Monday, March 22, 2010

Springtime Tips for Creating Curb Appeal

Whether you are selling or staying put, here are five tips that can help you on your way to a beautiful home.

1. Sidewalks and Driveways:

An affordable, virtually maintenance free option for sprucing up your paths is concrete stain. It can cost around $30 a gallon and requires very little prep work. This is a do-it-yourself project.

Another tip: Fix cracks and uneven sections. This project may require a bit more professional attention, but will give buyers the impression that your entire home, not just the entrance, has been maintained.

2. Accent Door:

A plain door tends to recede into the background.

Consider a contrasting color to the siding of your home. On the color wheel, green is opposite red and yellow is opposite blue. Don't be afraid to be daring. Just a pint of paint can cover most doors, and if you don't like the result – you can try another color!

3. Trimming Trees:

Stand in front of your home and take a close – and fresh – look at your trees and bushes. Are there branches that have become overgrown and now obstruct the view of the home?

You want your landscaping to complement your home, not hide it. Trees should frame paths and entries. To trim tree branches yourself you can buy a pole pruner or chain saw. Or you can hire a professional, who has experience in shaping trees.

Keep in mind, however, that spring is NOT the time to prune flowering trees or maples. These should be done in late Summer and early Fall.

4. Early Spring Planting:

The last frost date varies by area. It also varies from year to year in that area, but if you feel that your home will not see another frost, then you may be safe to plant a few hardy annuals to add some pops of color to your yard. Even if a frost catches you by surprise – you can cover the plants for the evening to save them from succumbing to the cold.

The plant must also have time to take good root before severe rains come.

Some plants that you can give you an early burst of color:

Pansies: these bolts of color can even survive winter in some areas

Calendula: these “pot marigolds” are a versatile plant

Violets: heart shapes petals

5. Outdoor Lighting:

Low voltage (12 volt) and solar lighting are great options for improving curb appeal.

There are hundreds of designs of solar lights. These small fixtures are generally set on stakes in the ground and can be used to accent paths or gardens. And they are a great do-it-yourself option.

Also, consider using uplighting on trees to create night-time focal points – great for buyers doing after work drive by inspections!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Lending Policies Announced by FHA

If you or someone you know is considering an FHA loan, some of these changes may affect you. Here's a clear, concise rundown of the major changes and what they mean:

1. Increased mortgage insurance. The mortgage insurance premium (referred to as private mortgage insurance by many people) will be increased from 1.75% to 2.25%. This change will add some cost to purchasing a home, but will not overburden consumers since the mortgage insurance is paid over the life of the loan, rather than upfront at closing. This change will become effective on April 5, 2010.

2. New down payment and credit score requirements. According to the new policy, homebuyers who have a credit score of at least 580 may still be able to purchase a home with 3.5% down, but those with credit scores of less than 580 will be required to put down at least 10%. This change is designed to help the FHA balance its risk, while still providing affordable down payments for consumers with a history of good credit and responsibility.

3. Reduced seller concession. Basically, this change means that the person selling the home will now only be able to offer the homebuyer 3% to help defray closing costs, as opposed to 6% under the previous policy.

In addition to these changes, the new policies contain a series of new measures aimed at increasing lender enforcement.

The bottom line is that the changes will impact some homebuyers more than others. But in the end, the FHA is still committed to providing affordable home loans.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Creating Curb Appeal in Winter

The old cliché is that location, location, location is the number one rule in real estate. In general, this is true. There is, however, a second major rule regarding the actual act of selling your home. This rule is to create as much curb appeal as possible.

Selling your home in the current cool real estate market can be a challenge. Make the decision to sell it in the winter, and you can have a real challenge on your hands.

Curb appeal is critical when it comes to moving your property. Why? Well, the home purchasing process is an emotional one. Yes, there are a lot of hard factors that go into it such as the area, price compared to the market, schools and so on. At the end of the day, however, the buying process is still pretty much about love at first site. If a buyer sees your home and immediately pictures themselves living there, you stand an excellent chance of getting an offer.

If you decide to sell your home during the winter months, the issue of curb appeal can become a big one. One of the central themes of creating curb appeal is to buff out your yard. Adding plants, cleaning up the verge and so on are always recommended. What if you live in an area where the winter months mean dead plants? Well, you are going to need to get creative.

The first step to dealing with your yard in the winter months is to make sure it is clean. Buyers in the area are not expecting anything great because they already know everything dies during the winter. While this is true, you can still take the extra step of having a clean and tidy dead yard. Sweep up all leaves, trash and so on. Make sure paths are cleaned and edged. Essentially, you want people to be able to envision how it might look in the summer months. This leads us to our second step.

If at all possible, you want to hunt down pictures of your home from the summer months. The pictures should include views of the home with the landscaping in full bloom and healthy. These pictures should be added to your marketing material. You should also put them on prominent display during an open house or when you show the home to a prospective buyer. The goal is to let the buyer know the yard actually will grow back and it will look pretty nice when it does.

Selling your home in the winter might sound like a challenge. By taking these steps, however, you can actually make your home stand out from others around it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Listing of the Week in Edmond


AllenStyle Homes

15913 Northampton Court (NW 159th Terrace & N. Penn)
Edmond, Oklahoma 73013

3 Bed 2 Bath 1 office 1,974 Square Feet

Open Wed-Sunday from 2:00-4:00 PM

Luxury living on a smaller scale. This home was custom built by AllenStyle Homes. AllenStyle Homes won the 2009 Clean Sweep Award and Best of Show at the Parade of Homes. This home features all of the amenities of a luxury home at affordable prices. Granite counters in kitchen, bathrooms and utility room, barreled ceilings, stained concrete drive, custom Oklahoma hand made vent hood, mounted LCD flat screen tv, large shower, large closets, 1930's style doors, 40 year roof, per-wired for HDMI, kitchen island, etc.

Call Wyatt Poindexter at Keller Williams Realty for more information.

Wyatt Poindexter
Keller Williams Realty
(405) 417-5466

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Questions to Ask a Prospective Realtor

  • Ask if they are licensed and if it's up to date.

  • Ask if they are part time or full time, because you want a full time agent to assure you get the most attention. Look at it this way: if they only work part time, your house is only marketed part time.

  • Ask them what type of training they take to stay current, and ask them how good are they at using the Internet and do they use 360 virtual tours, and what type of training they have for marketing homes on the web. Since many consumers now use the Internet to locate homes, you better have an Internet savvy Realtor. In many cases, people reported back to us that they were more savvy at finding homes to look at than their Realtor. There are several highly trafficked home classifieds web sites. They better know how to get your house listed on them.

  • Home buyers and home sellers should both ask their Realtor if they will get them a printout of all the recent selling prices AND the original listing prices of homes in their area, showing what the owners paid for them, how much they sold for, and full details on the homes. Selling price is useful, but knowing what they listed for and how much the sellers dropped in price is a great gauge of the real estate market in your area.

  • For sellers, ask the Realtor how they plan to market and sell your house. Get it all in writing, absolutely no verbal promises. You want them to blitz the market and get your house into the premium listings and the free listings, and all the online web sites. You want your house to be found. You want no surprises or excuses later on. Pin them down and get their battle plan in writing now. This is a major source of miscommunications and resentment when the seller is expecting several things to be done, and all the Realtor does is list it in the MLS.

  • Ask if they are willing to offer more commission to the buyer's agent. There are many savvy buyers agents just looking for houses whose selling agent pays that extra 1/2% or more. This incentive can help sell the house quickly if needed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

10 Ways to Impress Buyers at Every Showing

1. Nothing Personal But Remove Personal Photos:
Many clients are distracted by portraits of the sellers, and miss out on key selling points of the home. No matter how nice the display, personal photos are just that: too personal.

2. Accentuate the Positive:
My clients usually know what they like best about their home. It's usually what they saw that made them want to buy, or it's something that they added to make the home particularly special. Whether it is a staircase, a great view from the kitchen sink, a pergola or outdoor kitchen, do something to make the buyers linger in that space.

3. Smells Like Home:
I've heard of many Realtor bringing in cookies to bake in the oven (this works great at the Parade of Homes but it's hard to keep up with the cookies!). I usually opt for a few plug-in air fresheners. I like using vanilla or lemon in the kitchen, fresh scents in the laundry, apple cinnamon in the living room and such. Specific aromas add a theme to the tour, even when it's not an open house.

4. Hide Your Opinions:
Avoid politically-charged material that expresses strong opinions. You don't want a potential buyer to dislike you for your beliefs, so remove all questionable material out of sight. That even means your Oklahoma Sooners or Oklahoma State Cowboys items!

5. Clean Up Your Act:

If you are selling your house, cleaning is a no-brainer. And clutter is a killer. Get a head start on packing, and begin boxing up extras that are taking up space on your mantel, table surfaces, etc. Clutter makes a house look smaller, and if you have a small house, it makes it feel claustrophobic. Not advantageous to a quick or profitable sale.

6. Embrace the Quietude:
When showing a home, music is not necessarily a bad thing. If you don't know the potential buyer and their taste in music, don't push yours. If you are going to play music, be sure it doesn't have vocals. Avoid niche music; not everyone loves Metallica or Lady Ga Ga. If you are set on having music playing in the background for viewings, opt for soft jazz playing at a low level. Unless you have the music-only channels, keep the television turned off. It’s a distraction.

7. Paint the Story:
A coat or two of paint is always a good investment. If you decide to make the effort, consider flat paint in areas for resting and relaxing. You can add some colors, but neutral is always best. Satin paint is great for common areas and places where there is a bit more action taking place. It's also easier to clean if someone spills some tomato soup on the wall.

8. Pet-Proof the Pad
If you have pets, especially indoor pets, make sure that during your listing period, you are particularly fastidious in cleaning up after them. Ask a very good friend (or your Realtor), who will tell you the truth, to come by and give it the sniff test. Also, if you have pets and are trying to sell your home, the purchase of a few air purifiers may also be a great investment. Consider buyers with pet allergies. Cat's will really hurt buyer potential!

9. Show Off the Goods:
Consider placing laser-printed cards on items that remain with the home. Such things could include high-end appliances, mounted flat-screen tv's, laundry chutes, built-in sound systems and other goodies. These inexpensive cards are an under-utilized way to bring attention to such selling features. Don't overdo it though; no more than 5-10 cards in an average-sized home. Be sure to lock up or take jewelry/prescription drugs and other valuables with you.

10. Leave Your House!:
No buyers want to discuss your home while you are standing there. On average, my clients spend about 20-30 minutes in a home that has some promise; very few stay more than 5 minutes in a house with the seller in earshot. If nothing else, go drive around the neighborhood, and let the home speak for itself.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Five Reasons to have Fireplace Screens

Fireplace Screens or covers are an essential feature for the hearth. They add an element of completion to the fireplace. Indoor covers are usually made of metal or glass. There are many designs available on the market. However, whatever the style, the main function of screen is practical. Below are 5 reasons why you should consider a cover for your fireplace.

1. Fireplace Protection

During warm weather periods you’re unlikely to use your fireplace. A screen comes in handy at such times. It is a good idea to keep your fireplace covered during the spring and summer. It will prevent dust and debris from gathering in the fireplace. This will save you from the heavy cleaning work that comes with an exposed fireplace. Using a cover also ensures that the fireplace works effectively when in use. Covers help to sustain the working efficiency of your fireplace. They also help maintain the hearth in good condition.

2. Cleaner Room

Rooms with a fireplace tend to get dirty quicker from fireplace materials. A fireplace cover helps to keep your room clean. Quite often, some wind will blow soot, ash and debris into the room through the chimney or windows. With a cover installed at the fireplace, you can limit the effects of wind on indoor furnishings like rugs or carpets.

3. Easier Cleaning of Fireplace

Some covers are designed to enable easier cleaning of the fireplace. A specially fitted access hole on the cover allows you to use a vacuum hose to clean. Dust, soot and ash are kept from entering into the room as you go about your fireplace cleaning. Such specially designed covers are a welcome aid in effectively managing household chores.

4. Safety

The cover acts as a shield for occupants of the room. Sparks and flying embers can easily land on room occupants enjoying the fire. A fire could start easily if sparks land on flammable material in the room. Covers do a lot to prevent embers and sparks from escaping into the room. You can enjoy your fireplace experience without worries over possible fires.

5. Protects Children

If you have young children, covers can be used as a safety measure. They are a good way of preventing children from venturing into the fireplace. Being quite adventurous, young children can easily wander into the fireplace when not in use. Some features and objects of the fireplace can harm children. A cover will help restrict your children's movements and keep them away from possible danger in the fireplace. Covers are a practical way to create a safe environment.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Recent Home Buyer Statistics

Home Buyer Statistics

Active home search (median):

  • Number of weeks searched: 10
  • Number of homes seen: 10

First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:

  • First-time buyers: 41%
  • Repeat buyers: 59%
  • Median age of first-time buyers: 30
  • Median age of repeat buyers: 47

Buyers who definitely would use same agent again: 70%

Actions taken as result of Internet home search:

  • Drove by/viewed a home: 77%
  • Walked through a home viewed online: 63%
  • Found agent used to search/buy home: 27%

Information sources used in home search:

  • Internet: 87%
  • Real estate agent: 85%
  • Yard sign: 62%
  • Open house: 48%
  • Newspaper ad: 47%
  • Home book or magazine: 30%
Courtesy of

Friday, February 5, 2010

Full-time Realtors Vs. Part-time Realtors

I just read a great article about "Part-time Realtors Equals Full-time Problems". I thought I would jot down some of my thoughts about the article and my personal opinions. Here are some interesting statistics:

Only 27% of Realtors surveyed by 56 local Realtor Associations listed Real Estate as their primary source of income (this illustrates problems we have.)

That means that 73% – nearly 3 out of 4! – Realtors are making their primary income from a source OTHER than real estate.

Real estate is – as much if not more so – the most “around the clock/nearly 24-7/always on” business there is.

How can people be out of touch and out of pocket for any period of time and serve their clients properly? The obvious answer to that question: they can’t.

When someone calls on your property is there going to be someone there to answer? Think so? Go ahead and try it. In fact you should be calling your Realtor at least once a day to see if anyone answers. You should also have a friend call about your house and see how long it takes to get a return call. When you are trying to sell your house do you think the buyer or buyer’s Realtor is going to sit around waiting for your Realtor to call back?

A Realtor should be focused on selling your home, not shopping at Steinmart. You have every right to ask the Realtor if they are part-time or full time. Would you hire a part time surgeon?

If a Realtor says they can work part time and fulfill your needs for your real estate transactions, then ask them why they need a second job? If they are successful at what they are doing then they wouldn’t need to be selling furniture at Mathis Brothers. We all know why someone needs a second job. It means that their primary source of revenue is not sufficient to pay the bills. If they need a second job to pay the bills at home where do you think your home falls in the priority line?

Why would you use a part time Realtor help you with one of your largest financial assets? The purchase or sale of your home.

Don’t let the sale of your home or the purchase of your home be a lottery ticket for a sub par Realtor!

As mentioned above, if they have to work a second or third job and did not disclose it to you it was because they did not want you to know. Why didn’t they want you to know? There’s only one reason. It means they are not successful. If they are not successful, then what is their priority. Does a call from a client take precedence over shopping at Penn Square Mall?

That’s one of the HUGE problems. They say they are taking a “second” job when in reality they have just taken a “first” or primary position and guess whose home selling or home buying process has been rendered secondary in importance?

Would you hire a Realtor because he/she is your friend/family member OR because they are a full-time professional?

I bet when you spoke to the Realtor that you hired that they said they had this great marketing program. They were going to put your house in the MLS, put out a yard sign and then run an ad in the Daily Oklahoman. Wow! They just spent around $75.00 to market your house! If your Realtor is working another job trying to make ends meet, how are they going to pay for REAL MARKETING on your home?

If the Realtor you hired can’t afford to educate themselves on the latest technologies or can’t afford either the money or time to further their continuing training, then you will be dealing with an Realtor who is not capable of servicing your needs in the most proficient manner.

Do you realize that less than 3% of all agents have a website or blog and that fewer still have any idea as to how to utilize the computer in a manner that is advantageous to you as a buyer or seller?

So that is my opinion on using part time Realtors vs. full time Realtors. Of course, if you are a buyer, the commission is paid by the listing broker, so why would you not want to use the Realtor who will be there to give you the best service you can get! If you are a seller looking to sell your home in a challenging real estate market, and if you are going to pay a commission, don’t you want to make sure you are getting the best service for your money that you can?

Remember, you will always get what you pay for!

I would be very curious to hear everyone’s opinion – whether you agree with me or not.

Wyatt Poindexter

Keller Williams Realty


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Keller Williams First Time Buyers Study

Earlier this year, Keller Williams Research conducted a study of first time-buyers and here’s a few of the findings:

  1. The median age was 28, significantly down from where it was four years ago at 32.
  2. Location or Neighborhood was the No. 1 “must-have” for 36% of buyers.
  3. 25% saw 5 or less homes before writing an offer, the average buyer saw 10 homes.
  4. 2 out of 5 first-time buyers purchased a distressed property.
  5. 2 out of 3 sellers paid at least part of the buyer’s closing costs.
  6. 1 in 4 had help from their family for the down payment.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new tax credit or about homes in your area, please contact Wyatt at or call 405-417-5466.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to ALWAYS find Your House Keys

  1. DUPLICATE KEYS: Make at least 3 sets of house keys. House keys are cheap.

  2. COLOR CODE YOUR HOUSE KEYS: Put the same color rubber key identifier on each house key.

  3. PLACE EACH HOUSE KEY ON INDIVIDUAL KEY RINGS: Go all out on this step and purchase the biggest, gaudiest key rings that you can find. Put each key on its own ring.

  4. LOCATE DUPLICATE KEY #1: The obvious location for a house key is next to the door. Whether it's a key rack on the back of the door, a box on an entry stand, or even a ledge by the door, leave one duplicate key in this location.

  5. LOCATE DUPLICATE KEY #2: The second best location for a house key is the first room you enter when you arrive home. Every kitchen has a catch all junk drawer. Leave the second duplicate key here.

  6. LOCATE DUPLICATE KEY #3: You now know the drill. If the next room you enter is the bedroom, leave your third duplicate key in your night stand. Continue until you have placed each key around the house in a location you think you will look for it at some future frantic date when you cannot find your keys.

  7. ADD KEY LOCATIONS TO CELL PHONE: Of course this step is predicated on the belief that you are less likely to misplace your cell phone than your keys. For each duplicate key, enter the location in your cell phone as a contact.

  8. ADD KEY NUMBER/MANUFACTURER TO CELL PHONE: Add the key manufacturer and number of your house key to your cell phone. If all else fails and you cannot find a single key, with this information, you can easily purchase a new key and not have to a hire a locksmith. You should make a second cell phone entry to add this information for your car keys.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Listing of the Week in Edmond.

14116 Canterbury - $309,900
4 Bed 3 Bath 2,954 Square Feet

View Obeo Virtual Tours at:

This Edmond home is located in prime area. It was custom built in 2002 on a large over sized lot. Some of the features of this home include: large open floor plan, hardwood floors, tile floors, vaulted ceilings, built-in bookcases, large kitchen with breakfast bar, beautiful woodwork, updated color schemes, bonus room, 3 living areas, huge backyard, large covered patio, etc. This home is perfect and ready for new owners! Call Wyatt Poindexter for more info.

Wyatt Poindexter
Keller Williams Realty

Email Wyatt if you want your property to be "Listing of the Week".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Contemporary Living on Lake Overholser

4 Bed 3.5 Bath 3 Car Garage 4,867 Sf with Pool - $559,000

for more professional photographs and Obeo Virtual Tours

Modern living in the Northwest Oklahoma City/Yukon area. This home was custom built in 1993 in gated Stonebridge Lake Estates. This home features beautiful lake views of Lake Overholser, walking distance to tennis courts, jogging trails, etc. Some of the features include: game room, exercise room, upper deck, wood floors, tile floors, open floor plan, updated paint, updated fixtures, remodeled master bathroom, etc. Please view Obeo Virtual Tours at Call Wyatt Poindexter for more information.

Wyatt Poindexter
Keller Williams Realty

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inexpensive Ways to Prepare Your Home For Sale

First impressions are important when trying to sell your home. Extreme changes aren’t always necessary. There are simple steps you can take to prepare your house for the market while staying within a reasonable budget. The interior plays a big role, but don’t ignore exterior modifications, such as fresh light bulbs, an attractive mailbox and welcome mat, shiny doorknobs, colorful landscaping and window boxes, to name a few.

CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN: Take all personal items, such as pictures and trophies, and box them away. Buyers want to envision the house as their own.

Remove clutter, and clean. No one wants to see dirt on the baseboards, cluttered counters or a filthy microwave. Dust the ceiling fans and stair handrails; sweep, mop, clean the toilets, etc. Mow the lawn, edge it and sweep or consider power washing the driveway, front porch and the curb. Make your flowerbeds look neat and tidy. Consider adding hanging planters and fresh mulch outside, too.

WHAT’S THAT SMELL?: Smell is a huge factor. When you open the front door, what smell wafts out? Get someone not living in your house to give you an honest opinion. Put clutter into storage, not the garage. Add vanilla-scented candles in all the rooms. This scent isn’t too overpowering and is the most neutral. Go through every closet, cabinet and drawer and pack it up or move it out if you’re not using it. Ask your Realtor to walk through and give your home a once over.

TEND TO THE DETAILS: When I entered one woman’s house, it looked nice except that the carpet was awful and the tub was really stained. You can rent a carpet machine at the grocery store. The blinds are also a big thing to clean because they hide dirt. You want the windows to be open and plenty of light shining through or at least bright interior lighting. If you have a loaf of bread or brownies baking, it really helps offer a welcoming scent, too.


1. Paint interior and touch up exterior. All neutral colors.
2. Fix minor problems such as a sticking door, leaky faucets and broken/bent mini-blinds. We always figured when we were house hunting that if the small things weren’t tended to, the big stuff probably wasn’t maintained, either.
3. Be sure to take the trash out. Maybe I’m cynical, but when house hunting, the strong scents made me leery of what smells they were trying to mask.
4. Play music. We put on some smooth jazz.
5. Consider offering a one-year homeowners warranty. It’s a nice incentive for the buyers, especially if your home is older than 15 years.
6. Display new hand towels for the bathrooms and some houseplants or fresh flowers for around the house.
7. Remove anything that has strong connotations, such as hunting trophies, campaign signs or hot-rod posters. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State items also!
8. New light fixtures are a cheap update.
9. Have laundry baskets or boxes handy for an emergency showing. I kept them in the car, and, when I had a hectic day and wasn’t ready for a showing, we went around and tossed things into the baskets and loaded them into the car to be sorted out after the showing.
10. Even if you don’t include the fridge with the house, as a homebuyer, I always check the fridge. In my opinion, it is an honest evaluation of the care taken of the house. Clean the fridge!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Helpful Hints for the Oklahoma Winter Storm

Keep your headlights clear with car wax. Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights; lasts 6 weeks.

Squeak-proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. This one trick can make badly streaking & squeaking wipers change to near perfect silence & clarity.

Ice-proof your windows with vinegar. Frost on it's way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water & spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water, preventing water from freezing.

Prevent car doors from freezing shut with cooking spray. Spritz cooking oil on the rubber seals around car doors & rub it in with a paper towel. The cooking spray prevents water from melting into the rubber.

Fog-proof your windshield with shaving cream. Spray some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield & wipe if off with paper towels. Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers.

De-ice your lock in seconds with hand sanitizer. Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key & the lock & the problems solved.

Wyatt Poindexter
Keller Williams Realty