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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Minimizing Buyer's Remorse with Bernice Ross
This installment of Decoding Real Estate is all about how to set home buyer expectations and curb buyer remorse in the current, shifting market. Real estate coach and nationally syndicated columnist Bernice Ross joins the DRE crew to discuss different strategies on how to approach buyers and how to pre-communicate to them in this new, high interest rate market. Bernice gives tips on in-depth buyer interviews and how to assess new home wants versus new home needs. She also offers other great ideas on communication preferences, how to prep first-timers on paperwork, disclosures and key transaction dates. And, of course, reasons to provide buyers with RPR property reports. Decoding Real Estate is hosted by Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett. Subscribe/Follow And be sure to check out these helpful and relevant links: RealEstateCoach.com Realtors Property Resource Listen on: Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Why Your Buyer May Be Dissatisfied with Their New Home
Everyone wants to know that their purchase is satisfaction guaranteed. But FOMO (the fear of missing out) has led to "I can't get no satisfaction" for many people across the nation. Homebuyer's remorse is not something you want to hear about when trying to build your real estate business. It is difficult for buyers to fully understand a property when there is a lack of reliable information. Quick listings and even quicker property sales have led to many dissatisfied homeowners. However, there are ways to help your clients get the satisfaction they deserve by giving them the tools and resources to work with. Understand the buyer's needs It is said that there is a buyer for every house. That may be true, but how do you know which buyer is for which house? Focus on the needs of your clients. Forty-three percent of homebuyers are concerned with commuting costs and convenience to their jobs, according to a 2022 NAR report. They want to own their home, but the past couple of years and the fear of missing out has led to impulse decisions. You may find a home within the ideal proximity to their place of employment, but the buyer needs to know that their new living space will accommodate their furniture, family, and lifestyle. Examining floor plans and 3D tours helps everyone understand the fit and flow of a home. Things of regret The majority of homebuyers over the past year experienced some form of homebuyer's remorse. Regrets include miscalculating the overall costs of owning a home, paying too much, poor layout and wrong location. Though not much can be done about unforeseen maintenance costs, a buyer would benefit from an accurate floor plan if one was provided before the purchase. Highly detailed floor plans with intuitive navigation allow potential buyers to understand the space before moving into it. Advanced measurement tools make it easy to measure for future renovations to avoid spending extra money on mistakes. Try before you buy Fear of missing out can have your buyer seeking a new home before they have settled into the one they just bought. That may sound like the perfect opportunity to make another sale, but a dissatisfied buyer may also seek out another agent who can guide them on their buyer's journey with better results. The "try before you buy" method of understanding the fit and flow of a home can help. Interactive floor plans and 3D tours allow a buyer to picture living in the space. Proptech tools offered by companies like iGUIDE® assist the buyer by giving them the ability to play with the space by virtually changing colors and fixtures or modifying floor plans. Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware! One way to avoid a serious case of homebuyer's remorse is to be aware of the big picture. Help your clients with a little "construction" criticism. All houses have the potential to be the perfect home when you remove a wall here and there or add an extra bathroom. However, before beginning any major or minor construction, it is wise to speak with an architect to discuss the viability of the property's floor plan. Theoretically, you can change any home with an unlimited budget, but in reality, changing the house to match that 3D tour you loved from HGTV requires time, money and a whole lot of planning. Foresight is better than hindsight The fear of missing out has led homebuyers into a frenzy of grabbing up properties without fully considering all the facts. Now some of those unhappy homeowners will want to re-sell their pandemic purchases. With home sales falling back in 2022 you can give your new listings a competitive edge by using 3D tour technology and floor plans to successfully market properties. Have a little foresight by ensuring measurements are ANSI-Z765-2021 compliant and ready for Fannie Mae appraisal requirements to help speed up the mortgage process. It may be better to regret doing something than to regret not doing something, but not when it comes to one of the largest acquisitions in someone's life. According to a recent article from Zillow, homebuyer's remorse is as high as 75%. You can help the buyer avoid regretting their purchase by communicating the important aspects of every home, from location to floor plans. Make those regrets too few to mention. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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What Is the Most Valuable Service Buyer Agents Provide?
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Friday Freebie: 7 Real Estate Spreadsheets + Calculator Tools
To know where you're going, you've got to know where you've been. And when it comes to business, that often means a little number crunching. Fortunately, there are tools that can do that for you. And in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting an entire toolbox—seven spreadsheets and calculators for everything from daily planning, to budget forecasting, to mortgage calculators, and beyond. Read on to learn how to download these tools for yourself. 7 Free Real Estate Spreadsheets + Calculator Tools, courtesy of Zurple This set offers two types of tools: ones that help you behind the scenes of your business, and tools you can use with your clients to help them throughout the sales process. The Home Search Tracker tool, for example, lets buyers compare multiple homes across a variety of criteria like price, square footage, age of features like the roof and HVAC, and more. The Sales Growth Calculator helps you forecast future profits and chart a path for getting your business there. Here's everything that's included in this complete toolset from Zurple: 2022-2023 Calendar and Schedule Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Tool Comparative Home Search Tracker Lead Generation and Marketing Budget Calculator Mortgage Payment Calculator and Amortization Schedule Tool Sales Growth, Expenses and Profits Forecast Calculator Transaction and GCI Tracker Get started helping your business and your clients. Download these 7 Real Estate Spreadsheets and Calculator Tools now!
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RPR Now Boasts a Better Buyer Tour
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Tips for Buyers on Choosing Their Next Neighborhood
Have buyer clients that need clear strategies for choosing a new neighborhood? Share this article with them to help them learn how to narrow down the best area for their unique needs. Deciding to move and buying a house can be a stressful, yet exciting process. One of the biggest decisions you'll make when beginning your home search is where you will live. After you decide on the location of your new home, it's time to pick your new neighborhood. Picking your new neighborhood can be tough, especially if you have a family. It's important choose the safest and most practical neighborhood with something for everyone! Neighborhood Safety The first and most important thing to consider when choosing your next neighborhood is the overall safety of the area. At Homes.com, we know the importance of safety, so we have created the "Scores" section on every listing details page of every home for sale or rent.  On the "Scores" section, you can see the Walk Score, Sound Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score.  How Walkable Is the Neighborhood? To find the "Scores" section, go to any property listing details page and scroll past the "Transit" section. Once you get to the "Scores" section, you will see the Walk Score. The Walk Score tells you the walkability of the address and gives you a score out of 100. According to Walkscore.com, a score from 0-20 and 25-49 means Car-Dependent, 50-69 means Somewhat Walkable, 70-89 means Very Walkable, and 90-100 means Walker's Paradise. Even though a Walk Score below 59 seems low, if the score is between 25-49, your family may still be able to walk around the neighborhood, but you won't be able to run errands on foot. If you want an area that's more friendly to walkers, try to find a home in an area that has a walk score above 50. How Loud Is It? To learn about how loud your neighborhood will be, check the Sound Score. Below the Walk Score, you will see the Sound Score. The Sound Score tells you about the outside noise level at the address. The scale for the Sound Score is from 0 to 100. Zero is very loud, and 100 is very quiet. Getting a good night's rest, no matter who you are, is important, so if you are concerned about the sound near your home, it's best to choose a home with a sound score between 70 and 100. Is There Transit Nearby? To check on nearby transit for you and your family, check the Transit Score. You should see the Transit Score to the right of the Walk and Sound Score on the listing details page. The Transit Score tells you how close the address is to nearby public transit, and the scale is from 0 to 100. According to Walkscore.com, a score from 0-24 means Minimal Transit, 25-49 means Some Transit, 50-69 means Good Transit, 70-89 means Excellent Transit, and 90-100 means Rider's Paradise. Using public transit is not only an environmentally conscious decision, but it's a more affordable option than using a car every day. If you want to ensure that your new neighborhood has as many public transportation options as possible, pick a home that has a Transit Score above 50.  Is It Safe to Ride a Bike? To learn about how safe it is to ride bikes in the neighborhood, check out the Bike Score. The last part of the "Scores" section is the Bike Score section, located below Transit Score. According to Walkscore.com, the scale is 0 to 100. A score of 0-49 means Somewhat Bikeable, 50-69 means Bikeable, 70-89 means Very Bikeable, and 90-100 means Biker's Paradise. If you and your family enjoy riding your bikes together, you should look for a home with a Bike Score of at least 50 and above to ensure all of your rides are as safe as possible.   Streetlights Next, look around and see how many streetlights will be near your new home. At night, a few streetlights will help you and your family feel safer. If you see streetlights on your street but they don't come on at night, you might be required to pay a small monthly fee to your power company to keep the lights on. This sometimes occurs in areas outside the city limits. Crime Rates Finally, to get the best idea of the safety in your new neighborhood, you should check out the crime in the area. On City Protect, you can check out the nearest law enforcement agencies and see the incidents happening near the neighborhood. You can also sign up for incident updates to always be in the know and protect your family. Commute to Work Another big consideration you need to make before choosing your next neighborhood is your daily commute to work. You may find a neighborhood you love, but the commute may be over an hour to and from, and that commute could be even longer depending on traffic. Therefore, you should put the home and work addresses into Google Maps to see how long the commute will be. If the commute seems too far, you should pick a neighborhood closer to work.  Schools If you have kids, you'll likely want to check out the schools in the neighborhood you are considering. We have created the "Schools" section on every listing details page. The "Schools" section is below the "Request a Tour" section. Typically, each listing has four schools listed. With each school, you will learn its score out of 10, whether it's elementary, middle, or high school, if the school is public, private, or charter, and how long of a car ride or walk it is from that address. Homes.com gets their school's scores from greatschools.org. Greatschools.org is a website where you can search by the address or name of the school and check out the overall ranking of schools and their test scores. By learning the most about the schools in the area, you can be sure that you are sending your children to the best schools available. Amenities Nearby You might also want to consider the amenities you would like your neighborhood to have, whether it's a park, pool, gym, or restaurant. Determine what kind of amenities would be best for you and your family to enjoy. To find out more about your new neighborhood's amenities, scroll down to the "Parks and Recreation" section or the "Property Details" section on the listing details page. Having these amenities is fun for the whole family and a great resource when making new friends in your neighborhood.   Engagement Speaking of making new friends, you may want to consider the engagement of your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods host group events such as block parties around the holidays. If you and your family enjoy these types of activities, then try and find a neighborhood with a community that engages with one another. Most neighbors that have a lot of engagement usually have an HOA. An HOA is a homeowners' association that charges monthly fees to residents to maintain the neighborhood and keep engagement high. To learn more about HOAs, check out our article, What Is an HOA, or Homeowners Association? Hopefully now you know how to pick the safest and most comfortable neighborhood for you and your family. And if you ever get stuck, Homes.com is here with our Search feature to help you find the perfect home! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Buyers and Their Tech: How Technology Can Help Them Find Their Next Home
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Walk Scores, Bike Scores, Transit Scores, and Sound Scores: How to Use Them in the House Hunting Journey
While viewing property listings online can provide valuable insight on what available homes look like, traditional online listings can fail to provide a comprehensive view of the neighborhoods and communities these homes reside in. Homes.com, on the other hand, takes house hunting to the next level with its livability scores, which give users an idea of what it's like to live in a specific community or part of town. Homes.com offers four of these scores: a walk score, a bike score, a transit score, and a sound score, three of which gauge the ease of transportation, and one of which gauges the noisiness of a property or community. Let's break each of these scores down further: Walk Scores A walk score measures how walkable a listing's neighborhood is. Walk scores range from 0 to 100, with a 0 indicating little to no walkability in a location, and a 100 indicating ample walkability. Ranges: 90-100 = "Walker's Paradise" 70-89 = "Very Walkable" 50-69 = "Somewhat Walkable" 0-49 = "Car-Dependent" According to the Walk Score website, a "Walker's Paradise" rating insinuates that everyday errands can be accomplished on foot. In other words, these properties are situated close to grocery stores, restaurants, and public buildings like schools, libraries, post offices, and government offices. A rating of "Very Walkable" implies that most, but not all, errands can be accomplished on foot. These properties are likely close to some public buildings and resources, but far from others. A "Somewhat Walkable" rating suggests only some errands can be accomplished by walking. A rating of "Car-Dependent" indicates that most, if not all, errands require a car to be completed. These properties are likely found in city suburbs or small towns, areas which are directly impacted by urban sprawl, a process where developers acquire large quantities of undeveloped land in order to build communities of low-density housing (i.e., single-family homes), usually surrounding metropolitan areas. Bike Scores A bike score measures how bike-friendly a neighborhood is. Bike scores also range from 0 to 100, with a 0 indicating a non-bike-friendly neighborhood, and a 100 indicating a very bike-friendly neighborhood. Ranges: 90-100 = "Biker's Paradise" 70-89 = "Very Bikeable" 50-69 = "Bikeable" 0-49 = "Somewhat Bikeable" According to Walk Score, a "Biker's Paradise" rating indicates that everyday errands can be accomplished on a bike. These properties are likely located in areas with ample bike infrastructure, like bike lanes, racks, shelters, and traffic signals. A rating of "Very Bikeable" suggests that a variety of biking options are available for the public to use, though these areas have their limitations. Residents should be able to bike to most places, but probably need to rely on other forms of transportation to get to others. A "Bikeable" rating implies that an area offers limited options for bikers. It's likely that some forms of bike infrastructure are present, but not enough to rely on biking as a steady mode of transportation. A rating of "Somewhat Bikeable" hints that an area offers few to no forms of bike infrastructure. Biking in these areas is likely challenging or dangerous, so bikers would probably have a hard time navigating these types of neighborhoods. Transit Scores A transit scale measures how close a property is to methods of public transportation. Transit scores also range from 0 to 100. Ranges: 90-100 = "Rider's Paradise" 70-89 = "Excellent Transit" 50-69 = "Good Transit" 25-49 = "Some Transit" 0-24 = "Minimal Transit" (public transportation is rare or not an option) Walk Score's website states that a "Rider's Paradise" rating implies that properties are surrounded by high-quality methods of public transportation that are also easy to access. Properties with this rating are usually within metropolitan areas with close access to subways, buses, light rails, or passenger trains. A rating of "Excellent Transit" indicates that some forms of public transportation are available, but is limited overall. Such forms of transportation can carry residents to most of the places they need to go, but probably not all of them. A "Good Transit" rating suggests that public transportation is moderately accessible, but could also be unreliable or even inconvenient to use. A "Some Transit" rating hints that public transportation options are minimal and likely inconvenient to use, either due to lower quality service or crowding due to overuse. A rating of "Minimal Transit" indicates that public transportation is either rare or not an option. Properties with this rating are likely located in smaller towns with little to no funding going toward public transit. It's no surprise that these communities also tend to depend more on cars to get around. Sound Scores A sound score measures the noisiness of a property, ranging from 0 to 100. HowLoud doesn't have a rating rubric on their website, but the company specifies that properties in louder areas receive lower scores, while properties in quieter areas receive higher scores. Where to Access Homes.com Livability Scores You can find the "Scores" section in between the "Transit" and "Property Details" sections of any listing. All four scores will be present on each listing, but some scores may read "N/A" if Walk Score or HowLoud don't have enough data to assign a score to a particular listing. Choosing a neighborhood to live in is almost as important as selecting a house. Make sure you know all the details of a property before deciding on a new home, including the various ways in which you can comfortably navigate the community around you! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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3 Tips to Submit a Competitive Offer in Under 120 Seconds
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How to Work with Millennial and Gen-Z Clients
Those in the Millennial generation and younger now make up more than half of the U.S. population and account for more than 38% of today's homebuyers--by far the largest proportion among all generations. That percentage will only keep growing as Millennials and Gen-Zers age and continue to enter the real estate market. So often, this is portrayed as a worrisome prospect since these individuals are more digitally minded and tech-savvy than any other generation. Business owners are told to adapt or get left behind. There is truth to this, but for real estate agents, it's not the gloom-and-doom scenario that it's made out to be. That's because agents have been incorporating online search and communication methods into the way they work with clients for years now. Consider this: More than 90% of Millennial buyers are using the internet to search for their dream home. While that's the highest share among all age groups, others also frequently use third-party search sites at high rates to search for homes. We've witnessed agents adapting as these statistics continue to rise. Every year, more agents across the country are using the Homesnap app to collaborate with clients on their home search. The upward trend we've seen at Homesnap, especially as it relates to mobile, reflects broader home-buying trends. Nearly 80% of Millennials who used their smartphone to look at properties ended up finding their future home on their mobile device, according to the 2020 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. This generation's clear preference for on-demand, on-the-go access is not something to feel anxiety over. There is no ambiguity in how they want to conduct their search—only an opportunity for agents to meet them where they are and work together in an efficient way. If you aren't already using Homesnap with your clients, you should be. It's the most user-friendly app, both for tech-savvy young people and older generations that aren't as digitally inclined. It's always ad-free, too, as we never sell space on listing pages to competing agents. Here are the top three ways you can use the Homesnap app to guide your clients on their home-buying journey. 1. Agent-Client Connection To use Homesnap with your clients, first make sure you are connected in the app. This protects your relationship by giving them a search experience that is branded to you. That means that as clients look at properties, the only agent they will see and be able to contact in Homesnap is you. This connected relationship also gives you clear insight into their home search. As their primary agent, you will be able to see the properties they view and favorite, as well as receive News Feed alerts when the status of a favorited property changes. To connect with your clients in the Homesnap app, simply tap the Invite icon in the Me tab or share your profile link via email or text. When they register or accept your invitation (if they already had an account), we will automatically create a connected relationship. You can view your client list to see who has accepted and resend an invitation if needed. 2. Searching for Properties We are a partner to your local MLS. As such, you can count on Homesnap to show accurate, real-time housing data. We continually sync our system with the MLS to ensure we capture new and updated listing information. When you start working with your client in Homesnap, be sure to show them these powerful search capabilities: Search by Commute: This handy tool allows you to input multiple addresses so you can find a home that is within a particular drive time of all locations that are important to you. For example, your clients can limit their search to only homes that are within 20 minutes of work, daycare, the gym, a particular school and grandma's house. Custom Area Search: Searching at the zip code, neighborhood or city level doesn't always capture all the locations a client is considering moving to. For added flexibility, you can draw a custom search area on the map and only see homes located within those borders. School Attendance Zones: Clients who have children often want to ensure their kids can attend a particular school. With Homesnap's Schools layer, you can search for homes located in a specified school's attendance zone. Saved Search: When you (or your clients) get to searching, you'll likely be adding filters on top of Search by Commute details within a custom-drawn area. You don't need to redo your specifications every time you power up Homesnap. When all your criteria are in place, just tap Save Search. You can name it (e.g., The Johnson's first choice) and enable push notifications and/or emails to alert you whenever there is new market activity within your search parameters. 3. In-app Communication Since you're already collaborating with your clients in Homesnap, it makes sense to centralize your communication in the app as well. That way, your clients aren't searching their emails and texts trying to find that one property you sent four days ago. It'll all be easily accessible within Homesnap. When you share a property with your client via in-app messages, that conversation is noted on the property listing page under the heading "Related Conversations." Agents and clients alike find this helpful when they've been viewing numerous properties and need help remembering whether they've already shared a particular home. A Final Thought Today's buyers expect their home search to include digital components. Make sure you're encouraging your clients to connect with you in Homesnap and use the app to make their home-buying journey a smooth one. The experience will make your clients feel like part of the process, instead of like onlookers, during the search for their dream home. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: The Simplified Homebuyer Guide
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New Realtor.com Buying Power Tool Shows What Homes Are Affordable Based on the Buyer's Finances
With interest rates constantly changing and home prices at all-time highs, understanding what you can afford has never been more important. To give buyers a more objective view of their budget, Realtor.com has introduced a new buying power tool to help home shoppers see whether a specific home is "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." It uses a home a shopper's specific financial details, current mortgage rates, taxes, insurance and HOA fees to determine if the monthly payments will be comfortable. Buying power labels now appear directly on home listings on Realtor.com, making Realtor.com the first national home search site where shoppers can filter their search by selecting their desired affordability range. Recent Realtor.com surveys found that more than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers were surprised by what they could actually afford for their first home. Additionally, 32% of recent buyers found it difficult to understand how changing mortgage rates affected their monthly payments and 62% were surprised by closing costs. Realtor.com's affordability calculator and buying power tool can help prevent these unhappy surprises during the home buying process. "There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize that you can't afford it, and nothing more exciting than realizing you can afford that dream home. However, there are many factors that go into affordability," said Colleen Coyle, vice president, product management, Realtor.com. "We introduced this tool to help shoppers better understand how much home they can afford and if specific homes fit their budget given their personal financial situation. This tool is especially important right now with rising interest rates – which can add hundreds of dollars to monthly payments and impact buying power." A home's affordability is more than just the asking price. Many first-time home buyers don't realize the added costs of things such as HOA fees, taxes and insurance, not to mention closing costs, which can really add up. Realtor.com's new buying power features give home shoppers the opportunity to input their monthly income, debt payments and savings to determine their budget. Users can save this information to their buyer profile and then search only for homes that fit that budget. To calculate buying power, buyers can visit the Realtor.com affordability calculator and enter their income, monthly debt payments and available funds. By saving this information to their profile, listings on Realtor.com will include an affordability label – "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." Users can also filter their search by homes that are within their desired affordability range. Learn more here.
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Termination of Real Estate Contract by Buyer: A Guide for Agents and Buyers
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer's Cheat Sheet for Winning in a Hot Market
Ever notice how real estate tends to use a lot of battle-related metaphors? You win listings and beat the competition and even shield yourself from liability by following established guidelines. Today's low-inventory market has become something of a battlefield as well, especially for the average buyer (and their agents). Let's face it—potential homebuyers can use all the help they can get these days! That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're arming you and your buyers with a cheat sheet that will help you push forward, defeat the enemy (other buyers), and capture the home of your clients' dreams. Free copy of the 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple The current market means buyers have to do more than simply find a home they want—they also have to know how to act quickly and decisively. Get your battle strategy ready by helping your buyers understand the current market's landscape—including why prices are high and inventory is low—how to prepare, and what tools you have in your real estate arsenal. Here's what Zurple's 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet offers to help you do just that: Explanations for what's causing the current seller's market Advice for preparing your buyer for a competitive market How to develop a competitive-advantage offer strategy What NOT to do with your buyer Buyer's agent scripts Market stats worksheet for showing YOY price increases Bonus tips for helping your buyer and finding more inventory And more! Ready to lead your buyers to victory? Download your FREE copy of the 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet: How to Win in a Hot Market now!
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Friday Freebie: Home Buyer Packet Templates
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Friday Freebie: 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists
Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful process. That's doubly true in today's fast-paced market of low inventory and cash offers. And while you're a professional who knows how to stay cool, calm and collected no matter what, sometimes your client's stress impacts you, too. This week's Friday Freebie to the rescue! To help you and your clients stay on top of everything during the home sales process, we're highlighting a collection of eight buyer and seller checklists that will keep everyone organized all the way through moving day. Read on to learn how to claim these free checklists! 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists, courtesy of Zurple We have a confession: we love checklists. Not only do they make planning and execution so much easier, but they're also a great way to draw in new leads. These eight checklists from Zurple are highly detailed and let your client do everything from narrowing down their wants in a home, to helping them prepare their home for listing, to knowing what to do on moving day. You can share these checklists with your current clients, or offer them on your website for download in exchange for a lead's contact information. That's two handy purposes in one: lead generation and good customer service! Here's what's included in this free packet of eight checklists: Home Buying Checklist Home Selling Checklist House Hunting Checklist Mortgage Pre-approval Checklist Moving Out Checklist Open House Questions Checklist Prepare Listing for Market Checklist Showing and Open House Prep Checklist Ready to help your clients and leads stay on top of today's challenging market? Download 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists now!
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5 Key Ways to Create Buyer Loyalty
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[Best of 2021] The 4 Biggest Mistakes Agents Make When Working with Buyers
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in April and is #3 in our countdown. See #4 here. A buyer lead arrives in your inbox. The potential buyer asks if you could please send them properties. When you ask them the price range of the property they are looking for, they say between $500-$600,000. Your eyes light up as this is a great potential commission to earn on that selling price. Once you send them the properties for their consideration, they pick several and ask if you can show them right away. You ask them if they are prequalified for a mortgage, and they say they are paying CASH. Do you keep moving forward or ask, "Show me the money" in the form of a letter from their financial institution? Sound familiar? Yes, you may have heard what you should do a million times, yet every day real estate agents keep making exceptions instead of making good business judgements. Here are four recent examples from frustrated real estate agents that could have been avoided: Mistake #1: Taking buyers to see property when they are not pre-qualified or pre-approved yet. Real Life Example: A buyer's agent took out a couple interested in seeing a $10 million dollar property on the market. The buyer was big in the entertainment business and boasted about working with many of the famous musicians we know of today. Did the agent ask to see whether he was pre-qualified or had the funds to buy a home at this price? No. They were thinking that no one would go look at a $10 million dollar home and not be able to afford it. Turns out that the buyer did make an offer on the property. After the offer was made and the lender checked his financials, there was no way that this buyer could get approved for a loan at the current time. Solution: Work with a lender to speak with your buyers. Never take a buyer out that is not pre-qualified or pre-approved. Lean towards the pre-approved, which shows more of a commitment and is a better tool when you want an offer to be accepted by the seller. Mistake #2: Taking buyers to see properties in a price range they don't want to spend. Real Life Example: Buyer's agent takes out a couple to see properties that are valued around $200,000. It is currently a sellers' market in their area. The buyers make an offer for $150,000, which gets turned down. Then they go see another property and make another low offer, which also gets turned down. The buyers had just sold their home and did have the funds to buy in cash at the listed prices. Their reason for making low offers was that was there was a limit to what they wanted to spend. Solution: Make sure you know what the buyers really want to spend before you take them out to view properties. Even in a buyer's market, most sellers will not go down $50,000 unless the listing is way overpriced, and the seller gets realistic or is highly motivated. Sit down with them before you go out and spend time making offers that will not be accepted. Mistake #3: Taking loyalty for granted and not getting a buyer's agreement. This is one of the biggest mistakes agents spoke about when asked. Real Life Example 1: An agent was working with a couple showing them properties with the promise that when she found them a new home, they would list their property for sale with her. She drove them around for months and finally found them a property that they loved. Then she never heard back from them after reaching out to them numerous times. They ended up buying the property she showed them with a "friend" of theirs that has their real estate license. This couple also listed their home for sale with their friend. The agent thought that since she found them the property that they loved that she was procuring cause and would be entitled to the commission. It turns out that that unless she has an agreement with the buyers, among other stipulations as defined through NAR, she was not considered procuring cause. Real Life Example 2: Jennifer made showing appointments to fit her buyers' schedule. The buyers expected her to be available to them at a moment's notice to see a property. She had a family and a life and was not available 24 hours a day. The buyers were working with many agents, which Jennifer did not know. The buyers were also calling the listing agent when doing a home search on their own, thinking they would get a better deal. When the buyers purchased a home with another agent, she felt devastated since she had put so much time and energy working with them. Solution: Have the buyers sign a buyer broker agreement or, at the very least, sign an agreement for each property that you take them to see. Your time is valuable, as well as your expertise. If someone does not value your time, then move on. If you use Form Simplicity, review the library of blank forms to see the contracts and agreements your association, board or brokerage has made available to protect all parties. Mistake #4: Not taking precautions to ensure your safety. Real Life Example: Sue gets a call and retrieves the message a few minutes later. It is from a gentleman who found her online through her website. He was interested in seeing penthouse homes in a neighborhood she specializes in. He wanted to go out the next day. Seems legitimage, right? He told her where he currently lived. Sue thought she was taking the appropriate precautions by looking up his property through the tax appraiser website along with the MLS. She checked to confirm that he did indeed own the property, for how long, as well as the price paid, and current value. He said he needed a building that allowed him enough parking spaces for his three cars. She carefully researched the information, called each listing agent, and then made appointments to see the penthouse condos. Sue met him at the first property and was going to drive to the second property when he suddenly got into her car. He said that he walked to the first property she showed him, and that they could go together to the next property. She was a bit surprised as he owns three cars and lives over a mile away. That should have been alarm No. 1. Then the buyer takes off his face mask, and this is during the COVID pandemic. She asks him to please put his mask back on, and he refuses to, saying that he does not have the virus. That should have been alarm No. 2. Sue takes the buyer to see the next property. When done, she drives the buyer to the entrance of his condo building. He asks her if she wants to come up to see it since it is highly upgraded and she may be selling it when he finds a new place. She says no. Then he asked her if he could kiss her goodnight. No more alarms needed. Stalker or buyer? Was this guy really interested in buying a property or did he see her photo on the internet and view it as an opportunity to meet her? You never know these days what is in people's minds. Caution: Please do not go and show any property or meet anyone at a property that you have not met in your office, and who is not pre-qualified or pre-approved first! Solution: Ask for a copy of their driver's license and leave a copy with your broker. This applies to everyone that you take out to show property. If you use Form Simplicity, upload documents including drivers licenses and photos so the information is in a safe portal should you or your broker need to access the files. Make sure someone at all times knows who you are going to meet. In the event something happens, at the very least, there is a paper trail. There are also safety apps that you can have installed on your phone. Consider safety to be one of your first priorities. Life is so important and something to be grateful for, especially now. Here is to being safe and to working with buyers who are loyal, honest and pre-approved! Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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[Best of 2021] Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
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Friday Freebie: Educate Buyers and Attract Leads with this Homebuying Guide
We've got a two-fer for you in this week's Friday Freebie: a comprehensive (and brandable!) guide that you can use to attract new leads and educate first-time home buyers, all at the same time. Let's dive in. Free download of The Simplified Guide to Homebuying, courtesy of Zurple An educated buyer is a buyer that is best able to compete in today's cutthroat real estate market. The market is especially tough for first-time buyers, who may not yet know all the steps in the homebuying process or even the lingo. This lack of knowledge makes them less able to move quickly and puts them at a disadvantage in today's market. Enter The Simplified Guide to Homebuying. This brandable guide makes your job easy by clearly explaining everything a buyer needs to know and even gently holding their hand with worksheets, game plans and questionnaires. Here's a look at just some of what this comprehensive guide offers: Homeownership benefits for moving hesitant buyers off the fence Why buyers should work with an agent Flow chart of the homebuying process Overview of how mortgages work Worksheet of home features for helping buyers evaluate listings Homebuyer questionnaire Homebuying game plan with write-in deadlines for staying on track Common real estate terms And much more! This guide is available in both PDF and PowerPoint formats, and comes with instructions for customization and branding. Share it with your buyers or leverage it as a lead magnet that prospects can download in exchange for their contact information. Download The Simplified Guide to Homebuying today!
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Can a Buyer Back Out of a Home Purchase Contract?
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What Should a Buyer Look for During a Final Walk-Through?
Your client has officially signed off on her first home, and she couldn't be more excited, so you hand her the keys. Unfortunately, when she moves in, you find out several damages were not in the Agreement of Sale, and the lights don't work. Final walk-throughs give you a chance to take care of any matters before the closing. Most times, if you find something after the closing, it can be challenging to resolve, so you want to take your time when going through the place. Check List Here is a checklist you should have with you set you up for success on your final walk-through: Make sure everything that was supposed to be taken or left is there or not there Make sure all of the appliances work (lights, water, outlets, etc.) Check floors, ceilings and walls for any damages Check for any issues with plumbing (toilet, sink, drain, any water damages) House is in the same condition you agreed on in the AoS Are the windows and doors in good condition? Make sure nothing new is broken Confirm that all inspections have been completed. Too many homebuyers view final walk-throughs as an option, but it is not optional. Take your time with your buyers and be diligent in the final steps before signing the paperwork. We know your clients are excited to finally move into their new home, and they are itching to get to the final stage. Both buyers and sellers need to be aware of any issues during the final walk-through to help the process go smoothly. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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Help Your Buyer Leads Move Forward
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Friday Freebie: Mortgage Calculator and Amortization Schedule Tool
"How much?" is a question you'll hear a lot when helping a client buy a home. How much is the asking price? How much should we offer? How much can I afford? While we can't help you with the first two questions here today, we can help you help your clients understand how much they'll be paying every month. In this week's Friday Freebie, get two tools to help your clients compare the mortgage costs of up to five homes that they're interested in purchasing. Free Mortgage Payment Calculator + Amortization Schedule Tool, courtesy of Zurple The listing price of a home is one thing, but the monthly costs of a mortgage plus property tax, insurance, and HOA fees are quite another. Whether you need to help buyers understand which properties fit into their monthly budget or you want to lure prospects, these free tools from Zurple can help you out. The mortgage payment calculator and amortization tool is a downloadable spreadsheet that lets you: Compare up to five properties side by side See the estimated monthly cost of each property Review a variety of different loan options See a full amortization schedule Calculate the owner equity based on a specific year Leverage this tool by sharing it with clients or using it to walk them through their options before placing an offer on a home. The spreadsheet can also be uploaded to your website or a place like Google Drive to attract leads. Download your FREE copy of the Mortgage Payment Calculator + Amortization Schedule Tool now!
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Turning Renters to Buyers: Dispelling 5 Key Myths
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Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory Markets
Your home buyer clients have probably heard the term "seller's market" in the news, but do they really know what it means? It's more than simple difficulty in finding a home--buying in a seller's market means being outbid, needing to act quickly and assertively… and preparing for potential heartbreak. What that means for you, as the buyer's agent, is managing your client's expectations and preparing them to compete in today's market. That's easier said than done, however, and that's why we're highlighting a cheat sheet for helping your buyers win in a low inventory market. Read on to learn how to claim this free download. Free copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple Stressed-out buyers mean a stressed-out buyer's agent—and nobody wants that! Help soothe your buyers' frustrations in today's market with this free cheat sheet from Zurple. Here's what you'll find inside: Explanations for what's causing the current seller's market Advice for preparing your buyer for a competitive market How to develop a competitive-advantage offer strategy What NOT to do with your buyer Buyer's agent scripts Bonus tips for helping your buyer and finding more inventory And more! Ready to help your buyers get a leg-up in today's market? Download your FREE copy of How to Win in Low-inventory Markets: The Buyer's Cheat Sheet now!
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A High Offer Isn't Everything: How Buyers Can Sweeten the Deal in Other Ways
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Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot Market
Even as so much changed in the last year, one thing stayed pretty consistent: high demand and low inventory in the residential real estate market. It's great news for the sellers who are ready to list (though on the flip side, many sellers are simultaneously looking to buy), but it's created a battle for buyers as prices soar amid record competition. Buyer's agents need to be at the top of their game to win for their clients. Now is the time to brush up on real estate negotiation tactics to ensure you can expertly make your buyers' offers stand out. Improve your negotiation skills with these four tips. 1. Include an escalation clause An escalation clause is an absolute necessity in this market, where more than a dozen buyers might be vying for the same property. If you're not familiar with it, it's a statement that tells the seller that your client is willing to raise their offer above the highest bidder by a specific amount. You can also add an upper limit in case the highest offer is well above what your buyers are willing to pay or can afford. In a bidding war situation, which is common in a hot real estate market, an escalation clause will give your clients the best chance of winning. Here is an example of what to write: [Name], referred to as The Buyer, offers to pay $[initial offer] for the property at [address]. Should the seller receive a bona fide offer exceeding $[initial offer], The Buyer will increase their offer by $[additional amount] above the highest bona fide offer, not to exceed $[upper limit offer]. 2. Take a win-win approach Although you may be inclined to take an aggressive, hardline approach to "go to battle" for your buyers, it's in your best interest to maintain a win-win perspective instead. Be the real estate agent who other agents want to work with, not the nightmare agent everyone dreads. When you focus on solutions and ask what the other party needs — such as seller terms, fast close, etc. — the deal will not only go more smoothly, but your positive attitude could actually be the deciding factor in the seller selecting your clients' offer over another. 3. Be flexible Similar to taking a win-win approach, flexibility is one of the real estate negotiation tactics that can prove to tip the scale in your clients' favor. Consider this: Most sellers will also become buyers if they aren't already searching for a new home. As they juggle buying and selling simultaneously, less-flexible offers or buyers who are more aggressive about needing the property ASAP may be easily dismissed. Find out what the sellers' ideal timeline is and what other needs they have, and then talk to your client to see if they'd be willing to accommodate to help their offer stand out. 4. Make it a point to meet the sellers in person With the current state of the pandemic in the US, people are increasingly comfortable meeting others face-to-face again. Encourage your buyers to join you at a meeting with the sellers and listing agent. Doing this provides an opportunity for your clients to create an emotional connection with the sellers and hopefully discover a few shared interests. In a bidding war situation where the sellers are comparing offers based solely on price, yours will be the one that has an additional reason to stand out. Final thoughts These aren't the only real estate negotiation tactics to consider, of course. But keeping them top of mind in a hot real estate market will help differentiate you and your clients from the competition. Ensure you're providing a good experience for the sellers — stay flexible, be solution-oriented, and meet their requests when possible — and take actions that will help elevate your buyers' offer. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Use HighNote to Make Your Buyer's Offer Stand Out From the Crowd
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
It's a tough time to be a home buyer--and a buyer's agent. While you can't fix today's inventory problems, you can make the home buying process as smooth as possible for both your clients and yourself. In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a homebuyer packet that you can use to educate buyers, qualify buyer leads, and more. Read on to learn how to claim your free download. 2021 Homebuyer Packet Templates, courtesy of Zurple Between record high home prices, cash buyers, and competition for scarce homes, you and your real estate buyers are going to need whatever advantage you can get. That's why Zurple is offering RE Technology readers a free homebuyer packet. Download it and share it with your clients and leads so everyone is as prepared as possible to face today's intense market. The packet consists of four editable documents, including: Homebuyer Timeline - Educate your buyers on the process of buying a home, all the way from mortgage pre-approval to the final walkthrough and beyond. Homebuyer Terminology - Buying a home involves a lot of legalese and jargon new buyers likely haven't heard before. Help them understand important concepts with this real estate glossary. Homebuyer Questionnaire - Your time is precious. Don't waste it on buyers who aren't a good fit. Give this questionnaire to buyer leads to qualify them before moving forward. Homebuyer Checklist - What does your buyer want in a home? Learn the particulars of their needs to save time on the home search process. Remember, information is power. By educating your buyers—and by learning as much as possible about their wants and circumstances—you place both of you in a position of strength. Download the 2021 Homebuyer Packet today!
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
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Real Estate Leads Exposed: Inside the Mind of Today's Home Shopper
When it comes to making a purchasing decision, consumers go through a process, coined by inbound marketing company Hubspot as "The Buyer's Journey." In this article, we're going to take a look at each stage of the buyer's journey, discuss how it impacts the home buying process and your real estate leads, and provide ideas on how you can use each phase as a guide to help you maximize your effectiveness in generating and converting new buyer leads online. This journey is made up of three stages: Awareness Stage Consideration Stage Decision Stage 1. Awareness Stage In the awareness stage, the buyer has realized and expressed symptoms of a problem or opportunity. A. What your leads are thinking... Think of this stage as a symptomatic stage. Let's say, for example, a potential homebuyer has realized that paying high rent is becoming increasingly frustrating. They are at a point in life when making an investment with the potential to build equity is starting to become a priority. Perhaps they have recently gotten married, or are coming up on the end of a lease and are going to have to make a decision on what their next move will be within the next few weeks or months. B. What your leads are looking for... At this point, leads are looking for basic information that correlates to their specific situation. An example would be looking up benefits of renting versus buying or investigating whether or not it's statistically beneficial to buy a property when relocating to a new city. C. How you can help attract leads at the Awareness Stage... In the awareness stage, your lead is nowhere near ready to choose an agent. In fact, they haven't even decided if it makes sense to commit to buying yet. But you still have an opportunity to be helpful and influential by providing information someone in this situation would be searching for – whether it's tips on a successful relocation or information on home equity vs. other types of equity. This type of content is great in blog format. When you publish these types of posts, known as "top of funnel" content, use keyword-rich copy to gain visibility and drive the right type of leads. 2. Consideration Stage In the consideration stage, the buyer has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity. A. What your leads are thinking... Now, your lead has decided that purchasing a property is almost definitely in their future, but they still aren't ready to pick up the phone and call an agent. At this point, they are working on making critical decisions on location and are looking for information on how to get started with the process. They may also be mulling over what their life would look like in different areas – considering things like how their commute would be impacted, whether they want to be a city-dweller or suburbanite and whether they would prefer a condo or single family home. B. What your leads are looking for... Now that your lead is committed to the idea of purchasing a home, they want to understand what all of their viable options are. At this point, your lead may be looking for mortgage calculators that will help them clearly define a budget or they may be doing research on interest rates and what types of financing are available. Furthermore, they will be looking for data that will help them start to hone in on more specific details regarding location and housing preferences – searching things like "city vs. suburbs" and "condos vs. single family homes." C. How you can help engage leads at the consideration stage... Once again, you can attract the right types of leads by serving as a valuable resource and community expert. Consider putting together comparative data on different local areas that will help potential homebuyers decide between city A and city B, write a blog post that provides details and statistics on local schools in your area, or offer content that helps buyers choose which financial options make the most sense for their current situation. 3. Decision Stage In the decision stage, the buyer has defined their solution strategy, method or approach. A. What your leads are thinking... Now your lead is fully aware of the viable options and is ready to start digging deep and making some serious decisions. They have narrowed their search to a couple of specific areas, have a budget in mind and are settled on what type of property they'd like. Homebuyers are unique because even as they near a decision point, they may still take several weeks or months to search and collect information on their own in order to get a good feel for the market prior to bringing in a third party (A.K.A., an agent) for help. It pays to be patient during this time – be helpful where you can be, but don't push. B. What your leads are looking for... Your lead is searching for a specific type of property in a specific price range in a specific part of town. At this point, your local market knowledge really comes into play as a valuable asset to their journey. C. How you can help convert leads at the decision stage... At this point, you should be providing local market snapshots, details on available properties that match your lead's search criteria and data on average closing costs, property taxes and mortgage payments for your area. The goal at this point is to prove that you are the best, most knowledgeable agent in your area in the hopes that your lead will come to you and ask you to represent them in the home buying process. Relevance is directly correlated with effectiveness, so keep these stages in mind when developing your real estate marketing strategy for better results and bigger payoffs. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Friday Freebie: 5 Real Estate Checklists to Share with Clients and Prospects
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What Are Home Buyers Looking for in 2021?
Current trends in the real estate market have got everyone's attention. Record-breaking low interest rates, dwindling inventory, and the changing function of a home are affecting sales. What are home buyers really looking for? Are they all jumping on the bandwagon for fear of missing out on the next great listing? Or perhaps they are seriously looking to fulfill a need—for comfort, shelter, a remote workplace, and a sense of home. Either way, they are not just looking, they are buying at a rate not seen in years. Riding the Wave You have just had the best year of your real estate career. Your listings are selling even before you have finished inputting the data and organizing your first virtual tours. You are definitely riding the wave of the current trend in the market. You need to keep the momentum. So looking back, what have you learned about your buyers and what are they seeking in 2021? The Real Estate Buyer Persona According to the most recent NAR study, the typical home buyer was 47 years old with an annual income of $96,000. They plan to live in their new 1900 square foot home for around 10 years and they really want to buy sooner than later. If the buyer contacted you first, it is very likely that you became their real estate agent for the transaction. Studies show that 73% of consumers used the first agent that they contacted. So what about the other 27% and what about the ones who didn't choose you? How can you increase your leads and turn them into repeat buyers? The Journey Starts Online Since 97% of all buyers start their search on the internet, it is evident that you need to have a great online presence. How do you get your brand out there and compete with the thousands of other real estate professionals vying for the same buyers? What are home buyers looking for and what makes them choose you as their real estate agent? Show Value Presentation skills are first and foremost when you market a property. Seeing is believing now more than ever. As a real estate professional, you have to show value to your buyer and that means giving them what they want. The home buyer's preferences haven't dramatically changed in comparison to a year ago, but what has changed is the way they view potential homes. When you provide immersive 3D tours and accurate square footage on an easy-to-follow floor plan, the buyer is better informed to make a decision on whether or not the property is suited to their needs. What Is Trending for Home Buyers The world was shaken up by the events of 2020 and it has caused a ripple effect throughout the real estate industry. Buyers have been snatching up listings fast due to low-interest rates paired with a little fear of missing out. How can you help them find what they want going forward into 2021? Here's a look at what's trending with home buyers: Renovations are a no go for almost half of today's buyers There is an increase in the demand for multi-generational homes Pets are now additional family members and they need their space too More than 87% of buyers are financing their homes Your role as a real estate agent is to help your buyer find the home they are looking for at a price they can afford. Help them navigate through 3D tours and explore the floor plans of their potential new home. When they need a multi-generational home, a floor plan is a great tool to let them interact and easily visualize where they can set up a secondary suite. Exploring the 360° tour lets them know if renovations are a necessity or if the home is in move-in condition. When you help them make an informed decision, they will avoid buyer's remorse. Buyer optimism remains high and if the past few months are any indicator of the future, then you know the real estate tsunami has not retreated. Expect the unexpected – we didn't see 2020 coming until it hit us all in our (masked) faces.
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The 4 Biggest Mistakes Agents Make When Working with Buyers
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What's in a Home Buyer's Packet? (Plus, a Complimentary Template)
One best practice every real estate agent should implement is to provide a home buyer packet to their new buyer leads. By properly educating buyers, you can prepare them for a smooth home buying experience and decrease the potential for miscommunications or misunderstandings. A home buyer packet will also help you set the correct expectations about how you will guide them through their purchasing journey. If knowledge leads to confidence, you can boost your buyer's confidence with a comprehensive and informative packet. The documents that you include should provide value or resolve an issue for the person receiving it. The information should fill in the gaps for your home buyer, so they know what to expect, when to expect it, and the process to complete it. You can share your home buyer packet via print, email, or add it to your website for 24/7 access – make sure you add a lead capture form if you choose the latter option. Below are important documents to include in your home buyer packet:
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First-Time Homebuyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
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Home Buyers: What do they want? What do they really, really want
We have all spent a lot more time in our homes over the past several months. Our homes have gone from being where we eat, sleep, and store our stuff to also becoming our schools, offices, and gyms. Surprisingly, surveys indicate that most of us rather like being in our homes, and if given the choice, more than 75% of office workers would prefer to telecommute more often. That number is even higher among parents, where nearly 80% say more work-from-home time would be their preference. Unsurprisingly, this time at home has changed not only the way buyers are shopping for homes, it has impacted the features they are looking for in their next home. Search social media and you'll find plenty of comments about the things they wished their home offered right now. In a survey by the Homebuilders Association of Greater New Orleans, potential home buyers identified eight features they consider a priority in a new home, post-COVID19. These features included more light and space, space for cooking, more privacy, more energy efficiency, a space for working out, outdoor space, a home office, and less of a focus on common area amenities. According to the National Home Builder's Association, laundry spaces, outdoor space, and more pantry storage rank in the top ten must-haves for home buyers who are searching right now. It's safe to say that this experience has made the idea of home even more important. As a Realtor, what does this mean for you? We've seen swift changes to the way that we show homes and meet with customers in the past months. Virtual showings are safe, easier and more readily available. Face-to-face is more commonly screen-to-screen these days, and it's becoming more likely that some of these new habits and business practices will be the norm going forward. Buyers will always want to see homes in person. But more so now than ever before, they are using photos, videos, virtual tours, floor plans, and 3D tour experiences to shortlist those homes. They know what they want, and they want to see those features online before they see them in person. A decade ago, marketers were told they had approximately a minute's worth of attention span in which to capture a potential buyer's attention. Today, that time span has been decreased to less than 10 seconds. A first impression is everything these days. Buyers are making decisions faster, and with limitations on open houses and in-person showings, the competition is fierce for those precious seconds. There is a silver lining in all of this data. There is a huge opportunity for Realtors who understand the realities of today, and are aware of what buyers want. The savvy Realtor will ensure that the marketing for each and every home they list follows this recipe: Stage it. The wow factor has to be big enough to stop a buyer from scrolling and invite them to virtually come inside. Physical staging can help give a property a modern look and feel, while virtual staging can help declutter and decorate, all without a stager having to physically be in the home. Use virtual staging to show how a bedroom or family room could be used as a home office or a gym. (You can even virtually stage a backyard!) Show it off. Smartphone photos won't cut it anymore. A well-presenting listing now includes drone footage, 30 or more magazine-quality photos, a 3D tour, a floor plan, and a property tour video. Tech savvy buyers may especially appreciate a more immersive experience using VR. Buyers expect to fully see the property before they visit it in person. Don't skimp. It's no longer the time to hold back hoping to tease buyers into wanting more info. Buyers know what they want, and they are increasingly marketing savvy. Include photos of the HVAC, the water heater, the pantry, and the laundry. Include information on energy efficiency and utility bills. Make sure the square footage is accurate and not exaggerated. Buyers expect Realtors to be professionals, which means the more you can educate them on the home, the better. We are all likely to spend a lot more time in our homes for the foreseeable future, and this new reality will continue to shape how buyers shop. Knowing what buyers want will help you to create a marketing package that will not only capture attention, but ensure that your listing makes the short list. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Find Homes for Your Buyers that Other Agents Won't with Likelihood to List
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Top 10 Seller Objections to Staging and How to Overcome Them!
There are different opinions as to whether staging a property is worth the money and time involved, but one thing is clear: A home that is clean and uncluttered garners more attention. The result is increased showings leading to offers. Many concur that staging a home makes a huge difference. How the furniture is placed, and the feeling buyers have when entering a home, can make or break a potential sale. In today's age, the first impression is a lasting impression. Agents know this. So, what happens next? You, as their listing agent, speak to the sellers and may receive numerous objections. Here are the top 10 objections that most real estate agents face and how to overcome them:
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First-Time Home Buyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
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Will Buyer's Agents Survive?
The buyer's agent is a hard-working agent, especially in an inventory-constrained market. They represent the person bringing the money to the transaction and, yet, they are often unappreciated, undervalued, and under-compensated for their efforts. Some would suggest that the buyer's agent may not survive the next 10 years in our industry, but I am bullish on them remaining a vital contributor to real estate transaction services.
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Why Is Home Buying Emotional? It Should Be Logical Too!
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Neighborhood Profile Pages for More Real Estate Buyer Leads
What can you do to get more real estate buyer leads? Listings are wonderful, but the more business the better, so buyer leads are important as well. Take a trip through your website to see if you're providing the assets that buyers, and particularly first-time buyers, want. With younger buyers re-entering the homebuying market due to better job prospects in a growing economy, providing them the information they want when they want it will lead to more buyer leads.
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What Traits Home Buyers Look for Most in Real Estate Agents
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How to Narrow Your Buyer's Choices and Reduce Showings Before Even Leaving the Office
Tired of driving drudgery? We've got the buyer's agent tips you need to put a stop to those endless showings. Clients may love looking at houses, but you deserve to live a life outside the office. How Can You Cut Down on the Property Parade? We'll look at common scenarios, and workarounds that are friendly but firm for putting an end to unnecessary showings in these real estate buyer's agent tips:
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Finding the Right Neighborhood for Your Buyer
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6 Apps to Close Buyer Clients Faster
Working with home buyers can often be time consuming and frustrating. You may have even seen estimates that home buyers should expect the homebuying process to take a minimum of four months. Experienced real estate agents know there are a lot of steps along the way that can either shorten or (more likely) lengthen this process. However, with the right systems, and six key digital applications, you can speed things up—and free up your time to serve additional clients! Serve More Buyer Clients, Make More Money
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First-time Home Buyers Flock to Realtors Who Provide Answers
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A National Homeowner's Association Database for Agents: Fact or Fiction?
Homeowners' associations are infamous in the real estate industry. Horror stories of overzealous board members, onerous regulations, and kangaroo courts are the reason why HOAs are the largest elephants in the room for agents and their clients. To help demystify the future for your prospects, one solution is already in the works. But before we reveal the National Homeowners' Association Database for agents, let's understand the pros and cons of HOAs.
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4 Ways to Enhance the Home Search Process and Help Buyers Find Their Dream Home
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Friday Freebie: Brandable Property Showing Checklist for Your Buyers
So your buyers (mostly) know what they want in a home—but do they remember which homes matched their criteria after they tour them? After seeing a dozen or so houses, it may all start to blend together in your clients' minds. Which house was it again that had the great master suite, but an underwhelming kitchen? Or was it a great kitchen but an underwhelming master bedroom? Whatever the case, it sounds like your clients need a little help with keeping all the properties they see straight. This week, we're highlighting a free checklist, brandable to you, that can help. Brandable House Hunting Checklist, courtesy of Homes.com
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How to Deal with Buyers Who Love Property Portals
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Best of 2016: How to Educate Buyers to Make Good Offers
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in February and is #9 in our countdown. See #10 here. As Realtors®, you see this again and again. As a listing agent, you are required to submit all offers to your seller, even the lowball offers. It is a horrible situation for the agent. Indeed, it is probably a horrible situation for the buyer’s agent, too. It is embarrassing for a buyer’s agent to submit a lowball offer to a seller. As the listing agent, you need to reinforce the price. Respond with the data that was used to set the listing price. You did a CMA, just update it with current comps. When you counter to the buyer, include the facts that support your pricing. The buyer’s agent is unlikely to argue, especially if you are drawing those facts from the same MLS. Another piece of information that you may want to include is the graph showing the sales price as a percentage of the Original Price. The graph above is a good illustration of this. Real estate professionals understand that there is seasonality to pricing. You can see that the spring market is hotter for sellers than buyers. The buyer market gets slightly stronger in the fall, and is red hot over the holidays.
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Should your buyers send a buyer letter? (Here’s a template anyway)
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Listingbook Basics (9/6)
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT In this session you will learn: What Listingbook is and what it's for Basic System Navigation General Overview of Your Clients' Experience The Differences Between Listingbook Basic and Listingbook Pro Register now!
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Let’s Play 20 Questions: Creating the Perfect Buyer Profile
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How to Help Home Buyers Without the Hassle (8/18)
Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT Do you want to stop driving around every weekend showing homes with no offers being made? Want to stop getting frustrated when your customers change their minds and stay on the fence? Would you like to get offers under contract quick and easy so you can collect a commission and move on to the next deal? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're definitely going to want to learn our fast and efficient method for helping home buyers, all while providing a 5-star experience that will prime the referral pump of new business! Here's just some of what you will learn during Thursday's training: Get all-new templates for phone consultations to qualify leads and learn hidden motivations ... the key to getting buyers to act! Get scripts for moving home buyers along the track of closed transactions Reduce the number of showings and home tours by getting to the right fast and without objection Increase the average sales price of your home buyers to get a "raise" for helping home buyers Simple tech hacks you can use to save HOURS on home tours, and ensure your buyers don't forget what they loved about a home Register now!
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3 Places Today’s Buyers Are Getting Their Real Estate Information
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5 Tips to Stop Wasting Your Time With Buyers
Some buyers are going to take up a lot of your time, seeing houses every weekend and whatnot. Some agents, however, know how to work around that and optimize every minute. Here are some master tips to efficiently work with buyers. Tip #4 at 3:51 is extraordinarily clever.
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Meeting Buyers’ Demands with RPR’s Search Tools (5/17)
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How RPR Covers Every Angle of Buyer-Realtor® Relationship
Know the market Anticipate objections Find a match Close the deal Wish it were that simple? Of course, but we know it's not. Being a buyer's agent in the information age has challenges probably not worth repeating here. Rather, here at RPR, we offer solutions—simple, reliable, and accurate tools that help REALTORS® successfully execute every step of the home buying process. We were recently reintroduced to a REALTOR® from the Boston area who, along with all 240 of his agents, use RPR in every facet of his operation, notably when working with buyers. "Buyer expectations come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is for sure: they all expect accurate, timely information," says John Connolly, Vice President of SUCCESS! Real Estate, Boston, Mass. "From basic characteristics of the home to a thorough analysis of local market conditions, REALTORS® really need to be on their game." Here, John shares how RPR helps his entire team remain relevant when working with buyers.
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The Hard Truth About Real Estate Buyers
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6 Game Changing Neighborhood Traits That Buyers Are Looking For
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average buyer looks at 10 properties throughout a 10-week span before finally making a purchasing decision. Your job as a real estate professional is to simplify this process by finding and showing them properties that meet all of their requirements. But helping your clients find the home of their dreams will require more than just showing properties that include all the amenities they are looking for. What really makes a difference is the neighborhood that comes with it. Here are six game changing neighborhood traits that buyers look for prior to purchasing a home. 1. Convenience of Public Transportation Having easy access to public transportation, while often overlooked, can be a huge plus in the eyes of soon-to-be homeowners. This is especially true for those who live in urban areas where any commute can turn into a nightmare. Ask your clients if they'd prefer to be centrally located near a public transportation line and it will help narrow down the scope of your search. 2. High Walk Scores A Walk Score is the rating that a neighborhood receives based on its walkability. Some of the determinants of this score include: pedestrian design; types of streets, parks and public spaces; income level and a defined neighborhood center. High Walk Scores are strong indications of a good quality neighborhood, so it would be smart to share this score with clients who are considering moving to a particular area.
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First Look: HomeZada is the Antidote to Stale Closing Gifts
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5 Tips for Nailing Your Next Buyer’s Tour
You've just received a call from anxious buyers. They've been looking at homes online for weeks and are now ready to work with a REALTOR® to get the buying process started. They have a good idea of what they can afford, and of course have a long list of criteria for the perfect home. After spending some time talking with them, you schedule time to show them the properties they are interested in. Did you know that RPR has everything you need to complete a successful buyer's tour? Here are five tips that will help you impress your new buyers, while also keeping you prepared for those unexpected moments when you're out and about. 1. Prepare Start your search in RPR. Sure you can enter your buyers' criteria: beds, baths, sqft, garage, price, etc. But you can also use the mapping tools to search by specific geographies, including Zip Code, MCD/Townships, Neighborhoods, School Districts (including attendance zones) and more. See exactly where the properties meeting their criteria are on the map. Are they looking to be within 15 minutes of their office? Use the Drive Time tool to search only for properties within this distance. Using these mapping tools, you can be sure that you're finding more than just the house itself: you're finding the desired neighborhood, school zone, and even distance to work. 2. Standout You've narrowed down the tour to four properties. First, generate a Neighborhood Report for each of the areas you'll be showing. RPR's Neighborhood Report will give your buyers an idea of not only the market statistics of the neighborhood: average sales price, inventory, average list price over the last 12 months, etc., but it will also give your buyers an idea of who is in the area. Do your buyers have young children? Are they looking for a neighborhood full of prospective play dates? RPR's Neighborhood Report will give you the number of households with children. Or perhaps they are interested in knowing the water quality, or even how much rainfall. The Neighborhood Report will give them all of that.
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Are Buyers Really Liars? Addressing a Common Agent Complaint
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Product Review: Listingbook
You've probably heard the old cliche, "Buyers are liars." And if you've worked in real estate for any length of time, you probably have first-hand experience with this cliche in action. Does this sound familiar? Your clients give you a list of criteria describing their "perfect home." When you find a property that closely matches those criteria, your buyers tell you they're not interested. Or how about a client that finds their dream home online, but thanks to inaccurate data, discovers it's no longer available? In that case, third party websites are the liars. In either case, agents face challenges in finding clients the home that they actually want, while providing them accurate and timely information. Those are the obstacles that Listingbook aims to overcome. Listingbook is a "client servicing platform" that allows agents to move clients and prospects off of public websites and onto a private search environment. That platform gives agents detailed insight into what their clients and prospects are searching for and makes it easy to collaborate and communicate with them. Agents are able to see all elements of consumers' search criteria, as well as properties they've viewed, favorited, and rejected. There are several ways to experience Listingbook--as a buyer's agent, as a listing agent, and as a consumer. Let's take a look at all three.
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Ways to Win the Deal in a Multiple Bid Situation
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How to Leverage Facebook to Attract Buyers
To find success on Facebook, begin by listening. Facebook is a very noisy place. Just staying current on your newsfeed can take some time if you have a lot of Facebook friends. One way to "listen" for business opportunities is to use Facebook's search function. Here are two tips to get you started: 1. Pick the Right Keyword - If you live in a small community with fewer than 250,000 residents, you can simply search using a city name. If you live in a big city, you should use more refined searches like "moving back to [city name]." Be sure to hit the little magnifying glass to perform your search. Do not use the Enter or Return key. 2. Filter Your Search Results - On the left side of your Facebook search results page, you will find filters. The second filter from the bottom is called Public Posts. Pick that and you will see the refined results that you are looking for. Listening on Facebook is not hard. Just scan through the results and see what people are talking about. Each day you are likely to find people talking about real estate related topics.
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3 Final Down Payment Assistance Myths Debunked
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5 Business-Building Tips for Buyer’s Representatives
Polishing your buyer-representation skills builds your reputation as a trustworthy, knowledgeable real estate professional who adds value at every stage in the home buying process. Here are five ways to grow your buyer-representation business. 1. Become a community expert Recognition as a community expert wins referrals and repeat business. You could create a blog to showcase both your business expertise and community knowledge. A blog builds credibility and keeps potential buyers coming back for news and information. Home-buyer seminars provide another opportunity to demonstrate your real estate expertise and community knowledge. Prospects can check you out before making a commitment and when they are ready to buy, your name will be at top of mind. 2. Build a team of experts Access to a team of experts is a double win for buyer agents. You and your buyers can tap into valuable knowledge and services and other professionals may refer business to you. Invest the time to learn what your community has to offer and research your team of experts.
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4 Ways to Help Your Buyer Find a Home When Inventory is Tight
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The Arsenal of Apps Clients Need to Find a New Home
Help make the home search easier! Share this article from HomeFinder.com with tech savvy clients to empower them to find the property of their dreams: Whether the home buying process is just a glimmer in your eye or you are knee deep in the search process, we have the secret weapons you need to make the search and decision process easier. Arm yourself with this arsenal of apps to help you search, find and decorate your new home like a pro! 1. SiteWise (iOS, Android; $9.99): This app is great when you are shopping for a new city and don't know where to begin (which helps justify the pricey cost). SiteWise fills you in on area demographics, whether you're looking for an area with young singles, a town with families, or a place to retire. The app pulls information from census data, to give you a report of population by age, education, number of children, household income, etc. 2. Suburb Scout (Android; $1.99): Have you found your ideal area, but can't place your finger on that mysterious smell or unsettling noise? Before you buy a home and end up stuck, use Suburb Scout to investigate your concerns (landfills, sewage-treatment plants, airports and more). 3. HomeFinder.com Real Estate Search (iOS; Free): This new app lets you glimpse inside the home for sale right in front of your eyes...without setting foot inside. Available in time for the 2013 spring home buying season, the HomeFinder.com Real Estate Search iPhone app virtually transports you from the sidewalk through the front door. Stand in front of a home for sale and open the app for a peek inside the home; the property details instantly appear when the app is opened.
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Home Showing Best Practices for Buyer’s Agents
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How to Make Loan Pre-approvals Work in Your Favor
Agents, have you ever had this happen to you? An enthusiastic would-be buyer calls you up, eager for you to show them a certain property. "I'd love to help you out," you might reply. "Go ahead and send me a copy of your pre-approval letter and I'll get in contact with the listing agent." Did the mere mention of the word "pre-approval" stop the conversation dead in its tracks? Perhaps the caller was just an inexperienced buyer, or they were a lookie-loo. Regardless, no agent should waste their time on prospects who are not pre-approved for a mortgage. Consumers with pre-approvals in hand are serious about purchasing a home. As an agent, your time is precious. You should be spending your time with the prospects most likely to result in a completed transaction. However, don't think of unapproved buyers as a hassle--think of them as an opportunity. By tying the pre-approval process to the signing of a buyer representation agreement, you come out ahead--and with a qualified new client! Here's how.
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A ‘CMA’ for Buyers
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Trulia Launches Crime Maps
Very often, agents are asked by potential home buyers about crime statistics in a given neighborhood. As a broker, you need to be able to advise your agents about the best way to respond in this situation. Clearly, it’s not ideal for agents to be responsible for researching and providing this information. Yet, in the past, it was difficult to direct consumers to a resource where they could obtain the information themselves. Trulia has released what they believe is a solution for this difficult issue: Crime Maps. Agents can suggest that consumers use Crime Maps to perform their own research about neighborhood safety. We learned more with this article from Trulia.
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