Advice on Renting Out a Home or Property

Renting Out Your Home

In the economic slump, many homeowners have decided on renting out their property instead of selling it. Go through this quick guide to view your own situation and make decisions based on the information provided within.

Does it make sense financially?

Before putting tenants in your property, you need to evaluate the financial costs and benefits. Firstly, you need to find out how much you can rent your property for, and how this adds up compared to your other costs such as the mortgage. Invite a handful of local rental agents to make an estimate of your property’s rental worth; this will help you to figure out where it stands in the local market. Agent’s appraisals are free and there is no obligation to have them market your property.

With an estimate of the income you are likely to receive from the rental, you can now compare this figure to the costs of keeping the house (such as the mortgage and maintenance). You should also deduct the agent’s commission from the rental income before making a decision. It’s worth noting that it will be the tenant’s responsibility to pay the utility bills, not yours!

Choose the right agent

When choosing an agent it is easy to be lured in by the cheapest offer. However, making an informed decision will save you a lot of problems in the long run. Choose an agent with an upstanding reputation and plenty of experience.

Discuss renting out your property with your mortgage lender

It helps to inform your lender of your situation. Explain that you cannot afford to sell in the current economic climate and that renting out your property makes sense. Your mortgage lender will most likely be reasonable and understanding of your situation.


How much design and planning went through your vision of how your new habitat will appear aesthetically. What functionality do you need in your home? A stainless steel kitchen? What about interior home decoration and design items like ceiling fans. Use a website for ceiling fan purchases, depending on the fan you like. If you have a fashionable, up to date home you may want a, ‚cool by design‘ ceiling fan from the a local business or e-commerce store.

Decorate your wallpaper with possibly 2-3 colors. No more, no less. You will be Golden.


While it is essential to thoroughly screen your prospective tenants (your agent will do this but you should personally be comfortable with whoever is living in your property), you need to make sure you are covered by buildings insurance. In the unlikely event that a tenant damages your home or leaves without paying you rent, you need to make sure that you are covered. There are many different buildings insurance schemes around, make sure you pick a comprehensive one within your budget!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Be Aware Of Form 122 – ‚Mutual Release‘

Regardless, if you are a first time home buyer or a person who has chosen to Invest or become an Investor in Real Estate, you should read this first. Real Estate Agents can also benefit. A reminder that when a person puts an offer on a property, it is exactly that, „their offer“.

As a Buyer, when you put an offer in on a Property, you need to remember that this is your offer. When signing the contracts and attaching your Schedules, you need to make sure that the clauses are to your benefit. Be aware that the Realtor is working for themselves and therefore out to protect themselves and not you the Buyer or even the Seller in a lot of cases.

What is a Form 122 – Mutual Release?

This is a contract. It is brought into play by the Realtor, if the Realtor believes that you are backing out of the original contract, which was entered into to purchase the property. This contract is solely for the benefit of the Realtor and the Real Estate Company that the Realtor is working for. This contract needs to be signed by both the ‚Buyer‘ and the ‚Seller‘. The Buyer is asked to sign first. Then the contract is passed over to the Seller for their signature.

Here is the catch. When the Buyer signs the form (that’s you), you are automatically letting the Real estate company off the hook for returning your deposit money to you. You have just relinquished your rights to sue for your deposit, if it should come to this. Then the Real estate Company passes this form onto the Seller for their signature. If they sign it, everything should go smoothly, and your deposit should be returned. If they decide not to sign this contract, you do not get your deposit back. The Seller does not get your deposit either and it remains in the Trust Account of the Real estate Company. At this point, you would need to sue the Seller in order to have your deposit returned.

While constructing your clauses in your Schedules, make sure that your writing is accurate and precise. One or several of your clauses should clearly state an irrevocable instruction in the Agreement that addresses the situation. This is the only way that you can rest assured of having your deposit returned. Each and every clause that has to do with an Irrevocable time line or the waiving of a condition (which is an irrevocable time line) should be followed up with a clear statement, saying that the deposit is to be returned in full immediately.

Always have your documents checked over by a Lawyer. In fact, keep in touch with your Lawyer throughout the entire process, to make sure that the Contracts will be protecting you at all times.

The reason that I am suggesting this, is because, you may think that you have (and you very well may have) a sound proof Contract, that will protect you. While doing your due diligence on the Property, you find that some of the terms are not satisfactory and you exercise your right to walk away from the deal. Be aware of the Realtor, that does not know how to read contracts and thinks that you are just backing out of the deal. The Realtor will refuse to return your deposit money (which is being held in trust) and insist that you sign and fill out a form 122 – Mutual Release.

This form is a controversial form and if you do your research on it, you will find many definitions. Here is mine. The bottom line is that once you sign it, you will have negated your original contract and left it up to the Seller and the Realtor to get your deposit back. What the Realtor does not understand, is that the original contract will stand up in court. However, it is a huge inconvenience and time waster for an Investor.

So please make sure that your contracts are set up properly, because you never know when you will need that contract to stand up in the Court of Law.

We hope that you have found this information both enlightening and beneficial for the next time that you are putting an offer together and constructing your contract.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Should I Settle For An ALL CASH Offer?

If you are a homeowner in distress or you have an unwanted property that is just sitting vacant collecting dust then I’m sure you have contemplated a discounted all cash offer from a real estate investor. I’m sure you have even received a dozen or more postcards and letters from investors begging you to sell them your home.

Should you consider taking this option?

There are many advantages to taking an all cash offer from an investor. Below are a list of reasons why you should consider taking this route.

1. Fast Cash. It’s not uncommon for a bank financed buyer to take 60-90 days before they can close on the property. With an ALL CASH buyer you can skip all the red tape of bank financing which allows these cash buyers to close within 7-10 days.

2. No Inspections Needed. With the tight requirements banks have these days your vacant or distressed property may not pass the bank or county inspections*. The cost of getting a property up to code can get costly. With a cash buyer they will more times than not buy it in its as-is condition with no inspections needed.

3. No realtor costs. Since you are dealing with investors shouldn’t have to pay any realtor or broker commissions. This can save you 6-7% right off the top. If the investor you are dealing with is a broker or agent and want to charge a commission, keep making calls until you find a buyer who is not a licensed broker.

4. Pay No Closing Costs. One big advantage of dealing with a cash buyer is that they have the cash to cover your closing costs. Most buyers in today’s market are asking anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000 in seller concessions. This is one expense you can avoid when dealing with a cash buyer.

5. No Qualifying Needed. It is not uncommon for a bank financed buyer to go through the home buying process only to get denied a day or two before the closing. With a cash buyer they have the ability to close immediately.

So as you can see taking a discounted price from an all cash investor doesn’t mean you will take a complete loss. The money you will save from dealing with a cash buyer reduces the amount you will pay dealing with a bank financed buyer. The cash buyer’s ability to close quickly without the hassle of dealing with inspectors and contractors will help you sleep much better at night.

*For more information on building inspectors click here.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips on How to Sell My House – Without a Realtor

The commission of a realtor is 6% (average) and no one wants to give that kind of money, especially when I am selling their house. That is why I probably decided to sell my house in the first place, right – because maybe I need the money?

Every seller of a house is thinking: Should I sell my house without a realtor, all by myself? If you are thinking this then it’s time to say NO to the realtors and their fees.

You probably don’t realize this but if I don’t call a real estate agent I will have huge benefits. Here are a list of benefits if I sell my house without a realtor:

-I earn more money after the house is sold.

-The buyer of the house will be happy because there’s a possibility of getting a better price for the house.

-I learn how to flip houses and I can make a living from flipping houses. A couple tens of dollars would be nice huh?every month I say.

-It’s relatively easy because unlike working on a construction site I use my brain and some other skills to sell my house without a realtor.

So here’s some tips on how to sell my house without a realtor.

1- The times have changed and the people are not urging to buy your house because there’s plenty of house offers. Keep in mind that if your house stays on the market a big period of time the potential buyers get suspicious and they will think your house is overpriced or it’s something wrong with it. This problem can be solved with a good evaluation method.

2- The most important thing when I try to sell my house is the evaluation of the property. I try to search similar properties that are for sale in my neighbourhood and see the price for them.

After that I just lower my price with 10% so that the potential buyers that search a house in my neighbourhood come to me first, because I have a lower price. Another advantage of this method is that the buyers will know that my price is lower than the competition so there’s a big chance that they will not start negotiations for a lower price.

3- You must know the factors that influence the buyer decision.

4-Advertising is another key to make the buyers visit your house.I suggest advertising on the local newspaper, because anyone interested to buy in your location will buy the local newspaper to search for advertisements.

Another method that you must use to advertise your house is with flyers, brochures and the old For Sale sign in front of your house.

5-This is another important tip. Do you know that 80% of home buyers start their search for a home on the internet? This is why must advertise a house for sale on the internet on websites like fsbo, eBay (free).

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips For Selling Your Own House

Not everyone is willing to use a real estate agent, since they do take a commission, usually around 7%. That means, by selling your own home, you’ll end up with upwards of $10,000 that would have gone to an agent. And given today’s slow market there is a very real chance your home will sit unsold for a year or more.

Today, more than ever selling your own house can not only be more profitable, but it is your best chance at getting it sold quickly.

In this article, I am going to show you how to go from „selling your own house“ to „I SOLD my own house“.

In a hot market selling may have been as easy as putting a „for sale by owner“ sign in front of the house and collecting offers. But let’s face it, times are tough and most houses are sitting unsold for months and years.

It’s a war zone out there. Foreclosures are at an all time high and that creates a lot of houses for sale on the market. In order to survive in a war zone you need special skills and a competitive advantage. With this special training you can get your house SOLD, despite the doom and gloom of the newspaper headlines.

If you’re selling your own house you need a secret weapon. And that weapon is highly specialized marketing!

Here is a killer marketing tip that will give you a competitive advantage over all other sellers on your block.

Don’t list your home in a traditional method. Instead of „starting high“ and being talked down do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Start low, get a lot of attention and let the buyers drive the price up. I am talking about a do-it-yourself auction style sale.

What is working best now is what’s called a „round robin auction“. Here is how it works:

First you will advertise that your home is for auction. In these tough times buyers are looking to get a good deal. Auctions are the place to get great deals, and your message will leap out at them.

Next you will hold an open house for two days only, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm. This will allow you to funnel all the buyers through your doors all at once.

Those that are interested in the property will place their name and phone number along with the price they would like to bid on an „initial bidding sheet“.

On Sunday night you call all those people that put in a bid and conduct the auction. You will simply call down the list tell them the current bid amount and ask them if they would like to raise or pass. You will go around and around making calls until the highest and best offer has presented itself, hence the name „round robin auction“.

Now that you have found your buyer you will meet with them and get the paperwork started.

That’s the unique marketing method that is working now. And if you are planning on selling your own house there is no better method to attract droves of buyers and compel them to make offers on your house.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying Property in Puerto Vallarta – How to Find The Right Agent

Puerto Vallarta is one of the best tourist locations in Mexico. It has everything one would want in a world class tourist destination. It will provide you with breathtaking beaches, great restaurants serving the most mouthwatering food, and a vibrant cultural scene.

Tourists can also enjoy the water activities, the vintage appeal and old Mexico charm of Puerto Vallarta. It boasts of world class amenities and the attractions that will tempt and entice to stay there for ever forever. Yes, now you can. You can own a property in Puerto Vallarta like countless Americans, Canadians and Europeans have done. Everyone wishes for a risk free real estate investment. Now your wish can be fulfilled. You will be able to have a great time on vacation in Puerto Vallarta whenever you feel like and rest of the time your Real Estate investment in Puerto Vallarta will keep earning you money in rental. You may choose any type of property; it may be a condominium, fractal or timeshare.

Though, buying Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta sounds tempting, a potential owner has to be careful as is the case with all major real estate transactions. What you can do to help yourself is to roam around the beautiful city, immerse yourself. Find out which location you fancy. What sort of property would you like? Get to know all the property options you have.

The next step will be to find a local real estate agent in Puerto Vallarta who can assist you in this Endeavour. A real estate agent will help to find the right abode for you. Always choose real estate agents who are involved in all stages of the transaction from beginning to end and takes commission only when the sale is realized. The real estate agent may decide to keep few important things hidden from you. Therefore, you should investigate the property before the purchase. Self education is very important in real estate matters.

Make sure the Real Estate agent is familiar with the locality. Real Estate agent or the firm should be a known figure and should have a good reputation. Your friends familiar with the area or your lawyer can be of great help while choosing a Real Estate agent in Puerto Vallarta. The simplest way to know about the real estate agent is to do research on internet. Most of the real estate agents have well maintained websites that can give you ample information about the areas of information, services, fees, and list of properties for sale. It is also advised t to find a real estate agent who is an AMPI member.

Keep these points while hunting for your dream abode in Puerto Vallarta and you will surely get one.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

FSBO Homes for Sale for Buyers on a Budget

FSBO homes for sale are quite common in the housing market as many home owners typically change homes through the years. These homes are of course pre-owned but some sellers would undertake repairs first before selling them off.

Buying FSBOs

When considering FSBO homes for sale make sure you obtain comparable prices for similar homes in the same location. You can get this from a local realtor for free and this will give you an idea on whether you are indeed getting a good price for the home you are considering.

You will get a chance to interview the seller about the home so use this opportunity to ask the right questions. Ask how long they have been trying to sell the home. Ask about the conditions of the home as well as its history or when it was built, what are the repairs undertaken. Also ask why the owners are selling their property.

You should not simply trust the information given by the seller and conduct your own investigation yourself. Do not fail to conduct a proper home inspection to be conducted by a professional personally hired by you.

Base the offer you will make on comparable values of like homes in the neighborhood more than the listing price. You may also want to enlist the services of a lawyer to go over the contracts and other documents before committing to the sale.

You should be able to determine just how much you can spend for FSBO homes for sale and if you plan to use financing to pay for the home you need to be pre-qualified for a loan by your bank or any financial institution. This pre-approval will reveal the amount you can borrow, which will be the basis of your search. A pre-approval document will likewise reassure your seller that you seriously intend to purchase their home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate: What You Need To Know

People generally get confused with the term real state and real estate Business. Real estate itself is not related to business as it represents a property of land and building that too, including the natural sources, such as flora, fauna, crops, parks, pools etc. that are immovable and lies in the property’s premises. Whereas real estate business is the profession of selling, buying or renting these properties.

Real Estate Agents

It’s a tough task to match the needs of buyer and property sellers, as buyer may not get his dream property and at the same time the seller also may not get the price of his wish. To establish a good connection between buyer and seller and to find the right buyer for a seller and vice versa, Real Estate Agents can be hired that are easily available in the market. Real estate brokers or agents are the ones, who acts as an intermediate between property buyer and seller and tries his level best to match their demands. Buyers for buying and property owner for renting or selling their property get in contact with the agent. The agent listens to their demands and try hard to fulfill them, for a property sold or rented in his supervision, the agent charges some percent of the price of that property from both the parties, i.e. the owner and the buyer. Agents use websites to promote the sale of properties, often work at nights and weekends busy in showing properties to buyers.

Things you should know about Real Estate Agents

Although agents are such a bliss to those who are struggling to get a property or a price of their interest, but we have to be wise when it comes to choosing an agent. Agents are not bound to show you best properties or tell you all the things they know, they might get greedy sometime and show you properties that are going to profit them more than you. On the other hand, for property owners they might end up, leaving you with paying guest that can trouble you in future, in fact, as the general goal of an agent is to sell the property as soon as possible, they may excite you and ask you to sell your property at comparatively lower prices than that you expected, and would be getting after some days. It’s better recommended to choose your agent and the other party to buy or sell wisely, after taking your time, and not to get excited on every other offer you get.

New Real Estate Business Mediums in market

Now-a-days many online sites and applications have been developed to remove the work of agents. Both the parties contact with each other directly and choose the deals of their interest. Though, this move has increased the transparency between both the parties, but because of being fully online, may result in misleading each other. That’s why it is highly recommended to see the property in person before booking it. As the thing that seems to be good and satisfying online can be completely opposite from that what you will be getting in real.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Ways to Find Apartments for Rent

Finding the right apartment or home to rent can be difficult and stressful. You can be competing with many others for a quality unit in a prime location.

The secret, real estate brokers say, is to plan ahead. Often renters will wait until the last minute to look for another apartment. However, when renters are in a hurry they tend to take apartments they don’t really want.

Here are a few tips for finding the best rental homes and apartments in your area.

1. Start your search 60 days before your move

The best rentals, in terms of price, location and amenities, go earlier in the month, so don’t wait until midmonth to look for a new place to live, Macon says. It’s best to start searching 60 days before you need to move, especially if you are looking for a rental property where there isn’t as much available.

The second and third weekends of the month tend to be the busiest. If you start your search the first weekend of the month, there will be less competition and the best properties will still be available.

2. Search for rental listings online

About 90% of renters will start apartment hunting on the web. Looking online is a good way to start your search. You can get a sense of pricing and apartment amenities. However, if you’re moving to a new city, apartment rental sites won’t tell you enough about neighborhoods and the local amenities of each, such as public transportation or grocery stores.

3. Use a real estate broker

In most cases, real estate brokers are available to help renters find properties free of charge. The key is to find a broker who specializes in rental properties, not home sales.

If you’re looking in areas where there is generally tight competition for apartments, you’ll want to talk with a number of real estate agents before committing to one because different agents have different relationships with different buildings. Make sure you are talking with an agent who has access to the apartment buildings in neighborhoods where you want to rent.

4. Don’t be fooled by scams

Be aware of online scams, particularly ads on Craigslist that require you to provide your credit card to pay a deposit fee to be shown the apartment. No one should require a deposit to show you an apartment.

Also, be careful if you are renting an apartment directly from a private person because you will be giving a total stranger your Social Security number and your bank account information, and they will likely run a credit check on you. It’s safer to work with a licensed and bonded real estate broker.

5. Consider roommates

If you’re considering sharing an apartment, make sure you know who your roommates will be and consider asking the landlord for separate leases. If you have a joint lease and the rent is $2,000 a month, you are liable for the entire amount if your roommates don’t pay their share, Macon says. But if you have a separate lease, you’re liable only for your portion of the rent.

Don’t be afraid to ask for references if you don’t know your roommates. You can also use social media – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – to find out more about them.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Engage A FSBO

FSBO sellers will reject you. Remember, they would prefer not to use your services. But if you maintain a steady, professional relationship, offering help and staying in contact for four to five weeks, you will usually be able to win an interview. From there, a listing follows.

Increase your odds of success by taking these two precautions:

1. Limit the number of FSBOs you cultivate. Focus only on the best clients.

2. Avoid prospects with low motivation or unrealistically high price expectations. These sellers are usually the most toxic, and too often, they will try to take their frustrations out on you.

FSBOs fundamentally turn into a game of lead follow-up. You need to personally and regularly contact your FSBO leads to discover their motivation and qualifications, book a face-to-face meeting, disqualify prospects as necessary, provide regular service and communication, and schedule a presentation appointment. Then you need to repeat the service and communication steps several times weekly until the listing is in hand.

To make personal contact, begin by asking the FSBO seller if you can come by and see the home. You can ask them in a few different ways. You can explain that you want to keep abreast of the regional housing inventory; you can say that you are working with buyers who may be interested; you can present yourself as a potential investor; when you can, you can use the „reverse-no“ technique. Following are sample scripts for each approach.

Script for keeping up with the inventory:

„Mr. Seller, your home is located in my core area of sales. Because it is, I would like to come by and preview your home. Would there be a time on __________ or __________ to do that this week?“

Script for working with the prospective buyer:

„Ms. Seller, I understand you are selling your home on your own. Let me ask you this: are you cooperating with real estate agents? What I mean is, if a real estate agent brought you a qualified buyer at an agreeable price to you, would you be willing to pay a partial commission?

We are working with a few buyers for your area that we have not been able to place yet. May I come by on __________ or __________ later this week to see your home?“

When you use the above approach, understand that you are not interested in reducing your commission. What you’re really trying to do is achieve a face-to-face appointment to collect more information on their sellers‘ motivation in order to determine the probability of securing a listing in the future.

Script for a potential investor:

„Mr. Seller, your home is located in a solid area for real estate investment. I was wondering if I could come by to see your home as a principle for possible purchase and to see if it is a property that would meet my investment needs. Would __________ or __________ be better for you?“

In using the above approach, realize that the key phrase is investment needs. You will rarely find a FSBO that will meet your investment needs. My personal investment need is a home that can be acquired at a 70% discount below fair market value. Most FSBOs are trying to sell their home at 110% of fair market value. This technique does get you in the door to see the home and talk with them.

Script for a reverse-no:

„Ms. Seller, would you be offended if I came by to take a quick look at your home?“

The reverse-no technique can be used with any script. It capitalizes on the normal reflexive human reaction of „no“ in order to achieve a positive response. It opens the door to you to then set an appointment.

FSBO Survey Script

Hi, this is __________ from __________. I am looking for the owner of the home for sale.

Your home is in my core area. I am doing a quick survey of the FSBOs in this area. May I take a few minutes to ask you some questions?

The ad in the paper said that you had _____ bedrooms and _____ bathrooms.

1. Do you have a two level or one level home?

2. Are all the bedrooms on the same floor?

3. Are they good sized rooms?

4. How is the condition of the kitchen?

5. Are the bathrooms in good condition?

6. Can you describe your yard for me?

7. Is there anything else you feel I should know?

8. It sounds like you have a great home; how long have you lived there?

9. Why are you selling at this time?

10. Where are you hoping to move to now?

11. What is your time frame to get there?

12. How did you happen to select that area to move to?

13. How did you determine your initial asking price for the home?

14. What techniques are you using for exposure and marketing of your home?

15. Are you aware that over 86% of the buyers for properties begin on the internet now?

16. If there was a clear advantage for you in using me to market and expose your home, and it cost you very little, would you consider it?

17. Let’s simplify. Set a time to get together for fifteen to twenty minutes, so I can see your home and understand your objectives. I have time available __________, or would __________ be better for you?

Building relationships

FSBO relationships are built over time. By introducing yourself to the owners the first weekend their FSBO is announced, before the masses start calling on Monday, you create a good connection. By sending them tools, educational materials, free reports, and forms, you become an ally. By taking a personal interest in them and their situation, you create a solid connection that, in many cases, pays off when the owners decide to go with an agent they know and trust – preferably you.

Over the course of building a relationship with the owners, you’ll be able to get them to understand that, in every real estate transaction, a commission is paid. In the end, FSBO sellers don’t „save“ the commission. Rather, they try to earn the commission by doing an agent’s job. In doing so, they spend their money and time to perform, as best they can, the duties of an agent. Those duties include exposing the home through marketing, presenting the home to buyers, building a sense of buyer urgency in order to prompt an offer, scheduling home inspections, handling qualification checks with the lender, supervising repairs, and facilitating the closing.

Not only is a lot of work involved in earning the real estate commission but FSBO owners unwittingly let buyers basically steal the commission through under-priced offers. The people who shop FSBOs don’t do it for their health. They want to secure a low price and a high initial equity position. In the process, they set out to „earn“ the commission, and often do.

By building a relationship over time, you will demonstrate your value to the FSBO seller. Remember at all times, whether you’re working with FSBOS or expireds, your goal is simply to be one of the two, three, or four agents that the owner will interview when the time comes. You just want the opportunity to compete and make your presentation.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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