How to Sell Your Property Privately?

Looking to sell your home without an agent? Yes, it is possible to sell a property privately. When you sell without an agent, you save on the commission to be paid which can be exorbitant. But is it easy to sell on your own?

Well! The answer to this is that selling a home on your own is quite an easy process but it requires your dedicated time and efforts. If you are willing to do it, it will be beneficial for you!

Benefits of selling a home privately:

• You do not have to share your profits with anyone

Since you are selling the property without hiring an agent you do not have to a commission which is a percentage of the total sales amount.

• You are in control of the sales process.

When an agent sells your property, he has the control over the process. On the other hand, when you sell your property privately, you have control over the entire sales process.

• You have the flexibility to arrange viewings as per your convenience.

• You can negotiate a price you deem right.

How to sell your property privately?

De-clutter

Clear up your home to remove any articles of personal nature.

Inspect

Inspect your home for any faults or defects and correct them.

Home-staging

It is decorating your home to attract buyers. You could consider professional home-staging services. Home-staging not only attracts buyers but also helps your property fetch a better price.

Price your property

Accurate pricing of your property is important for selling it quickly. For this, you could research the prices of similar properties on the internet. You can also consider taking the services of a professional evaluator.

List your property

List your home on a reliable, high-visibility property portal. This will ensure that it reaches a large number of potential buyers. You could also consider multiple listing to enhance your reach. It also helps to promote your listing on social media channels to increase its exposure.

Connect with potential buyers

Potential property buyers will connect with you directly after viewing the listing.

Arrange Viewings

Arrange visits for your potential buyers to view your property. You have the flexibility to arrange the viewings at mutually convenient timings.

Negotiate

You are the owner of the property and you can decide what price you want to sell it. You can negotiate the price directly with the buyer.

Close the deal

Close the deal with all the necessary documentation. You can consider hiring a legal expert to scrutinize the documents.

These are the basic steps for selling your property privately.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Top Ten Tips For the Best Road Trip Ever

There is nothing more fun than an old-fashioned road trip. I love taking to the open road and exploring our country. Now, I’ve been a „road tripper“ for some time and though I love air travel, I love the road trip because that’s how you can really experience the country. So it’s time to get your favorite tunes and munchies ready and plan your open road trip adventure with these ten easy road trip travel tips.

1. Plan your trip. First, you need to determine where you’re going to go and then plan your trip. Planning doesn’t have to take a long a time, but you do need to know the route you’re going to drive and points of interest along the way that you’re going to want to stop and explore. Half the fun of a road trip is seeing the sites along the way. I like to MapQuest my trip and have that as my main plan of attack for my road trip. GPS is very popular these days and I recommend them, but you can’t always rely on them when you hit construction zones or accidents on your journey. That’s why it’s essential that you have a real map with you for the areas you’ll be traveling to and to plan alternate routes if necessary.

2. Make your hotel reservations BEFORE you go. Part of the fun when traveling on the road is stopping wherever your heart desires, but there’s nothing worse than a „no room at the inn“ experience on a road trip. You may not realize that there is a „Comic Book Trade Show,“ „Strawberry Festival“ or convention in town while you’re visiting and there are no rooms to be had. If you do not book your reservations in advance, not only are you running the risk of having to sleep in your car but also you can’t manage your road trip budget effectively. If you’re traveling with your family or a group of friends, consider staying at an all-suite hotel or even renting a time share, a great option for families taking a road trip. Did you know that 90 percent of people who own a timeshare don’t utilize it on a regular basis? Many great offers can be found at some of the bigger hotel chains that offer timeshares and many of them even have a washer and dryer. For my road trip to Scottsdale, I booked a fantastic one-bedroom suite with a kitchenette at a time share property directly through the hotel for just $100/night including tax at the Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas.

3. Give your car a full tune up before you go or consider renting a car. One week before you go on your road trip, take your car in for a tune up and ask your mechanic to ensure the car fluids are topped, air pressure in your tires is at its best for highway driving, and any other necessary concerns regarding your vehicle are addressed. Should you need to get something fixed, it is best to do it at a place you can trust before your road trip. Plus, it can be more expensive when it is a have-to situation. Also, make sure you pack a roadside safety kit just in case of an emergency. For me that kit includes my American Automobile Association membership card (Premier Membership). If you have a car that is no longer under warranty or has automatic roadside assistance, then a American Automobile Association membership is a necessity as it will save you a fortune in the unfortunate event you have a break down and have to have your car towed. If you’re at all concerned that your current vehicle is not „road trip worthy,“ then you may want to consider renting a vehicle for your road trip. I did this for my trip to Arizona as I found a great deal on a rental car and had the peace of mind for my road trip.

4. Pack your own food and plan a picnic. I used to be addicted to stopping at fast food joints on a road trip. There was something that felt fun about that on a trip but I’ve since learned that I prefer to pack my own food for my journey. It doesn’t just keep me eating healthier, but it also saves money, too, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Also, if you plan ahead, you may find that there is a great stop for a scenic picnic in your travels and packing a picnic is so much better than flying through the Drive-through. If you do make a stop, either for a picnic or to explore a cool sight along the way.

5. Bring great music or audible books with you! Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives and every road trip needs a soundtrack. I think of my trip to Seattle every time I hear a Phil Collins song from „No Jacket Required“ because that was the primary music I was listening to on that trip. I think of the Bahamas Harbor Island and the amazing walks on the Pink Sands Beach every time I hear Wilson Phillips music. It’s sort of like having a theme song for every vacation but hearing the music even today will evoke fun memories of wonderful trips. I also love catching up on books I’d like to read but somehow find it easier to listen to. That’s where audio books come in and you can download them to your mp3 player, iPhone, or other PDA device. !

6. Don’t forget to pack a boredom buster bag for the kids. One thing I’ve learned from producing for TV’s „The Travel Mom“ Emily Kaufman, is that if you’re traveling with kids, you need to make sure you have plenty to entertain them during your road trip. She calls this the boredom buster bag. Don’t forget to pack some kid music your children like along with fun travel games that include magnetic board games. DVD players are an option for really long trips and as long as your child isn’t prone to car sickness. Of course, electronic games will keep your kids occupied but I would encourage you to limit the time on these toys especially if you’re traveling through some great scenic areas. It’s an excellent chance to bond as a family and your child’s memory of the trip will be lost if they’re lost in a Game Boy.

7. Remember, a road trip is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. One of my all time favorite road trips was the day my niece, Jessica, and I drove 52 enchanting miles on the „Road to Hana“ on the island of Maui in Hawaii. I’ll never forget that the guide book said, „Remember, Hana is not a destination, it’s a journey.“ Hana is located about 52 miles from Kahului, however a typical trip to Hana takes at least three hours, as the road is very winding with approximately 620 curves over 59 bridges, 46 of which have only one-lane. This delightful road trip is a memorable journey that winds through a lush, tropical rain forest that is laced with tumbling waterfalls, black sand beaches, scenic lava cliffs, fresh fruit stands, and tropical hillsides. Jessica and I stopped at least ten times including one stop to picnic on that black sand beach. We took photos by waterfalls, delicious fruit stands and beautiful tropical flower gardens. You should treat your road trip vacation the same way we did our Road to Hana: Enjoy your road trip as a journey, not a destination.

8. Make good use of every stop. I like to plan my stops for fuel, food, and restrooms so that I utilize my time efficiently and don’t waste time making three stops instead of one. Probably the most important thing is that every time you do stop, make sure everyone in the car uses the restroom (even if they think they don’t have to right then). This will cut down on the stops you’ll make only for that purpose. Also, if you’re traveling with kids, and you just need to stop for the restroom, I recommend stopping at a Starbucks. Parents can get a coffee or an ice tea, the restrooms are clean, and there are not a lot of distractions for kids (like toys to buy) that a truck stop or gas station may have. Use the Starbucks store locator at their website to help you plan your stops before you go. Do be a „good egg“ and make a purchase at Starbucks while you’re there.

9. Avoid Trouble. When you’re on a road trip, you need to be street wise. Don’t be a target for crime by leaving your valuables on the seat in your car (DVD players, Game Boys, etc.) and don’t advertise you’re on a road trip with pillows and blankets every where. When you park your car, hide your valuables and road trip creature comforts. If you are proactive at keeping your „I’m on a road trip clues“ clearly hidden, any thief or troublemaker should just walk right by your car. Other street wise considerations is to always park where there is good light and foot traffic and make sure your windows are rolled up and the doors are locked whenever you leave your car. You may also want to purchase items like „the Club“ if you like that extra insurance for safety. Finally, when you’re driving, watch your speed. Speeding gives you the chance to get a ticket and more importantly, it decreases your time to react if the need should arise. If you are the driver, you are responsible for your passengers. When you see signs that say, „Speed limits are photo enforced,“ believe them. Other good driving tips include avoiding rush hour, especially in bigger cities, and whenever possible take turns driving with other people in the car. You’ll also want to avoid driving at night if you are not familiar with your surroundings.

10. Get a Go City Card and save up to 55% on attractions and theme parks at your vacation destination. Last year, I flew my 8-year-old niece, Alexis, and 10-year-old nephew, Tyler, out to Los Angeles for their spring break (using Southwest Airlines Reward Miles, of course) and we took a road trip down to San Diego. That’s when I discovered the money saving Go City Card for San Diego. With this card, I saved hundreds of dollars in admissions to Legoland, the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo and other attractions including a Whale Watch on the Pacific Ocean just by purchasing a Go San Diego Card.

Instead of paying individually for each local attraction, you pay one price for up to 40 attractions (depending on the city your visiting) and you get to create your own experience, tailoring your activities based on what you like to do, while also enjoying tremendous savings. For example, with the Go Los Angeles Card, you can choose one, two, three, five, or seven day cards at a low, pre-paid price to gain access to 40 included attractions. This saves up to 55% compared to buying tickets directly at Universal Studios Hollywood, LEGOLAND California, Knott’s Berry Farm, Paramount Studios, the Queen Mary, and many more attractions. Go City Cards are available in many cities and vacation destinations in the U.S. including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Honolulu, Orlando, Miami, Seattle, Blue Ridge and even Toronto.

Final Tips: Don’t forget your cell phone and make sure you’re „hands free“ when you do use it while driving. In many states, it’s the law, but it’s also down right dangerous. Always use your cell phone „hands free“ when you drive. Don’t forget to update your software on your mobile before you leave because you don’t want to be charged higher rates for roaming charges. Finally, it’s a real good idea to email a copy of your itinerary to other family members or friends in case of an emergency – this is especially a good idea for women traveling together. Now, drive safe and have fun!

You can get more details at my website at Best-Travel-Deals-Tips.com.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

DIY Home Renovation Tips

Home renovation often increases property value. This is one of the most common reasons for renovations, in addition to updating a home and making it more suited to your personal tastes. When it comes to renovations, some homeowners opt to utilise the services of professional contractors. Renovation projects can be very costly, especially where you enlist the services of a professional builder, interior designer or other specialist. This is why some people prefer DIY (do it yourself) renovations, which can be more cost effective, especially where you have the skills to do some of the tasks. So if you are thinking of DIY home renovations, here is a list of renovation tips that may help you renovate your home.

Plan

Having a plan for each step of your renovation allows you to renovate in a more cost effective manner, giving you the ability to budget accordingly before you start the project; an outline of the project will help during the renovations.

Appropriating funds from your budget is extremely important. Kitchens and bathrooms are huge selling points in a house, which means you should spend the bulk of your time and resources renovating those rooms. Often a new coat of paint or new carpet can change the entire look of your bedroom and living rooms, and both are relatively inexpensive ways to improve a place.

If you are looking to increase the property value, talk to a realtor before you start your renovations. Your realtor can provide you with insight as to which renovations are worth the money and which ones will not turn a profit. Additionally, your realtor can provide you with current real estate trends so you can see what aspects of a house are selling points with buyers and which ones are not.

Improve instead of renovate

Before you start the project, think about what you want and decide whether or not you have to replace things or simply reface them. For example, if you are renovating your kitchen, ask yourself if you need all new cabinets or if painting or staining your current cabinets will provide your kitchen with the update you are looking for. In addition, you can remove the doors of your current cabinets and attach new ones for far less than the price of installing a complete cabinet system.

Cost

One of the biggest costs in renovating your house comes from materials. By purchasing and transporting materials on your own you can save hundreds of dollars. A contractor or other third party will charge you delivery fees among other hidden fees to pick up and deliver materials to your home. In addition, doing this yourself gives you the option of shopping around, comparing costs and finding items on sale or clearance.

The best way to reduce cost is to go to places and source second hand building material. If you can’t access used materials, then head to thrift stores or larger outdoor stores that sell cheaper items.

Design

Creating a design for your renovation is perhaps the most important aspect in the remodelling process. Use resources of the internet to get an idea of how you want to design things and speak to professionals to get expert advice and tips on how best to approach the renovation and how to work with the space that you have.

Extra help

Some renovations will inevitable require the use of a contractor. If you are not accustomed to working with plumbing or cabinetry, it is wise to invest in a contractor to handle those aspects of the renovation for you. The low cost of doing it yourself is gone, but not knowing what you are doing can cost you a significant amount of extra money in the long run! If you must go the route of hiring a contractor, you can still get things done cheaply by doing smaller tasks yourself. For example, if you hire a contractor to handle your new kitchen, you can paint the kitchen yourself, which will save you several hundred dollars.

Consider these tips!

Before you start your renovation project, consider these DIY home renovation tips. Each will save you time and money on your renovation. Adhering to them will help you increase the property value of your home and maximise your profits by allowing you to see a return on the money you spent remodelling, should you decide to sell your home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Be Aware Of Form 122 – ‚Mutual Release‘

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

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

What is a Form 122 – Mutual Release?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Some Pros and Cons With Bull Terrier Puppies

Overall, I think bull terriers are an exceptionally good breed – they are smart and loyal and friendly – still, it is always a good idea to consider every aspect of a breed when considering getting a dog. Some dogs are good choices for small living spaces while others are definitely not. Some dogs are very docile and mellow while others are just buzzing with energy and the need to be active. All of these things and more need to be considered when thinking about getting a dog. Here are some pros and cons to a fairly popular breed, the English Bull Terrier.

On the plus side, bull terrier puppies are loyal and friendly with people. That makes them a good choice for a busy, more public lifestyle. The pups also tend to be extremely good with children so they are a good choice for families with small children. These little dogs are also very intelligent. This intelligence, coupled with their love of people, make them very easy to train, thus making them a good choice for a person new to dog ownership. Other characteristics that I consider very positive are that they are short-haired and do not shed very much – this makes for a dog who is easy to groom and take care of. And, let’s face it, not everyone who wants a dog has the time to brush it three or four times a day as is required for longer haired dogs.

On the other hand, puppies of this breed do have some potential challenges. These are not things that make it a „bad breed“, I don’t believe any animal is bad. These are just things you need to keep in mind and prepare for if you choose a bull terrier for sale for your next dog.

These puppies do not tolerate isolation very well. Being left alone too long can lead them to destroy things by chewing. They are also too short-haired to tolerate too much cold weather so, if you live in a cold climate with a bull terrier, you probably want to keep doggie sweaters on hand for it. Probably the biggest concerns with this breed are the fact that they can be chasers, meaning that they might chase and accidentally hurt smaller critters that look like prey to them. They might also be runners, meaning that they may chase after something that catches their scent and they might show affection by nibbling on your hands. Not to worry though, it is very easy to teach them good manners and appropriate behavior. Besides, every single dog breed in the world has pros and cons, bull terriers are no exception.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Short Sales vs Foreclosure – What Are The Effects On Your Credit?

Homeowners looking to stop foreclosure are faced with a number of options, one of which is doing a short sale. Some people, depending on their situation, may allow a property to go into foreclosure instead of attempting a short sale. One reason is they don’t want to keep the home in the first place. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes. The primary consideration above all is the affect both can have on your credit score.

The Basics Of A Short Sale

The concept of a short sale is fairly simple. A short sale occurs when the sale proceeds of a house fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed on the mortgage when the owner cannot make the mortgage payments. A few words of warning are in order. Not every lender will negotiate a short sale. If for example your payments are current, yet you foresee imminent cash flow problems arising that will affect your ability to make your monthly mortgage payment. Lenders have no interest in negotiation unless your payments are several months late. Another consideration is you may be held liable for taxes on the difference between the sale amount and the original loan amount. Short sales require nerves of steel.

The Credit Affects

Foreclosure

Without a doubt sellers will incur more damage on their credit report by going through foreclosure. Typically your credit score will take plunge between 200 to 300 points.

Short Sale

Short sales have a far less damaging affect on a seller’s credit report. Credit scores typically lose between 80 to 100 points. What happens to your credit down the road? It is takes around three years after a foreclosure before a lender will offer a sensible interest rate, whereas for a person who went through a short sale typically waits around 18 months to buy another home at a good interest rate.

Salvaging your credit should always be the primary concern when making the decision between a short sale and stopping foreclosure. The savings in interest payments alone should be convincing enough for most people, not to mention your buying power in the near and distant future.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Staging Diva Reveals Her Top 5 Home Staging Tips

There are so many small things home stagers can do to a property that will dramatically shorten the time it spends on the real estate market while increasing the final sales price for home sellers.

Here are my five favorite home staging tips, so you can help each property you stage sell faster and for more money:

1. Reduce drive-bys

Imagine you’re on a home hunting mission. Your real estate agent has ten properties to show you on a Saturday afternoon. When you drive up to what could be your dream home, you see a rusted-out mailbox, broken handrail and children’s toys strewn across the lawn which hasn’t seen a lawn mower in weeks. You’re probably going to say, „Um, no thanks, let’s move on.“

Curb appeal is so important. If the outside of a house looks like this, a potential buyer is going to think nobody cares about it. You should make sure, no matter what, that lawns are freshly cut, leaves are raked or snow shoveled from the driveway. A potted or hanging plant can make a big difference near the entrance. Repair or replace any obvious defects, often this is cheaper to do than a prospective buyer will imagine. Make sure the walk ways and porches are swept clean and garbage and recycling containers are tucked away at the rear of the house or in the garage. Make sure the exterior gets a good pressure wash and the decks are scrubbed clean. It’s a good alternative to painting and once everything’s clean you might see it doesn’t need to be repainted at all – perhaps just a touch up will do.

2. One man’s junk is not necessarily another man’s treasure, it may be their reason not to buy the house

De-cluttering is essential. Tackle one area at a time so the task isn’t so overwhelming. If you’re doing this with your client, make sure they look at each item carefully before deciding whether it’s to keep or to toss. Each closet will probably have to be gone through more than once to get its contents down to the absolute essentials, but it will be worth it. If the home owner is having a tough time parting with things, recommend they rent a storage locker so they can keep their beloved items, just remove them from the house they’re selling. They’ll have to move it eventually anyway!

3. Avoid wandering eyes

You want to make sure there are no little problems in a room that will have a potential buyer looking from one flaw to another thinking about they work they’ll have to do. You want them to see the bigger picture and imagine themselves living there. For example, do a walkthrough and look for chipped paint on the door frames. These can be filled in with „white out“. Old nail holes can often be hidden behind strategically hung art, but don’t just throw things on the wall where the old nail was (see point 5). Peeling wallpaper should be glued back down. Make sure there are covers on all electrical outlets and light switches, and replace any that are cracked. These little things make a big difference!

4. Color is your friend when it’s time to sell a house

If you have to repaint a home’s interior, or some rooms in a home, try to choose a pleasing color palette that allows each room to flow nicely into the next. All colors should go together. Try to repeat one signature color throughout a home. Maybe it’s the feature color in one room used as an accent in the others, through accessories or throw cushions.

5. Make a big impact with a little art

By strategically using art, you can enhance a home’s perceived value, draw the eye away from tiny flaws, give an otherwise uninteresting space a focal point and replace personal memorabilia.

Position art at eye level and use pieces that are appropriate to the size of the wall. Art with a large frame on a small wall can make the entire area seem smaller. Avoid religious art, or anything edgy that could be offensive to some potential buyers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Choose a Realtor – 7 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling real estate is probably the most significant transaction you’ll ever make in your life. That’s why it’s important to choose the best Realtor to help you achieve this goal. But before you hire the services of a real estate agent, there are important factors to consider.

Many people have the perception that all real estate agents are the same. Some sign with the first one that comes along. Unfortunately, they realize later on that they should have been more selective before signing an agreement. To guide you in choosing the best Realtor for your needs, below are seven questions to ask your prospective real estate agent.

1) What is your experience in real estate?

The first thing you need to ask a real estate agent is how long they’ve been in the real estate business. It doesn’t mean that you cannot enlist the services of newly licensed real estate agents. Just keep in mind that those who have years of experience under their belts are probably more knowledgeable on what to do, from listing to closing. Aside from the number of years in the business, ask them what segment of real estate they focus on – residential, commercial, luxury, etc. Find out if he/she is primarily a listing agent or a buyer’s agent (or both). Familiarity with the market is also essential, so ask what geographic areas the agent usually covers. You can even dig deeper by asking if the agent has received any awards for outstanding performance.

2) How many and what types of properties have you listed and sold in the past year?

It’s one of the most important questions you should ask a real estate agent. The number of properties he or she has listed and sold in the past year is a valuable indicator how good a real estate professional is in getting the job done. Take note that this question consists of two parts: properties listed and properties sold. Agents may demonstrate their ability to list homes; however, the more important thing is the sales part – the ability to close deals. If they have many properties listed and sold in the past year, it shows that whatever strategy the agent is using, it’s certainly working.

3) What was the average sales price for the properties you’ve sold over the last year?

Asking this will give you an idea in what kind of market the agent specializes. Find out if the real estate professional has experience selling properties in the price range you’re listing at. If a majority of properties sold falls on the low-end market segment, it might take longer for the agent to sell if yours is a higher-end home. Although agents can sell any property regardless of price range, it’s likely that they will have better success in the market and price segments in which they have the most experience.

4) What is your average sale to list price ratio?

The sale to list price ratio (sometimes called the sale-to-list or list-to-sale ratio) is the final sales price divided by the listing price, expressed as a percentage. If it is 100%, it means the sales price was equal to the list price. You can view this ratio in two ways. A skilled listing agent can negotiate sales prices that are equal or close to the list price, and sometimes even greater in a very competitive market. So ideally, listing agents should have sale to list price ratios closer to 100%. On the other side of the coin, a good buyer’s agent can often negotiate a sales price that is lower than the list price. Therefore, buyer’s agent ratios ideally should be lower than 99%.

5) What marketing strategies will you use?

Deciding on what strategies to use can spell the difference between success and failure. A poor marketing strategy will diminish the chances for success. Do your own due diligence by asking how the agent will sell your property. There are lots of options – staging, open houses, joint marketing, print advertising, and of course, online marketing. Whatever approaches are used, they should be designed to bring in the highest number of qualified potential buyers. Higher end properties can also often benefit from professional staging. In any case, your agent should advise you on how to best prepare the property to make it the most attractive to potential buyers.

6) Can you give me some references?

Reputation is important in this line of business. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, you should ask for references (past clients). If possible, call a few and ask them about their experiences with the agent. Were they pleased with the service provided? Also ask if they are in any way related to the agent. A list of references made up of friends or relatives generally won’t provide an objective assessment of the agent’s qualifications.

7) Do you offer any type of guarantee, and will you let me out of my contract early if I am not satisfied with your service?

You can’t say with certainty how things will go, even if you did your due diligence. For this reason, you should ensure that you’re prepared for any eventuality. If you sign a contract and later find that you’re not satisfied with the service, will the agent allow you to cancel the agreement? If things don’t work out the way they’re supposed to, you should have the freedom to choose another agent who can deliver better results.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing a real estate agent. Finding and interviewing Realtors can be a very time-consuming and laborious task. However, now armed with these seven questions, you are on your way in choosing the best Realtor for your needs.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips for Getting New Clients As a Realtor

Admit it or not, finding clients on the vast real estate market is very challenging. It is challenged by the existence of big real estate firms which employ hundreds of experienced real estate agents on their teams. If you are a newbie, you could easily be swallowed by the efforts exerted by the established firms. But have you ever think that they also started out as rookies in the field? If you are in this situation, here are some tips to at least give you a leverage on finding the right clients for you.

Create your own circle of offline connections and influences. As much as the online world is essential to widen your connections, the offline connections and influences is equally essential. Start with your family and friends. Then add your past classmates even those from your elementary days whom you still remember. Your teachers can be great additions. Move on to those whom you are tapping services as professionals such as your doctors, dentists, hair stylists, pet groomers and fitness coaches. The parents of your children’s classmates and friends can also expand your offline connections. If you have business contacts, add them as well. Don’t forget your neighbors. They can be great sources of referrals.

Build a better online network of friends. Through social media, you, as a real estate agent is bestowed greater power to enhance online connections. Your network can be a greater web of interconnected persons starting with your family members down to their own friends, acquaintances, friend of friends, and so on. Before you notice it, your network has expanded to include professionals of diverse titles not only in your locality but also in adjacent towns and nearby cities. If you think they are not relevant, you may be wrong with the impression. Anyone in your online network of friends can always be a great source of referral even those who you seldom see to be adding activities in their social media accounts.

Send mailers, both online and offline. Now that you have established both your online and offline connections, it is time to introduce yourself as the rookie real estate agent. For offline mailers, be sure to have a formal tone. Give your full name, license number, the firm you are connected too, its address, and contact numbers of you and the firm. Inform them of the services you are offering.

For online mailers, the same can be followed. But since it is an electronic form, you may want to add some enhanced graphics and video.

Create your own website. For personal branding, having an own website is an essential. This is where you can provide listings, value added services, frequently asked questions, and even informational articles that can help spark the interest of your potential clients. Support it with a blog, and connect it with your social media accounts in different real estate online platforms.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying a Property in Romania – Real Estate Law in Romania

If you are looking to buy a holiday or second home or invest in Romania, Transylvania or at the Black Sea and you are a foreign citizen/investor, there are few aspects you should know about the procedure an the costs for the acquisition of Romanian land or Romanian houses.

After 2012, foreign citizens EU citizens (non-Romanian) may purchase a home or apartment in Romania may freely buy and sell any Romanian property, without restrictions. Along with the sell price for the property, buying real estate in Romania has other costs associated with it.

If you have chosen to collaborate with a Romanian real estate agent/ broker you can expect to have an additional commission of approximately 2-4% of the price of the property. The local tax will be 2-4% of the price of the property. The signing of a contract must be witnessed by a public notary who submits it for certification by the Land Registry in charge of real estate records. The fees for the Romanian public notary is about 0.5-1% of the purchase price. You will also have to pay fees to the Land Registry („Cartea Funciara“) to register the Transfer Deed. The Romanian Land Registry Fee for a purchase of a property will vary from 1-3% according to the length of time that the seller had owned the property and the property’s value.

The Romanian law on property states that Citizens of EU member states, legal persons incorporated in the EU member states and stateless people domiciled in an EU member state can purchase land in Romania only if the land is used for secondary residences or for secondary headquarters after a 5 (five) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU (starting with January 1st, 2012); only for the agricultural land and forest land 7 (seven) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU ( starting with January 1st, 2014).

But for the Citizens, legal persons and stateless people not from a EU member state, the Romanian legal system establishes that they can purchase land in Romania, under the conditions of international treaties between Romania and the states of origin on these persons, under a reciprocity basis.

In our point of view, a prudent investor will hire a Romanian lawyer/ a Romanian Law Office, who will liaise closely with the notary on the verification of the title, obtaining the Land Registry excerpt and the drafting of the agreement for the transfer of ownership of the real estate. This means that the Romanian lawyer will be solely acting for and is responsible to his or her client, whereas the notary will not have the same degree of responsibility to the purchaser.

Under Romanian law there are three basic rights to land and buildings such as right of ownership; usage rights as lease, usufruct, superficies; concession right. The principle of contractual liberty represents the key core of the property law in Romania.

Sometimes, an investor/purchaser can opt for closing a pre-sale agreement, by which the seller undertakes to transfer ownership to the buyer at a certain date in exchange for an agreed consideration. The content of the pre-sale contract will stipulate all commercial and legal conditions for the transfer of ownership, as conditions precedent to the final transfer of ownership. The closing of such pre-contract for purchase does not means the transfer over the property, but the stipulate binding obligations for the parties, in regard to, as example, damages or penalties set out in them, if the seller refuses to sign the final notarized deed of transfer at the agreed deadline.

The closing of the pre-sale agreement is to protect the investor/buyer from any possible purchase to other buyers and to matters regarding the fixed price and duration of a future purchase. In our point of view, it is a must that the pre-sale agreement to be concluded at a Public Notary and clearly stipulate the sale price and other clauses regarding duration of future purchase. In this case, it can be enforced in court on the buyer’s request as a deed to transfer ownership.

A sale agreement signed in Romania, according to the Romanian legislation will mandatory stipulate: obligations of the parties for the fulfillment of the sale contract, delivery and quality conditions of goods and/or services, terms, payment methods and payment guarantees, payment instruments and price insurance, contractual risk, as well as method of solving eventual litigations arising from the contract. Other required elements include the full name and identification details of the parties (for legal entities) and name of the person signing the contract (representing a legal entity).

Our team of romanian lawyers offer a wide variety of legal services in the real estate law http://www.lawyersinromania.com

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg