Do-It-Yourself Staging Tips for Home Sellers

The buzzword today with residential real estate agents is staging. Staging a home can change a homes atmosphere that appeals to homebuyers and which may bring a higher price and accelerate market time. By adding small decorative touches, rearranging or deleting furniture or creating vignettes a home can look like a professional stager was hired.

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home has seen the best and worst in home staging as a real estate broker in Chicago and he shares some do’s and don’ts for home sellers that want to try to stage their home.

Do’s

-Pick-up recent home decorating magazines. If your not up to speed on current decorating trends it will help familiarize yourself with how interior design is being marketed. Tab pages with low-cost ideas that which will make your home say today.

-Invite a friend or real estate agent over. A second or third pair of eyes will help you accent the best and edit the worst in your home. Be prepared for some constructive criticism. You want to hear it before you put your home on market, not as feedback from prospective buyers. Go room-by-room with a worksheet so you can take notes. Depending on how much time you have available for an update or a makeover, you will need to prioritize and figure out what will give you the biggest return. Do this at least two months before you put your house on market.

-Stage a home office if you don’t have one. They’re not a trend; they’re required for homebuyers in 2006. Many homebuyers today work from home part or full-time or want a space where they can organize their life and park a computer. Find an extra bedroom, walk-in closet or an unused corner and convert into a home office. Make sure there is a convenient electric, telephone and cable supply.

-Focus on living spaces. These areas are where the majority of homebuyers will spend their time. Place a side table and a floor lamp next to a comfortable chair as a reading corner. Float sofas and coffee tables away from walls for a designer look. Use area rugs to anchor furniture groupings on bare tile and wood floors. Living spaces must have matching table lamps. Streamline family photos and place green plants in room. Fireplaces should always be operable and on in season. Place groupings of candles and clear glass bowls filled with natural potpourri on side and coffee tables. Substantial wicker baskets can organize magazines, remote controls and toys. Limit knick-knacks to make room for staging materials.

-Give attention to Kitchens. Put away in a handy drawer all dish towels and rags. Reduce recipe boxes, barrels of cooking utensils, excess-cooking machines, and cookbooks by two-thirds to open up counter spaces. For a quick update put new hardware on cabinets. Find an out-of-the-way place for a portable dishwasher. Clean off everything on the refrigerator door. Omit throw rugs scattered around the kitchen. Clean off windowsills to open up exterior views. Organize cabinets with clear containers. If you can’t see the back wall of a cabinet, buyers will think you don’t have enough storage space. Ditto closets. Budget to keep a variety of fresh fruit in a glass bowl on the counter. Edit family bulletin boards. Remove old curtains and install new wood blinds on windows.

-Spend time on sleeping and bathing spaces. Often over looked in the frenzy to get a home on market, these spaces can make or break a home. Buy a set that consists of a matching bed skirt, bed spread, pillow covers and blinds to match. Buy a new shower curtain and separate liner. Wash the liner often if mold develops. Add complete sets of towels that coordinate with your new shower curtain. Clear all cosmetics off vanity. If you have an over-the-toilet cabinet consider removing and place a piece of artwork in its place. Remember to keep items in the „too much information“ category, out of view. If you have a king-size bed in a small room, you’ll pay to have buyers over come this negative, so get rid of it now. Clear off dresser and nightstands of excess. Make sure the bedroom receives the maximum natural light. Install closet organizers in closets. Eliminate wall and door hooks for clothes. People might look under your bed, no surprises please.

-Remember first impressions in entries. A simple consol table with mirror over makes a nice entranceway. Make sure this space is well lit day or night. Place adhesive under rugs so buyers don’t trip or slide.

Don’ts

-Use inexpensive silk flowers. Nothing distracts buyers more that silk flowers that are past their time, inappropriate for the season or thrown together. Throw them out, now.

-Forget to upgrade Fido’s bowl. I’ve experienced more unhealthy pet food bowls, watering stations and litter boxes than I care to remember. We know you love your pet, but prove it to homebuyers.

-Overlook window coverings. Buyers today think less is more in window fashion. They want the most light and the least embellishment on windows. And no layered treatments with sheer panels please.

-Use low wattage light bulbs. Dark, dim rooms are unappealing to homebuyers. They want to see what they might buy. Replace bulbs with manufacture recommended wattages and especially the burned out ones. The newer low-energy bulbs don’t cast home or people in flattering light.

-Think that everyone loves wallpaper. No two people have the same taste in this instant decorator finishes. If it’s more than three years old, take it down and paint in a neutral color. And wallpaper boarders are out.

-Paint with commitment colors. If you’ve determined that you need to paint, stay away from bold or as I call them commitment colors. Commitment colors are those buyers either love or hate. It can be difficult for buyers to overlay their style on them. As one client said to me “ I don’t live in a magazine.“

-Think cleaning is a part of staging. Cleaning is what you do before staging. Everything should shimmer and shine. Don’t forget the windows.

Use these do-it-yourself tips to place your home on the stage of your local home sale theater.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Mark Nash

Selecting The Best Security System For Your Home

A security system for your home is very important because it can determine how safe you feel when you are home or away. There are so many components that can make a home security system with surveillance equipment like security cameras and recorders being some you can have so you are able to keep a close eye on the property. Advanced door locks, infrared safety systems, motion detectors and alarms are the other features you can have on your home security system.

Remote monitoring systems seem to be most popular among homeowners. Using the video surveillance they are able to know everything that happens on their property without the need to physically be there. There are so many types of surveillance cameras available today, some of which can be disguised on the property so they are not that obvious. Having a security system will not only make you feel safe, but is also a very good way of deterring intruders. But to enjoy the full benefits of having a system in place, you must choose the best for your home. A few simple steps can help you end up with the best system.

Step 1 – Evaluate the home area and think about the crime kinds that are common in the neighborhood. For instance, areas that face frequent vandalism may need slightly different security features compared to those that have regular break-ins. The type of crime common in your area can lead you to the best security solutions.

Step 2 – Mark all possible entry points. What you should remember about intruders is that they will not always use the gates or doors to gain access to your property. Utility ports, windows and even your perimeter wall can make very good entry points and may require installation of surveillance cameras. Address all areas and decide what security action best suits them.

Step 3 – Think about lighting on the property. Well-lit areas are not always targeted by criminals and instead they choose the poorly lit areas to get access to the property. Before looking for the best security system for your home, try improving the outdoor lighting to make it harder for intruders to get into your property. You can even invest in motion sensor lights in some areas and flood lights in some other appropriate areas. In areas where light is scarce, then you can think about infrared security cameras.

Step 4 – Select the best security solutions. The system that you choose should be able to address the problems that you face in your area and property. Video surveillance can be expensive, but it is one of the most beneficial, especially in areas where crime rates are high. Think about upgrading your home locking systems and get surveillance cameras and alarms installed in all the right places.

Step 5 – Make the security system known to all. When it is public knowledge that there are cameras watching you property intruders will be deterred. You can of course hide the cameras strategically to avoid vandalism, but you can place some openly and visible on property areas that are hard to interfere with.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jovia D’Souza

House Plan – It’s Importance to Building a New House

A house plan is a must for building a home before its construction begins. It is helpful for planning home space, estimating the cost of the expenses, allotting the budget, knowing the deadline of the construction and setting the schedule of meeting with the architect, designer or home builder. So if you are planning to build a new house without it, then it’s for sure, the house will have a low quality structure and design and also cost you more money in the long run because of the mistakes that may arise once the construction starts.

When making a house plan, there are many important points to consider. One is the location where the house will be built. It is usually best to buy a land before you start to make a house plan. Knowing the area and the type of terrain you chose to build on is helpful to properly plan the house and maximize the space of the land area. It’s also necessary to consider the lifestyle and the size of the family to see how many number of rooms and bathrooms needed, what kind of style and design of the living room, kitchen and dining room and how much space is needed for each of them. You also need to consider the number of your vehicles for you to plan well how much big your garage should be. It’s best to discuss these details with your family to make sure that your new house will meet your standard of living.

There are lots of ways to obtain a desired house plan for your new house. You can search it through the internet and choose from various websites that feature display homes with their corresponding house design plans. Searching for some examples of house plans can be an efficient, smart and fast way of getting and refining ideas in planning and making your own one.

Certainly, a house plan is necessary in building a house. It helps you visualize how the house should look like when it’s fully finished. Seeing the overall layout and house design will make you sure that the architect has met your exact requirements on its structure, features, designs, styles and all other important details in building your house. It also gives the home builder a good overview on its house design and guides him all the way through the entire project. So it’s imperative to not be rush in making a house plan to ensure that all your requirements are met and to avoid mistakes. Ideally, preparing a house plan should take several weeks and need a lot of discussion with your architect or home builder. Doing this gives you a sense that your hew house is built safe and also assures you its quality and excellence.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Dashiell Wood

Top Ten Tips when Buying Real Estate!

In today’s financial climate, real estate continues to be a strong investment in many areas. Educated buyers will always make the most out of the real estate market. These top ten tips to buying real estate will help you enter into your next real estate transaction with confidence.

TIP #1: Hire the right Agent!

Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Every city has different laws governing what can and can’t be done with a property. Sanibel is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States due in part to its strict building codes and city planning. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. I have been an island property owner for many years and have walked through several local real estate transactions myself. From buying and selling lots to building new homes with local builders, to investing in rental income producing properties and utilizing 1031 Tax free exchanges, I don’t just sell island real estate; I invest in it because I believe there is no place in the world like Sanibel and Captiva. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

TIP #2: Utilize 1031 Tax Exchanges and Save Money!

1031 Tax Exchanges are tax free exchanges of investment property. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is one of the last great tax shelters. If you purchase an investment property of „like kind“ within 180 days of the sale of a similar type property, and you are willing to increase the amount of debt or value of the property, your capital gains taxes can be completely deferred. Having just completed a Reverse 1031 tax exchange myself, I believe in using this powerful tax shelter. Feel free to contact me if you are considering using a current Sanibel, Captiva, or Ft. Myers property in a 1031 Tax Exchange, or want to purchase an investment property that might qualify in the future for a 1031 Tax Exchange. A Reverse 1031 Tax Exchange is the same exchange concept as a 1031 Tax Exchange except you have purchased your replacement „like kind“ investment property first, before selling the property to be exchanged. Learn more about 1031 Tax Exchanges, and how to use them to your financial advantage. Keep in mind that a neutral party must have act a Qualified Intermediary. Real Estate may also be bought and sold through your self directed retirement account. Whether you utilize a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, or company plans such as 401 (k) plans, Keogh, or profit sharing plans, investigate your options.

TIP #3: Pre-qualify for Financing!

Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect paradise property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are …the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property. This is especially important if your dream property suddenly has a price reduction. When this occurs other buyers might come into the picture, that didn’t look at that property before it went „On Sale“! Often times a seller will take a financially solid contract over a higher offer. Be ready to put a deal together!

TIP #4: Location, Location, Location!

„Location, location, location“, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

TIP #5: Get a Home Inspection!

Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property „as is“ they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an „as is“ property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report. Don’t rely on the building inspector to look for termites and other harmful pest problems. Although an inspector will see pest damage, it is best to have a separate termite inspection conducted by a licensed company that understands pests and can eliminate them.

TIP #6: Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!

Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow.

Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

TIP #7: Be Realistic!

„Wants“ and „Needs“ are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you „want“ but exceeds the price range that you „need“…. be realistic. Who wouldn’t love a large, oceanfront, professionally decorated home or condominium, with all the bells and whistles? Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you „need“, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you „want“. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

TIP #8: Use Contract Contingencies Wisely!

Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. If you can see that major repairs or replacements need to be made due to neglect or age, make allowances for this in your offering price. The old adage „Everything is negotiable“ still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you. Try to avoid listing cosmetic changes you would like the seller to make as contingencies. Cosmetic changes are subjective, be objective when writing a contract.

TIP #9: Understand Regional Health and Safety Issues!

An informed realtor will help you understand other health and safety issues that should be considered when purchasing a property. Safety and Health topics can include EIFS (Synthetic Stucco), indoor air quality, mold, radon, and lead paint. Many of these require the seller to sign a disclosure statement, while others may not apply due to the age, type of construction, or location of the property being purchased.

TIP #10: Ask for Information!

Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs? I provide many services to insure my buyers always have information at their fingertips.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Eric J. Pfeifer

Real Estate Agents – Discover How to Earn Extra Income With Broker Price Opinion (BPO) Orders

As a real estate agent your business may be hitting hard by the current economic downturn. Your listings no longer sell and your buyers are taking forever to make purchase decisions. Meanwhile you still have to pay office expenses, broker fees, MLS subscriptions, board dues, etc. In this article I will discuss how you can earn extra income with your real estate license in addition to selling houses. Specifically I am talking about performing Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) for banks. I will also reveal a technique I personally use to grab those BPO orders before other agents do.

BPOs are basically mini Comparative Market Analysis (CMAs). Banks order BPOs whenever they want to know the value of the properties. This could happen in many occasions; for example, the owner could be applying for refinance, or the owner could be in default, or the property could be in foreclosure or in need of a short sale. Currently there is a huge demand for these BPO orders due to the foreclosure crisis. Since banks require BPOs to be performed by licensed real estate professionals, you can put your hard earned license to good use.

There are two types of BPOs. An exterior BPO does not require you to get into the property and typically pays $40 – $50. An interior BPO requires interior pictures of the property and typically pays $60 – $90. Granted you don’t earn a whole lot with each BPO order but keep in mind that a BPO can be completed in under an hour or so. Just do 3 to 5 BPOs a week will help pay for your basic expenses.

„Where do I find BPO orders?“

Although BPO orders are placed by banks, contacting banks directly would actually be a waste of time since most banks don’t handle them directly. Instead, they order BPOs through asset management companies. A quick way to find these companies is to Google „asset management companies bpo.“ During your search you will come across some companies that are actually just directories. They usually require you to pay a fee to be listed as a BPO agent. They claim by listing on their directories the asset managers will find you. I have never had any luck with them so my advice is to save your money.

Once you find these companies you simply log on to their web site and register yourself as a „vendor.“ You will be asked to fill out an online application with your information. Most companies will require a copy of your real estate license, your E&O insurance information, a W-9 form, and a list of zip codes or city names of the area you covered. Once you are registered, you will begin to receive emails whenever a BPO order becomes available. To maximum your chance of getting orders, you should try to register with as many companies as possible. I personally have registered with 15 companies and I know some agents have registered with over 50 companies.

One thing to pay attention to is that some of these asset management companies are so called „BPO shops“ where they only handle BPO orders. Clear Capital is a well-known example of such company. On the other hand, some companies may also handle REO properties for banks. If you do a good job with your BPOs for these companies, you will have a chance of getting REO listings. Some companies such as Integrated Asset Services will give you the listing of the property that you performed a BPO on if that property ever becomes an REO. Thus if your goal is to eventually become an REO agent (which it should be as listing REO properties is EXTREMELY lucrative), then you may want to avoid those BPO shops and focus only on companies that can give you REO listings.

„OK. I got registered but I can’t get any BPO orders! What should I do?“

So you started to get emails of BPO requests. You were excited but when you replied to those requests you found the orders have already been taken by other agents. What happened? Well, when most asset management companies send out BPO requests, they don’t just send to one agent but to all agents that cover that particular city or zip code. Whoever answers the email first gets the order. You may be answering your email the second you get it, but your email program may only be querying the mail server every 30 minutes. So you could still be too late by the time you respond.

What can you do about it? Do you need to sit by your computer all day to respond to emails? Here is my solution. I use a separate email address specifically for BPO orders. Then have all emails sent to this address also forwarded to my cell phone email address. Most cell phone numbers have email addresses associated with them. For example, a Verizon Wireless cell would have an email address in the form of cellphonenumber @ vtext.com where „cellphonenumber“ is the phone number. You can contact your cell phone service provider to get that information. Once it’s set up, every time a BPO request comes in, I get a text message to my cell immediately. I can then respond to the email right away. I have been able to get over 90% of BPOs since I implemented this technique.

You now have enough information to get into the BPO industry and the knowledge to beat out competitions. Start earning the extra money with those BPO orders when your regular business is slow and you may even be getting hundreds of REO listings in near future!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Leo Liu

7 Tips on How to Choose Your Lakewood Ranch Realtor

These days it can be quite difficult to sell a Lakewood Ranch home. The real estate market has gone down so quickly that houses are selling for significantly less than they were just a couple of years ago.

For example, houses on our block in Lakewood Ranch are selling for $100,000 dollars less than they were just two years ago.

This makes selling a home in Lakewood Ranch a real challenge.

And, this makes finding the right Lakewood Ranch realtor that much more important.

Unfortunately, many people make crucial mistakes when choosing their realtor…mistakes that can end up costing thousands of dollars…sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.

Here are 7 tips for choosing a Lakewood Ranch Realtor. Tips that will not only help you sell your house, but also save you money!

1. It’s business, it’s not personal – Don’t choose a realtor just because she is your friend. That doesn’t mean you can’t choose a friend to be your realtor…it just means that shouldn’t be the reason you chose her. Choosing a friend to be your realtor can be a huge mistake for two reasons. First of all, just because the person is a good friend doesn’t mean the person is a good realtor. This leads to the second problem, which is your friendship will most likely end.

2. How many listings does the realtor have? A realtor with many listings is not necessarily the best choice. Remember, you want a realtor that is going to devote the necessary time needed to sell YOUR house. If a realtor has many listings then make sure to ask if they have an assistant. Many listings and no assistant simply means the realtor will not be able to put in the time needed to sell your house.

3. When will the realtor list your house in MLS? If you want to sell your Lakewood Ranch home you must be listed in both Sarasota MLS and Manatee County MLS. This is the single most important step in selling your Lakewood Ranch home. Therefore, your realtor should have your house listed in BOTH within 24 hours. There is simply no excuse for a realtor to take one or two weeks get your house listed.

4. How many pictures will the realtor post in your listing? Along with knowing how long it will take to get listed in MLS you should also ask how many pictures will be posted. If there are no pictures in MLS chances are your house will not be shown. Remember, if a picture is worth a thousand words then fifteen pictures is worth fifteen thousand words.

5. Where else will the realtor list your house? While having your home listed in Sarasota and Manatee County MLS is by far the most important, you should also ask your realtor where else your house will be listed. These days many people search for a home on the Internet without a realtor. They search in places like Craigslist, eBay, Yahoo Real Estate, Google, Zillow, Truilla as well as online newspaper websites such as the Sarasota Herald Tribune, New York Times, and the Boston Globe. Make sure your realtor intends to list you in as many (if not all) of these places.

6. Will the realtor tell you the truth? Make sure to find a realtor that has a reputation for being brutally honest. Often times realtors tell their clients just what the client „wants“ to hear. Realtors are often afraid of telling the client the brutal, honest truth. The fact is you are hiring a realtor for their expertise, not just to tell you what you want to hear. Let’s face it…if you bought a house in Lakewood ranch in the summer of 2005 you are NOT going to be able to sell it for the what you paid for it. If you bought your Lakewood Ranch home for $450,000 in 2005 you should expect to sell it for roughly $350,000 in 2008. That’s the brutal, honest truth. A realtor who tells you otherwise is just telling you what you want to hear.

7. Will your realtor cut their commission? This is important! Most brokers will NOT allow their real estate agents to cut their commission. And, even if they do, most realtors are not willing to do so. This is a huge mistake on their part. A typical real estate commission has the seller paying 6% of the sale price (3% to the selling agent and 3% to the buying agent). However, there is absolutely no reason why YOUR agent (the selling agent) should not cut their commission. Just think of the amount of money you can save if your real estate agent only charges you a 1.5% commission. You can literally save thousands of dollars. For example, a Lakewood Ranch house that sells for $500,000 would typically have to pay $30,000 in commissions ($15,000 for each agent). Now, if YOUR agent cuts her commission in half, you just saved yourself $7,500! Again, most brokers will not allow their agents to do this so you MUST ask. If they are unwilling to do so then continue your search for another Lakewood Ranch realtor who is willing to cut her commission.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Tanya Waxler

Which Areas Should You Search For a Good House?

People constantly move around from one place to another. This can be due to various factors such as work assignment, business and employment opportunities and educational pursuits. Being in this situation then often requires families to start anew and search for another home to live in.

House hunting is not an easy task particularly for those who have just moved to a new place. But with a little research and some help from colleagues, one can surely find an ideal residential property worth living in whether permanently or temporarily. A primary source of information today that people can rely on is the internet. Being considered an information highway, it offers a wealth of resources and it’s also cheap and easy to use.

So where then should you start your search? Depending on your personal preference, there are various factors that people normally take into account when hunting for a new home.

Type of residence. Before you begin searching for an ideal location, it is important to determine first what kind of residence you want to stay in. Would it be an apartment, a condo or a house? Consider how many members are there in the family. If there are just three of you, you may want to initially rent out a small apartment and when settled, start looking for a permanent home.

Buy or rent. From the first step, you should then decide whether you’re going to buy a new home right away or just rent out for several months. When in a new place, though, it may be a good idea to rent out first while you’re still learning about the home buying process and real estate laws in the area. Also, renting an apartment is a cheaper option especially for families conscious of their budget.

Near your place of work. If you’ve been assigned to a new location due to your work, a major consideration for most employees is accessibility to their office. This is not only convenient but cost effective as well in terms of use of gasoline.

Near the school. For those with children, living near a school is a good option. In this way, the kids won’t have to travel a long distance just to get to school. It’s also an ideal way to save on gas.

Near the city center. If being near shops, supermarkets and financial institutions such as banks is important to you, then a location near the city center would be best. However, you have to be prepared to pay a higher price since properties near the heart of the city are often expensive.

Outside of the city or the suburbs. For people who prefer a quiet environment and a place outside of the hustle and bustle of city life, the suburbs or areas outside the city is a great place to live in. Here you will savor your privacy and quiet time with your family.

Remember to consider your needs first and foremost before you look for a good place to live in with your spouse and children. This will make your house hunting easier and faster.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Kalyan Kumar

The Advantages of Cyprus Property For Sale

One has to always be careful when investing in real estate. The real estate market is subject to extreme fluctuations and so potential buyers should keep an eye open and find the best deals possible. An excellent opportunity is available in Cyprus property for sale for those who choose to avail it.

For many years, Cyprus had been at the center of a conflict between Turkey and Greece leading to a de-facto partition of the beautiful island. Those problems, thankfully, are now behind them and Cyprus has become a premier tourist destination. That is why Cyprus property for sale is so inviting for those, who want a summer home. People living in cooler climes can relax in the blazing Cyprus sun and take in the country’s pristine beaches, sandy shores and wonderful waves.

Spending time in Cyprus will introduce you to its varied and exotic culture, including numerous festivals, famous pubs and well-known clubs for dancing. Cyprus mixes the charm of the old world with all the modern conveniences and amenities, such as first-rate hospitals and schools, one would expect in an advanced country.

For those, who may not want to live there, Cyprus property for sale can still offer a first-rate investment. Property values in the country have been on the rise and are expected to reach even higher levels. Buying property there to quickly turn it around can be quite lucrative for those looking to make quick money.

Businessmen, too, may want to take advantage of Cyprus property for sale. Unlike most countries in Western Europe and the United States of America, Cyprus has a very low income tax. This makes it ideal for those who want off-shore accounts or are simply looking for a retirement home. The absence of an inheritance tax also makes Cyprus the ideal place to buy real estate.

As is true elsewhere, there is no one price for Cyprus property for sale. Depending on your needs and budgets, suitable real estate can be found for just about every one, from a one-bedroom apartment to vast estates and everything in between. The Internet is an excellent resource for researching the properties on sale and how much they may cost. This way, those looking to invest in real estate in Cyprus can also compare prices different real estate agents and websites are offering and chose the best one.

An alternative is to contact local real-estate agencies. One advantage of this, even though it might be slightly more expensive, is that these people are experts and for that extra cost can provide the benefit of knowing the lay of the land. This way they might be able to get their clients property in a good neighborhood which is near excellent schools and has good public transportation.

Cyprus property for sale has disproved the notion that every country in the world is seeing a dip in its real estate market. There are bargains to be had and money to be made for those willing to spend the time to search for it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Robert Linley

What Is Spuds?

Spuds is what REALTORS call the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS). It is a multi-page document that sellers typically provide with information about the house and all its major systems (e.g. air conditioning, plumbing, roof, etc.).

In Arizona, sellers are required to disclose any material fact they are aware of regarding the property. The SPDS is a form created by the Arizona Association of REALTORS (AAR) to standardize the way sellers disclose material facts about the property.

The standard AAR Residential Purchase Contract has a provision requiring sellers to provide SPDS to buyers within 5 days of contract acceptance. Buyers have until the end of the inspection period or 5 days from receipt of the SPDS (whichever is later) to provide notice of any disapproved items disclosed in the SPDS.

Contrary to what many people think, the SPDS is not required by law. It is only a provision in the standard AAR Residential Purchase Contract. The law requires sellers to disclose material information. Sellers can do it in any other document they choose.

The other common myth about the SPDS is that once the seller provides it, he has no further obligation to disclose new material facts. That could not be farther from the truth. Seller’s obligation to disclose remains during the whole escrow period. If seller becomes aware of a material fact that was not originally disclosed, he has an obligation to disclose and give the buyer 5 days to review and provide notice of disapproved items. This is typically done through issuance of a revised SPDS.

Many sellers will not accept contracts that require them to provide a SPDS and they will ask buyers to remove the provision from the contract. Banks selling foreclosures will typically ask buyers to waive SPDS based on the claim that the bank has limited knowledge about the property. One important thing to remember is that even when SPDS is waived, the seller still has the obligation to disclose all material facts.

Your REALTOR should review the SPDS, its importance, and implications when sellers ask buyers to waive SPDS. Buyers should understand all the ramifications and make an informed decision whether they are willing to waive SPDS or not.

And before I close this article I would like to leave you with a thought. If you are a seller, I would strongly encourage you to prepare a SPDS when you put the property on the market. You can even make the document available for prospective buyers. It will show them that you are on top of your obligations and that if they decide to submit an offer you will not cause any delays to the process. Very few sellers do that and it usually has such a positive impact on potential buyers. If you do that when you list the property, once you accept an offer all you have to do is re-read the document and make sure that it is still valid and up-to-date. Ask your REALTOR to help you fill the SPDS as soon as possible.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jose Dias

Homes For Sale by Owner – Top Ten Secrets For Selling Your Home Yourself

So, you have decided to sell your home by yourself! You can save many thousands of dollars if you are successful. I have written this guide to assist you. I have seen many FSBOs have unrealistic expectations, and make mistakes along the way that ultimately prevent them from being successful. Did you know that 80% of FSBOs ultimately list their home with a Realtor? I hope these ideas will help put you in the other 20%.

Am I trying to put myself out of business? No. Do I think everyone has the right to sell their home however they see fit? Yes. If your circumstances change, and you decide you want a professional to sell your home for you, please call Gold Valley Realty. We are a full service brokerage firm with a flexible commission structure that is hard to beat.

Tip 1 * Plan Your Strategy

First of all, by when must your home be sold? Is nine months from now OK? Or will you not be able to close on your new home if your current home isn’t sold in nine weeks? What are the consequences and financial impacts if your deadline is not met? Time is a FSBO’s friend.

As of October 2008, the average marketing time for an average priced home listed by a Realtor in the Tucson MLS (Multiple Listing Service) was 78 days. This time varies considerably by location and price range. Ask Gold Valley Realty what the average is for your neighborhood. As a general rule, it normally takes a FSBO about twice as long to sell their home as it does a Realtor with MLS access. In either case, add to that the normal 30 day period from contract negotiation and acceptance until the final closing of the deal.

The name of the game in selling a home is getting as many qualified buyers through the door as possible. Who is a qualified buyer? One who can afford your home! One who verifiably has either the cash or financing available to buy your home. Realtors quickly learn to qualify their buyers before spending a lot of time working for them. You should too.

Speaking of Realtors, are you going to „cooperate“ with them? That is, if they bring the buyer that ultimately buys your home, are you willing to pay them? If so, how much? The vast majority of homes listed in the MLS offer compensation of three percent of the sales price to the buyer’s agent. In my experience, around 90% of FSBOs offer compensation to buyer’s agents.

How do you plan on getting qualified buyers through YOUR front door? Various methods are discussed in detail below.

What is your marketing budget? When and on what are you going to spend it?

Who is going to negotiate and prepare the contract for the sale of your home? Who is going to monitor escrow to quickly identify and resolve any potential deal breakers?

Tip 2 * Price your home correctly.

This obvious step will have the single biggest impact on the success or failure of your temporary career as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Yet for most FSBOs this can also be one of the most challenging actions.

The market value of your home is what a ready, willing, and able buyer is willing to pay you for it.

How much a buyer is willing to pay for your home is dependent upon his personal circumstances and motivation; available competing properties in your area; and the prices of recently sold comparable homes in your neighborhood. Information on competing properties and recently sold „comps“ is available through several sources. We highly recommend getting a professional appraisal of your home. That will cost you around $300. Having an objective appraisal in hand has several advantages, not the least of which is being able to provide your buyer with a solidly defensible price established by an independent expert.

There are situations in which it may be more important for you to sell your home quickly rather than getting every last dollar out of your home. In this case, you may wish to price your home a few percent below the appraised value. However, your best bet if time is a serious consideration for you is to list your home with a Realtor. One of the extra benefits of listing with Gold Valley Realty is that we reimburse you for the appraisal at closing! Even if you had the appraisal done while FSBO.

Tip 3 * Marketing Materials

The single most effective marketing tool, by far, is the yard sign! Make yours professional looking. Look for a sign company in your city. Buy one of the information tubes that hang below your yard sign, and stuff it with flyers.

Your flyer should include at least one color photograph, and highlight the facts about your home, especially the asking price, number of bedrooms, square footage, special features, and schools.

Ask if you can post your flyers at nearby grocery stores, churches, schools, apartments, health clubs, country clubs, golf courses, travel agencies, insurance agencies, beauty salons, title companies, mortgage companies! Give some to your friends and neighbors too.

Publish your home information on the world wide web. An increasing number of homebuyers use the internet as a valuable information source.

Newspaper ads can be somewhat useful, more so if used in conjunction with open houses.

Tip 4 * Staging Your Home for Showing

As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression! Make sure it is a good one. Make sure your front yard is looking good. Is the handle on your front door showing its age? Replace it. Make sure your home is clean and tidy. Open all drapes, blinds, and shutters. Turn on every light in the house, day or night. A sparsely furnished room shows better than a cluttered room. If you have accumulated a lot of extra stuff over the years, put it in storage! You are moving soon anyway. Does your home pass the sniff test? If you have pets, or are a smoker, it might not. In that case, either replace or professionally deodorize your carpets. If you are having an open house, bake some bread or cookies to make your home smell great.

Tip 5 * Security & Showing Your Home

You can show your home either by appointment or by holding an open house. Setting appointments can be difficult if you are not usually available to answer the phone number on your ads and flyers. You might consider using a voice mail or a live answering service (starting at about $35 per month) to field your ad calls rather than using your home telephone. This offers some security benefits as well.

It is unlikely, though unfortunately not impossible, that criminals will use this opportunity to steal your possessions or hurt your family. A little preparation can go a long way to minimize that possibility.

Consider renting a safety deposit box to store your valuable jewelry, coins, guns, stamps, and memorabilia. Make a list and videotape the contents of your home, and store them in your safe deposit box, or at work. You should also hide cash and prescription drugs in a non-obvious place prior to showing your home.

Have your spouse, friend, or neighbor with you when you show your home. If the „buyer“ is making you nervous or acting suspiciously, ask them to leave.

Tip 6 * Cooperating with Buyer’s Agents

Virtually all homes offered for sale in the Tucson Multiple Listing Service (MLS) have a standing offer of cooperation for a three percent (3.0%) or more commission for the agent that ultimately procures the buyer. You might want to make the same offer to any Realtors that contact you. Why?

Most homebuyers are either already working with a real estate agent, or will be soon after their home search starts. Why? They can get professional representation at NO COST, as the buyer’s agents commission is paid for by the home seller. This means that a buyer can have an agent screen homes for him, set up appointments, accompany him on appointments, advise him as to a home’s market value, write up the offer, negotiate with the seller (or the seller’s agent), set up escrow, be there for inspections, handle any problems that arise, coordinate with the other businesses involved (mortgage company, home inspectors, escrow, title insurance), review final documents for contract compliance, and be there at the closing, all for FREE. Why then would a buyer buy a home without a Realtor working for him?

Tip 7 * Pre-qualify Potential Buyers

Failure of the buyer to qualify for a loan is the single most common cause of a FSBO’s deal falling apart.

Realtors get their buyers pre-qualified with a lender before spending much time and effort on their behalf. I personally will meet with a buyer for an initial consultation whether or not they are pre-qualified, but won’t go beyond that until I know they can either obtain financing or pay cash. I certainly recommend that you don’t enter into a contract with a buyer until you have independent confirmation of their ability to get financing or pay cash. Ask for the name and phone number of their loan officer. Call the loan officer and explain the situation; ask him or her if the buyers can qualify for a mortgage sufficient to buy your home.

Tip 8 * Use Professional Contracts

The contract in use by Realtors nationwide have evolved over time to cover almost all contingencies and disputes that have arisen in the past. I highly recommend that you use this contract, rather than a generic, do-it-yourself real estate contract. Arizona has unique laws and customs about selling real estate. A contract that is useful in another state will not be optimized for use in Arizona. If you have found a buyer, and want to write up a contract, contact a local real estate brokerage and see if you can get a copy of a blank contract.

Tip 9 * Monitor Escrow Closely

You are almost there! You found a buyer, negotiated and signed a contract, and opened escrow with a reputable title company. Actually, there is still much to be done before you sign over the deed at the title company and collect your money.

The buyer will normally have the right to perform whatever inspections he desires in the first 10 days or so after contract acceptance. If he finds problems with the house, roof, appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing, etc., he can either cancel the contract, or ask you to repair or replace the deficiencies. This can be a vexing situation. You as the seller may feel that the buyer is asking for too much. This is something that can be negotiated, but needs to be done diplomatically. Try to keep your pride and emotions from interfering with you ultimate objective of getting the house sold.

Get a written Conditional Loan Approval (CLA) from the mortgage company within the first 10 days after contract acceptance. This is much stronger than a verbal „pre-qualification“, and means your deal has a high probability of closing. Contact the mortgage company about 5 business days before you are scheduled to close; make sure that their documents will be available to the escrow company at least one day before you are due to sign the closing papers.

Tip 10 * Closing Escrow

One last note about closing. Closing on a home sale in Arizona is defined as the documents being recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. After the buyer and seller have signed, the loan package must go back to the mortgage company for final inspection. The mortgage company will then actually transfer funds to the escrow company. Only then can the escrow company send a runner down to the County Recorder’s Office and record the sale. The bottom line is, sign the paperwork the day before the actual closing.

Congratulations!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Mark Snyder

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