Staging a home to sell.

A successful staging is key to selling your home quickly! If you are planning to put your house up on the market for this summer, then it goes without saying that you are hoping to get it sold very quickly and get your asking price. However, in order to achieve this, there are a few styling and upgrading tips that can set the stage for success. When staging a house to sell, vendors are encouraged to boost the curb appeal of the property. Ensure your home is ready to lure in onlooker because the appearance of your home is what attracts buyers. A few ways in which home owners can improve their curb appeal is by; hanging easy-to-reach house numbers outside, plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery, mow the lawn and also, repainting the house if needed.

Welcome each visitor to an inviting porch. For example, if this means having a little stoop, ensure that it says “welcome home”. This will allow visitors to feel welcomed, as well as more intrigued to view on the inside of the house. In addition to this, inside the home must be sparkly clean!  From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle.

Entice people to explore the whole house. Placing something that draws the eye at the top of the stairs, in hallways or in corners, you can pique curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of art work, or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.  In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well, therefore, furniture should be pulled off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area. Also, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine.

Create a lifestyle people are looking for. Improving the curb appeal means staging both outside and inside of the home.

The best ways to lead generate in Jamaica. The Keller Williams way.

 

With the marketing environment getting more and more complex, it can be confusing for a Realtor to know where and how to generate leads that convert. However, here at kwJamaica, our agents have discovered new ways to generate more leads. This is divided into two stages. Lead generation first phase-PROSPECTING and the lead generation second phase marketing.

Promotion is never too much for a company. At kwJamaica, advertisements are done when a new property comes on the market up until the day the property gets sold. These properties are advertised in newspapers, on the radio, on the television, in the yellow pages and also at bus stop benches. Promotional items are also used, such as magnets and calendars that display the property. The houses are also advertised on the company’s website, as well as direct mail. This is when just-sold/ just-listed cards are sent out in email blast to other potential buyers. Prospecting and marketing is done on a day to day basis, hand in hand. These activities are carried out on a daily basis.

Meldam Realty serving the diaspora and beyond

Meldam Realty is doing exceptionally well in the real estate market. One of the main reasons for the high level of success the business now enjoys is as a result of its dedication to its clients.

CEO Rory Marsh said the business operates under principles stipulated in its motto, “more service, less hassle.” Clients using the services of Meldam receive quality service; service ranked among the best in the market, Marsh said.

With over 4000 listing on its websites, the company has not only been successful in reaching prospective local home owners, but has been a major player in bringing information to prospective home owners in the diaspora and even persons as far as Germany, China and Russia. CEO of Meldam Realty Rory Marsh said the statistics are there to prove that his company is reaching a market far beyond the borders of Jamaica and the diaspora.  He said Meldam has been able to reach a Chinese market through it Chinese website.

“We have invested significantly in our website and backend technology. We monitor who is looking at our websites and where they are located to ensure that we are promoting the properties to the appropriate buyers,” he said.

There has been an increase in persons visiting the website from Germany and Russia. He explained that shoppers from these markets compare countries in terms of proximity to the United Sates, stock markets and real estate values.

“Jamaica comes out on top,” he said.

Persons from the diaspora are also very enthused about buying property in Jamaica.

“Persons from the diaspora they want to buy here in Jamaica. They want to retire here as well as to get a vacation home. St Ann is the most sought after parish right now,” Marsh told the Jamaica Observer during an interview recently.

With the many demands, Marsh assured that there are enough new developments and properties to meet the demands. He listed developments such as Hartland Estate, Richmond Estate and Draxhall Country Club as popular choices among persons in the diaspora.

Marsh said approximately 60 percent of clients from the diaspora target these gated communities, while another 40 percent wants non-gated communities.

“Some persons want freedom to build however and whenever they would like,” he said.

“We provide all members of the diaspora with exactly what they want; we match their requirement with the inventory that we have,” he added.

Another reason for Meldam’s success is the attention given to its extensive client list.

“We have an extensive buyers client list of persons who want to buy property. When persons give us property to sell we contact person from our lists,” Marsh explained. As a result, both buyers and sellers are satisfied engaging the services of Meldam Realty.

“We match their requirement with the inventory that we have,” Marsh reiterated.

Marsh said Meldam is expanding to meet the needs of clients by having agents in Montego Bay, Negril and Kingston with agents in these locations. Marsh said agents are not only strategically placed, but that these agents are trained to meet the needs of Meldam’s clients.

“All Meldam agents go through hands on training. They are licensed by the Real Estate Board and are members of the Realtors Association of Jamaica,” Marsh said.

He said training of agents is done on a monthly basis.

“All our agents across the island have a full understanding of procedures to provide the best service possible,” Marsh said.

He said technology and training are two main areas focused on by Meldam.

“Our agents are equipped with applications to conduct transactions  regarding marketing of properties directly from their smart phones in real time,” he said.

“We ensure that the highest quality pictures are taken of every property and uploaded in the fastest time possible,” he continued.

Very soon, Meldam will have other locations a part from its centrally located Ocho Rios main office.

Marsh said while some persons may bypass the realtors to buy properties, going through a realtor like Meldam can prove very beneficial to the potential homeowner or those wanting to sell.

“The realtor knows about all properties on the market. It allows you to have a wider variety of properties to choose from. We also guide the buyers with the benefits and drawbacks of certain communities,” Marsh explained.

Marsh said Meldam focuses on a wide variety of properties giving its clients the opportunity to choose.

“We don’t just focus on expensive properties. We focus on affordable and  luxury properties,” he said.

In order to further ensure that persons get value for their money Marsh said clients are encouraged to get valuations of properties done. For persons buying houses which are not new, Meldam encourages getting a contractor or certified engineer to examine the property.

“Our goal is to make our customers satisfied through providing a professional  and high level of service at a first world standard,” Marsh said.

 

Meldam does more!!!

Do you just post the property on the MLS and leave it???

Meldam Realty takes selling real estate seriously!
CUSTOMER QUESTION: WHAT DOES MELDAM REALTY DO TO SELL MY PROPERTY APART FROM JUST PUTTING IT ON THE MLS SYSTEM?
                   
                   
                   
The agents at Meldam Realty always exceeds their clients expectations. In getting a house sold for a client, there are a few marketing strategies that the agents take. Properties are not only posted on the MLS system, but measures are taken to prepare the property for sale before it is posted on the MLS.
A better idea of “marketing” beyond advertising is to understand that a good realtor helps you to set a good price and to getting multiple offers. So what does Meldam Realty do to market your home effectively? Meldam Realty helps you to understand the reality of selling a home in whatever market conditions prevail, and help you through your own psychological sticking points (price it right, clean up the place) so that you actually get the most dollars in the end.
The agents also work with their sellers to create a marketing plan that incorporates many avenues and networks which we have perfected over the years. The agents also stage and take excellent photos, that create further interest and shows the property in the most compelling manner. This will attract many buyers.
For real estate, email retargeting is probably the most effective marketing method used. The emails are kept in the inbox and referred to when the customer feels ready to purchase the real estate. Blasting a property update to our Network of 1000s of interested buyers, stakeholders and Realtors locally and internationally.  The properties are also advertised across social media and various online channels exclusively created for marketing properties for Meldam Realty’s customers.
At Meldam Realty, the agents care. We make an effort to advertise properties in over 30 different mediums to specific target markets. The strategies taken are anticipated to attract potential buyers, as well as the MLS system.
For more information, you may contact Meldam Realty at 974-2239 or email us at info@meldamrealty.com

JAMAICA :MORTGAGES AND CHOOSING SUITABLE MORTGAGE PROVIDERS

A mortgage is a loan given to an individual by the bank or a mortgage lender which serves the purpose of aiding the individual in purchasing a home/ house. Therefore, the house you purchase simply acts as collateral in exchange for the money you are borrowing to finance the mortgage for your home. A mortgage is composed of four (4) major components: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. There also are different types of mortgages which include: fixed rate mortgage and adjustable rate mortgage.

A fixed rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the entire term of the loan. That means monthly payments will generally be the same as well. Fixed rate mortgages are great for anyone who plans to stay in their home for a long time, wants a reliable mortgage payment or has a strict budget to follow.

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that is fixed for the first few years, then changes after the introductory fixed period. ARMs follow a specific market or index that determines the adjustable rate. Though the intro rate is usually quite low, an ARM interest rate has the potential to either increase or decrease when it adjusts, and there is less predictability for the borrower in terms of payments.

The length of your loan will also impact how much you ultimately pay for your home. Generally, extending the length of your loan will also increase the rate slightly. It will also cause you to pay more in interest overall since the longer your loan, the more interest payments you make.

For individuals who desire to obtain a mortgage, you are required to go into a mortgage broker and discuss a potential mortgage plan. However, in choosing your mortgage provider, ensure that you explore all possible options and then decide which policy terms best suit you. In Jamaica, there is First Caribbean Building Society, Jamaica National Building Society, Scotia Building Society, Victoria Mutual Building Society, First Mortgage Brokers and the National Housing Trust.

Be sure to choose a mortgage deal that is right for you!

 

MONEY LAUNDERING AND REAL ESTATE in JAMAICA

Money Laundering as defined by Sec 3 (1) of the Money Laundering Act 1998 is where a person(a) engages in a transaction that involves property that is derived from the commission of a specified offence; or if that person(b) acquires, possesses, uses, conceals, disguises, disposes of or brings into Jamaica, any such property; or (c) converts or transfers that property or removes it from Jamaica, and the person knows, at the time he engages in the transaction referred to in paragraph (a) or at the time he does any act referred to in paragraph (b) or (c), that the property is derived or realized directly, or indirectly from the commission of a specified offence. “Property” as defined in section 2 of the said act includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other interpretation.

The need for the establishment of this act represents Jamaica taking a stand against money laundering which has affected varying industries, families and businesses. One such is the real estate market which has led the Real Estate Board in Jamaica to implement measures as to how to deal with it when it is found to exist in carrying out real estate transactions.

Jamaica‘s Anti Money Laundering regulations places the onus on dealers to report suspicious activity, with red flags, including clients who fail to provide satisfactory personal information; clients who are agents or intermediaries for mystery persons or entities; and those who have criminal records or are known to be under investigation. The Anti Money Laundering inspectorate will be responsible for monitoring the activities of real estate dealers and salesmen to deter money laundering and terrorism financing via the real estate industry.

Money laundering is an unlawful act that adversely affects the real estate sector in that it causes the real estate sector to reflect a somewhat bogus reality of what the actual market and economy is like and further depresses economic growth. It poses difficulty for economic policy makers in gaining a true understanding of the state of the economy and policy making.

Money laundering increases the level of crime and higher crime and corruption reduces economic growth in that a state rigged with crime is a huge deterrence for foreign investors which in turn generate foreign exchange. Thus, more money laundering increase the risk of macro on economic instability likes instability in exchange rate, monetary aggregates and general price levels.

Therefore, when criminals attempt to make dirty money clean through investing in various properties on the real estate market, it also severely affects the economy.

Therefore, if you suspect anyone of money laundering , you may report them to the Anti Money Laundering Unit.

Gardening and Landscaping in Jamaica

Gardening

The term gardening refers to the art or activity of tending and cultivating a piece of ground which becomes a garden. Usually, homeowners who practice gardening are blessed with soil that is very rich. Jamaican homeowners can atest to this.

Jamaica is a blessed island with a tropical climate all year round and very rich soil which allows us to cultivate a wide range of luscious green vegetables and sweet exotic fruits. There are hundreds of nutritious vegetables to choose: Callaloo , Cabbage, Corn, Okra, Tomato and Cucumber. We also grow a lot of juicy fresh fruits, these include: Mangoes, Guineps , Oranges, Pineapple, Plums, Star apples, Cherry and Lychee which is also popularly known as ‘chinese guineps, Calabash. These are just a few of the juicy fruity delights that Jamaicans tend to grow in our back yard gardens. Due to this, we often boast of being able to eat what we grow.

In Jamaica, growing a vegetable or fruit garden has been proven to be very fulfilling in that growing a vegetable or fruit garden can assist in feeding the family with fresh produce bursting with flavours, vitamins and minerals. This therefore aids in increasing the levels of participation of rural farm families in home food production which vividly depict our motto “Grow what we eat, eat what we grow”

There are also many benefits of seasoned gardening in Jamaica. Imagine having a bit of Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Scotch bonnet Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg and Onions to add to the flavouring of your pot. Other herbs include: Fever grass, Cerassee, Guinea Hen and Tuna. Having your own herb garden not only allows you to cook with unprocessed and organic herbs but also serves as healing properties.

Our island Jamaica also produces beautiful species of flowers which allows you to spruce u the beauty and attractiveness of your property. If you are beginner, start off with two or three plants until you become accustomed. If you have very little space in an apartment or yard area you can plant in containers or car tyres.  Also, ensure to protect the area from animals using a fence to keep away animals. Using fertilizers is also a good choice for protecting your plants from plant diseases that will allow them to wither and stop growing.

This is Jamaica, This is how we live, This is how we grow!

 

Landscaping in Jamaica

Living in Jamaica means that at some times in the year, you embark on a grand project of house, garden and land cleaning. Landscape experts says a first impression goes a long way, so ensure to spruce up your property as you will increase the property value by doing so.

The first thing a person sees in your home is its curb appeal. No matter how beautiful the inside of your home is, the outside is what they will see first, and this is what gets the attention of the guests. Landscape is more than just a scenery, it’s interaction between people and place; the bedrock upon which our Society is built. Landscapes tend to offer tranquillity and a sense of belonging to an area with well-defined cultural identity.

Landscaping does not necessarily mean only planting flowers but you also have to make time to nurture your investment. Pavement or water features are also very fascinating. Over the years Jamaicans have come up with many creative ways to spruce up their properties. They cut trees in beautiful designs and even make designs out of stones to create a feature.

Jamaica’s beautiful landscape has a major impact on the Jamaican economy as it attracts many visitors from all over the world and also investment to an area.

Come! Invest in Jamaican Real Estate today and start your gardening and landscaping project. To get started, all you need to do is contact Meldam Realty in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at 974-2239 or email us at info@meldamrealty.com.

Tips when getting a Home Inspection in Jamaica

A home inspection refers to a non-invasive visual examination of a residential dwelling, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify observed material defects within specific components.

Getting your home inspected is an important step that all home owners are advised to take. However, many buyers fail to understand the importance of having their home inspected, while others rely on the real estate agent to carry out the process.

Firstly, when getting your home inspected in Jamaica it is advised that you ensure that the inspector is competent to carry out the job. Therefore, doing back ground research on the requirements and certification is important. Also, verify the inspectors experience and their expertise in this field. If you fail to do so, you may find yourself in a situation where a bad inspection has been done and it may cost you to find another inspector and carry out repairs.

When getting your home inspected, the inspector is supposed to examine the major home systems and defects in the home. These include: Electrical, Roofing, Heating, Foundation, Septic Systems and water damage. Home owners are usually encouraged to ask questions during the inspection process and also ask for the written report to be delivered as soon as possible.

Also, it is recommended that during the inspection process that the buyer makes a cost list separately from the inspector and estimate how much it might cost to repair and replace or even to improve the home. Doing an inspection is also important because once an inspection is done negotiations can be made between the seller and the buyer to purchase new items for repairs. The buyer can request to get repairs paid for by the seller or to ask for the price to be lowered, however, the seller may say no. As a result, all expenses would have to be cleared by the buyer.

Before you finalize your new home purchase, be sure to get it inspected and ensure that it is in a good condition. The best way to do this is by getting professional assistance.  A house is not just a shelter but it is also a huge investment and a place where most of your life long memories are made and family gatherings. Therefore, it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure you have a happy home and a happy you!

 

Fees and Length of Transactions with Attorneys

In the typical home purchase the seller enters a brokerage contract with a real estate agent, usually in writing. After the real estate agent finds a potential buyer, an informal agreement is then made between the seller and the buyer. This then leads to negotiations that are held between a broker and the real estate agent. An agreement for a sale is then signed by both the seller and the buyer.

An agreement for a sale usually states the length of a transaction which can take up to 45 days to 120 days. These days are counted after an agreement is signed by both the vendor and the buyer. The length of the transactions depends on the decision of both the buyer and the seller which is made through each party’s lawyer based on the funding agreement, e.g, whether it’s through a mortgage or if they’re paying in cash. The length of the transaction through a mortgage usually takes up to 120 days and if they are paying in cash it usually takes 45 days.

Once an offer is signed it is out of the agents hands. A letter is then sent to the lawyer and 10% is paid to the lawyer as a commitment fee to hold the property. The lawyer conducts all business regarding the monetary transactions and the agent often keeps contact to find out the status of the sale. Sales instructions letters are sent to the lawyer who then gets back to the agent informing them when their commission will be ready. An invoice is then sent to the vendor’s lawyer from the agent, this states the agent’s commission which is 5% and G.C.T which is set at 0.88%. After an invoice is sent to the lawyer a cheque is then prepared and sent to the agent.

The stamp duty fee (4%) is shared equally between both the buyer and the seller; each party pays 2% each. The transfer tax is 5% and this is paid by the vendor. Both the vendor and the buyer pay a registration fee of 0.25%. The attorney’s fee ranges from 1.50% to 3% and the G.C.T on the attorney’s fees is 0.58%, this is also variable. The cost of agreement for sale is paid for equally by both the vendor and purchaser, this is 0.20% and the G.C.T on the charge for agreement for sale is 0.04% which is also paid by both the buyer and the vendor. This percentage, however, is variable which means it is subject to change. Both the vendor and the purchaser pays registration fee which is 0.25% each.  If a purchaser requires a mortgage they would be required to pay a 6% .

As for surveyors, their fees may be in the region of J$45,000.00

For more information, you may contact Meldam Realty at 974-2239 or email us at info@meldamrealty.com

 

FINDING THE RIGHT NEIGHBOURHOOD FOR YOU

Moving into a new home can prove to be an experience filled with excitement and significance, as you turn the page on one chapter of your life and move forward into new beginnings. Though filled with excitement, new home owners must consider certain factors in choosing the perfect neighborhood to purchase their new home. These factors must come into consideration especially when purchasing homes in Jamaica because Jamaica is a country filled with much diversity and differing neighborhoods.

Safety is the first factor that one must take into account when trying to find a neighborhood that’s right for you. It often matters not how popular or sought after this neighborhood may be as living in danger is not worth the risk. Select a place that allows you the freedom to take strolls and carry out exercise activities. Also, it is important to ensure that it is especially safe for the children whether it be riding their bikes or crossing the roads. The peace of mind that your children are playing in a safe environment is priceless. You may also speak to local police officers and the community associations to gather information regarding the safety of the neighborhood.

Additionally, you don’t want to purchase a home that is in a neighborhood that isn’t in close proximity to various amenities. Ensure that the neighborhood is close to shopping centers, schools, grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and banks. Also, you want to ensure that possible parks or recreation areas are within close proximity so you have somewhere to relax, exercise or simply stroll.

Another thing you may do is to visit the neighbourhood at different times of the day to ascertain what the area is like at different times.  What it is in the morning to afternoon may not be the same at night.  Also, you may on your visits speak to neighbors for possible first hand experiences.

However, you may reside abroad and is unable to do a physical check of the area; you may go online to see the reviews. A trend that has taken its place within today’s society is getting reviews online. As such, it is also advised that you search the net for websites that may have info on the neighbourhood and slowly browse the reviews and comments just to see what others have experienced living in the neighbourhood and also what their thoughts are.