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

How Can Realtors Help Find Your First Home?

Most people don’t realize it but curb appeal is so important when selling a home. Think about it, are you more inclined to buy a run-down beat up old house that you have to put tons of time and effort in to getting it running again? Wouldn’t you rather buy a beautiful home you were excited about and could already see yourself living in?

Generally speaking it is a good idea to have a polished house ready for showing. If you have to paint it, do so. People are more attracted to buying newer things that are already in good condition to eliminate the work for them. This relates to many different areas of the house, but the exterior of the house is most important because it is the first impression your potential buyers are going to have of the property.

Also it is a good idea to have your lawn mowed and your landscape finished. This is going to create more appeal because it will bring your property to life and make it look more put together. You will be able to give them imagery of what it will be like. This creates opportunity for conversation to get to know the potential buyers and have them get to know you.

It is important to have a well maintained driveway because that is one of the things that frames your house. Your house can look years younger if your driveway is in good shape. It is also one of the first things they see when they arrive at their showing. Anyone appreciates a new waxed walk way or pressure washed driveway.

Driving up to a house even if it isn’t the best house in the world will profit majorly just from the condition it is in and showing the potential buyers it is worthy of their residency.

All of these things are going to help your house sell for more money than it would without curb appeal. The better it looks, the more eye-catching it is going to be. The more eye-catching it is, the more people are going to be attracted to it. The more attracted to it people are, the more interest there will be for people to buy it. And the more interest there is, the faster it will sell.

Curb appeal is majorly important in selling a home not only to show that the house is worthy of being kept in good condition, but also to be selling something that has quality and can hold value.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Finance and Hobbies

Are your hobbies costing you an arm and a leg

Hobbies can give us a sense of release from our day to day issues; the satisfaction one gets from pursuing a pleasure whether it is collecting stamps, bank notes, beer labels, or any of the stuff which people describe as collectable, boating, sport, car racing, or whatever.

If you are going to have a hobby you really need to make sure it is not costing you more than what you can afford and that it is not at the expense of your retirement fund.

There are ways of keeping costs down with your hobby; take whatever it is you collect. You can list your duplicate items on eBay or other auction sites. It will also give you an estimate of the kind of demand there is for your particular kind of collectable.

It is also important to realise that something is only worth whatever someone else is prepared to pay for. If you cannot find a buyer for whatever your collection is then it is not worth anything.

There are some things that are sentimental however, things which may not have any monetary value but are priceless to family such as old photographs or heirlooms.

These may not have cost you anything to acquire as they may have been handed down through the generations or have been given to you but that is not so with a lot of collectables which are acquired with a passion which can be described as hoarding.

Unless someone has an unlimited amount of spending money all of this stuff must be at the expensive of something.

People will often go without to finance their hobby such as not owning a car, not contributing to their retirement fund, or not spending money on much needed house repairs.

A collector who owns a huge collection of beer labels, 30,000+ I believe proudly boasts about it to everyone who visits. It is anyone’s guess how much he has spent acquiring this collection but the saddest thing is that he is not contributing to his retirement fund and therefore missing out on the government incentives.

The old excuse of „I might die before retirement and so someone else will get my money,“ has been used several times, but then someone else will inherit his beer label collection and if something financial crops up such as a huge medical bill he will not be able to afford it, and it is doubtful if he would be willing to part with his collection even if a lot of money was offered for it.

The same is said for any other activity that is a hobby. The old saying of „Pay yourself first“ rings true because sooner or later a person who mismanages their finances will eventually find that it catches up on them.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Curb Appeal And Selling Your Home

Do you remember what it was that first grabbed your attention when you first bought your home? Was it the entrance way? Was it the way the front walk curved up to a friendly looking front door? Was it the rest of the neighborhood? Chances are, it was a combination of these. The general happiness you feel when you look at your home from the outside and the balance it holds with the rest of the neighborhood is what real estate professionals call ‚curb appeal‘. Now that you’re ready to sell your home, the question to ask yourself is, „Does your home have curb appeal?“

First, take a look at your house from the farthest vantage point – perhaps from across the street. Take in the front entrance, the driveway, and the yard. Is it appealing to you? Do you think it’s enough to make prospective buyers slow down in their cars to get a good look? If not, here are a few things you can do to spruce your home up to give it a little more curb appeal.

For starters, make sure your lawn is in good shape – green and mowed with nice, clean edges along any sidewalks or paths. If needed, plant some bushes and keep them well hedged. Trim back any unruly tree branches that block the view of the house and/or prevent sunlight from coming through. An easy way to bring color to the front of your house quickly is by planting some bright annuals such as geraniums in pots or in window boxes. Or if you’re planning ahead, plant some bulbs for year-after-year color. Power wash the outside of the house if it’s looking dingy or repaint it. A great way to draw attention to your home is by having a nice front door. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of replacing it, you can always apply a fresh coat of paint. Make your home inviting by sprucing up the front walk. Is your front walk as boring as city sidewalk? Spruce it up with plants along the edge or replace the plain slabs of concrete with a pattern of stone tablets.

So why do all of this work? Some benefits of having curb appeal are raising the value of your home and selling your home faster, often at or above your asking price. Keeping the outside of your home in good condition also makes the entire neighborhood look nicer. And while many of us are taught not to ‚judge a book by its cover,‘ selling your home is one case where we throw this rule of thumb out. Many buyers will use what they see outside to indicate what they’ll find INSIDE the house. Chances are if your home is well maintained on the outside, it will be the same on the inside, enticing buyers to take a closer look at your home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Why You Need A Real Estate Lawyer When Buying A Home

Purchasing a home will probably be one of the most significant purchases you will make in your life. You sign piles of paperwork for both the loan and purchase of the property itself. This purchase also involves the law of real property, which raises special and unique issues of practice and issues not present in other transactions. As a result, some states have begun certifying lawyers as „Real Property Specialists“ because a real estate lawyer is trained to address these problems. The home-buying process seems simple on the surface and leaves many people asking this question: „Do I really need to hire a real estate attorney?“

The purchase agreement may be the single most important document handled during the transaction. Sure, pre-printed electronic forms are helpful, but a lawyer can explain the forms and make changes and/or additions per the buyer’s and seller’s requests. Some typical issues that are commonly addressed in the purchase agreement are the following:

– What happens if the property is found to contain hazardous waste materials?

– What are the legal ramifications if the closing does not take place as scheduled? What happens to the down payment? (This question goes on to raise additional related questions: Will the down payment be held in escrow by a lawyer? How is the payment going to be made? Will the closing be appropriately conditional upon the buyer obtaining financing?)

– What happens if termites, asbestos, or lead-based paint is found upon inspection of the property?

– If the property is altered or an addition has been added, was it done lawfully?

– If the buyer intends to change the property, can the proposed plans be done lawfully?

If the sellers seem unreasonable or request something unusual, that is typically a good time to call for counsel. An attorney can serve as great backup for a real estate agent, and they can translate the legal jargon presented to you in the mounds of paperwork. Brokers and escrow agents do not get paid until the closing occurs, so if something goes awry at closing, they are naturally inclined to encourage you to sign the papers and close instead of creating a hiccup. For example, if you find a title defect on closing day, you need someone there to inform you of what your rights are. Alternatively, the seller may make promises to remedy problems on the property but still push to get the closing done. These promises need to be put into a contract and approved by an attorney.

Perhaps the single most important reason to be represented by a real estate lawyer is to resolve the conflicting interests of the parties involved. Buyers and sellers are often at odds throughout the entire process. Generally, the agent is representing the seller, while the lender is obtained by the buyer. Unfortunately, neither of them can provide legal counsel. Seeking an attorney to protect your own interests is a very good idea from the time you decide to sell or buy a home until the time of the actual closing.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Photography Tips for Beginners

Even with the recession, real estate is a billion dollar market in all the major developed and developing countries. What do you think is the first thing people see when scouting around to buy property? The answer would be the pictures of the property in question. Human beings respond better to visual stimulation.

Therefore, quality and interesting photography matters a lot and if you are a property photographer you should take it seriously. Why? Because your livelihood depends on it! If you are trying to sell real estate photographs to realtors and they are not worth the dollars the realtor pays, your effort goes to waste.

Real Estate Photography Tip #1: Capturing the Best Images

The intention is to sell the property so your photography should definitely be appealing to the people who view them. Try to highlight the best features of the house; the features that potential buyers will like to see matter the most. The photography also depends on the nature of the property – residential or commercial. Actually the pictures should showcase your talent and skill. While searching for realtors to see the images, sometimes you need to provide samples so capturing the best of images will greatly help to clinch the deal.

Real Estate Photography Tip #2: Selling the Images

To earn a living in this type of photography professionally, give yourself 1-2 years of time for creating a solid base of clients. You can set up a professional website with your portfolio, current projects (if any), specialization, skills, and lots of high-definition clear pictures for prospective buyers to see. Of course, you need to do a lot of marketing for getting the clients. Begin by scouting the area you are living in and any others that you have easy access to. Contact the realtors in the area, show them sample images and if luck is on your side, you will land your first deal soon!

Real Estate Photography Tip #3: Getting High Profile Clients

Getting high profile realtor clients who will buy your pictures is not easy because there are always better photographers around you and also you lack experience in the beginning. So after working for a year or two with local realtors, think of migrating towards getting high profile clients. The pay rate is definitely higher but you need to have real skill and knowledge to get an edge over others. Question yourself – what is there in you that sets you apart from other real estate photographers? Once you answer this, build on that aspect for better projects.

Of course, getting the high profile clientele is not easy. Be prepared for sample photo shoots as part of a personalized sales pitch.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Every Landlords Guide to Finding Great Tenants by Janet Portman; Book Review

Multi-unit investors are the bread and butter clients of experienced and successful real estate agents. 1031 exchanges are one of the many options for landlords-to-be. After the closing or escrow though is when the real work begins and offering ways to smooth the operational transition for new or repeat owners of rental properties, can be a great source of future referrals for real estate agents. A new book released in 2006 should be a required closing gift from the selling agent to the buyer of any multi-unit building or complex, with two or a thousand units.

Every Landlords Guide to Finding Great Tenants by Attorney Janet Portman, Nolo, 2006, ISBN 1-4133-0413-3, Paperback, 455 Pages is designed in an reader friendly format, full of icons, shaded call-out boxes, sample forms, and checklists. Easy-to-read tables outline state-specific laws on returning security deposits and showing notices, to name a few. From apartment marketing programs, how to show a rental, fielding and screening calls, and checking references, no step in the process is left out and all procedures are drilled down to the bottom line.

Ms. Portman brings an experts perspective on the law, but don’t think that this is a dry read. Engaging text sprinkled with bullet points, graphics, and clever caution points, make this the best desk reference for any landlord. Perfect for the experienced but exasperated landlord to the freshly minted, this is a must-have rental resource.

Every Landlords Guide to Finding Great Tenants comes with a handy CD-ROM, for on-the-go landlords. The CD has files of all forms featured and discussed in the book, as well as sample landlord-tenant conversations. Nothing has been left out of this complete guide and the format makes it simple to focus on a particular theme, and revisit others on a when-the-time-comes basis.

Chapter titles include; Choosing Good Tenants Makes Good Business Sense, Complying with Discrimination Laws, How to Deal with Current Tenants-Before You Look for New Ones, How to Advertise Effectively, How You Should Show Your Rental, Preparing Your Rental Application and Screening Materials, Fielding Initial Questions and Phone Screening, Prepare Your Rental for an Open House or Showing, Face to Face: Showing the Rental and Negotiating with Prospective Tenants, evaluating Rental Applications, Checking Applicant’s Credit Reports, Checking Landlord, Employer, and Personal References, Checking Applicants‘ Criminal Backgrounds, How to Choose and Work With a Tenant Screening Agency, Choosing Your New Tenant, and How to Reject-What to Say, What to Write.

This book is a solid ten and highly recommended to building owners, 1031 Exchange Qualifying Intermediaries, real estate editors and educators, leasing and rental managers, real estate agents and brokers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Qualifying for a Home Loan in 2019 – What Requirements and Guidelines You Need to Know

1) How much of a Down Payment do I need to come up with?

In the recent past, people used to think 20% down was necessary to qualify for a home loan or to have a reasonable mortgage payment. For the most part, this is no longer the case. There are many types of mortgage programs that allow for low down payment options or no down payment in some cases. You also don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify for these programs either.

FHA Loans are one of the most popular types of mortgages applied for in today’s market, this is mainly because of low down payment options and the flexible qualifying requirements. Without down payment assistance, you just need a minimum of 3.5% down. A lot of people think FHA is strictly for first time home buyers, but that is not true. it’s a government-backed home loan, but they don’t require you to be a first time home buyer. FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration.

Conventional Loans have been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years and will soon replace the FHA loan program as the most popular loan product on the market. Conventional loans allow for a minimum down payment as low as 3% down and also allows for several creative ways to buy out the monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). This strategy helps reduce the monthly payments while increasing your buying power.

Minimum Down Payment requirements for each loan type below:

VA Loans – No Down Payment required

USDA Loans – No Down Payment required

FHA Loans – Minimum 3.5% Down Payment required

Conventional Loans – Minimum 3% Down Payment required

You can use gift funds for any of the programs listed above. Also, If you are a first time home buyer be sure to ask your loan consultant if you qualify for any down payment assistance program.

2) What Credit Score do I need to qualify for a Mortgage?

Aside from income verification, one of the biggest determining factors in qualifying for a mortgage is your credit score. The higher the credit score the better your chances will be in qualifying. When a mortgage company or bank checks your credit for a mortgage application they will pull what is known as a tri-merge. That is when a credit report is combined with data and individual scores from the 3 major credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The middle of the 3 scores will be used to determine your qualifying score. Ideally, you want to have a middle credit score of 680 or above. In most cases, the higher your credit score is, the better your rate and terms will be as well.

There are minimum credit score requirements for every loan program, but to ensure you get qualified for the most competitive terms it is important that you do everything you can to learn how to increase and improve your credit.

Below are the minimum credit score requirements for each loan program:

VA Loans – 620 (some lenders may allow for as low as 580+)

USDA Loans – 620

FHA Loans – 580

Conventional – 620

3) What are the Income Requirements and Guidelines for a Mortgage?

Proving your ability to repay the loan is one of the most important requirements in the qualifying process. That is why showing sufficient and consistent income documentation is crucial when going through the pre-approval or qualification process. If you are a W2 employee and paid a salary then the verification process is fairly simple. However, can be more difficult for people that receive and/or rely on commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc. For borrowers that are self-employed and/or receive a 1099 it can be even more difficult and complex especially since you can have a lot more write-offs and deductions when you’re self-employed.

First and foremost you need a 2-year work history to even qualify using any income source. However, for full-time hourly or salaried employees that doesn’t mean you have to be at the same company or industry for 2 years. That used to be a requirement but not anymore unless the lender/bank has their own overlay. If you receive and want to use commission, bonus, overtime or other types of income then you have to show a minimum of a 2-year history and the bank/lender will use a 24 month average for qualifying purposes. Self-Employed borrowers are now able to qualify with 12-24 months bank statements for certain nontraditional (non-QM) loan programs.

Qualifying Income Sources:

* Full-Time W2 Income/Salary

* Income from Part-Time Jobs (must be at the job for a minimum of 1-2 years in some cases)

* Income from a second full or part-time job

* Overtime, Commissions, Bonuses (must average over 24 months)

* Seasonal (must prove 2-3 years consistency)

* Self-Employed Income

* Bank Statements (12-24 months)

* Permanent Disability

* Retirement/Pension

* Child Support/Alimony (Sufficient documentation required)

* Asset Depletion

What are the Required Documents Needed?

There are specific required documents needed that your loan consultant will request in order to process your loan approval. You should at least have the below list of documentation readily available and be ready to provide more depending on your particular situation.

* Complete Federal Personal and/or Corporate Tax Returns for the past 2 years (ALL SCHEDULES)

* W2’s for the past 2 years

* 1 Month worth of Pay Stubs

* Bank Statements (may need anywhere from 2-24 months)

* Retirement/Pension and/or Social Security Award Letters

* Disability Award Letter

* Divorce Decree

* Business License

* Asset Documentation

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

What You Need to Know About Buying House in Summer 2018

The sunniest time of the year when sun is shining brightly is surely a great time for exploring new neighborhoods and visualizing future patio parties during viewings. If you are planning to buy home this summer then it is important to understand the housing market prior starting any serious shopping. You must have to know what housing market is like for buyers now and what you can do to end up the best home with best price that fits right in your budget.

Owning a home is an investment in your future and with that in mind you wants to make sure that you are making educated decisions so that you could get the best possible deal. Housing market in 2018 should be just as strong this summer as it’s been all spring. List prices and existing home sales have risen this year but there are perks to house hunting right now, too. We present you some of the facts and tips to help you get the most out of this year’s summer housing market.

SUMMER MARKET FACTS

DURING THE SUMMER PRICES DROP: Although summer is busy home-buying season but still it is not crazy as prices drop from May through October. Anyhow if you hang out until late August then you could find a really great deal-that is when nearly 14 % of listings get a price cut.

Private Mortgage Insurance Is GETTING MORE Reliable: PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance getting cheaper after PMI lenders MGIC and Radian lowered their rates this spring; it is great financing news for homebuyers. That’s going to cause most of these PMI companies to be competitive with each other which in result going to bring them all down. Less than 20 % of down payment makes the home buyers to get PMI. It means it will be cheaper for some buyers to get into homes sooner.

HOMEBUYING TIPS FOR SUMMER 2018

DON’T DISCOUNT OLDER LISTINGS: At the times when homes are flying off the market within days due to strong competition, it is easy to think a listing that’s a week or so old is a red flag. But keep in mind that it is not always the case. It is often because buyer got cold feet and pulled out of a deal on a perfectly good house. But thanks to the assumptions home buyers make about older listings in busy markets, the delay can cause the price to come down.

There are just more of these in market. The number of homes in market is shrinking but still there are 8.3 % more fixer-upper among them than there were six years ago. If you are dead-set against a fixer-upper to be prepared to move quickly then there is only ever going to be a couple of options at a time. And when new listings come up it’s going to be pretty ferocious.

GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The plus point of competitive market it gives you temptation to make an offer on any available property that fits your criteria but if it’s in the wrong neighborhood, you may never want to purchase the house. It is better to take some time and do community scouting before making an offer. You can even find out what your future neighbors have to say about the area by communicating with them.

MAKE THE STRONGEST OFFER: To stay in the market make the strongest offer, even your offer is not the highest because now is not the time for low ball-offer. No doubt, coming up with cash offer could be tough for many home buyers but there are some ways to make a strong offer that don’t require gobs of money. Substantial eventualities like a shorter closing or inspection period and writing a great offer letter can help make your offer stand out.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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