Harness the Web to Sell Your HomeWritten by Jacqui O'Brien
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Take your photos Use a digital camera to take your pictures if at all possible. You can take prints and scan them but there is always a loss of quality. Photograph front of your house and all best features, nicest rooms, best corner of garden, great view if you have one. Take loads. Now choose only best few pictures and make image sizes as small as possible. If your image manipulation software allows you to optimise for web, do it, it makes a very big difference to download times. Put it all together Now put together your main webpage. Use a simple design with a pale background, dark text and go easy on animated icons! You want people to look at your house, not be distracted by a garish design. You also want it to load fast so only put best picture of front of your house on this page. Add your written details. Put extra photos on separate pages, only a few to a page. Use informative links, for example ‘Click here for pictures of our large mature garden’ is good, ‘more pictures’ won’t invite many people to look. Give them even more! There are several websites which offer maps of UK which you can link to. Help prospective buyers find you easily by adding this to your page. If you know a bit about technical drawing you could make your own floor plans and include them in website – this would be a real bonus as they are still quite unusual. Finally if you are a wizard with a video camera you could have a go at making your own virtual tour. Finally, add your contact details Now include your phone number and an email address. You may want to use a free ‘disposable’ email address for this, because putting your email address on web will tend to attract spam. Alternatively there are many websites that will produce a scrambled version of your email address which will work perfectly but cannot be read by spammers. Now all you need to do is upload your website. You can submit website to search engines and don’t forget to include website address (URL) with your emails, flyers, newspaper advertisements, on your ‘For Sale’ sign, and link to it from FSBO websites.
Jacqui O’Brien is the owner of A Home of my Own, the directory of UK Private Seller property websites where you can also list your own home webpage for free
Succession Planning: Problems Getting StartedWritten by Dr. Michael A. S. Guth, Ph.D., J.D.
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Succession planning would not be needed if owner intended to wind down operations upon his retirement, but only 4% of Canadian small and medium businesses that responded to CFIB plan to close down their firms. The response from American small business owners would probably be similar. Yet without adequate succession planning, firms could be in disarray upon owners’ retirement and unfortunately businesses might fade away.
Inevitably, succession planning forces many owners to agonize over whether to pass on their business to family, employees, or a private buyer. They also worry about selling at right price and finding a buyer who will treat business and staff well. All of this planning occurs at a time when they are considering retirement and other changes in their life that will occur when they are no longer running a business. As a rule of thumb, business should start developing a succession plan at least five years before owner hopes to step aside or as soon as corporation acquires capital assets with significant value. It can take up to two years to sell a small business.
About 30 per cent of successions feature previous owner advancing a loan or seller financing to buyer, because small business bank loans are difficult to get from a bank. When there are no family members interested, small business owners should consider handling their succession through life insurance. But few small and medium business owners have that kind of foresight.
Dr. Michael A. S. Guth, Ph.D., J.D., is a risk management consultant and practicing attorney at law based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He specializes in developing investment strategies and strategic plans for small and medium-sized companies.He can be reached through web page http://riskmgmt.biz/economist.htm