Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/13/2016

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 Lynn D'Avolio on 11/8/2016

As a home seller, it is important to note that you're not alone in the real estate market. In fact, dozens of other nearby home sellers likely are doing everything they can to promote their residences to prospective homebuyers. This means that you may need to think outside the box to generate interest in your home. Fortunately, every homebuyer is looking for a bargain, and home sellers who offer incentives may be able to sweeten the deal if a homebuyer is interested in purchasing a residence. Incentives are readily available that you can offer to homebuyers, and some of the top incentives to consider include: 1. Covering the Closing Costs. Closing costs can add up quickly for homebuyers and may be a deterrent for a buyer to purchase a particular residence. However, you can eliminate this deterrent if you agree to cover even a portion of a homebuyer's closing costs. Agreeing to cover a homebuyer's closing costs up to a predetermined amount may help you seal the deal with a prospective buyer. And ultimately, this incentive could make it easier for you to reap the benefits of a quick sale. 2. Allocate a Set Amount for Home Upgrades. After a homebuyer conducts a property inspection, he or she may ask for upgrades to a residence's furnace, windows or other areas. These issues may be deal-breakers, unless you allocate a set amount to account for potential home upgrades. Completing these upgrades on your own may prove to be both time-consuming and costly. On the other hand, setting aside a set amount for upgrades and agreeing to deduct this amount from the total cost of your home could serve as a distinct incentive for homebuyers. Ultimately, you'll want to do as much as possible to ensure that a homebuyer remains interested in your home after an inspection is completed. And by determining a particular amount to deduct from your home's price and sticking to it following an inspection, you'll be better equipped to satisfy a homebuyer's home improvement demands. 3. Including the Appliances. You may have had your heart set on bringing your washer, dryer and refrigerator to your new home. Conversely, a homebuyer might want to avoid the hassle of installing new appliances if he or she buys your current residence. So what can you do? Including the appliances with your home may allow you to close the deal with a homebuyer. Remember, home appliances can be replaced, and you may be able to find new appliances that suit your future residence perfectly. And if a homebuyer wants the appliances in your home included in a deal, it may be worthwhile to offer this incentive to finalize an agreement. Selling a home can be tricky, and getting support from a real estate agent who understands the local market is essential. This real estate professional may help you brainstorm unique incentives that you can offer to homebuyers and speed up the home selling process. Consider the value of offering incentives to homebuyers, and you could boost your chances of a fast home sale.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/24/2016

One of the trickiest parts of buying or selling a home is the negotiation process. Too often when our home is involved our emotions get in the way and the deal can go south quickly. Negotiating is an art. A real estate professional is trained in negotiating but you will need to prepare too. Here are some hints to help you navigate the home sale negotiation process: Do your homework know your home’s worth, understand the value of your home in the marketplace. Be realistic about what your home is worth. Much of the work you did to the home was a labor of love and may not have a monetary value. Be patient, negotiations can take time. Do not let emotions (greed, pride, anger, or prejudice) get in the way of negotiating the best deal. Think of your home as “the house”,” instead of “my home.” You have made the decision to move so try to think of the sale as a business transaction. Take all reasonable offers seriously. Don't let a good deal walk away over a few hundred dollars. Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. This will help you try to see where the potential buyer is coming from. Most of all, have a positive attitude. Don't get caught up in the game of negotiating instead remember the goal is to sell your house for a fair price and move on to your next adventure.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 3/29/2016

Beautiful Custom Kitchen Interior in a New House.An Open House can be an integral part of selling a home. Not every home is a candidate for an Open House due to factors like market conditions, location or condition. If you are planning an Open House there are some helpful hints to ensure you have the most successful Open House on the block. Here are some tips on how to have the perfect Open House:

  • In most communities, Sunday afternoon is typical and expected.
  • Two hours is also typical.
  • Avoid conflicts with holidays, community celebrations or special events such as the Super Bowl.
  • If possible try to be aware of the weather forecast, although this may be difficult to do.
There are some things you can do prior to your Open House to help it succeed. At least one week prior to your first Open House:
  • Host a brokers only Open House. Agents and brokers will preview your home and identify possible buyers they have for your home.
  • Make your home look as large as possible by moving large pieces of furniture into storage.
  • Remove items not included in the sale. Remove the chandelier you got for a wedding present and the bookcase that fits so perfectly it looks built-in. If buyers don't see it, they won't want it.
  • Take Fido with you. Make arrangements for your pets to leave the house when it is being shown.
  • Two to Three Days Before Your First Open House Clean the house top to bottom. Get in every nook and cranny, wipe down the walls, windowsills, vacuum the corners and baseboards and yes wash those windows.
    • Clean and buff your appliances, that includes the stove inside and out.
    • Launder all the bedding, towels, rugs and other fabrics in your home.
    • Touch up spots on the walls.
    • Sweep and clean out the garage.
    • Mow the lawn, sweep the sidewalks, and clean up the bushes and flowers.
    24 Hours Before Your First Open House
  • Air out the house by opening the windows.
  • Make your home smell delicious by baking bread or apple pie.
  • Go through each room one by one and try to look for last minute fixes.
  • Add an arrangement of flowers.




  • Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/3/2015

    You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.