How to Plan the Perfect Open House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Use the Personal Touch

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

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

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

7. Follow Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Best Ways to Sell Your House During COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down the real estate market, selling a house has become a herculean task for many homeowners. Not to mention, in today’s economy, some homes are remaining on the market for months. However, even though selling your home during COVID-19 can be tricky, it isn’t impossible. With a little know-how, you will be able to sell your home quickly.

Furthermore, selling a house during COVID-19 may sound tough initially, but it is not that difficult to do. Listed below are four tips to sell your home during COVID-19.

1. Advertise properly- While technology and the Internet have made it easy to list real estate for sale online, you need to pack a greater punch to get buyers to take notice of your property if you want to sell your home during COVID-19. From putting up a for sale sign and advertising your home on as many of the major property websites as possible to advertising your home for sale on social media, make sure you leave no stones unturned in terms of advertising your home for sale. Furthermore, you should also distribute flyers and even put an advertisement in the local newspaper. This will allow you to reach out to more people and so, there will be chances of more offers.

2. Virtual tours- Virtual tours are very effective when it comes to marketing and selling your home during COVID-19. Furthermore, a good virtual tour will grab a home buyer by hand and lead them from room to room, whether it is 360 or a video.

3. Be an aggressive home seller- Let’s face it, waiting for the home buyer to come by will not get you anywhere. You need to go all out to spread the word. From putting up a for sale sign to repainting and remodeling your home, do everything within your power to sell your home fast during COVID-19.

4. Declutter and keep your home clean- Nothing can turn off home buyers faster than a home in disarray. Furthermore, whether or not you are currently living there, make sure you take the time to declutter, deep-clean and spruce up. In addition, when cleaning your home, make sure you also remove photographs and other personal information that may be visible, as you want to make buyers feel comfortable when viewing your home.

While selling a home during COVID-19 can be tricky, if you spend some time and effort in creating that perfect atmosphere for your house and keep in mind the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you will be able to sell your home in no time.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Sell Your Property Privately?

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

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

Benefits of selling a home privately:

• You do not have to share your profits with anyone

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

• You are in control of the sales process.

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

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

• You can negotiate a price you deem right.

How to sell your property privately?

De-clutter

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

Inspect

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

Home-staging

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

Price your property

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

List your property

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

Connect with potential buyers

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

Arrange Viewings

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

Negotiate

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

Close the deal

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

These are the basic steps for selling your property privately.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Your Budget and Rent to Own

Buying a house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. And if you’ve waited a long time for this day to come, you’ve undoubtedly thought about the features you desire – maybe you’re craving a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, or perhaps a gourmet kitchen with granite counters?

While you don’t want to skimp on the amenities you love, adding too many of them can drive up the cost and wipe out your budget. Instead of thinking about the right now, start thinking about your long-term financial goals and assessing your budget before you buy, you can score the home you want without experiencing buyer’s remorse. The one thing to remember is that you can add all the things you love to your house and reap the benefits when the price appreciates for more.

When you’re pre-approved for a rent to own, we will determine how much we think you can afford to spend on a house without being a situation where you have to multiple jobs just to make your payments. As in many cases, we will provide a top end to the budget, but don’t assume the top end number provided is the amount you should spend. The top end of the budget is based on the assumption that you will have paid off or down many of your debts and that your current employment situation will remain the same, if not improve.

1. Confirm Your Budget Online

Want to find out what you can afford on your own? Go online and use a mortgage calculator – after you enter a sale price, a loan term, and interest rate, the calculator estimates your monthly payment, including homeowners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance. This can provide you with a good estimate of how much you can afford to pay based on sales price, but don’t stop there. Research whether there are other expenses you’ll need to work into your budget after buying a home.

For instance, will you have to pay monthly home owner’s association dues? Are you going to need to contract with a lawn or pest service? Are your utilities likely to increase after your move? These costs can really add up and eat into your monthly budget, and if you’re not willing to sacrifice your current lifestyle for the sake of a new home, you’d be wise to choose a less expensive home with a lower price tag which will result in lower monthly payments. I suggest creating a priority list for the „must-haves“ that you would like in a house. List the top 5-10 things in order of priority that you cannot do without down to those items that would be nice to have, but not necessary. By doing this, you will be able to zero in on the type of house you want quicker and you will be in a better position to stay within your budget when you start looking at homes.

2. Keep Tabs on Your Real Estate Agent

I’ve had only positive experiences with the real estate agents we have worked with, but not everyone is as lucky. When working with a real estate agent, we establish what the budget is to you and the realtor. It’s important that you commit the realtor to stay within the set budget. Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford.

That said, some agents may try to push the envelope and recommend properties outside your price point. We will be a check and balance and not allow this to happen but you should also be firm and stick to your guns.

3. Avoid Being Like the Joneses

It’s very easy to fall into the cycle of „compare and despair.“ If you’re working with a budget of $250,000 and your best friend just bought a house for $300,000, you might find yourself comparing your home options and amenities to his or hers.

This is a nasty cycle to fall into, especially when it comes to buying a home. A house isn’t a pair of shoes or an expensive handbag – if you overspend when buying a house, it isn’t easy to recover from the mistake.

Rather than obsessing over the fact that your friend bought a house with an outdoor kitchen, offer your congratulations, and then get excited about what your $250,000 budget can do for you. Maybe you’ll have four bedrooms instead of two, or you’ll have a gas oven instead of an electric one. Then, think about the ways you’ll benefit from staying within your budget, such as maintaining a healthy vacation or retirement fund, or starting a college education fund for your kids.

4. Avoid Bidding Wars

Imagine this scenario: You find the perfect house, you make a solid offer… and then your realtor calls to inform you that the seller has multiple offers to choose from. Competing with other buyers is no picnic, and to win a bidding war, you often have to increase your offer. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you’re able to stay within budget – however, bidding wars can get out of hand quickly. As a rule of a thumb, we typically will NOT get into a bidding war especially if it is going to artificially inflate the price of the house above what the market value actually is. Why? In a rent to own, there is appreciation added to the price of the house for each year that you are in the program. That appreciation is typically built on top of the market value or list price. If this is artificially higher than it should be, it could cause problems for you when you go to qualify for the mortgage on that house at the end of the rent to own term. The appraised value from the lender might not be there due to inflated price set during the bidding war.

5. Bid on Houses That Aren’t Selling

Some buyers shy away from homes that have been on the market for a long time, assuming that there must be some hidden defect. But sometimes, a home’s inability to sell is much more simple. For instance, maybe it just has bad curb appeal, or there’s too much inventory in a particular market.

Therefore, it is important that you do not automatically rule out a house just because it has been sitting for a long time. If anything, seek out these houses. The seller is probably motivated and willing to drop the asking price to move the property. This is especially good news if you fall in love with a house that’s slightly higher than your budget since you might be able to negotiate a purchase price that is lower and could fall into your budget.

Even if the seller isn’t willing to drop the price, there are still more opportunities for negotiation when a home has been on the market for months. For instance, you may be able to ask for contingencies to replace the old carpet or paint the home’s exterior. If you can identify the reason the property hasn’t sold, then you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s asking price or provide a cash allowance for the fix.

If you’re still concerned about possible hidden defects, state in your bid that the offer is subject to a satisfactory home inspection – which is a good idea no matter what. If the home inspection reveals problems, such as issues with the plumbing, electrical system, roofing, appliances, or windows, you can ask the buyer to make the needed repairs, or you can take your offer off the table.

Finally

Staying within budget when buying a house takes discipline, so you must approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above the budget set out for you. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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

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

The Basics Of A Short Sale

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

The Credit Affects

Foreclosure

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

Short Sale

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

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

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Make Money Online by Creating and Selling Short Reports

How to Make Money Online With Short Reports

Writing short reports and selling them for a low price is one of the most powerful ways of making money online fast. In this post we will see how to write a short report and set it on autopilot so that it makes money 24×7.

What to Write About?

Look around you. What inspires you the most? What are your passions, how do you spend most of your time, is it reading? fishing? cooking?

Are you an expert in anything? Do people ask you for suggestions about something? There are literally thousands of ways to find inspiration, if you want to!

A great way to write a report that sells is by concentrating on something that focuses on relieving pain or solving a problem, that kind of stuff.

But before you get all excited and start creating a report, just make sure that the topic you are going to write about is in demand. One way to do that is by using a keyword tool. There is a free keyword tool out there which is more than enough for this purpose. The tool is Google Keyword Planner. Using this tool you can easily estimate the number of people searching for a particular topic and keyword each month. If you want more professional insight and want to find highly profitable keyword ideas go for paid tools like LongTailPro or Market Samurai. LongTailPro is a professional keyword tool which gives you keyword ideas and its profitability scores. You can also use this tool for getting blog post ideas, research a profitable niche for your next site and much more.

How to Write the Report

You can easily create a report using free tools like OpenOffice suite or a paid one like Microsoft Office. Create a document in word format and then export it in PDF format when saving the document. That’s it. Your report is ready. Don’t forget to add pictures and media where necessary in your report.

How Many Pages?

When you are just beginning try to keep it short. Anything between 20-30 pages should do. Remember it’s about the quality, not quantity.

How to Price Your Report

For a 25-30 page report you can price anything between $5-10, considering you are an amateur and nobody in the industry knows your name. Once you become popular you can even charge $100 for a short report provided it is a high voltage content.

How to Sell Your Short Report

You can opt for a cheap web hosting account and register a domain name. Once you are done with that you can hire a designer to create a sales page for you (which is going to cost you heavily) or buy Optimizepress ($97 for 3 domains).

Optimizepress gives you flexibility and you can create as many landing pages and squeeze pages as you want. It is easy to design. Another option is Leadpages which costs $37/month.

Once your landing page is ready subscribe for e-junkie which costs you only $5/month for one item. It is a digital product delivery system which delivers your report to the customer’s email once the payment has been processed. Remember, e-junkie doesn’t process payments. For accepting payments use the PayPal business account which can be easily connected to e-junkie and which is free to get started. This is only a one time setup. Set it up and it will earn you money on autopilot. PayPal does take a commission for each transaction carried out, but it is definitely worth it.

Once you start making enough money with your first report you can make several similar type of reports in different niches. By this way you have got a decent online business for you which earns on autopilot and supplies you with a continuous stream of passive income.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Is A Short Sale The Right Choice?

With the decline in home values in the past few years, some homeowners who need to sell in the current market find themselves trapped, as they owe more than their home is worth. In this situation, the short sale can become a viable option.

What is a short sale:

A short sale is simply a sale in which the proceeds are not enough to cover all of the outstanding obligations associated with the sale of the home including the mortgage or mortgages, unpaid property taxes, attorney’s fees, title expenses, commissions, etc. This shortage would require the seller to bring money to the closing or to negotiate a „shorted“ payoff with their lender. The lender has no obligation to agree to this, but many will. In most cases, a short sale is attempted by sellers who are facing foreclosure or have fallen behind and no longer have the ability to continue making their payments.

The process:

There are a lot of misconceptions about the short sale process and the lender’s role in it, even among some Realtor®s. The seller’s lender’s role is nothing more than that of a contingency. This can vary by state depending on whether it’s a title theory state or lien theory state. This information applies to Illinois, which is a lien theory state (the owner holds title and the lender holds a lien on the property)

The seller owns the home and ultimately is the one who, with the help of their agent, accepts, rejects or proposes a counter offer once an offer is received. When the offer is accepted by the seller, it is done so contingent on their lender agreeing to accept the net proceeds of the sale as full settlement of the amounts owed. I’ve had more than one occasion where an agent working for a buyer asks when their offer will be submitted to the bank, even before the seller has agreed to accept it. It can add to the confusion if multiple offers are received. Some think that all offers must be presented to the lender. This is not accurate. All offers must be presented to the seller, not to the lender. The goal of the listing agent should be to obtain the best offer possible, thereby giving the transaction the best possible chance of actually closing.

What are the odds of a successful closing?

They’re actually better than they used to be. Nowadays it makes sense for banks to seriously consider accepting a short sale as, in many cases, they net more money overall versus going through the whole foreclosure process, taking the home back and marketing it as an REO (Real Estate Owned). Illinois is a judicial foreclosure state. Some states are non-judicial. Judicial foreclosures take much more time to complete. In Illinois, the process can take a year or more. There are some states which take upwards of 3 years. When you consider that, in most cases, the bank is receiving nothing while the process drags along, you start to see their motivation to consider other options. Add to this the deterioration to the property during that time and the additional carrying costs, and the benefits to the bank become even more clear. The bank in this situation, much like the homeowner, is looking for the best way to limit their losses.

The benefits of a short sale:

Lenders generally don’t allow the seller to receive any of the proceeds of the sale. This is fair when you consider that the whole basis of the short sale is negotiating with the lender to get them to take less than what they’re owed. The only exception I’ve seen to this was years ago when, due to an error, we were out of balance by $.06 The title company actually cut a check to the seller for six cents! As a seller in this situation, one needs to keep in mind that, if the lender agrees to the short sale, they are allowing the seller to avoid having a foreclosure on their record which follows them around for many years. Additionally, most short sales also let the seller out from under the debt without being chased for a deficiency. These two things should be all the motivation you need. there are no guarantees of being successful but it’s certainly worth the effort.

Who should you call?

These transactions are not for beginners. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to navigating through this process. An experienced agent and attorney are crucial. In this situation it makes sense to ask a lot of questions. There are specialized short sale/foreclosure courses available for agents. Some are very worthwhile but these courses alone don’t necessarily make the agent an expert. An agent referred by a seller who’s been through this process is definitely someone worth talking to.

What will it cost?

In most cases, it will cost you nothing unless there’s an upfront fee charged by the agent to list the home. All agents negotiate their own fees. It should cost you nothing to talk to an agent and get information. All commissions and other closing costs a seller would normally pay will be factored in and, if the lender agrees to the short sale, they are agreeing to the net amount of the sale so essentially, it is the lender that is paying your closing costs. For someone facing foreclosure, a short sale can be an excellent solution.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Get Top Dollar For Your Home – Fast

1. Time is money when selling your home

After you’ve made the decision to sell your home, the longer it remains unsold on the market, the more it costs you. Many home sellers feel it’s very important to receive close to their full asking price. But they overlook the additional months of carrying costs, such as mortgage interest, property taxes and maintenance. I’ve seen homes remain unsold on the market for years! Obviously, those home sellers are not highly motivated to sell. If they’ve already moved to their new home, maintaining a vacant, overpriced house can be very expensive, usually costing $1,000 or more each month the home remains unsold.

2. Get your home into near-model home condition

Most home buyers today want to purchase a home which is in basically good condition and does not need major fix-up work. This is called a „red ribbon deal“ home because it’s like a gift wrapped with red ribbon.

There are few buyers for fixer-upper houses–and they want bargain prices to compensate for the necessary work. The goal of home sellers who want to sell fast for top dollar must be to get the home into near-model home condition. However, spending major money is not required. Most homes just need basic, inexpensive work to get the residence into very good condition where all the buyer must do is turn the key in the door and move in.

3. The reason most homes don’t sell–they are overpriced!

Many home sellers want to set their asking prices above what their realty agent recommends. These sellers often hope an out-of-town buyer will overpay for their home. That rarely happens! There are several reasons, such as buyer’s agents who look out for their buyers, competitive listings which are realistically priced close to market value, and lender’s appraisals which reflect market value. Buyers quickly become experts on home values after they’ve inspected a dozen or more similar homes in the vicinity. They rarely overpay. Most homes have a „range of values.“ Many factors influence this range of values–such as local economic conditions, the home’s location, supply of similar homes in the same price range listed for sale, number of buyers currently in the marketplace, the physical condition of the home, the skill of your realty agent to properly market the home to as many prospective buyers as possible, the financing available, quality of the local school district (the best schools create home buyer demand), and the desirability of your home compared to other nearby homes now available for sale.

4. Be flexible–don’t get greedy

If you’re just testing the market and will sell your home only if you get your inflated asking price, then you’re not a serious motivated seller. However, if you are motivated to sell, the best attitude is to be flexible, don’t get greedy and don’t insist on receiving the last dollar of profit. Instead, consider all purchase offers which are presented. No matter how low and insulting the purchase offer might be, make a counteroffer! After several days or even weeks of counteroffer negotiation back and forth, home sales often result. But sellers who are inflexible and don’t make counteroffers have only themselves to blame when their home doesn’t sell because they are inflexible and greedy.

5. Get out of the house!

Finally, if you listed your home for sale with a professional realty agent, let that person (or a buyer’s agent) do their job. Whenever you know an agent is bringing a prospective buyer to inspect your home, even on short notice, get out of the house! There’s a very good reason you don’t want to meet the prospective buyer.

Experienced realty agents will tell you that until a buyer criticizes a residence, he or she is not a serious buyer. If the seller is hovering nearby, the prospect usually will not criticize your home. Instead, he or she will look at it and leave without making a commitment to that possible future residence. Also, the buyer’s agent won’t comment about the pros and cons of the house if the seller is within hearing range. Even if you just walk around the block 10 times while a buyer inspects your home, get out! Also, get your pets out–there is nothing worse than an offensive pet (or pet smell) to chill prospective home buyers from quickly buying your home for top dollar.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Structured Trade Finance – What Does It Mean?

Structured trade finance (STF), a type of debt finance, is used as an alternative to conventional lending. This form of finance is utilized regularly in developing countries, as well as, in relation to cross border transactions. The objective is to encourage trade by making use of non-standard security. STF is generally used in high-value transactions in bilateral trading relationships. As a more complicated type of finance, STF is commonly related to commodity trading.

Within the commodity sector, STF products are most prevalent. It is used by producers, processors, traders, as well as, end-users. These financial arrangements are tailored by banking organizations to meet the precise needs of the clients. STF products are primarily working capital financing, warehouse financing and pre-export financing. There are also some institutions that extend reserve-based lending, as well as, finance the conversion of raw materials into products, along with other customized finance products. In order to promote trading activities, STF products are extended across the supply chain.

STF structures are sponsored by limited recourse trade finance lines. The structure aims at offering better security mechanism and to act as an enhancement on the position of the borrower when viewed in isolation.

How Has Technological Advancements Complemented STF?

Trade credit insurance, bank assurances, letters of credit, factoring and forfeiting are some of the STF products that have been positively affected by the latest technological advancements. These products have changed due the recent developments. The massive progress in communication and information domains have also helped the banking institutions to track the physical risks and events in the supply chain between the exporter and the importer.

Why are STF Facilities Used?

Structured trade finance products are used so that the risks related to trading in specific country and different jurisdictions can be mitigated. Any transaction together with STF products help to add resilience to the trade and the same cannot be said when looking at financing the individual elements of a trade. Moreover, it allows for lengthening the payment time, strategizing procurement, diversifying funding and enhancing the ability for clients to boost the facility sizes.

What makes STF extremely attractive is that the borrower’s strength in the transaction is not scrutinized as closely as compared to a vanilla loan. Here, the focus is more on the structure and the underlying cash flows. Another reason for STF’s popularity is that the transactions are not reflected in the balance sheet of a company and the presence of this financing option has helped several importers to maintain flexible credit terms with exporters.

In recent years, structured trade finance products coupled with the recent advances in technology are considered as the fundamental reasons for the increasing volumes of international trade.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Berlin, Germany

Inglourious Basterds, The Berlin International Film Festival, more than 30000 palaces and castles, hundreds of wineries and the Bundesliga are not the only things which define the majestic country of Germany. It is also home to an extremely rich and varied history, unique works of architecture, priceless art works, a great culture, crazy music and even wilder parties. Apart from the innumerable sights and things to do, Germany is also blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes of the world. From spending a day amidst nature and exploring countless castles and palaces to sunbathing on nude beaches, Germany has something unique for each of its travellers. A few of the top sights of Germany are the Old City of Heidelberg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Cologne Cathedral, Romantic Rhine, Lindau and of course the world-famous Oktoberfest.

The Old City of Heidelberg

Heidelberg was one of the very few cities of Germany which was spared from bombings during the World War II. As a result, it retained much of its old world charm and still exudes an aura of romance and adventure which prevailed during the medieval era.

The Neuchwanstein Castle

The Neuchwanstein Castle is located on the top of a rugged hill near the town of Fusen. Popularly known as the best fairytale castle of the world, it has been an inspiration to numerous theme parks and fairy tales such as the Disneyland and the Sleeping Beauty castles. It is also one of the most photographed buildings of Germany and invariable features on most tourist itineraries.

The Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most important pieces of German history and is also the third tallest cathedral of the world. The construction of this cathedral took more than 600 years and the construction process was passed from generation to generation. The most astonishing fact is that when the cathedral was finally finished in the year 1880, it was still true to its original plans which were developed way back in the year 1248. Further, the cathedral also has the proud distinction of being the only standing building of Cologne after it was leveled by bombings in the World War II. As a result, numerous theories such as divine intervention came about. However, it was actually an orientation point for the pilots which resulted in it being saved from bombings.

Romantic Rhine

Popular as the most famous section of Rhine, Romantic Rhine has been enticing countless tourists since eternity. The area runs from Koblenz to Bingen and is characterized by the Rhine river carving its way through hundreds of castles and ruins and vineyard covered hills. Another factor which has contributed greatly to the appeal of the area are the countless historical towns and villages in the area which dot the Rhine River.

Lindau

The city of Lindau has great historical importance and is located on the converging point of the Swiss, German and Austrian borders towards the east of Lake Constance. The city has about 3000 inhabitants and is full of historical buildings and medieval palaces which are extremely popular amongst the tourists.

Oktoberfests

The Oktoberfest is the largest festival in Germany which is extremely popular all over the world and draws about 6 million tourists annually. The festival is known to have immense importance in the Bavarian culture and began way back in the year 1810. Its appeal and popularity has kept growing ever since and the carnival is famous for unlimited amounts of beer and traditional practices such as Knodel, Hendl and Wurstl.

The Brandenburg Gate

Very few monuments have received more international fame than The Brandenburg Gate. Built in between 1789 – 1791, the Gate represents the past and the present eras of Germany in exemplary fashion. The main attraction of the Gate is its unique architecture which includes 6 Doric Columns that forms 5 passageways with pedestrian access only. In the year 1794, a depiction of Goddess Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, riding a four-horse chariot was also added.

Berlin’s Museum Island

The Berlin Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is located right in the heart of the city of Berlin. This magnificent museum is extremely popular amongst the tourists as well as the locals due to its humongous collection of priceless treasures and artefacts. Also known to be one of the most important museums of the world, The Museum Island takes its visitors on a journey through time which begins with the cradle of civilization on the streets of Mesopotamia, passes through the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the Islamic eras and ends with the era of 19th Century Romanticism and the Modern Ages.

The Romantic Road

The Romantic Road starts from Wurzburg and goes on till Fusen. It is one of the most visited routes of Germany which has been made popular due to the small winding towns and villages which line up along the route, exquisite wines of Wurzburg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, immense scenic beauty and the magnificent lakes of Fusen.

The Rugen Cliffs

Made famous in the works of Caspar Freidrich, the Rugen Cliffs are one of Germany’s most famous and popular attractions amongst tourists from all over the world. Located in the Jasmund National Park in the northeastern part of the Rugen Island, these have been subject to constant erosion. Towering high above the Baltic Sea is the Konigsstuhl, which is also popular as the most majestic part of the Rugen Cliffs. These chalk white cliffs are very popular for their mesmerizing sights, great aura and an incredible atmosphere of romance.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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