Message from the President
by Sharon Ciminelli
How to Host a Sizzling Summer Open House
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 40 percent of all homes sold last year were between the months of May and August. There are so many reasons why summer may be the perfect time to put your home on the market - families are trying to settle into a new place before the school year starts and buyers have their tax refunds firmly in hand. But with so many others reaching the same conclusion, how do you make your home stand out?
A well planned open house allows potential buyers to picture how life in this home would be, and in the summer people tend to be more relaxed; it’s the time of vacations and lazy days. So making your home’s open house a haven from the heat is the best way to help them visualize that this is the house is where they’ll want to spend all of their summers.
Here are a few tips to help your home’s open house stand out this summer.
Pump the A/C. It’s easy for a house to become stuffy and warm during the summer, especially with exterior doors frequently opening and closing, so make sure that you have the air conditioning running whenever you’re hosting potential buyers,
Curb Appeal. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression, and the summer months can be harsh on your home’s front lawn. There is nothing attractive about the dry, dead lawns of summer. Water frequently or update your home’s landscaping to something grass-free.
Outdoor Living. If your home has a pool, a large deck or an outdoor kitchen, the summer months are the perfect time to highlight them. Put some lemonade out s or ice-cold bottled water to enjoy on the patio and have refreshing snacks like watermelon or popsicles available and keep the pool crystal clean. Remember, however, that summer means kids are out of school, and they may be joining their parents on open house tours, so make sure that pool gates are kept locked tight for safety.I have a special email. Please feel free to email anytime 24/7/365.
REALTOR.com Analysis Named Buffalo in their Top Ten with the Highest Index Scores
National Association of REALTORS Tech Edge Event Comes to Buffalo
All are invited to attend the NAR Tech Edge Event that is being held on Thursday, September 15 from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm at the Adams Mark Hotel, 120 Church Street, Buffalo NY. This event is a great opportunity for Realtors to learn about emerging technologies and how it can enhance your business processes and profitability and better connect with your tech-savvy home buyer, selling and investing clients. Top notch speakers will be brought in to teach you about Technology Tools, Photography and Staging, Video, Data Security, Google Tools, Agent Ratings, Mobility, Increasing Leads, Online Branding, Social Media Marketing and more. Register by September to take advantage of the early bird price of $49. For more information and to register use this link to the NAR Tech Edge Event page. Sponsorships are welcomed.
Join other BNAR members for our Agents’ Day & Trade Show on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at the Adams Mark Hotel, 120 Church Street, Buffalo, NY. This year’s theme is a “Day at the Movies” so dress up in business attire, casual, or as your favorite TV or movie star. For only $10 you get continental breakfast, lunch, networking and great sessions. The days seminars will include “Mission Impossible” (Industry Updates); “The Godfather” (Make Me An Offer I Can’t Refuse); How to Keep “Rain Man” Out of Your Basement; “The Gladiator” (Your Duties and Responsibilities as an Agent); “Be Our Guest” (BNAR Welcome) and Buffalo Niagara is Coming “Back to the Future”. Here is a pdf of the days itinerary. For a Sponsorship opportunity or Exhibitor space, contact the BNAR.
This year we are also offering the Code of Ethics Education class at 8:00 am at Agents’ Day for those that haven’t met their requirement. Please note that you have to register for both the Code of Ethics Education class ($30) and Agents’ Day Event ($10) separately. Register through member services through your MLS portal.
Join us on September 24 at Beaver Island State Park for the SPCA Serving Erie County’s 23rd annual Paws in the Park Walk presented by Keller Technology Corporation! Spend some quality time with your dog and enjoy a scenic two-mile walk. Don't own a dog? No worries! Paws in the Park is for all animal lovers. The day includes breakfast compliments of Dunkin' Donuts, an Anderson's lunch, pet-related vendors and exhibitors, contests and demonstrations, an agility course, and more!
Every dollar raised through Paws in the Park will help care for animals in need, from orphaned kittens to a dog that has been hit by a car to a hawk with a broken wing. The SPCA cares for nearly 12,000 homeless pets and wildlife annually, animals that are counting on us to be their voice. So please register today, form a team, collect donations, and make a difference. Together we can be champions for the animals!
Want to Honor or Memorialize a special person or pet at Paws in the Park?
$2,000 Grants May Be Available to First Time Homebuyers
Since 2002, June has been declared National Homeownership Month noting the benefits homeownership brings to Americans and the nation. The NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation supports those benefits by awarding $2,000 grants to low-to-moderate income individuals and families, who are working with a REALTOR and may be struggling to cover their closing costs or downpayment. The foundation is also raising funds to support this grant program. Learn more here.
State Tax Department issues STAR tax credit guidelines
The New York State Department of Tax and Finance has published a form for distribution to new homeowners providing guidance on the new STAR tax credit program. Homeowners who purchased their current home prior to May 1, 2014 and already receive the STAR exemption under the current program do not have to do anything. There are no changes for them and they will continue to receive their STAR exemption. If a homeowner purchased a home between May 1, 2014 and Aug. 1, 2015, they may fall under the new STAR credit program and may have to apply. More information can be found here. Homeowners who purchased after Aug. 1, 2015 will fall under the new STAR credit program and will have to register here.