FORBEARANCE: Temporary repayment plan
REFINANCE: New loan with reduction in monthly payments
LOAN MODIFICATION: Modify original loan terms
SELL THE PROPERTY: Use equity to payoff or pay difference
RENT THE PROPERTY: Must make loan current
SHORT SALE: Negotiate with bank to accept sale under loan amount
DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE: “friendly foreclosure:
BANKRUPTCY: Will stall foreclosure but not prevent it

Call today and allow our team of experts help you navigate a positive solution!


Considering Selling? Marketing is Marketing is Marketing

The product doesn’t matter, be it cars, sodas, real estate or toilet paper, marketing is about reaching the consumer by putting your product in front of them in the best light possible and creating a call to action that creates results.

Ever shop for a refrigerator? All of a sudden you notice they are having a sale on refrigerators. What you didn’t notice before is that they are always running a sale on refrigerators. It didn’t register or mean anything until you had the need or desire to purchase a new refrigerator.

Successful marketing is more like a well planned political campaign and it should never stop!

Marketing real estate in a small community like Sun Valley is no longer about who knows whom, what clubs or social groups an agent belongs too, but instead it’s about reaching a much larger audience including outside the immediate area on a regularly scheduled basis . . .

. . . i.e. not the old fashion way of the one time “Open House” advertising blast or the so called “Interactive Marketing” via the ride on the chair lift with a total stranger you hope might be in the market to buy some real estate.

Professional networking and cooperation is also required to truly represent a seller’s best interest, as the days of holding information close to the vest in hopes of a full commission are gone. Protecting listing information and details in an effort to land a buyer yourself doesn’t create the same success rate for sellers as openly sharing and promoting the information while being very transparent in all your pre-planned, daily agent related marketing activities.

The level and quality of professional marketing offered shouldn’t be based on price range either.

It’s just a critical to have a strong online presence including locator maps, plat maps, CC&Rs, neighborhood and community information, professionally taken photos, etc. for a $120,000 condominium, as it is a $5,000,000 trophy home. Otherwise you could be leaving money on the table, or worst yet be unable to sell your property.

Linked below is a sample of the professional marketing we do for seller’s we represent.

The subject property had multiple offers written by various real estate companies and the winning purchase and sale agreement was presented to the seller on a pre-planned targeted sale date  (target sale date was 11 days after activating the listing and on the specific day offers would be reviewed for consideration by the seller). Written purchase agreements included offers over and above the list price but because of special needs and desires of the seller an offer was accepted that provided unique concession to the seller we successfully negotiated at the time of sale.
While pricing a property is important, it’s not the only strategy and/or marketing element required in achieving the desired results.

If you’re considering selling and want real results, give us a call for a free market analysis and comprehensive marketing plan. We’re here to help.

George Martin, Jr.

Associate Broker, GRI®, Marketing Director
Certified Distressed Property Expert®
Hallmark Idaho Properties

Experts say “Multiple Offers Possible” in tough housing market

Bidding wars are back as the housing market continues its recovery.

After years of lackluster sales and sagging prices, demand is growing while the number of homes for sale shrinks.

Those market conditions drive multiple offers in many areas, but real estate agents and other housing followers say sellers still can take practical steps to boost the level of interest among buyers.

  • Price it as low as possible. Many sellers and their agents obviously underprice homes to attract bidding wars. Douglas Rill, a broker at Century 21 America’s Choice in West Palm Beach, Fla., refers to the tactic as “drama pricing.”

Rill said he was instructed by the lender to list a West Palm Beach home with a leaky roof and other problems for $37,600, even though comparable sales supported a listing close to $50,000.

“Do you know what that does to my cell phone?” Rill said. “It blows it up.”

The bank’s strategy worked. More than 70 potential buyers toured the home, which eventually sold for $51,000.

At the very least, sellers should list their homes at the low end of market value, which will draw in buyers who sense they’re getting good value, agents say.

  • Pay for an inspection, lien search. Buyers typically cover those, but motivated sellers can go on the offensive to prove the home is in good condition and free of title problems that would delay closing.
  • “You may be able to attract multiple offers just because the buyers will know what they’re getting,” said Marta DuPree, a broker for Keyes Co. in Broward County, Fla.
  • Offer owner-financing. This only works for sellers who own the property outright. But it’s an option to consider, especially for condominiums in which government financing is limited, DuPree said.
  • De-clutter. Getting rid of all those books, magazines and board games you haven’t touched in years will help make the home seem bigger and more appealing.

“Buyers are visual,” said Judy Trudel, an agent for Balistreri Realty in Lighthouse Point, Fla. “Clean and crisp sells.”

If you can smell it, you can’t sell it!

Sandra Holmes, a professional home stager in Weston, Fla., said properties should be “Q-tip clean” and free of smoking or pet odors. “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it,” she said.

A paint job freshens up a room, and it doesn’t cost a lot. Even replacing a light bulb to improve a room’s brightness can make a difference to a skeptical buyer, agents say.

“When a buyer goes in and flips on the light switch and it doesn’t work, they think there’s an electrical problem,” Rill said.

  • Spruce up the landscaping. Planting fresh flowers, laying mulch and keeping the hedges trimmed will make a solid first impression on a buyer.

“When buyers walk up to a house that’s (in poor shape) – even if it’s just the landscaping – there’s going to be a sense that the seller doesn’t care about it,” said Ron Rosen, an agent in Broward. “And the buyers will think that they can really lower their offer or they just won’t be interested at all.”

SOURCE: Real Estate Today


VIDEO: Housing ‘Short Sales’ Could Get a Boost With New Plan

Homeowners could soon have an easier time selling their homes for less than what they owe on their mortgages, under new guidelines from a federal housing regulator and mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday announced measures to make “short sales” of underwater homes easier for homeowners, including extending help to people who have financial difficulties but haven’t missed mortgage payments.

Homeowners whose property values have fallen could have an easier time selling the home for less than the outstanding mortgage amount under changes to be announced by a federal housing regulator.

In a short sale, holders of first and second mortgages, such as home-equity loans, must sign off on the deal because they are accepting less than the outstanding mortgage balance. While short sales help borrowers avoid foreclosure and are thus thought to be in the broad interest of the lending industry and the economy, real-estate agents and home sellers have long complained that they are lengthy and difficult to complete.

Short sales typically sell for a 10% discount to ordinary homes, compared with a 30% discount for foreclosures, said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at real estate data firm CoreLogic Inc.

One part of the plan is for Fannie and Freddie to place a $6,000 cap on the amount of money holders of second mortgages can receive when the sale is completed, as a way to prevent the mortgage holders from haggling over their slice of the home-sale proceeds. Those second-lien holders would still be able to reject the sales if they saw fit.

Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication, said $6,000 may not be enough for many holders of second mortgages, who hold out on approving short sales because they don’t have the right to foreclose on properties and are seeking ways to get paid. “It isn’t a lot to offer,” he said.

The changes only affect underwater mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, which back the bulk of U.S. home loans. The FHFA has the authority, as regulator for Fannie and Freddie, to force changes on the lending industry.

The housing regulator didn’t estimate how many people would now qualify for short sales, but about 4.6 million borrowers with loans backed by Fannie or Freddie are underwater, with 80% of those homeowners having missed no mortgage payments.

If more short sales are approved, banks could be forced to record losses on home-equity debt. The biggest holders of second mortgages in the U.S. are Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup Inc. Representatives of all four banks declined to comment.

Mortgage holders have always needed to ensure that a short-sale agreement is legitimate and competitive, as there have been problems with fraudulent sales.

After seeing her income reduced and running up credit-card debt, Suzanne Gott, a 63-year-old in Mansfield, Mass., listed her home for a short sale in June, asking for $149,000 even though she owes $200,000 on the property. This week, she accepted an all-cash offer of $135,000. “I’m hoping that it’s over as soon as possible,” she said.

The rules go into effect Nov. 1 and also allow homeowners with missed mortgage payments and serious financial problems to submit fewer documents to be approved for a short sale. Homeowners will receive speedier approval if they are experiencing a financial hardship such as a lost job, divorce, death in the family or job relocation.

Earlier this year, the housing regulator set out formal timelines for short sales, saying that mortgage lenders would have to respond to a short-sale offer within 30 days of receiving it.

Short sales have been growing as a percentage of home sales. They made up 8.8% of home sales in May, up from 7.6% a year earlier and 6.5% in 2010, according to CoreLogic Inc.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

Quality Photos Can Make The Difference When Selling Your Home

Companies that sell products tend to be meticulous about the photography of the merchandise they’re advertising — the pictures are almost always crisp, detailed and attractive.

If you’ve surfed online for houses, you know what I’m talking about — the offending photos are so dimly lit you can’t tell how big the family room is. Or toys and family clutter are all over the place. Couldn’t they even bother to take the dirty dishes out of the sink before they photographed the kitchen?

A good understanding of color temperature, having proper lighting, quality, high-end equipment and a trained eye makes all the difference when creating professional marketing photos for any home that’s for sale. This photo is of a home I took in the Golden Eagle area. All Photos © George Martin, Jr., Hallmark Idaho Properties

Brian Balduf runs a company that provides photography services to real estate brokerages, and he has seen it all. He said the quality of real estate photographs didn’t used to matter much, but the growth of online real estate marketing and the advent of the iPad and photo-sharing sites has changed that. Balduf, chairman of Chicago-based VHT Inc., explained how it’s crucial these days that photographs of your house must really sell it:

Q: I suppose it’s easy to blame the real estate agents for poor real estate pictures — after all, they’re agents, not photographers. But why are so many of the photos so bad?

A: Agents, in the past, just marketed homes to other agents (by generally only placing photos on their multiple listing service). They weren’t marketing to consumers. Then the Internet came along, and (the photo quality) still didn’t matter a lot.

Until the iPads and tablet displays became really popular recently, all real estate photos on the Internet originated from the MLS, and the images just weren’t very detailed. But as soon as you started presenting them full screen on iPads or people were able to look at them on 50-inch, flat-panel television screens, consumers started realizing, gee, these photos are really bad.

It’s interesting, because consumers aren’t used to seeing bad (marketing) photos. Every other product they see online, even if it’s a $2 bucket at Wal-Mart, is going to have a good photograph.

And the photos are going to be critical for grabbing the attention of the people who are cruising through houses on the Net — if you didn’t get them with that first impression, you may never get that buyer back.

Q: If you’re listing a home for sale, what should you ask an agent about photography?

A: First, ask to see samples (of photos of previous listings), just like with any other service provider. And ask for photos (of current listings) that are being used to market the houses you’re competing with. If you’re selling a three-bedroom, two-bath, ask to see the photos of other three-bedroom, two-baths nearby.

Ask if the agents photos are optimized for the newer high-resolution displays such as Apple’s Retina displays used on most of their newer products.

The good, bad and ugly thing about these newer HD screens is they automatically make a great photo look even better, but really make a bad photo look even worst. What do you want the photos to say about your property?

Photo above is a lower priced home in Woodside, Hailey Idaho

You’re starting to see more progressive real estate firms saying this is important, and they’re having their listings professionally photographed. But it varies a lot, regionally, and the number of professionally shot houses is small, maybe 10 to 20 percent of the market. Chicago is fairly good about using professional photography. It’s starting to pick up more on the coasts. On the West Coast, you probably see the most professional photography in San Diego.

I took this photo from apx 30 feet in the air – Gimlet Area of Ketchum Idaho

In Florida, you’re seeing it more, and you’ll see more aerial photography there — that is, they might shoot a house from a crane or boom because buyers want to see what’s behind the house — a waterway, a pond, the Everglades.

Q: What goes into good real estate photography?

A: It’s harder than most people realize. Room photography is lighting, lighting, lighting. And when you photograph a home, you may be dealing with every kind of lighting — exterior lighting, incandescent, fluorescent — so without controlled lighting, every room is going to come out different. You may see a lot of bluish bathrooms and kitchens.That’s were a good understanding of color temperature comes into play.

Another challenge is balancing the light so you have a good photo of the interior while allowing the exterior views to shine through. Luxury contemporary home located in Sun Valley

Outside, you want to time the photograph to control for weird shadows; you also want to get rid of parked cars or garbage cans in the driveway.

Another aerial photo taken from apx 30 feet in the air. This home overlooks both Dollar and Baldy in Sun Valley Idaho and recently sold for 5+ million. The out of state buyer said the photos, aerial maps, etc. I posted on the internet for another agent played a large role in viewing the home prior to deciding to call a local realtor and fly into town to see the it in person and ultimately purchase.

And it takes a real camera. Technology is making it easier to shoot bad photos — camera phones don’t have enough flash or depth of field (for rooms). Your drunk friend at a Cubs game, a camera phone is great for that. But if you have a room that’s deep, you want to be able to see it.

A room needs to be shot on a tripod — it’s a must, because the shots have to be level. It can be a gorgeous home, but if the photos are dark or crooked or pixilated, you have either helped the buyer pass your home up or they’ll place less value on it.

Q: What if you have a very simple, ordinary, unadorned home? It may be a great place to live, but what if there’s nothing in it that would look particularly “gorgeous,” by room photography standards?

A: If you don’t have anything that’s unique about your property, then you want to make it look as good as possible. Good, clear photography of a neat, clean home may be your one competitive advantage if you’re on the market and competing against 20 similar starter homes. You may be able to make it sell before the guy who has the same house across the street.

You don’t have to own an expensive home to expect high quality marketing photos. One of the photos above is an affordable home in Woodside and another in Della View.

F.Y.I. The Della View property was just listed this past week and had 4 offers presented within 72 hours of posting the HD Photo Tour online.

Another picture perfect street side view in downtown “Old Hailey” Idaho

Local community and lifestyle photos also help people outside our area get a better understanding and feel for what Sun Valley and it’s surrounding communities are like.

Finally, quality photos are important, but they won’t make a difference if nobody sees them.

It’s critical for your listing agent to have the proper tools, knowledge, networks and syndication’s to give your property maximum exposure by reaching buyers outside the immediate area.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune / Hallmark Idaho Properties

Lead Generation

Market Statistics

  • 12.54,12.74,11.73,10.7,9.6,9.29,9.02,8.54,8.22,7.85,7.76,8.74

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2018