7 Things, Your Real Estate Agent, Owes You

The behavior, ethics, and guidelines, for licensed, real estate agents, is described, in considerable detail, by, both, each individual's state, as well as one's local real estate board. One owes his client, fiduciary responsibility, discretion, ethics / integrity, and the finest, personal service, and representation! All real estate agents are not created equal , when it comes to, how seriously, and thoroughly, they consider these necessities. One should treat these, as, things – to – do, instead, of merely, as loose guidelines, because, they are, the very least, anyone hiring an agent, deserves, because, in most cases, one's house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset. This article, therefore, will attempt to, briefly, review, consider, examine, and discuss, 7 things, which are essential.

1. Integrity: An agent's integrity must be genuine, and absolute, in each, and every detail! This requires a commitment to one's client, and placing them, and their best – interests, ahead of any personal agenda, and / or, self – interest!

2. Ethics: It's important for agents, to thoroughly, read, and be familiar, with each, and every, ethical responsibility, described, in the Realtors Code of Ethics, as well as state real estate law! This means, an agent must focus, on what's best for his clients, instead of his personal best – interest!

3. Privacy: There must be a chemistry, and trust, between a homeowner, and his chosen representative! It is essential to respect client's privacy, in an absolute way! Any financial. economic, or personal information, shared, must be kept, private, and one must respect this privacy, etc.

4. Respect: There must be mutual respect, as well as trust, and a willingness to tell the homeowner, what he needs to know, not just what he wants to hear! Agents must respect the homeowner's time, and realize, this period of time, is, often, a stressful, trying one! One should, also, realize, an agent needs his client's respect, if the finest results can be achieved! The best approach, is using respect – based, teamwork!

5. Marketing plan: Since, no two homes, and no two individuals, are exactly the same, a customized, marketing plan, must be created, and used! Know, and understand, all aspects, and considerations, in order to proceed, effectively, and, on, the same – page!

6. Necessary adjustments: Often, a price adjustment, and / or, tweaking a plan, or process, is needed, mid – stream! This requires, mutual respect, understanding, and articulating a message, clearly, and, to, the point!

7. From listing, to closing: When one hires an agent, the process, and responsibility, must take place, consistently, from listing, to the closing! You need to be represented, by someone, who, will hold – your – hand, throughout, and ease the overall process!

Homeowners, and agents, should understand, what an agent, needs to provide, effectively, efficiently, consistently, and professionally! When the personal chemistry, and discipline, are there, the process, works, best!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SALT, And The Impact, On Real Estate

Until, the discussion, about some of the components, of the tax reform legislation, enacted, at the end of 2017, few people, paid much attention, to what is often, referred to, as, SALT, or state and local taxes. This provision, appears to favor, many of the smaller states, where there are, often, lower, income and property taxes, etc, over, those, which may have higher taxes. Was this a coincidence, and mere, by – product, or, a concerted political effort, to punish, states, which, generally, vote against the party of this President? This article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, the impact of this limitation, on the ability to deduct, local and state taxes, on various aspects of real estate.

1. Effects higher – priced, and, taxed, houses and properties, more: This provision has impacted, those owning higher – priced, and taxed houses, and properties, to a larger degree, than other homes. Since the limit (or, cap) on how much one is permitted to deduct, is only $! 0, 000, it means, if a state, has both, income taxes (state, and / or local), as well as higher real estate taxes, the owners, lose any potential benefit, from the so – called, tax reform. The higher the differential, the greater the impact!

2. Makes buying harder, especially, for, first – time homeowners: These provisions make it far more challenging, to home buyers, especially, first – time homeowners! When there is less tax benefit, the overall benefits of owning a house, versus, renting, is severely reduced! The lower the tax benefit, the net effect, is, often, severely increasing the overall costs of buying, and owning, a home, of one's own!

3. More susceptible, when mortgage interest rates, increase: Obviously, when mortgage interest rates, rise, it means, someone has a larger, monthly responsibility. When this is combined, with higher taxes, and limited tax savings, the probability of effecting the real estate market, and pricing, becomes, potentially, pronounced!

4. Perceptions: The tax legislation, appears, to benefit, those who, do not itemize, at the expense, of those, who do! Perhaps, the biggest challenge, may be, how potential buyers, perceive it, and whether, it affects, the price, they are willing, and able to pay, for a home. Obviously, in true, net terms, if one can no longer deduct, all, of the state and local taxes, the advantage of home ownership, is reduced, and, many taxpayers, suffer, to a far greater extent!

What we need, is a fair system, where there is more understanding, than, there might be, under present circumstances! Greater involvement, and fairness, should be, the rule of the land!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Broker Requirements: The Qualifications

The real estate broker requirements will give you an idea that shifting from one career to becoming a real estate agent is fairly easy. In fact, the qualifications do not vary much from one state to another because the demands are practically the same too. Although there might not be any particular degree required to become a good broker agent, it would not hurt if you have one because it will definitely be a good back up for whatever you are pursuing. And yet one of the most important requirements is that one needs to be able to take a series of exams to earn the license of being a broker.

Since the market of a real estate agent is huge and yet very competitive, one must be able to start with a real estate firm to work with. Usually a broker needs the help of broker and if you are just starting a career in real estate, it is best to find a broker you could work for. Then, the next thing that you need to do is to find people who are selling their properties and after that you need to search for people who want to buy that property. The more people you find, the more likely that you would be able to sell. This only means that you would have more chances of earning money.

In addition to what was already listed, becoming a broker agent is not easy but some say that it is definitely worth your time and effort. Not only will you be learning the tricks of the trade but you will also be equipped with the knowledge of the legalities that brokers have to deal with and keep up with. In fact, one of the major requirements of becoming a broker is working with technological advancements like the computer. If you do not have any knowledge about how to use it or how it works, it might be minus points for you. This type of profession demands for your diligence and perseverance because if you are determined to be the best broker, you can be one and the monetary rewards can be fulfilling too.

Perhaps by now, you have realized that the requirements are quite easy to meet and becoming a broker agent is actually within your arm's reach. Here is a breakdown list of the requirements that you need to prepare so that you can immediately start with your broker agent career.

• Age requirement

• Pass the background check

• Completed real estate courses

• Pass the real estate state exam

• Completed application form with needed attachments

• Payment of the fees

The requirements being asked from those who wish to become broker agents are not totally difficult to gather. In fact, they have one of the simplest application systems yet it is one of the most rewarding in terms of payment. Just look through the basics of application, you might just convinced yourself that it is a good career to shift to or at least you might want to try.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Better Real Estate Results: 7 Steps, Homeowners Should Take

When one decides, it’s time, to sell his house, the smartest approach, is, to proceed, with a time – tested, well – considered, process, focused on achieving the most desirable objectives! For most, this includes, obtaining the best possible price and terms, in the shortest – period of time, with a minimum of hassle/ stress! In order to make this, often – stressful process, and transaction period, more stress – free, and meaningful, based on my, over a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have created, my, RICH IDEAS, 7 basic steps, homeowners should take, to get the finest, possible results, etc. With that in mind, this article will briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, these steps.

1. Interview potential agents: Since, in most areas, there are many licensed, qualified, real estate agents, homeowners, should begin the process, by thoroughly, interviewing potential representatives, and determining, who might be best, for them. Since, for most, the value of their house, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to find someone, to represent your best interests, with the necessary skills, assets, abilities, and attitude, to make a significant difference, for the better?

2. Hire: Once you’ve decided, who might be, best for you, hire that individual, and thoroughly, discuss, your mutual expectations, especially, in the areas of marketing plans, open – houses, showings, and communication. Be certain, to be, on the same page, from the onset!

3. Marketing plan/ strategy: The quality of the marketing plan, is a significant factor, in the overall strategy, which will direct, the best approach, to achieving the finest quality objectives!

4. Teamwork: This process works best, and most efficiently and effectively, when a homeowner, and his chosen agent, are consistently, on the same – page, and do, what’s in the best interests of getting the objectives done! This teamwork, often, makes a huge difference, and the more, each, knows his responsibilities, and expectations, the finer the overall result!

5. Prepared for showings: Homeowners must agree to, at all times, while the house, is, on the market, to ensure, it’s ready, and prepared, for showings, even, on the shortest – notice. The reality is, the easier it is, to show, to the best of its potential, the finer the inevitable result!

6. Pay attention: Be certain to pay attention, to as many details, as possible, if you hope, to achieve your goals and objectives!

7. Endurance: Homeowners must realize, the transaction period, often, requires significant amounts of endurance, to overcome the stresses, and strains, which often, come – up!

If you want the best possible, real estate results, following, these 7 steps, should be helpful! Are you ready, willing, and able, to do, your part?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Homes of the Future: Luxury Real Estate’s Technology Boom

These days it seems as though technology advances at the speed of light. Blink twice and the next breakthrough is available. It’s not just about phones or computers-cutting edge technology is now available in every field to make life easier. Nowhere is this more evident than in the luxury real estate market. Innovations can be found in every room of the house. From state-of-the-art security systems to tech-laden bathtubs, the high-tech home is the new dream home.

The smart home is arguably the most influential development in home technology. The idea of controlling various systems (such as lighting and heating) remotely has been around a few years now, but more products are now available that integrate into the connected home network. Home security systems, door locks, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can keep you safe, while programmable thermostats, window shades, and beds keep you comfortable. There are also products to keep you entertained, such as TVs, sound systems, and lighting. Refrigerators, ovens, and crock-pots are all operable with a push of a button. Imagine riding home from work in your self-driven car, making sure your lights are on, the kitchen is a comfortable 73 degrees, and your dinner is ready the minute you step in the door.

Some homes are outfitted with technology down to the studs. With smart glass, your windows can darken themselves or turn into a movie screen. Other options include solar-thermal cladding to reduce heat loss, self-healing concrete so your driveway never gets a crack, and anti-bacterial tiles to keep your bathroom squeaky clean. Even building materials themselves are advancing with the digital age. Homeowners want it all when it comes to technology, and contractors and builders can provide it for them.

Smart homes are climbing to the top of “must have” lists around the country, and many sellers are ready to deliver. In fact, in a survey of more than 500 luxury real estate agents, 60% said they are seeing more smart home features in listing descriptions than two to five years ago, with agents also noting these features help sell homes faster. High end now means high tech-an oven ought not be just stainless steel; it must also let you adjust the temperature from across town with your tablet. There’s no better, or more desirable way to deliver the comfort and extravagance of luxury real estate to buyers than with smart, up-to-the-minute technology.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Agent Assistant Agreement

Using an assistant agreement is vital when hiring a real estate assistant. It should describe the working relationship between you and the assistant. The first thing you should consider is whether he or she is an employee or working as an independent contractor. If you choose to have an employee you have to deduct taxes, social security and unemployment insurance from their pay. This involves a lot of record keeping on your part plus the added expenses you incur by having an employee…

So after consideration most agents that hire assistants choose the independent contractor status. You do not have to do any of the withholding. You just have to provide a 1099 form. There is no salary only a commission or fee as payment or services rendered payment. This fee will also be deductible on your taxes as an expense.. It would be wise to check with your accountant to see how to handle the payment schedule.

You should hire an assistant that has an active real estate license because if they don’t have one it will limit them to doing only what an unlicensed person can do. This will make a very big difference because there are many tasks that need a licensed agent to perform. Some of the requirements you should consider when interviewing an assistant would be having computer skills in programs such as Microsoft word, excel or comparable programs. If they don’t have a laptop computer you may have to provide one. Although it’s an expense the investment will prove well worth it.

Let’s talk about what else an agreement should do.

  • Define the work hours
  • Define commission or payment services
  • Explain what duties you expect from an assistant
  • Assist with showings
  • Assist with market value reports
  • Go on market value report appointments with you
  • Set Appointments
  • Do open houses
  • Record keeping
  • Mailings
  • Hand out flyers
  • Place signs for open houses
  • Make phone calls on your behalf
  • Prospecting for new business
  • Review the daily updates on the MLS
  • Preview new listings
  • Meet all of your clients and customers
  • A team player attitude

You must determine a payment schedule of how much, when and how often the assistant should expect payment. Your business growth should have a direct effect on commission increases for the assistant. A confidentially clause is important to have in your agreement. The assistant must know that what goes on between both of you stays confidential. Having this all on paper will set the guidelines. Your assistant will know their job description and their duties.. A real estate assistant agreement should protect both parties.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Games Can Be More Than Just Pastime

Recreation is a vital part of everyone’s life. Gaming is one form in which children and adult alike can become hooked. But more than just past times, they can be used to educate.

Strategy games with some touch of real estate can be used early to teach children important aspects of the industry. There are real estate games which starts with the player owning a land. In order to prosper, the land needs to be developed. Problems soon arise with cash flowing in to the player’s side giving more opportunities to buy more properties but giving more difficulties for maintaining them.

There are also games which allows you to be a property manager, a house flipper, an interior designer, a real estate tycoon, and so much more. Almost any title or job relevant to the real estate industry has a game you can engage in.

Classic Games

Do you know that there is a very classic game which can be used to train kids to develop basic grasp of real estate? That game is called Monopoly.

In this game, the players battle for property ownership. By landing on specific properties, players buy them at the game’s bank and the title cards are awarded to them. As the game progresses, they can develop the properties to establish houses and hotels.

Other players who land on other player’s properties need to pay rents equivalent to how many houses or hotels are established on them.

The game has other kinds of properties like railroads and utility companies. The players can also own them and collect rent to other players.

This board game is actually a strategy game too. It makes the players think carefully on whether to buy a certain property or not. There are also financial constraints like taxes, maintenance repairs, and other expenses which can affect the players’ earnings.

Modern versions

This classic board game has now evolved. It can now be played on computers and gadgets. There are several versions which have slight variations on rules. Some are even made to be adaptive to certain areas like changing names of streets to those known to a certain country.

The real estate industry is a truly fascinating world. It captures not only the minds of adults but also the curiosity of children. Real estate games can be their first step towards understanding what the industry can do for them. Whether they just want to be plain homeowners or real estate tycoons, there are games to harness their skills.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Real Estate Agents Should SERVE Clients?

As a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, for well over a decade, I have often been asked, why a homeowner, is better served, by choosing, and using an agent, rather than trying to do it, himself! Choosing the right representation, for you, means, identifying, clearly, up – front, what you consider, your primary priority, and closely examining your reasoning, and rationale! While it’s simplistic, yet true, to state, the right agent should, and must, SERVE his clients, and place every client’s needs, etc, ahead of his own, self – interest, it might make sense, to examine, briefly what this means, and represents. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, how this must be, the highest priority and focus.

1. Service/ serves; strengths/ stronger; systems/ system; solutions/ solves; selling/ sales: When interviewing, for potential representation, a wise homeowner, carefully listens, and observes, which individuals, seem to emphasize, service, and indicates, ways, he serves his clients, best interests, and needs! This means, identifying, clearing, a specific property’s strengths, and weaknesses, and creates a strategy, to emphasize areas of strength, in order to make quality selling of the property, a stronger probability! He must know, which systems, to emphasize and stress, and share a marketing system, with his client, in order to work together, with teamwork, towards achieving the finest solutions, which seek to solve, the homeowner’s needs, and objectives!

2. Empathy; emphasis: When interviewing potential agents, it is wise, to consider, which ones, listen effectively, to you, and your needs, rather than trying to dominate the conversation. Selling houses, should be somewhat, customized, and not, a, one – size – fits – all, approach! When one proceeds with the utmost degree of genuine empathy, he becomes far more capable of placing his emphasis, where it might do, the most good!

3. Relevant; reliable; responsive/ responsible; realistic: What good is any agent, if he doesn’t provide, relevant professionalism? His clients must consider him to be reliable, and responsive to their needs, goals, and priorities! It’s not responsible, or beneficial, unless/ until, his recommendations are realistic!

4. Value; values; viable; views; vision: Great agents provide far more value to their clients, in order to demonstrate, why they should be chosen! Their values must be shared with their clients, and they must clearly explain their views, and rationale, for a specific approach. What good is any vision, unless/ until, it provides, the finest, most viable solutions, and actions?

5. Energize; excellence; endure; enrich: Since, for many, the process, is often, a stressful one, your agent should have the personal energy, and attitude, to energize you, in a positive way! His focus must be to provide genuine excellence, throughout this period, and he must have the endurance, to proceed forward, seamlessly, regardless of obstacles! Unless one enriches, those he represents, he isn’t serving his clients needs and objectives!

The best agents consistently, prioritize, the best way, to SERVE his clients! Since, for most people, their house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t that make sense?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do You Need IDX for Your Real Estate Website?

You’ve probably come across many articles, bloggers, and some internet marketers saying you don’t need IDX on your real estate website. Their reason is that the top 10 real estate websites led by Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, account for about half of all website traffic, and therefore, it is “useless” and “a waste of money” to try to compete with them.

The term IDX gets thrown around a lot. When people hear IDX, they automatically think it’s just home search for your real estate website. While property search is the main component of IDX, many don’t realize how to utilize it to the fullest and the valuable lead-generating tools it provides.

Besides providing home search on your website, I’m going to explain some reasons why IDX is a must-have for any real estate website.

“Product” of Your Business

When speaking to real estate professionals, I always make this analogy. As a real estate professional, you are a business. You can think of your real estate website as your “store”. The MLS listings on your website are your “inventory”. The listings are all the products that exist in your “store” where visitors can browse around and purchase. What happens when you have somebody visit your “store” but you have no product to offer? That person would do exactly what you and I would do… leave and go somewhere else where there is a product to look at and possibly purchase.

These are valuable leads you will be losing if you don’t have IDX on your real estate website. Unless you are solely generating business on referrals, your website (store) must have IDX (product).

You Can Build Listing Pages

IDX gives you access to all the hundreds to thousands of listings in your MLS. Like I mentioned above, this is your inventory, and it’s like having thousands of products on your website.

Having access to all the listings, you can create listing pages that focus on specific search criteria. For example, you can create a listing page that shows all listings under a specific price. Or you can create a listing page that displays listings in a specific subdivision, area, community, or school district. These listing pages provide a better experience for users in that they help direct your real estate website visitors to listings they are looking for. Even more valuable is that these listing pages are search engine friendly which is what I will talk about next.

Generate Leads from Google Search

All of your IDX pages that a platform provides are SEO friendly and are indexed by Google, Bing, and all other major search engines. This means all the listing pages within the IDX system are indexed by Google and is an excellent source of organic leads. For example, for one of our clients, we created an IDX page that displays homes for sale in the school district of Squires Elementary.

Look at what happens when you Google

“Homes for Sale Squires Elementary School District”

Yes, our client using our website with IDX is ranked #1 out of 1,640,000 Google search results above Zillow and Realtor.com!

With IDX you can build hundreds of these real estate listings pages and all of them will appear in Google search results! Do you still think you can’t compete with Zillow?

Platform and Tools for Your Clients

IDX is much more that just property search for your real estate website. Many oversee or are unaware of the valuable tools that you will be providing to your clients. IDX takes your real estate website to the next level by providing a platform for your clients. Your website visitors can create an account right on your real estate website to utilize the IDX tools such as saving favorite listings and favorite searches. It’s an experience that your clients expect and will always come back to.

Automatically Email Latest Listings to Your Leads

An IDX system will be able to send your leads the latest listings automatically by email based on their search criteria. You can think of this as lead nurturing with listings. The user can define searches themselves right on your website in which they want to receive the latest listings for. This is a completely automated process that will stay in touch with all your leads. When they see a listing they are interested in, they just contact you.

A Place for Your Existing Clients to Come Back To

If you’ve built a relationship with your existing clients, they will use your real estate website when they are looking to purchase a home again. They already trust you and your website is familiar to them. They will already have an account within your IDX system where they can just log in to perform their searches and utilize the tools you provide. If you don’t provide home search on your real estate website where will all your clients go? Yes… somewhere else.

Landing Pages + IDX = Powerful Lead Generation

Utilizing landing pages is a very popular method of generating leads especially on Facebook. When you combine landing pages with IDX, you create a very effective and powerful lead generating system.

You can create listing pages within IDX and utilize those pages for your landing pages. For example, you can promote a landing page that gives users access to all homes under $600K in the city of Clairemont. When a lead completes the form of your landing page, you can direct them to a listing page in your IDX system that displays these listings. Without IDX on your real estate website, a system like this would not be possible.

Offering a Much More Personal Experience

Large real estate websites such as Zillow and realtor.com are very commercialized and can be intimidating to a user. Your website is much more personable and offers trust and a level of comfort. Since your website will be focused on an area, this will also be much more familiar to your website visitors as they will know you are a real estate expert in the area they are looking to purchase.

Do you need IDX on your real estate website? YES. IDX is a must-have for your website for all the reasons mentioned above. The cost of having IDX on your website is very minute compared to all the benefits you will get from it. Closing just one deal generated from your website with IDX can pay for your IDX and website service for 5-10 years!

All you have to do is look at the websites of the most successful real estate agents. Do they have IDX on their real estate website?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Find the Right Real Estate Broker

Buying a property is a cumbersome process involving multiple steps. You need professional help to make it easy. In order to achieve success in this objective, you have to find a certified property agent who makes the entire process smooth, without any glitches or delays. As this profession has no screening method to allow entry to upright brokers only, any person can become a broker. Therefore, it is a challenge to get the right agent. Certain measures are important in this regard – to be safe rather than regret later.

What you can do is to select the area in which you plan to buy a property and then ask local contacts to recommend a broker without any sullied record. The initial filter works well as you are likely to get some recommendations. The next step involves seeking verified brokers. Some progressive states in different locations require property agents to register themselves with the government. Only those verified can operate legally. Now with strict regulations in the real estate sector coming into force, you can look for a property portal that allows only certified agents to operate. Sign up with a verified agent for your real estate needs and stay away from shady operators.

Services

Is the agent right if he just fixes the deal, takes his commission and goes his way? Absolutely not. You are not looking for an agent who is a professional only in money matters. Your search for the right agent is over when you find an agent who is willing to perform all his duties as a professional and give you complete peace of mind. The real estate agent must prepare a shortlist of suitable properties and show you the ones matching your specifications. Once you have chosen a property, the stage of price negotiation between the buyer and the seller should be handled carefully as many good deals fall apart because of lack of patience and extra effort which the agent is required to put in.

The agent should do homework about the property records. He should introduce you to a good lawyer who authenticates the documents. As you are busy with your work, you do not get time to visit the registrar offices for searching records, to establish whether the seller is the actual owner or there are other undisclosed co-owners. Preparing the schedule of payment and agreement papers is also the job of the agent. He should structure the deal in such a way that the client is not cheated. That is why it is said that finding the right agent is a tough task. But it is not impossible. You need to plan it carefully and conduct initial checks. If you do not remain wise in selecting the agent, you are likely to encounter serious problems later.

Unscrupulous Agents

As there are many shady dealers operating in the market, you run the risk of being cheated in several ways. He could make you buy a disputed property or a one enmeshed in litigation despite knowing the reality. Also, he could make you invest in a project likely to be delayed or buy from a developer who lacks the financial capacity to complete the project. An agent should not charge you more than the fixed commission.

A buyer should be aware of certain aspects of the property market and familiar with the tricks of agents. To get more relief, he should find out if there is an online portal where only certified agents are allowed to operate. Then, at least he knows right from the beginning that he is looking at the genuine players and he is going to select a top-rated agent with good reviews on the portal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment