Sell Your Own Home – Ditch Your Realtor and Put That Money Back in Your Pocket

During this economic crisis, the buyers who are looking to buy houses are just patiently sitting back, waiting to steal your house from you. Unfortunately, this is what is happening and it does not look like it will end until the economy gets better. This genuinely causes you to be skittish and irritated. If you are trying to sell your own home here are some things you can do to up your chances of a sale.

The one matter that you may want to do is to get rid of your realtor. The realtor is not your friend and they are only in it for the money. You know your house better than they do, therefore without the realtor, you could be putting money in your pocket. After about 30 days with a realtor and your house has not sold, they will get bored and move on to newer and better houses that will sell quickly.

Now that you have gotten rid of your realtor, the next thing you will need to do is to write a wonderful ad to place in the newspapers. Be sure before attempting to do this, have a positive attitude. Do not go into it with the attitude that you are desperate and you cannot sell anything. Never put in your ad that you must sell or price will be negotiable. Make it sound as if you are confident in what you are doing. The buyer is going to be looking for ads that sound desperate and you do not need your ad to catch their attention.

The final step is to give tours of your house. When potential buyers come over, keep a smile on your face, and look confident. Make it sound as if there are other buyers who are interested. Or you can even say that many have made bids already on the house.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Agents – Discover How to Earn Extra Income With Broker Price Opinion (BPO) Orders

As a real estate agent your business may be hitting hard by the current economic downturn. Your listings no longer sell and your buyers are taking forever to make purchase decisions. Meanwhile you still have to pay office expenses, broker fees, MLS subscriptions, board dues, etc. In this article I will discuss how you can earn extra income with your real estate license in addition to selling houses. Specifically I am talking about performing Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) for banks. I will also reveal a technique I personally use to grab those BPO orders before other agents do.

BPOs are basically mini Comparative Market Analysis (CMAs). Banks order BPOs whenever they want to know the value of the properties. This could happen in many occasions; for example, the owner could be applying for refinance, or the owner could be in default, or the property could be in foreclosure or in need of a short sale. Currently there is a huge demand for these BPO orders due to the foreclosure crisis. Since banks require BPOs to be performed by licensed real estate professionals, you can put your hard earned license to good use.

There are two types of BPOs. An exterior BPO does not require you to get into the property and typically pays $40 – $50. An interior BPO requires interior pictures of the property and typically pays $60 – $90. Granted you don’t earn a whole lot with each BPO order but keep in mind that a BPO can be completed in under an hour or so. Just do 3 to 5 BPOs a week will help pay for your basic expenses.

„Where do I find BPO orders?“

Although BPO orders are placed by banks, contacting banks directly would actually be a waste of time since most banks don’t handle them directly. Instead, they order BPOs through asset management companies. A quick way to find these companies is to Google „asset management companies bpo.“ During your search you will come across some companies that are actually just directories. They usually require you to pay a fee to be listed as a BPO agent. They claim by listing on their directories the asset managers will find you. I have never had any luck with them so my advice is to save your money.

Once you find these companies you simply log on to their web site and register yourself as a „vendor.“ You will be asked to fill out an online application with your information. Most companies will require a copy of your real estate license, your E&O insurance information, a W-9 form, and a list of zip codes or city names of the area you covered. Once you are registered, you will begin to receive emails whenever a BPO order becomes available. To maximum your chance of getting orders, you should try to register with as many companies as possible. I personally have registered with 15 companies and I know some agents have registered with over 50 companies.

One thing to pay attention to is that some of these asset management companies are so called „BPO shops“ where they only handle BPO orders. Clear Capital is a well-known example of such company. On the other hand, some companies may also handle REO properties for banks. If you do a good job with your BPOs for these companies, you will have a chance of getting REO listings. Some companies such as Integrated Asset Services will give you the listing of the property that you performed a BPO on if that property ever becomes an REO. Thus if your goal is to eventually become an REO agent (which it should be as listing REO properties is EXTREMELY lucrative), then you may want to avoid those BPO shops and focus only on companies that can give you REO listings.

„OK. I got registered but I can’t get any BPO orders! What should I do?“

So you started to get emails of BPO requests. You were excited but when you replied to those requests you found the orders have already been taken by other agents. What happened? Well, when most asset management companies send out BPO requests, they don’t just send to one agent but to all agents that cover that particular city or zip code. Whoever answers the email first gets the order. You may be answering your email the second you get it, but your email program may only be querying the mail server every 30 minutes. So you could still be too late by the time you respond.

What can you do about it? Do you need to sit by your computer all day to respond to emails? Here is my solution. I use a separate email address specifically for BPO orders. Then have all emails sent to this address also forwarded to my cell phone email address. Most cell phone numbers have email addresses associated with them. For example, a Verizon Wireless cell would have an email address in the form of cellphonenumber @ where „cellphonenumber“ is the phone number. You can contact your cell phone service provider to get that information. Once it’s set up, every time a BPO request comes in, I get a text message to my cell immediately. I can then respond to the email right away. I have been able to get over 90% of BPOs since I implemented this technique.

You now have enough information to get into the BPO industry and the knowledge to beat out competitions. Start earning the extra money with those BPO orders when your regular business is slow and you may even be getting hundreds of REO listings in near future!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Boston Luxury Real Estate Market Booming

The Boston Luxury Real Estate market is booming, and there are no signs it will slow down anytime soon. It seems that everywhere you look in Downtown Boston, there are cranes & construction sites with new luxury condo developments underway. Despite the everyday news headlines of record foreclosures, and bubbles bursting — sales of condos over $1,000,000 were up an astonishing 8% in 2007.

There are currently dozens of new construction projects underway in the city of Boston, including 45 Province, a 32-story 145 unit luxury high rise steps from the Boston Common; and 104-unit Battery Wharf on the North End Waterfront, with units starting at $1.15 million. Both of these buildings are expected to sell out quickly. There has been many changes in the Boston real estate market in the last few years.

The South End, for instance, was one of the least desirable neighborhoods to live in — and now, it is one of the most sought after, and expensive. The South Boston Waterfront (also known as The Seaport District), was mainly fish piers and abandoned warehouses — and now has become one of the hottest neighborhoods to live in. The Leather District, which is the area around South Station, is experiencing a huge boom in luxury condo & luxury loft developments. The Back Bay is seeing a multitude of luxury developments being built, including 285 Columbus Lofts, The Clarendon, and the Mandarin Oriental Residences next to the Prudential Center. Right over the bridge in Cambridge, the 45-acre Northpoint project is underway, an is slated to be a „city within a city“ with approximately 2,700 luxury condos, and over 2.2 million square feet of commercial space.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Selling Timeshare – Here’s How to Sell Your Timeshare Fast Without Fees

Timeshares are a great way to enjoy your time off with your family and friends. You fly to whatever exotic destination your resort is located at and then all you have to do is relax and have fun. But the fun stops as soon as you run out of money to pay for air tickets along with ever increasing maintenance and other fees. So, before you know it, you are just paying and paying without ever setting foot on your timeshare ever again.

This becomes more evident any time the economy goes south, like it’s happening right now because timeshare owners can’t keep spending and they reach a point where selling timeshare makes more sense than keeping something they never use.

Sell Your Timeshare

Listen, it really doesn’t matter if you have to sell your timeshare because you need some cash desperately or because you can’t go on vacation anymore. The fact of the matter is that in order to get rid of the timeshare property, you must come up with a correct strategy and set a selling point that will be make your timeshare attractive to others while still making you a profit. After all, many timeshare owners make the mistake of asking way too much and never sell or worse, they have no idea what the current value of their property is and they sell it for way too low and they end up losing money.

Look, the first thing to do is find out how much your timeshare is worth. You see, not all timeshares are created equal and there are resorts that are always in high demand, while others need more creativity to make them attractive to buyers. You can find out how much to ask for your property by filing out a quick form online with some basic information such as your name and the resort name and you’ll get the information you are looking for. This is entirely free and fast.

Once you know how much to ask, you need to decide whether to hire an agent to handle the sale or decide whether you want to sell it yourself. Each one has its pros and cons and they depend entirely on how much time you have before you must sell, how comfortable are you dealing with contracts and other legal papers and how savvy are you when it comes to listing your property.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Mediation or Collaborative Divorce and Real Estate in Virginia Beach, VA

Mediation means the couple agrees to use one hopefully neutral mediator. The Mediator does not give legal advice or be an advocate for either side.

The choice more couples are now making is Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative divorce involves the use of lawyers for both sides who agree from the beginning to work with each other to develop a fair outcome for everyone which includes division of property and selling of your home. The collaborative divorce team may include financial professionals, your REALTOR®, child specialists, or other professionals both spouses may agree upon. The main point is they engage in meaningful dialogue which will bring the process to faster resolution and saving both parties unneeded grief and money.

Just like a real estate transaction where you choose your own separate closing attorney, you benefit from having your own personal legal representation that is committed to rapid and proper settlement. The Lawyers for both sides ensure legal stipulations are satisfied.

Why is this good?

The most obvious is to save thousands of dollars

Negotiate settlement without courts involved

Keeps communication open

Develop shared solutions which best benefit both parties

If children involved, keeping their best interests in the forefront

Maintain control of the divorce process

Will this work for you?

If you can agree to disagree, keep children first, listen, plan for the future, and be ethical then it can work.

So with contested divorces potentially averaging in excess of $25,000.00, collaborative divorce may be a sensible option in Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads. Consult your attorney before making any decision.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Using Faux Painting in Home Staging Your Home

I have been hired over and over to faux paint the walls in million dollar homes to look like the ones they see in designer magazines. The number one requested faux finish is the „Old World“ look or Parchment.

If I say I have faux painted nearly 30 walls by now with the same color faux finish, I would not be exaggerating. So why not use a little faux painting yourself to help sell your home. Let’s face it, if your house looks like one of those expensive model homes in lucrative developments, you will sell it in no time. However, if your potential buyers see your home like some mediocre apartment with plain white or beige walls, they will most likely keep looking or offer you less than what your house is worth. Remember that first impressions can literally make your sale sink or swim.

You can literally transform your home to look like a million dollars with a little decorative adjustments. Faux painting is the fastest growing form of decorative painting. Just take a peek at some high end decorative magazines and there are faux painting articles and tips all over the place. There are many types of faux finishes these days.

Get ideas by viewing pictures of various faux painting techniques in magazines or websites. Some are more difficult to achieve than others, especially textured finishes. However, even applying a simple color wash on the walls can make a huge difference. Faux Painting bricks can really add dimension and interest to your home, too. You can even paint a faux marblelook on your counter tops to look like real marble and your cabinets to look like real wood. Save tens of thousands of dollars with this beautiful form of art instead of installing expensive slabs of marble and putting in all new cabinets.

You can learn how to faux finish, too.

Recently I received some pictures from first time DIYers in faux painting. What a difference! They did a great job and none of them had ever faux painted before. Why not give it a try? You never know, you might just be knocking on the door to a new career in faux finishing. That’s how I got started. I began by practicing on my own walls in my home and in my family’s, too. Then I began to get requests to do friend’s homes and word got around. Most of my clients come from recommendations from others. So begin now to add value to your home by doing the same thing. Do a Google search for „faux painting kit “ or faux painting tools to find a variety of sites that include a DVD that teaches various techniques along with their tools. It’s the best for your money.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Power Hour – Minimum Requirements For Your Listing Agent

When hiring a REALTOR to list your home, you should ensure he will do more than put a sign on the yard and list your house in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This article will address a list of activities a home seller should require his listing agent to perform.

  1. Install appropriate signage at the property. This includes the sign in the yard. But in some cases should also include additional signs. For example, if property is located in a remote place, at the end of a dirty road, or in a gated community, the REALTOR should consider installing an additional sign in a major street pointing to the property. Also if property’s backyard faces a street, the REALTOR should consider installing a sign on the back or side wall of the property.
  2. Create an attractive property flier with multiple pictures, key features, description of the property, and price. Fliers should be printed in color and made available inside the property and at the post in front of the property.
  3. Install an electronic lockbox that will log and track all agents that have visited the property. REALTORS should avoid using mechanical lockboxes because they are not as secure as the electronic ones; and because they don’t track everybody that have been to the property.
  4. Market property to people renting homes and/or apartments in the same neighborhood. Local tenants are usually interested in local properties.
  5. Market the property to local homeowners. REALTORS should attempt to engage neighbors in the selling process. Local homeowners may have family members, colleagues, or friends that are looking to buy in the same area. They are typically motivated to talk about the properties for sale in their neighborhood.
  6. Contact on a daily basis all the REALTORS that have shown the property to check on interest and obtain feedback. This must be done within 24 hours of the showing to ensure the REALTOR have a clear recollection of the property and can provide accurate and specific feedback. Also, sometimes buyers may have an objection to the property that can be easily resolved by the seller. REALTORS should strive to obtain the feedback as soon as possible and address any objections that can be resolved.
  7. Perform open houses on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the type and location of the property. Open houses is a powerful marketing tool to increase property’s exposure. Even if the house does not sell during an open house, chances are that some of the visitors may know someone who is looking for a house in the neighborhood.
  8. Follow up with all the open house visitors to check for interest and prompt them to share information about the house with their family, colleagues, and friends. Contact them again every time there is a change in the asking price to check if they would reconsider the property at the new price.
  9. Contact all the REALTORS that have shown the property every time there is a change in the asking price or property condition. Check if their clients might be interested in reconsidering the property at the new price/condition.
  10. Visit comparable homes in the neighborhood to check the competition. REALTORS should do that on a regular basis to keep abreast of the competition and ensure the house is still priced competitively.
  11. Perform a market analysis at least once a week to ensure the property is still priced competitively. REALTORS should check for recent sales, pending transactions, and active listings.
  12. Market the property online. Recent research shows that most home buyers start their home search process online. REALTORS should have an active online presence. Property should be included in multiple websites and other online tools. REALTORS need to update property information online several times per week to ensure it will show up when potential home buyers search for properties online.
  13. Take multiple photos from all the key features of the property. Those photos should be uploaded to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and all the other websites and marketing material created to promote the property. Research shows that photos are important to generate interest in potential buyers.
  14. Create a virtual tour of the property and post it on YouTube, MLS, REALTOR’s website, etc. Potential buyers are more inclined to visit a property after seeing the virtual tour.

This list should be treated as a starting point. As you interview your future listing agent and discuss his specific marketing plan, make sure you address the above items and any others that you deem relevant.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Sell Your Home Fast Within a Month!

The current economic crises has changed a lot of plans for home owners, and you might be asking how to sell your home fast to avoid repossession further down the tack. The truth is that there are currently more buyers on the market than previously, which makes it a great time to sell.

Opt For A Private Sale

Because there are masses of prospective buyers, there has never been a better time to offer your property through a private sale. Selling your house yourself means more profits for you, and no hefty real estate agent fees. It’s truly not as hard as you might think, though you’ll have to put in a little but more time.

See Your Local Property Authority

Property exchanges are generally made legal through a property authority. This is generally a state or provincial body, and you’ll have to go see them before doing anything. They’ll outline the rules, tell you of any sales taxes, etc.. They might even provide resources for private sellers.

Advertise Your Home

You’re going to use the internet and also hard copy publications to promote your house sale. This is the fun part of the process. Try to set your property above the competition. Don’t be scared to take out a half page ad, or even a full page one. Get your house valued before deciding on any asking price, and don’t be scared to ask for something in the upper range. You can always come down later.

Put On A Great Show!

Once you’ve gotten a few calls about the property, offer a showing date. I find that getting as many people into the house at the same time is the best strategy, as it lets people see their competition, and influences people to offer higher amounts. Make sure the place is clean and tidy.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Hard Facts on Foreclosed Homes for Sale

Consumers are sold to the idea of buying foreclosed homes for sale primarily of the low cost of these homes and the potential for big savings. This opinion sometimes leads them to blindly take a plunge overlooking details that can result to a purchase that is much higher than what they intended. Research and due diligence is the way to protect your self from the possible hidden costs associated with significantly cheaper foreclosed homes for sale.

The Hard Facts

Buyers should spend time on the important elements in play when purchasing foreclosed homes for sale. If the property you want will be offered in an auction then you have to make sure you have undertaken a careful research on the property’s cost and condition before placing a bid. There are less than ideal aspects of auction homes. The owners of these homes have the privilege to buy back their property by paying off their obligations even as the property is being auctioned off. The home will most likely have occupants that you need to evict. Consulting a foreclosures lawyer regarding these aspects should be high on the list of things you need to do.

Foreclosed homes for sale are sold as is. The buyer has the burden of paying for repairs and renovation. It is wise to assume that the home will be in poor shape so that you can set aside funds to pay off the repairs. Property damages can either be superficial or structural. Superficial damages can be in the form of stripped walls and floor or a leaky roof. The structural damages on the other hand can be pest infestation or broken water and electricity lines.

Finally, there are foreclosed houses for sale whose titles are not clean. This means that there could be a second mortgage to pay off, hidden taxes and liens or any other holds on the title, which would transfer to the new owner upon completion of the sale.

So do not get blinded with great bargains on foreclosed homes for sale, it only takes an adequate measure of research to get to the real value of these homes.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Agents – What to Look for in a Mentor

Is real estate mentoring a good fit for you?

If you are looking to get into real estate or get involved in a new aspect of real estate, it is important to consider how much you know and if you are experienced enough to go about doing it on your own. You don’t even need to know much about real estate to invest in it, through trust deed investing, but if you do make the decision to become a direct investor, then here are a few reasons as to why you might want to get a mentor and how you would go about picking one.

Some of us have possibly have read books on real estate or feel we have a basic understanding of the processes of foreclosures, short sales, or long term investing. That being so, there are still a lot of other things to keep in mind when going to into new investments, that can be easily overlooked and necessary to think about when investing our hard earned cash. Whether a novice or an advanced investor a lot of us can appreciate a mentor to help us through our ventures.

When picking a mentor it is important to pick one who specializes in teaching whatever it is you want to learn, and to make sure they are actively involved in the field you are getting into and who can teach you exactly what it is that you want to learn. For instance, do you want to learn how to be an active investor who is busy full time, or invest passively? Do you want to learn how to manage properties? Do you want to learn how the market works? Do you want to learn how to negotiate deals? Would you like the contracts necessary to perform these deals? Pick a mentor that aligns with your needs. A mentor who is an active investor is important to find because they know the current real estate market and its laws.

Here are a few things you should expect from a good mentor, and reasons as to why it’s extremely helpful to have one. Good mentors hold you accountable in every aspect of the deal. They schedule your calendar with tasks that need to be completed, which helps you build successful habits. They help you understand the process in depth and give you an analysis of what is to happen so you don’t make any irrational decisions.

Expect them to show you multiple ways of approaching offers, and structuring contracts. A good mentor should show you how to market your real estate and bring in offers. Also, they should show you how to close deals and set an exit strategy with alternatives in place to reduce risk. It is also noteworthy to realize that you will, or should, be getting access to their contacts including title, lenders, brokers, and any relevant paperwork.

You want a mentor who is successful, someone who has proven themselves with 15 years of experience, and a well-managed portfolio. That way, you know they have been through the cycles of the real estate markets, and know how to position themselves for the ups or downs. They will also make you a more cost-effective investor because of all that experience and show you how to manage your time and work smart, not hard.

When qualifying a mentor you want to see how many projects they have recently completed in the last few years up until the last few months and check and verify a few of those properties. You should also ask for references so you can speak with other students that mentor has, and see what kind of an experience they had with that mentor.

Find out what their guarantees are! Do they promise to do a deal within a year or six months? Do you get your money back if not? Search many different mentors in your local area or the market that you want to invest in and see who suits your needs. You can expect to spend between $5,000 to $25,000 dollars on a mentor so it is important to find someone who you can structure the payments with in a way that works with you.

Check the website and forum I pointed out in the resources** REIclub, which I regularly look at to learn more about real estate, and mentoring.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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