July 21, 2014
The new FHA HAWK (Homeowners Armed With Knowledge) Program designed to give homebuyers a discount on the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) in exchange for them taking approved Homebuyer Education Classes has been getting a lot of attention and press. Real estate professionals and homebuyers are beginning to inquire about how to apply for the HAWK Program.
The most important major detail that many of the articles and news reports are not making very clear is that the HAWK Program has not yet landed its final approval status and IS NOT available!
HUD’s current estimate is that phase one of the four-year, four-phase program should roll out winter of 2014 or spring of 2015.
Below are the basic program details if the program rolls out without any changes to the current program proposal: Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2014
When a Broker represents both the buyer and seller in the same transaction, there is the potential for Dual Agency to exist. More specifically, dual agency is created based on the involvement of the affiliated licensees of the broker.
When the buyer and seller are represented by the same broker, but different licensees respectively, the relationship is known as a Designated Agency Relationship. In the event there’s only one sales associate involved in the transaction and the brokerage only represents one party, there’s no risk of dual or designated agency.
There’s a common misperception that exists in the industry: If I sell my own listing, it’s always dual agency. This is simply not always the case. You can sell your own listings and not be in a dual agency situation. When selling your own listing, a dual agency scenario is based on there being a BBA with the buyer (with you as the agent) in addition to the Sellers Listing agreement signed (with you as the agent). Read the rest of this entry »
July 7, 2014
Many homebuyers are seeking a loan with very little down payment. If they aren’t eligible for a 100% VA or USDA loan, they have two choices: FHA with 3.5% down payment or Conventional with 5% down payment. Determining which is best can be challenging. There are pros and cons to both loan types.
Most people have heard that FHA loans are good because they offer lower interest rates and are easier to qualify for than Conventional loans.
This is true, but if the buyer can qualify for the Conventional loan, it could be cheaper overall, even if the interest rate is a bit higher. Remember, there is more to a monthly mortgage payment than the principle and interest payment. The big factor that separates FHA and Conventional loan monthly payments is the Private Mortgage Insurance for each loan type.
Let’s break down each loan type: Read the rest of this entry »
June 30, 2014
Most real estate agents hope that their prospects won’t raise any objections. Instead, they should welcome them and see them as a gift! Anytime a prospect raises an objection, it provides an opportunity for the agent to earn their business.
Objections are a good sign because few prospects will bother to throw out an objection if they’re not interested in proceeding. When someone raises an objection, it simply means they have a concern and want or need to know more.
Depending upon the nature of the objection, objections can be dealt with in several different ways: Read the rest of this entry »
June 23, 2014
I recently helped a friend move into their new condo downtown, and one of the first things that I mentioned is that now would be the best time to start painting! When it comes to room design, a little color can go a long way, but many people hesitate when it comes to smaller spaces. They’re afraid that by adding color, they might make a room feel claustrophobic.
Color is one of the best ways to define a room, and a carefully chosen color can double a room’s apparent size! Here some of my tips for using color to create depth in small spaces. Read the rest of this entry »
June 16, 2014
Over the last few years, one of the buzz words in technology has been 3D printing. Using plastic, metal, nylon and other materials, the 3D printer takes a computer model and then “prints” an actual physical model of the design. This has been used to create a variety of items from small figurines to prototypes, aircraft engine parts and even prosthetics.
Amazingly, these 3D printers aren’t just limited to large manufacturers. MakerBot – one of the biggest names in 3D printing – currently has five different 3D printers available for personal use starting under $1,500.
There are also companies like Shapeways and Sculpteo that will let you create and share your creations online without needing your own 3D printer at home. You can simply upload your 3D file, select the material and order 3D prints. You can even open up a “shop” on Shapeways and start selling your creation.
So what does 3D printing have to do with the real estate industry? There are two distinct ways that 3D printing will change how we do business. Read the rest of this entry »
June 9, 2014
As real estate professionals, we’re in the service industry. We service the needs of buyer, sellers, tenants and landlords as we assist with their housing needs. There are numerous tools and technological advancements that have contributed greatly toward increasing our abilities to provide services to our consumers. In the process of embracing technology and the many tools available to us, don’t forget to actually service the customer. It’s imperative that we help the customer accomplish their goals.
A recent panel of buyers and sellers were invited to the RESTO conference to help further the education of real estate professionals. While each buyer and seller understood that they needed an agent, both sets of panels reported various areas where the agents could have done a better job. Here are some of the items consistently brought up by the panelists: Read the rest of this entry »
June 2, 2014
Did you know that more than 90% of buyers start their search on the internet? It’s more likely than ever for a buyer to contact you through the web, whether it’s from one of your listings or via your website.
So you’ve checked your email, and you have a shiny new message from an interested buyer. What do you do now? Preferably, you’re the one and only sales professional that they’ve contacted, but you know that’s not true. When that lead comes in, you need to bring your “A” game to ensure that you end up being their agent!
Are you ready for some great tips for converting internet leads? Let’s get down to it! Read the rest of this entry »
May 19, 2014
As an agent, is it a good time to list and sell businesses? It’s always a good time to be in the business of business brokerage, but you should remember these tips.
First, you need to have an understanding of the business industry. If you want to list a dry cleaning business, take the necessary time to familiarize yourself with the business culture and language. You should try to select an industry that you have worked in or have an interest in. Agents that fail to adequately prepare for listing appear less than confident and have trouble earning the business owner’s respect. Read the rest of this entry »
May 12, 2014
The perception that the public often has of Realtors® is not a good one. Consumer advocates, the media and self help authors will offer the public reasons why real estate agents are not working in the best interest of consumers. I believe many of these specialists do not understand what Realtors really do. They think all the agent does is unlock a door.
First of all, I still think that agents showing properties is very important. Agents have knowledge about houses themselves, which is an entire subject itself. Just for starters, most buyers don’t understand construction, floor plans or local design all of which can affect the re-sale value, not to mention community information, school information and commutes to and from various locations, which is why an agent is critical even in the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »
May 5, 2014
Rev up the DeLorean and get set to go back to the future! The same decade that spawned countless classics like Top Gun, Miami Vice and Charlie’s Angels is now back in style when it comes to home interior design.
While some ’80s trends — like pastel colors and neon socks — might make us shudder, others — like funky patterns and kitchen tables — deserve a second chance. Here’s a look at some ’80s trends designers have embraced and freshened up for today. Read the rest of this entry »
April 28, 2014
A new law intended to strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes several changes to the way flood insurance premiums are calculated. These changes may increase your monthly mortgage payment. Contact your lender to find out if these changes will affect you.
Here are the most important things you need to know: Read the rest of this entry »
April 21, 2014
Earth Day is tomorrow and it reinforces how important it is to be eco-conscious. While going green can help save our environment, it can also save companies money and make their processes more efficient. Being eco-friendly is no longer a trendy choice, it’s the best option.
In a real estate transaction, everyone involved is required to print countless documents, forms and contracts. It’s not uncommon that additional copies are required for each member of the party. With mortgage lenders, closing attorneys, office managers and brokers all involved, the pieces of paper start to pile up.
Now, imagine that hundreds of transactions are taking place on a daily basis, each one requiring numerous printed documents. That’s a lot of paper. Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2014
As you may have heard, there is a new widespread security vulnerability affecting millions of secure websites called the “Heartbleed Bug.” It’s a very serious problem and requires action on your part to ensure your continued data safety.
The issue is related to secure websites. When you visit a website that begins with https, such as https://metronet.metrobrokers.com, all data sent between your browser and the web server is encrypted. This prevents other people from snooping on your session and looking at the data being sent and received. Read the rest of this entry »