How to Sell Your House Fast and Raise Cash

You may be faced with the case where you have to sell your home hastily. The situation may be due to bankruptcy or an awaiting foreclosure. So, how do you make sure that you get the best deal and the top price at such times? Haste does make waste, but it need not necessarily be so under such circumstances with a little prudence and care. You can consider the following points.

BE PREPARED: You must be mentally prepared to sell your property. This will not be basic especially if you have been living in it for number of years. But it is a very fundamental step if you want to get the best advantage out of your sale.

INSPECTION TIME: Get the home inspected by a professional as soon as possible, so that any major defects can be discovered, before they cause any problems with possible Buyers. This will help to avoid last minute glitches in the deal.

POLISH UP: Look at your house from an objective standpoint and remove any flaws as soon as possible. Survey other people's opinions on the matter if possible. Everyone must be consulted. By getting an open view of the flaws, you will be better prepared while deciding on the sale price of the home.

SPRUCE UP: A clean house will help you sell it even better. Bringing in a professional company to clean the house will be a very effective step in clinching the sale early. Do declutter the property, before showing it to potential Customers. The less cluttered your home appears, the bigger it will appear. Do clean out and organize your closets, especially as closets can be a big seller. The larger your closets appear, the better your chances of selling the house will be. Do give the property a fresh coat of paint. A light decor will be more appealing to the buyer, as it will help them see their own belongings in your home. And this will help you to sell the home more quickly.

MAKE YOURSELF INCONSPICUOUS: Depersonalise your property as soon as possible, before showing it to potential Customers. Your aim is to get the Customers to feel themselves in the property. If it is full of your personal articles and family pictures, it is not going to create much of an impact on the would-be buyer. Consumers must be able to see themselves in the home, which is nearly impossible if everywhere they turn they stare at you! If you have a lot of pictures in your home, you may want to store some of them. The fewer pictures of you and your family, the quicker the sale.

PRICE IT RIGHT: The price is the most deciding factor while selling a property quickly. To sell your home fast you have to find a price that is attractive to Shoppers. If you price it wrong, it is not going to sell at all. You can absolutely avail the services of a home agent who will help you arrange the right price for your home. Remember, that as the home owner, you will not be able to fix the correct price from an objective standpoint, Do take region trends into account and if you have employed a house agent, follow his advice and set the right price. The best way to find out the region trend is to look for comparable houses in your neighbourhood that sold fast. Find out how much they sold for and compare your price to the prices the other houses went for. If the price you have fixed is above those prices, you need to do some serious rethinking

SET LIMITS: You must have a fixed program in mind on your sales plan for the property. After fixing the sale price, you must set up your limits of flexibility. Define your initial asking price. Decide the time you will need before making a reduction? Set up the amount of cut you will accept in the price. Having a plan in place will help you react quickly and help to move the sale of your house just as fast.

By following these points you are surely on the right path to selling your property quickly and getting the right price for it. So you need not fear that disclosure or bankruptcy, as you have the best price for your home.


Condominiums – Should You Consider Purchasing One

Condominiums tend fall into the love them or hate them position for buyers. Here’s primer on condominiums.


Condominiums are all about communal living, which can be good or bad depending upon your personal views. This type of communal living doesn’t refer to the failed experiments of the sixties wherein hippies packed into a structure and shared everything. Instead, the modern condominium community is all about sharing common spaces as well as rules, rules and more rules.

Condominiums come in all shapes and forms. Condos can be found in a single high rise building in a downtown area or in an apartment complex type of layout in a planned community. The structure isn’t the determining point. Instead, the issue is how the properties are owned.

Unlike a stand alone home, the property lines on a condominium are the walls of the structure. Essentially, you own everything inside the condominium as your individual property. Everything outside the condominium is owned jointly with the people who own the other units. These areas are known as common areas and are subject to group rule.

Every condominium has a homeowners association in one form or another. The association has rules set out by the original developer regarding landscaping and so on. Members of the community are then elected to the board of the association, whereupon the immediately become a focal point of aggravation from individual owners and often wonder why they took the thankless job.

The problem with the association and condos in general is the issue of uniformity. If you desire to change the exterior of your condominium in some way, you must comply with the rules of the association. This means you cannot paint your property a different color, do landscaping and so on. For some people, this isn’t a problem, but others are frustrated they can’t express themselves.

When deciding whether a condominium is a good option for your next purchase, you need to carefully weigh the restrictions of a particular association. If you consider yourself an individual and want to show it, a condominium is probably a very poor choice for you.


Computer Program Enables Investors to Analyze Property

The flourishing real estate market has resulted in a significant increase in first-time real estate investors. With limited experience in real estate, it can be a risky move to buy property without knowing for certain what the return on the initial investment would be.

Thousands of investors have been using the Real Estate Acquisition Program, also called REAP, to assess the risks in their investments.

Each candidate property can be entered in less than five minutes by inputting the purchase, loan and rental specifics. The inclusion of depreciation and taxes will show the huge effect on cash flow - particularly post-tax profits where investor insight becomes very powerful. Additionally, the appreciation variables, capital growth and inflation allow the user to see a long-term economic picture.

The software then evaluates the property economics, cash flow potential, debt to equity and pre/post-tax implications. The investment viability is revealed in a series of one-page reports.

Created by Dolf de Roos, a real estate investor with 30 years of property-buying decisions under his belt, the REAP software assists property investors in quickly analyzing a property to determine whether it is a good deal or not.

"Knowing what your return will be on a property before you put time and money into it can save an investor countless headaches," said de Roos.

REAP, with its editable fields in a fully relational database, has a built-in online upload feature, enabling the user to download periodic updates, which are free with the initial license. It is beneficial for any real estate investor, novice or veteran.


Company Helps Families With Home Ownership

As the stock market remains bearish and portfolios continue to make only minor gains, the demand for homes has never been higher.

It is with this economic trend that more people are opting to invest in one of the most enduring forms of equity: real estate.

Nevertheless, according to the 2000 census, there are more than 35 million families who rent.

Experts say that while many families are interested in home ownership, a major obstacle they face is the down payment.

Enclaves Group Inc., a spin-off of N.Y.-based real estate corporation Homes For America Holdings Inc., has created a "lease and own" program called Your Home, which the company devised to enable renters to enter the homeowner market.

"The Your Home Program is simple to understand and accessible to all Americans," said Mark MacFarlane, chief operating officer of Enclaves Group. "This creative program has no down payment and offers a structured purchase plan that creates home ownership equity for the working family."

In fact, MacFarlane noted that while the demand for housing has spurred the construction of new homes, traditional financing methods have not expanded to accommodate the needs of many ordinary families.

With no down payment required, the ability to accumulate "Good Resident Credits" and build substantial equity over a period of 36 months, MacFarlane says the program taps into a market that to date has received little or no attention: working families from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds who have not been able to overcome the obstacles to home ownership.

"Enclaves is the first and only home builder to target this unserved market," said Robert MacFarlane, chairman and chief executive officer of Home For America Holdings. "It's a simple process - what many families are currently paying in rent can now immediately apply for equity for their own piece of the American dream."


Invest Early To Make Your Dreams Come True

When looking for high quality vacation rentals, or a permanent home in an exotic location, pre-construction is often the way to go. What is pre-construction? Well, it means a home or condo that is still in the planning stages, but hasn't yet been built. The buyer purchases the home from the developer or builder-owner.

But how do you decide what to buy if it doesn't exist yet? Easy! The builder will have detailed blueprints for you to look over, as well as, usually, a model of the building. This gives potential buyers a pretty good idea of what they are getting into. There may even be already built structures that are very similar to the one you are considering. This will give you an idea of the builders quality. But even if you can't see an actual building, buying pre-construction is quite reliable as long as the builder is. Do a bit of research to find out what they have done in the past. If possible, talk to an owner of something else they have built to asses their level of satisfaction. If that isn't possible, a qualified agent will usually be quite familiar with local builders.

A qualified agent can also help you sort out the legal details. For one, be sure to get written and signed documentation stating when the structure will be completed, and what exactly will be included. Find out if there is a home warranty, and what exactly it includes. Be sure there is an "out" for you if the construction is greatly delayed or if the finished product isn't what you understood it to be.

One of the great things about pre-construction is the price. Because they haven't yet realized their full potential, pre-construction real estate is often priced quite a bit lower than what it will be in the future. You, as a buyer, know that the property can only go up in value. After all, the home built will be brand new. As long as plenty of research has been done into the location, the builder, and the type of home, ensuring that it is an emerging market and not a declining one, you can't go wrong with pre-construction.


How You Can Use Rehab, Refinance and Cash Out as Long-Term Wealth Building Real Estate Investing

Today we are discussing a somewhat advanced strategy for you to use after you have been in the creative real estate investing business for a while. I call this “Rehab, Refinance, and Cash Out”. This strategy can lead to true long term wealth and financial independence. This works very well in a buyers market like Memphis where prices have been quite flat for some time. You need to use this to augment your wholesaling for immediate income and retailing for bigger short term profits. Rehab, Refinance and Cash Out is a long term wealth building strategy and will be something you will be glad you did as it is a long term buy and hold strategy, and those are the strategies that lead to true wealth accumulation and financial independence.

Let me explain how this works. You find a good middle to low end 3 bedroom home that you are able to buy from an out of state owner or other motivated seller that needs a little work and you buy at 60% of after repaired value. You buy the house using a hard money lender like http://www.pleaseclose.com/memphistrading and do your fix up and have a property management firm manage the property and put a renter in the house. The hard money lender will typically loan you up to 65% of the after repaired value to purchase the house which you use to buy the house and then repair it. Now that the home is repaired you obtain an investor friendly mortgage and cash out by refinancing at 80-90% of after repaired retail value and you should be doing this with properties where this strategy gives you back at least $10,000 at the refinance that you can use in your business any way you need. Do not use this money to live on, use it solely to grow your real estate business. Once you have done this strategy on 10 homes you should be able to keep finding better and better deals because you can close quickly as you have cash in hand to make things happen. More cash equals better deals and more opportunities.

By the time you repeat this strategy 20 times you should have at least $200,000 cash plus about $200,000 equity and 20 homes giving you at least $2000 per month positive cash flow whether you decide to work this month or not since you have a property management company handling things for you. With average annual rent increases, within five years that $2,000 a month should grow to $4,000 a month. In 30 years you should have $2 to 3 million plus in paid off real estate. It’s a good solid long term strategy to add to your immediate selling from wholesaling, retailing and lease options that the extra $200,000 in cash will help grow tremendously.

The rent minus the management fees and all loan and other costs must leave you with positive cash flow or this strategy should be avoided. If you cannot cash out on the property I don’t recommend holding it long term as you want to be able to use your best mortgages to cash out.

You can purchase using http://www.pleaseclose.com/memphistrading if your Equifax credit score is above 550(which is bad credit) or you have a co-borrower who has an Equifax score over 550. A good investor friendly mortgage company will give you good rates if you are at 660 middle score or above and the very best rates if your middle score is 720 or above. Your first 10 investor mortgages in your name and 10 in your spouses name are the easiest to qualify and get the best deals. After those you really need a good investor mortgage company to work with. Take the time to find the real investor friendly mortgage companies that can help you get loans for 100 properties and not just the first ten and let them have the easy ones and the tougher ones. I do recommend having more than one good lender available though, but stick to the ones that specialize in investor loans. Find out from other investors who the most investor friendly mortgage companies are to use to refinance the repaired home.

I do not advocate becoming a landlord as I do not believe this is a valuable usage of your time and energy. I highly recommend asking around and finding a good property management company that will charge you 10% or less to start out with and gradually lower that % as you add more and more properties.

I feel this is an advanced strategy as you won’t see any cash in your pocket from this strategy for 4-6 months after you find the deal which is a long time to work and not see any pay. If you are wholesaling and making consistent money each month then it shouldn’t matter. This strategy will magnify the profits you make in your investing business in ways you might not have imagined. This strategy is a natural progression from wholesaling as you are already helping others find these kinds of deals, now you will be able to get the cash out typical of probably 2 wholesale deals, just paid slower, and at the same time building a nice future nest egg.


How to Sell Your Home in a Slow Market

The real estate market has slowed down in many areas that were booming over the last few years. Sellers in those areas got spoiled. It was only necessary to put a sign out front, and buyers came. Homes sold in a matter of days. This is no longer happening. If you want to sell your home in a slow area, what do you do?

Go Back to Marketing Basics

Whether you are selling your home yourself or working with a realtor, the answer is the same. Go back to marketing basics. We’ll look at things you can do for yourself if you’re selling as a fsbo (for sale by owner). If you’re wording with a realtor, you need to interview to find one who will do the sorts of things we’ll talk about here.

Start with getting your home in first class shape. Then price it realistically.

Begin your marketing by putting up a “for sale” sign. About 10 percent of sales come from this source in a slow market. It’s not like the days when one put up a sign and buyers came in droves, but it is still worth doing. Lowes and Home Depot both sell inexpensive signs. Get one and install it.

Upload your property to one or more Internet multiple listing sites for fsbo properties. Choose one that encourages adding photos to listings. The more photos the better. Buyers love pictures. Make sure the site doesn’t have a bunch of listings that have already been sold. Buyers get put off by sites where every property they call about has already been sold. Find a site that gives your property its own web address.

Don’t forget lead in signs. These are signs indicating there is a house for sale with arrows on them. They can be placed at intersections to point people from a busy street through the turns necessary to get to your home. Lowes and Home Depot have these too.

Classified ads in your local newspaper are a good idea. You can include a reference to your online listing. That can give you more mileage from the pictures you uploaded.

Brochures are a good idea, too. Put a brochure box out at the front of your property, and keep some indoors for the folks who tour your home. You can probably print an adequate brochure from your Internet listing. If you’re good at it, you can make up your own magazine spread style brochure.

Brochures are useful in several ways. They make it easy for the people who just notice the sign or come in following the lead-in signs to learn more about your property. If they like what they see, they are apt to make an appointment to see your home in person. Be sure your brochure contains contact information such as your phone number and perhaps your email address.

Brochures for people who tour your property will help them remember it. People shopping for a home usually look at lots of properties. After a while they get confused about what they have seen. Your brochure with photos will help them remember your home. That’s a good thing because people are unlikely to write a contract offer on a home they can’t remember well.

Are there bulletin boards at work or your place of worship? Put up a one page flyer or copies of your brochure if you can get permission. After all, the location of your home must be reasonably convenient to those places. What about bulletin boards in the grocery store where you shop, at your dry cleaners, in the drug store you frequent?

The point is don’t do just one thing. Use your head. Put out as many marketing ambassadors for your home as you can figure out how to. The truth is people don’t really sell homes. What they do is bring them to the attention of enough people who are shopping for a home that a buyer inevitably emerges. Present your home to enough potential buyers, and it will sell even in a slow market.


How to Sell your Home for a bigger Profit by keeping things CLEAR!

Getting ready to sell your home can be one of the most stressful areas of the real estate experience, but it does not have to be.  Keeping in mind some key advice will help you get your house looking top shape from the inside and out.  Throughout the process, the best way to go through your to-do list is to accept the fact that you can only do one thing at a time.  With this perspective, all of the pieces will fall into just the right places.

Getting your house decluttered will help you clear your own mind and get you ready for the prospective buyers to start coming.  The best way to get organized is to try to see your house through new eyes.  When you pretend like you are the one who is considering buying your home, you can better see the areas which need improvement.  Take a clipboard and pen with you as you survey from the outside to the inside.  Write down everything which disturbs your eye for even a moment.  Chances are that if you notice something that does not look right, your potential buyers will, too.  You will probably want to share this list with your real estate agent and go through this process more than once, so you don't miss anything.

Now that you have an idea of what needs to be improved, cleaned or changed, you can start knocking them off the list one by one.  Get the outside, "curb appeal," taken care of first.  This will help your house attract attention right away even if the signs haven't gone up yet.  Seeing your house looking its best on the outside will also give you the courage to tackle the inside.

Each room should contain as little clutter as possible.  Get a bunch of clear plastic bins and start filling them up with all of those extra knick-knacks.  Remember that buyers want to picture their belongings in your house.  If your stuff is in the way, then they can't form a mental picture as easily.  To properly declutter, you have to start detaching yourself from your home.  Make the rooms look as large as possible by removing extra furniture, books, objects and wall hangings.  Set aside some time to repaint colorful rooms a soothing beige, cream or linen.  This will make the rooms look even bigger and give the buyers more breathing room.

Any decorative object which you leave in a room should be used as a tool to attract the buyer to a special feature.  Place an interesting candle holder in the fire place, or a few small plants on the mantle.  Draw the eyes to windows with lamps and neat end tables.

Despite all your efforts, be mentally and emotionally prepared to hear your agent tell you that you still need major improvements if you want to get the price you had in mind.  Consider it a good thing that the professional agent you hired is being completely honest with you.  You want to have a real estate agent who knows what and when things need to be done.  Talk to anyone you can about the good agents they have had in the past.  Get a feel for the agent's strengths by asking them as many questions as you can before committing to a contract.  If you have trouble getting a hold of them right from the beginning, then that is your first sign that they may not have the time or capacity to give you the proper amount of attention.

Your agent should thoroughly discuss the marketing plan for selling your home.  Deciding on the price will be one of the most important aspects of this plan.  Depending on your home and the time of year, there will be several approaches to combining the need to sell with the need to get the right price.  For example, if you live in a desirable neighborhood, you may be able to go a little higher than you thought, but may not want to if there are many nearby homes for sale at the same time.  Trust that your agent will inevitably come up with the right strategy, but be outspoken about your opinion.  Although you aren't the professional, it's always possible that you will have an angle that your agent didn't consider.

When you are going through the real estate process, there will always be plenty of people with tips, ideas and advice.  All the input can occasionally do more harm than good, so take everything in as much stride as you can.  Just make sure that your agent keeps you in the loop through the whole process and make your home as appealing as much as possible.  With a clean house and a clear strategy, you should be able to sell your home much more quickly and easily than you thought.


How to sell your home fast and efficiently!

What better way to sell your house fast than by using the Internet? You can find a company that will allow you to forget everything about financial difficulties, making you an offer and showing you that the selling process doesn’t need to be difficult or alarming.

A fast house sale doesn’t equal with high commission fees and if you choose a reliable company, you will know that! A free estimate form awaits you online, but you will have to pay increased attention to the details you provide. Be sure to mention that you are interested in making a <a href="http://www.catwalkproperties.com/">fast house sale</a> as they need to know what your intentions are. If you go online and search for companies that offer you the opportunity of making a quick house sale, you will discover that they present solutions for all the problems you might encounter. For example, if you are facing <a href="http://www.catwalkproperties.com/index.php?go=investor_zone">repossession</a>, you should be aware that the easiest way to solve this problem is to sell your property. The formalities will be stopped, you will be given liquidity and thus everything will be ok. Also, if you have any other financial difficulties it is for the best to sell your property before the bank forecloses it. To sell property fast means that you need to find a reliable company, ready to provide you with an offer without any delays or hesitation.

Start by providing your name, email address and contact number. Then make sure that you provide details about your property, including the address, town and country (UK, Italy, France or Spain). The type of property is also important in order to determine its actual value and present you with the offer you deserve – flat, apartment, bungalows and even mobile homes. You will also have to mention additional information about the existence of garages and off-road parking, as such points can actually increase the value of your property. As you can see the estimate form for a quick house sale is pretty detailed, encompassing a wide variety of topics and allowing you to discover a whole new side of the <a href="http://www.catwalkproperties.com/index.php?go=finance">real estate business</a>.

If you want to sell your house fast, then you have to make reference to how many years you have been owner of the property. For the properties that have already been posted on the market, you will also have to state what are the price and the period of time for which it was advertised. While the condition of the property you want to sell is important, you must know that these companies are willing to purchase properties that are not in such a good shape as well. Nevertheless, you will have to make mention of the current state of the property – rating it as excellent, good, average or below average. If it needs any of the below improvements – kitchen, bath, heating, wiring or windows – then you will have to say something about that.  Every detail matters when you need to sell your home fast and who better to understand your motives than someone with extensive experience in the field?


How To Sell Orlando Real Estate In A Difficult Market

As far as markets go, Orlando real estate is doing better than most. According to Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, by far the leader in Florida, Orlando remains an attractive market due the many diverse growth industries in the area. Orlando also continues to rank high as a desirable place to live. We're #6 in the 2007 Harris poll of cities nationwide where people would most like to move to.

This means that if you're a seller in Orlando, things could be worse. Sure, prices are down and the Orlando MLS has a lot of homes for sale, but Orlando has so much going for it that new buyers continue to be drawn to the area. This means that buyers have a good shot at a sale IF they play their cards right. Here are my recommendations on how you can improve your chances.

First, in tough times you need all the help you can get, which in this instance means a good agent who knows the neighborhood and has all the right connections. I cannot overemphasize the importance of working with a local broker who knows your property, has all the local listings, and is intimately familiar with the selling points (and pitfalls) of your area.

Second, work with a design consultant. Everyone think their home is perfect, but it takes the experienced eye of a professionally trained outsider to tell you how your home best be presented for sale. You'll likely be asked to remove a lot of clutter, do a lot of cosmetic updates, and perhaps replace some fixtures and lighting to give the home a fresh, contemporary look. This can be taxing, especially if you're asked to replace carpeting, windows or other costly items, but it's worth it. Take my word for it.

Third, real estate sells by appealing to a buyer's imagination, not by showing him or her how you lived in your home. So remove personal items such as personal photos, trophies, collections and all the other clutter that accumulates. The home should look clean, elegant and inviting. Let the buyer imagine what he or she will do with the home.

Fourth, vacate the premises when a realty firm is showing your property to a prospective buyer. Sure, it's a bit inconvenient, but a buyer will really much rather look around than listen to a seller's stories or (often ill-conceived) sales pitch. You are not part of their search, so leave the selling to the professionals. Whenever someone arrives for a showing, just say you're on your way out, and then stay away until they are done.

Fifth, keep your home immaculate! That's easier said than done when it takes weeks or months to sell, but it must be done. So immediately clean up after every meal, put all dishes away, almost have the beds made, and never leave a mess. Hey, you'll probably get used to it and keeping a neat house will become second nature!

Sixth, be reasonable. Work with your broker, be cooperative, and do not hang on to unrealistic expectations. A good broker is on your side, and that is what you need in tough selling climates.

Follow these rules, and you'll make out just fine in the fairly strong Orlando real estate market.

How to sell houses at auctions

Advertising your property at auction can be an immense way of selling your home as quickly as possible. But keep in mind to pack your bags in time – you will have to renounce the keys 28 days following the auction date.

Some of the advantages of selling at auction could be:

• Instant trade of contacts
• Cash acquisition / subsidy in place - minimum 10% deposit remunerated at Auction
• Not subject to agreement.
• Finest value achieved through spirited bidding.
• Market publicity - loads of auctions exert a pull on 100's of impending buyers.
• Predetermined end date.
• Speedy sale - without compromising sale value.

Take care to choose the right auction home. This involves selecting an auctioneer who offers assets analogous to yours, within the equivalent cost range. Choosing an inappropriate auction house greatly minimizes your odds of getting a constructive deal on your house. Also, execute a property assessment before you settle on the reserve cost sequentially to guard yourself against a highly inauspicious sale.

The Costs
The auctioneer will charge you for the commercial in brochures and catalogues, a price that you will have to wrap despite the consequences of whether your property is sold or not. You will also have to reimburse a payment of around 2.5 percent of the sales price. Ahead of signing any contract, note all the operating cost you will have to wrap, even if your house is not sold.

• Lay down the reserve cost
• Organize a deal
• Unfasten your property for viewings

Once the auction starts, the sale is authorized and legally compulsory. The purchaser will have to pay you 10 percent of the settled sales price right away, the excellent balance within 28 days after the auction. If he fails to do so, file a suit against him!
The Disadvantages:

You can by no means be acquainted with how much your property will sell for. An auction is a exceedingly unpredictable marketplace – if there is no stipulate on the day of your sale, you might end up selling it below its market worth.
You will have to reimburse your solicitor to be there at the auction in order to reform any final irregularities and come back with questions. Depending on how keen your solicitor is about itinerant, this can be rather an expensive issue.
A few people believe their confidentiality sullied at auctions, as the properties have to be open to prospective buyers and their surveyors.
Promoting your house at auction can be pricier than selling it through an Estate Agent. Moreover, you will have to wrap certain operating expenses even if your property does not vend.


How To Sell A Residence Without An Agent

With a robust real estate market, selling a residence isn't particularly difficult. Here's a primer on how to sell your own house.

How To Sell A Residence Without An Agent

First and foremost, you need to educate yourself on how real estate transactions happen. There are online guides and plenty of books on the subject at your local bookstore. When you decided to sell your own house, you are considered a FSBO seller [for sale by owner]. This FSBO market is growing like mad, which means you can find form contracts and agreements ready made for your particular state.

A second thing to realize is real estate laws are generally governed by states, not the federal government. This means the particulars of real estate transactions in your state may be different from those in another state. You should look for references related to your state, not nationwide advice. Nonetheless, here are a few universal pointers.

1. Determine the price of comparable homes in your neighborhood. This is going to give you a very good idea of what you can ask for your house when you put it on the market.

2. Objectively look at your home and make a list of things that need to be fixed. Selling a house often comes down to the details. Buyers are making a big investment, so they are going to be very picky about little things.

3. List your house online with photographs.

4. Post flyers or ads in your local property listings magazines.

5. Put a sign on your lawn indicating you are selling.

6. On the sign post, put a box with flyers describing your home and the asking price.

7. Hold open houses for buyers to view your house.

8. Clean your house before all open houses. Add fragrant flowers to rooms, mow the lawn and so on.

9. Get rid of your junk through a garage sale and the trash. This includes cleaning out the garage and basement. Everything should be pristine.

10. Create a documented record of all the improvements you've made to the home to show potential buyers.

11. Become conversant in the offer, counteroffer process.

12. Develop a clear understanding of what happens during closing and make sure you'll be able to take care of your part.

13. Figure out what you plan to do when you sell the house, to wit, are you going to buy another house and when will you move?

While these guidelines will take you a long way, it is important you understand the specific laws of your state. Once you have those down, the process typically goes fairly smoothly. Considering you'll save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commissions, any bumps in the road will be more than worth it.


How to Save Your Home from Foreclosure

The Great American Dream of homeownership is what many in our country diligently strive for. Homeownership brings many benefits, as well as responsibilities. Entrance into the status of homeowner may come with little or no cash investment for a down-payment. The loan that is obtained by a first time homebuyer is usually a special loan designed to assist those in the entry level, who have not yet accumulated a substantial sum for the down-payment. Banks will always prefer to lend to a borrower that has more to invest. Usually, the desired amount is at least ten or twenty percent of the purchase price in the form of cash. Almost without exception, the banks or mortgage lenders will make special loans with very little or no down-payment to a homebuyer because the loan is usually insured or guaranteed against loss of principal by a governmental or quasi-governmental agency.

First time homebuyer loans are usually the first loans that go into default in an economic downturn. Financial hardships caused by either loss of job, accident, injury, or relational problems begin to turn the American Dream into a nightmare. Although in a normal economy, there are very few people that actually end up losing their homes, those in the midst of the foreclosure suffer and many do not see themselves successfully out of the problem they get into. The following information is shared in the expectation that it will provide a path for those caught in that difficult situation, and assist in resolving their particular financial problem.

The Foreclosure Process in California

The California home-buying process usually involves the use of the deed of trust, which by its legal definition involves three parties; the trustor (borrower), the beneficiary (lender), and the trustee (neutral third party receiving the right to foreclose). The deed of trust usually includes a “power of sale” clause that gives the trustee the legal right to enforce collection of the debt. Collection of the debt is ultimately enforced by the right to sell the house when the borrower fails to make their mortgage payments. Defaulting on one's loan causes the start of foreclosure, the process by which the lender takes over the home in order to recover the their principal investment. Once the house is either sold at auctioned or "repossessed" by the lender, it is sold and the former owner must vacate at the discretion of the new owner. When there is a power of sale clause in the deed of trust the non-judicial process of foreclosure is used. In non-judicial foreclosure the trustee must meet a few requirements before he or she sells the property. In comparison to a judicial foreclosure, Non-judicial foreclosure is quick because the trustee does not have to obtain a court order to foreclose, nor is court supervision required in order to sell the house, as is required in the judicial foreclosure process. The judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of sale clause is not in the deed of trust.

In California, the timeline of non-judicial foreclosure begins when the trustee files a notice of default. This is a letter which is sent to the owner/trustor notifying him or her of their default of the loan. This notifies the owner of the intent of the lender to follow through on their right to collect on the debt. The copy of the notice, which is recorded at the County Recorders Office of the appropriate county, is mailed to the address of notice as per the deed of trust. Recording of the notice of default can vary greatly depending on the beneficiary. In can occur anywhere between a week to many months after one misses their first mortgage payment. The step that follows next is that stage of the foreclosure process in which there is a filing of the Notice of Trustee's Sale. No sooner than ninety (90) days after the trustee records the notice of default, the Trustee must publish a notice of trustee's sale in the local paper and simultaneously file that notice with the county recorder's office. No sooner than twenty days (20) after the notice of trustee sale is filed, the home may be sold at public auction for the amount of the debt plus foreclosure costs. If no one bids at the auction, the lender assumes ownership of the property, and may dispose of that property to recover their cash investment.

What You Can Do to Avoid or Stop the Foreclosure Process

The first and most important step that one can take in preventing the loss of one's home through the foreclosure process is to "communicate, communicate, communicate"! This first step, along with a few others, is detailed below.

    * Negotiate with the lender. The lender will always work with a client of theirs if the client takes the initiative to communicate any financial hardships that may have caused the default. Negotiate with the lender for a payment adjustment in order to make up for the missed payment or payments. It is imperative that you act quickly in order to prevent the sale of your home, because once the foreclosure process begins you only have 120 to 140 days before your house is sold. Contact your lender to explain your situation and work out a way for you to keep your house. You have the most time and the best chance of being able to negotiate a solution before the trustee files the notice of default. If foreclosure has already begun you must contact the lender during the 90 day period before the notice of trustee sale is posted and filed.

One of the most common causes of failure to communicate is that many homeowners facing foreclosure avoid contacting their lenders because they are upset or embarrassed. Many times the homeowner mistakenly belie the lender will not help them because they feel that the lender prefers to foreclose. In reality, the opposite is true. Banks and other lenders are primarily in the business of earning money by collecting interest on loans that they have made. Their net income is derived by having a specific process in place in order to invest and receive the interest payments. They find it cumbersome to go through the foreclosure process, and usually are not well equipped to manage foreclosed properties. Because of this, most lenders are willing to work with homeowners because foreclosure is more costly for them. It forces them to allocate time and resources to an unprofitable activity. Contact your lender immediately! Do not ignore phone calls and letters from your lender. If you do not inform your lender of your situation, it will be will assumed that you do not intend to pay and the process will go forward.

It is important to prepare well before you contact your lender. You must gather all documents supporting your income and expenses, as well as all loan account information. When you call ask to speak to someone in the customer service department, be upfront about your circumstances and be prepared to discuss your financial situation in detail. Your lender needs to know clearly your financial situation in order to determine whether they are able to offer a solution. Your lender should be able to then offer you one of the following options:

Loan modification: this is when the lender agrees to modify the terms of the loan. As an example, the lender may agree to extend the term of the loan or lower the interest rate of the loan. This option helps you catch up on unpaid payments by making your monthly payments affordable. Loan modification may be appropriate if you have recovered from a financial problem and can afford to make your loan payments if they are adjusted.

Repayment plan: This option allows you to catch up on unpaid payments by adding a portion of the late payments to your regular monthly payments. A repayment plan may be suited for you if you have recently recovered from a short- term financial problem and are now able to resume making your regular monthly payments but need time to catch up on the unpaid payments.

Reinstatement: This is when you are able to pay off the entire balance of the unpaid payments by a specific future date. Reinstatement may be appropriate if you know and can prove to your lender that you will soon be receiving a quantity of money that will allow you to bring your loan account current.

Forbearance: This is when the lender agrees to temporarily reduce or stop your loan payments with an agreement on another plan to bring the loan account current. This option stops the foreclosure process and is combined with other options, often reinstatement.

If you are uncomfortable with negotiating with your lender by your-self or if you want to better understand of what options you have, contact a reputable foreclosure assistance counseling agency. When selecting an agency to work with, choose one from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of approved housing counseling agencies. Beware of phony “counseling agencies” that approach you with the promise to advise you on your situation, provided that you pay a large fee!

    * Borrow money from family or friends. Many people tend to shy away from this as their first option. One would think that this option would be the most common-sense place to start. Many people completely eliminate this as a means to gather the funds necessary to bring the loan current simply because they are embarrassed to ask. They do not want family or friends to know that they have encountered financial difficulties, so they look elsewhere. Family or friends many times are te ones that are most committed to lending a helping hand. If they are able, they are very likely to be very willing to help out. Oftentimes because of embarrassment, they are not approached until it is too late in the foreclosure process, and are unable to obtain funds quickly enough to help out. Obviously, there are situations where the family

members or friends are not approached because there are already strained relations, or they want to avoid causing any discomfort to their inner circle of friends or family.

One of the best things that I can recommend to you is that you approach the request for assistance in a very businesslike manner. By that I mean, you should look to secure their interest just as you would expect if you were the one providing the funds to someone else in trouble. The greater degree of security that you can offer them in protecting their funds, the greater probability of successfully obtaining the funds necessary to stop the foreclosure.

    * Borrow from institutional lenders. A third option is to borrow from institutional lenders to bring up back payments. This can be done by refinancing, or simply by borrowing against the equity in the home. These lenders will primarily consider equity when determining approval of a loan. Equity is defined as the difference between the fair market value of the home and what is owed on the mortgage. Refinancing is when you take out another loan in order to pay off the existing mortgage. When refinancing to avoid foreclosure, you may be able to obtain a lower interest rate, a longer payment period, and/or a lower monthly payment which would make your mortgage payments more affordable. Usually lenders that become aware that you have fallen behind in the mortgage payments will shy away from lending to you, so if you expect to borrow from an institutional lender, you must act very quickly before your credit reflects any late payments. If the lender is aware that you are in default, they will probably refuse to lend, or offer an loan with much higher interest rate to account for the borrower's inability to meet their financial obligations.

    * Borrow from private party lenders. There are individuals that have funds to invest and are looking for a higher return on their investment than can be obtained by depositing their monies with savings institutions. These individuals are expecting a high rate of return on their cash investments, and understand that the loan that they are funding is a high-risk loan. Usually, once the homeowner falls behind in their mortgage payments, it is increasingly difficult to borrow money. These private lenders usually consider the equity in the property when making the loan. Because the borrower is behind in their payments, the lender cannot look upon the borrower's ability to repay in a timely manner as the primary basis for qualification. The lender looks for the security of their investment to the ability to recover it based on the property's market value and what is owed by the borrower on the property. Almost without exception, these loans carry a much higher interest rate than the normal home loans obtainable at banks or other lending institutions. They are, however, many times the only option left to a homeowner in foreclosure

    * File for Bankruptcy

There are two chapters dealing with personal bankruptcy; Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. The main difference between the two chapters is that Chapter 13 helps individual debtors pay off their debt with court supervision and protection while Chapter 7 eliminates, or in legal terms, liquidates, the debtor’s debt. Based on this simplistic definition alone bankruptcy may seem like the simplest and best solution to your financial problems. However when considering filing bankruptcy be aware that it is not an action that simply frees you from your debt, it is a complex legal process that has weighty financial consequences. For most debtors it is not the best option and should be considered as a last resort after all other options have been investigated or attempted. Individual financial circumstances are so different that you should seek the counsel of a financial planner or accountant and a bankruptcy attorney in order to discuss your particular financial situation and the implications of a bankruptcy. If you do not have an established relationship with an attorney, I would recommend that you get two or three opinions.

6. Sell the Home. Many times, the best solution for someone that has fallen behind in their payments is to sell the home, and thereby recoup 100% of their equity minus selling costs. Unfortunately, many homeowners get caught up in the emotions of the hardship and overlook the realities of their financial circumstances. Almost as if with blinders on, they stagger about hoping for a magic solution, sometimes waiting until it is to late to come up with a rational plan. If a homeowner can reasonably assess their finances and determines that they cannot carry the financial load, they might be much better off selling the property and preserving the bulk of their equity until they are again able to become homeowners, if they so wish. They must act quickly so that their credit is not ruined by the failure to make their mortgage payments on time, or by using the bankruptcy process just to forestall the sale of the home. Don't let your equity be eaten up by the high costs inherent in loans made to those in distress. Sell the home and preserve the most important or valuable part, namely the Equity!

Unfortunate circumstances befall many of us as we go through life. Protect your financial health by being proactive when these problems occur. As long as you act quickly and take steps to preserve your assets, you should be able to avoid going into foreclosure. If you do go into foreclosure, following these guidelines should minimize the pain of the process. Seeking assistance promptly from professionals in taxation, law, and real estate will improve your chances of handling the process well.
For other real estate related articles or information, visit www.nefcortez.com.


How to Really Declutter Your Home for Buyers

Your real estate agent has come to your house to assess what needs to be done to sell it the quickest.  The word, "declutter," continues to come up.  You assure your agent that you are a very neat person and that everything will be clean when the potential buyers come to view it.  Many sellers encounter the same situation each day.  What agents wish their clients would understand is that decluttering is more than just keeping the baseboards dust-free and the countertops wiped down.  Try some of the following tips and wow your real estate agent, and especially, your buyers.

With pen, paper and clipboard in hand, tour the outside of your home, then the inside.  As much as possible, pretend that you don't own the house and even that you've never seen the place.  You will quickly see what your real estate agent meant by decluttering when you use this new perspective.  Write down anything which is the least bit offensive to the eye, including unruly hoses, toys in the front yard, a busy mantle above the fireplace and newspapers stacked up in the laundry room.  The list will seem longer the more times you go through the process.  However, the more you notice, the more prepared your home will be for eagle-eyed buyers.

The biggest stumbling block for sellers preparing their home for the market is their lingering attachment to their house.  From repainting a room neutral, to taking family photos off the wall, sellers must accept that their time in that particular house is coming to an end.  To counteract this mental block, take your most personal items out of rooms first.  Get plenty of clear plastic tubs, or boxes to store your items.  Treat the decluttering process as if you are preparing a model home for viewing.  In order to sell your home, you have to give the buyers room to imagine their personal belongings.  Little forward-thinking daydreams about decorating your new abode should also counteract those strong attachments.

A good round of decluttering will often leave you with a pile of boxes and bins to contend with.  Although stacking them up in a closet seems like a nice, out-of-the-way option, this may not be the best choice.  Consider that closet space is often one of the key selling points for a home.  Closets should look as impeccable as possible.  This will aid greatly in creating a spacious feeling.  If the closets are crowded and messy, the buyer may think that your home is just not big enough, even if it has the square footage they want.

Your garage is the most acceptable place for storage in the mind of the buyers.  Of course, not everyone has this luxury.  If you can convince a family member, friend, or even a neighbor to let you store those boxes and crates, then take advantage of the opportunity.  However, if you really need or want your storage items in the house, then try to stack them up in the least conspicuous place you can find.  A playroom or basement can usually stand to have a few of these bins stashed in the corner.  Better yet, think about renting a temporary storage facility to house these things.

Despite all your efforts, be prepared to hear your Tampa Bay Florida real estate agent tell you that you still have too many belongings cluttering the house.  If this happens, just remember that they're on your side and that they're the expert.  Also, remember that a well-decluttered house is your quickest ticket to a "Sold!" sign.


How To Profit In Real Estate Investing With Fixer-Uppers

There are many people who get into real estate investing and who, in the process, just follow a simple formula which is using the well tried and certainly most tested way of doing business in real estate and that is to buy homes being put up for sale by owners who are in distress. In such instances, they are able to snap up distress properties at rock bottom prices and then they simply fix up the properties with a view to selling them further at a higher price and in the process make a tidy sum of money. As a matter of fact, it has been found that those who have used such simple strategies over the long term have succeeded so much that they have made enough money to turn into millionaires.

Different Reasons Why Distress Homes Are Put Up For Sale

The problem of course that one has to contend with at the very outset is that of learning how to find fixer-uppers. In this regard it should be mentioned that when a homeowner becomes distressed it may cause them to cease to properly maintain their properties and often, they may even end up falling behind in making the payments on their properties. What's more, both buyers and sellers are known to have a number of different reasons why they get into real estate investing in fixer-uppers though common reasons include losing a job or going through a divorce and even illnesses and alcohol abuse can cause a seller to become distressed.

Whatever the reason why a homeowner becomes distressed, there is no doubt that the real loser in the equation is the property which will suffer because it won't be properly maintained and payments on it too will start to be skipped and thus it becomes an ideal candidate for being sold as part of a fixer-upper strategy. And, among the most lucrative real estate investing opportunities that you will come across when it concerns fixer uppers are homes that are completely rundown, owned by a seller who is in the process of divorcing their spouse and those who can't keep up with their mortgage payments.

Still, homes that are very ugly and which need fixing are really quite difficult to sell off because buyers for such homes are rather limited and not easy to convince to buy such type of homes. Obviously, homeowners prefer to put their real estate investing money in homes that don't need much repair work because having to repair a home or upgrade it is not something a prospective homeowner will want when purchasing a home.

To be sure, most homebuyers need a property that is a home and not something to invest their hard-earned money in. Furthermore, when you are looking for fixer-uppers with real estate investing in mind you will also have to have contractors available who can make a home inhabitable with just a little work. Once you are sure that you want a contractor to repair and upgrade your home, you can then prospect for homes that are available at bargain prices.

Typically, you should scout the advertisements that have terms such as as-is or fixer-upper or even handyman's special or other similar terms that show you that the home requires some repair. Even a local real estate agent can point you in the right direction. If you stick in this line long enough, people will then come to understand that you are in the fixer-upper line of real estate investing and will then contact you with suitable and tempting fixer-upper deals.

Having located a suitable property, you then need to be sure about what the problem with the home is and then think of ways to solve such problems. Often, the problem may have a lot to do with financial constrains rather than requiring to physically repair the home and if such is the case, you can then get an even lower sales price for the property in question. However, be aware that fixer-uppers in real estate investing is a line in which you must always tread with great care and caution because even a small mistake can lead to disastrous consequences.

The bottom line is that you must first of all put together a good team and to also do home buying in a very careful and conservative manner. In addition, you should also be prepared to pay whatever it takes to repair the home and once you understand and act properly on these parameters you will find that fixer upper in real estate investing can fetch you plenty of money.


How to profit from real estate by wholesaling

Wholesaling in real estate is an entire business in itself and generates super-fast profits, usually without ever acquiring the title on the property. It's not uncommon to pick up a check at closing, with the seller and buyer present at the same time. Many times I have earned thousands of dollars within two or three days of finding a deal. Successful people in the wholesale business are accomplished at locating good deals and marketing them - primarily to people who are in the rehabbing and retailing business. The first purchaser is willing to take a smaller, fast profit and leave the larger profit to an investor with the time and money to buy, repair, and sit on the house until it's sold.

Some people are making a good income by buying and then reselling immediately only once or twice a month. These deals require no money, no credit, and no bosses. Believe me, if you locate a deal, someone is waiting to buy it from you.

Finding bargains for bargain hunters is the easiest and quickest way I know to pick up a check for at least $5000. The whole process shouldn't take more than 15 to 20 days from the beginning to the end. Following are some tips for wholesaling:

1. Don't pay too much. Remember, you're selling to bargain hunters. Leave them plenty of room to make a profit or you won't find a buyer. That means they should net at least 20 percent of the sales price after all expenses.

2. Your only exit is to sell for all cash quickly. Make sure your buyers can get the cash and aren't relying on bank financing. Don't allow buyers to learn banks won't finance junkers at your expense. If a buyer can't close in 15 days or less, find another buyer.

3. Use an assignment of contract and let your closing agent collect your fee.

There's really not that much to learn about wholesaling. It's an easy real estate business. Many people are doing one to ten deals a month and netting a decent earning. Some make more on one wholesale deal than most people make in a year on their job.


How to profit from real estate by rehabbing and retailing

Buying houses low and selling them high is called retailing. This is the most easily understood method of investing in real estate. It's the art of buying at a low price, often doing some repairs, and then selling at retail price and usually cashing out. A lot of money is made through this method. Some people do it part-time, turning 2 or 3 houses a year, and make more money at it than they make on their regular jobs. Others do it full-time and turn 40 to 80 houses a year with an average profit from $20,000 to $35,000 per deal.

Rehabbing and retailing houses is very profitable, but it is's also the hardest way to make money in real estate and is layered with costly entanglements. A lot of satisfaction comes from rehabbing. Following is a list of tips for rehabbing and retailing:

1. Buy in areas where qualified buyers want to live.

2. Never close your purchase without confirming your assumptions, that is, after repaired value and repair estimates. Do your due diligence and get the purchase appraised as completed; buy title insurance; have a termite inspection; get repair estimates from qualified contractors; and get estimates to fix any other traps you can avoid.

3. Always borrow more than you need to buy and repair. The job will always cost more, take longer, and yield less profit than you expect. You better have a cash reserve.

4. Keep a tight leash on contractors. They'll play you like a yo-yo, which can - and probably will - be one of your biggest learning experiences in The School of Hard Knocks. But hey, don't worry; I graduated from that same school top of my class, and I survived.

5. Don't tie up your cash. Tying it up is a good way to become a motivated seller. The greater your need to sell, the longer it will take.

6. Do a nice renovation job. It'll pay handsome dividends in saved holding costs and in satisfied customers who'll send you more buyers.

7. Find a good loan processor or mortgage broker to get your buyers financed. It's the difference between success and failure. This person has your paycheck in his or her control,, so make sure the person you find knows his or her business and follows up.

8. Master the art of selling houses as fast as humanly possible. Slow selling is the biggest weakness for most yet one of the easiest to fix. If you sell houses the way most untrained investors do, it'll be a while before you get paid.

9. Never do your own repairs. If you do, you're working as a laborer, not an investor. You make money by locating and buying good deals, not swinging a paint brush. If you adhere to tip 3, it won't be a problem; you'll have the money. Some people tell me fixing houses is their therapy. I say if you lay hands on a house, you need therapy.

10. Get trained at this craft of quick turning real estate before you have to pay an ugly price for your education. Education is a lot cheaper than ignorance.


How to Prepare for a Land Tax Sale

You just read, in the legal section of your local newspaper, about vacant lots or land parcels for sale. This county sale is due too uncollected back real estate taxes that are owned to your local county offices by the current land owner.

 If you have never attended a Real Estate Tax sale before, their is a learning curve on How to Prepare for this land purchasing, opportunity event.

 This is an opportunity, because you can invest in land for sale at a very small fraction of it's market value. A real buy low event. However, preparation meeting this opportunity will help spell success in your new purchase or purchases of land for sale.

     PART I

 Research your potential land for sale purchase. Many advise that you do a little title search yourself at the local county assessors office to look for any title liens or other clouds to the title within the lands recorded documents. An easier process is to pay a title company for a Title Binder, which will reveal any liens or title disputes prior to your bidding on any land.

 In order to do a search you need what they call a legal description. Usually this consists of the lot number, block number and unit number of a named subdivision. For example, lot 1, block 12, unit 3 of the Pacific Subdivision. Obviously this subdivision is located in your county and state.

 In your search, the local county tax is a lien against this land for sale. This will show on your search or title binder, but should also show as a dollar amount in back taxes within the local newspapers legal notice. Other federal back taxes or what is called mechanics liens may also show. So when the title is transferred to you or others, these liens need to be paid in order to pass clear title. If you do not discover these liens, you will have to pay your bid amount and eventually pay these other liens before re-marketing the land.

 After your title search you need to locate your lot for sale. If it's located in an existing subdivision, a local street name and number may suffice. However, much vacant land is located in the open areas were no development has taken place. In this case, you need a plat which shows all the lots located in an existing area. These plats show various lots and street names and are public information. You can purchase recorded plats at your county court house or a local mapping service at very reasonable prices.

 When viewing the land for sale, you need to determine if this a buy now and hold for later sale investment. If not, perhaps you can purchase now and re-sale immediately for an immediate gain. In other words, what are your investment goals.

     PART II

 You have your plat maps, a list of eligible lots or land parcels for sale that you want to bid on and a "letter of credit". You need to visit your bank a day or two before the tax land sale and arrange to have cash available or a letter of credit showing you have a dollar stated amount in you checking account. The county wants certified funds or cash in order to transfer title to you, the new land owner. Assuming you successfully won the land bid.

 You can transfer funds from your savings account or line of credit to your checking account. Make sure you have ample amounts in order to bid on more than one piece of property for sale at the land auction.

 Remember, the "letter of credit" is essential in order to bid. The county officials will not just accept you personal checks without this letter. With it, you will receive your bidding number. Sounds as though you might be prepared now, but a few other needed elements exist for your success. Elements that we will review in the Last Part of this article.



How to Negotiate Without Losing Your FSBO Cool

No buyer wants an uncomfortable confrontation with the owner of a house for sale. Therefore, when a buyer asks to negotiate on aspects of the fsbo sale, it is important for the house owner to project a calm, relaxed mood and respond to negotiation requests politely. This reduces the risk of blowing a potential sale.

The goal of a good salesperson is to handle the sale in such a way both seller and buyer walk away from the sale feeling they got something they wanted. The sales floor, then, is no place to let egos get the upper hand. Be willing to compromise on minor issues.

<b>Elements of a Successful Negotiation</b>

By asking a fair price for your home you greatly reduce the risk of negotiations turning nasty. Other elements that make for successful negotiations are as follows:

<ul><b>1.)</b> Plan ahead. Decide before hand what aspects of the sale are negotiable, and which are not. This will reduce frustration during negotiations.

<b>2.)</b> When setting your house for sale by owner asking price, set it higher than your rock bottom price. Expect that buyers will ask for you to negotiate on price.

<b>3.)</b> Foster a calm relaxed tone and make good eye contact. Listen carefully to the buyer, and avoid the temptation to interrupt them.

<b>4.)</b> Keep in mind how much of the equity is saved by not going through a real estate agent when asked to reduce the price. Reducing the asking price by 2 or 3% still puts you way ahead of the game.

<b>5.)</b> Avoid the word “NO” when negotiating. Be willing to compromise on minor issues. Even when a point is not negotiable, take the time to explain “why.” This sends a better message to the buyer.

<b>6.)</b> Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on trust. Document what terms and conditions are discussed and agreed upon, and what still needs to be worked out.</ul>

<b>Prepare a Negotiation Worksheet</b>

By preparing a negotiation worksheet, you help the house for sale by owner negotiations go more smoothly, and the atmosphere to remain calm. You also reduce the risk of frustrations resulting from misunderstandings that could arise later.

The worksheet is not meant to be a legal, binding document. It is only to serve as a visual aid to keep track of what aspects of the sale process are agreed upon by both parties, and what aspects still need to be worked out. The worksheet will also serve as the foundation for the purchase and sales contract that should be drawn up with the help of an attorney.

The Negotiation Worksheet should include the following:

<ul><b>1.)</b> The seller’s name

<b>2.)</b> The buyer’s name, address, and phone number

<b>3.)</b> A description of the property fsbo, including address

<b>4.)</b> The purchase price

<b>5.)</b> The amount of the deposit

<b>6.)</b> Who holds the deposit

<b>7.)</b> Financing information

<b>8.)</b> Pre-Qualification letter due date

<b>9.)</b> Date of final loan approval

<b>10.)</b> Whether or not the seller is financing

<b>11.)</b> Who pays for what (inspections, appraisals, repairs, attorney fees, etc.)

<b>12.)</b> What is included in the sale (personal property such as appliances, curtains, etc.)

<b>13.)</b> Other conditions of the sale (buyers must first sell their current home, maximum mortgage note %, property inspections, etc.)

<b>14.)</b> Anticipated closing date

<b>15.)</b> Rental fees if seller continues to occupy the home after the closing

<b>16.)</b> Notation that the worksheet is not a binding document

<b>17.)</b> Any other aspects agreed upon, relevant to the sale of the property</ul>

For a MS Word formatted Negotiation Worksheet template, email the editor of Virtual Real Estate Listings at . Type “Negotiation Worksheet” on the subject line of the e-mail; include your name and email address when making your request.

By both parties being willing to negotiate and documenting what has been agreed upon, fsbo dealings will go more smoothly, with irritations kept to a minimum. And the house for sale by owner process will be a win/win situation for both the buyer and the seller.

© 2006 Lori S. Anton, for Virtual Real Estate Listings

How To Negotiate Real Estate Deals On the Internet

Negotiating a successful real estate contract, whether in person or on the Internet, requires communication skills and the ability to create an environment of trust and cooperation. As much of consumerism shies away from personal or direct selling, real estate is one product that most predict will hold on strongly to the personal approach.

'Seeing' the product and 'trusting' those who rent it are significant success factors in the industry. Internet marketing standards are of precise importance to real estate because many of the obstacles reflected in these principles are particularly high for this industry. A first principle is that Internet marketing must be calculated to reach the target market. It is not sufficient to set up a nice home page and hope that the right audience will find it, and appreciate the product.

Create Credibility

The bigger the need for credibility, the greater the need to follow the unwritten principles of Internet marketing when presenting your product. Effectively promoting real estate requires the instantaneous formation of trust and comfort: To miss doing this on the Internet will end customer relationships before they can start forming, and creates a bad precedent for future transactions.

Always remember not use intrusive or pushy messages that invite an immediate sale. Let the web visitor be interested in your real estate product by properly, and slowly guiding him or herself through the pertinent information provided, to fully answer their queries and concerns. Patiently, and concretely dealing with an online real estate client 'invites' interest.

Be Transparent With Customers

It is imperative to provide full information, and clearly explain how the details can be obtained. Do not hide or conceal significant information about your real estate product, even if it tilts towards the negative. The importance of straight talk, honest and factual information will develop the confidence required.

For example, by clearly stating early in your message whether or not you ban pets or if your building is adult-only will narrow your market to authentic potential clients. Respecting the Internet customer by providing 'filtering' information is polite and makes plain good marketing sense. Busy consumers would be delighted to be able to get useful information faster and more concise.

When dealing with real estate on the Internet, Ensure that you provide some extra information that would be of real use to your guest. Offer an 'apartment or house assessment' feature that provides a form to enable clients to make comparisons, or an article on the community that would provide relevant useful information and links for new buyers or sellers.

Offer immediate choices, which show the guest that he/she is in charge and is not being tricked or enticed into something flawed, or suspicious. You must explain the choices clearly and provide check boxes if a guest confirmation is needed to 'proceed' with something that involves a commitment. Do not overwhelm your guest with bright lights and colored animation when your page pops up: You would want to create enough credibility to build some trust as your guest uses your page, and not see a carnival or a fireworks display of flashing lights and colors.


How To Make An Offer On A Home

You probably already know some of the secrets of how to make an offer on a home. You offer less than you're willing to pay, right? That's the most common negotiation technique. For experienced investors, though, that's just one technique among many more powerful ones.

<b>How To Make An Offer</b>

 1. Offer an odd amount, like $161,735. This gives the impression you know something the seller doesn't. He may think you have a good reason for that particular price.

 2. Play dumb and ask questions. Talk slow, ask for help, and never show off your real estate expertise. Sellers are afraid to budge if they think a smarter person may be taking advantage of them.

 3. Use the "limited authority" technique. Try "I'll have to check with my wife (or partner)." It's easier for sellers to accept that you can't do something, rather than the idea that you won't.

 4. Use precedent. "My father bought his house this way." If the offer is  unusual, sellers will feel more comfortable knowing it has been done that way before.

 5. Ask for things you don't need. This lets the seller win concessions when negotiating. If you can later say, "I guess I don't need the refrigerator, if I can get my price," you're more likely to get your price.

 6. Try being reluctant. Say "Well, I don't know..." This gets the seller looking for ways to motivate you, and lets him feel like he's won something when you settle the point.

 7. Make an offer their idea. "Are you saying you'd like a later closing, and more earnest money? Well let's do it your way, then. I just need..."

 8. Get yesses before the offer. "What if I paid your price, but got my terms? Would that work for you?" Even with a few changes, it will be hard for the seller to say no to an offer he more or less already agreed to.

 9. Flatter. Flattery has been proven to be worth an average of $1962 in real estate negotiations. That's a joke, by the way, but you know if he likes you, you'll probably get a better deal.

 10. Pass over problems, then return to them later. Agree on every agreeable point first. It will feel like the house is sold then, and it will be difficult for a seller to lose the deal over an issue or two that you need to go in your favor.

You can spend a lot of time looking for cheap houses. Meanwhile, good negotiation skills can make any house cheaper. Why not spend a little time learning the secrets of how to make an offer on a home?


How To Invest In Government Foreclosures

You have probably seen the infomercials in the past that are trying to tempt you into buying government foreclosures. And more than likely you probably dismissed these offers as a get rich quick scheme that will never work. While government foreclosures may not be exactly what you see and hear on television, they definitely have their place in the real estate industry.

In order to take advantage of government foreclosures you must first know what they are. Government foreclosures are properties that were financed through FHA insured loans. This means that the FHA insured the lender that the owner will meet the financial obligations that are required. But when the owner fails to do this, the lender will then take the home back. At this time, the FHA is then responsible for reimbursing the lender for any losses that they may have incurred. The FHA loses in two ways; they do not get the home, and they also have to pay the lender for their losses.

Government foreclosures can also come about in other ways. If somebody decides that they are going to avoid paying taxes, the IRS may take the home from the buyer. In other cases, government foreclosures may happen when a home owner is sent to jail. Instead of simply letting the home go to waste, the home is simply turned into a government foreclosure.

Government foreclosures are usually sold to the public via real estate auctions. This means that anybody who is interested in these properties can attend these auctions and bid on the homes that interest them. Most often times, investors suck up these government foreclosures the first chance that they get. It is not uncommon to find government foreclosures that are listed at 10% or more off of the market value price. This means that you can buy a home, and then quickly turn it into a profit.

Finding government foreclosures can be done by keeping an eye on your local real estate classifieds. Foreclosure auctions are usually listed in major papers for at least one day so that the public has a chance of finding out about them.

The infomercials don’t lie! Government foreclosures are a great way to make money. Even though you probably won’t get rich quick like you are told, you should be able to make at least a little bit of money on each transaction.


How To Invest In Dirt Cheap Land Today That Will Explode In Value Tomorrow!

It’s a fact that land investment has returned (on average) over 900% for investors over a 20 year period and with a serious shortage of this natural commodity in several global spots such as the United Kingdom, the capital gains for shrewd investors are likely to get even bigger.

In this article we’ll look at the exact factors you should consider before purchasing land as an investment.

Land shares some interesting similarities with real estate when it comes to evaluating its potential for capital growth. In this segment we’ll look at how to assess land locations so that you choose the best plots of land that are likely to explode in value quickly. 
Here are the two main factors that you must consider when evaluating potential land plots for investment:

 1. Location, Location, Location (And Did I Mention Location?)

When you purchase a real estate investment, before taking on the property you will of course investigate its location thoroughly. Why? Because the location of real estate will have a large say in its capital appreciation as well as the rental yields it commands. It’s much the same with Land investment - while there are no yield considerations, the location of a plot of land will largely determine it’s appreciation in value. The location of land will determine its likelihood for planning permissions as well as the chances of it being bid on by a major developer. Location is key.

Here are some key considerations when determining the location value of a plot of land:

- Is the land close to major rail/road networks and does it connect two or more established communities? If the answer is yes then it’s more likely to receive the nod for planning permission and also has a far better chance of being tagged as a potential site for developers.

- Does the land have easy access to gas, electricity, water & other utilities? A developer is far more likely to build in a plot that has ready access to these utility networks. Additional utilities may include easy access to sewers.

- Is the land in a green-belt area? This is an area that’s government protected and green belt areas can have far greater problems in getting planning permission for development than non-green belt locations. Having said that, many green belt locations are increasingly being allowed to have land developed (due to the land shortage crisis) - if you’re planning to purchase green belt land then you can see if other green belt land in the area has been given planning permission for development. While there is no guarantee, this can be a good indicator that your proposed land investment could also get the green light for planning permission.

- Identify Town Growth Patterns - The potential land investor must have a skill for identifying in which direction a town or city is heading. Investing in land that’s not in the path of this growth could mean that the land will remain baron for a lot longer before the capital gains can be realised by way of a bid.

- Physical Characteristics Of Your Land - While this may not strictly be a location issue, there are several physical characteristics that your proposed land site will have that may affect it’s potential for development - the type of soil that your proposed land investment has may affect how it may be used for example. The surrounding views and whether it is on flat land or hills is a further consideration.

- Identify Towns That Have Been Tagged For By The Government For Housing Development - We already know that the government is committed to injecting billions of pounds into affordable housing. Purchasing land plots in specific areas that have been ear-marked for house-building is a further way of ensuring that you purchase land in an area that has an excellent chance of gaining planning permission, and ultimately attracting a developer who will purchase it from you.

- Make Use Of Government Departments - Call up councils where you are planning on purchasing land and ask them what their plans are for growth. Ask about new highways and infrastructure that may be on the agenda and if any greenbelt areas are likely to be developed in the near future.    

- Affluence Of The Surrounding Area - Obviously, the more wealthy the area (and surrounding areas) of the location of your land, the more valuable it will be. In real estate, one effective strategy to identify properties with fantastic potential for capital growth is by identifying "spill-over" locations - these are areas that are relatively cheap to buy into but that neighbour property hot-spots. What tends to happen is that the value of these spill over areas tend to increase as people who cannot buy into the hotspot location are forced into the spill over regions. The same tactic can be applied with land investment.

- Is Your Land Close To Existing Developments?  Land that is within close proximity to existing developments are more likely to get noticed by developers (and the green light for planning permission) than land that is slap bang in the middle of undeveloped green belt areas with sensational picture perfect views.

- How Well & At What Price Do The Houses/ Accommodation Near The Land Sell? If there are houses near the site of your potential land purchase then you should make enquiries as to how well the land in that locality sells. Research the most recent sales to determine the average prices. This should give you a fair indication of how well land in this area might perform as an investment.

2. Likelihood Of The Land Achieving Planning Permission

If the land you’re purchasing currently does not have planning permission, you must make an assessment of the likelihood of the chances of it receiving planning permission for development. Choosing land that is likely to receive planning permission is not an exact science (you need to have deduction skills to identify the land most likely to get permission). Here are some of the issues you must consider:

- Is The Land In A Greenbelt Area? Obviously, if the land is currently in the green-belt then there will be greater difficulty in getting planning permission. However, because of recent government intentions to develop (UK) land in the greenbelt, a lot of land categorised as green belt will still receive planning permission if certain conditions are met. A lot of these are discussed below.

- Proximity Of Land To Areas & Developments That Have Already Received Planning Permission - Land that is close to other land in the area that has already received planning permission may be more likely to receive the go ahead for development itself. In contrast, land that is not near any developed land or slap-bang in the middle of an area that is "prize countryside" is less likely to receive that elusive green light.

- Proximity Of Land In Areas Of High Development - Certain areas within the country have been tagged for development. These are areas that the government intends to develop - land in these areas are far more likely to get  planning permission - if you inquire what the current areas are and focus on land purchase in these areas then you’re less likely to end up with land that is denied permission for development.

- Proximity To Land That Is Close To Motorways & Vital Utilities - In the last section we looked at how proximity to utilities and motorways are important RE the location of the land. Well these factors are also crucial in the land obtaining planning permission for development. A council is far more likely to grant permission to land that has immediate access to electricity, water, gas and transport links than land that does not have ready access to these utilities.

- The Requirement For Housing In The Area - This is linked, at least in part, to the proximity of land to areas of high development factor. Land investment in areas that urgently require new housing is far more likely to give a timely positive return than land investment in areas where no such need is identified (particularly if it is in the green belt).

- Proximity Of Land To Existing Towns & Villages - Land that is very close to existing communities stands a far better chance of gaining planning permission. There are many economies of scale for the council to allow land like this to be developed - for instance, required social services such as police, fire and medical facilities will already be in place.

It’s worth remembering that the value of land can increase spectacularly once planning permission is granted. Hence when you’re investing in land (either individually or as part of a group), your ability to identify land that’s ripe for planning permission is key.

Remember - Land is a commodity which is no longer made. There is no "competition" for it (it's an effective monopoly) and those investors who invest in land today may well achieve some truly outstanding returns tomorrow and long into the future.


How to Have the Perfect Home You Want in Miami Real Estate

Thinking of buying a home in Miami real estate? In terms of buying a home in Miami real estate, it is not as simple as looking for home and buys it. There are things that you need to look up and consider in order to make the buying process a success.


You have to learn in order to gain success in purchasing a home you want and need in Miami real estate. If you are reading this article, good for you since you really want to learn.

If you think it is simple as it seems that you look for home, the seller will and you over the key and you hand over the money. This is not as simple as that, there are few factors you need to consider to have the best deal or transaction and you will have the perfect home at Miami real estate.

You have to gain information and knowledge about Miami real estate market, since the market changes every now and then, it is better to know and have the knowledge about it.

A very important factor that you need to consider before looking for home in Miami real estate market is to settle your finances. Of course, you need to apply for a mortgage in order to have the necessary budget to purchase a home. Do not simply go to any lender and apply for a mortgage. It is advisable to visit few lenders and compared each. It is better to work with the right lender, a lender that can give you the best option so you will have the best loan for your home purchase. Taking a few time and effort in finding the right lender and looking for the best option can be worth it in the end, so do not rush things out and do one step at a time.

In applying for a mortgage, you have to wait until you will be pre-approved, having pre-approved means that you will have the budget to purchase a home. It is advantageous on your part in seeking for a home to have pre-approved mortgage since most sellers prefer buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage.

If it is your first time in Miami real estate market, it is better to work with a real estate agent. Since a real estate agent can assist, guide and help you out in Miami real estate market in finding the perfect home you want and need. But you have to make sure you will be hiring the right person, you have to have the assurance that this person possesses the proper expertise and experiences in Miami real estate market. Take time in finding one by conducting interviews with few real estate agents.

The right real estate agent will represent you and will go out and find for homes that possess your criteria. The agent will make schedules for you in order for you to visits several homes in Miami real estate market. The right real estate agent will help you out in conducting offers and I closing the deal. So with considering all the factors needed in this quest, you will soon gain the perfect home in Miami real estate.


How to Have the Best Home in Sarasota Real Estate

Yes, there are heaps of reasons why you desire to purchase a home in Sarasota real estate. Amazing beaches, sun, sand, elegant homes, are few of the reasons why people tend to move at Sarasota real estate.

If you prefer to purchase a home or property in Sarasota real estate, there is a wide array of Sarasota real estate choices that are available. From single-homes, mansions, condos and so on, these are just few of the choices that you can make, .so it is really up to you which one do you prefer, which one you need and want of course you can afford.

Yes, definitely, you want to make sure to have the best home in Sarasota real estate, but purchasing one doesn’t simply comes in easily, there are factors that should be considered and accomplished in order to have the desired home in Sarasota real estate.

The first thing you need to accomplish and settle is your finances. You have to apply for a mortgage in order to have the best loan that you need in purchasing a home in Sarasota real estate. You have to visit few lenders and compare each; this can help you find the right lender that can give you the best loan that you need. You need to allocate certain time and effort in search for the right lender.

As soon as you finally find the right lender, it is time for you to understand and choose which option is the best for you. In applying for a mortgage, make sure that you do not only be qualified but make sure that you will be pre-approved for a mortgage before searching for the home you desire.

If you have pre-approved for a mortgage, it is high time for you to search for the home you want in Sarasota real estate. Hiring a real estate agent is an option, since an agent can help you out in finding the best home you want in Sarasota real estate. Yu also need to spend some time in finding the right real estate agent. Ask for recommendation and contact few real estate agents and interview them until you find the one that you believe is the right one for you.

You need to decide the criteria and features that you want in a home, jot them all down, like how many rooms do you need, do you want a big yard or smaller one will do, and the likes. Then hand these criteria to your real estate agent and he/she will go to the market and look for homes that have it. As soon as he/she found homes, take time to visit few until you come up with the one that you desire to purchase.

If you are eyeing for a home, it is better to conduct home inspection, if things turns well, make an offer and close the deal. With all of these accomplished and done properly, you will have the best home in Sarasota real estate.


How to Get the Upper Hand in a Foreclosure Auction

Foreclosure auctions are events in which a bank sells a real estate property it has acquired through the foreclosure of a debt.

In foreclosure events, people are invited to bid for the property and the property is often sold to the person who offers to pay the most amount for the real estate.

In foreclosure auctions, you need to be careful in order to get the best deal out of the house.

Here are some tips in getting the best deal in a foreclosure auction:

1. Gather information -if possible, you should first study the real estate property in question. In order to know how much to bid in a foreclosure auction, you should have a clear idea about the true value of the property.

For this, you will need to get the services of a qualified assessor. You will need to rely upon your instincts and observe every minute detail regarding the real estate property.

You should include in your research any potential developments in the community, which could affect the value of the property. You should take into consideration any potential uses of the property in terms of business or commercial developments.

In gathering information, you must certify that each bit of information you acquire will be relevant to the foreclosure auction.

You may need to screen out information, which proves to be useless in the said foreclosure auction.

2. Be discreet -if you stumble across something big, you need to be discreet and use it as a weapon on the foreclosure auction. This way, you will be able to quickly gain the upper hand.

Discretion on your part will give you an advantage over the other bidders. Any information you stumble upon will help you set your boundaries and goals during the foreclosure auction.

3. Self-control -the reason you need to gather information is to set boundaries for yourself. You need to stick to those boundaries, no matter how much you want a property.

Self-control means being master, not a slave, to your emotions. You can let your passion fuel the foreclosure auction, but you cannot let those feelings rule the auction.

You need self-control in order to get the best deal possible in a foreclosure auction. You need to know when to walk away.

Some people tend to lose themselves in the sheer competition of a bidding war. In the end, you will have paid so much more than what you have anticipated.

This leads to bad deals, and a lot of hyperacidity.

4. Be flexible -having self-control does not necessarily mean dismissing a deal out of hand because it failed to meet your projections.

In a foreclosure auction you need to know when to push the advantage. You need to know when to go on bidding, and when the property is worth the additional price.

Being flexible means you can adjust your attitude and your bids according to the competitors in the foreclosure auction.

Remember that flexibility is what allowed the human race to survive thus far.

These are just some of the tips you may find useful in a foreclosure auction. In using these tips and techniques, you can be assured that you may gain some advantages over other bidders.

Remember always to keep to your plan, but be ready to divert when necessary.


How to Find the Right Home in Tampa Real Estate Market

Looking for home can give you shelter and memories. But searching for your dream home in Tampa real estate is one of the most important decisions in your life.

Yes, everyone wants to have their own home that they can be with for the rest of their lives, a place where they can be happy and have fun with. But buying your own home is not that easy since it needs time and effort but it can be worth while if you do the right things to do.

If you want to purchase a home in Tampa real estate you do not have to simply go to the market and search for home. You might end up embarrassed and frustrated if you do that.

You have to settle your finances first and foremost. Applying for a mortgage is the best option. But of course, you need to work with the right lender. You have to at least contact few lenders and compare them in order to have the right lender. In finding the right lender, the lender should be willing to give you several options and not let you focus on a particular option only. You need to have several options in order for you to choose the one that can best suit you.

In applying for a mortgage, make sure to fill up the form rightly and honestly. Answer all the questions properly and you need to write legibly, this can help your paper to be process right away.

Before moving to the next step, you have to wait for a pre-approved mortgage. Soon as you have a pre-approved mortgage, you can move to the next step.

As a starter in Tampa real estate, you can work with real estate agent. But you have to hire the right real estate agent and not just an agent. You can ask for recommendation from family, friends and to those investors you know. For sure they will be gladly to help you in giving recommendations. You need to contact few of these real estate agents.

As soon as you contact them, you need to schedule each for an interview, this can help you know them better and know their skills and experiences. Take time in knowing which the right one for you is, make sure that the one you choose is a person that you will be comfortable to be with for several months of working with that person.

Give your real estate agent the features you want in a home and the budget you have in order for the agent to seek homes in Tampa real estate market that matches your criteria. Take time to visit several homes. You need to hire home inspector in order to inspect the home that you are eyeing at.

If things go to your plan, make an offer and close the deal. With all of the factors considered and done, you will be having the right home you want in Tampa real estate.


How To Find Good Real Estate Broker

The value of hiring a real estate broker lies in the fact that they can assist you in the process of either buying or selling a house. A good broker would know how to get proper financing, prepare your home for inspection and help you until the closing date. Just make sure your broker represents your best interest as there are brokers who represent both the buyer and seller in a transaction.

 The best sources of information on where to find a good real estate broker are your friends and family who recently bought or sold a home. Ask them to refer you to a broker who is easy to contact. A good indication of a dedicated broker is the one who returns your calls immediately. Do steer away from those who can’t seem to find the time to call you back, no matter how good their referrals are.  Other sources of information are newspaper ads and the internet. Try to visit open houses in your neighborhoods, as this is also a converging place for agents and brokers.

 Before establishing any formal business relationship, determine just how much your broker asks for commission. This is important as some brokers ask for fees when handling closing documents, apart from the agreed commission.

 Always make sure that the broker’s personality fits your own, as you’ll expect to spend a lot of time with him during the whole buying or selling process. If you can establish faith and trust with your broker, then you know you have found a good one. A good broker should also make you feel important and treat your transaction as urgent. Logically, a full-time broker or agent is much preferable to one who just works part-time.

 Scrutinize the training your broker had and whether he’s familiar with current trends, especially in using the internet. A technology-savvy broker indicates the willingness to stay on top of his profession.

 If you are selling, determine how your broker will market your house and ask for written marketing plan. See to it that your broker will get your property featured in several listings. Also, ask your broker if he’s willing to offer a commission to the buyer’s agent, as there are buyer’s agent who only deal with seller’s agent willing to give them a commission. Needless to say, this would facilitate your transaction.

 Avoid brokers who ask you to sign exclusivity contract for several months. This is only beneficial if manage to find a dedicated broker. The downside, of course, is when you find a broker who gives less-than-respectable performance. Try to ensure that you protect your interests at all times.
Lastly, never ever give your broker money up front. These professionals earn when your property gets sold, and not a minute less. When a broker tries to ask for any remuneration before any work gets done, it’s time for you to seek another one.


How To Find A Real Estate Agent

It's easy to find a real estate agent. Just put a for sale sign in the yard and wait for the phone to ring. The question is, how do you find a GOOD real estate agent? You can start with newspaper.

<P>Pick up the Saturday or Sunday paper - whichever day they have all the homes for sale in your area. You can also collect a few real estate guides to look through. Browse the listings to find properties similar to yours. If you are selling a cabin, you want to look for cabins for sale. If you are selling a lakefront mansion, look for those.

<P>When you find similar properties, note the names and numbers of the agents that are selling them. The idea here is to find a real estate agent that has experience with your type of property. An agent that has all the million dollar homes may not be the best to sell your mobile home, for example. You want agents that have sold or are selling several properties like yours.

<P><b>What To Ask A Real Estate Agent</b>

<P> 1. When you call the agents - and it's best to call several - you want to verify that they do have experience selling properties like yours. Ask for examples.

<P> 2. Ask what they do to market a property. Any agent can place an ad and put your home in the multiple listings. Do they have existing leads - people looking for properties like yours? Do they let other agents know about your property?

<P> 3. Do they show their listings very often? Many agents just list real estate for sale and let others sell it for them. It's more profitable for them, but not for you. If they are a good salesperson, you want them to be going through the house with potential buyers.

<P> 4. Do they do their own closings? Again, it may be better for them to delegate this part of the process, but it isn't better for you. You want the same person to be there through the whole process. You want one person to call. Things go wrong all the time in real estate, so don't complicate it further by having more people involved.

<P>Most real estate agents will probably argue these points. That's okay, but be aware that there are other things they won't tell you too. For example, did you know that open houses are primarily a prospecting tool for real estate agents? In fact, new agents (not the listing agent) are often given the job of hosting your open house, so they can find buyers to work with. It isn't expected that they will sell your house in the process.

<P>Also understand that when you see ads for homes for sale, and they don't have prices, it is a prospecting technique. When that buyer looking for a $100,000 home calls on your $300,000 home, the agent isn't going to make him able to afford your home. The whole point was to get him to call so he could sell him ANY home. Meanwhile, other potential buyers for your home skipped over the ad - there are enough homes WITH prices to look at (insist that ads for your property have the price listed).

<P>Trust your intuition when choosing an agent. If you don't feel comfortable with an agent, it's possible potential buyers won't either. And ask the right questions. You don't just want to find a real estate agent you like. You want to find the right agent for your property.


How to Estimate the Market Value of a Property

Often people fail to make a profit from property investment when they do not understand the true market value of their chosen property, both in terms of resale and rental income.

Investors hoping to purchase a run-down home or off-plan development and sell it on at profit when the work is complete; a practice known as flipping, are often caught out by over-inflated prices or under-estimated renovation costs.

On the other hand, buy-to-let investors can be seduced by suggestions of high rental values and then disappointed when these do not materialise.

Whether you're planning to flip a property or buying-to-let, it is important to ensure that you do not pay over the odds, as money saved on the purchase price will lower your mortgage costs and increase your profit margin.

<b>Understanding the local market</b>

One of the best ways to estimate the potential value of a property is to understand the local market. Fortunately there are a number of tools to help you do this:

<b>Use the internet</b> - The Land Registry (landregisteronline.gov.uk) now provide information on all properties sold in England and Wales since 2000. Through this you can access information on the property's value when the registration took place. Remember this information will not be up-to-date, but it may give you a broad idea of what the current owner paid.

<b>Browse estate agent listings</b> - Using the internet and local papers, you can soon get an idea of the market value for different types of property in the area. It is also worth arranging a couple of viewings, allowing you to make suitable comparisons when you have decided on a place to purchase.

If you are planning to buy-to-let, it is also worthwhile speaking to a few letting agents to try and gauge the general rental prices that could be expected. Again rental listings on the internet and in local papers will help to verify the amounts tenants will be prepared to pay.

<b>Seek professional advice</b>

Once you have decided on a property and feel confident that it reflects the true market value, it is advisable to carry out a full survey.

Although it is a requirement for mortgage lenders to inspect the property, the surveyor will not look at inaccessible parts (such as the roof, floors and drains), unless there is reason to believe that there may be a serious defect, in which case it is likely that a recommendation for a more in-depth survey will be made.

The risk of relying on this basic inspection is that the surveyor could miss an important defect which will be expensive to repair. By having a more in-depth survey, the surveyor will be able to identify such defaults and advise on the potential cost of repair, allowing you to negotiate a discount on the purchase price to cover this.

<b>Take your time</b>

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet approach to accurately valuing property and one of the secrets to running a profitable property business is investing time and money to ensure your buy your property at the right price.


How to Ensure Tenants Look after Your Property

The most troublesome aspect of being a landlord is tenants who damage your property, from complete trashing to total destruction, and even worse. There are plenty of horror stories around about what tenants can to a rental.

And, if you think finding a good tenant depends on luck, you couldn’t be more wrong, or else why don’t you work to ensure luck favours you, at least, in relation to the right choice of tenant. That means taking the following measures to reduce risk concerns that will guarantee the well-being of your rental property.

First, adopt Tenant Screening, which is the magic mantra of all successful, savvy landlords. How many landlords can confirm they carry out a complete tenant screening exercise, when looking for prospective tenants? Not many if gauged from the horror stories that float around about property damage! To get a good tenant, a landlord must be thoroughly professional about the entire tenant screening process, and verifying past landlord references is an essential part of every standard screening process. Call them and question them about prospective tenants.

Second, as an important part of the screening process, visit or at the very least, drive by the property the tenant intends to vacate, in order to assess its physical condition. The odds are your prospective tenant will treat your property in the same manner he / she treats their current rental home.

Third, photograph and videotape as in before and after advertisements, in the presence of the tenant after he / she has finished signing the lease. This evidence will ensure tenants look after your property as if it were their own. After all, if taken to court, the before and after evidence ensures law is on your side, no matter what argument the defendant might put up.

Fourth, before handing over your property prepare a complete Property Condition Report documenting the state of your property. Go over it with the tenant and once he / she has signed the inventory and condition checklist, he / she is on record, and you have another legal document, in addition to the lease.

Fifthly, before handing over possession, take a substantial sum as security deposit including the first month’s rent. With so much at stake, the tenant will ensure he / she looks after your property well.

As long as you follow the above steps, you will be able to find a responsible tenant to take good care of your property.


How to Determine Home Building Costs

Determining home building costs can be a difficult thing for anybody to do. There are so many factors that go into home building costs that it can often times be a task in itself to even come up with an estimate. But if you know what factors go into home building costs, you will then be able to better estimate your total price.

The first thing to do when trying to estimate home building costs is to find similar houses in the area. Find a home in the same area that has the overall look and size of one that you want to build. By doing this you will then be able to get an overall estimate in no time at all. For example, if the home you are looking at is selling for $200,000, and the cost of the land is $20,000, you then know that the construction of the home cost approximately $180,000. Of course this is not an exact science, but by following this basic rule you will be able to get an estimate of the home building costs.

Home building costs are often times based on features on the interior of the home as well. By simply comparing the exterior size, you will only be able to get a rough estimate. For example, one home may have a completely finished basement, where as the other does not. Even though this may not seem like a big deal, you could be dealing with thousands of dollars.

Also, when figuring out home building costs, keep in mind that there may be a cost overrun. Proper planning can usually make up for this, but just to be safe you may want to put away about 10% in order to ensure that you have the money to cover any overrun.

Every year, home building costs usually increase about 3 to 6%. This is due in part to the cost of land, as well as the cost of labor and materials. You should plan for this in advance as well.

Home building costs can often times be very difficult to pinpoint. By being precise and detail oriented in the planning stages, you will be able to come up with an excellent estimate on your home building costs.


How To Deal With Moving Quotes?

The more details you give, the more accurate your quote. Moving companies need information about the amount you would like to move, so that they can determine how many people and which vehicles are needed. The cheapest mover is not always the best. Some less qualified movers might overlook belongings while estimating, which might make your move more expensive then initially estimated. Be sure to provide them with all the details they need. There are many criteria for choosing a moving company. Whilst some companies provide reduced rates; others provide additional security for your belongings, or extra services that can help you more effectively. Please be sure to sum up all the pros and cons carefully, before deciding which company you opt for.

Check that they are members of a professional trade organisation! National trade associations maintain professional high standards and can give you detailed information about member companies. Members of these associations are usually vetted annually. Also, if you are unsatisfied with the services provided, you have a higher authority that you can contact. Two of the most renown trade associations include:

American Moving and Storage Association

Household Goods Forwarders Association of America Inc

F lorida Movers and Warehousemen's Assiciation

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The International Federation of International Movers

Fidi Accredited International Mover

Latin American & Caribbean International Movers Association

Pan American International Movers Association


Fédération Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimilés
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations fiata.com


Federation of International Trade Associations

International Organization for Standardization

What extra services do you need? If you are looking for extra services, please be sure that these options are covered by the removal companies that approach you. If these services are not provided, you should decide whether you would like to arrange this separately, or consider another removal company as your choice. Extra services include:

Packing services
Supply of Boxes
Fragile packing
Storage of goods
Insurance for your goods
Speciality Removals such as Piano or Antiques
Extra charges or additional transportation charges can also be made for long carries, stairs, lifts, moving large items (e.g. cars), disconnecting electrical goods or gas stoves.
How much should these extra services cost? Each removal company is different, however you can compare the amounts given to you from several moving companies.

Make sure that you read all the fine print before signing any contracts, to prevent any extra charges.

Storage can be arranged by your removal company, or you can also arrange this separately by contacting the storage company directly.

Then, some money saving moving tips!

Book on time.
Your move can be so much cheaper if you book on time. This way, the mover is notified in time and can plan your move better and more efficiently.

Ask your mover early for packing material, moving boxes, stickers and how they handle packing. This because most moving companies will not insure fragile / valuable goods if you pack them yourself. For normal items such as clothing and books, this will not be the case.

Stairs cost extra
If there are stairs in your new or old home, keep in mind that you will probably need to pay extra!
Some possible solutions in avoiding extra costs are, to rent a lifting crane or elevator, or instruct the mover not to use the stairs and bring all your goods up or down yourself. .

Disassemble yourself!
Disassembling your goods yourself will save you a lot of money. Movers can disassemble them for you but this will cost you extra. What items need disassembling? Think about beds, closets, wall units. Disconnect your washers, dryers, stoves, fridge etc., yourself. Movers can charge you extra for it.

Get help from friends.
Ask your mover if it is possible that you and your friends/family help during the move.

Possible extra charges & services
Movers can charge you additional services for packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or stair/long carries that are needed. You can also be charged for shuttling (needing multiple small trucks instead of 1 for narrow streets).
moving a car or pianos, disconnecting washers, dryers, gas stoves dishwashers, any items that need to be disconnected for the move.

They can also charge you advanced charges for services performed by a third party at your request.
The charges for these services are paid for by the mover and added to the charges on your Bill of Lading.


How to Convert Your Real Estate Notes into Quick Cash

If you’re a real estate investor needing quick cash, selling your notes could offer a fast, easy solution.

It can happen to anyone. You find yourself in a situation where you need a chunk of cash—instantly. Maybe you have to handle an emergency or simply want to free up funds to invest elsewhere. Whatever the case, selling mortgage notes can put money at your disposal within a matter of weeks.

Selling mortgage notes allows you to convert small monthly payments into an almost immediate lump-sum of cash. You won’t have to wait to recoup the bulk of your investment. Plus, you can avoid the risk associated with owner financing. And you can spend the money however you want; it’s yours and there are no strings attached.

Mortgage note buyers purchase a wide variety of privately-held mortgage notes, including promissory notes, land sale contracts, deeds of trust, contract for deeds and other debt instruments secured by virtually every type of property. They can work with you if you’re receiving payments on residential, commercial and other types of property.

Some examples of the type of notes you can sell, include:

• Residential Notes – For houses, townhouses, condominiums, apartment buildings, and mobile homes

• Commercial Notes – For office, retail and industrial

• Vacant Land Notes – For developed land, undeveloped land and land not designated as a specific-use property (such as farm land or waste storage)

How It Works

Selling mortgage notes simply allows you to receive cash now for your future payments. You may be eligible to take advantage if you’ve sold your home or an investment property via owner carry-back financing or seller financing and are now receiving payments on that note. You could be cashed out in two to three weeks, receiving the funds by check or electronically.

Most note buyers prefer to buy real estate secured notes that are in the first lien position or wrap around the first lien position. If you have a second lien—where there’s a bank or another investor with a more senior lien against the property—you may be able to sell the note. However, the price that you get won't be nearly as high—unless the buyer has at least 30 percent of his own money as a down payment or in built-up equity.

Here’s how the process of selling notes works: You need to contact several mortgage note buyers and request a quote. They will probably ask you to submit copies of the deed of trust or mortgage, the note, title policy, and closing/settlement statement. If there is no recent appraisal or title policy available, they may be ordered at the note buyer’s expense.

Each of your notes will be evaluated on a case-by case-basis, with a number of aspects considered. These factors include the purchaser's equity, payment history, seasoning of the note, credit rating of the buyer, term of the note and the remaining balance due on the note.

A Variety of Ways to Sell Notes

If you’re like most note sellers, you may automatically think of selling the entire note. That could be the best route if the note represents a high value and this is the best fit for your financial situation.

However, you also have the option of selling only part of the note. This could be ideal if you like the interest rate you’re earning on the note, but just want to receive part of the cash now. Over the long run, a partial payment may be able to provide you with a much higher rate of return.

For example, let’s say you sold a house for $120,000, the buyer gave you $20,000 as a down payment, and you have a $100,000 note at 7 percent for the next 15 years. You enjoy getting the income each month, but need $30,000 for another investment or to pay off debt. You could opt to receive that $30,000 in exchange for buying the next "x" number of payments, after which the note would go back to you for the balance of the term.
Or as another option, you could take a lump sum of money now, plus receive part of the payment each month thereafter. If you’re not sure which option would be better, don’t worry. A note buyer can work with you to determine the best solution for your needs.

Tips for Selling Your Notes

Most mortgage note buyers focus on making the process relatively simple, easy and fair. They offer competitive pricing, complete confidentiality and hassle-free closings. However, the note purchasing business isn’t highly regulated, so be sure to locate and work with a reputable company. Here are some things you should keep in mind about purchasing notes:

• Up-front fees: There should be no up-front fees. A good note buyer isn't going to charge you just to provide quotes or check the buyer's credit.

• Closing and other costs: There should be no points, closing costs, or other garbage fees at any point in the process. Any fees are already included in the pay price to you.

• Appraisals: Note buyers normally require you to pay for the appraisal or the title policy ONLY if the property appraises for less than the sales price or there are problems with the title that prevent the purchase. However, these payments should cover just the buyer's actual costs.

• Credit checks: Be sure that the note buyer checks the credit of your property buyer up front. Unscrupulous buyers have been known to quote one price and then lowering it toward the end of the process. They often use the excuse that the "property buyer's credit was low". This is a twist on the old "bait and switch" scam, and it’s completely unethical.

• Written Agreement: Ensure that the seller gives you a written purchase agreement covering the purchase price, contingencies, etc. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything that is not clear. Any items that are not spelled out in black and white are part of the agreement. It’s that simple.

Selling real estate notes is easy, and it can be a great way to generate a lump sum of cash for other uses.


How to Close the Best Deal in Spokane Washington

Spokane Washinton is a very good place for real estate investment! This region is the administrative center of the county with the same name and in recent years it has developed into a prosperous, lucrative region.  Spokane is the commercial center of Washington and can offer many benefits to investors. This territory is rich in natural resources and it is considered to be the perfect place to start a business from scratch. Judging by the fact that branches like the mining industry, agriculture, horticulture have developed considerably lately, investors have a multitude of options in choosing a new direction for their business.

Furthermore, Spokane Washinton is a very good place for real estate investment, as the region is under continuous expansion and development. Despite the fact that in the past investors used to ignore this region, unaware of its true potential, today real estate investors are constantly battling for closing the best deal in Spokane. Whether you own a house or real estate in Spokane and you wish to sell it, or you want to expand your business in this area and therefore you are interested in buying, it is very important to be properly informed!

If you are the owner of a real estate in Spokane, why would you rush to accept the first offer you get? You should take your time and make a careful examination of the real estate market before closing the deal. On the other hand, if you are an investor in real estates and you are interesting in buying a house or a real estate in Spokane, how can you get the best out of your deal? Only solid investment strategies, latest information, good negotiation skills and perfect timing can place you one step ahead of competition in closing the best real estate deal. The trick in real estate investment is to come up with the best offer at the right time!

Let’s say that you want to expand your business and you are interested in buying a real estate in Spokane Washinton. What would you do? Closing the best deal is time consuming and it is very difficult to know exactly where, when and how much to invest! Is it? Not if you turn to the Internet for help. There are thousands of real estate investment web sites that offer business owners the opportunity to get the most out of their transactions. Good, reliable real estate web sites are powered by business professionals that offer subscribers tips, strategies, latest information, and prompt feedback. These web sites can save you a lot of time, money and effort by frequently providing with you a solid evaluation of the real estate market!

If you are a real estate investor and you are interested in closing the best deal in Spokane Washinton, but simply don’t have the time to perform an evaluation of the local real estate market, find a professional web site that can take care of business for you! Choose the real estate investment web site that suits you best and you won’t be disappointed!


How To Climb The Equity Ladder In Real Estate

As one of the most secure investment areas, real estate is currently making more money for more people than almost any other area of investment. All you really have to do to see this is watch some TV, you will see any number of get rich schemes that are based on purchasing property. While most of these schemes are just that, the truth of the matter is that real estate makes money. In recent years real estate has made more millionaires than any other investment, and this trend is continuing. Smart investors continue to put their money where they know it will grow.

When investing in real estate one needs to make some important decisions before the purchase is ever made. You will have to decide if you are going to be a landlord or simply flip homes. Being a landlord can be a difficult undertaking. Remember that in being a landlord, one must deal with the negative aspects of the job. Kicking people out, collecting unpaid rent or having to fix things regularly can weigh heavily on a homeowner so don't choose the landlord route unless you are sure you can do it. If you choose to flip homes, then be sure to have money set aside for the renovations that you will no doubt want to do. This is the easiest way to ensure that you see a good profit on your investment.

In flipping homes, try to pick ones that are going to be easy to fix up. Location is also very important at this time, as a good location alone can sell a home. Purchasing homes in and around major commerce center or education district is good practice as these homes usually go for premium rates. Try to avoid homes that need extensive repairs or upgrades. These can cut into your profit margin and take precious time that could be better utilized by having the home on the market. Be sure to assess the risk involved with flipping a home. The renovations that you make must be able to justify the new asking price, so be careful and plan accordingly.


How to Choose a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent will guide you to - and through - the most important decision of your life. How do you know, for sure, that he will act in your best interests?

How do you know if he will really work for you? Is he too busy for you? What of his personal integrity? How much effort will he expend for you?

You will want to feel very comfortable with the real estate agent that you choose, comfortable enough to be able to say 'no' to the bargain of the month and 'no' to the almost perfect house.

He must not be intimidating to you, yet a business-like attitude and assertiveness are qualities you will want in a professional acting for you.

Often when you are choosing a business professional, the outcome is not so critical, but who wants to lose their dream property? Choosing a real estate agent falls into the same bracket as choosing a medical doctor or a lawyer.

The interview and short listing process is really all about finding one that you feel comfortable with. Real estate agents usually have a 'presentation'. This is usually a very business-like procedure and if they are having an off day, the presentation may click in automatically.

However, you will need to get past the 'rehearsed' person and get to know the real one. Most real estate agents will have integrity, they have their reputations to think about, but you need to feel that you also have one that understands you and your wants.

Some real estate agents have amazing sales records, so ask about sales history. Ask if he would mind giving you some recent sales to choose references from. Gather up at least half a dozen and then choose your own references to phone. Before you phone, ask the real estate agent a few questions.

For instance: How long was each house on the market? How many were reduced and why? How many times and by how much?

Some other questions could be: Will there be a marketing plan drawn up for the sale of your house? Will it be carried out? What guarantees do you have? To see if the agent is keen and enthusiastic, ask him if he has taken any extra real estate courses.

See if you find his voice or tone very monotone; if so, do you find it relaxing, or would you prefer a lively voice generating a more energetic feeling?

Finally you must try and gauge the quality of his negotiating skills. Ask about commissions; in a house sale it will be necessary for you both to be able to discuss money amicably.

Observe the way the real estate agent explains things when you try and negotiate a lower rate. If he can convince you that his fee is fair and that he will have to work hard to earn it, then he can convince others to listen to his viewpoint when he is working for you!

All this discussion will give you enough time and a good basis on which to judge the personality of the real estate agent. Then the bottom line is that you have to pick someone that you feel you can trust.


How to Buy Bargain Property at Auction

Do you want to invest in profitable property or simply buy a new home at a bargain price? If so, you want to consider property auctions.

Properties sold at auction are often owned by mortgage lenders after repossessions, former council / housing association homes or have being empty for some time after the owner passed away.

In each case, the owner has put the property on auction for a quick sale and this can lead to some great deals on the market value.

<b>Finding an auction</b>

As auctions tend to cater for property professionals, rather than the general public, advertising and awareness of auction houses is limited.

A good place to start is looking through the telephone directory, yellow pages or searching on Google or Yahoo.

Another good tip is to keep an eye out for For Sale signs outside homes. Where the board says 'for sale by auction', call the telephone number provided. You will either get through to an estate agent acting on behalf of the auction house, or you will get through to the auction house directly.

If you get through to an estate agent, ask them for the contact details of the auction house. The estate agent may be reluctant to do this, so it is worth being persistent.

Once you are able to make contact with the auction house, ask to be put on their mailing list. Although there is likely to be charge for this, you will begin to receive details of properties due for sale.

<b>Before you bid</b>

Having identified the property that you want to buy, you will need to arrange finance. For most people this will mean approaching a mortgage lender and it is important to do this in advance of the auction.

Remember once you win a bid, you are legally bound to purchase the property and you need to be able to pay within a set number of days.

The mortgage lender will require a basic valuation of the property, but it is advisable to invest in a full survey as the property may be at auction due to structural problems, which the basic survey would not pick up.

Before bidding for your desired property, you may want to attend a few auctions to get a better idea of the experience.

<b>Winning your bid</b>

Set yourself a price limit, but do not get carried away and bid beyond it. Having had a valuation done, you will have a good idea of the market value and should not go above the amount agreed with your mortgage lender.

If your bid is successful, you will be legally bound to purchase the property and will need to put down a 10% deposit of the property's selling price. You will be asked to sign a contract, which you would have seen before the auction and the seller will be legally bound to complete on the day.

Finally you will need to pay the remainder of the selling price within an agreed period, such as 28 days.

Congratulations, you have just picked up an auction deal.


How To Buy An Apartment Building

How to buy an apartment building? You could start with a look in the newspaper, a visit to a broker, or a search online - all good ways. Of course, since you're looking at the same properties as every other investor, it's not always easy to beat the competition to the great deals. Is there a better way?

Why not look for properties that aren't yet for sale, and make an offer? This is how I bought my first home. An ad in the paper stating what I was looking for, brought a call from an old couple that had been thinking about selling. I got a good price, and they saved a real estate agent's commission. Trying to buy an apartment building this way may be even more likely to succeed.

Buying apartment buildings that aren't for sale starts with a three step search process. you first decide what you're looking for. Do you want duplexes and four-plexes, or larger apartment buildings? The second step is to start looking for properties that fit your criteria. Finally, you contact the owners.

<b>How To Buy An Apartment Building From Non-Sellers</b>

First of all, don't limit yourself to "fixer-uppers" or other "problem" properties that seem more likely to have owners willing to sell. Probably most owners of rental properties have thought of selling, so you can start with almost any building.  How can you tell when or why a landlord is ready to call it quits? By asking.

Of course, tact is necessary. When you call the owner, tell him you're an investor, not a broker. Tell him you like what you see, and you can have an offer ready in a week if he's interested. What if he's not interested? Thank him politely and hang up, but send him your card or a letter. Investors often buy from owners that change their minds.

If the owner is interested, explain that you are an investor, so your offer will have to be based on your return on investment. That means you'll need to see the books, specifically the rent roll, listing the units and what they rent for, plus current occupancy. You'll also need the total income and operating expenses for the last year.

Pepare a confidentiality agreement ready before you call, and let the owner know you'll sign it and deliver it before you see the books. It's possibble he doesn't want the tenants to know he's thinking of selling. If so, inspecting the units may have to wait until you make an offer. Just make an acceptable inspection a contingency in the offer.

Why should you buy income properties this way? Because having no competition and no sales commission can mean a better price. Because instead of waiting for that perfect property to be listed for sale, you just find it now. Look for it, find it, and make an offer. That's how to buy an apartment building.


How to Buy a Holiday Home Abroad

The thought of owning a second home in the sun or a ski lodge or mountain retreat where we can escape whenever the mood takes us is of course a commonly held dream. 

And with the simplification of re-mortgaging facilities, the affordability of home loans and the growth in underlying equity many of us have enjoyed on our principal residences, there couldn’t be a better time to turn that dream into a reality than today.

Here’s how to buy a holiday home abroad and avoid all the common traps and pitfalls that people can fall foul of.

First things first you need to decide whether it make sense for you to release the equity that has built up in your principal residence to buy a property overseas, to raise a mortgage on the overseas property or to pay for it in cash.

Unfortunately there is no straight answer to this dilemma!  The answer will lie somewhere among your own personal circumstances, your ability to afford an extension on your home loan or an overseas mortgage, the country in which you’re buying abroad and whether or not it offers good investment potential.  However, there are two simple facts that the majority of financial advisers and mortgage lenders agree upon and these may help you make your decision: –

1) taking the money that has built up in equity on one property and using it to buy another property is probably the most sensible thing to do when releasing equity
2) over the medium to long term real estate as an equity class is one of the most consistent returning investment mechanisms.

The next issue relates to which country you should buy your holiday home in.  You may have a very positive idea of which country you would most like to spend your holiday time in – if you have a country in mind it’s probably a country you know well and have had enjoyable times in before. 

If on the other hand you’re unsure and are looking abroad for a holiday home as an investment property in an emerging market or a market with strong room for growth, you should draw yourself a shortlist based upon what you’re looking for in a holiday home – i.e., if you want a European beach house with 300 days sunshine a year you’re more likely to look at the Mediterranean region rather than the Ukraine or the UK!

Whichever country you’re considering, do research into the laws relating to foreign freehold ownership of real estate in that country and on the projected prospects for the property sector over the medium term – all this sort of information is available on the internet.

Once you have a country in mind you need to set yourself a realistic budget – realistic in that it is an amount you can afford and also that it is an amount that will buy you a quality property abroad.  Going back to the Mediterranean region in Europe for a moment, those with a large budget could acquire a decent property on the Spanish coast, those with a small budget could only acquire substandard or renovation property on the Spanish coast but could purchase something far more substantial in the interior of Spain.  Think about the amount you can afford and then look at the country you’re interested in – where will you get the most for your money?

Always employ independent legal representation to assist you in any transactions you enter into abroad.  You may not fully understand the language or legal system of the country you’re buying your holiday home in so you need a lawyer who does!  Furthermore you need a lawyer who is working solely for you and not representing your interests together with those of the vendor or property constructor as well!

Get any contracts or papers you sign officially translated into English before signing, have any promises made or deals verbally brokered written into the contract, make a will that includes your new property purchase and don’t rush into a decision because pressure is being put upon you or because your time abroad to organise everything is short.  The world will not run out of holiday homes for sale in our lifetime.  If you keep your wits about you and remember the golden rule – i.e., if something seems too good to be true it probably is – you’ll be just fine!


How to Buy a Big House For a Small-House Price

If you are considering buying a house within the next two or three years but are waiting until you can afford the house of your dreams, you may want to reconsider.

With housing prices going up as much as 10 percent per year in some areas, the longer you wait, the farther that perfect house can move out of your reach.

Along with the hike in house prices, interest rates are starting to creep up as well. This is even more of an incentive to buy a house now, rather than later.

How can you get a big house for a small-house price? The following tips will reveal the secrets to getting a great deal on your dream house.

1. Get to know house values. Before you get started, look at the areas in which you want to purchase a house. Monitor the prices of houses in that area until you are fairly comfortable with those values. Your goal is to know the value of homes so well that a great deal will be obvious to you.

2. Make low offers. Start by making offers that are as low as 65 percent to 70 percent of the asking price. Rather than making only one offer at a time, make five or 10 offers each week. Make sure you write "To be deposited only upon acceptance of this offer" on your earnest deposit check.

3. Expect most of your offers to be rejected. You'll know you are on the right path when your real estate agent complains that your offers are too low.

4. Wait for a great deal. If a seller accepts your offer, or counters with an offer at 80 percent or less of the home's value, you've probably found a great deal. You will be able to live in a bigger house than other buyers who

didn't take the extra time to find a seller willing to sell for less.

This strategy will test the patience of both you and your real estate agent. You will be tempted to think that no one will ever accept one of your low offers. However, when a good offer finally comes along, the extra space you get to enjoy in your new house will make it all worthwhile.


How to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Contact List

In commercial real estate, the quality of contacts and relationships you make is essential to your success. A good portion of this business relies on how you interact with brokers, buyer, sellers, engineers and city municipalities. In order to build a solid contact list that is sure to pull you through any situation, there are some key actions you must make with every person you come in contact with.

Many people simply meet a person, most likely forget his or her name, and continue with their day, with no reflection about that person, what they do, and how that new contact may contribute to their success. As a commercial real estate insider, you must start looking at every person as a possible opportunity, within and beyond your work hours.

During work hours, when you are calling and speaking to brokers, sellers, potential buyers, the city, investors, lenders and all the other various professionals in this business, never let a stone go unturned. Beyond just your normal business banter, take a minute to ask what the other person does, what they are interested in, and explain yourself to them as well. This interest must go beyond the obvious, such as, “I am the owner of the property.” or “I am a broker in Georgia.”

Dig a little deeper, and you will be sure to find a wealth of information from many of the people with whom you speak. Perhaps you will discover new projects that need a joint venture, a commercial development hot spot, a property that needs to be bought right away due to an emergency, a person who specializes in a specific type of property that you want to be involved with and so on.

Every person has the potential to further your commercial real estate endeavors. So even when you are not at work, talk to people! Now, be courteous, of course, and don't ream a person with a list of your “qualifying” questions and expect them to race to your side and help you out. There is always give and take in any valuable relationship.

Build rapport and get to know the people. A simple, “So what do you do?”, “What business are you in?”, or “What are you interested in?” are great conversation starters that will help get the ball rolling.

I have met numerous private investors and loan officers to whom I give more referrals than they know what to do with. In turn, I can get money, not only for my projects, but for those who may be purchasing my developments as well! It is amazing what a little kindness, genuine interest and casual conversation can unveil.

Although talking is a great way to find information, it is what you do with your information that really counts. Every person I meet, or have a potential to do business with, I ask for their name, number and email, so that I might contact them sometime about their work. If it is someone you feel has an asset or other contacts that could help you, explain to them that you think it would be mutually beneficial to do business with each other. Always ask permission to contact them if you should have a project they might be interested in, or if they may have more information regarding their profession.

This may seem forward of you in some cases, but you can always explain to them that you are always looking for people to do business with, and that their help would be very much appreciated. It is astonishing what people are willing to do if you ask for their help.

Give them a business card and your contact information as well. Give them permission to contact you whenever they would like, and tell them you look forward to speaking with them on another occasion.

After you have had a meeting with a new contact, store the information in a safe, organized place. Write a note about what you discussed, what you liked about the person, and how they might help you. Be as detailed and specific as possible! The last thing you want to do is sit down to a list of one hundred contact names and numbers, and have no idea what they do, or how each may benefit from building a relationship!

I know many people use digital resources, rolodexes, and other such organizing devices. This is great. However, I have my own tool that has proven to work really well. I use a basic, spiral notebook, like the kind you would use in high school. Because I may not always have access to my computer, or be at my desk with a rolodex, I keep with me this basic notebook wherever I go!

It is here that I write the name, date, place and contact information, including notes on what we discussed with every person in which I could potentially do business. The pages never fall out or get lost. I do not have to wait to get to a computer to type this information that is fresh in my mind, and it can conveniently travel in my car, briefcase and just about everywhere else! It is not fancy and complicated, but easy and functional. I call it “My Big Black Book.” You should try this method, and see how it works for you.

Realistically, not every person you meet is going to be that “super contact.” However, if you have a very informative and helpful conversation with someone, make it a point to send them a letter or email thanking them for their time, how you will use, or have used their advice, and the results you've experienced. Be sure to document what it was that you discussed so they know the exact conversation to which you are referring.

By being grateful, acknowledging other people's work, and staying in contact with new people you will quickly build a contact list to rival those of seasoned commercial real estate professionals.

You will have “go to” contacts that can assist you on specific projects, put a good word in for you with the local city government, recommend you for projects, and notify you of properties that you may be interested in. Your opportunities will come more frequently and with better possibilities as your contact list builds. In a nutshell, follow these simple, yet essential rules:

· Build relationships.
· Be grateful.
· Stay in contact.
· Document all conversations.

These are the keys to building a successful, money-making contact list that will be with you for years to come.


How to Build a Profitable Property Portfolio

As more and more of us look for better ways to secure our financial future than investing into stocks and shares or relying on our government to provide for us in our old age, so interest in purchasing property as an investment asset is increasing. 

After all rarely do careful investments made into real estate lose a purchaser money, whereas all too often investments made into pensions companies or on the stock market fail to come to fruition - is it any wonder therefore that more people want to know how to build a profitable property portfolio?

Here are ten top tips that expert property investors abide by when looking for property that they can do up and resell or rent out for profit.  If you want to learn the tricks of the trade then read on…

1) Speak to letting agents and do your own research, find out how much rent you think you can comfortably get from a given property type in a given location.  With that figure confirmed and in mind never pay over 100 times more than the monthly rental figure for a property.  I.e., if you’re sure a property will return you GBP 700 a month do not pay more than GBP 70,000 for that property and you will then achieve a good rental yield.

2) Understand and harness the power of OPM – other people’s money!  Never over commit your own personal wealth to a pure investment property, instead use loans, mortgages and credit facilities and put down the smallest deposit possible.  Preserve your own wealth at all costs.

3) Don’t invest in future potential, invest in real potential.  If an area is considered to be up and coming because in the future it will benefit from better infrastructure never bank on the investment being made…just know that if an area has already arrived and a particular property is already profitable, the future prospects for that property are already assured and make a far better bet than speculating to hopefully, maybe, potentially one day accumulate!

4) Don’t make it personal – an investment is a pure profit making enterprise therefore don’t get emotionally attached to any particular property, remain as objective as possible.

5) When letting property let it unfurnished because you will have enough to cope with getting the rent out of tenants and keeping on top of property upkeep without having to locate someone to fix a leaking washing machine or replace a broken crockery set.

6) Seriously reconsider plans to renovate and refurbish to sell on for profit.  Unless you’re a builder and an interior designer and you have friends in the trade to help you and get you materials at cost you will end up paying more than you intend to pay and eating away at your profits.  Yes money can be made from renovation property but it is far easier to make money from rental property!

7) Learn all you can from the wealth of brilliant books that have been published by property investors and real estate millionaires.  You can bet your bottom dollar that all those who give seminars on making money from real estate are actually making their money from you attending their seminar – whereas if a successful property portfolio owner has committed their knowledge to print you cannot afford to overlook their wisdom.

8) Do hands on research – get out on the streets, visit letting agents and estate agents, look at property prices, rental rates, the popularity of a given area and only when you are certain about a location and a property type should you make a commitment to buy real estate.

9) If you do your homework and keep revising your facts and figures you should be confident in your own decisions and not be swayed by others who might say your plans will never work.  You have to have dreams and ambitions and visualize all your hopes and hard work coming to fruition.  Keep your feet on the ground and don’t be swayed by the negativity and limitation of others.

10) Be financially pessimistic.  Always underestimate your returns and overestimate your outgoings that way at best you’ll be spot on with your earnings and at best you’ll be rewarded for practical and careful budgeting.


How To Build A Million Pound Property Portfolio

Looking to quickly build a million pound property portfolio? You could try a high risk and speculative technique that has been used over recent years by investors hoping to make big profits from property.

The technique relies on re-mortgaging and negotiating good discounts on off-plan property to take a £50,000 deposit and turn it into a million pound property portfolio within a couple of years or less.

How does it work?

The technique only works in areas where house prices are rising fast and opportunities exist to purchase off-plan properties, where discounts of up to 15% are not uncommon.

Investors begin by purchasing one or two off-plan properties. These are properties that are not yet fully developed or have only just received planning permission. Developers tend to offer larger discounts to people who are prepared to buy properties at this stage of the build.

On completion, the investor will refinance the properties. A combination of rising house prices and the discounts gained at purchase, ensure that the property is refinanced at a higher figure than the original purchase price. The extra money gained through refinancing is then be used as a deposit for another two properties.

This cycle will be repeated a number of times by the investor until they have built up a strong portfolio of investment properties, with a combined value of more than a million pounds.

High-risk strategy

Sounds easy, so why doesn't everyone do it? Although many investors have made a lot of money using this technique over recent years, it does contain a very high element of risk and relies on a number of market conditions being right.

Potential obstacles include:

-- Falling house prices

-- Inability to obtain genuine off-plan discounts

-- Poor quality or undesirable developments

-- Difficulty in finding tenants to maintain rental income that in turn pays the mortgage costs

-- Potential capital gains tax problems if the properties are sold

Further advice

Before deciding to use this property investment technique, it is essential to get further advice on the legal, tax and financial issues.

A number of property investment companies exist to help advise their members on these very speculative investments, but be wary of the less scrupulous companies that charge their members £1,000s to attend seminars or build portfolios on their behalf.


How to Build a Financial Moat With Real Estate

Ages ago, people lived in elaborate and magnificent castles that were often protected by moats.  A moat is a wide, deep ditch dug around a castle to prevent enemies from overtaking the castle.  By surrounding the castle with water, moats served as an effective deterrent and provided the castle with the security it needed to prosper.

Today, many of us live in our own plain and simple financial castles that are much more vulnerable than the castles of yesterday.  Not only do our financial castles not have any sort of moat for financial security, many real estate investors do not know how to build a moat to accumulate wealth and retain it.

Why do most people today not have a financial moat?  Why no financial security?  Why are most people so financially vulnerable?  We live in a culture that has brainwashed us into thinking that we should be paid per hour of work.
If you are like most people, you have to work for a living. If you don't work, you don't get paid. You see, most people have “linear” income.  So while linear income may be the way most people earn their paychecks, it is also the reason many of us cannot afford to retire. This type of income continues only as long as you continue to work.
1. If you are an attorney, you get paid whenever you represent a client. If you don't provide legal services, you don't get paid.
2. If you are a teacher, you get paid when you teach our children. If you decide not to teach, you don’t get paid.
3. If you wholesale or retail houses, you get paid when you flip a house to another investor or sell it to an owner occupant.  If you quit wholesaling or retailing houses, you don't get paid.

The real test is that if you are let go by your employer as I was in June 2002, your income definitely stops.  After almost 30 years of working for “security” for different companies, I was left out in the cold in the middle of summer.  I discovered I was not secure; I only had the illusion of security.  Working for a company is fine, but you must understand it will never give you security.

That's how linear income works. You receive income when you work. Usually you earn just enough income to pay your bills.  When your income stops, you’re on the brink of disaster.  In fact, if you’re like most folks, you’re no more than two or three paydays away from a serious financial catastrophe.

OK, so how do we start to build the moat that will provide us with financial security?
You start digging a ditch around your financial castle with “residual’ income.  A complete change happens when you start earning residual income.  Residual income means you continue to earn money for a long time.  When you do something right just one time, you get paid over and over again for what you did.
a. If you write a hit song, you get a small royalty every time the song plays on the radio.
b. If you write a book that becomes a best seller, you receive a regular royalty check from your book sales.
c. If you’re already a multi-millionaire and had a few million to invest in quality stocks and bonds, you now get a regular dividend check.

Residual income sounds nice, doesn't it? Unfortunately, most people have trouble developing a residual income.

We can't sing or write music. We don't know the first thing about writing a book, much less how to go about having it published.  And I really can’t remember the last time someone came up to me and told me they had a few million dollars sitting in their checking account waiting to be invested.
However, there is hope.
There is another way to develop residual income. There’s a way to get monthly checks so that we can do the things we want in life.  So that we can achieve our dreams.  And best of all, almost anyone can develop this residual income that will give you the financial moat you need to accumulate and retain your wealth.

It was only after my wife asked me how many properties I had kept for ourselves at the end of 2004 that I realized that my “buy and sell” plan was making us very good money, but it would not make us wealthy.  I realized I had to keep buying and selling properties to keep making the money.  So I launched a strategy that complemented our buy and sell strategy.  The approach is to buy properties at substantial discounts, rehab the properties, and then rent them out.   And the best part is that the tenants pay for my properties. Once the properties are paid for, I will continue to have rental income for the rest of my life. 

But what about tenants and toilets, you ask.  Well, everything has a price and you’ll have problems with your tenants.  But you have options.  You can (a) develop a system to minimize your problems with tenants, (b) retain a realty management company to deal with the tenants or, (c) offer seller financing to your tenants so they become owners and they no longer call you.
Personally, I like the buy and hold strategy for two principal reasons.  First, I continue to accumulate assets or rental properties.  Second, I will continue to receive residual income for the rest of my life whether I continue to rent the properties or elect to use a seller financing approach so I deal with a buyer/owner and not a tenant.
The more properties you accumulate, the more residual income you receive.  And the more residual income you get, the wider and deeper the financial moat you will build for yourself.  The wider and deeper your financial moat, the more difficult it will be for circumstances to penetrate your financial castle.  You will have the security you need to truly prosper.

How to Become a Texas Realtor

Person or candidates wishing to become licensed real estate salesperson in Texas must be 18 years of age or older, must be honest, trustworthy, have integrity, must be a legal resident of Texas and must be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted alien. Candidates must also have completed the required education, applied to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and pass the licensing examination.

The educational courses required by the TREC include 60 classroom hours of Principles of Real Estate, 30 classroom hours of Law of Agency, 30 classrooms hours of Law of Contracts as well as another 34 classroom hours of core real estate courses. Candidates must submit proof of completion to the TREC with a credit transcript or certificate along with $20. After the TREC receives the proper proof of completion, it then will present the candidate with a letter of satisfaction for educational requirements. This letter must be received before the candidate can apply for the Texas Real Estate License.

The application asks candidates their height, weight, sex and ethnic group. The application also asks if the candidate has ever been licensed in Texas or another state as a Real Estate salesperson. If the candidate answers yes to these questions, the application asks them to explain. The next thing the application covers is has the candidate ever had a professional or occupational licensed revoked, suspended, canceled or surrendered. If the answer to this question is yes, then they will need to explain the situation. The application goes on to ask if there are any disciplinary hearings or investigations pending against any professional or occupational licenses that the candidate may hold. If so, the candidate will need to submit copies of all orders, notices, disapprovals, investigative reports as well as a written explanation. The application continues to ask the candidate if they have any unpaid judgments or civil suits pending and if so, to submit copies of all petitions and judgments along with a written explanation. The application also asks if the candidate has ever been convicted of a criminal offense, which includes felonies and misdemeanors other than traffic tickets. The candidate is also asked if they have ever been on probation or community supervision or have any criminal charges pending. If the answer is yes to this question, then the candidate will need to submit copies of all indictments, information, judgments, orders and charges with a written explanation. The application goes on to cover aliases and work history for the past 5 years. The entire application must be filled out in ink or type written.

Filing this application authorizes the TREC to run a background check on the candidate. Information revealed in the background check can be used to disapprove the candidate’s application, even if all the other requirements are met. After the background check is complete and approved by the TREC, the candidate will receive notification as to whether the candidate has been approved or not. If approved, the candidate will receive a copy of the Candidate Information Brochure to register for the exam. After registering for the exam, the TREC will inform the candidate of the time and location of the exam. The candidate will need to forms of identification at the exam site. One form must be government issued such as a driver’s license and the other form must have a signature and preprinted name on it. The exam tests the candidate’s knowledge regarding the principles, practices statutes and regulations relating to real estate.

After the candidate has passed the exam, they are considered licensed real estate salespersons, but they must have a Texas Real Estate broker with an active license to sponsor them.


How To Become A Commercial Real Estate Expert In Your Own Backyard

Many people may not realize you can literally become a commercial real estate insider just by working in your own local community. There is a wealth of opportunity for those who are motivated and wanting to make a difference, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of people in the community as well.

You do not have to travel across the United States or around the world to find money making properties that will financially take care of you for the rest of your life. It simply takes two things in order to become a real estate insider: knowledge of your community's real estate opportunities and a steady increase in your own education.

What makes a real estate insider?

A real estate insider knows the ins and outs of the real estate market in his or her own area of interest. This interest could be in office complexes, strip malls, large apartment complexes, medical buildings, and various other income producing properties The commercial real estate insider recognizes trends, the value of property, changes in values before they happen, all zoning laws and regulations, and infrastructural changes that can drastically affect the values of land on or around the new development.

The commercial real estate insider also knows the city decision makers. He or she knows with whom to speak in order to get information, advice, notice regarding changes in the zoning laws or regulations, and to stay ahead of the real estate market.

How do you become a commercial real estate insider?

To start, you should understand that a large part of commercial real estate is dealing with the officials and decision makers of the city or county because they are the ones who decide zoning and use for every piece of property within the city's or county's boundaries. They plan for future growth, and attempt to create a balance among both residential and commercial properties so that the community does not grow too quickly or become unbalanced.

Due to the fact that the city officials are so important to your ability to develop, renovate, and otherwise do what you want to a property, it is crucial that you get to know these people and create a rapport. You also need to know what is occurring in your community regarding real estate at all times. Zoning often changes; there may be new regulations or codes regarding the zoning, or the intended use could be limited to only a few uses that will hinder your intended project. All these things can greatly affect your dealings with a specific property, and how you pick and choose your opportunities.

A good way to meet these important officials, as well as learn about the real estate market in your community, is to attend zoning and planning meetings at your local Chamber of Commerce or courthouse. It is there that you can meet face to face the people who will influence your future as a commercial real estate insider. Introduce yourself as a real estate investor, and give them your card. Ask intelligent questions regarding real estate in your community.

Eventually, after building a rapport with these influential people, ask if you could meet with them to discuss a certain project, or something in which you could use more information or advice. You should always come to these meetings prepared with your questions typed so you stay on task and topic. Show that you appreciate their time, knowledge and expertise.

It is a great idea to ask for a few more introductions to people they know who may be able to help you. Always send a thank-you note that briefly reviews your discussion, what advice you used and how it will or has helped you. When you show appreciation for their advice, they are more likely to help you in the future, or share information of which others may not be privy. You will begin to make excellent contacts and learn key elements regarding your specific market. This is how you become a commercial real estate insider.

Beyond meeting the people who make the big decisions regarding the use of property in your community, you must know the laws and regulations regarding the various types of zoning. Zoning labels may differ from city to city, as do building criteria, the size of lots, building and fire codes, and limitations. You must study these rules and regulations so you know what you can and cannot do to a property. As these rules and regulations often change, it is important that you listen and take solid notes at all zoning and planning meetings, and other important real estate related meetings you might attend.

Your goal is to know your market inside and out so you can make decisions based on the changes in the market before anyone else even knows they are coming. You do this by recognizing certain points, such as an increase in vacancies of commercial property, or an increase in the median home price, or how the new mall planned to be developed in one year is going to greatly affect the land values around it.

In addition to understanding your own market, you should be reading the newspaper, trade journals, commercial real estate books, attending seminars, and speaking with others in your area who are involved with real estate so that you are constantly increasing your knowledge. It is with this constant training that you will learn strategy, finance, information about private lending, how to find deals, how to present offers, what markets are hot, new opportunities in the area others are not aware of, and many other tools and strategies that will keep you ahead of the rest.

To be a real estate insider, you must always be on your game. Make those contacts. Ask pertinent questions. Learn everything you can about your business, and act on this information. You will find yourself finding opportunities that you did not know existed, and you will become a commercial real estate insider sooner than you would think!