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Benefits and Drawbacks of Renting vs. Buying a Home
Choosing to rent or buy a home is a big decision with many factors involved, especially in this economy. Unsurprisingly, a drawback to one may be a benefit for the other. Consider sharing the following with prospects or leads who are making their next housing decision: Renting a Home Benefits Flexibility: Renting provides more flexibility in terms of mobility. You can move to a new location easily and without the hassle of selling a property. This is a great option if you're someone who isn't ready to put down roots. Lower upfront costs: Renting requires less upfront costs as you typically only need to pay a security deposit and first month's rent, maybe a pet deposit. Maintenance: Most of the time, landlords are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the rental, which can save you money. In some cases, you may be responsible for lawn maintenance, but that's not bad compared to maintaining the whole home. Drawbacks Limited control: Renting means you have limited control over the property. You can't make significant changes without the landlord's permission, or you have to guarantee you can return the unit to its original condition when you move out. Rent increases: If you live in a city with no rent control, your landlord can typically increase your rent with little notice, which can make budgeting difficult. Additionally, you may have to negotiate the lease term and price each time the agreement is close to expiring. No equity: Renting doesn't give you the opportunity to build equity, which may be a disadvantage in the long run. Buying a Home Benefits Ownership: Buying a home means that you own the property and can make changes as you see fit. Equity: As you pay off your mortgage, you build equity in your home, which can be a valuable asset in the future. Stability: Buying a home provides stability and can be a good long-term investment. Drawbacks Upfront costs: Buying a home requires a significant upfront investment, including a down payment and closing costs. Maintenance: As a homeowner, you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming. Inflexibility: Buying a home limits your mobility, making it more difficult to move to a new location. Ultimately, the decision to rent or buy a home depends on personal circumstances and financial situation. Talking to a real estate professional may provide prospects with more insight, specifically about the market conditions and financial incentives for each option. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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Top 10 Ideas for Staging a Bathroom to Impress Buyers
When listing a home, staging each room is crucial, but the bathroom often gets overlooked. A well-staged bathroom can play a huge role in a buyer's outlook, offering a spa-like oasis that impresses buyers. Let's explore the top 10 ideas for staging a bathroom effectively that you can share with your sellers. 1. Deep Clean Everything Start with a spotless canvas. Deep clean every nook and cranny, ensuring tiles, fixtures, and mirrors are sparkling. Don't overlook grout cleaning; consider re-grouting if necessary. A pristine bathroom sets a tone of care and quality. 2. Neutralize the Palette Opt for neutral colors for walls, towels, and accessories. Soft, soothing tones like beige, gray, or soft blues create a tranquil, spa-like environment. Neutral colors also help buyers envision their own style in the space. 3. Upgrade Fixtures Modern, stylish fixtures can transform a bathroom instantly. Consider replacing outdated faucets, showerheads, and cabinet handles with contemporary designs. This small investment can significantly elevate the bathroom's appeal. 4. Maximize Lighting Good lighting is key. Ensure there's plenty of light by cleaning windows, updating light fixtures, and using higher-wattage bulbs. Well-lit bathrooms appear larger and more inviting. 5. Organize and Declutter Clear countertops, shelves, and showers of personal items. Use stylish baskets or organizers to neatly store necessary items. A clutter-free bathroom appears larger and more serene. 6. Add Luxurious Touches Introduce elements of luxury. Display plush towels, high-quality soaps, and a few tasteful décor items like candles or a small plant. These touches suggest a pampering, luxurious bathroom experience. 7. Address the Senses Consider the bathroom's aroma. Use subtle air fresheners or diffusers with calming scents like lavender or vanilla. Avoid overpowering fragrances that might be off-putting to some buyers. 8. Showcase Storage Solutions If your bathroom has unique storage solutions, make sure to showcase them. Neatly organized linen closets or clever cabinet organizers can be big selling points. 9. Enhance with Art Add a piece of art or a framed mirror to bring character to the space. Choose something that complements the bathroom's style without overwhelming it. This can make the space feel more polished and designed. 10. Maintain Consistency with the Home Ensure the bathroom's style aligns with the rest of the house. Consistency in design helps buyers envision the home as a cohesive, well-thought-out space. Key Takeaway Staging a bathroom requires a blend of cleanliness, modern touches, and strategic styling. By following these tips, homeowners can create a bathroom that not only impresses buyers but also potentially increases the value of their home. Remember, the goal is to create a space where buyers can envision themselves relaxing and enjoying their time. To view the original article, visit the Revive blog.
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4 Ways Buyers Agents Can Show More Value to their Clients
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From Buyer's Agent to Listing Agent: One Realtor's Story
It's no secret that being a listing agent is potentially more lucrative than being a buyer's agent. You don't have to accompany clients to multiple properties for showings, or submit bids that may be lost to cash offers — and if you have a listing, there's an excellent chance it will sell for asking or above in today's competitive market. But being a listing agent is no walk in the park, especially with fewer homeowners willing to enter the market at all. So how do you transition to working with sellers rather than buyers — and do it successfully? Brandon Watts, a Realtor from Gainesville, Georgia, knows exactly how, and he shared his story in a recent video interview with real estate broker and coach Brandon Mulrenin. Early challenges Watts entered the real estate industry in 2016, and initially focused on buying leads from Realtor.com and Zillow, and "working mainly just a lot of buyer business, running like crazy, all kinds of hours working seven days a week. I mean, I'd get a lead [when] I'd be in the shower — I'd jump out of the shower and call them." Watts then joined a team where he worked mostly Zillow leads, but says he was met with a lack of direction on listing appointments, and struggled to acquire clients and close deals. "I remember going to [my team lead] one time and saying, 'Hey, what do I do for my listing presentation?' and he pretty much didn't have an answer. He was just like, 'You know, hey, if they want to list with us, it's great — or not, that's okay too. Just go to the next one.' And I'm like, 'Wow, okay, I gotta do something different here.'" That's when Watts began shifting his focus. The game plan Watts quit taking online buyer leads and joined a coaching program, which improved his sales and lead communication skills. In the past six months, Watts says that this coaching has resulted in 12 transactions and $78,000 in earnings. So what does achieving this kind of success entail? Watts says he uses Vulcan 7 for prospecting. His primary lead sources are FSBOs and expired listings. The heart of his success, however, is discipline. His lead acquisition strategy includes direct outbound prospecting from 8 AM to 12 PM every day. He averages around seven prospects per hour, totaling 25-30 leads per week. Thanks to consistent effort, Watts no longer needs to buy leads, which also results in increased profit margins. His lead follow-up process is equally regimented. He leans on a folder system to classify leads: nurture (6-12 months), warm (90-120 days), and hot (within the next week or two). He then follows up on hot leads almost daily, warm leads weekly, and nurture leads monthly. To make him stand out in the minds of those leads, he sends them personalized thank-you cards and $1 lottery tickets. Advice from a goal-getter While Watts ended 2023 with 25 closings, generating approximately $150,000, he's aiming even higher for 2024. His goal is to net $300,000 in 2024 via 50 transactions, with a gross target of $416,000. Here are his takeaways for those looking to achieve a similar level of success: Consistency is key: Stay focused and committed to the daily process. Mindset shift: Success takes time and often requires a shift in perspective towards the process. Daily routine: Approach each day with a commitment to the process, rather than worrying about immediate outcomes. Coaching and mentoring: Get a coach or mentor for guidance and structured planning. Related reading How to Turn Your Real Estate Buyers into Seller Leads Tips for Growing the Listing Side of Your Real Estate Business Be a Better Realtor: 36 Tips and Tricks on Productivity, Goal Setting, and Self Improvement
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The Shifting Dynamics of Buyer-Agent Relationships in Real Estate
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5 Types of Homebuyers and How to Sell to Them
In many industries today, professionals are looking for better systems to do their work—whether it's software, simplifying process, or even outright automation, we're working in a world that wants to save time. But real estate is rarely so straightforward. Sometimes it feels like each buyer is completely unique, and maybe they are. That doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile to consider some archetypes — typical examples of a certain kind of homebuyer — as a way to strategize and connect with prospects. The Opportunist These buyers are spontaneous and excited about the homebuying process — it might be a neighborhood, a promotion, or even a single listing that's caught their attention, but they've found something that means the time is right to purchase a new property. The Opportunist is doing their own thing. They aren't being led by logic and might not even have a fully realized plan. When looking to connect with The Opportunist, making a first impression is key. You'll want to demonstrate the immediate benefits of your services using clear, simple, and direct messaging. Often, guarantees and warranties can work to reassure these buyers, and countdowns or limited-time-only offers can go a long way toward creating a sense of urgency that you can both share. The Enterpriser The Enterpriser is a competitive buyer — a high-achiever who expects efficiency and effective presentation from the professionals and properties they're associated with. These buyers often begin their search looking for businesses or agents that demonstrate a high level of achievement in their market. They'll want to see if your own growth and success fits well with theirs. The Enterpriser wants to see the work you've done in the past — and how your business differs from your competitors. The Romantic These prospective buyers are invested in the narrative of their homebuying experience. Whether they have set expectations around buying their first home or are feeling nostalgia for the homes they've purchased in the past, The Romantic responds well to stories. When it comes to connecting with The Romantic, you can always rely on testimonials that show the part you played in the homebuying experience of others. Even better, if you can offer a look behind the curtain — a glimpse into your philosophy, your business, your self — it offers The Romantic an idea of how you'll fit into the story they're trying to write for themselves. Authenticity and thoughtful gestures go a long way with these buyers — and ensure that if and when they are looking for their next home, they can't imagine the process without your help. The Nitpicker The Nitpicker has high standards and expectations for the homebuying process. They may not be certain of exactly what they want from both their prospective property and the process it takes to get from contact to contract to close, but they know exactly what they don't want — and will usually tell you. It may feel like you have your work cut out for you with the Nitpicker. But there are advantages to working with any buyer, as well as disadvantages — The Nitpicker is confident and invested in the process, and while they might be meticulous about what you've said to them throughout their home search, it means they're listening to your guidance. It's important to ensure that you speak deliberately to The Nitpicker — big promises and boasting are going to hurt you more than help you when it comes to these buyers. And just remember — if you ever feel like it's impossible meet The Nitpicker's standards, it might be that case that it is impossible. The Soloist Right there with The Nitpicker is The Soloist — this buyer does not want your help. They're savvy and certain and used to sorting things out on their own. They might end up reaching out on the advice of someone close to them who has been through the homebuying process, or maybe they've hit a bump in the road they're struggling to overcome, but it's likely that it wasn't their first thought to find an agent. When you're trying to connect with The Soloist, it's important to rely on facts and figures that more or less speak for themselves — the numbers that show your skill and superiority as an agent. If you have a way to demonstrate to clients that you have information that's useful — and that they couldn't access on their own — you should. Any evidence you have of why you're worth working with will help soothe The Soloist's urge to ditch you and do it themselves. The odds are that you see all of these buyers, and more — and the odds are even better that you see buyers that don't fit strictly into one single category. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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Unlocking RPR's Potential: A Buyer's Agent Daily Playbook
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Contract Cancellation: How to Prevent It From Happening to You
Another day, another record-breaking moment in real estate. For once, we're not talking about high interest rates or home prices, but rather a consequence of those two factors: a record number of contract cancellations. Finding clients who are ready to transact is already hard enough in this market. Seeing a transaction through nearly to the end just for it to be canceled can be downright devastating. So what's an agent to do? Realtor Kyle Whissel has a few ideas. In the video below, Kyle and co-host Bryan Koci offer a few mitigation strategies to prevent buyers from canceling a contract. Watch the video below to learn: Why helping buyers better understand the home buying process prevents cancellations How to approach the home buyer consultation to understand buyers' motivation and prepare them for the process The numbers trick: Use small numbers to explain big numbers, e.g. an extra $10,000 in purchase price equates to an extra $80 per month mortgage payment The importance of constant, clear communication — with your clients, the seller's agent, and the lender And more! Tech Tools That Can Help Kyle and Bryan also recommend two great additions to your tech toolbox, and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention them here. To help in negotiations and prioritizing repairs, AI-driven inspection software like The QwikFix can analyze home inspection reports and provide estimated repair costs. Finally, consider using a PTZ camera for higher-quality video for meetings and live-streaming. It lets you zoom in and capture your virtual meeting from multiple angles. Related Reading Termination of Real Estate Contract by Buyer: A Guide for Agents and Buyers The Psychology of Homebuying: Understanding the Emotions that Drive Real Estate Decisions A State-Specific Guide to First-time Homebuying Programs
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Help Buyers Overcome This Obstacle in Today's Market
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A State-Specific Guide to First-time Homebuying Programs
Today, we'll be going into detail about what exactly a state-specific, first-time homebuying assistance program is, and offer a guide for each state. Keep reading on to find out more! A state-specific, first-time homebuying assistance program is a targeted initiative designed to provide financial support and guidance to individuals or families purchasing their first home within a particular state. These programs are often established by state governments in collaboration with various local agencies and lenders, aiming to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for aspiring homebuyers. These state-specific initiatives' main goal is to help first-time homebuyers get past the initial financial obstacles to home ownership. They provide a number of advantages, such as help with closing costs, low-interest or deferred-payment loans, and down payment assistance. These programs aid prospective homeowners by filling the financial gap between their savings and the up-front costs of homeownership. Additionally, state-specific first-time homebuyer assistance programs typically provide educational materials and counseling services to give buyers the knowledge and abilities they need to successfully negotiate the challenging home-buying process. These tools could consist of workshops, individual counseling sessions, and courses on homebuyer education. The purpose is to arm buyers with knowledge about important aspects of homeownership, including budgeting, credit management, and mortgage options. The eligibility requirements for each state's program may vary depending on variables like income caps, credit scores, and the location of the property. These initiatives primarily serve people or families with low to moderate incomes, though specific qualifications may apply. In order to determine their eligibility, prospective homeowners must thoroughly research and comprehend the rules of the state's program. With that being said, we wanted to give agents who work with potential first-time homebuyers a reference point to find their state-specific assistance program! Refer to the table below to find your state: STATE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Alabama https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/alabama-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Alaska https://www.ahfc.us/buy/loan-programs/first-time-loans Arizona https://housing.az.gov/homeownership-assistance-0 Arkansas https://homeloans.arkansas.gov/programs/ California https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm Colorado https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/colorado-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Connecticut https://www.hud.gov/states/connecticut/homeownership/buyingprgms Delaware https://www.hud.gov/states/delaware/homeownership/buyingprgms Florida https://www.floridahousing.org/programs/homebuyer-overview-page Georgia https://www.dca.ga.gov/safe-affordable-housing/homeownership/georgia-dream/homebuyers Hawaii https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/hawaii-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Idaho https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/idaho-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Illinois https://themortgagereports.com/85803/illinois-first-time-home-buyer-programs-and-grants Indiana https://www.in.gov/ihcda/homebuyers/programs/ Iowa https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/iowa-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Kansas https://kshousingcorp.org/homeowners/first-time-homebuyer/ Kentucky https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/kentucky-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Louisiana https://www.lhc.la.gov/homebuyers Maine https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/maine-first-time-homeb Maryland https://themortgagereports.com/82828/maryland-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Massachusetts https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/massachusetts-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Michigan https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/michigan-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Minnesota https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/minnesota-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Mississippi https://themortgagereports.com/91644/mississippi-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Missouri https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/missouri-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Montana https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/montana-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Nebraska https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/nebraska-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Nevada https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/nevada-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ New Hampshire https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/new-hampshire-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ New Jersey https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/new-jersey-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ New Mexico https://themortgagereports.com/89738/new-mexico-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants New York https://www.nyc.gov/site/hpd/services-and-information/homefirst-down-payment-assistance-program.page North Carolina https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/north-carolina-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ North Dakota https://themortgagereports.com/91648/north-dakota-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Ohio https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/ohio-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Oklahoma https://themortgagereports.com/90138/oklahoma-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Oregon https://themortgagereports.com/85267/oregon-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Pennsylvania https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/pennsylvania-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Rhode Island https://governor.ri.gov/press-releases/governor-mckee-announces-launch-statewide-program-help-first-time-homebuyers South Carolina https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/south-carolina-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ South Dakota https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/south-dakota-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Tennessee https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/tennessee-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Texas https://www.tsahc.org/homebuyers-renters/first-time-home-buyer-grants Utah https://ksltv.com/547535/utahs-20k-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-program-starts-in-july/ Vermont https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/vermont-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Virginia https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/virginia-first-time-home-buyer-programs Washington https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/washington-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ West Virginia https://themortgagereports.com/90139/west-virginia-first-time-home-buyer-programs-grants Wisconsin https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/wisconsin-first-time-homebuyer-assistance-programs/ Wyoming https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/wyoming-homebuyer-programs/   We hope this guide helps all the first time homebuyers out there! To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Selling Properties? Here's 10 Tips to Make Your Listing More Attractive to Buyers
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The Psychology of Homebuying: Understanding the Emotions that Drive Real Estate Decisions
Buying a home is often considered one of the most significant purchases a person will make in their lifetime. Not only is it a financial investment, but it also holds emotional value. For many, the process of purchasing a home can be overwhelming, stressful, and emotional. This is because the psychology of homebuying is complex and often driven by a range of emotions. In this post, we will explore the psychology of homebuying and how emotions influence real estate decisions. Major life decision First and foremost, homebuying is a major life decision. It is not only an investment in real estate, but it also involves a significant amount of money, time, and effort. As a result, a variety of emotions, including excitement, anxiety, fear and uncertainty frequently influence this decision. These emotions can often cloud the judgment of homebuyers and lead to irrational decision making. Feeling of security One of the most significant emotional drivers in homebuying is the feeling of security. People often associate owning a home with stability and security. This is because owning a home provides a sense of permanence and stability that renting does not. As a result, homebuyers often prioritize safety and security when looking for a new home. This is demonstrated by the desire for communities with low crime rates, top-notch schools, and convenient access to services like hospitals and supermarkets. Feeling of belonging Another emotion that drives homebuying is the feeling of belonging. A sense of neighborhood and community belonging is a benefit of homeownership. This is because homeowners often become invested in their community and take pride in their home and neighborhood. As a result, homebuyers often prioritize finding a home that is in a neighborhood that aligns with their values and beliefs. This can be seen in the desire for neighborhoods that are diverse, vibrant, and welcoming. Fear of missing out (FOMO) On the other hand, fear is another feeling that can influence a person's decision to buy a house. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a common emotion that drives people to make hasty decisions. In homebuying, FOMO can manifest in the fear of losing out on a desirable property or neighborhood. This fear can lead homebuyers to make rash decisions, like putting in an offer without conducting proper research or inspections. Additionally, fear can also manifest in the fear of making a mistake. This fear can lead homebuyers to delay making a decision or to second-guess their choices. Anxiety Anxiety is another emotion that can play a significant role in homebuying. Buying a home is a major financial decision, and the fear of making a bad investment can lead to anxiety. Additionally, the process of homebuying can be stressful and overwhelming. This stress can lead to anxiety and impact decision making. Ultimately, homebuying is a complex process that involves a range of emotions. Understanding the psychology of homebuying can help homebuyers make more informed decisions. By acknowledging the emotions that drive real estate decisions, homebuyers can take steps to ensure that their decisions are rational and based on sound judgment. Here are some tips for managing emotions during the homebuying process: Set clear priorities: Before beginning the homebuying process, it is important to set clear priorities. This will help homebuyers stay focused on what is important to them and avoid making decisions based on emotion. Conduct proper research: It is important to conduct proper research when looking for a home. This will help homebuyers make informed decisions based on facts rather than emotions. Stay organized: Homebuying can be overwhelming, and staying organized can help manage stress and anxiety. Keeping track of important documents, deadlines, and appointments can help reduce stress and make the process more manageable. Seek support: Homebuying can be a stressful and emotional process. It is important that buyers seek support from friends, family or you, their real estate agent. Having someone to talk to can help manage emotions and provide a fresh perspective on the situation. Take breaks: It is important that buyers take breaks and step away from the homebuying process when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. This can help clear the mind and allow for more rational decision making. In conclusion, the psychology of homebuying is complex and driven by a range of emotions. Understanding the emotions that drive real estate decisions can help homebuyers make more informed and rational decisions. By setting clear priorities, conducting proper research, staying organized, seeking support, and taking breaks, homebuyers can manage their emotions and make the best decision for their needs and preferences. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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[Best of 2022] Termination of Real Estate Contract by Buyer: A Guide for Agents and Buyers
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[Best of 2022] Friday Freebie: 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #5 in our countdown. See #6 here. 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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Helping Clients Make Informed Decisions When Buying a Home
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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
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What Is the Most Valuable Service Buyer Agents Provide?
Recently, WAV Group conducted a national survey of homebuyers to determine attitudes towards buyer agent commissions. One encouraging finding from the Buyer Agent Commission Report was the high percentage of overall buyer satisfaction with the value provided by their agent. Eighty-eight percent of respondents thought that their agent earned the commission that they received on the home purchase. This is good news for an industry that has seen many "industry disruptors" enter the marketplace over the last several decades. In the open end responses, two things related to agent value emerged that can help you train your agents to provide maximum value to the home purchase process. The first insight comes from one respondent who was not completely certain that their agent earned the commission that they were paid: "I found the house and asked him to meet me there." While it is clear that online home search is not threatening to displace agents completely, it has devalued the home touring services provided by agents. What agents want to be careful to avoid is becoming a tour guide or, even worse, an Uber driver for homebuyers. Looking at homes is the fun part of the process and something that apps do very well. If buyers think agents are just there to open the door, then the perceived value will only be realized if the search takes a long time and they open a lot of doors. As another respondent pointed out, "They did organize some things for me, but I chose a home pretty quickly so I don't think they deserved as much as they got." Secondly, the Buyer Agent Commission Report confirmed over and over again that buyers really valued communication with their agent. "They answered all questions and followed through on all aspects of the purchase pre and post sale." Buying a home is a large and emotional transaction, and more than anything else, buyers want agents to be available to listen, support, and provide wisdom from their years of experience over many transactions. As various showing apps make home tours easier and easier, remember to encourage your agents to leverage that technology to smooth the process and free them up to provide the one-to-one communication and advice that buyers are happy to pay for. For more insights, download the full Buyer Agent Commission Report here. It's FREE for a limited time when you use promo code "Commissions" at checkout. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Friday Freebie: 7 Real Estate Spreadsheets + Calculator Tools
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RPR Now Boasts a Better Buyer Tour
If you're an agent who works with buyers, you're pretty accustomed to weekend afternoon tours of homes for sale. You line up a list of homes that meet their wants and needs (and budget, of course), and then you drive around and view each one. This list can be achieved through your hard work and research, but will also often come in the form of specific addresses from your online house-hunting clients. Either way, it's a process. And that process is a whole lot easier with the RPR (Realtors Property Resource) Buyer Tour report, an app-exclusive that is only available via RPR Mobile. The app has recently been updated and improved to make your Buyer Tour experience that much better! The new and improved RPR Buyer Tour Simple in nature but comprehensive all the same, the Buyer Tour Report easily allows agents to select properties and determine an order to tour them. And under the "wait it gets better" category, it then lets agents create a colorful, client-friendly report to share with buyers. It's a great way to set up a schedule and keep a record of what was viewed, and what was liked. If you're already familiar with the RPR app and using the Buyer Tour, we've got great news: the app was recently updated and now boasts some quality enhancements! The most important (and requested) is the ability to "Add known property" to the tour you're building by address or listing ID. The ability to add properties manually, versus running a search and using the map, is a big deal in the Buyer Tour user world. This has been the number one ask from our app users, and we're glad to deliver it. The new Buyer Tour is also the only RPR report that allows you to feature more than one, single property. Watch the new Buyer Tour in action To see how the new Buyer Tour function works in the updated app, watch this step-by step video. It's just over three minutes long and will walk you through the necessary steps to properly set up a buyer tour. And if you prefer written directions, or want to print something out to keep at your side, check out our handy Buyer Tour Printable Guide. It also has step-by-step instructions and some screen grab visuals to help you follow along. Take your buyers on a tour! Reminder: The Buyer Tour is only available via the RPR Mobile app. Download and/or update your app today to experience all the new changes and features, including upgrades to the Buyer Tour function. Set up appointments and tours, add or delete properties from the schedule, then follow up with a report that includes all the homes that were viewed — all from your phone and wherever you have service. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Tips for Buyers on Choosing Their Next Neighborhood
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Buyers and Their Tech: How Technology Can Help Them Find Their Next Home
Have buyers that are unfamiliar with the world of real estate technology? Share this consumer-facing article to help your buyers understand how tech can help them in their home search: The traditional way to buy a home might seem ancient to today's buyers: the yard signs, the land lines, and the newspaper ads, but many of these old ways have become digitalized. That isn't to say that yard signs aren't used; they are still helpful and will probably withstand the test of time. Though as technology has become more widespread and ever changing it can be hard to keep up. So, let's look at the technology that has made the home buying experience easier for buyers. The Search When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everything evolved into a new way of living. The digital world took over, giving homeowners a new way to look for homes. In a study done by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 97 percent of home buyers start the search online. Studies also found that millennials are the largest group of home buyers and 99 percent of them start their search online. However, the older generations aren't that far behind in keeping up with the trends, as 87 percent of the silent generation also begin their journey for a new home on their desktops. Remember, searching for a home online is more than just a few pictures attached to a price. Homes.com provides you with relevant information, like schools and agent information. Even finding homes is easier because of features like maps, scores, and others, enabling you to narrow down your search and making the home buying experience simple and efficient. Though the initial search for homes starts online, the next step hasn't changed: finding an agent. Today finding an agent online is just as reliable as an agent recommendation from a friend or family member. Agents The internet has a wealth of information, enabling you to know more about the home buying process. But it won't have the nitty gritty details that an agent can offer you. An agent can help you with many things including finding the right home, negotiating terms of the sale, negotiating prices, and they can help you with the paperwork. A NAR study published in 2022 found that 87 percent of buyers used an agent when buying their homes. Technology may have helped you find your home, but even with the power of the internet an agent is still an asset for a home buyer. Who else would give you a detailed tour? Virtual Tours In the early months of the pandemic, in-person activities were limited, or in some places, nonexistent, making virtual tours the new normal. 3D renderings of a physical space provide you with the ability to view properties in the comfort of your home. This was not only a safe option during the pandemic but also became convenient when in-person tours returned as bans and regulations were lifted or modified, depending on where you live. In the future, you may see home tours brought to you by the metaverse. The metaverse is a combination of all things digital, including items like apps, bitcoin, and virtual reality. The metaverse could allow you to tour homes via virtual reality (VR) technology in your own home. So, if an agent wants to show you a home that might go quickly but you are out of town, with access to VR technology, you and your agent could still tour the home together in the metaverse. This kind of technology is still very new, but a scenario like this is plausible. So, look out — you may have a new way of touring homes. Homes Go Digital Buyers today can not only buy a physical home, but an NFT home, too. An NFT is a nonfungible token record on a blockchain that is associated with an asset bought with cryptocurrency like bitcoin. A blockchain is a record of transactions made via cryptocurrency that are linked peer-to-peer on digital devices. Together, these two technologies can change the way you buy a house. In 2020, CNN reported that a home in the metaverse sold for a little more than $500,000. Artist Krista Kim created and designed the home after being inspired by the "feeling of Zen." Kim also teamed up with Jeff Schroeder from Smashing Pumpkins and together they created a soundtrack to go with the home to bring ultimate relaxation to the buyer. After all, why have a have a summer island home when you can have a digital home on Mars? The possibilities of purchasing a digital home using NFT don't stop there. A physical home was sold in Florida via NFT in 2022 successfully for the first time in the U.S. This process is very new, so it's not a reliable option for home buyers, at least not yet. Paperwork The word paperwork may be dull, outdated, or even a welcome sight after looking at too many screens. It will always be a part of the home buying process even if you purchase a home in the metaverse. Your agent may opt for e-signing using a technology like DocuSign. This is where an agent can email you the documents for you to sign electronically. This process is not only faster and could save the trees, but it can be more reliable for buyers, sellers, and agents. If you wanted, you could print those documents for your records, save them on your computer, or both for extra security and peace of mind. Social Media When social media first dropped on the scene, it was a way to connect with friends and family. Today, it has blossomed into a network of building personal and business connections with people all over the world. If you can't find an agent by word of mouth, then social media may be a good place to start. In a study done by NAR, 52% of agents use social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You may already use these apps, maybe even longer than some agents. You can use social media to read an agent's reviews, see their work, and even get a sense of their personality to determine if it will mesh well with yours. With updates being thrown your way left and right, new things can be intimidating. Technology seems to be changing in the blink of an eye, but it's helping you find a future dream home. After all, when the pandemic hit, many were stuck at home only to realize that their home wasn't the haven they thought it was. It might have sparked a renovation, or a new furniture set, or even a new house. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Walk Scores, Bike Scores, Transit Scores, and Sound Scores: How to Use Them in the House Hunting Journey
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3 Tips to Submit a Competitive Offer in Under 120 Seconds
Quick! What does it take to make a competitive offer in a competitive market? The answer? Swift action! Today, we'll show you how to achieve exactly that with three tips to help you write and submit offers in under two minutes using your transaction management solution. Ready, set, GO! 1. Use templates When it comes to saving time, the name of the game is preparation. Once your buyers have decided they want to submit an offer on a property, you'll need to start a digital file for that property. This process can be accomplished in just a few clicks when you use transaction templates. A template is created and customized by your team or brokerage with preset tasks, documents, and more to make starting a new transaction file a breeze. No need to create everything from scratch—simply select a buying template in your transaction management software. To give you an idea of how easy this is, let's see an example of how this works in dotloop, a transaction management platform used by nearly half a million active agents every month. Once you start a new transaction file (called a "loop" in dotloop), simply name the loop and select a template from the dropdown menu. 2. Add people ahead of time Once you've created a new transaction and selected a template, it's time to add your buyers' information. You can make this process a snap by adding their information to your transaction solution's contact database ahead of time. That way, all you have to do is tap their name to autofill their information into your offer documents. Dotloop users can pre-add client information in the Global People section. In other platforms, this section may be called "People" or "Contacts." If you've connected your transaction solution to your CRM, you can simply import your buyers' contact data, making this process even simpler. 3. Stay mobile-ready If you need to write an offer ASAP, the last thing you want to do is travel to your office to access your computer. Instead, be sure you've downloaded your transaction management platform's app to your phone so you can write and submit offers from anywhere. And, bonus, you'll be able to do so much more from the mobile app than just submit offers. You can scan documents, communicate with clients, manage tasks, submit documents for review, and so much more—all on the go. Learn more about how dotloop can help you stay competitive at dotloop.com.
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How to Work with Millennial and Gen-Z Clients
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Friday Freebie: The Simplified Homebuyer Guide
Leverage it as a lead gen magnet, or use it to educate clients -- this week's Friday Freebie offers double the utility. This free guide can be placed behind a lead capture form, or given to buyer clients to help guide them through the home purchasing process. Keep reading to learn how to download your free copy. Free download of The Simplified Homebuyer Guide, courtesy of Zurple The homebuying process is complex, and buyers have a lot of questions. The Simplified Homebuyer Guide aims to answer buyers' questions and give them resources like worksheets and timelines to move them through the buying process. That's great for agents. After all, an educated buyer is a buyer that is best able to compete in today's market. In addition, if you're looking to target leads, this guide lists homeownership benefits and reasons for working with an agent. Here's what else this comprehensive guide offers: Homeownership benefits for moving hesitant buyers off the fence Why buyers should work with an agent Common mistakes to avoid 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 Glossary of common real estate terms And more! Download The Simplified Homebuyer Guide now to educate buyers and capture new leads!
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New Realtor.com Buying Power Tool Shows What Homes Are Affordable Based on the Buyer's Finances
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Termination of Real Estate Contract by Buyer: A Guide for Agents and Buyers
As a buyer, realizing you want to back out of a contract can be frightening and overwhelming. You probably have many questions. Can you back out of buying a house after signing a contract? Do you get your earnest money back? For real estate agents, learning that a client wants to back out also raises many questions and concerns. Termination of real estate contract by a buyer is possible, but it can only be done in certain circumstances to avoid significant consequences. It must also be done properly. Here is what buyers and agents need to know. Agents: Know When to Request a Termination or Release! Make sure you know your state's laws on real estate contract termination versus release and how it affects your client's rights. Only a release of contract releases both parties from liability. If your buyer client has a termination right, the earnest money cannot be released to them without a signed release of contract from the seller or a court order in many states. Automatically asking for a release of contract isn't always the right move. If the buyer has a legitimate right to terminate and the seller does not agree to sign a release, the termination deadline may be missed and the buyer's right to terminate can be forfeited. Can a Buyer Back Out of a Purchase Agreement? When it comes to canceling a real estate contract, you may hear two terms used: release and terminate. These terms are very different. Terminating a real estate contract is something one party does unilaterally when they have the legal right to do so. Real estate contract termination by a buyer may be done when the inspection turns up a problem the seller refuses to fix (with an inspection contingency), for example. A release from a real estate contact is an action the seller and buyer must take together. This move releases the buyer and/or seller from their obligations under the contract. If the buyer does not have cause to terminate the contract, the seller can agree to release them in exchange for forfeiting the earnest money, as an example. In most states, buyers have many opportunities to legally back out of a real estate purchase agreement. The typical real estate contract has several contingencies that give the buyer a legal way to terminate the contract and have their earnest money refunded. Even if these contingencies are waived, many states have a period during which buyers can change their mind. When Is It Too Late to Back Out of Buying a House? It's important to carefully check the purchase agreement and deadlines attached. There may be one dozen or more deadlines to cancel a real estate contract depending on state law and contingencies. For example, an option period may be 7 to 10 days once the contract takes effect. During this time, the buyer may be able to back out for almost any reason. Once this period ends, terminating the contract may only be allowed pursuant to specific clauses in the contract. After reviewing the seller's disclosures, there may be another deadline that allows the buyer to terminate. This may be up to five days. Can a buyer cancel an offer to purchase? The purchase agreement is not a legal contract until it is signed by both parties. A buyer can retract an offer if the seller has not yet responded. If the seller counteroffers, the buyer can still back out. Options for terminating a real estate contract are more limited once an offer is accepted and the contract is signed. Can You Cancel a House Sale Before Closing? Options for Buyers Depending on the contract, a buyer may be able to terminate a real estate contract based on a number of contingencies. Here are the most common options for how to get out of a house contract once it's signed by both parties. Inspection or option period: This is usually a fixed period of time (usually 7 to 10 days) during which the buyer can back out of the contract. There is usually a non-refundable fee for an option period. Financing contingency: This contingency clause allows the buyer to back out if they fail to secure financing. Property approval or appraisal contingency: The buyer can back out if the home does not appraise for at least the purchase price or the property is otherwise not accepted by the lender if the seller will not drop the price and the buyer does not want to pay the difference. Inspection contingency: This clause may allow the buyer to back out before the applicable deadline if they are unsatisfied with the home inspection, the seller refuses to make repairs or reduce the purchase price, or if repairs are estimated to cost more than a certain amount. The seller won't make agreed-upon repairs or treatments: In this case, the seller may be in default of the contract and the buyer can back out. Title issues: Buyers generally have the right to back out of a contract if issues are found with the title and the seller does not fix them before the deadline. These are only common options; there may be other options available to a buyer who wants to back out of a contract. For instance, the seller may have failed to give required disclosures by the deadline. How to Terminate a Real Estate Contract Terminating a real estate contract requires following a specific procedure based on the state. In general, the buyer and their agent must give proper notice of buyer's termination of contract. In some states, there is a specific form to use that informs the seller the contract is terminated and lists the clauses the allows the buyer to terminate. Termination of Contract and Release of Earnest Money In most states, what happens to the earnest money depends on the contract provisions. Earnest money is generally returned to the buyer in one of two scenarios: Buyer cancellation of purchase agreement under a termination right, or Termination of real estate contract by seller The seller generally keeps the earnest money if the buyer backs out of the contract without legal cause. In most states, the buyer's agent must request a release of contract. This must be signed by the seller to release both parties of liability and return the earnest money to the buyer. If the seller refuses to do so, a court may need to decide on the case. Consequences of Breaking a Real Estate Contract There may be financial consequences of terminating a real estate contract, depending on the reason. The farther into the process, the more likely (and more expensive) these consequences tend to be. When a buyer backs out of a contract that's been signed, their earnest money is at risk. The average earnest money amount is 1% to 3% of the purchase price, which is anywhere from $3,700 to more than $11,000 based on the average U.S. home price. For the buyer, getting the earnest money back usually requires the seller signing a release of contract. If they do not, the earnest money can be tied up in a time-consuming process with the case heard in court. If a buyer backs out of a sale without cause for terminating the contract, they forfeit their earnest money and may even be sued for additional damages. Can Seller Sue Buyer for Backing Out? While the law varies by state, a seller can sue a buyer for backing out of a sale – but it's complicated and uncommon. In general, buyers can be sued if they do not properly terminate a contract based on a contingency. In this case, the seller can sue them for specific performance (following through with the purchase) or money damages for breach of contract. If this happens, the earnest money does not necessarily limit the damages. That means a buyer can be sued for damages even beyond the deposit they put down. It's crucial for buyers and agents to understand not only when a buyer can back out of a real estate contract but how it should be done to avoid potentially serious consequences. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer's Cheat Sheet for Winning in a Hot Market
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Friday Freebie: Home Buyer Packet Templates
Last month, we highlighted a free home seller's guide. But you know who really needs some TLC in this market? Home buyers. Between record high home prices and record low inventory, it's a tough time to buy a home--or be the agent assisting in the purchase. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're turning our attention to buyers. Read on to find out how to get a free packet of home buyer templates that you can use to ease the home search process. 2022 Home Buyer Packet Templates, courtesy of Zurple Let's face it: in today's competitive housing market, 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. It consists of seven templates, including worksheets, that you can use with clients to narrow down the type of home they're looking for and educate them on the entire home buying process, from search to close. The packet consists of seven editable documents: Home and Neighborhood Prioritization Checklist Homebuyer Questionnaire Common Homebuyer Terminology The Homebuyer Timeline Home Buying Checklist Open House Questions Checklist House Hunting Checklist Today's market is uniquely intense and competitive. But information is power. By educating your buyers and by learning as much as possible about their needs, you empower everyone involved to move forward and find the home of their dreams. Download the 2022 Homebuyer Packet now!
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Friday Freebie: 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists
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5 Key Ways to Create Buyer Loyalty
For real estate agents, buyers are one side of the coin and sellers are the other. While you'd never dream of selling someone's home without a listing agreement, the buyer side of the coin is a little trickier. These days, buyers are hesitant to sign buyer agency agreements for a number of reasons. So, what can you do to create buyer loyalty during and after a transaction? Take a look at these five key methods. 1. Maximize the client experience. Buying clients know there are hundreds of listings online that they can easily look up and sift through themselves. They're also particular (and rightfully so, since they're making one of the biggest investments of their lives, and maybe even searching for a forever home!). Ask yourself: what's the value I provide and how can I maximize this person's experience working with me? Pay attention to your buyers' wants, preferences and working styles. Move at their pace. Be accommodating and show you care. Respond quickly so they know you're there for them. Share innovative ideas about how they can achieve their goals and find the ideal property. Always do what you say you will. 2. Have a well-thought-out system in place. Think of the lifecycle of a buyer from start to finish. First, create and deliver a top-notch buyer presentation. Demonstrate your strong points, differentiators and specialties, and tell your potential client everything they can expect from working with you. Then, don't be afraid to ask them to sign a buyer agency agreement, and be sure to highlight the benefits if they do. Remember, if you never ask, you'll never get it. Plan when and how you will stay connected to your buyer leads and clients. Use a CRM to stay organized and set up automated reminders, email drip campaigns for different groups, personal messages, specific property details, and information to help them feel prepared for the different steps of the process. If you end up finding that perfect home for your buyer and closing the deal, don't forget about everything that comes after… 3. Show your gratitude for the business. This is a brilliant added touch and one that always makes a new homeowner feel special and appreciative. It could be a handwritten thank you card, a follow-up call to see how they're settling in, a small house-warming gift, or a pizza gift card for dinner on you during one of those busy first-move-in nights. 4. Stay in touch. It's still not over. That satisfied buyer is now one of your most powerful contacts. You've taken them through all aspects of your process, and you successfully closed the deal! As long as you've done a good job, this is a happy and satisfied client. If you play your cards right, that means they'll remember you, refer you and use you again if or when the time comes. But you must stay in touch. Far too often, real estate agents forget this part, yet an increasing number of studies are showing it's one of the most important. If you don't keep up the communication and stay in touch with your buyers, they'll likely forget your name or simply not think of you first when a new need arises. A few of the best ways to keep in touch with past clients are cards or e-cards on their move-in anniversary, monthly newsletters, personalized check-in text messages, birthday emails, and handy referrals to trusted contractors and trades as time goes on. And don't forget about the buyers who you didn't end up closing with. Maybe they're still looking, but the process is slower. Or perhaps you weren't the agent to find their perfect home this time around, but that doesn't mean you can't be next time. Keep in touch through personal texts, monthly newsletters and email drip campaigns that ensure you stay top of mind. 5. Don't dry up and become stagnant. It's easy to get caught up with the everyday business operations that, during your busy times of year, can often feel nothing short of chaotic. Don't let that stop you from progressing, continually learning and educating yourself in the real estate space. Along with these ongoing efforts, come fresh and innovative insights on all aspects of buying, selling and investing. When you're educated, well-informed and always on the cusp of the latest trends and industry movements, you're equipped with invaluable information to be shared with your contacts across so many different marketing and communication mediums. And that translates into you becoming an authoritative figure with current and trusted information in the industry. Once you consistently earn trust, you consistently get the business. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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[Best of 2021] The 4 Biggest Mistakes Agents Make When Working with Buyers
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[Best of 2021] Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in June and is #7 in our countdown. See #8 here. 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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Friday Freebie: Educate Buyers and Attract Leads with this Homebuying Guide
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Can a Buyer Back Out of a Home Purchase Contract?
Ever have a buyer client that wanted to back out of their contract? Share the article below with them to help them understand the legal ramifications and what their options are: In an intense seller's market, it's not unusual to see buyers waive contingencies or place an offer on a house sight unseen -- both of which can lead to buyer's remorse. Once a buyer's offer is accepted by the seller, the buyer is contractually obligated to the home purchase. Or are they? When you're in the market to buy a home, it's important to know the options you have to get out of a contract without facing legal troubles. Not all options alleviate the risk though, so here's what could leave a buyer off the hook — and legally vulnerable — in the event you want to walk away. Inspection Contingencies One of the most common contingencies in real estate is known as an inspection contingency. A home inspection contingency essentially states that the purchase of a home is dependent on the results from the home inspection. The right to an inspection exists to protect buyers from purchasing a home with substantial (and potentially expensive) faults. However, the right to inspect must be specified in the purchase contract in order for a buyer to have the opportunity to inspect. This critical contingency often provides buyers with the opportunity to terminate a purchase if they are not satisfied with the inspection and condition of the property. In this intense seller's market with bidding wars becoming more common, some buyers have opted to forego inspection as a way to stand out from the crowd and maximize the chance theirs is the offer that's accepted. The risk in this strategy is that a buyer could purchase a home with several substantial problems and looming repairs. While it may help you win a bidding war, foregoing the inspection contingency will often offer more risk than reward. By keeping an inspection contingency in the offer, buyers could potentially back out of a contract. Appraisal Contingencies Without a doubt, the most common contingency that buyers are waiving right now is the appraisal contingency. In many markets, appraisal gaps have become a common tool buyers use to negate a low appraisal. And while including an appraisal gap can certainly help an offer compete against the crowd in a multiple offer scenario, it's a risky strategy for buyers. Appraisals exist to ensure buyers don't overpay for a home and also offer an "out" for buyers if the home appraised for less than the purchase price. Typically, when an appraisal comes in low, buyers have the opportunity to back out of the contract or negotiate a lower purchase price. However, if buyers include an appraisal gap in their offer, they could potentially lose the ability to terminate based on appraisal. Other Reasons a Buyer Might Back Out And while inspection and appraisals are the common reasons for backing out of a contract, there are certainly other scenarios that arise that cause a buyer to terminate: Time Is of the Essence – In every contract, there are typically deadlines for both the buyer and seller to meet. If a buyer has fulfilled their obligations but the seller has not and the transaction does not close on time, a buyer could potentially back out of the purchase. Death of the Buyer – In many states, if the buyer dies prior to closing, the purchase is terminated. It's important to consult an attorney if the estate has any obligation to complete the purchase. Loss of Job – Most contracts that involve the buyer obtaining a loan include a financing contingency. If a buyer is unable to obtain loan approval, then this contingency typically gives them the right to terminate since they are not able to financially purchase the home. Beyond credit issues, a common reason for loan denial is when the buyer loses a job during the course of the transaction prior to closing. Specific Contingencies – For example, if a buyer makes an offer sight unseen, they can include a contingency that the offer is subject to their viewing and approval of the property. If they aren't satisfied, they may be able to back out. Other specific contingencies can exist on a case-by-case basis, so consult your real estate agent. Things to Know BEFORE You Back Out of a Contract Keep in mind, as a buyer, you've signed a legally binding contract. It's critical to read the entire contract and all the fine print before signing and making an offer to the seller! While there are quite a few protected scenarios where a buyer can legally back out of contract, there is also an important legal term buyers should be aware of: specific performance. A simple change of heart about purchasing a home may not be legally protected and could subject a buyer to a specific performance lawsuit. If a buyer wishes to terminate a contract, it's critical to consult a licensed attorney about the legal ramifications of that decision before terminating. It's important to note that even if you're working with a buyer's agent, they are not allowed to give legal advice. If you or anyone you know is in the market for a new home, check out the Homes.com comprehensive How To guides that walk you through the home buying, selling, and financing process step by step. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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What Should a Buyer Look for During a Final Walk-Through?
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Help Your Buyer Leads Move Forward
Home sales have been brisk throughout 2021. You are busy following up with your clients making sure to answer any questions that have arisen since their recent sale or purchase. But what about the buyers who appeared to be ready to buy but nothing materialized? Your real estate buyer leads should be turning into clients. It's time to get them on track to locking down a sale and putting them into a newly purchased home. Knowing the signs a buyer is ready to make a move can increase your lead conversion rate. The best thing you can do is stay in touch with your leads by supplying quality information about the current market, financing options, and decision-making stimulators like iGUIDE's immersive 3D tours and floor plans. Why were you ghosted by your buyer leads? Wondering where your buyer leads went? If you forgot to contact some healthy leads because you have been burning the midnight oil with other buyers ready to sign now, you may have missed out on a few deals. Your real estate agent success rate is determined by communicating with your leads in a timely manner. Leverage your time when you are busy by hiring associates to maintain contact with potential clients. Your assistants can keep a watchful eye on buyer leads and send follow-up information, virtual tours, and answer questions promptly. Another way to leverage your time is to hire professional real estate photographers to take care of capturing great photos and getting accurate floor plan measurements so you can free up the time to stay in touch with your leads. The right time to follow up with your archived list of leads Timing is everything when it comes to real estate buyer leads. If you contact a potential lead repeatedly, you may be annoying the consumer, offering information too little and too late, which could lose you a sale. Providing information periodically to your archived leads, like current market updates, keeps the lines of communication open. One of the first indicators of readiness to buy is engagement. When someone responds to your social posts, emails, or contacts you directly about revisiting their "must-haves" for a property, suddenly they become active leads. The next step is delving into some interactive virtual tours where your buyer lead can visualize their personal belongings in the fit and flow of the floor plan for their potential new home. Check for the signs your buyer leads are ready to move Things to mark off your checklist to qualify buyers include pre-qualification for financing, expanding family with the desire for more space, job promotions, retirement, and a solid idea of timing to take possession of their new home. Ask and don't be afraid of the answers. It's your job to find out the answers to all the difficult questions, like is the buyer financially qualified for a mortgage, how much money is available for a down payment, and the budget for their new home purchase. Signs that can improve your real estate agent success rate all point in the direction of buyer readiness for the entire process. If they have been looking at homes for months and months without getting all their ducks in order, it may be a sign they are not ready. Touchpoints: What, when, how Most of your real estate buyer leads can be reached through various touchpoints. Starting gently to prevent overwhelming your leads with a borage of spam that could make you appear desperate. Use email campaigns to inform about new listings with links to your online virtual tours and website. Interesting facts about the current market, new developments, and trending proptech are ideal ways to promote your brand through social media and to engage with your leads on their social channels. Don't forget to include LinkedIn along with your other social media to reach out to professionals connecting through your digital advertising. The right time to follow up is when your touchpoints point you in the direction of engagement. Use technology to connect and stimulate the desire for a new home Motivation to purchase a new home is as simple as driving engagement through the use of desired technology. Current proptech—including interactive 3D tours, accurately measured floor plans, and virtual showings—give you the ability to open the lines of communication and encourage a buyer's interaction with properties of interest to help them make faster decisions. The goal is to help the buyer form an emotional attachment that in turn will drive your real estate agent success rate upwards. Buyers want and need to form an affection for their new home, and you can make it happen quickly with iGUIDE's cutting-edge technology. For more information regarding iGUIDE, click here. If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our representatives, then click here. If you want to read more content like this, then check out our blogs and YouTube channel. Red flags: No deals How do you know when your real estate buyer leads are headed down the wrong path? Some red flags include weekend tire kickers who always find something wrong with every property you present, either through virtual showings or physical viewing. When a buyer has been on the prowl for a new house for a lengthy period or is vague about the details they want in a floor plan, it may be a sign they are not ready to buy yet. Knowing the full story and the motivation behind the search for a new home will give you clues about whether or not a deal is forthcoming. Letting go of a buyer lead Letting go is hard to do. If you have been a real estate professional for several years, you know that some of the best clients take substantially more time than you had hoped. Your real estate agent success rate is reliant on repetition. Engage, inform, contact, connect, sell and repeat. The only way you let go of a buyer lead is after you have exhausted all methods of communication and fulfilled your fiduciary duties to the consumer. You are the master of the sale, the closer. However, if after months of continual engagement, offering virtual showings, 3D tours and still no written offers, it may be time to gently let that lead slip back into your history file. Turning your real estate buyer leads into customers requires good use of timing, engagement, and technology. Help the decision-making process by keeping the communication flowing and giving them the proptech tools to connect now.
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Friday Freebie: Mortgage Calculator and Amortization Schedule Tool
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Turning Renters to Buyers: Dispelling 5 Key Myths
More so than ever, misconceptions about the buying process keep renters from exploring the possibility of buying a home. Still, seasoned Realtors know that knowledge is power -- a gentle, educational nudge can go a long way in turning would-be renters into first-time homebuyers. Many highly qualified renters see homeownership as out of reach, citing barriers like a minimum 20% down payment, economic uncertainty, or a shortage of inventory as barriers to entry. At the same time, historically low mortgage rates make buying a home more attractive than ever. Renters need not sit on the sidelines and wait out today's uncertain housing market. Realtors can help them navigate the home buying process, establishing long-lasting relationships by pointing them to the right resources and helping them navigate both the decision to buy and a resale transaction. Millennials Making the Move According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials have surpassed boomers as the largest segment of today's homebuyers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Green Street Advisors – Advisory & Consulting Group At the same time, millennials represent roughly 65% of all renters. As the consumer segment hardest hit by macro-economic events, including the Great Recession and the global pandemic, Millennials had been significantly behind both baby boomers and Gen Xers in their rate of homeownership. However, Millennial earnings are on the rise. In a recent study, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing recorded a 157% increase in rental households making more than $150,000 per year, meaning more millennials are ready to buy homes today. Three out of eight millennial renters believe they'll rent for life. Yet millennials are aware of the drawbacks of renting, including missed tax break opportunities, the inevitability of rent hikes, and the inability to build equity. As such, 62% of younger millennials and 68% of older millennials plan to buy within five years. As a Realtor, you can help turn renters into home buyers by dispelling these five common myths: Dispelling Five Common Myths Among Renters 1. "I done make enough money." Income is necessary, but the amount of money someone earns plays a less significant role in getting a mortgage than many might think. Lenders consider much more than just a paycheck when evaluating would-be homebuyers. Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratios and one's ability to make mortgage payments are more heavily considered than how much one makes. Lenders look at the whole picture, including credit scores and and the amount a borrower has for a down payment. First-time homebuyers may need to pay down debt and organize their spending before entering the market. Realtors working in this segment take their time with these clients, placing them in rentals (and earning commissions) while helping them address these factors. Additionally, rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans, and 5-year ARMs are historically cheap, lowering the monthly cost of owning a home. 2. "I don't have enough for a down payment." / "I don't think I'll get approved." Most renters believe you need 20% down to purchase a house. To buy a $300,000 home, you'd need $60,000 on hand—an overwhelming amount for most renters. Many first-time buyers close on a house with almost nothing down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a 100% financing mortgage. The program, formerly known as a Section 502 mortgage, but more commonly referred to as a "Rural Housing Loan" or "USDA loan," is not just a rural loan—it's available to buyers in suburban neighborhoods, too. With a USDA loan, there's no down payment requirement, no maximum home purchase price, and eligible home repairs and improvements can be included Additionally, the upfront guarantee fee can be an add-on to the loan balance at closing. FHA-insured loans allow for down payments as low as 3.5% in all U.S. markets and come with guidelines with a liberal approach to both down payments and credit scores. The FHA will insure home loans for borrowers with low credit scores, provided there is a reasonable explanation. Additionally, a down payment on an FHA-insured loan can come entirely from down payment assistance, including gifted funds. Low-down payments are also available from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac via the Conventional 97 program. Down payments are 3%, and it's less expensive for many buyers than an FHA-insured mortgage. Loans are currently capped at $548,250 and can only be used for fixed-rate mortgages on single-unit dwellings. In addition, the Conventional 97 program doesn't enforce a specific minimum credit score beyond those for a conventional home loan, and the entire 3% down payment can come from gifted funds from a spouse, partner, guardian, or family member. The Veteran's Administration administers a no-money-down program available to members of the U.S. military and surviving spouses, with straightforward qualifications; and local municipalities often offer various levels of down payment assistance, 3. "There's nothing in my price range." Once your rental client is pre-approved, they have a good sense of their target price range. However, in today's resale inventory-constrained environment, they often find themselves up against an increasingly competitive market. Here's where Realtors can demonstrate their value. Experienced Realtors can leverage their hyper-local expertise to guide first-time homebuyers into neighborhoods with homes in their target range and find hidden gems—properties not quite move-in ready yet in a preferred neighborhood and within their client's price range. 4. "I might move in a few years." Renting rather than buying is prudent over a short term—say a few months to a year, but it makes more sense to buy when staying for at least five years, and, in some cases, buying can even offer value when planning to stay for as few as two years. It boils down to math. Renters considering buying should calculate how long they need to live in a purchased home before the cost of buying outweighs the costs of renting. The New YorkTimes provides a Rent vs. Buy Calculator that takes the most important costs associated with buying a house, including mortgage details, growth rates, taxes, and closing costs, with computing equivalent monthly rents. 5. "I'll wait until I find the perfect house." Renters new to the home buying market may have unrealistic expectations about the inevitable pros and cons proffered by every property. No resale home is perfect, and a first-time purchase will likely require a few concessions. Good houses go fast! Renters looking to buy should be ready to act. Would-be buyers often need to make an offer right after a showing, so have reasonable criteria in mind beforehand. Closing a deal will involve some trade-offs, but the accomplishment of homeownership almost certainly offset them. More so than ever, there's value in working with renters, and while converting renters to buyers takes a little strategy and a lot of chutzpah, it's one of the most proven and cost-effective ways for Realtors to grow their book of business. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory Markets
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A High Offer Isn't Everything: How Buyers Can Sweeten the Deal in Other Ways
Palm Beach County, Florida remains one of the strongest real estate markets in the country due to great weather, lack of income tax, low inventory, and reasonable home prices. Jeff Lichtenstein of Echo Fine Properties says that buyers need to think beyond price when they find themselves in a bidding war. Lichtenstein says that the highest offer doesn't always win, and offers some tips on being prepared in competitive situations: Educate buyers on the market, and stay in control of the situation. Agents must have a plan and a schedule. Find out what the seller wants. Sellers hold most of the cards right now, so it's critical to understand what their wants and needs are, and act accordingly. Speed is a major factor. Clients can't sleep on it overnight and think about whether or not they want to buy it. Include short periods of acceptance. If your clients see a house at 10 am, write up the offer and give the sellers until 5 pm to respond. Try to get the earliest appointment possible to view a home. Use an escalation clause. Include in the contract that if someone matches the buyer's offer in 24 hours, your buyer will match it and go up by $1,000. Escalation clauses can be used for other things besides money. Agree to be flexible if the seller wants to shift the closing date or lease the property back. Make a big deposit. In the past, 10% was always a good deposit, but offers with larger deposits (25%+) are being taken more seriously. Use a local lender. Local banks can usually close more quickly than a big national bank. Having good communication and always acting/looking professional is also key, and Lichtenstein uses HighNote (a smart presentation platform) as a cornerstone of his communications efforts. He and his brokerage use the tool in multiple ways—introducing their agents and brokerage, showcasing their home selling process, agent onboarding and recruiting, etc. Several of his agents use it to send out a schedule of activities to their clients that includes links to developments and homes they'll be viewing on a particular day. "We can communicate better with HighNote than if we just write and send a generic email without the pretty pictures. People absorb the information faster that way, by seeing the photos and the writing that's next to it—whether you're putting in a .pdf, video, link, a picture, or even a Word document," Lichtenstein explains. "Plus, the analytics lets us know if they've opened it up—if they're looking at it for a long time, we know they're an interested party. Or if they haven't opened it, then we can call and ask if they've seen what we've sent. We love that feature," he says. You can follow Jeff and the entire ECHO Fine Properties team on Facebook and Instagram, and learn more about HighNote at highnote.io.
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Top Negotiation Tactics for Buyers in a Red-Hot Market
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How to Use HighNote to Make Your Buyer's Offer Stand Out From the Crowd
In today's real estate world, the offer is everything. Bidding wars are commonplace, properties are receiving multiple offers as soon as they hit the market, and agents are having to find creative ways to make sure their buyers stand out from the crowd. One of the most important things to remember is that offers are about more than just money. Sellers want to know their needs will be met and there will be no surprises during escrow. That's why agents need an easy, organized, and simple way to show a seller that their buyer means business – and sending a HighNote offer presentation is a fabulous way to do exactly that. Here are the things that most sellers are looking for when they review an offer: Highest possible price Confidence that their needs will be met (for instance, maybe they need to rent back from the buyer or rush the closing date) A feeling of security that the deal will close without any problems Photo by Sean Dreilinger When these points aren't met, it's generally a recipe for rejection. However, there are exceptions to every rule. The highest offer doesn't always win. Sometimes the offer with the quickest closing time, the biggest deposit, or an escalation clause wins. It's important to speak with the listing agent before you submit an offer to understand the seller's needs and expectations so that you can meet them (for more information, check out our interview with Jeff Lichtenstein!). Sellers today are inundated with multiple offers, which is why it's important to stand out. When you send a HighNote, you're sending a professional presentation that sets your buyer apart from the rest. It's not handwritten or sloppy; it's organized and aesthetically pleasing. It reflects well on you and your buyer, and helps you get noticed in a sea of other offers. Sending a HighNote offer presentation allows agents to include pertinent information that many other agents aren't sending at all (such as lending pre-approval information and other relevant documentation), or might be sending in a series of messy email attachments which get overlooked. HighNote provides agents with analytics, letting them see what was opened and for how long. This knowledge is critical, and makes it easy for the buyer's agent to follow up with the listing agent. It also allows an agent to inform their buyers that their offer is being reviewed, which keeps them in the loop during the anxious waiting period following an offer submission. HighNote is a beautiful way to send that important information, thereby increasing the likelihood that your buyer's offer will be accepted. Here are some great things to include in your HighNote offer presentation: Summary: A letter or overview sheet that includes the highlights of the offer Buyer notes: What the buyer specifically likes about the house (this is not to be confused with a "love letter," which is frowned upon by the National Association of REALTORS®) Agent notes: What you think about the listing (well staged, how the property blends in nicely with the neighborhood). This is your opportunity to showcase your market knowledge and expertise Signed purchase agreement Proof of funds Lender/mortgage broker overview letter Loan approval letter Signed agent inspection disclosure If you're a real estate agent who wants to give your buyers the best chance possible at getting their offer accepted, then it's time to check out HighNote. Click here to take your business to the next level! To view the original article, visit the HightNote.io blog.
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer Packet Template
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
Working with first-time buyers is rewarding and often very challenging, but as a real estate professional, you know how to guide them through every step of the process. First-time homebuyers want it all. Like seasoned buyers, they want to have a home suited to their lifestyle and needs, in the ideal location, and for the best price. But the question is, what are new homebuyers looking for when it comes to taking the plunge into today's real estate market? The vast majority of first-time homebuyers want a variety of features in their new home. High on the list of wants are garages, finished basements, yard, the ideal size of the home, and an open floor plan. It is your job to help the buyer navigate their maiden voyage and arrive at their "home sweet home" destination in the least amount of time. The shortlist Ideal floor plan Location Price and affordability Size – accurate square footage Who are first-time buyers? According to NAR, 31% of all buyers in 2020 were first-time buyers. More than 80% of buyers between the ages of 22-30 purchased a home for the first time. This demographic is followed closely by older millennials between the ages of 31-40, making up 48% of their age group. Twenty-two percent of buyers between 40-54 years of age were also buying their first residence. So how do you attract first-time homebuyers? Why buy a home? The reasons for purchasing a home range from the need for larger or smaller square footage to the desire to accommodate multi-generational family members under the same roof. Moving from a rental or moving out of the family home are also motivating factors. But the biggest reason first-time homebuyers are getting into the real estate market is the desire to own their home. Forty-two percent of those buyers want to live in their new home for at least five years subject to any unforeseen changes to their employment, family or geographic variations. What are new homebuyers looking for? Provide information. You will find that the majority of first-time homebuyers are familiar with scouring Realtor websites and MLS listings on the web. User-friendly sites with virtual tours are like eye magnets to the curious buyer. Your online listings fulfill the need for instant gratification when a buyer wants to know how the property fits and flows. A simple click here and there on the virtual tour provides a satisfying user experience as they engage and interact with a property. The buyer builds a strong connection while examining the details of a home. Reinforcing the buyer's memory after an in-person viewing is just one of the benefits of 3D tours and interactive floorplans. It is difficult for anyone to retain every bit of information about a property from a 15-30 minute showing. When there is no time to physically see the property, buying a home based on 3D tours is not a scary proposition for the first-time buyer. Their comfort level is heightened by the opportunity to examine a home's features multiple times through virtual tours then write an offer sight unseen. Buy them time – here today, gone tomorrow With record home sales still hitting year over year highs, the decision to buy a property has to be made quickly. Buyers have very little time to view, process, and make a decision before signing the purchase contract for one of the biggest acquisitions of their life. Often a new listing is sold within days and sometimes within hours of it hitting the market. How can you help? You can attract first-time homebuyers and buy them more time by providing floor plans and virtual tours with your listing information. The buyer can check off all their requirements and review the home multiple times online so when they arrive at an in-person showing, they'll be ready to have you write up the purchase contract on the spot. Regrets, they've had a few Buying a home for the first time can come with a few regrets. One of the main things that trigger buyer's remorse is the size of the home. Living with a house too small or too big for the desired lifestyle can really throw a curve into the buyer's journey. You can help minimize the anguish by providing floor plans and accurate measurements so your buyer can easily map out the property before the FOMO (fear of missing out) sets in and they buy the wrong home. Sure, they may have to compromise on a few things they want like solar panels or updated bathrooms and kitchen, but the size is something that needs to be taken seriously. Size matters and the best way to judge it is with a virtual tour and accurate square footage from a floor plan. As an added value, a floor plan will certainly come in handy when that compromised kitchen renovation becomes affordable. Any time someone does something new or outside of their comfort zone, they look to someone with experience who can offer advice and give insight. The same is true when buying a home. First-time homebuyers in 2021 are certainly more tech-savvy and computer literate than their home buying predecessors, but they still need the tools and guidance you can provide them like virtual tours and 3D tours. Remembering the entire layout of a potential new home is difficult, but saving time and reinforcing memory is the key to attraction. What are new homebuyers looking for? They want accurate, easy-to-follow information available day or night at the click of their mouse.
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Real Estate Leads Exposed: Inside the Mind of Today's Home Shopper
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Friday Freebie: 5 Real Estate Checklists to Share with Clients and Prospects
You're organized, strategic, and all your processes are streamlined… and then there's your clients. A disorderly client can throw a wrench into the sale of a home no matter how cool, calm and collected you are as a real estate agent. Let's not blame your clients, though—the sale or purchase of a home is such an infrequent event in a person's life that you can't expect them to be on top of all the details that are important to the process. You can, however, prepare them for what to expect. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're sharing five checklists you can share with your clients to help keep them on track all the way through moving day. 5 Real Estate Checklist Templates, courtesy of Zurple We have a saying around the RE Technology office: "Plan your work and work your plan." Having a roadmap for success makes achieving your goals far simpler. It's the same with buying or selling a home—when your clients know what to expect and what to do, they can sail through the home sales process with maximum ease. These five checklists from Zurple break down what your client needs to do in each of five situations. They'll see the steps involved in preparing a home for sale, decluttering before an open house, how to prepare to buy a home, what to do before moving, and more. Home Buyer's Checklist Home Seller's Checklist Prepare Your Home for Market Checklist Open House Checklist Moving Checklist You can also use these lists as a lead magnet on your website or on social media. For example, you can target prospects who are researching what to do to prepare to buy or sell a home, and offer these checklists to them in exchange for their contact information. All five checklists can easily be edited with your name and contact info so leads know who to reach out to when they're ready to transact. Download these five FREE real estate checklists now!
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What Are Home Buyers Looking for in 2021?
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The 4 Biggest Mistakes Agents Make When Working with Buyers
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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What's in a Home Buyer's Packet? (Plus, a Complimentary Template)
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First-Time Homebuyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
First-time home buyers have historically been a large niche for real estate agents. As each generation enters the workforce, their desire to own a home logically follows right after. This trend has been hotly debated as the rise of the millennial homebuyer has spurred some interesting opinions. Conversations in recent years have resulted in many agents believing the millennial generation is the first group to break the status quo of homeownership. Are you a real estate agent that feels as though first-time homebuyers are not worthwhile? In this post, we get into whether or not first-time homebuyers are an asset to your real estate career.
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Home Buyers: What do they want? What do they really, really want
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Find Homes for Your Buyers that Other Agents Won't with Likelihood to List
With the All-New Homesnap Pro, you can offer your clients something that sets you apart from the competition: You can unlock buying opportunities beyond the active listings in your MLS. Now, you can combine search filters with Homesnap's new Likelihood to List scores to identify off-market properties that are most likely to list in the next 12 months and match your clients' list of must-haves. Our predictive algorithm is based on hundreds of data points, so you can connect your clients with off-market properties before anyone else. Why does this matter? When your clients are looking for something specific and none of the houses on the market meet their search criteria, having access to houses that aren't yet on the market gives you a huge leg up on your competition. Your client's dream home might be nestled in their target neighborhood and owned by a set of empty nesters who have been thinking about downsizing. Or it might be owned by a married couple who is looking for more space. With our Likelihood to List score, you don't have to guess who those people are — they get a spotlight on our new property heatmaps and off-market search filters. If you find a house that's most likely to list, you also have the luxury of being able to easily reach out to them because we give you unlimited homeowner contact information. Let them know your client is willing to buy and ask if they're looking to sell. You can now tell your clients to favorite any off-market properties, in addition to active listings. Then, when they favorite any property, you'll receive notifications so you can take a deeper dive. Want a primer on how to use Likelihood to List? Click here to see how it works. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Top 10 Seller Objections to Staging and How to Overcome Them!
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First-Time Home Buyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
First-time home buyers have historically been a large niche for real estate agents. As each generation enters the workforce, their desire to own a home logically follows right after. This trend has been hotly debated as the rise of the millennial home buyer has spurred some interesting opinions. Conversations in recent years have resulted in many agents believing the millennial generation is the first group to break the status quo of homeownership. Are you a real estate agent that feels as though first-time home buyers are not worthwhile? In this post, we get into whether or not first-time home buyers are an asset to your real estate career.
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Will Buyer's Agents Survive?
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Why Is Home Buying Emotional? It Should Be Logical Too!
Moving is listed as one of the top three most stressful life events. As one of the largest financial transactions in life, it can be hard to remove the emotion from the transaction. Neuroscientists have determined that emotions such as love, vanity, and pride can play a central role in this entire process. The way we feel can help determine what decision we make and why. Part of the role of a Realtor is to help your clients navigate the big emotions that come along with buying or selling, whether it be love or hate. While emotions will always play a part, rational decisions must also factor in. Realtors work hard to balance both the emotional and rational thought processes. We know that when making rational decisions, we often consider things like profit, security, and health. Rational purchases require extensive research based on concrete information like property dimensions, home inspections, and pre-qualification that can help to manage and mitigate emotional responses. In 2017, NAR did a survey of homebuyers and sellers to determine which features they found most helpful when doing real estate research. This survey gives us insight into the areas where emotion and rationale meet. Further, it gives insight into the tools that may help your clients focus on the rational side of the transaction. Source: http://goiguide.com/iguide-showcase Photography Photos continue to be the most useful and requested items during a home search. The importance of quality, professional photos can't be understated. Often these will be the buyer's true first impression and determine whether they will request an in-person showing. While photos can evoke emotion, they can also assist buyers with quickly eliminating spaces that don't work for them. Floor Plans One of the most underutilized real estate marketing features of all, properties with floor plans, see an increase in click-throughs by 52 percent. They're a true differentiator in the industry and make your listings stand out from the crowd by supplying new and interesting information in an easily understandable format. When a floor plan is included in a listing, it helps potential buyers to better visualize the layout of the house, especially if it is interactive. Property Details While floor plans are the best tool for emotionally moving into the home before ever buying it, they provide a very real and rational value – room dimensions. Room dimensions and overall square footage should be considered in terms of comparing recently sold prices in the market, as well as current comparable listings. Virtual Tours Coming in fourth on the list are virtual tours. While 3D virtual tours are often produced to create an emotional response, they also allow a buyer to judge the utility of the space for their needs. It's not just about how the room looks, it's about how usable the rooms really are. Being able to virtually look out a window, stand in a doorway, or walk down a hallway personalizes the experience in a way that is both emotional and rational. As humans, emotion will always play a role in major purchases. But with the right tools, data, and expertise, you can help your clients base their biggest financial decisions rationally and confidently as well. Brought to you by Sara Penny, Communications and Marketing Manager at Planitar Inc., the makers of iGUIDE, and the iGUIDE® Team. Follow the link for more information on how iGUIDE 3D Virtual Tours can help you save time and connect more with your clients.  
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Neighborhood Profile Pages for More Real Estate Buyer Leads
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What Traits Home Buyers Look for Most in Real Estate Agents
While every consumer out there has their own taste, personality and priorities, there are certain things all home buyers look for when it comes to choosing their real estate agent. If you're looking for more ways to attract more clients, make sure you're working on improving these essential traits. And if you've ever wondered what made a client pick you over someone else, these could very well be why.
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How to Narrow Your Buyer's Choices and Reduce Showings Before Even Leaving the Office
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Finding the Right Neighborhood for Your Buyer
Finding the right neighborhood for your buyer is easy thanks to the housing, demographic and economic data found within RPR. Here, we'll run you through the basics on how to help your clients find a home near desired amenities and within commutable distances. Then, we'll show you how to create an RPR Neighborhood Report that will create a wow factor for your clients.
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6 Apps to Close Buyer Clients Faster
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First-time Home Buyers Flock to Realtors Who Provide Answers
To get a clear picture of what many first time home buyers consider important in their home search and purchase, we need to step into their shoes and see the process from their point of view. We can't see into their minds, but there are some facts that can help us to understand their concerns and motivations: This purchase will most likely be the largest they have ever made in the past and will make in the near future. They are often in their first job or early in their careers, possibly somewhat unsure of the stability of their employment. A lot of online research has already been done before they ever meet you in person. After the crash in 2006 forward, they've seen relatives lose their homes or suffer through equity loss, so they want to buy something that will gain value over time. If buying an existing home, there are concerns about buying a home with condition or structural problems. How much a first offer should be, as everyone wants a bargain, but they do not want to make an offer mistake. They want to avoid making an affordability mistake, wanting to understand the costs of ownership as well as purchase. Many will be hesitant about working with a real estate professional at first, fearing that they are being "sold to" instead of helped in the process. What will help first-time home buyers trust their Realtor? How do we attract them with marketing to get in touch? Even more targeted, how to work with first-time home buyers is what we need to know.
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A National Homeowner's Association Database for Agents: Fact or Fiction?
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4 Ways to Enhance the Home Search Process and Help Buyers Find Their Dream Home
House-hunters are always in search of a simplified process. Real estate technology, including search websites and apps, have made house hunting much easier and more accessible in recent years. Real estate pros can harness the power of technology to help their clients find their dream home. Here are four enhancements to help you win over buyers and get them into the home of their dreams.
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Friday Freebie: Brandable Property Showing Checklist for Your Buyers
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How to Deal with Buyers Who Love Property Portals
Ask any agent, and they're likely to agree: the Realtor-client relationship became more complicated when property search portals came onto the scene. Rather than relying on agents to find a home, today 51 percent of consumers find the home they buy online themselves, typically on search portals. And once consumers start using a home search platform, they seldom switch to another, even if their agent recommends it. This worries many Realtors, as their clients are exposed to competing agents while browsing property portals. But it's clear that property search portals are here to stay—and that consumers love them—so what's an agent to do? For veteran Realtor and broker Jesse Zagorsky, the answer is threefold: Understand client behavior Adapt to client behavior, don't change it Educate Zagorsky has years of experience in advertising on sites like Realtor.com® and managing portal leads. Here's his practical advice for dealing with portal loving clients. The First Step to Success: Understanding Client Behavior Realtors have a new role in the digital age, according to Zagorsky. "The value proposition has changed," he says. "Our role as an agent is not as much just to find the house as it is in executing all of the other elements of the process." In fact, you may have experienced, as Zagorsky has, a client that came to you with a listing from their property app or portal of choice—even though you know you already sent that to them in an MLS alert. "Once a buyer starts a pattern of search, they prefer to go back and look on their own again on the first site they tried," he says. "They still like to find it themselves. So we don't fight that."
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Best of 2016: How to Educate Buyers to Make Good Offers
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Should your buyers send a buyer letter? (Here’s a template anyway)
It's a competitive real estate market out there right now. And when homes are selling the same weekend they go on the market, real estate agents need to employ every tactic they can to help their clients get their dream home. And sometimes it's not about the buyer's cash. It's about the buyer's character. Because even though it shouldn't matter who they are selling to, as long as the financial aspect of the transaction is sound, it does matter. And so real estate agents use Buyer Letters to help their clients sell themselves to the people who are selling them a house. So, are real estate buyer letters a good idea? In her article for REALTOR® Magazine, associate broker Christine Smith advised against them. "When issues arose after inspection, the seller was none too willing to negotiate, knowing how much my buyers wanted this house. Because of my buyers' disclosure of emotional attachment to the property in their letter, it put them in a weaker negotiating position. The seller was able to take advantage of that. But Time reported that Redfin found that writing a personal cover letter "tugging at the seller's heart strings" increases your chances of winning multiple offer situations by almost 10 percent.
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Listingbook Basics (9/6)
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Let’s Play 20 Questions: Creating the Perfect Buyer Profile
Buyer questionnaires can help you get to know your clients, find out what they're looking for, and determine if they're ready to make a move. The key to an effective questionnaire is to find the balance between keeping it short and simple, but still getting enough information so you can help your buyer find their perfect home. Here's a list of our top 20 question suggestions. Basic Information Full legal name? Get the name that will be going on the title to be sure you know whether you're working with the actual buyer or a representative. Contact Information? Address, phone numbers, emails, social media, and any other information you think you'll need. Children? Do your buyers currently have children or do they need room for future children? Find out if your buyers want to be near a certain school district or if they want a community playground nearby. Pets? Do they have any pets or plan on having any? If so, what kind? Motivation Why are they moving? Learning their main motivation can help you find the best property for them. What kind of purchase is the buyer making? Find out why your buyer is purchasing. Is this their first home, or is it an investment property they want to rent out on their own? Is this going to be a vacation home? Are they selling their current home? If this isn't your buyer's first purchase, find out if they're trying to sell their current home before purchasing a new one. Is it on the market? If so, for how long? Are they working with another brokerage or agent to sell the property? If they are, get the agent's contact information, too. What do they like and dislike about their current home? This can help you pinpoint homes that will fit your buyer's preferences.
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How to Help Home Buyers Without the Hassle (8/18)
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3 Places Today’s Buyers Are Getting Their Real Estate Information
As a busy agent, you don't just need leads — you need can't fail lead gen strategies. But do you know where to look? According to  the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, there are three main places buyers are getting their real estate information. By making sure local buyers can find you in these three places, you're guaranteed to get more business this spring. 1. Online websites (89%) and mobile or tablet and mobile applications (57%) We hope it doesn't surprise you that 89% of buyers say they get information from online websites and 57% are leveraging tablets and mobile applications. Do you have a digital strategy for drawing in buyer leads? Here's how to optimize your online presence: Build a responsive website that incorporates an IDX feed and tells your brand story. Is your website mobile friendly? Google will tell you for free. Show off your niche or local market specialties in blog posts and leverage landing pages (or squeeze pages) to capture leads. Offer seller prospects the ability to check the value of their home — here's an example of what that might look like. Get testimonials everywhere — and we mean everywhere. Add them to your website, your real estate search portal profiles, your LinkedIn and Facebook pages and to Yelp or other local review sites. Copy and paste 10 or more existing testimonials as "recommendations" on Realtor.com to make the filter cuts! Advertise within consumer's real estate search sites and mobile apps so they see your face and brand as they're looking for new homes. Start boosting your social media posts to ensure your marketing messages are hitting interested, local buyers.
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5 Tips to Stop Wasting Your Time With Buyers
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Meeting Buyers’ Demands with RPR’s Search Tools (5/17)
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Here's where it all begins: the hunt for knowledge. It's what sets a REALTOR® apart from the unrefined data gathered by consumers via national real estate portals. As an RPR® user with an expert understanding of the local market, you have the power to analyze and manage a platform of unparalleled data to the extent that no other search mechanism offers. In fact, no other real estate data sharing website offers side-by-side, listing vs. public record comparisons like RPR. And it's all at your disposal, as a member benefit. We'll review the array of search options in RPR to help you find just what you and your clients need! This class covers searching for Neighborhoods, Schools, and by recent Market Activity. We'll show you how to use Mapping Tools to hone in on an area and show you how to drill down using RPR's advanced search options. Register now!
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How RPR Covers Every Angle of Buyer-Realtor® Relationship
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The Hard Truth About Real Estate Buyers
There's an old saying about real estate buyers that needs to stop immediately. The saying is "buyers are liars." But here's the truth: buyers aren't liars, you just need to put more effort into actually listening to buyers to better understand their needs and wants. Many real estate professionals say this, especially rookies. They spend a lot of their time showing buyers homes and are very often frustrated by these people. They think these people are wishy washy, don't know what they want, won't sign a Buyer Rep agreement, and have no loyalty. So it's no wonder they call buyers liars. Buyers Aren't Liars In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Real estate buyers are not liars. The essential reason these reps perceive buyers to be liars is they're focusing too much on themselves and not enough on the buyer. To some extent, they're projecting their own feelings and desires onto the buyers. Projecting means they're seeing themselves in the homes they pick for their buyers. So these reps wind up showing their buyers properties with many aspects that appeal to them, but not necessarily to the client. The one thing I notice about most veteran agents is that they understood from the start where to put their focus: on the buyer. They ask lots of questions at the first meeting and really listen to the buyers to find out what they want. They then take lots of time to find them only the most suitable homes. The homes they show to buyers are usually very much in line with what the buyers are looking for.
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6 Game Changing Neighborhood Traits That Buyers Are Looking For
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First Look: HomeZada is the Antidote to Stale Closing Gifts
Agents looking for a new way to engage homeowners before, during, and after the sale need look no further than HomeZada. The "digital home management" platform lets agents upload important property documents and other information and then gift that trove of data to their clients upon the close of a transaction. The client then has free access to this information for a year, along with a home maintenance calendar and other features that are particularly helpful for first-time homeowners. Indeed, any agent wanting to connect with tech-savvy Millennials will find this a more effective closing gift than, say, a bottle of wine or a gift certificate. For listing agents, HomeZada serves as a marketing tool for offering exhaustive information about a property. The property profiles are so complete that agents may even want to consider replacing their single property websites with this service. As you may have guessed, HomeZada offers different features for buyer's agents and listing agents. Let's take a closer look at what each "flavor" of HomeZada offers. HomeZada for Buyer's Agents Sometimes called the "CARFAX of real estate," HomeZada offers a suite of features that allow the homeowner to manage and think about their home as a financial asset. Tools like record retention, asset inventory, and remodeling project management give owners a comprehensive overview of their property that's useful for insurance, estate planning, and even listing the home when the time comes to sell. HomeZada is easy for agents to set-up. Simply create a profile for the property and upload any documents, photos, or other information that may be useful to the homeowner.
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5 Tips for Nailing Your Next Buyer’s Tour
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Are Buyers Really Liars? Addressing a Common Agent Complaint
There's an old and odious real estate saying that "Buyers are liars." It's odious because it's not completely true and it's repulsive because lying – or withholding the entire truth – isn't endemic to real estate consumers. We all have the capacity to lie when we're expected to buy. Whether we're shopping for a pair of shoes or a used car, many of us are not completely honest with salespeople. Sorry, but to real estate consumers that's what you are, a salesperson. So, what do agents think homebuyers might "lie" about? The list is long and just about every agent has experienced at least one Pinocchio-esque situation. But are these, in fact, lies? We're not entirely convinced they are, so let's take a look at a few common cases. Case #1: They Don't Know What They Want Your clients wanted a two-story home on the east side of town and ended up falling in love with a one-story on the west side. That's the vanilla version of the story. Many agents have stories of showing exactly the type of homes their clients said they wanted, for months on end, only to have them eventually turn their backs on their "must haves" and decide to purchase the exact opposite. But did they lie about what they wanted? Chances are good they just really didn't know what they wanted until they were set loose in the candy store of available homes. In fact, chances are even better that buyers know more about what they don't want in a home than what they do. This is why it's so important you ask the right questions during your initial meeting, and keep asking them as you show potential homes. "When a buyer says one thing and does another, I see it as a shortcoming in my own qualification and rapport building with the buyer," says Daniel Beer of Windermere Real Estate in San Diego. "Perhaps I did a poor job of listening or maybe I didn't ask the right questions. It is my job to help them find what they want, and they don't always know exactly what that is."
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Product Review: Listingbook
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Ways to Win the Deal in a Multiple Bid Situation
In today's hot market, many homes are receiving multiple offers within hours of the listing going live. If you want to be the one that gets the deal for your buyer, you are going to need to be more responsive than anyone else. Here are five ways to be that agent and get the house your clients want. 1. Always pick up the phone When there's a home for sale that has multiple offers, time is of the essence. To be able to win the negotiation for your clients and get them the house of their dreams, always pick up the phone. You need to be extremely responsive to the seller's agent and to your client to make sure you answer everyone's questions quickly and tweak the offer as needed. Believe it or not, the number one complaint from consumers is that agents are not responsive enough, so be sure you go out of your way to answer your phone live whenever possible. 2. Answer emails/texts in real-time The same premise holds true for answering emails and texts. Consumers are anxious during multiple bidding situations and offers may need to change in minutes so be sure to stay "on deck" and stay close to all of the means by which the seller's agent and your client may contact you.
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How to Leverage Facebook to Attract Buyers
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3 Final Down Payment Assistance Myths Debunked
This is the final installment in a series of articles that debunks common down payment assistance myths. Read the first and second articles here. Myths are hard to combat. They can be ingrained over a number of years and deeply held. Sometimes it's only out of necessity and changing times that the truth is embraced. Consider that the August REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey (released Sept. 23) weakened slightly due to concerns about the prospect of further increases in interest rates and the continued difficulties in accessing mortgage financing. We believe it's time to look at how down payment assistance can play a part in helping more buyers gain the mortgage financing they need. Drum roll please...we debunk our final three surprisingly common myths about down payment assistance. 8. Down payment assistance dollars are never forgiven In any given market, there are a variety of programs, including some that defer payments or interest and others that offer a grant or forgivable loan. First, it's important to understand how programs work. Nearly every down payment assistance program creates a lien on the financed property, just like the first mortgage. Homebuyer programs take a subordinate second or even third lien position. But not all programs – typically grants – have to be repaid, and those that do will back-load that obligation, waive interest, defer payments, and provide a unique upfront buying power and opportunity for homebuyers.
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5 Business-Building Tips for Buyer’s Representatives
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4 Ways to Help Your Buyer Find a Home When Inventory is Tight
It's interesting how the media – an industry that prides itself on presenting breaking news – lags so far behind our industry when it comes to reporting on housing trends. The almost nationwide shortage of homes for sale is one of those trends that they seemed to have missed completely – at a time when we really could have used their help. Big news about rising home prices was good, but there's nothing like the words "seller's market" to get homeowners off the sidelines and into the market. We are now sitting on a nationwide average of 5.1 months' worth of inventory supply, down from April's number and a little over 10 percent below what we saw one year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. In fact, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says to expect this current inventory to be the peak during 2013, and that about a five-month inventory figure will be the norm for the rest of the year. Of course, this is all preaching to the choir. It's the real estate agent boots on the ground in markets all over the country that can attest to bidding wars, houses selling for over list price, and clients being outbid by cash buyers. If you're as frustrated as your clients, let's take a look at some things you can do to help them find a house. Some of these methods include going after homes that aren't in the MLS, giving your clients a breather from the multiple-offer battle. Old Listing Presentations Remember all those listing presentations that didn't pan out? In desperate need for homes for her buyers, St. Paul, Minn. agent Teresa Boardman went through her database to find all the listing presentations she had done over the past three years and didn't get the listing. If the home didn't sell with another agent, she contacted them. It's working out well for her. Although her current clients didn't buy the homes, she listed one and had another strong possibility.
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The Arsenal of Apps Clients Need to Find a New Home
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Home Showing Best Practices for Buyer’s Agents
There are hundreds of articles dedicated to helping seller's agents ready their listings for home showings and open houses. Seller's agents can use these resources to learn how to stage a house, scent or un-scent a room and even serve the most appealing refreshments. But what about buyer's agents? Are they expected to hit the open road with a car full of strangers, a cheery disposition and a printout out of listings – with nothing else to guide them? Not anymore. We've compiled a list of home showing best practices for buyer's agents. Use these five simple tips to embrace your role as a home tour guide and make your clients feel at ease, ultimately translating into a smoother transaction. Do Your Homework Before you head out to look at homes with your clients, be sure you have selected homes that are at least in the ballpark. This refers not only to their budget – although you should definitely be mindful of price range – but also to their personal taste. You don't want to visit five places only to have them turn down three of them on sight. Talking with your prospects to get a feel for their taste and budget before showing them houses will save you both time in the long run. Another efficiency tip: gather all of the listings agents' contact info in advance so you can make a quick call or send a text message if any questions come up during the day.
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How to Make Loan Pre-approvals Work in Your Favor
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A ‘CMA’ for Buyers
While a CMA is traditionally a tool used for seller clients, it has potential for buyers as well. After all, one of the most valuable things a CMA provides is context, a clearer perspective on a single property based on the overall local housing market. Isn’t context just as valuable for buyers as it is for sellers? CMA BasicsBasically, a CMA (competitive market analysis) is prepared by a real estate agent and provides recent comparable sales and a recommendation for listing price. For a more thorough education on CMAs 101, we recommend you read the following: Choosing a Valuation Tool: CMA vs. AVM 2 Ways a CMA Can Generate Leads Buyer CMANow, the concept of leveraging a CMA for buyer clients removes one important component of a traditional CMA – the listing price recommendation (obviously, as the property has already been listed at a given price by the seller). However, just because you aren’t recommending a listing price, doesn’t mean you can’t give your two cents in terms of valuation. Calling upon your ample experience and leveraging your CMA tool, you can instead provide a recommendation on the price you would offer to the seller in order to buy the property. A buyer CMA could also retain the other key component: comparable recent sales. It’s incredibly helpful for buyers to understand other recent activity in the market. This can provide insight on: Pricing (“Is the property listed too high?”) Availability (“Are there going to be many more properties similar to this cropping up soon?”) Demand (“Is this property going to sell quickly? Should we put in an offer right away?”)
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Trulia Launches Crime Maps
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