Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Getting your Home Ready for the Photographer!

Fashion models don’t pop out of bed and get in front of a camera.  Houses shouldn't either!   When your home goes on the market, the buying public will truly scrutinize the photos of your home as they determine whether or not they even want to visit it.  

 Here are a few guidelines for getting home ready for a photo shoot.  As you go through each room, remember less is more because even the most attractive items can look like clutter in a photograph.

In winter, driveway and walkways clear of snow.
In summer, grass freshly cut and raked.
Hedges and bushes trimmed.
Trash cans, bikes, toys out of sight.
Porch, front stoop, front door decorated  but modestly.
Cars removed from driveway.

Clear counters.  Leave one small appliance and one or two decorative items (bowl fruit, etc.)
Hide dish drains, dish detergent, etc.
Eliminate refrigerator magnet clutter.
New or clean, fresh dish towels neatly hung.
Simple place settings at table or breakfast bar

Clear all clutter
China cabinets & curio cabinets sparsely furnished.  
Set table but keep place setting simple as to avoid a cluttered look. 

Living room
Eliminate newspapers, magazines, and other media.
Do not store items under the couches...they show.
Put away toys and simplify decorative items.
Turn off televisions.
Open curtains.  Turn on lamps (soft light is better than bright or harsh)

Make the beds.  Every wrinkle shows up in photographs, so do it carefully.  Fresh pillow cases or pillow covers help. 
Either have a bed skirt or do not store items under the bed.
Put away personal belongings, eliminate clutter.
Open windows.  Turn on lamps with soft light.

Eliminate all personal and beauty items
Hang new or clean towels.
Clean mirrors.
Close toilet seats.

Open curtains.   Turn on lights.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Looking for Tranquility? Look No Further.

Coming to market next week, a beautiful Scottsville home with 65 acres that offers incredible views, unparalleled tranquility, lush perennial gardens and a fantastic home.  First showings, Thursday, September 12th.  Call me for more information.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buy Me! Buy Me!

Whether you are buying a property or selling one, there are many big decisions in real estate and for many people that causes great stress.  But every once in a while you run into someone that can take it all in stride and even have a little fun with real estate.

A house just came on the market this week and displayed discreetly on the side of the refrigerator in children's magnet alphabet letters were the words "BUY ME."

And someone did, almost exactly 24 hours after the property hit the market.  And when we arrived today to do the home inspection, new letters appeared on the fridge.  This time is said "THANK YOU."

Monday, July 01, 2013

Highland Park Diner Named One of America's Best Diners!

Highland Park Diner, located at the intersection of S. Goodman and S. Clinton, was just named as one of America's Best Diners by Travel and Leisure Magazine.  It's a popular spot for locals and tourist alike.

Emphasizing freshness, the menu features homemade mashed potatoes, hamburgers, soups, freshly squeezed orange juice and an award-winning apple pie.  The diner seats fifty-five, 19 at the counter and 36 at the booths.

He's a link to the story:

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Short Sale History

Historically, the one thing that has not been short with short sales is the time necessary to close.  I've heard horror stories of closings taking months and even years.

But this week I think I may have made short sale history.  On February 12, I listed a home in N. Chili.  On March 14th, we received and accepted an offer.  On March 18th, we submitted the offer to the bank for short sale approval.  (For those that don't know what a short sale is, it is when the property is worth less than what is owed on it and therefore the bank must agree to a shortage.)  On the 20th of March we received the bank's approval and we closed on April 30th.

Now, Guinness doesn't keep records on short sales closings and to the best of my knowledge, no one else does either.  But I can't find anyone who has heard of a short sales closing this fast.

While it's fun to be a record holder, if even only in my imagination, I hope this record falls soon and often.  Short sales are the result of financial hardship.  When a homeowner goes through a short sale, they are are stressed and often feel like a failure.  And when banks make it a long, drawn-out process it is pure agony for the seller and the buyer often loses their enthusiasm for their new home.  It doesn't need to be this way and I hope my recent experience is an indication of what the future holds.

If you have any questions about Rochester real estate, don't hesitate to call or e-mail me.  Mary Shelsby

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rochester Real Estate Seeing Multiple Offers

The last five purchase offers I've written have had competition.  And yes, at the first inkling that there will be multiple offers, my heart rate goes up and the adrenaline starts pulsing through my veins and I get giddy with excitement but then the reality sinks in.  Multiple offers suck.

There really isn't a win-win with multiple offers.  Someone has to lose. And the nice person in me really doesn't like that.  But even worse is that often the winner loses as well. They get caught up in a bidding war and there isn't time for a second visit or to sleep on it.  In these types of markets, if you have to sleep on it, you probably won't get to sleep in it.  And lord knows, I've had to list and sell way too many houses that people bought because they didn't take the time to sleep on it.

Of course the home seller does win.  Generally, if there are multiple offers they get their asking price if not more.  And so if you are contemplating moving up or moving down or moving across town, this is a very good time and I hope you will give me a call.

Mary Shelsby   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rochester's High-Tech Innovation

With Kodak in bankruptcy, the experts expected Rochester to crumble into urban decay.  Instead, it has thrived and this week was named one of the ten most unexpected cities of high tech innovation by    According to the article, there are 65,650 techies in the Rochester workforce, which rivals San Francisco and San Diego.  You can check out the article in its entirety here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Five Biggest Mistakes When Getting a Mortgage

Once upon a time you didn't need money or a job to get a mortgage. In fact, you didn't even have to have a personal history of paying your bills and you could still get a mortgage. There are even rumors of deceased individuals getting mortgages as owner-occupants but I don't know if that was true or not. But since the mortgage melt-down of 2007-2009 there are much stricter guidelines to get funding for a personal residence. Here is my list of the top five things you DON'T want to do when applying for a mortgage.

 1. Don't keep secrets from your loan officer. The loan officer doesn't approve your loan. He or she prepares your file so that you have the greatest likelihood of getting the loan. He or she can't do that if they don't know about things like a past bankruptcy or foreclosure, or that you are legally separated or divorced with or without child support obligations or that your job is classified as temporary. Spill the beans so that the loan officer can do their job.

 2. Don't take it personally when the bank wants documentation. I agree. It feel like it would be easier to get a top secret clearance than to get a 30-year note on a house valued at $180,000. And it feels like no matter what you say, they don't believe you. But keep in mind they treat everyone the same way. If you were late on a car payment nine years ago, expect to explain why. If your father gave you a check for $500 for your birthday, expect to have to get him to write a letter verifying the fact. That is normal operating procedures for getting a mortgage in 2013.

 3. Do not make cash deposits into any of your accounts. If you've been collecting coins for 30 years and this is what you plan to use for your down payment, well, you might as well be up 'that' creek without a paddle. Banks want a paper-trail. If money has been deposited into your account, they want to know who from and how come and they want proof. Why? They simply want to make sure you didn't borrow funds that you will need to payback after the loan closes.

 4. Avoid job changes. Sometimes simply changing departments can through off a scheduled closing by several weeks. And unbelievably, even if the job pays lots more than the previous position, banks will hold up closing until you have at least one paycheck from the new employer. If you are contemplating a job change, see rule number one. Your loan officer can help you understand the consequences.

 5. Don't buy anything! In fact, don't shop for anything. Now is not the time to shop for a new car for your garage. Nor to you want to purchase furniture or appliances (unless, of course you have that coin collection - see rule number 3.) Every time your credit is pulled it is noted and if the bank learns you are buying appliances or furniture or anything on credit, they very well might shut down your loan application.

 So there you have it, 5 major rules. I've been told that it feels like you've been investigated by the CIA, the FBI as well as the Secret Service when you apply for a mortgage. That is just life in real estate in this day and age.