Afonso Real Estate



Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 2/15/2017

home fireplaceOdds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 7/13/2016

Being a first-time home seller can be exhausting, especially if you want to maximize your house's purchase price. Fortunately, we're here to help you understand what it takes to succeed as a home seller, regardless of the real estate market's conditions. Here are three factors that every first-time home seller needs to consider before adding his or her house to the real estate market: 1. Your Home's Condition You've completed many home improvement projects over the years, and as such, you may have boosted the value of your house. However, despite these improvements, there may be a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure you're able to generate plenty of interest in your residence among prospective homebuyers. Getting a home appraisal often serves as a great first step on the home selling journey. A home appraiser will be able to give you a better idea about your house's worth as well as potential areas of improvement. As a home seller, you'll need to consider the value of any repairs you complete. Ultimately, a home improvement project may help you boost the value of your house, but it also may mean that it takes longer for you to add your house to the real estate market. Consider the pros and cons of home improvement projects. And if you need extra support, be sure to consult with an experienced real estate agent. 2. Your Home's Price Are you selling your residence in a seller's or buyer's market? Ideally, you'll want to be able to offer your house in a seller's market, i.e. a period in which there are more homebuyers than home sellers. Conversely, even if you're selling your house in a buyer's market (a market that includes more home sellers than homebuyers), you may be able to make your house more attractive to potential buyers if you offer a competitive price. Look at what similar homes in your area have sold for over the past few months. Also, be sure to work with a real estate agent who can provide insights into home selling and homebuying trends in your area. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to list your house for a fair price and improve your chances of a fast sale. 3. Your Post-Sale Plans If a homebuyer makes an offer on your residence that exceeds your expectations, how will you proceed? You'll need to consider your post-sale plans, as this will ensure that you're ready for any home selling scenario that comes your way. You may want to de-clutter your home as much as possible to make it easier to finalize a sale and relocate to a new address. In addition, you should try to work with a real estate agent who can help you sell your current home and find a new one that meets your needs going forward. Just because you're a first-time home seller doesn't mean you can't prepare like a pro. Consider the aforementioned home selling factors, and you may be able to improve your chances of optimizing the price of your home and speeding up the home selling process.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 5/11/2016

Did you know that home sellers that use a real estate professional on average get 16% more in the sale of their home? In rare instances, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent but for most it is tricky business. Here are a few reasons why you can't sell your own home. 1. A home for sale needs to be in the MLS (multiple listing service). You need to be a licensed real estate broker or  agent to be able to put a home in the MLS. Not having your home in the MLS is problematic, it will be difficult to advertise your home on many home search engines and websites. 2. Many real estate agents won't show homes that are for sale by owner. For a real estate agent it can be difficult to deal directly with a home seller. Agents are used to receiving a commission on the sale and without a written agreement there is no guarantee that the buyer's agent will be compensated for his or her services. Not having the cooperation of local agents significantly limits the pool of potential buyers. 3. Many buyers do not want to deal directly with the seller. Potential buyers usually feel uncomfortable looking at a home if the owner is present.  They will also be less likely to make an offer if they have to negotiate directly with the seller. Real estate agents create a much needed buffer between the seller and the buyer. 4. A real estate transaction is not always easy. Many times there are potential liability issues. Sellers would need to be well schooled in the real estate laws especially surrounding escrow and disclosure requirements.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 1/27/2016

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home's appeal to a potential buyer.  With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home's "scentmosphere"? 1. - The Friend Test - Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don't even notice that they're there.  Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own "scentmosphere", and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others.  Have a friend come over and, well.....Smell your home.    Your friend doesn't live in your home.  They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom.  These "other person" smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat.  If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market.  Keep children's rooms tidy and clean-smelling. 2. - Kitchen Comfort - There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing.  Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose. Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference.  Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones. 3. - Subtlety is key.  You want a noticeable "scentmosphere", but not one that is overpowering.  Pick your scents accordingly.  If you overdo it, people may think you're trying too hard to cover something up.  Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly.  Each individual smell shouldn't be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house.  You don't want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen.  Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the "scentmosphere" once the lemon scents wear off.  Less is more.  





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 5/13/2015

              Accent walls can really tie a room together.  If done properly, they can balance out narrow rooms, provide a conversation piece, and add an artistic flair to an otherwise drab room.  However, there are a few do's and don'ts that must be kept in mind if you are to make the best decision regarding exactly which wall in a room should be chosen, and what the best colors are for your particular choice. If you are choosing to paint an accent wall in a narrow room, then keep some basic color theory in mind.  Warm hues like reds,yellows, and oranges will draw focus to  a wall, effectively creating the illusion of being "drawn toward" the color.  Therefore, if you were to paint the shortest wall farthest way from the entrance a bright red, then it will appear that the room isn't as narrow as it once was.  However, if you were to choose one of the longer walls, it would only serve to make the room appear even narrower than it once was. In contrast, cool hues like blues, purples, and greens can have quite a different effect.  Cool hues tend to draw one's gaze away from a wall, thereby making a room or area look larger than it really is.  These colors can serve to make short rooms appear longer, skinny rooms appear wider, and hallways appear more spacious. Next, we'll talk about natural lighting.  Warm hues work best in northern and eastern-facing rooms, as the amount of light that these are getting will be significantly less than the amount of light coming into your southern and eastern-facing rooms.  Save the cool hues for the brightest rooms. Visibility of your accent wall is another big factor to consider.  If you are painting a smaller wall, then decorate sparsely.  You don't want decorations or furniture cluttering up your accent wall and preventing it from doing its job.  Working with your architecture is also important.  If you have an irregularly-shaped wall in a room, then try if you can to make it your accent wall.







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