Posts Tagged ‘Metro Brokers’

How to Spot a Bad Business Broker

February 16, 2015

detectiveWhen selecting a business broker to help sell your business, make sure to watch for the red flags in their business plan. These few tips can help you save time and money during the selling process.

The broker wants a significant or total fee paid up front:

Many brokers have begun taking upfront fees, but generally the total fee is a combination of an upfront fee and commission paid upon sale of the business. An unreliable broker meets with you, runs some quick numbers, tells you that you can get your price or even more for your business, and then asks for a check to get started. In many cases, business owners are so relieved that they’ve found a broker and elated that they’ll write a check on the spot, without checking any references. “They get to ‘take away’ your check when they leave and you may not see them again, if they can help it. (more…)

Determining Premiums for Home and Auto Policies

February 9, 2015

iStock_000011471283XSmallThe age old saying “things just aren’t the way they used to be” still holds true when it comes to how insurance companies price insurance these days. The way it “used to be” was that a company would look at more risk based information when it came to pricing.

For instance, on home insurance policies, the age, location, and features of the home, along with whether or not the prospective insured had suffered any claims over the past 3-5 years, were the sole determining factors when it came to pricing. After determining the rebuild cost of the home to set the amount of insurance, the price for the coverage would be consistent from person to person using this method of pricing. However, this is not so in today’s insurance marketplace.

About 15 years ago, insurance companies began looking at the client more personally, focusing on their credit score, along with other personal information to assign them an Insurance Bureau Score. This score is now used as a determining factor for the price and is more heavily weighted in the pricing system than the risk characteristics mentioned above. The result is the higher a person’s credit score the lower the premium stands to be. Statistics have shown that people with higher credit scores typically are more reliable and responsible when it comes to day to day life. Insurance statistics also show these people are less likely to suffer a loss or file a claim when it comes to non-weather related incidents. Of course no one can predict the weather. However, most all other claims are preventable. (more…)

Working with a Relocation Management Company

February 2, 2015

blog 2At some point in your career, you’ll probably be requested by a corporate transferee to assist them either in a home purchase or home sale transaction. You might be wondering what that means to you. Corporate transferees are customers who have been directed by their employers to make a job transfer. For the most part, they wait until their human resources director tells them what steps they need to make and when, but sometimes the transferees jump the gun and makes decisions on their own that can affect how their employer helps them financially. What does this mean to you and to the customer?

You as the associate and service provider always want to protect the transferee’s benefits, so here are some rules and strategies to make sure you don’t make mistakes that jeopardize their benefits and your commission. (more…)

FHA Mortgage News for the New Year

January 12, 2015

fha_loan_limitsGreat news! FHA loan limits for the major counties in Georgia increased from $320,850 to $342,700 for all new FHA sales contracts written on or after Jan. 1, 2015. This gives homebuyers the opportunity to buy a home with a 3.5% down payment (all from a gift) and FHA has relaxed qualifying guidelines on homes $21,850 more expensive than last year.

The bad news is that the FHA Anti-Flipping Waiver expired on Dec. 31, 2014. Some folks might say, “What Anti-Flipping Waiver?” Many thought a seller had to have owned the home for 90+ days before selling it to a new buyer using FHA financing.

Well, you’re not totally right or wrong. Even though HUD introduced the Anti Flipping Waiver in February 2010 and extended it to December 2014, many FHA lenders and banks ignored the waiver guidelines and continued to require that the seller hold title to the home a minimum of 90 days before re-selling it to a buyer using FHA financing. Since HUD (FHA) only insures loans and FHA approved Lenders actually lend the money, FHA Lenders often have different guidelines than HUD’s guidelines for FHA Insurance purposes. (more…)

Contract in Review: Top 10 Contract Issues

January 5, 2015

contract_reviewIn addition to ready, willing and able buyers and sellers, the real estate professionals’ ability to collect a commission is dependent on how solidly the agreement is written. Whether you are the listing agent receiving the offer on behalf of a seller or the selling agent preparing the offer on behalf of an interested buyer, every agent involved in the transaction has an obligation to ensure the contract is well written. Many contracts are filled with loopholes and scenarios that could render the deal void if challenged. Below are the top ten issues that we see in Broker Support that could cause contract nightmares and possibly cause the contract to be voided by one party or the other. (more…)

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…)

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…)

Rent It or Sell It?

October 27, 2014

rent_or_sellWhat 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. (more…)

What Would a Veteran Do?

September 22, 2014

veterans_usaa_navyfederalAs 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: (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…)

It’s Time for a Price Adjustment

September 8, 2014

home_pricingThe 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Top 5 Most Valuable Exhibits and Addendums

August 26, 2014

top5_exhibitsIn 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. (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…)