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The Top 10 Stories You Loved in 2013

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Top_10_iconWhat sparked your interest this past year? Here is a look at the top 10 most-read stories of 2013 on rismedia.com:

1. 10 Things Today’s Buyers Look for in a Home
While David Letterman’s Top 10 lists generally culminate in a No. 1 ranking, the following list includes in no particular order 10 things that are important to buyers today, especially Millennials who represent a significant buyer niche in today’s market.

2. 10 Top Kitchen Remodeling Trends
(MCT)—When Michelle and Jon Christy bought their 1980s-era home in North Tustin, Calif., much of the residence already was remodeled. Except for the kitchen. It was dated. And it was olive green.

3. Avoid These Real Estate Advertising Slogans
In the season premiere of “Mad Men,” Creative Director Peggy Olsen uses a technique learned from Don Draper to help form ad copy for a client. She writes a letter as if she is a consumer recommending the product to a friend. Today, Peggy would be reading online reviews to learn, from the consumer’s standpoint, the clear advantages of her product – and listening to your clients is never a bad thing.

4. 3 Lessons Learned from Home Flippers
(MCT)—Lex Levinrad is getting phone calls. More than he can handle. His Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Distressed Real Estate Institute is flooded with requests these days from regular people — teachers, plumbers, paint salesmen — who want to invest in South Florida real estate now that home prices are rising.

5. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Morning
I recently held our first training call with our new virtual coaching platform, and noticed that the one topic that drew the most interest was when I covered the topic of “the three questions to ask yourself every single morning.” By simply asking these three questions, you will find that you can be more productive and have better direction for your day.

6. The Mortgage Professor: Should You Fix Up a Home before Selling It?
(MCT)—Recently I put my home up for sale, and because it needed a new roof, deck, and septic system, came face to face with this question. This article is based heavily on that experience, in which I made a serious mistake that other sellers can avoid.

7. What’s the Story with FHA?
I hear a lot about the Federal Housing Administration, and much of it is simply wrong. “The FHA is the next subprime.” Untrue. “The FHA caused the housing crisis.” Also untrue. There is a lot of misinformation making the rounds, which helps neither brokers nor buyers. Here’s the low-down on what brokers or buyers’ agents need to know.

8. Avoiding the Dirty Dozen Barriers to Short Sale Success
While short sales continue to be a lucrative avenue for real estate professionals, they can still take up to three times longer than a traditional transaction and often fall apart. By avoiding these top dozen short sale barriers, however, you will be pleasantly surprised at how profitable short sales can be.

9. 6 Unique Wants of Younger Buyers
We already know that today’s breed of buyers is unlike the generation that came before. Tech savvy and always on the go, Millennial buyers—a blanket term that includes Gen Y and the Echoboomers—have different expectations when it comes to buying a home. They are often in different places in their lives than their predecessors; many aren’t even married yet.

10. Appraisal Institute: How Landscaping Can Impact Home Values
The Appraisal Institute recently advised homeowners to properly maintain their landscaping, which can significantly affect property values. “If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home’s time on the market,” says Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA. “But if the change is negative, it can lower the price and lengthen the time a home remains for sale.”

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