December 9, 2013
You may be unwittingly giving your customers this impression. I often call agents to discuss real estate business and get voice mail messages that tell me they aren’t interested in doing business. And if I think you aren’t interesting in doing business, then you know that potential clients are probably feeling the same.
Here are a few examples of voice mails that turn customers OFF: Read the rest of this entry »
November 25, 2013
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us are taking time to reflect upon the people and things for which we are thankful. Those of us in the real estate industry are thankful that the real estate market is in recovery and 2014 looks bright.
Agents with BHGRE Metro Brokers have many more reasons to be thankful… here are just a few: Read the rest of this entry »
November 18, 2013
So far, 2013 has been gratifying for most of the real estate industry. Phones are ringing, buyers are bidding and new homes are starting to spring up everywhere you look. The easiest course of action is to just sit back, get comfortable and wait for the phone to ring, but it won’t get you to the next step in your career.
Now is the time to start planning how you’re going to grow your business in 2014. How can you do better next year? What is my position in the market and how can it grow? What changes do you foresee in the market? Who will your customers be? Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 2013
“What are the current interest rates?” This is a very common question from real estate agents and buyers. Answering the question of what’s today’s interest rate is as difficult to answer as “What’s the price of a four bedroom home in the Atlanta area?” The answer to both of these questions is, “It depends!” There are many factors that impact both of these numbers.
The price of four bedroom homes in the Atlanta market area ranges wildly based on location, actual size of the home, amenities of the subdivision, quality of construction and construction materials, and a very long list of other factors.
Interest rates also vary wildly based on the individual borrower’s credit score, loan to value, borrower’s assets, borrower’s income, borrower’s debts and loan options such as waiving escrows, and if the property is a condo.
Interest rates are like ice cream. The price of a plain vanilla cone is one price, but if you add hot fudge, nuts, fruit and cherries, the cost goes up! Read the rest of this entry »
November 4, 2013
All growing small businesses may someday be faced with the question of leasing versus buying office space. This question has many pros and cons. With ever-changing office vacancy rates and market fluctuations, it’s uncertain what the future may bring. A small business owner needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons of leasing or buying office space.
First let’s consider the advantages of owning property. Locking in your commercial mortgage long-term can give your business clear, fixed costs. The associated costs of owning and running a commercial space can provide expense deductions in the form of mortgage interest, property taxes and other items. Owning your office can also offer the advantage of renting out extra office space adding another source of income. The prospect of owning commercial space and having the property appreciate over time allows the owner to sell eventually and fund their retirement. Read the rest of this entry »
October 28, 2013
In a recent report from InsuranceQuotes.com, Georgia homeowners only pay an average of 6 percent more for their homeowner’s insurance after making one claim. That puts Georgia among 18 states that are below the national average of 9 percent.
While on the surface this seems like a big relief, tread lightly down the path of filing claims. First of all, I recommend carrying higher deductibles on your policy to discourage turning in small claims. Most property insurance companies now have a minimum deductible of $1,000 on new policies going forward. The higher deductible also saves premium dollars over the years.
While there are many types of losses that are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, turning all of them in can lead to your policy being canceled. After the policy has been canceled, you’ll then be placed in a high risk pool for insurance, with a rate 3-5 times more than you are currently paying. Read the rest of this entry »
October 21, 2013
How do you like this black house in Germany? Do you find it spooky or classy? Could black be the new “it” color when it comes to choosing home exterior color?
This black house in Mohringen, Germany is actually an art installation! The house had been scheduled for demolition, and the artist wanted to do a tribute to the house before it was bulldozed. Guess what they put up in its place once it was demolished – an art gallery! Read the rest of this entry »
October 14, 2013
Not long ago, I was at a backyard barbeque, sipping my drink and idly listening to the various conversations surrounding me. Along with the typical discussions surrounding the NFL, college football and baseball, I overheard an overwrought voice above the fray stating, “We offered full price! And, we didn’t get the house!”
Obviously, my interest was piqued! I stood up on my toes to find who owned that voice. I made my way towards her, frantically trying to place in my mind from where I knew her. By the time I got over there, I realized that it was Janice, who lives across the street from my friend. I had noticed that the sign in her yard was sporting a jaunty under contract sign on it. I had intended to congratulate her on that accomplishment sometime during the barbeque.
I took a deep breath, had another sip, and casually insinuated myself into this conversation. “Go on,” I encouraged, “Tell me what happened!” Read the rest of this entry »
October 7, 2013
The current shutdown of the U.S. Government could have an effect on contracts that you have pending or contracts that you write during the shutdown. Borrowers and agents should check with the specific Lender on each loan. Any sale that has a pending loan that was not fully approved and cleared to close with the closing package sent to the closing attorney as of midnight on Sep. 30 should expect delays to the closing. Read the rest of this entry »
September 30, 2013
Until recently, all you heard about the real estate market was bad news. Prices dropping, over supply of inventory, excess bank foreclosures, short sales, etc. Income fell by 35 percent for real estate agents on average. Times were tough. Since the peak of the market in July 2007, thousands of real estate agents left the business and the interest in getting into real estate died.
That trend is reversing. It’s actually a great time to be in real estate sales. Home prices have increased month over month for the last 8 months, interest rates are still at historic lows, buyer demand is strong, bank foreclosures and short sales are down dramatically (35% of overall sales compared to 65% just 2 years ago) and new home inventory is on the rise. Read the rest of this entry »
September 9, 2013
All lenders are requiring any disputed account on a borrower’s credit report to be resolved or the dispute removed before the loan can be approved. The reason for this is that unscrupulous “credit repair” or “credit fixer” companies have told consumers how to use (abuse) the Fair Credit Reporting Act to falsely inflate the consumer’s credit scores.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for any consumer to dispute any credit account or payment history rating they believe to be incorrect. The Act requires that any account that is under “dispute” be omitted or neutralized and not considered in determining the consumer’s credit score. This Law is in place to protect innocent consumers from erroneous credit reporting. Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2013
Whenever you purchase a new home with financing, the mortgage company will absolutely require that you also purchase home insurance. Many homeowners view their home insurance as a “necessary evil”, and simply purchase their policy without knowing exactly what it covers.
Lenders want to know you’re protecting their investment from harm, such as damage caused by fire, water, a tree falling through the roof, and even vandalism. Don’t wait until something happens and you need to USE your policy to find out.
Unless you’ve added some extra coverage – or “upgrades” – to your policy, here’s a good rule of thumb on what a typical home insurance policy covers: Read the rest of this entry »