TLC’s Suggested Top 10 Questions to Ask A Realtor

Realtors can save you time, money, and a lot of stress when buying a home. With a network in the local housing industry and the tools to find out a lot of information at once, a real estate agent is an invaluable source for home buyers – particularly for first-time home buyers who will inevitably have a lot of questions about the process.

TLC recently published a list of top ten questions to ask a realtor before agreeing to work with him or her to sell your home.

1. Can I contact your references?
References are important in an industry that requires networking in order to get the best deals and be informed of the best properties.

2. Can I have a CMA for the area?
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a report that will show you what homes that are similar to yours have been listed for (and have sold for) in your area.

3. Is this area growing or declining?
Knowing if prices are rising or falling will give you an understanding of how difficult or easy it might be to make a considerable profit on your sale.

4. Do you work solo or with a team?
There are benefits and drawbacks to working with more than one agent when trying to sell your home. It’s always good to know on the front end how many people will be handling your calls, answering your questions, meeting with your potential buyers, etc.

5. How many clients are you currently representing?
This is important because you’ll know how much individual attention you and your home will receive.

6. How will you market my home?
Find out if the agent uses current marketing tools and trends, such as social networking, to market his or her listed homes.

7. How do your realtor fees work?
It is important to understand all potentially hidden costs on the front end to avoid any hassle or confusion later in the deal, after you have already signed paperwork and contracts.

8. What experience do you have?
Experience is crucial in the real estate industry. While you may have to pay less for inexperienced realtors, you should always consider whether paying less is worth his or her potential inability to sell your home due to lack of experience.

9. How will you keep me informed?
The communication process is important: how will he or she keep you informed of who is looking at your home and when?

10. What are the drawbacks to my home?
Again, this helps when attempting to form a realistic expectation of how easily it will be to sell your home – as well as how much you can reasonably expect to make from the sale.

12 Principles You Have To Stick To … When Purchasing Commercial Real Estate

AS YOU will appreciate, being able to sleep through the night is one of the primary objectives for any Commercial real estate investor.

And that’s what a great many property investors refer to as staying below your “Threshold of Insomnia”.

There may be several things which might lead you to lose sleep. One is over-borrowing; and the others are producing a poor assessment of the market place and the property itself.

Allow me to share 6 Tips about What to DO …

At all times maintain sufficient cash reserves, so that you can manage a few months’ loan payments — in the event you were to lose a tenant, or the tenant is just late in paying for some reason.And have a sharp eye on smaller things like all machinery and maintenance bills, which can easily mount up.
Make sure you have an investment strategy you’re happy with, and then stick to it. In other words, set reasonable objectives and pursue them. More goals have been missed as a result of lack of planning, than through the plan itself failing.
Buy yourself a financial calculator, or access to a good software package. And learn to use it to develop a realistic projected cash flow, on an after-tax basis.
Always keep yourself up-to-date with various developments within the current market. Be sure you keep track of what is the news and regulations affecting property; undertake training; go to workshops; and read books on Commercial property. Practical knowledge will reduce your potential risks, and boost your profit margins.
Identify and retain a top-notch group of Consultants (real estate, legal, financial, construction, etc). The money you pay these people will be more than returned to you, because of the deals they can assist you to come up with.
Wherever practical make sure your mortgages to not require you to give a personal guarantee. Consistently endeavor to make them non-recourse mortgages.

And 6 Traps You might want to AVOID …

Do not be influenced to commit a large proportion of your capital into risky opportunities. They may appear glamorous as you go in, however they are often painful on the way out.
By no means do deals on a handshake — always put them in writing, for your own protection.
Avoid entering into joint ventures, without taking thorough guidance from your advisors.
Never spend funds from the sale of one property to finance yet another, UNTIL settlement on the first one takes place. Way too many “sure deals” have an weird practice of coming unstuck.
Steer clear of loans with variable payments. You will discover way too many factors outside your control, such as a unexpected surge in interest rates. Preferably, choose a fixed- rate loan. But at worst, have a 50/50 split between a fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgage.
Avoid properties that have substantial negative cash flows (where by your costs considerably go above the income from the property).The return on money may be higher; but you can leave yourself rather exposed — much like share traders discovered, with their margin calls. Just be happy with neutral gearing; and then maximise your depreciation benefits.

How to Create a Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Real estate marketing is becoming a boom these days. This isn’t really surprising given that a lot of properties today are being sold on the market regardless of their status. Lots of people want to become a realtor but there are certain things that you need to prepare for first before becoming one. Among them is a real estate marketing plan.

The first thing you needed to do is to identify who your target market is. Is this target market a group of people or individuals with a certain economic status? It is important to identify this people because you would most likely be cutting corners to create a marketing plan that would answer their needs.

When you have already identified who they are then you can proceed with creating your objectives. It’s okay to have some main goals a few sub ones so long as the latter corresponds to your main objectives. The good thing about creating objectives is that it makes your marketing plan more focused.

As you have these two things done, the next thing for you to do is look at the real estate marketing strategy that you are thinking of using. Is it something major or can be considered as part of other possible tactics you would undertake? This would allow you to evaluate how much effort you have to devote into this plan alone.

After doing that you can already start identifying a certain timetable for your real estate marketing plan. Time is an essential thing which you can never bring back, so you need to plot your marketing schedule accordingly especially if you are supposed to meet a deadline or a profit venture.

As you have figured out the time it will take for the marketing plan to push through, you should also now begin to canvas for expenses. Aside from the plan implementation, try to see if you can do everything on your own or if you will need the help of other people to implement the plan successfully.

Then don’t forget to see what other realtors have to say about the strategy you are considering to adapt. Take time to make a research about its effectiveness so that you wouldn’t end up consider a strategy that could mean nothing but a dead end.

A clear and well-evaluated real estate marketing strategy allows you to sustain a business endeavor for more than a certain period of time. With competition becoming tighter in a business that has so much potential, you really have to prepare a good marketing strategy to carve a niche.

How To Buy Houses From Motivated Sellers In Real Estate Investing

In most real estate investing business models, motivated sellers remain the number one source of the most profitable deals. Successful real estate investing should therefore incorporate finding deals from motivated sellers and successfully closing them.

This article points out important areas you need to focus in your business.

The key sources of attracting motivated sellers are covered in a separate article. As soon as you identify a good deal, you must then secure and close the deal.

In my business, I get all my leads through my real estate investor website. Approximately half of them are submitted directly by the motivated sellers. The other half are entered by my virtual assistant who calls back motivated sellers who choose to use the phone, and she pre-screens them for me.

All the deals I receive are therefore pre-screened and pre-negotiated. I can therefore tell in a few minutes if I have a deal or not.

As soon as you identify a good deal, the next step is to make an appointment to go see the house. This is mainly because you must estimate repairs. A simple tour of 5 to 10 minutes is enough to estimate repairs.

You just need a rough estimate, you do not have to break it down to the nail.

You must make sure you sign the contract when you go to see the house – do not forget to take one with you.

You can always cancel the sale later if the numbers no longer look good.

If you like the deal, fax the contract to the title company so they can do title work for you. Always make sure you deliver or mail the earnest money to make the contract binding. Make sure that you deposit any earnest money with the title company, not with the seller.

The next steps in the process depend on your business model and what your exit strategy is:

1) Wholesale the deal If your exit strategy is to wholesale the deal to other real estate investors, this is when you market the deal to them. A good real estate investing website should also help you build a list of potential buyers automatically – then you just email your deal to them.

Once you identify the wholesale buyer, you then sign a contract with you as the seller if you plan to do a simultaneous closing. Alternatively, you can assign the contract for an assignment fee.

The title company will then do the closing and disburse all the money as agreed.

2) Lease option / Lease to own Your title company should conduct the closing if you plan to take over existing payments.

This is why it is important that you select a title company that works with real estate investors and understands various real estate investing business models.

3) Straight buy If you plan to buy fix and sell, or keep as a rental property, then this is a straight traditional transaction that any title company can close.

Other business models would follow similar steps; these 3 are just the main ones.

When all is said and done, your success in real estate investing, largely depends on the efficiency with which you pre-screen your leads, follow up with them to tie up the deal, and efficiently close the deal.

Making Real Estate Marketing Ideas Work

Real estate marketing ideas should be sustainable and applicable to a broad audience. When it comes to marketing, you never who can turn out to be a potential customer so you have to be prepared to address different types of people. Because of the immense competition among realtors these days, it’s time to put those plans and ideas into action.

Start from taking advantage of print or offline media. The smallest yet easiest way to communicate your business to other people is through business cards. You should always have one wherever you go because you never know when you can meet a potential client. When you also attend big events, you might want to look into sponsorships where you can give free swag.

Online, there are a lot of opportunities for real estate marketing ideas to prosper. Among them is through creating your own website. This is actually a must because websites provide a more convenient and cost-efficient office for you. Through a website you can reach people from all parts of the country or even the globe. Having a website would also allow you to take advantage of other online marketing ideas.

Though admittedly, it can be overwhelming to create a website immediately. You can start small and take advantage of a blog. There are different blogging platforms these days that are easy to maintain and also serve as your website in the meantime.

It is important to have a specific landing page online. This way you can also take advantage of other online marketing strategies. Among them is email marketing. This is a great way to gather specific groups of people as your clients. You can send newsletters and other viral marketing efforts through email marketing.

Social networking sites are also important when it comes to digital marketing. You should definitely take advantage of creating a Facebook page where you can showcase your professional services and other things that can help introduce you to the public.

Twitter is also a social networking site that you can use in accordance with Facebook. This is a quick way to reach your public, share new developments and important news about your business and real estate.

Real estate marketing ideas these days have gone digital. So you should learn how to use both traditional and digital means to sustain your business success.

Tips on Real Estate Flyers

Real estate flyers still have a way of reaching out to more customers. But these days, there are more ways than one to handing them out. You don’t have to stick with literally handing out these flyers from among people who pass by you. You can also take advantage of online methods when it comes to handing out your real estate flyers.

But first things first, you need to plan ahead before making the said materials. It all starts with creating your objectives. Make sure you identify who your intended recipients are. It would be best to profile them based on demographics so you can have a clearer picture of who these people should be. Creating objectives would also allow you to think about what your own business goals are.

When you already have your objectives set, it would be easier for you to create your message. Your flyers must be able to speak to your target customers in such a way that it would generate a response as well. To do this, it would become important to profile your target market so that you would know how it would be best to approach them.

Aside from the message, you should also plan the images you would place on the flyers. It would be best to use actual images of you, your colleagues, and the property you have sold or currently selling. At least your recipients would know that you mean business and this would also allow recipients to already develop an interest about the properties you currently sell.

While you may have initially developed your message, it can be a different experience when already creating your copy. It helps to pre-identify keywords that your copy ought to have so that it would be easier for you to figure out how best to speak with your target clients and current customers.

Finally, your flyers shouldn’t be sent out to people without contact information. That would totally defeat its purpose. Make sure that you have included all the professional contact information you have and double check if they have been updated.

When using traditional channels for your real estate flyers, make sure you choose a venue where your target market can be found. You should also take advantage of events wherein your target market is likely to attend.

And of course, take advantage of online distributions as well. This is where having a website becomes essential because you can use opt-in lists or email marketing to send out your real estate flyers.


Designing the interior of your home

Benefits of Selling Property Privately

Have you decided to sell your property privately without an estate agent? Are you hesitating about going ahead with it? Can it be done successfully? Yes, it can be done and it is done regularly across the UK and all over the world. It is not a complicated process as most people tend to believe and you do not need any special expertise to sell your house privately. Using the services of an estate agent does not guarantee that you will sell for a higher price than the actual value where as when you sell your home privately you can always be sure of the price that you ask for.

As a matter of fact, selling property is not that all difficult and you certainly do not need years of training to go about it. The summarized version of what you need to do is as follows. First and foremost you have to price the property competitively probably by doing a background check on the trends and price fixtures of the area that the property is on. You have to present the property well since prospective buyers will need to look at something solid and worthwhile. Next task in line is to pick a suitable marketing option since there are many internet sites offering you similar services all over the world. Once you pick a reliable source, find a law firm that can handle the legal process of the entire transaction with ease

When selling properties privately you save thousands of pounds in estate agents fees while you can also spend less on marketing fees. More benefits of this process include taking control of the entire sale, knowing that your sale receives the attention it deserves, achieving the highest possible selling price since there are no intermediaries to interfere and also not relying on estate agents completely. For them a sale is a sale no matter what price is finally agreed upon since they get their commission in full, regardless the selling price.

However, some people still assume that using an estate agent is the easiest way to sell a property simply because they as owners lack confidence in taking responsibility while some believe that the salesmanship and wide contact base of the estate agent will get them better prospective buyers and a greater price.

The Importance Of Surveying In Land Ownership

There are many questions surrounding land surveying and its importance in the field of engineering. Civil engineers are in need of the professional work of land surveyors on a regular basis. When lines need to be drawn and precise access to be determined land surveyors are the professionals who are called upon. The job that land surveyors do is one of the most historically important positions to hold. Land lines and property boundaries are so important to our society, one based upon personal space and ownership.

What different types of land surveys are there?

This question is extremely important to when buying or selling a piece of property or home. Land boundaries are important to potential buyers. A survey of residential boundary will outline exactly where the property lines are from one corner of the property to another. This will give a general border outline for the buyer to follow. A survey of mortgage is used by lenders and professionals associated in the transaction end of a sale. This is important to determine if any improvement such as landscaping, swimming areas, driveways or such have actually encroached upon a neighbor’s yard. If this has happened it will delay the closing until rightful ownership can be determined and settled upon. A land survey is important if looking at property along a cliff or major hillside. A geological survey will help to determine the hazards associated with building in that area.

What does a land surveyor do?

It is important to note that land surveyors are professionals who need advanced education and experience to become licensed in state land surveying. A land survey engineer is the individual who actually stakes out the boundaries of property and addresses concerns within residential boundaries such as encroachment. Using historical property information and deeds, land surveyors, will map out the boundaries legally recording them for the future.

Land surveyors are extremely important when it comes to new construction, residential, commercial and industrial. Without them there would never be a clear definition of ownership which would lead to unnecessary issues between the owners of the land.

When is a land survey necessary?

In the sale of land it is recommended to always have a land survey done. This way the purchaser can know the exact amount of land being purchased and where the land is exactly. Imagine purchasing a piece of property to build a home upon and realizing once the sale is finished that the access way to your property was actually owned by another individual. Believe it or not this has happened. Never guess or assume when it comes to a purchase of this magnitude.

Another reason to do a land survey is during home improvements. It is important that homeowners respect the neighbor’s boundary lines. When it comes to adding a pool, a fire pit, deck or any improvement that moves close to another’s property have a land surveyor out to measure and ensure the improvement is not on their property. You don’t want to end up in Hatfield verse McCoy feud over a home improvement.

It is easy to see the value of land survey engineers. Simply stated they are the individuals that give legal rights to land ownership making sure what I claim to be mine is and what is your is yours saving years of feuding. Believe it or not this happened when we purchased our home. Many people had used the adjacent property as a park and entrance to the river our home sat on. After reviewing the historical records it was found that in fact the property went with the home and the owner let the community use it. With two small children that was not happening anymore and legally, thanks to our land surveyor, we could put an end to the trespassing. This actually made our neighbors love us that much more.

Selling My House Now

I want to sell my house now. It’s difficult to know what my options are in a world where realtors and their opinions seem to rule. I own a rental property that I haven’t used in quite some time. I was told that I should completely redo it in order to make it more marketable, but this is how it has always looked, and I adore its authenticity. I don’t think that changing the entirety of the rental should be my only option in terms of selling my house now. It is essential for me to sell my house now, and get the money for it quickly. I am moving to Paris, and need this money to get myself established there. Matt and Mitch Painter are ready to buy my rental, and offer me a cash quote within 24 hours, in exchange.

I am ready for this next step in my life, and would love for the moving process to move along in a way that is best for me, and also benefits the rental. I know that working with a realtor is likely going to disrupt what could be a simple set of steps. Working with two property buyers who legitimately understand my concerns is going to be a treat. Not only will I get cash for my home, but I will be treated with respect and dignity. The Painters, as natives of Cincinnati, are evolved in the real estate business, and know what I want, and what I need. In a situation such as mine, where I have a rental that I am no longer using, and need to use the money for other means, I am going to sell my house now in a way that works best for me. I will be ready and willing to accept Matt and Mitch’s cash offer because I know they know their clients in and out. They know the natives of Cincinnati who have great Cincinnati homes are ready to be given the right amount of money for houses and rentals. To sell my house now is a big step, but I know that it is the right one. Moving to Paris will also be a humongous step, but again, the right one at this point in time. I am thrilled about this new opportunity, but it does require me to sell my house now. Matt and Mitch are excited to buy my house, and are going to be sure that the cash they are offering is applicable to the condition that the rental is in. It isn’t as though it looks bad, but realtors might say that it won’t sell without spicing it up a bit. As I do not have the means to do that at this time, this will not work for me. I am going to sell my house now, and receive cash in exchange. This will help me start my new life.


natural stones boost exterior of homes

5 Common Questions Home Inspectors have for Technical Support

Even people who are very knowledgeable about computers have questions for technical support at one time or another. Home inspectors are no exception. Below are five types of questions that even the most computer savvy home inspectors may come across for their home inspection software’s technical support team.

First, home inspectors can expect to talk to technical support about installing their home inspection software. Making sure they install everything correctly is important and a home inspector will feel more comfortable if there is someone to walk them through that process. Someone in technical support should be able to quickly guide them on the install process and also provide them with any documentation that may be helpful.

Another question home inspectors will have is how they move their information from one computer to another. When you buy a new computer or device, it is important to be able to bring over all of your data from the previous computer. Home inspectors work long and hard to build their note libraries and custom templates. They do not want to lose any of that information when moving to a new computer. It is a good idea to call technical support and have them help with this. They should easily be able to walk you through the process or provide you with easy-to-read documentation on how to do so.

The third question home inspectors will have is about updates and upgrades. Before purchasing an upgrade for their software, home inspectors typically will have a few questions for technical support. These questions include, “Is there a cost?”, “What’s included with the new version?”, and “Can I import my previous data into the new version?”. These are all great questions and important to all home inspectors, especially if they are paying for a new upgrade. It is always a good idea to get as much information upfront before spending the money on a new product. This will save the home inspector from any surprises in the future.

Another common occurrence is when a home inspector has a quick question about how to use a software feature. These calls aren’t complicated and are typically short, but it is nice to know that when an inspector has a quick question they can get a quick answer. They don’t want to wait a day or two to hear back from the company especially if they are working on an inspection.

Lastly, home inspectors can expect to call technical support with questions about hardware. Maybe an inspector is in the market for a new tablet and they have some questions about how it will work with their software. Or maybe they are upgrading their laptop to the latest operating system and have a question about compatibility. The technical support team should be able to answer these questions, as well as, provide any personal experiences they have with the hardware in question. It’s smart to get these questions answered before spending a lot of money on new hardware.