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As your Chicagoland real estate agent Michael LaFido, I want to be your resource for all things real estate. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, I am here to guide you through the process. Subscribe to this blog to learn all of the latest news from our local market and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

All Your Real Estate Photography Needs Are About to Be Met



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Considering Buying in 2018: Get Gateway Access to the MLS

Professional photography is an incredibly important element in any real estate transaction, but especially when it comes to the luxury market. And today’s special guest is an absolute rockstar in the realm of real estate photography. Allow me to introduce my good friend Brad Filliponi, who is joining us all the way from Australia, where he’s been in business with his company, Boxbrownie.com, for 15 years.

If you’re anything like me, Brad’s company name may have struck you as a little out there. The story behind it, though, is actually very interesting. Back in 1903, Kodak introduced the first mass-produced camera. It was called the “brownie camera.” So, this product name, combined with a reference to the product’s boxy shape, is what would come to inspire Brad’s own company name. 

As you might expect, Brad’s creativity extends well beyond his company name. His work is carried out with quality in mind. And Brad knows full well that when photographing homes, the quality of the photos is as important as what the photographer takes in the photo.

This is why Brad recommends people look at his pre-photography checklist and prepare their homes accordingly before he comes in with his camera. Following this pre-photography checklist not only helps get homes into photoready shape, it also helps people improve how their property may perform during an inspection.

A few simple preparations are all it takes for Brad to extract a home’s full potential from behind his camera lens. Once it’s time to take photos, Brad does so knowing that there is one major rule of thumb to keep in mind regarding real estate photography. That rule? Get people’s attention.

But taking great photos isn’t all Brad and his company are capable of—they also do photo enhancement. They can make a picture taken on a cloudy day look like it was captured during blue skies, for example. They can also green up grass, remove cars from driveways, and even digitally stage a home. You can find out more about Brad’s company and enjoy any of the services they offer by visiting www.boxbrownie.com

 

The little touches Boxbrownie.com makes to enhance home photos really add up.


Amazing results aren’t the only thing you can expect when working with Brad and his company. The prices you pay for these services are also very reasonable. Some services, like adding blue skies to a photo, cost as low as $2. And their No.1-selling enhancement, digitally staging, costs just $32. Boxbrownie.com is truly the go-to place for all of your real estate photography needs.

The little touches Boxbrownie.com makes to enhance home photos really add up. “You get one chance at a first impression,” says Brad. “You might as well make it last.”

Finally, as I always say: It’s not the marketing, it’s the market. While Brad handles the photography end of things, my group and I are experts on all things luxury real estate. And you could be too. When you sign up for our certification class, you too can set yourself on the path to becoming a certified luxury listing specialist. To learn more about this, go to www.luxurylistingspecialist.com.

If you have any other questions for me or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sellers: Don't Make This Common Mistake



Considering Selling in 2018: Click here for a Free Price Evaluation
Considering Buying in 2018: Get Gateway Access to the MLS

Right now, we’re in the prime selling season here in Chicago. But, if you have plans to put your home on the market, there is one mistake you must avoid.

Many sellers hire the agent who estimates the highest price for their home. If one agent tells them they should list for $550,000 and another tells them they should list for $500,000, most sellers will, unfortunately, choose the agent who gave that higher price. However, this is actually the No.1 listing mistake a seller could make in our market. The market, not your agent, dictates price.

Instead, sellers should hire an agent they like and trust. They should hire an agent with whom they have a good rapport and who has a proven marketing strategy.

On top of working with the right agent, it’s also important to be informed about our current market. One of the most important things to understand is how current supply impacts the traction you’ll have as a seller in our market.

A market with more than seven months of supply is a buyer’s market, a market with five or six months of supply is an even market, and a market with between one and four months of supply is a seller’s market. 




The market, not your agent, dictates price.


Another way to gauge the market is by examining the list-to-sale price ratio in your price range. This is important because while your area might be a seller’s market, your specific price range could still be favoring buyers.

In general, the spring market is a great time to sell. So if you have been thinking of listing, now is the time to do so. I recommend you start interviewing agents as soon as possible. Also, if your home is already on the market, the next 90 days are vital. You should ideally have your home under contract before July.

If you have any other questions, would like more information, or want help with your home sale, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Top 23 Luxury Agents in Orlando Share Their “Aha” Moments



Considering Selling in 2018: Click here for a Free Price Evaluation
Considering Buying in 2018: Get Gateway Access to the MLS

Today, we’re sharing “aha!” moments from the last day and a half of the Luxury Listing Specialist Certification (LUXE).

We are here in Orlando with 23 of the top luxury agents in the area. If you know someone looking to buy or sell in Orlando, make sure that you private message me so I can put you in touch with the best agent.

Here are some of the top “aha!” moments:

  • Market research is the bad guy.
  • The match pair concept, when you have a pre-appraisal done so that sellers understand what their competition is.
  • Using the script “I am the most expensive agent and let me tell you why.” If you’re a great agent, you don’t compete by being the cheapest. You bring value to the table.
  • Google is our friend, so video, video, video. Video is not going away.
  • Event marketing.
  • Position or stage your listing so that buyers can mentally move in.
  • Only 10% of buyers can mentally move in and visualize the home. 90% only see the home as-is.
  • Showcase the lifestyle when marketing a listing. Let potential buyers know what kind of lifestyle they will enjoy if they live there.
  • Educate buyers and sellers by using short videos on YouTube. This is a great way of giving value to your clients.
  • Incorporate virtual staging vs. actual staging in circumstances where sellers might not have the investment dollars as a way to promote their lifestyle.
  • How to leverage your resources and network with a luxury club. If you hang out with nine top producers, you’re bound to be the 10th.
  • The difference between being a marketing agent and a listing agent.
  • How DISC personalities give you a better understanding of who your seller is and how they like things done.
  • Sending a gift after the listing appointment so you’re not out of mind.

Only 10% of buyers can visualize what it’s like to live in the home.


As you can see, we had a lot of “ahas!” in Orlando. If you have any questions for me, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!