Doing Video Tours Right!

Real Estate Video Tours

Real Estate Video Tours - Brokers Saugus Massachusetts

Promoting and marketing terrible quality home video tours are, in my view, one of the most harmful things a Realtor can do during the sale of a clients home.

For many potential buyers, the video tour is the only exposure they will ever have to that home, and unfortunately, bad quality, poorly produced videos are the norm! Check out this Hall of Shame compiled by my video tour provider to show just how terrible some of these products are!

Selecting an agent and brokerage that understands the value and importance of effective video marketing is critical in todays’ market. There is no other marketing tool that can have as much of an effect on your home sale than an effective video. It’s an open house, online, accessible to every potential buyer 24/7/365. In todays connected, media reliant world, much of our marketing is dependent on using social media to effectively promote, share, market, and ultimately sell your home. To this end, we understand the importance of hiring a professional to produce our video tours, and the results speak for themselves.


Here is my challenge to you..

Watch the aforementioned Hall of Shame series – then come back and watch our professional Real Estate Video Tours below – I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

10 Vinegar Hill Drive, SaugusOpen Video Tour in New Window

7 Powderkeg Way, SaugusOpen Video Tour in New Window

Building the Perfect Home Theater Room

Building the Perfect Home Theatre

Gone are the days of just slapping a semi-decent flat screen on the wall and calling it a home theater. Today’s new homes, and many renovated older homes are beginning to feature this use-specific room, and it’s worth spending some time looking at what will make it not just a home theater, but a GREAT home theater!

First, plan it out. My father used to tell me (when doing just about any project) that the prep work was more important than the finish. Think model cars, painting, real cars, dirt-bikes – whatever. The principle holds true to home theater rooms as well. There is nothing more annoying than seeing cables running outside a wall, speakers mounted incorrectly, and components that don’t play well with others. (well, maybe there are a few things more annoying – like people who leave the clear screen protectors on their remotes and electronics, but I digress)

A properly planned out theater room should encompass every aspect of the finished room. Consult a professional – they really do know what they are doing, and will save you hassles and headaches down the road. Even if you opt not to seek professional help, just sit still for a minute with a blank piece of paper and think through everything. Where will your cables run? Where will the TV be mounted? Where will the speakers need to go? Can all the components be hidden? How much seating will I need? What type of sound insulation barrier should I use? What about the acoustics in the room?

Second, think a bit about (ergo PLAN!) the end use of the room. Sometimes people can get lost in the gear – they want the double woofer doohickey with blue-tooth controls and a data link to the mars rover – and in the end, don’t know how to use any of it, and only got sucked into it because a guy with think glasses at Best Buy said it was the best. Really? You going with that guys advice on life decisions?

Instead, focus on what your are going to do in this room, and build it around the activities. Do you watch movies or listen to music? Is it an intimate setting, a family area or will it be used for extensive entertaining? Is it going to be only a theater or are you planning on having a pool table or a mini-bar involved? Your plans should take into account the size of the room, the type of equipment that is going into it, and the number of people that may be in the finished room. Focus less on gear, and more on use, and you’ll be much happier with the end product.

Finally, remember these little tidbits of wisdom and you’ll be in good shape: 

1. If you don’t need it, don’t have it. (Think DVD players… 🙂

2. If you can see it, hide it. (OK, OK, I’ll give you a waiver for the TV or the screen)

3. More than 1 remote is unacceptable. (Yes I am serious! Get with the program and buy a good digital universal remote)

4. Dimmable lighting is a must. Stop worrying about the turtles and the ozone layer and make sure you have good dimmable lights. No curly-cue fluorescents or harsh LEDS, unless they are dimmable!!

5. Data, Data, Data. Your room should be smart, not dumb! Every componant should have access to hardwired or a good WiFi data source internet access. (Hulu+, AppleTV, Netflix – these are the future. Embrace them.)

6. If you do nothing else, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL to hook up and calibrate the final set of equipment. (Yes, yes I understand that you are a regular MacGyver when it comes to building a shed or replacing the valves on a 57′ Deville, but unless you are Edward A. MonsterCable himself, then you have no idea how to setup that gear properly. Hire someone!

Adding Granite to Your Luxury Kitchen

Adding Granite to Your Luxury Kitchen

Probably the most common question I get asked by sellers is “Should I install granite in the kitchen? That will make the value go up right?

Here is the deal. If you are living in the home, and not talking about sale value here, then adding granite is a no brainer. It is a fantastic countertop material in that it is durable, long lasting, and looks great with very little maintenance! For that sake of this article, when I say granite, you can read granite, silestone, quartz, etc etc.

From a resale perspective however, there are more factors to consider. Adding granite countertops to your kitchen is a great way to add value in certian circumstances – but in others, it is a complete waste of time and money, and will only lead to disapointment when you get down to a final selling price.

Notice the title of this post – Adding Granite to Your Luxury Kitchen…

Luxury. If you have a luxury kitchen without granite, get it. Your home will lose all the value of that nice kitchen just beacuse you have an inferior counter material. Your $20,000 kitchen without granite is worth nothing in the minds of most buyers, at this level, and in that price range, simply because of inadequate countertops.

But lets say we aren’t talking about a luxury kitchen per se, and just an average kitchen, with average cabinets, in average condition. It’s probably still worth it to add granite. With prices starting at $40/sf for granite, most kitchens are doable for a couple of thousand bucks – this will translate into several thousand more in resale value. Granite is one of those visceral items that buyers see and love – especially in homes where the competition doesn’t have granite. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard “Ooooooh honey, this one has granite” I’d be… well…. I’d have lots of pennies anyways.

Finally, what about my old drafty victorian built in 1860 with paperboard cabinets installed in 1945 by neighbor Ed when he had some time off? Probably not worth it – adding granite to a kitchen that is in all likelihood going to be gutted by a new buyer is a poor choice. Better to just let it go, sell it as-is, and invest the money elsewhere. Like a jet-ski. It will pay off about the same as the granite would in that case.