Archive for the 'Information' Category

How To Maintain Control With Your Rental Management Company

house for rent

Rental management with vacation properties is quite popular in the Finger Lakes even though Home Away and Flip Key are quite popular.  Rental management companies reduce the stress for homeowners in the weekly rental market  Owners are relieved of finding cleaning help, landscaping work and regular maintenance.  But owner beware, it can lead to additional and unexpected charges.

After purchasing your new vacation home in the Finger Lakes and have decided to put it into a rental management company, take your time when working with the representative.  One of the most important things I tell my real estate clients, is to remember it is their property and that they are allowing the rental company to make an income on “their” property.  I can not tell you how many times my clients have told me:

“My rental company does not want us to use the house during that week.”

“They told us we can not have that type of furniture.  ”

” They told us to install that type of flooring.”

“We are not allowed to do our own cleaning or painting.”

All of the above statements are only true if you allow them to be true.  What do I mean?  Read the contract that is presented to you to sign.  If you do not agree with anything, ask to have it changed and then sign the agreement or if you are not sure what you should do contact your real estate agent, one that is not involved with the rental management company and ask them for their advice.  Working in the area and selling real estate in the area, they can usually give you sound advice.

One of the most unseemly things that I have seen precariously inserted into a contract states ” If you decide to sell your property while under contract with us, you have to used out real estate services.  If you use another agency you still be required to pay us six percent commission on the sale of your property.”  This statement is definitely unethical and may potentially be illegal.  This limits you to sell your property with them and then if they do not sell real estate at the time, you are still obligated to pay them a commission.  Of course this would be above and beyond what you have already agreed to pay the listing broker.  This statement was found inserted into a contract and not one person that came to me about it, had any idea it was there until they went to sell the property and found out their limitations from the rental agency.

Maintenance fees can be very confusing .  Be sure to find out what it covers, how much it costs and how it will be billed.  Many companies require a minimum of one deep cleaning each year.  Some companies will go in before the beginning of the season, inspect the property and determine if the cleaning was done properly, even if you did it. Some will just take it upon themselves to go in with their own crew, redo the deep clean and then charge you for it without any communication.  They will then refer to the contract as their defense.

What happens if a water pipe breaks or the furnace will not turn on?  I would recommend that you break down various large utility break downs and hire a specific company to make the repairs yourself.  For example if the air conditioning or heat will  not work, have your own company to call for repairs.  Most of the rental companies have employees that can repair minor issues, but are not really qualified for heating and air conditioning. Do not be afraid to list your preferences…again…this is “your” home.

If the rental company you are working with does not utilize electronic locks, I would recommend you install them.  This keeps a record of every time the door is open and the combination can be changed by you.

By keeping a communication going with your neighbors, you will know if there are issues with your rental property and can quickly call to negate.  The key to a good rental is that you can sit back and easily manage your property from afar either by yourself or through an agency.  Many home owners are testing the waters with HomeAway.com and FlipKey.com.  It is inexpensive to list your property, the portal is advertised extensively and you can save anywhere from 15 to 20 % by taking bookings online.  There are also a few smaller agencies in the area that are offering very competitive pricing that should be on your list of agencies to talk to.

Before allowing anyone to tell you what to install or not install in your property, talk with your real estate agent.  If you decide down the road you want to sell, you want to insure that your property is saleable based on the updates you add to the property.

15426 Mary StGeorge Keuka Lake                                                                                             keuka Lake 15426 Mary StGeorge

Keuka Lake Mary StGeorge Realtor

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The Top 2 Turnoffs For Buyers…

cat

Pets are wonderful, sweet and most times a significant part of the family. But they can cause odors that make buyers wince and turn the other way.

Dog odors are usually easy to keep to a minimum unless the home is also the place that dogs are bred or wet dogs are allowed in  and out of the house.  If you are thinking about selling your home, there are a couple of things to do if owning a dog.  Insure that the dog is continually washed and groomed.  This will minimize any odors.  Brush  your dogs daily and try to keep the grooming process to a garage or outdoor area.  This will cut down on the hair balls that tend to take over the home overnight.  Check all of their bedding,  wash and clean as needed.  Some dog beds can be filled with cedar inserts to keep down the odors.  If possible remove your pets for showings or keep in a crate for the safety of both the pets and the viewers.

Cat odors can be overpowering and not easily detected by the owners.  If you have cats, ask your realtor for an honest feedback on cat odors.  In some cases, you may actually have to obtain the services of a professional to remove the odors.  This may even involve removing carpets and sometimes furniture.  If a potential buyer walks into a home and is hit with cat odors, they usually do not even want to continue the home tour.  From experience this is so true.  Cats are adorable fluffy creatures but can completely make a home unsellable.  Insure the litter boxes are clean and kept out of the way.  Cat dander is also something that keeps buyers away and the subject for another article.  So if you do not have a cat and are thinking about selling, try to hold off obtaining a cat until you move into your new property.

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Color Your World

 

Keuka Lake, Mary St.GeorgeAs real estate agents in the Finger Lakes, we always advise our clients to use neutral colors on the walls when preparing their homes for sale.

However, when you are the new owner – paint away.  The home is now yours and you need and want to put your personal touches on your new space, those touches that make it yours.  You can choose to make your home warm and cozy or bold and lively.  Or you may want to stick to a very conservative and neutral palette.  If you don’t like the color you chose, you can always redo with minimal costs.

A little information about colors:

Blue is great for bedrooms – it is a cool color that brings a calming effect.  Pale blue is a soothing color for a nursery. ( The blue waters of the Finger Lakes are a soothing attraction to visitors)

Purple is regal and royal with the use of deep colors. When lavender is used, it becomes playful.

Green is the color of our world and it creates a feeling of energy.   A great color to put in areas like family rooms.

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PICTURES TELL A STORY – THEY SELL YOUR HOME !

Photo taken by Holly Mosher

Photo taken by Holly Mosher

Over 90% of home buyers start their search on the internet.   If the photos of your home do not appeal to the visual sense of the buyer, they will most likely not want to set up an appointment, instead they move onto the next property for sale.  Your home is your castle, but to the buyer it has to become theirs.   Just in June of this year alone, Zillow reported that 270 Million homes were viewed on their site.  That is a whopping 104 homes per second.  So yes, pictures sell your home.

 

mary st George realtor

 

Many times buyers will call a real estate agent only after they have accumulated a list of properties that they have seen on the internet. Is your  For Sale property on their list.

To make sure you home shows the best on the internet, think about hiring a realtor that uses a professional photographer.   That extra money pays off  with more interested buyers and a quicker sale.

 

This information brought to you by Mary St.George, Associate Real Estate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

lakefrontmary@gmail.com

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Lt Gov Bob Duffy – Keuka Lake Welcomes You !

welcome to keuka lake

I still think of him as Mayor Duffy the former Mayor of Rochester NY,  but he is now known by his new title, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy.  The Lt Governor has made Keuka Lake part of his lifestyle, by purchasing a lake front home on the Bluff . What a great person to have as our neighbor.

Besides being a mayor previous to his current position, he was also the Police Chief of Rochester NY from 1998 to 2005.  From his current position of Lt Gov. for Gov. Cuomo back to all of his previous positions, he was and is considered a well liked and reasonable man.   He joins the ranks on Keuka Lake with the current Mayor of Rochester, Thomas Richards.

RobertJDuffy - keuka lake

A huge heartfelt welcome goes out to Lt Gov. Robert Duffy , his wife and two daughters from all of us on Keuka Lake.  We look forward to seeing you spending time in our little neck of the woods.

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