Choosing a Realtor – Tips to Help You Choose a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Having a Hard Time Choosing a Realtor?

Choosing a Realtor when selling a house can get confusing and difficult especially taking into account the fact that there seems to be as many real estate agents trying to get your business as there are houses. Okay that may not be at all true but you get the picture.

There will be so many real estate agents promising you the stars whilst charging fees that vary wildly. One has to learn to pick the best one that not only will find you the buyer who is willing to purchase your house at the best price but also the one whom you can trust and work well with.

Follow These Tips to Choose a Realtor That Is Right For You

Always Ask For References – Don’t be so confident about your ability to judge a person’s character. If the agent is really good then ask him or her for references on recent sales. Contact those references and let them narrate to you their experience with the agent. Chances are if there are negative reviews, comments, or complaints about the Realtor then you would know about it soon enough. 

Cheaper Is Not Always Better – Do not always go for the real estate agent who charges the lowest commission. Realtors and real estate companies often shoulder the cost of listing and marketing your house to potential buyers. A huge pay-cut in commission may mean at the very least a listing in the open market but very little assistance and effort from the agent beyond that. Also, a relatively higher incentive will motivate your agent to drop everything and hurdle any challenges that may come his or her way. Simply put, you will get what you pay for.

Benefits Of Choosing Wisely – Another thing to consider is that in a selling transaction two real estate agents are often involved in every sale. Often times, it is a practice by the real estate agents to cede fees to the buyer’s agent. If commissions for your agent is tight then he or she might not be willing to cede fees to buyers’ agent thereby decreasing the chances of a completed sale.

Real Estate Agent Tips

Few felt the financially tragic effects of our economic collapse in a way similar to commission-based real estate agents. Many aim to endure the economic storm with hopes of brighter days to come; however, if agents ignore the market shifts, the sun may never shine again. Changes are many and all of different origin, some direct and others indirect; regardless, time to assess what has happened, forecasting what is to come. In doing so, agents will understand the new dynamics, increasing the ability to flourish in the new real estate climate.

Let’s begin with legislative changes and progress to shifts in consumer mentality. After reviewing both, we will analyze what adjustments in your approach to business are necessary to survival, and moreover, how to take profitable advantage of the situation. The financial overhaul bill (that passed through the senate on July 15th) carries with it a regulation preventing banks from acquiring Credit Default Swaps for mortgages. CDS’s are used to protect banks from default on loans. The protection once allowed banks to provide mortgages to more people with less risk. Next, the new Consumer Protection Financial Bureau will oversee mortgage bonds and examine banks. Our mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who are responsible for 90% of American mortgages, will undergo restructuring, including increased regulation. The government threatens to break apart companies of great size who influence bank lending in some fashion. Do not be misled by the apparent simplicity of these regulations, as the results carry deep influence, penetrating the entire economy.

Since 2007, the state of our economy has crippled and struck fear into the hearts of many Americans, stimulating action from our elected officials. Individuals superficially recognize the steps leading up to our economic misfortune, though a general lack of profound understanding blinds most from recognizing and predicting what such drastic changes will do to consumption spending in our real estate market. Also, there is a heightened fear of home purchase, as many of the players on the way to acquiring a mortgage have been exposed as untrustworthy. All things considered, mortgages will now be much harder to acquire, while Americans are hesitant to buy. The buyers market will be a mere fraction of its previous self.

The turmoil has left real estate sales people caught in limbo, expecting the market to pick up at any minute. However, these new regulations will prevent a quick pickup, regardless of low prices and interest rates. Furthermore, the liquidity in real estate will dissipate. Why? Limiting the actions of Fannie and Freddie constrain the secondary market of mortgages, diminishing a large portion of mortgage activity. Next, removing Credit Default Swaps will force banks to decline individuals who seek mortgage funding – the same individuals who, in the past, would not be concerned with potential rejection. Combined, the effects will reduce the number of loans available to the public AND eliminate the majority of house shoppers, leaving few people with the means, capacity, and willingness to purchase real estate. Regardless, many houses are for sale, and they will eventually be sold. Also, everyone needs a place to live, regardless of mortgage availability. Now that we, in general, see the current and future changes, it is time for my friends, the real estate agents, to capitalize.

Lets rationalize. Loans, for those who can get them, are very inexpensive thanks to the extremely low interest rates. Property is priced very low (thanks to lack of demand), though few can access enough cash to buy. I warn you, DO NOT just blindly expect the market to pick up naturally. Furthermore, when it does pick up, nothing will be the same.

Who are the future buyers?

Cash-rich individuals or companies with strong financial histories will dominate property purchase. The new regulations are designed with a common goal – eliminating risky mortgages to risky borrowers. Expect property purchase primarily from investors. More specifically, investors will dominate the market, as they have the cash to take advantage of low interest rates. Furthermore income property will dominate investment purchase. Investing to “flip” property will no longer be a profitable endeavor, as it will be difficult to find buyers to flip the house to, considering the reduction of the buyers market. Also, houses will trade hands less frequently, so the opportunity to consistently earn commission on sale may fade. Lastly, those unable to qualify for loan will likely become part of the renting population – income property will take over the market! Remember, it’s income property investors who will buy, and renting will increase. Use these forecasts to your advantage.

How to appeal to future buyers

The houses for sale now will eventually sell, though not often, as the loss of real estate liquidity will pit agents against one another in the battle for the dwindling number of listings. In addition, finding buyers will take more time, meaning greater delay between paychecks. Regardless, the easiest sale will be to income property investors.

I suggest situating yourself in an area with a strong renters market – housing statistics are available online for every U.S. city. Find cities close by with many renters. Personally, I suggest areas surrounding colleges and universities, as rental demand rarely declines. Highlight your property listings with the most desirable cash flows. You will serve yourself well to learn to value cash flows with varying rent and occupancy levels. Next, you should learn of the best options to acquire appropriate financing for buyers. The financing terms are critical to ensuring a profitable investment, and if you provide investors with all the info necessary to succeed, chances of sale will skyrocket.

Market your units/houses with detail regarding the cash flows: probable rent, average rent in the area, property taxes, HOA dues, capitalization rate (if done properly) etc. Also, investors are not always located in your area, so advertise online by making your own website and blog, cross promoting with other real estate blogs or investment websites.

Add new activity to your business

It is time to begin managing properties for your investors, for multiple reasons. Firstly, houses simply will not turn over at the rate they once did, leaving you with fewer commission opportunities. Secondly, if your primary clients are investors, the opportunity to manage the purchased property will likely present itself… frequently. Take advantage! With the added income from managed properties, no longer will you claw for sales, desperate for commission checks. Naturally, you will face added competition from real estate agents with the same idea, but provide a competitive advantage by streamlining your management business – use online software. Property management seemingly missed the technological revolution, stubbornly maintaining archaic methods of collecting payment and handling tenant relations. Lower your service fees with increased efficiency. Handle all tenant relations online, and manage your rentals from any locale. Live a good life!

This message is not intended as a means to relish in bad news; the intent is to provide a heads up to those agents still waiting for the old way of operation to suddenly click once again. New laws will not allow your business to operate as it once did, so stay ahead of the game, and take advantage of the recent and upcoming shifts in Planet Real Estate. Rentals, rentals, rentals! That’s what it’s all about now, so make sure to adjust your sales techniques and your daily activity, or be a casualty of this economic battle. This is not a guess or a wild attempt to predict the future – it’s the law. Heed my advice, and, again, live a good life.

Tips For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

If you are buying a home, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. A good real estate agent can help ensure that you are notified of homes that meet all your criteria. A good agent will also answer your questions and will walk you through the buying process, which is an invaluable service for first-time homebuyers. Despite all this, most buyers choose their agent in a completely haphazard way, simply falling into a relationship with the first real estate agent they encounter. A much better strategy is to do some sleuthing to uncover the agent who will truly help you find that perfect property. You can find the right professional by:

1) Interviewing candidates. It may seem like a lot of work, but comparing different real estate agents from different agencies can quickly show you which agents you respond best to and which ones seem to offer the best service. Interviews also allow you to assess experience, education, and other factors important in a good real estate agent.

2) Checking qualifications and sales. Look for a real estate agent who has some experience and has been on the job long enough to have expertise in the area. Ideally, you want someone who has worked as an agent for years in the same area and has an impressive sales record. In every community, you will generally find a few agents who perform very well because they know what they are doing and are good at what they do. Look for these agents and check to make sure that no complaints have been filed about them with the State Board of Realtors.

3) Lining up personalities. Buying real estate is highly emotional, so it is important to find someone you are compatible with. Look for a real estate agent you can really communicate with. If your personalities do not match, you may feel that your real estate agent is not doing enough for you and your real estate agent may get frustrated that you are not placing any bids. Find someone that registers a high comfort level with you and you can avoid these problems.

4) Making sure that your real estate agent is creative. Your agent will use the Multiple Listing Service (M.L.S.) to find homes, but he or she should also use their knowledge, contacts and experience to find homes that match your needs. You don’t want someone who can simply run simplistic searches you can run yourself from home.

5) Ensuring that your agent knows the area. A real estate agent who knows the area where you hope to buy can help you understand what is available and at what prices.

6) Checking customer service before you enter into a relationship. Real estate agents are busy people, but they should still be able to offer you good care. Your phone calls should be returned, your concerns should be addressed and you should be able to contact your real estate agent when you need to. If your agent uses an assistant, you need to ensure that it is the real estate agent themselves who will handle all work with contracts as well as the closing. That is what you are paying your real estate agent for. Stay away from agents who seem distracted, disorganized, and are not able to interact with you personally. You may find that your home buying experience suffers with these sort of agents.

The good news is that there are plenty of terrific, highly qualified real estate agents out there. Now that you know what to look for, you can hunt them up and have superlative help when it is time for you to buy property.

Are You A New Real Estate Agent? Tips to Keep You Growing

Beginning a new career as a real estate agent can be stressful, overwhelming and sometimes even intimidating. There are so many things that happen all at once; brokerage classes, preparing marketing materials, drawing up a business plan, selecting vendors and more. Here a few real estate agent tips to help guide new agents like yourself through the beginning steps of becoming a successful agent.

1. It’s OK to Start Small.

When you’re new to any project, it’s tempting to daydream about what your future successful business will look like. Then you’ll want to spend thousands of dollars to get a high end website and blog, all the glossy advertising you can manage and any other costly gimmick you think will benefit your business. The trouble is hard work and advertising alone won’t make you successful. Just like any other business, cash flow is the most critical component to success in the start up years. 

Plan for success to take longer than you expect and give yourself a margin of error. Consider the less expensive options for your start up needs and gradually work your way up to the premium items you would like further down the road. Resist the urge to overextend your finances or you may find that all the great real estate tips on the web are no help as your brand new business sinks in red ink. 

2. Hire a Coach or Find a Knowledgeable Mentor.

Nothing can replace the value of actual hands on experience gained from sitting in on a listing presentation with a successful veteran. Watching and learning from an experienced agent is one of the most valuable real estate agent tips you can get if you re just starting out. Consider working as an assistant to someone you respect and admire. And learn how to model your own practice on theirs. This will save you countless hours of missteps and years of bad decisions made in ignorance.

It would be foolish for your first experience with a listing presentation to be one in which you are the presenter. Those opportunities are too scarce and far too competitive to waste on your inexperience. Find a reputable and longstanding professional and follow their lead.

3. Be Doing From Day One.

This is the most practical of today’s real estate agent tips. It’s so easy in the early phase to plan and dream of success rather than actually doing anything. But if you jump in and get hands on experience as soon as possible you will fair much better. Call your friends and family members and let them know you’re in the real estate business. They’ll want to work with you because of the relationship that already exists, and they can be a wealth of referrals. 

The fact is that calling is hard–even to people you know. The sooner you start making calls, the faster you’ll become comfortable with them.

Hopefully these top three real estate agent tips for new agents are helpful. There is much more in depth information out there, but keeping these three at the top of your priorities will certainly help guide you along the way.

Tips to Hire a Commercial Real Estate Agent

If you don’t want to handle your relocation project or commercial lease renewal yourself, you can go to a commercial real estate agent. All you have to do is choose the right professional for your needs. Given below are 6 things you may want to consider during your evaluation. Read on.

Likability

A relocation or lease renewal is similar to a construction project. The difference is that it takes a bit longer than expected. So, it’s a good idea to go with someone who you like. This way you will enjoy throughout your journey and the process of negotiation may also go well.

Trust

Make sure the professional agent that you are going to hire can be trusted. It may be difficult to find out who can be trusted but it can be done during the interview. By asking a few relevant questions during the interview, you can get a pretty good idea as if they are trustworthy or not.

Conflicts of Interest

What does a conflict occurs? Actually, the conflict may occur when you go with an agent who already is a representative of many property owners in the same area. Now, the agent wants to serve you despite that the fact that they have given their word to the property owners that they will find a way to earn them the highest rate of rent possible. So, you may want to get a clear idea of the conflict severity and its importance for you.

Experience

Experience of the agent is of utmost importance as far as choosing the best professional is concerned. Ideally, it’s a good idea to go with a commercial real estate agent who has over 10 years of experience in the field. Their grey hair may be a sign that they have been in this business for years. You can ask about their experience during the interview.

Age

Age of the professional should not be taken as an evidence of their experience in the field. The million dollar question is how long have they been actively involved in the business. You need to keep in mind that commercial real estate is on the list of those businesses that people do part time. So, make sure you choose a professional who has been working full time as an agent. What matters is experience not the age of the agent. After all, age is just a number.

Specialization

Typically agents specialize in two ways. They can do it by industry vertical or location. As far as importance is concerned, location specialization carries more weight. An agent with location specialization has a pretty good idea of what is happening in the market. They know about the best deals and best property owners. Aside from this, their negotiation style is pretty impressive.

Long story short, if you have been thinking of hiring the services of the best commercial real estate agent, we suggest that you take these factors into consideration. This will help you choose the best service provider.

Finding The Perfect Apartment With Real Estate Locators

It can take one a lot of time to find a good apartment. Especially if you use normal methods when it comes to searching for a place (using the ads in the newspapers can be difficult). This technique might turn out to be extremely useless and time-consuming, having no results. Thus, in order to make all your searches easier, make sure you use wisely the assistance provided to you by an apartment locator.

Among the types of apartment locators that you can utilize is the one involving technology. Taking into account that the Internet is starting to bring incredible benefits, the number of landlords who prefer to use the technology to connect with possible clients has increased radically. As a result, lots of apartment locators have personal sites.

When visiting a site of this type, you will be required to fill in an online form. You will not be asked to insert your personal information (SSN or even name). However, the form will require you to offer information related to the kind of apartment you want. Depending on the type of site used, you will get instant results which display all the offers that respond to your demands. In order cases, you might be asked for your email address or your number. This way the info will be communicated to you directly and without any problem.

Normally, the people who want your number or email address are looking to add you as their client and to reach you in the easiest way possible. If you do not like this, try to avoid sites of this type. However, this means that your options in terms of choosing your apartment might reduce substantially.

If technology is not for you or you only like to work with a person than with some piece of blank form, you can choose the idea of the getting an apartment locator in a human form. This might be a fantastic option for you, so think it through. You can also accept the help of a real estate agent or a broker when it comes to discovering the right apartment.

A realtor will deal with properties every single day so they will know everything in terms of apartment listings. Not to mention that a real estate agent can offer you vital information regarding the neighborhood and its issues. Not to mention that it will manage to answer all your questions, giving you valuable insights when it comes to finding the proper apartment.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose a human or a modern apartment locator. One thing to remember is not to offer any financial info about you. This applies especially when you are looking for an apartment on the Internet, because it is easier to be scammed online than in person. Keep in mind that the idea of utilizing an apartment locator is only to create a connection between you and landlords that offer apartments suitable for your needs. So try leaving other aspects to your landlord, rather than talking about your personal info with everyone.

Renting an apartment is not as complicated as purchasing a house, that is for sure, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need something that suits you. Search thoroughly and find the locator that is capable of offering you great assistance.

Real Estate Training Guide – How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

Real estate training is essential for the people who want to become a successful real estate broker. It helps them to learn all about real estate business. Real estate business requires some time, some basic knowledge of the business and skill to perform all transactions. Real estate business will be one of the good carriers for a hard working person. Real estate training suggests them all the ways to achieve their goals.

License is the basic requirement to become a real estate agent. Even it is an essential thing to conduct real estate business. Real estate Internet is the best option to join real estate business. Some states provide online training courses that will help you to complete pre-license requirements. Before joining real estate business people should satisfy some pre-license requirements. They should; be of at least 19 years, be managed a proctored exam, have high school diploma or some equivalent to it, pass a state exam, have completed a least approved course.

Generally real estate training gives some guidelines to understand some real estate basics. They can easily learn about ownership transfer, real estate law and math with the help of real estate training. They are taught how to deal to with real estate transactions during their course. Real estate training enables them to understand the tips and tricks of the real estate contracts. People who want to join some state approved courses should have initial license.

Anyone can be a successful real estate agent after completing real estate training. They can run a successful business only if they have great professional habits, good salesmanship and the enthusiasm to learn more about real estate. Real estate business requires great working skill.

People can learn about real estate business with some related books. They can also join some online courses that provide information via Internet. Nowadays several people are making money in real estate business. Real estate brokers should be kind, knowledgeable, efficient as well as trustworthy. They should know the skill how to attract more customers. They can also take some suggestion from the experienced real estate agents.

Real estate business may be wonderful business but only thing that it requires -real estate training.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Technology Tips and Tools You Must Have to Succeed Today

In commercial real estate you will need some technology tools to assist your progress in commercial property sales and leasing. When used fully and correctly they will drive more opportunity towards you and help you keep it under control.

At the bare minimum in today’s commercial property market you should be able to work with all of the following:

  • Mobile smartphone with your personal diary and database
  • Computer for presentations and property information
  • Database that is easy to use and comprehensively captures the enquiry
  • Website that promotes your listings and your business
  • SMS technology for sending messages to clients and prospects of new listings and updates
  • Email contact and the use of attachments such as brochures and flyers
  • PDF documentation and formatting of promotional material
  • Creation of adverts and marketing material on your computer
  • HTML email that updates all your contacts of recent listings
  • Auto responders for automated contact via email
  • Internet placement of advertised properties
  • Use of word processing for reports and information memorandums

Some salespeople will have a PA to do this work for them and that is fine; it is the fact that you or someone working for you is doing it that really matters.

Presentational and communication tools today are part of business in commercial property. If you use the tools to their fullest capability then your market and the prospects around you will see it.

So let’s add a few extra technology tools to the process now that you may not use. They have something to do with the internet and they are all critical to the online profile you would like to have.

  1. Start to grow your personal profile on the internet by establishing an online community of contacts. You can do this with something like LinkedIn or similar internet based community tool. Importantly you should separate your business life and personal friends to two different sites as they are looking at you from different angles. Most professional business people will have a profile on the web that is searchable and is likely to be looked at by business prospects before or as part of business contact. Establish your profile on the internet the way you want to be seen.
  2. Establish a blog in your name so you can write short informational grabs about property industry trends in your area on a regular basis. Everything you write should be linked back to your main office website and your listings. It is remarkable how this simple regular practice will help lift your personal profile on the World Wide Web as long as you do it regularly.
  3. Write short online articles about commercial real estate and publish them to a recognised internet articles directory on a regular basis. There are some very good article directories on the web and many of them take articles on commercial real estate. That is where you need to go to write about things of interest in commercial investment property. Each article you write should be linked back to your website and personal profile. It is the link back to your site that is really critical to your branding and internet profile.

These extra 3 things will assist your profile on the largest and most important part of the promotional stage in commercial property; the internet. More than ever before the internet and your profile in it will be essential to your success and image in your market. Get ahead of your competition and start the 3 extra processes above before they do.

How to Find a Los Angeles Low Commission Real Estate Agent

Have you recently decided to sell your home? If you have sold a home before, you are likely to know the expenses associated with doing so. If you have never sold a home before then you are about to find out. That is unless you make the decision to obtain the services of a low commission real estate agent. Los Angeles residents have reported success with using their services and you could to.

If you are unfamiliar with real estate agents, you may be wondering exactly what a low commission real estate agent is. In the Los Angeles area, a large number of real estate agents retain their fees from a percentage of a home’s sale. This percentage is often referred to as commission. The commission obtained by local real estate agents is likely to vary.

If you were to contact a number of local real estate agents you would find that some charge a commission as high as five or six percent. Does this sound like a large percentage to you? If it does, you are right. Those individuals cannot be classified as low commission real estate agents. An agent charging one or even two perfect can be classified as a low commission real estate agent. Los Angeles residents, to save money on the sale of their home, are encouraged to find these agents.

Searching for a low commission real estate agent is similar to searching for a traditional real estate agent. You can use a local Los Angeles phone book to find a number of local real estate agents. It is important to note that phone books are limited on the amount of information they provide. If you are interested in determining whether or not a real estate agent can be considered a low commission agent, you will have to contact that agent directly.

In addition to using a local Los Angeles phone book, you can also use the internet to find a low commission real estate agent. Los Angeles residents, including yourself, can use online business directories or online real estate resources. Each of these resources are likely to point you in the direction of a low commission real estate agent. Los Angeles residents can also perform a standard internet search. That search is also likely to produce the same type of results.

Many low commission realtors offer services that are similar to full priced real estate agents. To determine the difference in services, you are encouraged to speak directly with a low commission real estate agent. Los Angeles homeowners have been profiting from the sale of their home with discounted agents and so can you.

Why You Should Hire a Realtor

There is so much information out there, especially with the internet. Many people may think getting a real estate agent is not really a requirement. There are some people who choose to sell their homes through the internet using advertising channels as well as regular channels. As much as this works for some people, some fail miserably without representation. There are many reasons why you need a real estate agent working with you and they include:

Experience and education

When you choose a professional realtor, you will not have to know all there is to know about selling and buying in real estate. Finding the right person is a must. They will know more about how to negotiate and at the end of the day, you will get the best price regardless of whether you are buying or selling.

An agent will cushion you

When it comes to property showings, there is lots of spam involved. When you are buying a new home, the agent will keep the agents at bay and therefore you will not be lied to or misled. The agent will filter phone calls if you are selling. He or she will try as much as possible to get someone who is seriously making an offer.

Knowledge of the surrounding areas

Agents have a great knowledge, especially when it comes to neighborhoods. They can give you detailed information about an area that you are interested in. This is the only way you can make comparisons and decide on where to invest. You can inquire about schools, demographics, or even crime. If they don’t know too much about a place, they know the best places where they can get the buzz from.

Guidance on price

Many people think that an agent sets the property price, but this is far from it. An agent usually guides the clients to make good choices. When the listing is at say 7 percent, then the agent has got 7 percent interest in the sale while the client stands at 93 percent. The selling agents usually ask buyers to consider all the data that has been supplied and then settle on a price. Based on the conditions and demands, the agent now has the task of coming up with a strategy for negotiation.

The market conditions

A real estate agent is the best person who can tell you how the market is like currently. This governs the whole buying and selling process. There are many factors that will determine what to do next. Criteria like average market days, average and median prices, costs of same homes, and ratios of the listed to the sold prices are used to determine what needs to be done.

Networking

The agents are often connected to other people on a professional level. Such people provide all the services needed. There is a legal liability that keeps an agent from recommending someone or a company over others. However, they are aware of the reputation of the vendors in terms of pricing, competency, and efficiency.

The agents can offer you some references, especially when it involves people that they have already worked with.