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Home Buyers Move Back to Basics

Thursday, February 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

                                                    Home Sellers take note:

When it comes down to chosing a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  Today’s buyers consider new or updated kitchens and bathrooms, and a flexible, open floor plan as the most important features they are looking for in a home.

A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents reveal what features appeal to the broadest cross sections of buyers in the marketplace.

  • 33% of those surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature they are looking for.
  • 14% of purchasers said that an open floorplan is a must have. 
  • 12% are looking for homes with new or updated bathrooms.
  • Only 1% of buyers feel that entertainment rooms or finished basements are important home features.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  When you advertise, photograph and show your home, don’t forget to emphasize the “hot buttons” area’s that buyers are telling you they are looking for.

  A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents uncovers the reasons some homes sell….and others languish on the market. 

Agents say that the majority of home sellers have gotten more “real” about their real estate in 2012.  More than half (51%) of sellers are willing to price their homes more competitively this year vs last.   And, nearly half (45%) are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to appeal to and entice buyers.   

What is the best use of a seller’s time and money?  De-clutter, de-personalize to make their home appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers.

  • 94% of sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates.
  • 78% are willing to “de-personalize” their homes.
  • 59% are bringing in new home decorations or furniture to make their home updated and appealing.

De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home makes it easier for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property.   In order to sell your home in today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for seller’s to realize that the property is no longer their “home”…it is an expensive product that is For Sale.        

Always remove family photo’s and personal artwork.  They do nothing for the appeal of the home.  They simply distract a buyers focus and perhaps give the buyer too much information about the seller’s personal life.  Never good.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   5 FSBO houses on InfoTube.net SOLD this week.   Things are improving for those seller’s who work smart to attract buyers.   Visit our Facebook page for informative, fun and revealing news.

Lowes Hardware Now Selling InfoTubes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

     We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the folks at Lowes Hardware for putting InfoTube back on the store shelves.  

Lowes has been a supporter of InfoTube since the early 1990’s, but they made a decision to stop stocking The InfoTube a few years back, when the real estate market hit the skids.

Now, in support of our effort mutual efforts to Support American products and American workers, Lowes has restocked the shelves with InfoTubes, in anticipation of the spring home selling season.   As a result, we have been able to add workers and our customers love the convenience of shopping at Lowes.  (Lowes will also continue to sell our popular InfoBox, too.)

We appreciate everyone at Lowes and we appreciate all of you.   Please look for our products trademarked Red Lids and Caps when you shop…and ask for InfoTube and InfoBox products by name.   

Say NO to Chinese imports.  Together, we can rebuild our country… one little product and one worker at a time.   

    

We finally have an avalanche of positive news regarding on the real estate and housing market for 2012.   

  1. Foreclosure activity in 2011 is down more than 50% lower in several states, including New Jersey, Maryland and Florida.  Realty Trac
  2. The much feared “shadow inventory” of foreclosures declined dramatically in 2011.  In December 2012, 2.2 million properties were in some stage of foreclosure.  In September 2011, that number dropped to 1.5 million units…or a whopping 32% in nine months.  Realtytrac
  3. Realtors in some hard hit area’s, such as Michigan and southern California, are reporting a shortage of housing inventory and a return to bidding wars in tight markets.  
  4. Wall Street thinks the worst is over.  Stocks of the nation’s five largest, publicly traded, home builders are at 52 week highs signaling an upswing in home construction in 2012.  In addition, the home builders have been snapping up deals on land and abandoned subdivisions in anticipation of increased buyer demand.  CNBC
  5. Realtors and home builders are getting a boost from rising rents, as Americans realize that owning a home is often less expensive than renting one.   And, while future rent increases have no ceiling on how high they can go, ownership locks in housing expenses and equity is created as the loan balance decreases each month.
  6. Legal issues, property maintenance and other issues complicating the foreclosure process will push banks and lenders to approve more short sales in 2012, further reducing housing inventory.
  7. Interest rates will remain at historical lows in 2012, which allows more people to qualify for a home and cheap money buys more house for the same monthly payment. 
  8. Foreclosure activity was down more than 30 percent in 2011.   Fewer than 2 million properties foreclosure notices were filed in 2011, down from 2.9 million property filings in 2010.  Realty Trac

InfoTube believes that this news spells OPPORTUNITY for home buyers, home builders, investors and real estate agents.  Home prices and affordability are excellent, yet buyers and investors can still find good bargains.   Today’s smart home buyers will feel like geniuses in ten years when the see what inflation has done to home prices. 

If you have a home to sell, we can help.  Visit InfoTube.net to place a FREE home listing about your property or to buy an InfoTube or InfoBox to advertise your property to drive by customers.  Or, supersize your marketing efforts with an MLS listing.  The MLS and Realtor.com reaches millions home buyers each day that otherwise would not know your home is for sale!!!

Profitable 2012 Resolution:  Showcase and show off your home with great photo’s.

Photographs are important and powerful tools in marketing real estate.    Statistics show that home sellers who provide numerous and good quality photographs of their property receive twice the amount of buyer interest than their competition.

When photographing your property, try to follow this advise from Dave Rezendes, #1 real estate photographer in the USA.

• Don’t assume that wider is better.  Sometimes a particular vignette or architectural detail will better convey the feeling of a house and give a stronger effect.

• When staging a photo, keep perspective in mind.  It may be necessary to move furniture slightly to compensate for lens distortion and keep your photo looking realistic, especially in wider shots.

• Mind your verticals.  Shooting at a downward or upward angle can skew the vertical lines of the photo, making them no longer parallel.  Most photo editing software has the capability to correct this in post-processing.

• Keep an eye on your staging.  A crooked pillow or messy bedskirt can take a minute to fix on location but hours to fix in post-processing.

• Avoid any clutter in your shots.  Any exposed power cords, personal items, or even too much staging material can negatively affect the image. Keep your photos neat but not sterile.

• Avoid photographing exterior views in direct, midday sun.  Try to cover that in the morning or early evening for the most complimentary natural light.

• Avoid photographing exterior views in direct, midday sun. Try to cover that in the morning or early evening for the most complimentary natural light.

• Before you take a photo, double-check to see that neither you nor your equipment is visible in mirrors or window reflections.

InfoTube.net Home Ad Service offers Home Sellers 20 photograph Slide Show and Video Tours.   

Make 2012 your year to Show and Sell!!!

Tommi Crow, owner of Crow Erickson, Inc and inventor of the InfoTube and InfoBox battled Home Depot and Lowes…and WON!!!    Now, she and her company get to keep selling their American Made products and her US workforce will stay employed.

To Read About this David vs Goliath Victory …CLICK HERE!!!!

Would you like to see what the housing market has in store for 2012?  If so, take a moment to watch this video.

Housing Market 2012

Remember that in spite of the doom and gloom…10,000 sets of keys are handed to new homeowners every single day!!  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net…a FREE marketing website for owners, builders and agents.  

Remember that… Who you buy From is as important as What you Buy!   Look for Made in the USA products and support US workers!!

Paul Choi, a long time supporter of US workers and US jobs, wrote and posted the following article about Helping InfoTube Save Jobs in the USA.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who are fed up with Chinese tsunami that is washing away the quality of life in our country…then, Mr. Choi has a great source of helpful Links for you…located all in one place!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO FIGHT BACK AND SAVE US JOBS AND COMPANIES!!!!

Our Votes may not be powerful…but our Pocketbook and Money sure are!  Refuse to pay a Chinese toll charge on everything you buy! 

Click to Fight Back!

Thank you for helping InfoTube save American jobs.  Please Share our Story!!!

InfoTube, Hillman and China. An Update

Thursday, May 26, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

I am very happy to report that the public outcry about outsourcing American products, specifically Infotube and Infobox, to China has been encouraging, enlightening, motivating and best of all…it may be working to save jobs and keep American made products on the shelves.

As a result of your emails, calls, petitions, Facebook posts, etc. some strange things have happened.  We have been contacted by a US Senator, offering his assistance.  We have been interviewed on radio news and talk shows and our story has shown up in print across the country.   And, we still have our fingers crossed that we might receive a call from Diane Sawyer and ABC news about our story and products. 

If you haven’t told Diane and ABC what your favorite American products are, click this LINK and do so, today!  Please don’t forget to mention InfoTube and InfoBox!   

Perhaps, the most surprising outcome, so far, has been our two discussions with senior management at The Hillman Group.  Surprising, because it is happening at all.  Surprising, again, because we are each sharing information and I feel that everyone is sincere about wanting to reach a resolution. 

Rest assured that we won’t give up the fight until we hear that Crow Erickson will continue to sell Infotubes and InfoBoxes to our major d-i-y retail customers, like we have done for nearly two decades.

Sadly, during our meeting yesterday, Hillman management confirmed  that they have shipped some of the Chinese copycat product…identifible by its Yellow lid…to Home Depot, Lowes and Menards.   The retailers, in turn, hung it up in the sign department where the InfoTube and InfoBox used to proudly hang.  

Please ask for InfoTube and InfoBox by name at the store!!  Simply, refuse to purchase the Chinese Yellow Lid product.  You know what is at stake and your money is counted as your vote. 

A concerned consumer may have said it best in their reply to an email they received from the Hillman Group. 

“See, we American voters may truly be powerless, but we American consumers are not.  We are fed up watching big corporations, like yours, screw American businesses, and so if you think this lame email has calmed me, you are wrong.  I am just getting started.”  Cynn Chadwick

If you have a problem finding our products in the stores, you can purchase through our secure our website or through one of our valued, loyal internet vendors….many of whom took action on our behalf…even though by doing so, they face more sales competition.

Thank you again for your support, your comments and your encouragement.  If this little company can find a way to beat the competition over in communist China…then, so can other companies!  

Buy American and Support your Homeland!!!  We aren’t anti-chinese…we are just Pro-American!

Tommi Crow

President, Crow Erickson Inc.  1854A Hendersonville Rd #221 – Asheville, NC  28803.  1-800-858-6000.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

National Home Improvement Stores Outsource American Jobs to China                                                                                                                            Home Depot, Lowe’s vendor ignores U.S. patents, outsources popular INFOBOX®  

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (May 10, 2011)—Recently, Hillman Group, vendor to national DIY home-improvement retail giants Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menards, replaced the store’s popular American-made INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products with Chinese factory replicas. 

INFOTUBE® literature boxes were invented 23 years ago in a garage in Dallas, TX, to provide Realtors®, builders and homeowners with an affordable way to sell their homes. Today, millions of these patented real-estate literature boxes are being used in neighborhoods across America. 

In March, Hillman informed Crow Erickson it was replacing INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products effective immediately, leaving thousands of boxes stranded on the docks and effectively closing the doors of the Asheville, NC-based manufacturer and inventor. Caplugs® factory jobs in Erie, PA and Buffalo, NY will also be affected, two areas already hard hit in this economy. 

Crow Erickson’s patent attorney has inspected the Chinese product, currently available on Home Depot’s website, and it does appear to be copy of the INFOBOX® design, something Hillman insiders have conceded. The Chinese knockoff provides no cost savings to the consumer. 

This is not the first time Hillman has ignored U.S. patents and put American jobs in jeopardy, including the hundreds of disabled and handicapped American workers that Crow Erickson has employed at competitive wages in partnership with vocational rehabilitation centers.

 In the 1990s, Hillman tried to outsource INFOTUBE® products, a patent violation against which Crow Erickson took legal action. The settlement required Hillman to renew its contract for INFOTUBE® and agree not to compete in its product niche. 

Apparently Hillman is banking on the rising cost of lawsuits to deter the small, woman-owned business from pursuing legal remedy this time around. 

Crow Erickson has made numerous direct appeals to the Hillman Group and senior management at Lowe’s and Home Depot, citing its 20+ year successful partnership, patent concerns, and a desire to work with all parties for a mutually beneficial and cost-competitive resolution. 

To date, Crow Erickson has not been able to engage Hillman, Lowe’s or Home Depot in any meaningful discussion and has been left with no recourse other than pursue costly legal action or close its doors and watch another American-made product fall victim to Chinese factories. 

Crow Erickson is currently launching a public media campaign to save American jobs. More information can be found on www.infotube.net and the company’s blog. INFOTUBE® is also sponsoring an online petition to save American jobs from export to China which can be viewed and signed on The Petition Site at Help-Save-American-Jobs.

Contact:

Tommi Crow

President, Crow Erickson, Inc.

800-858-6000 (o) 828-230-2260 (cel)

tommi@infotube.net

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

Thursday, April 21, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

In today’s’ super-competitive housing market, it is essential that homebuyers picture themselves living inside the home you are trying to sell.    

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

  • For starters, take down the Wallpaper – Trust me when I say, “Buyers just do not like wallpaper.”   If you doubt how personal wallpaper is…just walk into any wallpaper store and stare at the thousands of available patterns.  Chances of your tastes matching are at least a thousand to one.  Don’t risk it!  Pull that paper down!
  • The Clutter HAS to Go!  Living in a house is alot different than Selling a house.  It is easy to get blind to your own clutter.  Ask a friend, neighbor or neutral party to be honest with you.  Then, pack away every single thing you don’t use.  And, clear the kitchen counters completely.
  • Smelly Homes Will NOT Sell.  Agents have an old saying, “If I can smell it, I can’t sell it.”  Pet smells, musty odor’s, etc will kill a sale everytime.
  • White is not a Color.  But, paint is your friend.  Every room should have a fresh coat of paint in a warm, neutral color.
  • A Spot of Color.  Everyone loves flowers.  Place pots with colorful annual flowers by the front door or plant seasonal color in the beds to make your home inviting and memorable.
  • Househunting Begins on the Internet.  If your property is not exposed on the internet, your chances of a buyer finding you are very small.  Tip the odds in your favor by advertising your home on the MLS and all the major search engines for real estate.  InfoTube also offers FREE property listings on its website.   Also, make sure your listing includes at least 10 good photo’s of the interior and exterior of your home.  If possible, also include a video tour of the house and neighborhood.
  • Forget About Comp’s and Sold Properties.  Study your competition, which means homes currently For Sale.  If your home is priced too high when compared to your competition, it is going to sit for a long, long time.

Homeowners should please keep in mind that Buyers have a lot of choices.  The homeowner who can make their house stand out among the vast inventory of “For Sale” signs will the one who wins the selling game.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website.  For up to the minute real estate news and tips follow InfoTube for Real Estate on Facebook.

If you have a condo, ranch, one level bungalow or a home with the master on the main level that you need to sell, this may be your lucky year.  The baby boomers (those 77 million people that were born between 1945 and 1964) are back in the housing market in a big way..and they often pay cash.

The aging boomers have finally worked up the courage to sell the family house, depreciated as it is, and roll the home equity into their last ever home purchase.   Ironically, the catalyst for this trend has nothing to do with real estate.   The motivation is age, quality of life and the stock market.  The stock market is back, bringing with it the net worth of the boomer generation, who controls 80 percent of the financial assets in the United States. 

If you own a one level, low maintenance home…you are already sitting in tall cotton…but you can do some simple things to sweeten the pot even more…if you know what to emphasize and what needs to be done.

Capitalize on the needs of the 65+ year olds, who are looking for place that they can grow old in.  They are naturally drawn to homes that are easy and safe to live in, even if managing stairs and home maintenance is hard to do.

  • Replace door knobs with levered handles.
  • Replace knob-type plumbing fixtures and cabinet pulls with levers or open handles.
  • Today’s house only needs one bathtub.  Offer at least one,  barrier free shower on the main floor, even if means taking out a bathtub.
  • Put a laundry room on the main floor, even if you have to eliminate a closet or half-bath to do so.
  • Consider making entryway staircases longer and more gentle.  Create an option to add a wheelchair ramp to one side, if needed.
  • Consider adding grab bars in glass enclosures or  if your bathroom has wide open space.
  • Replace carpeting with tile, hardwoods or laminate flooring for easier maintenance, durability and a smoother surface.
  • Provide ample indoor lighting and don’t forget the outdoor security lights.
  • Provide outdoor handrails on stairs, inclines or wherever necessary

Marketing Insight:  Most home improvements, suggested above, offer easy living appeal for all ages.  Just because your house is senior friendly doesn’t lessen the appeal to everyone else, but always be tactful.  Design two InfoSheets for Buyers.  Offer one in a standard format and create another that highlights senior-ready amenities.  

InfoTube.net believes that 2011 will be a better year for home sellers, if they know how to reach and appeal to today’s buyer.  Visit our website for tips, insights and a FREE home listing!  What do you have to lose?  Did we mention we also offer a low, flat fee MLS listing package for home owners???

Winter Home Sales Tips

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

   Seller’s often wonder if they should take their home off the market during winter.   My answer is usually “NO”.   Seller’s expend a lot of money and effort to get a home ready for sale and it does no good if the property isn’t on the market.   And, while there are fewer buyer’s during winter, there are also fewer homes for sale.  

But, if you’re still debating…consider the following:

  • Winter, spring, summer or fall…if you’re priced above the rest of the market, your home will help sell the well priced listings, but not yours.
  • There is less competition from competing homes during winter and less inventory benefits sellers’.
  • Buyer’s who are househunting during winter are serious and truly motivated.
  • Interest rates trend lower during winter months, when loan demand is low.
  • Gardens and landscape don’t look as appealing in winter.   If your home won’t exactly win “yard of the month” during summer…a snowy winter may actually level the playing field for you.
  • Don’t believe that if you pull your home off the market during winter, you can bring it back in the spring as a new listing.   No one is fooled by this trick.  Your listing will still appear as canceled and relisted in the MLS.
  • If it’s not on the market, the right buyer may come and go.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net FREE homes for sale and rent listing website.  Visit our site for free tips, questions and answers, marketing products and more.  We’ve been helping home sellers through market ups and downs since 1989 and we can help you, too!!!

Top 10 Cities for Property Searches

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

From Realtor.com…the Top 10 Cities for Real Estate related searches are:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun  
1 Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas  
2 Los Angeles Los Angeles Los Angeles Los Angeles Los Angeles Los Angeles  
3 Orlando Orlando San Antonio San Antonio Orlando San Antonio  
4 San Antonio San Antonio Orlando Orlando San Antonio Orlando  
5 Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Miami Miami  
6 Miami Miami Miami Paradise Valley Phoenix San Diego  
7 San Diego San Diego Chicago Miami San Diego Phoenix  
8 Tampa Tampa San Diego San Diego Austin Austin  
9 Chicago Chicago Tampa Chicago Chicago Fort Worth  
10 Fort Worth Fort Worth Fort Worth Fort Worth Beverly Hills Chicago

In 2010, Realtor.com was the #1 search site for homes, multi family and land.  If you are selling property, you need to be present on Realtor.com.  InfoTube.net can assist you in placing your property listing on Realtor.com for only $299…even better…your listing will stay active until you SELL or Cancel!!!   Click Here for More Details!!!

Where will the Next Real Estate Boom Occur?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

  Where will the next real estate boom  happen?  According to research conducted by Patrick Doherty, of the New America foundation, it will likely be right in your home town.

The Great Recession has highlighted a fundamental change in what consumers do want: homes in central cities and closer-in suburbs where one can walk to stores and mass transit. Such “walkable urban” real estate has experienced less than half the average decline in price from the housing peak. Ten years ago, the highest property values per square foot in the Washington, D.C., metro area were in car-dependent suburbs like Great Falls, Virginia. Today, walkable city neighborhoods like Dupont Circle command the highest per-square-foot prices, followed by dense suburban neighborhoods near subway stops in places like Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia. Similarly, in Denver, property values in the high-end car-dependent suburb of Highland Ranch are now lower than those in the redeveloped LoDo neighborhood near downtown. These trend lines have been evident in many cities for a number of years; at some point during the last decade, the lines crossed. The last time the lines crossed was in the 1960s—and they were heading the opposite direction.

There are some obvious reasons for the growing demand for walkable neighborhoods: ever-worsening traffic congestion, memories of the 2008 spike in gasoline prices, and the fact that many cities have become more attractive places to live thanks to falling crime rates and the replacement of heavy industries with cleaner, higher-end service and professional economies.

But the biggest factor, one that will quickly pick up speed in the next few years, is demographic. The baby boomers and their children, the millennial generation, are looking for places to live and work that reflect their current desires and life needs. Boomers are downsizing as their children leave home while the millennials, or generation Y, are setting out on their careers with far different housing needs and preferences. Both of these huge demographic groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing: small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net for real estate.  We have provided marketing and sales assistance for owner, builders and real estate agents since 1988.  We can certainly help you with your sale, too.  Visit our site for details and Free Offers!!