December 8, 2014
This is the best time of year to touch base with all of your past customers. This includes your client base that has relocated to another part of the United States. “Out of sight, out of mind” shouldn’t be your philosophy now. Often those previous clients who moved to Kansas, California, Texas or wherever may still need your assistance and should be on your holiday card radar.
There are lots of ways you can reach out to your customers across the country. If you keep in touch via newsletter, create a holiday theme and offer decorating advice or share a recipe. In your newsletter, let them know what’s happening in the real estate market currently and, oh by the way, if they are looking to make a lifestyle change or move again, you’re still their Realtor® and you can help them anywhere in the country as you work all markets nationwide.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 1, 2014
Many people have no idea what their insurance limits are. More times than not, they just purchase the least expensive they can legally get by with, as it is considered a “necessary evil”. However, talk to anyone who has experienced a large loss in their lifetime, and they’ll tell you either they’re sorry they did not have enough, or are glad they listened to their insurance agent and went with the recommendations.
The purpose of insurance is to protect your assets, and to put you back in the same place you were before a loss. The homeowner policy pays to rebuild the house, replace the personal property, and pay for a temporary place for you to live while the repairs or rebuild is taking place. It also gives you liability protection in case you’re negligent in causing bodily injury or property damage to a third party. The auto policy provides liability coverage if you’re found to be at fault in operating a car, in addition to repairing your car if you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage.
So what happens if the insurance you carry is not enough to cover the loss that has been sustained? The answer is simple: You have to come out of pocket for the difference.
What, then, is considered a solid insurance portfolio? Here are my recommendations: Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2014
As the holiday season nears, many homeowners who are contemplating selling think the holiday season isn’t a good time to sell their house. Because of that misconception, many will wait until after the start of the New Year, or even until spring to put their house on the market.
Contrary to what many think, the holiday season is a great time to sell a house! Putting a house on the market over the holidays can result in a seller getting a higher price and a quicker sale.
How can that be you ask? Here are three great reasons:
- Buyers will have fewer homes to consider because competing inventory will be at its lowest level over the holidays.
- Although there are fewer buyers looking at homes over the holidays, those that do are serious and highly motivated.
- Homes that are tastefully decorated for the holidays show well.
So if you’re thinking about selling and planned to wait until after the holidays, you should consider going ahead now. The first step is to consult a real estate professional who is a local expert in your area.
Happy Holidays… and Happy Selling!
November 10, 2014
The holiday season is upon us and the temptations that come out this time of year make the home buying and mortgage process even more hectic and tricky than normal. A common misconception that homebuyers have is that the mortgage approval is complete when the loan officer gives them a pre-qualification letter or when they receive the telephone call that they have been approved in underwriting.
What most consumers don’t realize is that the mortgage approval process occurs in stages and continues to the day of closing. The changes they make to their income, asset, debt or credit profile can change an approval to a decline very quickly. Read the rest of this entry »
November 3, 2014
Most experienced leasing brokers agree that establishing a commercial tenant population usually requires representing landlords for a period of time. When you have a lease listing, you attract tenants and some number will not have an interest in your listed space but allow you to assist them with finding what they do want. Prospecting for landlords can include small to mid-sized inline shopping center owners, office building owners, retail property owners or industrial property owners. You can locate an ownership list if you want to purchase leads or you can approach landlords directly and solicit a listing. Read the rest of this entry »
October 27, 2014
What should I do with this property? This is a pressing issue in today’s real estate environment in many circumstances. Owners and agents alike are posing this question every day.
The market has begun its journey toward recovery and home prices are rebounding. The recovery has made it possible for an increasing number of previously underwater sellers to become equity sellers again. While the recovery is in PROCESS, there are many agents and sellers that remain frustrated with the rate of PROGRESS. Read the rest of this entry »
September 22, 2014
As a proud USAA and Navy Federal preferred broker, Metro Brokers is expected to deliver a high level of service. Our agents are required to attend training classes to service these types of clients, and we preach giving the best service possible. But it occurred to me recently that maybe the best way to provide superior service is to think like a military veteran.
With that in mind, here are some examples on how to think and act like a veteran: Read the rest of this entry »
September 15, 2014
I know full well the importance of communication as a real estate agent. If you aren’t the first one to respond to a lead, or you aren’t responding quickly enough to a client, you can end up losing out on valuable business or souring a relationship.
It also doesn’t help that we’re on the road so often. Many times, it feels like we spend more time in our cars – driving around to different listings – than we spend in the office.
But it’s important to remember that safety comes first. ALWAYS. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8, 2014
The story is all too common. During your initial listing appointment, you agreed on a price with your sellers. You’ve worked tirelessly with that listing for several weeks (or months), had plenty of showings, put in the research, and you’ve found there’s only one problem: The price is too high. Your clients have already explained to you that they “need to get this amount out of the sale”, and you know that bringing up a price drop will probably cause some friction if not an outright “No!”
Before you start stressing out, remember that a price reduction in is in their best interest and you have a professional obligation to tell them what they need to do to get them home sold. With proper preparation and solid tactics, you’ll not only get the property priced to sell, but you’ll also gain lifelong clients that will truly appreciate you.
Here are 5 ways to properly handle a price drop:
- Set the stage: When you take the listing, tell the Seller that although you are comfortable with the price they have selected, the market constantly changes and it’s your job to monitor the market activity and let them know about any changes that affect the sale of their property. Explain that some changes could make it necessary for them to re-evaluate their pricing strategy.
- Stay in touch: Before you can even start suggesting a change in price, your clients need to be able to trust you and see you as a professional. The best way to accomplish this is by having regular contact with your clients, even when there’s nothing to actually report on the listing. I suggest calling them at least once a week to give them an update on their home. If you constantly keep them up-to-date with the latest developments, there’s a much better chance that they’ll understand the reasoning behind the needed price reduction. While they may be disappointed, they’ll know that you’ve been working hard and that this is the best option.
- Have an in-person meeting: The last thing you want to do is upset your clients, and there is a much higher probability of them being upset if you simply call, email or text them that they need to drop the price. Plan a get together at their home, a local coffee shop or your office. Face to face meetings are always more effective.
- Be prepared: Do your research. Be prepared to discuss the state of the market, recent transactions in the area, showings and feedback on their property. Properly presented, it should be clear why you are recommending a change in the pricing strategy.
- It’s a “price adjustment”, not a “price reduction”: A surefire way to upset your sellers is to bring a negative attitude and connotation to the pricing discussion. Instead, you should keep positive and upbeat about the situation, and concentrate on the fact that this will help them sell their home and move on to the next phase in their life. Also, using the word “adjustment” instead of “reduction” is a more neutral term.
- Listen and respond: Your clients will definitely have questions during the meeting, and if you aren’t listening to the true meaning behind each question, there’s a good chance you could end with an unhappy client and continue to have an overpriced listing. Listen carefully and be sure to respond to any objections you may hear, but don’t be defensive. Be understanding and mindful, and you’ll end up with happy clients.
What are your tips for price adjustments? Please comment below!
August 26, 2014
In the process of writing offers, there are several exhibits and addendums that seem to be more widely used than others. The purpose of exhibits and addendums is to formalize the process of accommodating various common reoccurring situations during the negotiations process. When combined with the standard purchase and sales agreement, the exhibits and addendums give additional definition and requirements to the transaction.
At a quick glance, the following are the most commonly used exhibits and addendums in today’s market. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28, 2014
Real estate professionals across the country recognize the value of referrals in their business planning. Whether referring across town or across the country, referral dollars can increase your bottom line.
Are you capturing referral dollars in your business plan?
As mid-year passes, now is a great time to evaluate your business plan and think about how referral dollars can keep you on track to your goal.
Let’s look at four ways you can increase your referral business. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »