Hoffman Murphy Team Blog

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There is no debate that technology has made a critical impact on the real estate industry. It’s an impact that steadily continues to change and advance the way normal business is done in real estate, bringing both efficiencies and cost-effective changes.

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About two and a half years ago while working mostly from home, I became extremely great friends with a man on my street, Mr. James Carney. Mr. Carney, now 91 years old was an engineer on the Rocket Planes F86D , X15, Chief Engineer for Skylab, Insert Apollo, Apollo Soyez and the Space Shuttle. He was living up the street from me with his wife of 60 years who had experienced many health issues, including dementia.

I grew up loving the space program. I stayed up late at night with my parents and brother as a kid watching the first walk on the moon, yet I wouldn’t call myself someone hugely knowledgeable in this field. What was extremely interesting was this man who was so involved in the engineering world and I had a great many things in common. I loved going up the street and hanging out. Our conversations would range from leadership skills, politics and the latest book he was reading to a little bit of advice giving a getting. Sadly, a little over a year ago, his wife of over 62 years passed away. I have been married what I think is a long time (26 year), yet still I knew I still could not imagine what he was feeling. I did have the privilege of seeing the kindness and care he expressed with her. The full time care givers he hired, his patience in repeating things over and over if she needed it. He cooked, kept the house up and was completely and totally present for her. It wasn’t until after her passing and during many of our conversations that I realized how rich of a life they had before her illness. They traveled extensively, they had fun, she was a journal keeper and a world class needlepoint artist (a skill she passed on to her daughter). He was a photographer and the guy that took that AAA map and designed their twice yearly moth long trips. They gardened, made fantastic food, enjoyed their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He told me me it was pretty rare that they ever had any sort of disagreement, something I know many of us would like the secret too.

So a few weeks ago, he shared with me his advice for a long and happy marriage. After I wide the tears from my eyes, I realized that it was wisdom that should be shared and was actually more than marriage advice, it sure would help any friend ship, family or work relationship. I asked his permission to share these pearls of wisdom here. Sit down with this and really read it. It’s going to be one of those articles you cut out and pass on.

How to have a long and happy Marriage:

START OUT RIGHT Most people of marriage age have developed likes, dislikes and habits. Be prepared to accept them without reservation

LEARN: Learn what your partner’s preferences are in friends, work, hobbies, entertainment, food etc. Learn to support their choices and when to butt out… and do it!

RESPECT: Respect them. Respect their family. Respect their preferences, after all, wasn’t that part of the makeup of that person when you wanted to marry them?

REMEMBER: Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, any special days and don’t just bring a card or gift to “get off the hook”. They to think of something really special that says I love you.

SHARE: Share your love, share your space, the daily chores, everything except that little corner of yourself that every person needs occasionally. Never intrude there.

CARE: Care for your partner when they are happy, sad, sick or well and accept your partners care when offered. Allowing someone to give you care is a gift.

CHANGES: If you sense an annoyance at something you do or say or wear, work on a change and ask your partner if things are better. Conversely, if it’s something that annoys you, give a reason to change, but not a trade “If you do this I’ll do this”. It must be a gift. Finally, love your partner will your whole heart and Soul If you survive your spouse and you haven’t had a spell of uncontrollable crying, then you’ve missed the whole point!

By Mr. James Carney age, 91 Married to Angie Carney for 62 years and 8 months

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Hoffman Murphy Real Estate lists and sells over 100 homes a year in our local beach cities market. When we list a home, our goal is to get the most money for our sellers. And in order to do this, it needs to stand out among the competition. To create true demand for a property, the kind that results in multiple offers and the terms sellers dream of, a home needs to be the kind someone can fall in love with. Pricing your home to get buyers in the door is the most important; but in order to get that offer, we need them to fall in love once they walk through the door.

The way a home presents itself creates emotional appeal. Think of how you feel when you walk into Pottery Barn, or look through a West Elm catalogue; a society obsessed with design sites like Pinterest and Houzz, and the myriad of cable home improvement shows prove how important staging is- its selling an ideal lifestyle and invokes a feeling of desire. When your home outshines the competition and looks like a show room, we hear spouses say to one another, "honey, I have to have this home. Do whatever it takes, this is it!" That kind of urgency and demand can only be achieved through real emotion.

Often times people mistake the word 'staging' for 'renting furniture'. Actually we use the term 'staging' to essentially describe the 'act of preparing your home for sale.' Once you decide to sell your home, it's our job to help you turn the home you have lived in to a saleable asset. Staging is just that- positioning a product to gain top dollar. The good news is, in many cases, the furnishings you already have is all you need. Sometimes reducing the amount of furniture, or even re-arranging a space makes all the difference. Additionally, removing clutter and personal items, and adding a few contemporary on trend accessories can take your same old living room into a showroom out of a magazine. This is where a value of a professional really steps in. Stagers are the experts in providing a fresh perspective on new layouts of a room you had never thought of that best showcase the space. Stagers know how to ensure any challenging areas or rooms in the home have a clearly defined use, which removes objections and allows the buyer to envision their life and all it could be when they are the ones calling it home.

There are instances when purchasing furniture and going for a full professional staging is the right direction. Especially with vacant homes, furniture brings life and purpose to a space. In our experience, time and time again, the monetary investment made to professionally stage a property is worth more than 300% of what you put into it. It creates a reaction in buyers that is almost hard to monetize. And according to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of buyers now begin their home search online, so how a home is presented in photos will decide whether a buyer even makes the decision to come view your home. Empty rooms give no perspective, and on the other end of the spectrum, cluttered homes are distracting. When your home hits the market, it's the future memories you are selling to the next buyer, not just the dirt and walls. Especially in our South Bay market, where first time buyers can spend close to a million dollars for their first starter home, first impressions matter.

The best thing about staging and how much it can effect the bottom line price of your sale, is that it is something you have complete control over. Since you cannot change the location, the lot size, your neighbor or in most cases the square footage, the two things you are in control of to ensure the most successful sale is price it right, and make it look better than all the competition. As we like to say, pricing gets them through the door, but staging gets them to write an offer!

If you are interested in a private professional consultation on tips or suggestions on how to best showcase your home for sale, call the experts in this arena- Hoffman Murphy. Helping you make your home shine is what we do best.

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Rent is more expensive than ever! Rental prices have risen faster recently than in the last 9 years. Studies show that the cost-of-living barometer in Southern California jumped from 3.9% to 4.7% in a 12 month period- the biggest rise since 2007.

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