Sell Your Home Fast in 6 Easy Ways

November 20, 2014

In today’s real estate market, wherein demand is way lower than supply, selling your house at a lower price is a sound option. However, there are more ways than one to make your house catch a buyer’s attention without having to slash your price down. Here are other options you might want to look into.

Be Different from the Neighbors

You can make your home stand out by adding custom design such as top grade windows, installing a new roof, or even landscaping. This can easily enhance your home’s aesthetics and potentially add value to your home. Make sure the improvements are practical and employ designs and colors that will most likely be appealing to any buyer. Adding a patio or deck beside to a swimming pool would make a good example.

Clear the Mess

It is important to get ride of all the jumble from your home before inviting potential buyers over because they will be unable   to imagine themselves in a space with all sorts of unnecessary items in there. This can include having to remove a few furniture pieces, photographs, and other personal items to make the rooms look and appear spacious. You may also consider getting a person to help stage your home to assist you in making use of that space. Doing so will defiantly be costly, but a lot of people say staging can help the home be more sell-able.

Add More Value to the Deal

One more technique that will make that home more memorable and attractive to prospective buyers; offer terms or things that would make them feel they are getting a sweet deal. Offer a few thousand dollars worth of credit to cover closing costs, and even pay the cost altogether. In this sluggish market, buyers will gravitate towards the best deal they can get.

Home warranties covering appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioners are transferable, and you can throw that into the deal. Other gadgets and home appliances may also be covered depending on the coverage, and a potential buyer would feel more at ease moving in knowing their appliances are somehow protected.

Improve the Curb Look

Most sellers often forget how importance of the home’s curb would look to buyers. Your home’s external look and how it blends in nicely with the surrounding neighborhood is the first thing buyers will see. Paint the exterior with a new coat, manicure the lawns and bushes. Appearances matter a lot in the real estate business, and making your home beautiful at first look will surely set it apart from others.

The Move in State

We are in agreement when we say aesthetics are essential, but also make sure that appliances, plumbing and electrical fixtures are in working condition and building codes compliant. Again, we can the buyers to gain the idea that they can readily move in without having to spend more money fixing broken things in their new house.

Price It Right

All that renovating and stating won’t really matter if your home in not price appropriately. You can easily talk to an experienced real estate professional, search one forums, or read the newspaper to nail down pricing concerns. Getting real estate agents and friends to your the home is also a great way to get a grasp on how much you can sell your home. Keep in mind though, that having a low price tag on your home with all those improvement made on it may put you in a disadvantage; make sure you get a fair assessment of how much your home should sell for.


Demand Increasing For Moving Services

November 17, 2014

The employment situation in the United States continues to improve, which is spurring some changes in the demographic situation of certain cities. As the employment outlook continues to improve people are leaving their current jobs to shift towards other employment perhaps in different areas. Part of shifting employment generally means that you are going to need to move to a new location. That’s where the moving companies are there to help.

Moving companies are designed to help you achieve exceptional service, quality, and value for all your moving needs. Your possessions are likely extremely valuable to you, and possibly some have value that you would consider priceless. For this reason it is extremely important to ensure that you fire the right company for your move. Be sure to hire a company that will make sure your move is organized, timely, cost effective, and most important of all, safe and reliable.

Many of the top moving companies will offer their clients a variety of different services. Most top moving companies will offer services for households, corporations and businesses, international moving services, logistics, and storage services. Many of the top companies will also offer you tracking services for your move, so you can rest assured and keep track of where your shipment is throughout its path. Keeping an eye on your prized possessions will provide peace of mind during what can be a stressful time in your life otherwise.

Packing options are also available from most reliable moving companies. Typical options for packing includes full service packing, fragile only packing, or of course the option to pack everything yourself.  This comes down to a level of convenience that you want versus cost. Of course full service packing is the most expensive, but also the least labor for you. Self packing would provide a cost savings, but also a lot more work to carry on your own. By allowing the moving company to pack your belongings you are also ensuring that your items are going to be packed properly bu professions who have shipped thousands of packages previously and know how to protect their cargo.

In conclusion, moving companies can really simplify you life when you decide to make a move. Although switching jobs or moving out of the area can be a stressful time, moving companies can really alleviate much of that stress.


Real Estate Timing by Alan Korber

November 10, 2014

When is the best time to buy in real estate? When buying real estate for investment, smart money does not buy at, or near, the top of the market. Smart money buys real estate at, or near, the bottom of the market.

Historically, real estate often runs in cycles of approximately 7-10 years. Real estate often goes up (sometimes dramatically) for several years, tops out, goes down from several years, hits bottom and then starts going up again, beginning another 7-10 year cycle. It’s a bell curve. When you are considering investing in real estate, you can simply figure out where you are on that 7-10 year bell curve and that can tell you in what direction real estate values are likely to go, and for how long.

(Note: this is the average historical method and does not take into account prolonged or dramatic upward or downward sings or bubbles and crashes)

If you are investing in real estate for a relatively short term gain (such as 3-years) and you buy at or near the top you could see the value of your real estate go down and you would historically have to wait about 7-10 years to see it regain its value and/or establish new highs. If, on the other hand, you are buying real estate to hold it for a long period of time (such as 20 years or more) you need not generally be overly concerned with these up and down 7-10 year cycles.

For real estate investment timing:

  1. Try to buy at the low end of the current 7-10 year cycle
  2. Try to sell at the high end of the 7-10 year cycle
  3. If you are in the wrong part of the current cycle and can wait, a little patience can pay off handsomely
  4. Real estate is not highly liquid investment; getting in and getting out takes times
  5. In a real estate bubble or crash it’s better to be safe than sorry
  6. New York and California real estate often does not conform to the typical cycle. They pretty much defy all timing and logic

Alan Korber is a real estate investor with over 25 years of professional experience who wisely diversifies into other investments. He is the creator and publisher of the Korber Strategy, a simple and successful stock market investment strategy.


Real Estate Terms Your Clients Don’t Understand

October 28, 2014

When a transaction tanks, there is usually one common culprit to blame: miscommunication. Too often clients and customers trade in lingo they don’t actually understand. While you may be telling them the truth, it’s going over their heads and pointing you towards transaction disaster.

In hopes of helping you avoid the derailed deal during this year’s “make it or break it” market season, here are five terms to go over early to avoid a negative review or, even worse, a deal gone down the drain.

Good faith Estimate

In a dream world, there are no surprises on the way to closing. Here on planet earth, anything can change at any time. A frequent stress point where clients get caught in the cross-hairs of the sometimes inevitable is the Good Faith Estimate.

Most clients see and save towards this magic number that tells them what they’ll need ti close. However, make sure your buyers pay attention to the last word in Good Faith Estimate. These “estimates” can vary drastically when it comes to closing time, and they should probably save with padding in mind to make sure their deal doesn’t fall apart at the end of the road.

Preapproval

Too often clients think that their preapproval is as good as money in hand. Yes, it foes give them permission to shop, but they need to be aware that changes in their habits or the market can affect their ability to close. Most people know not to buy a car while shopping for a home, but they may not be thinking about closing rhe deal fast to avoid getting caught on the downside of lending standard or market value changes. They need you to make it clear that they don’t have the loan until they’ve closed, and that means both being conservative with their credit and time.

The “Comp”

On the seller’s side, the most common catchphrase that trips your clients up is the almighty “comp.” A “comp” is one comparable property; and yes, they are helpful when it comes to pricing.

You clients, however, need to understand the difference between the comp and a comparative market analysis (CMA). Your CMA take into account a number of factors, and if you don’t take the time to explain them properly, you client will lean on sites like Trulia or Google as an authority for pricing advice.

When you recommend a pricing strategy, show clients what road you traveled to get there. They’re much less likely to challenge your recommended price.

MLS

In the mind of many seller clients, the MLS is a magic place where properties go to get sold. You know that a ton more goes into marketing.  To make sure clients don’t misunderstand what a multiple listing service is, show them your entire property marketing plan. This has two major benefits. One, you keep them from sounding like a dunce. Second, you prove your value by showing them all of the resources and tools you use to move their home.

Agent

The fact is that most people hire an gent without having a clue as to what agents actually do. If you let your clients get this wrong, you risk both the deal and your reputation.

There’s a lot of conversation around whether or not agents earn their commissions. Showing off things like your marketing plan, positive recommendations and reviews, and other resources that break down what you do in your listing or buyer presentations can go a long way.


Dealing With Unpleasant Negotiators

October 8, 2014

Selling your house yourself can be intimidating if you’re doing it for the first time. Here’s how to deal with unpleasant neighbors.

Sometimes you encounter someone who is not going to be happy unless he maneuvers you into accepting less than your home is worth or doing things for his benefit that are unreasonable. Then what? Well, first let’s discuss the most common forms these type of people take and what to do with them.

One frequent form the unpleasant negotiator takes is the person who tried to intimidate you and disparage your property. Red flags should go up if someone works hard at trying to get you on the defensive. I’m not talking about an occasional negative remark. What I’m talking about is a whole string of them and the attitude that goes with it. Even if it’s cloaked in the appearance of classic good manners and charm.

The second form an unpleasant negotiator can take is called the “nibbler.” You think negotiations are over and the two of you have come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Then at various points as you progress toward completion of the sales process, the other person starts to “nibble.” They usually pretend they had no idea that the carpet needed attention, or the roof needs replacing, etc, and use that as an excuse to change things. this process can and does continue tight up the point the deal falls apart, whichever comes first.

There is a civilized way to cope with these people. Don’t hop into doing it until you really feel it is a nibble or you could become a nasty negotiator yourself. However, a nibble can be dealt with by inquiring blandly, “If I do that for you, will you do “fill-in-the-blank” for me?” Your goal is to convey to the nibbler that each successful nibble will cost him something. Make it something significantly relative to the nibble request.

If you think fast on your feet, you can always say, “I’ll get back to you on that.” Do not allow yourself to be rushed if you think best when you mull things over. Stay calm and thoughtful. No one can force you to make a sale or purchase that’s not in your best interest. Keep evaluating the situation, and stay open to the possibility that you may need tot walk away until the sale is complete. That way you won’t force yourself to do what’s not in your best interest either. It’s not easy, but it’s very simple. Stay in control of yourself.

The Walk-Away Secret 

Be willing to walk away if the if the personal is being unreasonable and you’re unwilling to meet their demands in order to make the sale. There is power in being willing to walk away from negotiators and is one of the strongest negotiating skills. It doesn’t require being mean and nasty. However, what it does require is that you not consider your home sold (or bought, for that matter) until all negotiations are really over.

Think about it. You put yourself in a “losing posture” with a nasty negotiator the moment you emotionally consider you house sold. So long as you’r willing to walk away, you have the power that is as strong as the buyer’s wish to buy. If such a “deal: blows up, so be it. You weren’t going to get what you wanted from it anyway.


Checklist for Buying a Home

September 29, 2014

Even if you do get a home inspector, look for these things yourself before buying a home. Some home inspectors don’t look for these items. Some never even go into the house. Here is a checklist you should always look over before buying a home.

Mold Test 

The number one problem faced by new homeowners is mold. You read about it in the news. Every week I get a call from an attorney gathering info for a lawsuit against a home seller and their real estate agent. the topic is always mold. You can get inexpensive mold test kits online or in home improvement stores.

Gutters

The number one cause of mold in a home is improperly installed or damaged gutters. They allow water to pour into the walls. Water causes damaging mold to develop inside the walls. Make sure the gutters are level and not bent.

Mud on Walls

This also goes back to gutters. If the gutters are undersized, excess water pours over the edges of the gutters and onto the ground. This splashed mud against the outside walls and the excess water also seeps into the foundation of the house.

Foundation Vents

These vents are designed to let air flow through crawlspaces. This house may not have a crawlspace, but if it does, check the vents. Do they open and close? Some builders slop concrete on them and they are permanently opened or closed. Potential mold and wood rot problems can result.

Sump Pump

A sump pump is there to remove water from your basement. They are critical. If there is a sump pump it needs some water in it anyway. This standing water can lead to mold and termites. Always make sure the sump pump is up to date and working properly.

Do the attic vents work?

Is the attic hot? Just because the attic has vents this doesn’t mean they work. This is often very over-looked and causes headaches when the motors rust or burn a fuse.

Basement Walls

If you see build-up on the blocks in the basement it means there is probably long-term water problems. That build-up is minerals deposited over time by drying moisture. Not a good sign!

Water-spots on ceilings

These always hold mold. You only have 48 hours after a leak before mold begins to grow. After that drying won’t help. A LOT of people will paint over water spots, but if you look closely they are easy to spot. Be aware!

By all means, hire a home inspector, but make sure the inspector goes inside the house. This may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many don’t. Always use precautions when buying a home. Better safe than sorry!


Biggest Real Estate Investing Mistakes

September 17, 2014

It is impossible to call yourself a real estate investor if you have not made a mistake or two along the way. Sadly, most people don’t even realize the mistakes they made until after several years. If you bought a home and kept it as your primary residence for 30 years, you might not care about mistakes.If not, you will come to know about your investing mistakes sooner or later. The role of research and due diligence is of utmost importance in any real estate transaction. It is important to know your mistakes early and avoid those mistakes in the future.

Impulse Purchases

It might sound a bit odd to new investors, but impulse investing is indeed a common mistake. Once you’ve made your decision on what kind of property you’re looking for as well as the areas you’re most interested in, budget enough time to not only do your research, but to do it two or three times. Finding a deal which requires immediate action isn’t a rare situation for investors, but when you fail to achieve the required research it can turn into an investor’s nightmare. No matter how good the deal, take your time and think it through. Deals that are too good to be true often have hidden problems than can ruin your margins.

Treating Optimism and Potential as Reality 

Long gone are the days of what we might “investing on easy street.” As the market continues to change and force investors to adapt, there are still many who confuse their positive mindset with a factual reality and the mistake can turn into big trouble for them. Keep your momentum and positive mindset, but always examine investments cautiously with the worse case scenario first in your mind. Very few would be upset with earning a bigger ROI because they were conservative with their numbers; but virtually everyone would be disappointed to earn a lower ROI because they were too optimistic.

Buying Real Estate Without an Exit Plan

Investors know the importance of understanding the current real estate market, knowing the direction of the current trends, yet a very common and costly mistake is not knowing your exit plan from an investment. For many investors, buying properties in need of rehab relies on the ability to sell the property afterwards. This would be an exit plan, nut what happens if the property doesn’t sell, or problems prevent the sale from happening in a timely manner? Having your capital tied in a single investment could not only potentially kill your profit, but prevent you from being able to purchase other properties that might be available.

Location of Your Real Estate

It’s not only real estate investors that should understand the important of location. It’s what drives the real estate market and failing to research and understand the neighborhood and location of your investments can often be the death touch on some investments. Learning how to not only assess the property but also the location is what can keep investors further in the green instead of going into the red.

Potential for Converting Your Real Estate into a Rental Property 

If your spouse does not work or your job is a temporary one, make sure that there is a demand for rentals in your location. In case of an emergency, you can convert your property into a rental instead of going through a foreclosure. You can either act as a landlord, or you can fire a property management company. Many homeowners have saved their distressed homes from foreclosures by becoming accidental landlords.

The Renovation Trap

If you decide to invest in a property that either needs improvement or would benefit from some updates or upgrades, know how to estimate properly. This is especially true for beginners who have not yet gained the experience of rehabbing an older property. As the real estate market continues to improve across the country, finding great properties for flipping is increasingly harder. When and if you do choose to do so, know the metrics and ensure your estimates are conservative, so you don’t leave the deal with a loss instead of a profit.

Most people don’t learn from other people’s mistake, they often have to learn it personally, but hopefully these are some mistakes you can save yourself from making.


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