Posts Tagged ‘Buyers’

What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2015?

December 29, 2014

2015_real_estate_marketThis has been a great year for the Georgia real estate industry. Prices throughout metro Atlanta are up and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers has more top producers than ever before. In some areas, the median sales price has met and exceeded pre-recession levels. This was another rebuilding year, but there’s still a lot farther our market has to go to truly recover. (more…)

3 Reasons the Holiday Season Is A Great Time To Sell!

November 24, 2014

home_selling_holidaysAs 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!

How to Avoid the Grinch Stealing Your Closing!

November 10, 2014

mortgage_grinchThe 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. (more…)

Texting and Driving a True Danger in Our Industry

September 15, 2014

texting_and_drivingI 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. (more…)

The Power of Referrals in Your Business Plan

July 28, 2014

referral_techniquesReal 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. (more…)

FHA HAWK Program: Not Yet Approved, but Getting a Lot of Attention

July 21, 2014

FHA_HAWKThe 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: (more…)

Dangers of Dual Agency: Walking the Tight Rope

July 14, 2014

dual_agencyWhen 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). (more…)

FHA vs. Conventional: Which is the Better Option?

July 7, 2014

fha_or_conv_loanMany 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: (more…)

Objections are a Gift!

June 30, 2014

handling_objectionsMost 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: (more…)

Adding Color to Small Spaces

June 23, 2014

color_in_small_spacesI 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. (more…)

Great Customer Service is the Key to Unlock Referrals

June 9, 2014

retso_buyers_panelAs 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: (more…)

5 Tips for Converting Internet Leads

June 2, 2014

converting_internet_leadsDid 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! (more…)

Real Estate’s Most Valuable Asset

May 12, 2014

real_estate_agentThe 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.  (more…)

Home Trends from the 80’s Are Making a Comeback

May 5, 2014

80s_interior_designRev 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. (more…)

New Report Lists Safest Cities in Georgia

March 31, 2014

safest_citiesThroughout my more than 30 years in real estate, housing trends have come and gone. Pastel paint, wallpaper and borders around rooms, and glass top tables are all features that have gone the way of the dodo, but there’s one home trend that has stayed constant over the years: Safety.

I spoke to thousands of families about their home buying concerns when I was a full-time selling agent, and one of their first questions was always “How safe is this neighborhood?” With that in mind, I found a great report titled “50 Safest Cities in Georgia” published by SafeWise, a safety and home security news source.

Although it lists 50 cities in the article, I’d like to cover the top 5 here. Some of the cities are well known for being safe, but others will surprise you. (more…)