Essential Tips to Finding Condos for Sale

There are a few tips you may want to take under advisement when looking for a condo for sale so that you know the one you choose is the perfect match for you and your family moving forward, a place where you will feel safe and can enjoy for years to come.

One of the first things you are going to want to take into consideration before you even start looking at a condo for sale is to consider your lifestyle. Are you a small family with young children a handful of pets? Are you a single professional looking for the convenience of a lock up and go or are you a young couple who enjoy spending weekends away at various destinations throughout the country? Your lifestyle will determine if condo living is the right choice for you.

Remember a condo, or condominium, is a unit in a complex. This means that you will have neighbors close by, but you also get the added benefit of a host of facilities and amenities. Some come with swimming pools, others come with laundries and there are those that also include a small fitness center as an added convenience.

With your lifestyle identified and you have decided that a condo for sale is the best choice for you right now, you are going to want to look for an experienced an agent. If you have heard of a new complex being built in your area, then contact the agents handling the complex to see if there are any units still available and make an arrangement to view at your convenience. Try and choose an agent who has experience selling these types of units, someone with a wealth of information that can provide you with the advise and assistance you need to make the right investment decision moving forward.

When you find a condo for sale you feel meets your exact requirements, then you are going to want to start working on your financing options. Speak to the agent you are dealing with to see who they recommend for financing. If you have your own bank you have been using for years and you have a good credit history, it is worthwhile approaching your bank directly to see what finance they can provide to you, so you can pay your deposit and secure your unit without delay.

Identify what is included with the condo. In most instances you find that condominiums come with a host of facilities and amenities. Some will have swimming pools, some will have fitness centers and others will have both. These are conveniences that you may or may not make use of, but they are fantastic selling points when you choose to sell or upgrade one day.

Ensure you identify the Homeowners Association fees you need to pay each month and what these fees include. These fees are charged by the association that oversees the complex. In most instances this will include overall maintenance of the building and public areas, along with refuse removal and more. Each association has different rules and fees, so ensure you have a good understanding of these before making any final decision.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Condos for Sale – How to Choose the Right One for You

Have you ever lived in a condominium unit? If like me you grew up in a house with a garden then chances are you have no idea what factors and features to consider when looking at condos for sale. Not being aware of key aspects that could affect your quality of life as well as the unit’s resale value could leave you with a condo you can’t live in or sell.

What to prepare before checking out condos for sale

When a person decides to try buying a condo unit the first thing they do is look through adds, this is one of the most common mistakes buyers make. Prior to looking at units, preparations have to be made which can make looking for a condo easier and in the end more advantageous for you.

Down through the ages people have always said information is the key and looking at condos for sale is no different. Prior to visiting different units hire an experienced realtor. He or she will be able to give you invaluable advice plus his or her services are free since the seller will pay the commission. Another person you need on your side is a lawyer. „Legalize“ is a language not everyone is familiar with and it’s always a good idea that we understand everything we sign, trust me on this my siblings are lawyers. Next, crunch the numbers and look through mortgage requirements. Being ready on the financial front will give you a realistic view on what you can and cannot afford.

What to avoid while looking at condos for sale

Unfortunately not everyone is able to realize that small details can make a big difference in ones‘ quality of life. The following are some things you may not have thought to take into consideration:

• Steer clear of units that overlook the entrance to the garage or where vehicle traffic is if you value peace and quiet.

• Once again for peace and quiet do not choose a unit across from or beside an elevator.

• Make sure your suite does not look over the area where garbage is picked up; this is self-explanatory but is a detail most people will miss.

• Make sure most of the condo’s occupants are owners not tenants.

• Avoid condo buildings that are not easily accessible by any number of public transport services. Trust me you’ll need the service one of these days even if you do have a car.

• Avoid condo buildings where the neighborhood is not as pleasant as you’d like. The building itself maybe top notch but if the location is not at par then think twice.

• Avoid making a decision before going to the condo several times and at different times of the day and night.

• Remember to chat with the neighbors. You’ll need inside information about the area and if you can stand living beside them.

• Do not commit before you have discussed all the monthly fees, maintenance costs, association dues, closing fees and all financial matters. You need to know you can afford it all without breaking a sweat.

• Do not buy a suite with a view you can’t live with, no matter what the building’s amenities are.

Happy hunting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Weary of Looking at Houses for Sale in Cork, Ireland?

And what about when you do eventually manage to get the details of a couple of suitable looking properties for sale in Cork (going by the agent’s details at least!) – which haven’t also gone `Sale Agreed‘ almost as soon as you hear about them – you set off to the viewings in excited anticipation of at last finding your `dream home‘ only to be bitterly disappointed when you discover that they are either located miles from anywhere (shops, buses, trains, schools, etc.) next door to a smelly pig farm or are slap-bang in the middle of a busy through-road!

Not to mention the sheer waste of your precious time, effort and money criss-crossing the county (or even the oceans if you’re still living abroad whilst looking at suitable houses for sale in Cork!

From the `wild and wooly‘ areas of Bantry & Glengarriff in West Cork, south east to the vibrant towns of Kinsale & Clonakilty or heading north to Cork City itself, Blarney and Mallow, Cork is a very large county with an abundance of differing styles as well as prices of property to view.

With so much physical ground to cover, where you might easily have to drive for 2-3 hours between viewings, what a relief it would be if you could instead instruct independent house hunters to do the whole property searching and buying process on your behalf.

Appointing a reliable, independent firm of house hunters to act on your behalf will take all the `drudge‘ out of doing the rounds of estate agents/auctioneers and/or searching the property website portals into the wee small hours in the hope of unearthing that `property jewel‘ before anybody else finds it.

By appointing an independent house hunter to act on your behalf – who has also experienced the house-buying process in Ireland themselves – will pay huge dividends down the road as they will be best placed to save you time and money when negotiating the best possible price for your dream home.

Again, because of the wide diversity of property types, sizes and locations, etc. in Cork, asking prices for properties can vary enormously. From the dizzy heights of several million euro for the larger detached houses in and around the Kinsale & Cork City areas to the more modestly priced country cottages around Glangariff, Garrettstown and Skibbereen – with prices reducing accordingly for smaller, semi-detached and terraced properties more often found in the larger urbanisations such as Carrigaline, Douglas, Wilton and Middleton.

From the older, more `challenging‘ properties to the newly-built less demanding ones, a knowledgable house hunter will have learned invaluable lessons along the way as to what to watch out for when purchasing a property in Ireland.

Naturally, all the usual `caveats‘ apply to house buying in Cork – starting with the three most important factors to consider when buying anywhere: „Location, Location, Location“. Right through to the perhaps less well known elements noticeable to the untrained eye such as structural condition, accurate market values, etc.

Initial consultation/meeting

This is your chance to provide as much information as you can so that your house hunters will know exactly what you are looking for in your `dream home‘ in Cork and, most importantly, that you are eligible to purchase a property in Ireland. They will discuss your needs and also advise on practical issues such as local schools, shops, travel links, etc. This should be a free, no-obligation consultation.

Previewing and viewings

Using your brief as a guideline, and once the `paperwork‘ has been completed, your property search agent will then search the Cork housing market on your behalf doing all the legwork for you – including previewing suitable properties that fit your requirements. Your house hunter should then draw-up a short-list of the most suitable properties for you to view – always accompanied by one of their team – as well as offering additional helpful advice as needed.

Negotiations and acquisitions

Your appointed independent house hunters will take care of the negotiations, bargaining as hard as possible on your behalf, to obtain the best possible price to secure your dream house in an extremely competitive market.

Hassle-free conveyancing

Because the Principals of the business will have experienced the Irish house-buying process personally they will also be able to put you in touch with a wide range of reliable professionals and trades-people with whom they have forged long-standing relationships should you need them.

For example: Solicitors, Financial Advisors, Architects, Surveyors, Plumbers, Painters, Decorators, Roofers, Structural Engineers, Electricians, Gardeners and Removal Companies.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Find a Real Estate Agent

You may be of the opinion that you don’t need a real estate agent and that using one will add to the cost of buying your new home.

The fact is that a real estate agent’s fees are typically paid by the seller of the home. So, as a buyer, you can get the services of a professional real estate agent without having to directly pay for it. Please confirm this in any paperwork or contracts that a real estate agent may provide because policies vary greatly by state and company. Be sure to ask about fees when you interview agents.

Most of these agents may work with buyers and sellers but often they specialize in working with one or the other. Make sure the agent that you choose has experience working with buyers and with no down payment transactions.

Be careful if you are speaking with a real estate agent and they don’t seem to recognize terms like „Down Payment Assistance Program“.

Start making a list of possible real estate agents to interview with referrals from your lender, friends and family.

A referral from the lender is great because you get the services from people that have worked together in the past and are already familiar with each other’s systems. This can help prevent any last minute surprises or obstacles.

Questions to ask while you are interviewing an agent:

Please explain your fees.

Are you familiar with any no down payment financing programs?

Have you been involved with no down payment buyers in the past?

Would you mind providing sample contracts so I may review them?

Does it clearly state in the contract who will be paying your fees?

How long have you been a real estate agent?

Do you mostly work with buyers or sellers?

I’m looking for a home in the areas of ______. How familiar are you with those areas?

What specific steps would you take to help me find the home I am looking for?

You should also try to get an idea of these factors while you are speaking with the agent.

– Does this person have good negotiating skills?

– Do you feel this agent is trying to understand your situation so that they can properly represent you to sellers?

– How much knowledge does the agent have about mortgage markets?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Farm Expired Listings For Big Commissions

Many real estate agents begin and sometimes sadly end their careers without a plan. And as the saying goes, failing to plan is as good as planning to fail.

Sure, some do the usual and expected things to cultivate new business, like mailing letters and post cards to friends and relatives, phoning acquaintances, and giving out business cards to any and everybody they meet.

Heck, some are courageous enough to „cold call“ prospects, the most

dreaded of all tasks! And while all of these activities are good things to do, they don’t necessarily translate into new business opportunities – now or later!

And while these may be good strategies you need more. But instead of working harder why not work smarter?

The most successful Realtors and Real Estate Agents have „lead

generating systems.“ Some Farm Expired Listings for huge profits.

A good listing system can:

jump start new or average real estate sales career; bring in real estate listings on a regular basis; week after week

generate prospective buyers and sellers; give you marketing exposure in months rather than years; and position you to know the best real estate investment buys

Personally, I love Expired Listing Systems and their laser beam like focus on warm, responsive sellers. Sellers that are typically still Realtor friendly, eager to sell and will do what it takes to get their properties sold.

Owners of expired listings are motivated for many reasons; double mortgages, vacant properties, terrible tenants, recently married and combining households, recently divorced and liquidating real estate assets, and on and on.

Plus, they have gone through a listing cycle and may be anxious to get on with their lives. But, as you know, or will soon learn, all listings aren’t worth having.

As for me, I initially listed every property that I could; vacant land, single family homes, condo’s, triplexes, mobile home parks, mobile homes, homes in top notch condition, fixer uppers, whatever.

And I got to feeling pretty darn good (and just a little smug) as my listing portfolio grew to more listings than I could manage.

So, I first hired a part time clerk/assistant to help me market my listings, then took on a newly licensed salesperson as a partner and split the listing fees 50/50. Pretty soon my listing system was humming and I was averaging 1-2 listings a week.

I then had an army of agents working for me day and night, as almost all of my listings were in the Multiple Listing System. Working to get me paid, even when I was chaperoning field trips, getting a haircut, or just taking a day off!

That’s what a good real estate listing system can do for you!

So, if you don’t have a good listing system you should get one. After all, if real estate listings are the lifeblood of the industry then how successful can you be without them?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying Real Estate in Down Market

When you plan to buy a home in a down market condition, it is very essential that you know all the things that will help you earn great deals from it. When there is a sluggish real estate market, the prices of homes decline. This is the most appropriate time to purchase a property as you will be able to buy it at a cheap price.

It is absolutely essential that you do your homework before buying a property. Know an area well before making any move. Learn about the price range of properties in that area. It will help you in bargaining with the seller and you can get a house within your price range.

You should remember that you are not the only buyer hunting for a particular property. To be sure that you do not have a competitor, get your mortgage pre-approved so that the seller knows that you are financially sound. He will be more interested in selling his property to you.

You should always hire a professional real estate inspector to be sure that everything in the house is in a proper state. It may so happen that the roof or the doors and windows are cracked and that might cost you heavily in the long run. So check everything properly before purchasing a property.

Always take assistance from a professional real estate attorney who knows well the real property law associated with any real estate deal. He can do all the paperwork on your behalf for real estate laws are very difficult for a normal person to understand. It is also advisable to look out for motivated sellers.

A motivated seller will always be motivated to sell his home and that too at a lower price. The motivated sellers have some compelling reasons behind selling a home. It will be helpful for you in making a great negotiation with the seller. By purchasing the property from a motivated seller, you are also helping him at the same time.

While purchasing a property during a down real estate market condition, you need to take care of all these things to crack big deals. Real estate industry is a place where you can make really good investments provided you have ample knowledge and expertise.

You can also take advice from real estate experts as to how they were able to earn profits when the market conditions declined.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

6 Tips for Home Buying Right Now

1. Get pre-approved for a loan.

Most sellers require a pre-approval letter along with your written offer. You should have it ready to go so that when you find the right home there is no delay getting your offer submitted. There’s a lot of confusion about pre-approved vs. pre-qualified… even Realtors sometimes use the terms interchangeably! But the pre-approval is the real deal. With a pre-approval, the lender has run your credit, and you will usually have filled out a loan application and provided documentation to the lender, who will then tell you the amount for which you are approved. With the pre-qualification, you will typically have provided some information verbally to the lender about your credit, income and assets, and the lender will give you a ballpark amount for which you are likely to be approved. Sometimes a pre-qualification letter will be sufficient; the main thing is to talk to a lender before you start looking at homes.

2. Decide if short sales and bank-owned properties are for you.

Don’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t meet your home-buying needs. Each of these types of sales has its own challenges for the home buyer, so it is important to know the basics of each and decide if either one fits in with your game plan. For example, if you need to get into a new home within a fairly short time frame, a short sale may not work for you, as they frequently take many months to complete. And bank-owned properties are often in need of work, which can add to the overall cost, or make it difficult to get certain types of loans. If you can be patient with a short sale, or have the ability and/or resources to fix up a bank-owned home, these could be excellent avenues to explore. If not, tell your Realtor® to skip the short sales and bank-owned houses.

3. Check out neighborhoods ahead of time.

One of the best things you can do at the start of your home-buying project is to take a weekend or two and cruise around various areas and subdivisions, especially if you are new to the area. Tell your Realtor which neighborhoods hold the greatest appeal for you – it will really help her understand the type of home you want and your taste in houses. Some buyers are looking for newer homes in areas with lots of families and kids; others prefer the quieter, „mature“ neighborhoods. Fortunately, there’s something out there for everyone, and a real estate agent who has plenty of local area expertise and knowledge will be a huge help in finding those neighborhoods that are hidden gems.

4. Make time for house-hunting.

Don’t plan to only go to showings on the weekend – in this market that’s not a winning strategy. There is actually a shortage of well-priced homes in good condition, and the ones that are also in a desirable location sell almost immediately. If you’re serious about finding your dream home, clear the decks and be ready to jump when your Realtor tells you a new listing just hit the market that fits your requirements. And more importantly – be ready to make an offer if it is the right house. It could easily be gone in a day or two.

5. Don’t waste time on houses that are already sold!

Do you spend your spare time house-hunting on Zillow, Realtor.com or Trulia? Or driving around and calling about houses with signs out front? Then you’ve probably already learned that a huge number of those homes – which appear to be for sale – are not really available. They are very often „under contract“ which simply means that another buyer made an offer that was accepted by the seller. These often still show as available on the public real estate websites, but in most cases the sale will close in a few weeks. Work with a Realtor® who will set up a custom search for you so you can focus on just those homes that meet your criteria and are actually still available.

6. And of course, the most important thing is to find a really professional and client-oriented Realtor!

A great agent will make your home buying experience smoother and more enjoyable. Get referrals from friends or family who’ve recently had a good home-buying experience, or call or email a few local agents. See which ones are responsive and return your call or email right away, and get a feel for how professional and knowledgeable they are about the local area and current market conditions. Also check out their commitment to their clients in terms of training above and beyond that needed to get a real estate license. Realtors® who work diligently on behalf of their clients have often invested in advanced training and designations such as:

  • GRI – Graduate Realtor Institute, only 19% of Realtors®
  • ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative, only 15% of Realtors®
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist, only 10% of Realtors®

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We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you success in your house-hunting!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Plan the Perfect Open House

Have you ever spent time and energy planning an Open House, just to have less than five people attend? Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

I’m Cindy Bishop of Cindy Bishop Worldwide. I pride myself not only on being a successful real estate agent with over 28 years of experience, but a knowledgeable and helpful trainer and coach. I’m committed to making everyone who comes into contact with me succeed, and have compiled the following open house tips for you, both from my own experience, as well as teaching and coaching friends of mine. Use them to succeed, and contact me if you have any questions at all!

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

* A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

* Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

* A home with some kind of „conversation starter“. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

* Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

* Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

* Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

* If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

* Don’t pick a date and time where people are not available, for example, the majority of people work Monday through Fridays from 8am-5pm, and may not be free on a Wednesday at 3pm. Additionally, people are usually not free on holiday weekends.

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

* Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

* Snacks are a must! Try wine and cheese, or beer and wings. The most important part about the food is that it needs to match what type of neighborhood you are in. Fried chicken and hamburgers probably aren’t appropriate at a million-dollar listing, but champagne and caviar probably aren’t appropriate in a first-time homebuyer situation, either. Just a word of caution; however, if you are serving alcohol, be very careful about who you serve. You may even want to get someone on your team to help you out with this. The last thing you need is for someone to drink at your open house as a minor, or someone to drive off over intoxicated and get into an accident. If in the right kind of setting, having comfort foods is especially welcoming and makes many visitors feel more at home. Careful to avoid foods with bad odors or smells, as you don’t want them attributed to the home.

* Consider leaving a hand-written sign to „Help Yourself“ along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

* Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

* Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

* Make sure to engage each and every visitor so they have are interested, and want to stay longer.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

* Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

* Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

* Visit neighbors‘ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

* Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

* Make sure everything is in order so that you look your best, and the house looks it’s best. it should be clean, light bulbs should be new, dust should be gone, air fresheners should be working, the climate should be controlled. I’ve even heard of certain agents baking cookies in advance of the big event so that the house feels and smells extra homey.

* Consider removing clutter, which makes navigating the home difficult. You can also remove or hide offensive art, or anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. But be careful- make sure the homeowner doesn’t just throw the clutter into closets or cabinets! People care more and more about storage these days, and if it looks like the cabinets and closets are busting at the seams with junk, they’ll automatically assume that the amount of storage space in the house is not sufficient

* Use natural light to your advantage. Make sure all window treatments are open and all curtains are drawn. All light switches should be turned on, regardless of where they are. You don’t want someone afraid to go in the basement, or thinking they aren’t allowed to enter the garage.

* Make sure the home owner is not present. The last thing you need is them having an emotional breakdown because they are going down memory lane, or answering a question incorrectly. People also feel uncomfortable freeing roaming when the person who owns the property is looking over their shoulder.

* With that said, valuables, if left in the home, should be secured. At the very least, you should know what they are and where, and make an inventory of them. I strongly advise you insist that the home owner take them out of the property before the open house, so you’re not held liable for them in case of damage or theft.

* Use your team. If you are alone at an Open House, you may be spread too thin. If you leave for a minute to check that a sign on the corner hasn’t fallen down, you may miss someone who pops in to find no one there. Have one person for signage and the guest book, one person on food and drink detail, and that leaves you free to talk to and engage guests.

* Have a loan agent or lender on hand, in order to answer any potential questions the home buyer may have about the process.

* Make sure you have the necessary paperwork required. You can print out a copy of the MLS but it’s strongly suggested that you make a booklet, flyer, or something more personalized to the property, and to yourself.

* Make sure you know the neighborhood, and have done comparisons of values in the neighborhood. You may lose credibility if someone asks you a question and you’re unfamiliar with this territory, and I’m sure you’d rather look like a pro!

6. Use the Personal Touch

* It’s not enough to have each visitor sign in. You should take detailed notes on your conversation with each person. If you can’t remember this, a helpful suggestion is to hide a notebook or tablet inside a kitchen drawer, and make notes as the day goes by.

* You should remember one thing about each visitor and bring it up at some point during their tour of the home. „Jerry, wouldn’t this be an amazing place to store your golf clubs?“

* Don’t try to sell anyone. They will come to you, and request the information they need, when they need it. This is a time to establish relationships. Your only objective should be to make this home (and yourself) memorable.

7. Follow Up

* Add all visitors to your e-mail list, as well as your newsletter list. AM Open House is a great app and resource to make sure you’re keeping on task with this.

* For those visitors who were seriously interested in the home or in you, handwritten cards should be sent out thanking them for coming, and encouraging their business in the future. Take out that handy notebook you stashed, and make personal notes in each card. They’re more likely to keep it the more personal it is. Above all, make sure your contact information is on each card.

* Some agents even send videos. You could forward on a Facebook live video of the open house, or send a YouTube video of the listing. You could even send some kind of greeting card video for a special way to say „thanks for attending!“ BombBomb is a great resource for this type of video.

* Text message is a wonderful way to contact people, and has a 95% open rate. It’s less invasive than a phone call, which people may avoid answering if they don’t know a specific caller. Send a very specific text message with a thank you, the property address, and more information on the property, or a link for more information.

* Send a follow up to the follow up starting with the subject header „I forgot to tell you… “ – You can then point out a feature you neglected to tell them about on the current property, or even point out other properties that you may have listed, if this one fell short for them.

Of course, the best resource for an Open House is a coach, who can suggest strategies unique to your community and clientele. Not only is this more effective, but a coach should follow up with you to make sure that everything went smoothly, and question each step if it doesn’t.

Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Business Enhancement and Growth training for the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Sell A House And Lot

There are times you think you are incompetent doing some things that are not your field or expertise. On this venture you come to prove something to yourself. Selling a property is crucial but if done with proper documentation, legitimacy, good faith and consent of both parties buyer and seller, transaction will complete in due time.

In my own venture, it took around ten months more or less to sell a house and lot of the transfer of property from parents to heirs of a clean title. You can seek the assistance of a broker, a lawyer, or a realty firm, among others, to help you with the processing of papers. Each office takes two, three or a month to stamp approval or release.

In the process of documentation, you need a set of photocopies of applications, receipts, affidavits, claim stubs, and other certificates. Label them in safe folders and keep in a bag so any time an office requires a copy, you have one available. Should a file be lost, certified true copies could be sought from the proper government offices.

Here are three steps from Attorney Glicerio Alarkon Jr. (San Beda College of Law), of whom I sought help for my papers.

„1 Settle the estate tax where the property of the decedent is located at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

2 Secure a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds or Land Registration Authority.

Before securing a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds, you have to pay the transfer tax at the City Hall.

3 After all these steps, the property is now ready for sale!“

So after the lawyer’s advise, here is how the papers got processed selling a property. To save on brokers fees, I worked on my own selling a house and lot.

Initially, before step one, real property taxes must be paid every year, but if taxes have accrued and the interest charges are onerous, owners can claim and wait for a tax amnesty or pay in installment. Keep real property tax receipts.

In step one, once the estate tax have been paid, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will issue a certificate authorizing registration. From here, you can go step two.

Other documents you may need are publishers affidavit, an extrajudicial settlement of estate, tax account numbers, government identification cards, valid identification cards, and a special power of attorney from the Consulate General of the country where the other heirs reside if the heirs are living abroad. For example, our extrajudicial is from the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, California, USA. Also, death certificates of parents, and sometimes, birth certificates of heirs from the National Statistics Office have to be prepared. Save some money for notary fees and transportation, among others.

The last step is the Deed of Sale. With this, the seller should pay the capital gains tax. Payment of the property can be made in cash or check. However, verification from the bank is necessary, if payment is in check. You will need a lawyer to help you during this transaction. Also, you will need the bank’s assistance for safety. Should the money be of material amount seek the help of a police officer. Truly, the help of good workers!

Remember a good sale happens in an honest deal! My mission accomplished! Thanks be to God!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg