New Beginnings – Buying A Home

Buying a home often represents a new beginning, whether you are moving to a different area of town or moving to a new city or state.

There are many steps involved in buying a home, and the process can seem overwhelming. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or have bought and sold many times; the process is complicated and ever changing.

The first step is choosing a realtor. Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®; the term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. They can assist you by guiding you through the process; providing objective information for you, helping you find the best property, translating real estate lingo into terms you can understand; and they will act as your agent throughout the process.

When interviewing agents to assist you with your home purchase, make sure you understand how they will be representing you. Are they working for the seller? Are they dual-agents, or do they work as a buyer’s agent? You’ll want to make sure they are representing you, and only you.

The next step is to have a conversation with a mortgage professional. Working with a reputable mortgage broker is essential to a hassle free closing. It is the mortgage professional’s responsibility to provide financing for your new home.

Schedule an appointment early in your house hunting process. Your broker will work with you to identify any credit issues that need to be addressed prior to closing on your new home. Based upon the information presented to them, they will also let you know how much of a loan you qualify for. This information is vital to you and your Realtor when shopping for a home.

Your first appointment with your broker will entail providing financial and historical information for the Loan Application. This information will include but is not limited to the following:

– 2 Year Employment History

– If you plan to use a VA Loan your Certification of Eligibility

– If you plan to use a VA Loan and are relocating your Orders

– 2 Year Rental or Mortgage History

– Vital Statistics for you and your spouse (Birthdate, Social, Kids, Assets, Liabilities, etc)

– Last 2 Years W-2s

– Last 2 Pay Stubs

– Last 2 Bank Statements

– Last 2 Quarterly Retirements Account Statements

Your broker will pull a tri-merged credit report to review your credit history. This report shows everything reporting to each credit bureau (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Not all creditors report to all three bureaus so your scores may vary. The lender will use your mid-score when evaluating which loan programs you qualify for.

Should your credit report show derogatory information reporting, your Broker can assist you with credit repair options to improve your credit worthiness.

The only liabilities that will be counted in your Debt-to-Income Ratio will be those that report to the credit bureaus. So, regular household bills like utilities, auto insurance, cable do you factor into the mix. If you do not have a minimum of three trade lines reporting, some financing programs allow you to use standard monthly bills in lieu of revolving trade lines like credit cards.

Once all of this information is obtained, your Broker will be able to calculate the amount of loan you qualify for. Many factors are considered when qualifying you for a loan:

– Gross Income

– Liabilities

– Interest Rate

– Loan Type

– Payment

The standard Debt-to-Income Ratio should fall between 40-45%. When discussing your financing options, it is important to know where you would like to keep your PITI payment. You may qualify for more then you feel comfortable paying each month.

Once this number has been determined, and all documentation has been provided, your Broker can shop your loan with many lenders and qualify you for the loan program that will suit your unique circumstances.

At this point, your Broker will put together a Good Faith Estimate. This document will show you estimated costs involved with closing your loan. If you are using a VA Loan there is a funding fee that is built into the financing. It will also estimate your monthly payment based on current interest rates for the loan program you are qualifying for.

Now that you know how much you qualify for and the payment you feel comfortable with you can shop for a house within your budget.

Your Broker will advise you not to make any new credit purchases or apply for new credit until your loan closes as this will affect your credit score and Debt-to-Income Ratio.

Once you have your initial meeting with a mortgage professional, you should decide where you want to live. If you are getting ready to move to a new area, use the internet as a starting point. Research schools, demographics, crime statistics; research any and everything that is important to you. A sampling of some web sites to get you started:

Scorecard http://www.scorecard.org generates a pollution report card at the county level, giving information on such topics as air and water quality.

School Matters – shows academy performance http://www.schoolmatters.com

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s http://www.epa.gov/epahome/commsearch.htm Has a tool that allows visitors to search a community by ZIP code for environmental facts about the area, including pollution statistics, the location of hazardous-waste sites and information about the area’s watershed.

Zip Skinny http://www.zipskinny.com Enter your zip code to see U.S. Census data and comparison with other zip code

If you need assistance finding this information, a Realtor can provide this information for you or tell you where you can find it. Also, most Realtors have comprehensive relocation packages they can customize and send or email it to you.

After you narrow down the vicinity you want to live in, you’ll want to drive around and see if you still like the area. No matter how much research you do on the internet, nothing takes the place of seeing a neighborhood in person. Pay attention to the upkeep of the neighborhood and look at the surrounding traffic. Does it have the components you are looking for? Is it close to shopping, close to work, close to schools? Does it consist of families, or singles, or working couples? Does it seem safe? Are the homes tidy and well-maintained? Are the streets quiet?

Once you decide on the area, then you can start looking at potential homes. Remember, first focus on the location of the house. From there, focus on the floor plan; whether it is a ranch, bi-level, 2-story, etc. The two things you can’t change in a house are the location and the floor plan; almost everything else can be modified. Different floor plans suit different needs; you may want a ranch with no steps, you may want a bi-level and the kids to have their bedrooms in the basement; you may want a two-story with the bedrooms on the 2nd story and for the main level to be the living area.

In- person property searches can take an afternoon or months, some people like the first house they see, and others see 75 before they find the perfect house. As you walk through a potential house the first time, see if you can imagine yourself living in it, will it fit your lifestyle and all of the things that are important to you. As you leave the house, decide on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating, where it fits within the range. If it is a 2, discard the info on the house. If it’s a 7 or 8, put it in a „keep pile“. If you spend a couple of days looking, you should be able to narrow it down to your top 3 or 4. You’ll want to look at your top houses again, this time with a more critical eye. Is there anything you missed the first time? Do you still like it? Drive the neighborhood during different times of the day and on different days of the week. Make sure you like the neighborhood, ask questions of the neighbors. Most people are very eager to tell you about the area and why they do or do not like living there. Remember, location, location, location. Ideally you want to buy in an established neighborhood; and you don’t want to fall in love with the most expensive house on the block. You always need to think about resale. If all of the other houses are 3 bedrooms, and the one you love only has one bedroom which is all you need; you may want to think twice about it. Are you going to be able to resell it?

Then, after you have decided you have found your perfect dream house, have your Realtor do a comparative market analysis, CMA, for you. The purpose of this research is to see what comparable houses have been selling for in the same area during the last several months. No matter how much you love it, you want to know if it is priced fairly. If it is overpriced or under-priced, either way you’ll want to know. Remember, the more informed you are the better. The CMA will provide information that can help you decide on your beginning offer price.

The next step is to have your Realtor write an offer with the terms and price you want to offer. Before writing the offer, you’ll want to discuss the purchase price, earnest money, what’s included with the property, closing date, and all types of other pertinent details with your agent. All of these details should be included in the offer. Once the offer is written and you have signed it and written an earnest money check, the Realtor presents the offer along with your prequalification letter to the listing agent who is representing the seller or in some areas it is customary for your agent to present it directly to the listing agent and the sellers at the same time The response to your offer can have several different outcomes; (1) no response from the seller (2) acceptance by the seller with no changes to the offer (3) a counteroffer from the seller which can including anything from the price, to the closing date, to the inspection dates, to the earnest money. Anything in the offer can be subject to a counter. The response from the seller will determine your next move. Ultimately, you and the seller want to come to a joint agreement on all facets of the offer and this will be signed by both parties and detailed out in the counteroffer. In today’s market conditions, many buyers are asking sellers to pay for their closing costs, as well as a home warranty. As a buyer, make sure you thoroughly understand the offer and all of its components. Once it is signed by both the buyer and the seller, it becomes a binding legal contract enforceable by law. In many states, Realtors are required to use state approved legal contracts and forms, and you can get always have a lawyer review the contract.

Once the contract becomes accepted, then you and realtor really start to work. The title commitment (or abstract) is ordered and you, your Realtor and your lender will receive a copy of it. Your agent will help you read through it to make sure you understand the requirements and exceptions that come with the property. This is a very important step, as the title company will be issuing an insurance policy guaranteeing that you have clear title to the property.

Once you have an accepted contract, your Broker will update your application per the contract and submit your file to the lender’s underwriter. Depending on how long it took to find your house, the lender may require you resign the loan documents. The underwriter will review all of the documentation and verifications provided by your broker. Depending on your personal situation the underwriter may ask for additional information or clarification regarding your credit history. This is called a CONDITIONAL LOAN APPROVAL. This means, as long as you can provide the additional documentation, the underwriter will approve your loan.

The most common items on a conditional loan approval list are:

– Letter of explanation on credit history

– Pay off old credit accounts or proof they were paid

– Provide proof of home owners insurance

– Update the title insurance with the lender’s information

– Provide updated pay stubs and bank statements

– Appraisal of the property

– Lock the interest rate

One of the most important steps in the process is to lock in your interest rate. Each lender has their own set of requirements for locking a loan. The rate you were quoted on your Good Faith Estimate is only an estimate based on market conditions at the time of your prequalification. Locking your rate will be a decision you and your Broker will make together prior to closing your loan. Rates are currently at a 28 month low, however rates are subject to change daily, and often times multiple times a day.

From the time your Loan Application is submitted to underwriting until closing can take appx. 21 days. Timing is often times dictated by the time of month you plan to close, how long it takes to gather the Loan Conditions, and the closing date on your contract.

While your loan is going through underwriting, you and your Realtor will get the inspections scheduled. General inspection, structural inspection, termites, radon are just a few of the inspections that can be scheduled and these vary from area to area of the country. As an example, In the Rocky Mountain area you may want to have a structural inspection because of the expansive soil and underground mines; in the Midwest you may have to have an inspection for termites. Your Realtor can suggest the appropriate ones for your area. Remember, this is one of the most expensive purchases of your life, you want to know the condition of the property you are buying. Safety concerns and other major ticket items that come up during the inspection can result in a laundry list of items that a buyer may ask to have repaired or replaced. The seller doesn’t have to agree to fix anything, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If a contract is going to fall apart, it is usually because the seller and buyer can’t come to terms on inspection items, or it is due to the buyer not being able to qualify for a loan.

If your financing gets secured, if the property appraises correctly, if you come to terms on the inspection(s), if the title (or abstract) looks O.K., and if you get your home insurance secured, then chances are you will close on the property and the property ownership will get transferred to you.

One last thing that should be done before closing, is to conduct a final walk-through of the property. This isn’t a chance for another inspection, but the buyer should make sure that nothing has changed in the property from their last walk-through and the buyer will want to confirm that any personal property negotiated as part of the contract is still there. As an example, if the offer included the refrigerator and washer and dryer; these items should still be in the property during the walk-through. If the property had storm windows on all of the windows, then they should be there during the walk-through.

When a successful closing occurs, it’s the result of a team effort between you, your realtor, your lender, the seller, and the seller’s lender. It’s a perfect way to start a new beginning.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying Real Estate In Nicaragua

The first step to shopping for real estate in Nicaragua is to forget everything you know about the process back home… no matter where home may be.

Let me make one thing clear from the start. There are incredible bargains to be had buying property in Nicaragua. In fact, there is no other market in the Americas where insisting upon a 40% return on investment or better is reasonable. However, there are few similarities between the rules and regulations governing the real estate industries in North America or Europe, and Nicaragua. It’s because of this lack of similarities that foreign investors often get into trouble. There is a preconceived notion on the part of foreigners that the Nicaragua real estate industry is as carefully regulated as it is elsewhere, and it is this incorrect assumption that sets foreign investors up to be cheated. The only universal real estate investing rule that applies as equally in Nicaragua as it does anyway else is Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

Real Estate Brokers

Basically there’s no such thing in Nicaragua as a real estate brokerage that a Canadian, American or European would assume the term represents. There are real estate brokerage offices. Some even have familiar franchise names, but that’s where the similarity ends.

There is no mandated, formal training of real estate sales people, nor are there specific licensing requirements. Anyone can become a „realtor“ by paying for a merchant license or incorporating a Nicaraguan company. I’m not suggesting this means „all“ real estate sales people are incompetent or untrained… many are. In fact, there are a number of retired realtors who relocated to Nicaragua and maintain successful, upstanding businesses. However, there are many more who are not at all competent, and operate on the razor edge between honest business and outright fraud. Caveat emptor again!

There are no district or federal regulatory boards governing the real estate industry in place. Real estate sales are no more regulated than a vehicle sale transacted by a street vendor. Outright criminality is not ignored by authorities, but having the perpetrator jailed is unlikely to result in recovery of any money lost. The revenge should make a fleeced buyer feel better though. Nicaraguan jails exist to punish criminals, not rehabilitate, and they are Hell on Earth. Unfortunately though, most issues that can arise in a real estate transaction are considered civil matters by law enforcement and have to be treated as such. In short, whatever money you think you were cheated out of… consider it lost. Even with a judgement in the plaintiff’s favor, collecting money owed in a judgement rarely happens. So again, caveat emptor.

A serious shortcoming in the Nicaragua real estate market is that there is nothing similar to a Multi Listing Service (MLS). The lack of any form of MLS means there is no central registry of properties for sale, nor any information as to what a property sold for. The result is that it’s very difficult to decide what a house or commercial building in a particular neighbourhood is worth since there are no comparable property transactions to use as a guide. Appraisers base their appraisals on replacement cost mostly, and whatever else they provide is pure guess work. Ironically, banks require appraisals created by licensed Nicaraguan appraisers if mortgage funding is being requested.

There’s no such thing in Nicaragua as a listing similar to what most foreigners would understand the term to mean. Real estate shoppers will hear a realtor say that he or she has a listing, but it’s common to see two or more real estate signs on a single property. Likewise, the same property may appear on multiple real estate company websites and be advertised online by numerous different people. More confusing, the prices advertised may vary for the same house, sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars. Nicaraguans selling their homes rarely lock themselves into an agreement with one party wanting to sell their land, house or commercial building. If you want to sell something, the assumption is the more people trying to sell it the better. And by more people that can be realtors, the owner themselves, their family and friends, a neighbor, or a horse drawn carriage driver. This seems chaotic to a foreigner shopping for a retirement or vacation home, but it makes perfect sense to Nicaraguans. Without an MLS service that allows numerous realtors to show prospective buyers a listed property, letting everyone try to sell a property seems to be the best way to get exposure.

Another misconception foreign purchasers have when buying real estate in Nicaragua is that the seller is paying the real estate agent. This is sometimes the case, but even when it is the buyer may be asked to pay the commission. Yes, this is legal in Nicaragua. In fact, not only could there be a commission paid by the seller and buyer, but the real estate agent may have added an amount to what the seller actually wants in his or her hand. This too is legal. The worst case scenario is that the seller wants US$50,000 for his or her home. The sellers offers anyone selling the home US$1000 or a percentage. The real estate selling agent advertises the home for US$59,900, allowing for negotiating room. A buyer settles on US$55,000 but is told that in Nicaraguan the buyer pays the commission. Not actually the truth, but common enough that people think it’s a rule. The requested commission can be anything up to as much as 10%, or it can be a flat fee. Once all is said and done and the buyer agrees to purchase the property for US$55,000. In a case such as this, the ‚agent‘ will insist on a nonrefundable US$5000 down payment. At closing the seller receives the US$50,000 that he or she wanted and the selling agent pockets the rest.

I know of a purchasers who handed a ‚realtor‘ US$65.000 to purchase a 3 acre farm with a small house on the property. The ‚realtor‘ then went to the owner of the property and paid him US$20,000 to buy the land. It gets worse… the ‚realtor‘ never bothered to make the title transfer until the buyer discovered he was not the owner when he tried to pay long overdue taxes. In the end the property was purchased by a developer for little more than the original US$65,000, but 8 years of appreciation later. In another case Europeans purchase a home and overpaid US$85,000. Of course basing their offer on the European real estate values they knew, it was assumed they were getting a bargain. The ‚realtor‘ pocketed the US$85,000 and a commission he charged the buy as well. Again, perfectly legal in Nicaragua… so caveat emptor.

The way to navigate through what foreigners view as market chaos is to use a knowledgeable real estate consultant to find a property you want, negotiate the price, terms and conditions, conduct the necessary due diligence, validate the title and survey, and so on. This is a fee based service but far less expensive than a percentage sales commission, and far, far less than a costly mistake would be. One such service is Nica Investments, a real estate consultancy that assists foreign investors purchasing real estate or businesses in Nicaragua.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Sell A House And Lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Great Tips to Sell Your Home

There could be a host of reasons behind your decision to sell your current home. Whatever be the reason, it is important to have a ready list of tips which one should use while selling one’s home.

Home Inspection

 

Get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This step would anyways be repeated by the buyer. Your objective is to plan ahead and work on all the shortcomings provided by home inspection. This not only increases the probability of an early sale but also enhances your negotiating power to command a premium. The other big advantage that home inspection provides is a realistic price of your property. Right pricing is an important aid in selling your property.  You could even share the home inspection report and details of repairs carried out with the potential buyers. Needless to add that the home inspection exercise should be carried out by a licensed professional whose report is always respected and taken on face value.

 

Give special attention to physical appearance

 

Move out of your home, stand in front and imagine yourself as a potential buyer. Are the exteriors good enough to attract you and get you inside the house for further inspection? You may need to carry out some beautification of both the exterior and the interiors of your salable home. A fresh paint is advisable and remember to wash all the flooring and wall tiles. Remove all the clutter in the home. Carry out all the minor repairs which are needed these can make your house even more attractive. Ensure there is as little furniture during those physical inspections. Homes with less furniture always seem more spacious. Get those dirty carpets dry cleaned and replace the air filters to reduce the dust levels. Special attention needs to be given to sanitary ware and kitchen fixtures. Lastly make sure you have the basements and the closets neat and tidy.

 

Marketing and Advertisement

 

Make your intention to sell known to as many audiences. Besides attending Open houses and listing your property on MLS, choose a couple of professional and specialized real estate agents suited for your property. Place a classified in a real estate magazine or relevant newspaper section. It is important to make an early killing and hence your marketing should back this intention.

 

Legal Assistance

 

Utilize the services of a professional real estate attorney or title company to handle matters related to agreements and title closing and other related property work. They would indeed charge a small fee but relieve you of an important part of your sale transaction.

 

Sharpen your negotiation skills

The key to a successful real estate transaction is possession of good negotiation skills. Never disclose the reason as to why you are selling to the potential buyer. Keep more than one option ready to have good bargaining power.

 

Once the home owner decides to sell his property, his intention and objective must be to close the sale transaction at the earliest and move on with life. Do your homework well by following the tips above to sell your home. A well planned sale could help you achieve your financial goal faster.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Property For Sale – 3 Steps Process to Sell Away Your House

The demand for real estate is always hot. Every day, there are new properties up for sale. If you intend to list your property for sale, you will be fighting with other sellers in your area for buyers. But once you are experienced in the selling process, it will not take you too long to market your property and sell it successfully.

In this article, let us discuss some of the key process that you need to take when selling your property. This will give you a clearer understanding of the selling process which will in turn help you to sell your house faster:

1. Prepare your property for sale. To sell your property fast, you need to attract buyers. Buyers are attracted to properties that are in tip top condition. That is why you should make sure that the property is clean and ready for sale. If you find any wear and tear in your house, you should either repair or repaint it. Pay attention to every detail. If there is a garage, make sure tidy it up. Every area of your property is part of the overall selling package. First impression is extremely important. So in order to sell your property quick, you need to impress your potential buyers right away.

2. Determine the selling price of your property. Get your property valued by a professional before you put it up for sale. Get an assessor to evaluate your property and suggest a price range for you. With the price range, you will be able to determine the right price for your property. One thing to note is that during negotiations, you should always quote a much higher price. This is to ensure that you will have enough room to play with the price when the potential buyers ask for discounts.

3. Write your listings and market your property. With the necessary information on hand, you can now move on to create your listings. Internet is one of the best ways to market your property. There are many good real estate portals on the Internet that you should leverage on. These websites have high traffic volume, with thousands of potential buyers visiting them every single month. When creating your listing, make sure that you only upload nice photos of your property. Nice photos will make your listing more attractive to potential buyers and thus increasing the inquire rate for viewing.

With this process, you are now better equipped to sell your property successfully. If you intend to use a real estate agent, make sure that you check every single detail before signing any contract to prevent getting yourself into any legal tussle.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Know How Estate Agents Value Properties For Sale

Every homeowner wants to sell his or her property for its maximum value. And, too often they end up choosing an estate agent simply on the basis of whoever provides them with the biggest initial valuation. However, this will be a costly mistake.

What your house is valued at matters. If you get the estimate wrong, it might sell for a price, less than what the actual worth of the property is. On the flip side, even overpriced houses will put off prospective buyers from viewing your house. Moreover, hefty selling prices can even result in a long wait before any good offer comes in or might not sell at all. Getting the valuation done right agent is thus recommended.

Here are a few aspects estate agents take into consideration during property valuation!

Few Factors Estate Agents Keep In Mind While Valuing A Property

1. Local Amenities

During property valuation, one of the major factors which can drive up the selling price is the actual area where the house is situated in. Aspects such as how close the house is to schools, shopping malls, banks, restaurants and parks definitely affect the final selling price. A property which has good transport links will get a much better price than the house that’s located in secluded places.

2. Size

When it comes to getting your property valued, the size of your home is another vital aspect which estate agents keep in mind. The number of bedrooms that the property has affects the marketing of the property. Even the size of every individual room largely determines buyer demographics.

3. Aesthetics

Other than the obvious considerations like keeping your house well-maintained, tidy and clean, there are few other aesthetic factors which can help you in raising the value of your property. Properties which offer great views or are close to water bodies will always achieve a better selling price. Just the way hotel rooms with scenic views cost more, so do houses near a river or sea.

4. Kerb Appeal

Estate agents believe that the way your property looks from outside is as important as the interiors. After looking all around your property, the agent will determine if your front garden looks neat and well maintained and whether your property stands out from the rest. A house with great exteriors will certainly fetch a better price than the ones which don’t have.

5. Potential

Though the size of the home plays a vital role in property valuation, so is the flexibility of the property which is being valued. Agents even check if a particular property can be extended. A house which has the potentiality to be improved can help a lot with the selling price. Properties with the scope of improvements and renovation can drive up selling prices significantly.

Now that you are aware of the considerations, what are you still here for? It’s time you get your property valued by qualified estate agents!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Pros and Cons of Home Tanning Beds

Today, relaxing in tanning beds to achieve the perfect tone of bronzed skin is a common activity. This $5 billion a year industry used to be reserved as a luxury for those in the upper class, but now millions of people enjoy this indulgence, regardless of income. Many of these people want the benefits of a tan, but just don’t have the time to bask in the sun, so they take advantage of the controlled exposure to UV light.

This popularity created a new trend in the creation of home tanning beds. As the prices for a tanning bed for sale decline, more people are buying them for their home. This article details the pros and cons of investing in home systems, including some factors to consider before purchasing a tanning bed for sale.

It Costs Less

Visiting a salon can get expensive over time. Many people have a hard time justifying a trip to a salon, especially those who consider it a luxury. While purchasing a home tanning bed for sale requires an upfront investment, it eliminates the monthly fees of a salon, costing less in the long term. As it can require many salon sessions to develop a base, plus additional sessions to maintain it, it is possible to pay for your home system with your salon savings in a short time.

It Is Convenient

Although visiting a salon offers people the convenience without having to spend hours out in the sun, home tanning beds offer even more convenience. Instead of jumping in the car and driving to the salon, home users simply walk over to their home system.

Offering a higher level of convenience, these home units provide you with the option to tan whenever it’s convenient for you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the middle of the night, an hour after work, or right when you wake up in the morning, you can tan anytime. Home systems offer a great alternative to those with busy work schedules, especially those who travel frequently or work odd hours because they don’t have to try to arrange their schedule to fit their salon’s schedule.

Lastly, home units offer year round treatments. Whether it’s a bright and sunny day in July or a snowy day in February, people with home systems can maintain their tan anytime in the privacy and convenience of home.

The Cons Of Home Tanning Beds

While there are plenty of pros, there are also a few cons to owning these systems. First, you must manage your own exposure level when using your home system. This includes monitoring the amount of time spent under the lamps per session, the number of sessions per week, and even the use of protective goggles and lotions.

You will also have to keep your system maintained, including replacing the bulbs regularly so it always provides you with an even tan. Regular cleaning is also crucial to the long life of your system. Finally, you will need to make sure you have the proper supplies on hand, including goggles, lotion, and bulbs.

By keeping the pros and cons of tanning beds in mind, you will have the knowledge necessary to decide whether a home tanning bed for sale is right for your lifestyle.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Home Staging on a Budget

Staging is an essential, and cost-effective, part of the home selling process. Staging your home to show off its qualities can only add to your final selling price. On average, people receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home.

When staging your home for sale, there are five golden rules to take into consideration as you work your way through each room of your house.

Five Golden Rules:

De-Personalised

The buyer needs to picture themselves in the house – not you. That wedding photo may mean the world to you, but the buyer it’s a distraction that prevents them from seeing a home for their family.

Maximise

Declutter and maximise the space in your home. Closets packed tight with all your clothes make a place like it lacks closet space. Consider temporarily storing the overflow offsite.

Sanitize

This golden rule is the easiest and cheapest way to stage your home – clean it. A sink full of dirty dishes is as unappealing to you as it would be to the buyer. It is well worth the elbow grease in cleaning floors, walls, baseboards, ceiling fans and windows.

Modernise

Unless your home has exceptional period built-ins, all home could benefit from some updating. If someone feels the house is dated, they will reflect that feeling in a lower offer. Consider a few simple changes like swapping out expensive fixtures for nickel or chrome.

Neutralise

Colour can make or break a buyer’s interest in your home. You may love that shocking red wall, but all the potential buyer sees is a great deal of painting in their future because of red clashes with their style. The picture is one of the most inexpensive ways to change a look of a home.

Bonus Tips

Closets

Clear closets of unnecessary clutter, and organise to maximise the amount of open storage space you are showing off to potential buyers. Use boxes stacked together to keep up and hide the clutter.

Use matching hangers for clothes – hooks are inexpensive so splurging on higher quality are inexpensive, so celebrating on higher quality hangers to replace free wire hangers from the dry cleaners will modernise your closets with visual impact and a more luxurious feel.

Bedrooms

A quick and inexpensive way to improve the appeal of your bedroom is to use gender-neutral colours when touching up paint jobs and re-accessorizing to have the broadest possible appeal. Colour coordinate where possible bedspreads, walls, curtains etc. should have a clear theme to their colours if possible.

Bathrooms

If walls are grimy, spray them using a standard spray bottle filled with a mixture of one part bleach and one part water, follow up with a fresh coat of paint.

Clear countertops of everything but the essential to make space look more open and more extensive.

Kitchen

Modernize your dated cabinets; they can be touched up for less than $200 with a coat of new wood stain and or even a good sanding a coat of paint. Replacing brass or wooden cabinet hardware with brushed silver or stainless steel is an effective way of updating dated cabinets as well.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

6 Real Estate Marketing Considerations

You’ve decided it’s the right time, for you to sell your home. While this decision may be based on a variety of considerations, the first decision, the homeowner needs to make (next), is selecting the right agent, for him. One should thoroughly interview prospective agents, and discuss, in advance, considerations, philosophies, perspectives, systems, approaches, etc. One of the most important discussions should be about how one might market the particular property, in order to achieve the homeowner’s needs, concerns and objectives, with the best results. This article will briefly examine and discuss 6 real estate marketing considerations, alternatives, and options.

1. Conventional advertising: Traditional, or conventional advertising/ marketing approaches, include using newspapers, sending postcards, mailings, etc. Over the past decade, there has been far less attention to these methods, because of buyer’s reading policies, widespread use of the Internet, costs, etc. However, this is still a needed, necessary, useful format and media, especially if done, with professionalism and focus!

2. Social media/ internet: There are many popular real estate websites, including: Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, MLS, real estate broker sites, etc. In addition, there has been a widespread emphasis on effectively using Social Media, etc, which garners widespread focus and attention. The advantages of this method, include attracting potential buyers, and minimum costs.

3. Word of mouth: Wise Realtors realize, the best form of marketing, is word of mouth! Superior real estate agents, have a following, and references from former clients and customers, generally, produce the finest results!

4. Open Houses: There are two types of Open Houses: 1) Broker’s Inspections; and 2) Consumer Open House. One promotes these, via a combination of the previous 3 methods, as well as by using well – situated signs. The basic advantage of these, is it permits lots of exposure, and there is an adage which states, the more potential buyer views, the better the possibility of a sale!

5. Staging: Certain homes might benefit from the services of a Professional Home Stager. Homeowners should discuss this, with their agents, including the benefits, costs, needs, options, etc.

6. Niche marketing: Does the specific house, fit into a particular niche? Are there, perhaps, certain groups of buyers, who might have a better chance of being attracted to this home? How might one focus on this group, if applicable?

Houses don’t sell themselves. Real estate professionals proceed with a quality, overall marketing system, and customize the best one, for the particular client’s property!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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