Being Creative with Real Estate Marketing

Being Creative with Real Estate Marketing

Creativity in the World of Real Estate

Sometimes, budding homeowners have needs or simply “want” things that are, if not outright unusual, quirky to say the least. Realtors, in these instances, have to get creative to find the right properties to match these people’s interests so that they can buy a home with little or no hassle.

Being Creative in the world of real estate
Being Creative in the world of real estate

One Example of Creativity in Real Estate

 

Let’s say there’s a beautiful NOLA property directly under the path airplanes use to take off and land at a major airport. It might have every amenity possible, but almost no one would want such a home. The creative Realtor, however, might know a deaf client who would love such a home and who would not suffer from the deafening aircraft roar. Likewise, the owner of such a property would probably despair at ever getting a reasonable offer, but the creative Realtor could match buyer and seller together for a distinctly positive result.

 

Innovative Thinking

 

Certain clients might have financial difficulties that make their quest to buy a home more stressful than it needs to be. A Realtor should maintain a good relationship with mortgage brokers. There is no “one-size-fits-all” mortgage. All mortgages involve APR, payment amount, and duration of the term, but not all of them have the three in the same balance. Working together, the Realtor and the mortgage broker can devise a loan that meets the client’s needs.

 

Many sellers will accept conditional offers as long as one of the conditions isn’t, “I have to sell my home first.” In a world where such offers are sometimes swept aside by sellers enamored by people making unconditional offers, the forward-thinking Realtor knows that unconditional offers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

real estate rights
Understanding Your Property Rights in a Real Estate Transaction

 

Banks may not appraise the seller’s home at the perceived value or, worse, may change the appraisal in midstream. Worst of all, despite a pre-approval, the lender may suddenly decide that the property, for whatever reason, doesn’t “measure up” and rescind the approval. The “unconditional” tag counts both ways. Realtors can leverage these possibilities so that their clients can make conditional offers, even those that require the sale of the buyer’s current home first, that are more likely to be accepted.

 

Innovative Digital Marketing

 

With almost everyone that is buying or selling a home using the internet at some point in the process – modern online marketing for real estate cannot be overlooked.  When we look at some of the most cutting edge techniques in modern digital marketing for real estate, the options can be overwhelming and all entail some level of expertise. Some of the more modern digital marketing tactics include:

SEO or Search Engine Optimization

Google Ads for Remarketing to clients that have visited your website

Content Marketing – which includes the creation of original content and syndication of that content

Social Media Advertising – targeting your clients with ads on Social Media.  Social Media marketing is all the rage and there are tons of different ways to leverage social media to market a home or a brand on social media.

YouTube Videos – May Realtors today create videos about real estate and upload them to YouTube to build their brand.  They even have videos advertising digital marketing for real estate.

 

Choosing the Right Help

 

Whether clients want to buy or sell a home, the circumstances are never quite the same from sale to sale. Both Realtors and mortgage professionals of all kinds must be flexible and able to think on their collective feet. Potential clients should vet the professionals whom they plan to enlist in their battle against the world of real estate.

The laws of real estate are surely stuffy, lengthy, and cut-and-dried, but that doesn’t mean that the right savvy, quick-thinking, and solution-oriented professional cannot make the process pleasant and successful for all parties involved.

Choosing the Right Agent

 

 

Protecting your rights regarding the largest investment most people ever make in their lives is just plain sensible. Don’t be afraid of hiring an attorney to make sure everything goes smoothly. Despite the creativity of ethical professionals, there might be roadblocks, and no one reputable will be upset if you hire an attorney.

 

The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value

The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value
The Importance Of Insulation To A Home’s Value

What Does Insulation Do To A Home’s Value

When you’re in the market for a home, insulation may not be the first thing to come to mind, but considering its overall role in the home’s ability to provide a comfortable living environment.

And to avoid astronomical heating and cooling bills, checking the insulation of the home must be on the inspection to-do list. The quality of insulation effects the cost of owning a home as a result of the need to heat and cool the building.

For a seller of real estate, it is important to make sure that the place is well insulated as it is a good selling point that add value to the house.

Planning To Buy A Home

Checking on the quality of its insulation is a necessary part the process when buying a home. Unfortunately, it is impossible to look behind walls to inspect for insulation.  

If the owner can provide evidence of the type and “therm rating” of the insulation, that should give you some insight. Sometimes there is a certificate of installation issued by the installing contractor.  

It’s also possible that an older house may have originally had lacked wall insulation, but had it blown in at a later time. .

Two types of insulation that can be personally inspected are floor and attic insulation. Checking the floor insulation makes it necessary to go into the crawlspace or basement but that should be done for other reasons as well.

If the floor is well insulated, there will be sheets of insulation called batts under the floorboards that will be seen. If all you see are the floorboards, then there is no insulation.

Checking attic insulation, likewise, involves going into the attic. If the attic is not boarded over, you will see the blown fiber insulation. It will look like cotton on the attic floor. If all that is seen is wood, wiring, and drywall inside the attic, then there is no insulation.

Planning To Sell A Home

Considering the quality of its insulation when selling a home is important. Selling a properly insulated home is not only a good selling point, but it improves the value of the house as well.

It would be a good idea before putting a house on the market to check its insulation. If you have already improved the quality of the insulation of the house, and provide the buyer with a copy of the certificate of installation that is often issued by the installer.

If one wasn’t given, you may be able to call the installer and ask for one. Most installation companies will send a new one as customer service for free, but occasionally they may charge a nominal processing fee.

When selling a house that lacks proper insulation, consider having it installed. It will increase the value of the property and make it easier to sell.

The increase in value will be more than the price of the work and a good investment. Showing potential buyers certificates of installation and contractor receipts for any work or improvements made to the home can be a big selling point.

When In Doubt, Ask Your Realtor

Both buyers and sellers need to keep insulation in mind. The buyer will get a better and more cost-efficient house. The seller will not only get better value for the house but have a helpful selling point as well.

Insulation is an important part of a cost-efficient home, so as long as both buyers and sellers keep it in mind both will benefit.  If you have questions about insulation in your home buying process, or need help finding the best home for you, discuss it with your Realtor.

Most Realtors will recommend a professional home inspection as part of your buying process, and more information about a home’s insulation can often be found in one of these types of inspections.

How To Protect Your Property Rights

How To Protect Your Property Rights

Protecting Property Rights

real estate rights

Property Rights in the US

Property laws were made to protect the property rights of a person. They gave property owners the power to use, get returns and benefits, protect or give away an extent of land or a building within a set of regulations mandated by law. Property laws in the US have a long history. Lawmakers have continuously made efforts to protect the rights of land and home owners from the drafting of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, all the way up to today.  This is very different than the way real estate is handled, lets say for instance, in Cabo Mexico.

 

Revolutionary Period

 

Before laws were framed and just after the American Revolution, there were instances of forcible confiscation of land without legal proceedings from loyalists. Lawmakers realized the need to protect the rights of property owners. The framers of the American Constitution emphasized the importance of property.

 

James Madison Bill of Rights

 

James Madison made efforts to protect property while framing the Bill of Rights. While declaring the purpose of government, he stated that government should be exercised for the benefit of the people, including protecting their rights of acquiring and using property.

In the fifth amendment, James Madison added two safeguards that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. At first this law was applicable only to the federal government but later many states adopted these clauses under the Bill of Rights to protect property owners.

 

The New Deal

 

After the Great Depression, the importance of property laws and judgements that focused on the protection of private property declined. This was a result of President Franklin Roosevelt’s program in 1937 where the Federal government promoted public welfare and controlled the economy.

 

Real Estate Rights Today

 

The laws of real property protect the buyer and seller of property in the USA today. There are many laws made locally to insure those who want to buy a home or sell a home are not only protected, but the transactions are performed according to law and recorded correctly.

Buyers and sellers of properties consult a real estate attorney or a  title insurance company to make sure that there are no claims on the property by tracing the history of the title and transactions. The title company or real estate attorney will help buyers with mortgage options. They will also ensure that the transaction contract is fair to the seller and the buyer.

 

Limitations of Rights

In the US, we do implement many limitations of rights on real property.  This is done through zoning and other local and federally implemented rules.  For instance, if your home is in an older city such as Savanna, New Orleans or Boston that has many historically protected properties, you will have additional rules and regulations on what you can and cannot do to your own home.  In addition, if you are buying a waterfront property, they have riparian water rights that you should be made aware of by your Realtor.

 

Rights of a Buyer

 

When buyers decide to buy a home, they have legal rights under both federal and state laws. They have the right to be informed about any claim on the title. They have the right to know whether the building has any structural defects. They have the right to know about any property taxes.

They have the right to appraise the house in a fair and neutral manner. They have the right to see or walk through the property before closing the deal. They have a right to know whether the seller has homeowners insurance and other required insurance. They also have the right to refuse or choose a mortgage provider or lender. Buyers have the right to get a market price analysis to compare with similar properties. Before closing the deal, they have a right to obtain copies of the purchase and sales agreement.

 

The Rights of a Seller

 

Federal and state laws also give certain rights to home sellers in a property transaction when they decide to sell a home. Sellers have the right to set a reasonable price for their property. They can advertise the property in a forum or a listing. Sellers have the right to work with a property broker or agent. They can provide a home inspection or request one. They can accept or reject offers of buyers and negotiate for a deposit.

 

From the framing of the constitution, all the way to today, laws and regulations in the US have addressed the importance of protecting the rights of property owners and the need to regulate property transactions.

 

Don’t Let the Pests Take over Your Home

Don’t Let the Pests Take over Your Home

There are many types of pests that you do not want to invade your home and cause damage. The damage these pests cause can be expensive and dangerous.

Types of pests

You know the saying, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite” well it is true.

Bed bugs do bite; unfortunately, it is often mistaken for spider or mosquito bites, and the bite itches just like other insect bites. It is extremely rare, but in some instances, a person can have a severe allergic reaction to a bed bug bite.

Other types of pests include;

  •    Termites which weaken the structure of the home
  •    Ants
  •    Fleas
  •    Ticks which can carry Lyme disease that is harmful not only to humans but our pets such as dogs and cats
  •    Spiders some of which can be dangerous
  •    Cockroaches
  •    Rodents carry disease conditions as well as fleas

Not all pests are insects so do not forget pests such as snakes, raccoons, birds, and other wild animals.

 

How to control and get rid of pests

First you will need to determine what type of pest you have; apparently, some are more difficult to spot than others. If you are finding rodent droppings, you apparently have a problem. You canset traps or poison out to get rid of the problem; however, if you have children or pets you should probably stay away from the toxins. Don’t like removing the rodent from a trap? There are now traps that lure the rodent in, and you throw the trap out with the rodent inside so you never must see or touch the rodent. Ant traps work similarly, however; they have poison in then so do keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Control PestsOften it may seem like you are losing the battle when it comes to some of the household pests such as ants and roaches; this is the time to call in pest control. When you call a pest control company, they will come in and do an inspection first. They look for signs of activity, to see what it is you have in your home. Based on that inspection they will recommend ways to control re-infestation once they problem is gone. Once the type of pest has been determined, they will use the proper products and equipment to rid your home of the pest. Depending on the problem you may have to leave your home for a day or two.  

If you are concerned about the effects of the products they use on your children or pets, speak to them to find out how long before it is safe for your children or pets to be on the floor, etc.

 

Things you can do

 

  • To keep mice and roaches out of your house do not leave things that they can find to use as a source of food or nesting materials such as cardboard boxes sitting around.
  • Do not store things such as food in bags, purchase plastic containers with airtight lids to save things like cereal, sugar, flour, etc. in the pantry.
  • Keep counters and sink washed and clean of crumbs, grease, and other food sources.
  • You may use your vacuum at least once a week to prevent food crumbs off the floor that could attract things like ants or mice.
  • Keeping things clean does not mean you will never find pests in your home, but it does reduce the number of infestations.
  • Every couple of months, inspect the areas under your sinks, around your toilets and tubs, or appliances such as washers for water leaks that could cause puddles to form in the basement or under your home which could be a water source for insects or rodents.
  • If you do not leave food or water sources for pests, they will move on quickly.

Get Rid of Pests Before Listing Your Home

Nothing will kill a real estate showing faster than the potential home buyer seeing insects or rodents when viewing your home.  Make sure to get rid of the issues well before listing your home for sale.  In addition, make sure that any dead bugs or carcass are removed before putting the house up for sale.  Although this sounds like very basic information, countess homes are put up for sale with dead bugs around after the home has been treated.

About Boston Real Estate

About Boston Real Estate

All About Boston Real Estate

Looking for a home in Boston? You may want to look elsewhere. The Boston real estate market is broken for many of its potential buyers. Inventory is tight and there is not nearly enough entry level homes. It seems to be that fewer homeowners are trading up. Add in the fact that cash bearing investors and foreign buyers dominate the market which is wonderful for sellers by its often miserable to the ordinary homebuyers.

Boston’s real estate market is only normal when it is compared to other popular areas such as New York and Silicon Valley. The need for a reasonably priced home market for next generation workforce has yet to be found in Boston. The invisible hand of capitalism has not been able to meet entry level demand. Instead developers prefer to build luxury units instead catering to another class of home buyers were more money can potentially be made.

Boston is aware they have a problem on their hands but the issue never rises to a level of urgency that inspires any political action. Quietly we may enjoy watching our home prices escalate without considering the consequences of torturing a new generation of would be homeowners. Really what possibly could be the problem in having one’s home equities rise by $100,000 in 2 years?

Boston Real Estate Market

The real estate market is not considered broken to the current homeowner it’s broken for the home hunters competing in the unforgiving front lines of the real estate market. Old rules are being changed for new ones. Potential buyers are being pre-qualified, while also willing to bid higher than the asking price, and also buyers are willing to waive the mortgage contingency, meaning they would remain on the hook for buying the property if the financing falls through. Lastly buyers are willing to waive the inspection contingency, committing to the purchase of the home no matter what the inspector finds.

The question is the difference between winning a bid they placed or not. Imagine being a first time home buyer and facing the biggest purchase of your life and feeling pressure to make your decision on blind faith alone. Victories do come to persistent first time home buyers, but is it really worth the price you ultimately pay.

Boston’s Growth

Boston continues to lose population to places like Atlanta, Denver and Dallas. The Boston area has lost jobs due to the lacking population. Because of the high prices associated with Boston real estate, many have moved to the outskirts of Boston purchasing homes in Quincy MA and Cohasset MA.  Maybe if homes were more affordable people would move their families here and businesses would come to the area to expand in growth.

The board at a zoning appeals don’t seem concerned with the job problem in Boston, but their decision on zoning are. They regularly turn down multi-family projects and feel justified in the decision because we lack the transportation infrastructures to support them.

homes in boston

There are signs of hope for housing in Boston. A bill passed in senate last year requiring cities and towns to create multi-family zones. All though the bill has yet to be used, the issue of tackling zoning to permit more housing creation is starting to pick up.  

With all of that being said, Boston continues to gain ground as one of the hottest places to own property. Housing prices are way above the national average in the last year. The median home price for the Boston area real estate has an astonishing $378,500 compared to the national average of $215,767. While very appealing to Boston investors and homeowners, even better is places like Beantown where home appreciation rates remain some of the best in the nation. This trend seems very promising for the year to come.

The Boston and real estate market have seen mild gains in home appreciation within the last year. The appeal for home buyers and Boston real estate is found in equity gains which have exploded in the last couple of years.

Bostons Real Estate Market Is Booming


Homes purchased in Boston’s housing market a year ago have appreciated an average of $10,187. While the national average was $15,781 over the same year. Over the past three years Boston real estate began to overthrow the national average which saw gains of $64,281. For homeowners and Boston investors they get the real advantage around year seven of home ownership when total equity gains reach their full potential. Over all price appreciation and principal payments have boosted total equity growth since the recession.

As of June 2016 there currently are 779 properties in the Boston area in some type of foreclosure. According to Realtytrac the number of Boston foreclosures in the month of June was 9 percent lower than the month of May and 8 percent lower than the same time in 2015. In addition the number of REO properties decreased 37.5 percent from the previous month while decreasing 50 percent from the same time last year.

If busy city living, great food, and great sports teams interest you, Boston, MA is the place to call home. If you’re willing to make some crazy offers in this competitive market you have found the right place.

 

Buying a Waterfront Home? What You NEED To Know

Buying a Waterfront Home?  What You NEED To Know

waterfront homes

What to Expect When Buying a Waterfront Home

Are you searching for a new home? Why not consider purchasing a home or property on the water? There are many benefits and luxuries associated with waterfront living, and homeowners who purchase homes near the water live a different lifestyle than typical homeowners.  Living on the water can even reduce stress and provide a healthier lifestyle!  If you are in the market for a new home and want to know more about what to expect when buying a waterfront home, this article is for you. Read further to find out more about what waterfront living will look like for you.

Life on the Water

If you’re thinking that living in your dream home near the water would be a fun and relaxing experience, then you are correct! Living near the water comes with many advantages. For one, you have nonstop access to the water and all of the water-related activities you can think of.

You can kayak, paddleboard, swim, fish, ski, snorkel, take out your boat, and more!  In some cases, you can even keep your boat and kayak on your own personal dock. You will be able to enjoy all that the water has to offer without the inconvenience of parking fees, dock fees. etc. You can simply walk out your door and step right into the water! And think of the views! You can enjoy your water view without the high price tag of a luxury waterfront hotel. Enjoy beautiful sunsets and sunrises right from the comfort of your own home.

You can also expect a sense of tranquility and peace by living near the water. The air quality is naturally cleaner near the water as well. You can also expect more privacy with your waterfront home, as part of your home will face the water instead of someone else’s backyard.

You likely won’t have to worry about noisy neighbors or dealing with new homes being built and ruining your view. Waterfront homes often have the added benefit of enjoying the outdoors in general. From hiking the woods in a lake residence to strolling the beach in an oceanfront home, if you love the outdoors, waterfront living is for you.

Maintenance for Waterfront Homes

wrightsville-beach waterfront homesYou can expect the maintenance for waterfront homes to be a little more extensive than that of homes that are not located near the water. For example, you might want to consider adding in additional maintenance checks and precautions depending on where you live. If you live near the ocean, the salt from the ocean can do damage to certain materials, so preparing for that prior to building or purchasing is essential. Of course, flooding can occur, high winds, etc. While the upkeep might be a little more taxing, most waterfront homeowners find the extra work well worth it.

Finding the Right REALTOR

Just like with anything, you are better off when using an expert.  In this instance, we strong recommend using a real estate agent that has a specialty in waterfront properties. With all of the unique aspects of the sale that come with buying a waterfront home, having a real estate agent with experience in representing buyers for this type of property is critical.

For instance, many waterfront homes for sale have a bulkhead installed – this is the man-made barrier where the water meets the land.  Bulkheads can get extremely expensive to install or repair – we are talking up to $500 per linear foot – your agent should be able to connect you with the proper home inspector for such a project.  Bulkheads are just one example of the uniqueness of purchasing a waterfront property, there are many things that an agent who specializes in waterfront properties will be able to help with.

Insuring Waterfront Homes

The insurance for waterfront homes is typically more costly than other homes as well. This is due to the increased risks such as flooding, hurricanes, etc. that are often associated with waterfront living. Flooding, hurricanes and other storm-related damage are not usually covered in general homeowners insurance. And by living on or near the water, your home is more susceptible to these types of risks and damages. Therefore, you will likely be required to purchase wind, flood, and general homeowners insurance for a waterfront home.

Finding out the price of these insurances before choosing a waterfront home will help you understand how much you can afford as far as a monthly payment is concerned. Chances are the insurance could push you over the limit you set for yourself for mortgage payments, so that figure is important to know beforehand. As with the maintenance and upkeep for waterfront homes, most homeowners find the extra cost of insurance for waterfront property to be well worth the investment.

Beachfront Homes

Owning a beachfront home is generally something that most people consider to a factor of the Lifestyles of the Rich ad Famous.  Truth is, if you want to own your own little piece of beachfront real estate, a condo may be a way to make your dream come true.  Condos can be a very cost-effective way to live not only on the water…but on the beach!

Affordability of Beachfront Condominiums

When you purchase any condominium, you are buying into “shared ownership” with the other condo owners.  This lets the major costs of living on the beachfront be shared with your neighbors.  The bulk of the cost in living on the beach is the land itself – which in the instance of a condo, is split between all owners.  This means that owning a beachfront condominium is by far the most cost effective way to have a beachfront abode.  Of course there are unique aspects to purchasing a condo, so once again, we recommend a condo expert. One of the biggest differences between buying a condo and a single family property is the reviewing of the condo documents.   One of the hottest and most affordable destinations for beachfront condos is Panama City Beach  With the huge influx of tourists who travel to #PCB for vacations and Spring Break – many people rent out their condo’s and turn them into Vacation Rentals.

Learn About Condo Docs

 

Waterfront Homes Are Always in Demand

Another benefit that you should consider when purchasing waterfront property is the resale value. If you think about it, there are only so many waterfront properties available, and because of this limited supply, the homes located on waterfront property are much more valuable and desirable. If you ever consider selling your home or even renting it out as a vacation home, you will probably bring in top dollar for it. So in the grand scheme of it all, your waterfront property could serve as a great investment for the future.

If you are looking for a waterfront property, consider all of the benefits that waterfront living has to offer. Now that you know more about the waterfront lifestyle, you can begin your search for the perfect waterfront home!

 

All About Wilmington NC

All About Wilmington NC

Wilmington Real Estate

Wilmington NC is one of the hottest real estate markets in country.  With homes for sale ranging from small condos to huge waterfront, multi-million dollar homes, Wilmington NC has a wide variety of real estate.

Homes in Wilmington NC

The real estate market in Wilmington NC has been on fire for a long time.  With a wide variety of home styles and prices, in a multitude of price ranges makes it a unique place to buy a home.  With solid year over year real estate growth, purchasing a home in Wilmington is considered a very solid investment.  The great schools and low crime, coupled with the foot traffic and economy of tourism make Wilmington a great place to live.

Wilmington Real Estate Stats

As of today — there are over 1000 active homes for sale in Wilmington proper.  Currently in Wilmington there are 562 pending sale in the real estate market, leaving only 1115 listings for sale. The results of those numbers are a pending ratio is 33.5% (562 divided by 1,677).  The pending ratio shows the supply and demand of the market. A high ratio means that Wilmington real estate is in demand and listed homes for sale are quickly going under contract.  In addition, a low ratio means there are not enough qualified buyers for the existing supply.

wilmington real estate stats

More Real Estate Stats

When looking at sold properties over  the last six months you see a median sold price of $249,900 and 21 DOM (Days on Market). Its very important to point out — and goes to show the strength of the real estate market in Wilmington, that properties in the $1 Million Plus price range have sold quickest over the last six months.

more real estate stats

Wilmington History

Wilmington is located on the Easterly shore of North Carolina.  With the city being established all the way back in 1739, Wilmington has a very long history.   The city has went through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War on its own land. With longstanding architecture and monuments reflecting its history, visiting Wilmington can be a history lesson in itself.  With much of its cultural and economic importance based off of the fact that Wilmington is a port city.

 

Areas of Wilmington

There are many areas withing the city of Wilmington NC.  Wilmington is surrounded by not only a deep history, but some unique styles of real estate.  With water on all sites, from the ocean to the River to Cape Fear, if you are looking for waterfront homes, Wilmington has every type.  Whether you want to live on a sandy beach or a fun river.

Historic District

With the age of the city, it is no surprise that Wilmington has a large historical district.  Wilmington’s national registry is one of the larges in the US, spanning 230 blocks.

Antique District

Not far away from the downtown area, you will find Castle Street’s Arts and Antique District.  Offering a multitude of mid century antiques, unique restaurants, bars and cafe’s, the Antique District is a “must see” if you come to the area.

Arts District

Not far from Downtown Wilmington, but a little North – you will find the Wilmington Arts District.  With rustic (but restored) church’s coffee shops, deli’s and even a brewery, the Arts District should be another stop on your trip to Wilmington.

Looking to Buy a Home in Wilmington?

Because of the historically great real estate market in Wilmington coupled with the high demand for housing, we are working with some of the top REALTORS and real estate agents in Wilmington.

mortgage pre-approval

We have located the TOP Mortgage Broker in Wilmington — so if you are thinking about moving – get pre-approved HERE.

Choosing a REALTOR to Sell Your Home

Choosing a REALTOR to Sell Your Home

bad real estate agents

How Do You Know that You are Working with the Best Realtor?

This is an excellent question since there are so many REALTORS out there. Just because your brothers, cousins, gardener’s son is a real estate agent — doesn’t mean you should use them. Selling a home is often a stressful process – not only do you have to give up the place you have lived, loved and raised your family, but the process itself, if it goes wrong, can cost you thousands of dollars.  For most people, a home sale is the most expensive transaction you will make in your lifetime.   This means that you should choose a REALTOR carefully and to do that, you have to know what you are looking for.

The  Best REALTORS

The best REALTORS are patient. They take the time to understand what you want out of the transaction so that they can ensure that you have a good experience throughout.  The best REALTORS put your own financial well being before their own.  This is called a Fiduciary Responsibility.  They will make sure that your home is properly valued and if isn’t they will advise you on what you should do about it.

To come up with that value, they do a CMA, look at other, similar homes that have sold in your area, review the local real estate market and provide you a price.  The best REALTORS will usually provide multiple prices that your home could sell at — from staying on the market for some time to “fire sale” prices.  There is a direct correlation time and home prices –

You can sell your home in 24 hours if your price it well below market value.

Communication with your REALTOR

Good REALTORS also communicate with their clients on a regular basis. They will ask you how you prefer that they get in touch with you for updates – there are some people who like to know everything as it is happening, while there are others who prefer a brief communication at the end of the day.  When you look at the best Realtors in any major city they will ask you how YOU choose to be communicated with.  Do you want daily e-mails?  Phone calls?  Maybe you want your updates by text message.

Availability of your REALTOR

Truth is, if you call 100 real estate agents, you will usually get 95 voice mails.  Before listing your home with an agent, ask them what is their availability.  Do they work weekends and holidays?  What is the latest they will take phone calls?  Don’t be discouraged if they have some limitations — as most agents will promise you the world, and then simply not be available when you have a question.   The best REALTORS do have some personal time restrictions, just as anyone would.

Real Estate Education

All licensed real estate agents have gone through some level of real estate education in an effort to get their license.  In most states, in addition to the real estate classes necessary to get a license, many also need post-licensing classes as well as yearly continuing education.

These are the basics!  NAR provides a variety of designations, which require additional training to acquire.   Keep in mind, having REALTOR designations and certifications such as GRI or ABI doesn’t (in itself) means you are dealing with a better agent – what it does is shows that your REALTOR cares about honing their trade.  They understand that knowledge makes them a better agent.  Ask your potential agent what additional designations or certifications they have.

Real Estate Technology

The best REALTORS have invested heavily in real estate technology.  Keeping up with the most current tech trends within the real estate industry will be very useful when marketing a home, showing a home or even basic communication.

With technology playing such a large part in any real estate transaction today, your agent should have all of the necessary tools and services to market your property correctly as well as provide convenience factors such as electronic signatures.

  • Does your REALTOR have a website?
  • Is it simply their broker’s website or is it there own?
  • Does it rank well in the search engines?
  • Does it get traffic from buyers looking to purchase a home?
  • What do you find if you Google your agent’s name?

With the majority of buyers starting their real estate search online, the best REALTORS have a solid web presence with a well-designed website.  They should have a page for each major city or community they represent.  Here is an example of a real estate team who have dedicated pages for their main two real estate markets….Savannah and Pooler.

This is their dedicated Savannah real estate page.

This is their dedicated Pooler real estate page. 

If you are looking at a real estate agent’s website – make sure they have a dedicated page for the city or community that YOU live in.

Representing Both Buyers and Sellers

The best REALTOR will represent both buyers and sellers so that he can help his clients complete their transactions fast. This is called dual agency.  Most home sellers expect their real estate agent to bring them a buyer.  Dual agency simply lets the same agent who is listing your home, represent the seller too.

Some feel that opens the door to an agent being unscrupulous – but remember, REALTORS have a fiduciary responsibility to you.  If your realtor has clients who are looking to buy all he has to do is let them know that your home is available for sale – if it suits the needs of one of them then your sale is complete.  REALTORS that end up on “both sides” of the transaction (representing both the buyer and seller) have much more control over the sale.

Getting to the Closing Table

Some REALTORS don’t show up to the closing.  That should NEVER happen!  If your real estate agent is scheduled for a vacation to Aruba, they still should show up at the closing.

Needless to say, some agents will disagree with that stance, but the truth is…they signed up for that.  In most instances, they scheduled the closing date. There are many things that can go wrong on closing day — your REALTOR should be there.

Conclusion

There are many things that make up a good REALTOR.  Don’t underestimate how important it is to choose your REALTOR wisely.  Remember – Just because your brothers, cousins, gardener’s son is a real estate agent — doesn’t mean you should use them.  Ask the right questions – Its the largest financial transaction of your life!

Thinking of Becoming a REALTOR?

Thinking of Becoming a REALTOR?

becoming a real estate agent

Thinking of Becoming a Real Estate Agent?

Have you thought about becoming a real estate agent? Want to take on clients, make your own hours, and guide people in their journey to finding a home? Well, before you get started, it’s important to understand the levels of education required (or highly recommended) for becoming a successful real estate agent.

Getting Your License

So how do you become a real estate agent? Well, the answer might vary depending on what state (or country) you may live in. Every state requires you to have a real estate license, and each state has their own licensing process as their rules might be different than the next state’s.

Some of the basic requirements for becoming a real estate license are that you are 18 (some state’s it’s 19) years of age and that you are a legal US resident. Also required is for you to complete your state’s required education, and that you pass your real estate license exam.

Being a real estate agent might not be as easy as it looks—it’s important that you take your real estate education seriously, as an estimated 87% of new agents fail within their first five years.

Get Educated!

 

So take a pre-licensing course! These courses can be taken online or in person, and generally cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Make sure that you’re going through a certified, reputable real estate school and that you are taking your state’s required number of hours (which vary from 40 to over 180 hours).

These courses are designed to teach you real estate terminology and practices, as well as the legal aspects of real estate. It is important to understand your learning style and to sign up for the classes that are best for you. Some people really struggle with online courses, so check your local colleges or real estate firms for a class schedule.

Make sure you are present in your courses, take good notes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or for clarification or examples. These courses are meant to prepare you for taking the real estate agent exam, so it’s vital that you learn all you can from them. Get your monies worth!

So go out there and get your real estate education! There has never been a better time to start your career as a real estate agent.

House Styles

House Styles

Know The Style Of Home You Are Looking For

With the “Tiny House” and the “I Was A Metal Building Once” style of home to hit the scene, it is more important than ever to be able to communicate to your Real Estate Agent what type of home you are searching for.  There are many options in Homes For Sale in New Orleans, LA.  It may not be one style that peaks your interest, you may be interested in two or three styles.   Here is a few of the most popular and what amenities they offer:

Shotgun Style and Camelback Homes of New Orleans

The Shogun Style Home gets it’s name from the simplicity of the architecture.  You enter through the front of the home and it just goes straight back.  You walk througshotgunh each room to get to the next.  Initially, this style of home was popular with the middle class, and then became a sign of poverty in the mid-20th century.  These homes are built of wood, and usually found in bright colors throughout the city.

Another version of this home is the Camelback Home.  “Camelback” shotgun houses include a second floor at the rear of the house.  They are both built with very simple materials that run from the outside of the home, to the interior.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans Real Estate lost many of these historical homes.  The damage was so excessive, and the homes were so old that bulldozing was the least expensive option.  There are still many brightly colored Shotgun Homes, and Camelback Homes, in the city that have been spared demolition and add to the historical preservation of the Real Estate in New Orleans.

French Country Homes, also referred to as French Style Homes

French Style homes are very popular in the south.  Many homes for sale in the New Orleans FrenchStyleHomeSEOarea would be described as French Style homes.  The exterior of these homes are typically recognized by their stucco and/or brick exteriors.  The windows may have working shutters, or decorative shutters and arches above windows and doors.  The high-pitched hip roof pulls together the elements of the exterior and is a very dominant characteristic.

The interior of the French Style most often has fireplaces adorned with ornate fireplace mantels and hearths.  A lot of stone and wood features inside the home giving it a classic French feel.  As you enter this style home, you will see high interior doorways, and high ceilings.

If the home is occupied and decorated, the tall windows will most often be covered with dramatic silk drapes that puddle on the floor.  Subtle colors, think white, pale mint, sand, linen or gray.  Adding pops of color in decorative accents, but even then, it will be subtle.

Contemporary-Modern Homes

Contemporary-Modern Homes are very popular in states like California, Texas and some sprcontemporaryHomeinkled throughout the south.  When searching for homes for sale in New Orleans, a few Contemporary-Modern Homes will come up on your list, especially in the higher end neighborhoods.  These homes are most identifiable by their sleek, contemporary design.  Clean, simple lines and minimal decoration.  The use of glass, and flat rooflines define the exterior. Oversized windows that are left uncovered, to bring the outside in and utilize the natural light.  An easy to spot exterior element of this style home is the use of skylights and solar panels strategically placed to light and heat the home.

The interior of the Contemporary-Modern home will carry the esthetics of the exterior, to the interior.  The use of glass, clean lines and minimal décor.  Some may describe the floor plans as being unusual with an openness that carries through to outdoor living spaces.

Interior colors of the Contemporary-Modern Home will include neutral tones of gray, brown, and blacks and whites.  Simple, bare flooring in gorgeous finishes such as hardwoods, porcelain and ceramic tiles, travertine and marble have made way to Modern-Contemporary living.

With the age of technology, this style home offers the best solutions for hosting your gadgets.  Technology is a décor feature of the Modern-Contemporary home.  The use of technology in this style of “smart home” can control things such as your lights, heat and alarm systems through smart phones, computers and tablets.

Traditional Homes

Traditional homes have characteristics of one or more architectural styles. Brick exteriors andTraditionalHome shingled roofs of various pitches, with various architectural details.  These homes are famous for not being easily defined as any “particular style”. They may be eclectic, displaying multiple stylistic influences or simply very pared-down. They fit in well in established neighborhoods and rural lots. You will appreciate the welcoming front porches and “traditional” floor plans.

The interior of the home will have formal living and dining rooms along with cozy fireplaces.  This style of interior is the most simple of all to decorate.  Neutral paint colors, and flooring using natural, but durable elements in a less than open floor plan.  The use of interior walls define each room as it’s own.  It is easy to make the Traditional Home “your own” with unlimited decorating ideas, because it is not bound by the architectural elements of the other home styles, such as the Modern-Contemporary or French Country Style.

Tudor Homes

The Tudor home will be easiest to identify by it’s asymmetrical style of architecture. Here in the United States this style of home first began growing in popularity during the late 19th and early Tudorfirst half of the 20th century.  Late in the 20th century it gained popularity once again. The Tudor Style Home are inspired by elements from medieval architecture of the early 16th century.  Most recognized by their exterior features of steeply pitched roofs and decorative half-timber used sparingly.  The steep roof design can endure the harsher elements of lots of rain and snow. In this country, the endurance of this Tudor Home style roof is popular in regions such as the Midwest, Northwest, and along the East Coast, although other regions boast their fair share of this special home.

Tudor Homes have doorways that are often embellished with stone pavers that are not uniform in shape. These doorways are inset to offer protection from the elements and often a focal point to enhance the curb appeal of the home. Always adorned with massive brick or stone chimneys, again as much as a design feature, as a way to provide heat in harsh elements. Windows come in groups of two, three or four, and are tall and narrow.  Sometimes the glass panels are diamond shaped versus rectangular.

The interior will retain the architectural features of exposed beams, arched doorways, beaded board wall paneling and elaborate mantels.  Warm colors, such as neutrals with hints of gold, red and green for contrast. The use of heavy draperies, velvet and warm woods add to the coziness of Tudor Style home.

Cottage Style Homes

Despite the cozy design, the Cottage Style Home can offer a lot of space.  Not skimping on living space, the floor plans of these homes make them feel larger than their square footage. The CottageHomeCottage Style Home sits well on picturesque lots, waterfront and beach front areas.  Storybook gable roofs, balconies, small porches, and bay windows, along with the colorful paint choices, make these homes a stand out for curb appeal.

The interior of these homes lend to a cozy style of living that lacks in the larger, less personalized homes of other styles. Soft colors, woods and the minimal use of hard stones make for an ease in decorating.

Do Your Research

There are many more styles of homes available. By doing your research ahead of time, visiting a few styles and knowing which ones best fit your needs, will make your home shopping experience a more pleasurable one.

While there are many well preserved architectural styles across the United States, some older houses have been renovated and often disguise their origin.  Using a Real Estate Professional can assist you in finding out the history, and additions to these homes.  Also, getting a Home Inspection will reveal any poor renovations or lack of permits in the pre-owned home market.