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Top 10 Seller Objections to Staging and How to Overcome Them!
There are different opinions as to whether staging a property is worth the money and time involved, but one thing is clear: A home that is clean and uncluttered garners more attention. The result is increased showings leading to offers. Many concur that staging a home makes a huge difference. How the furniture is placed, and the feeling buyers have when entering a home, can make or break a potential sale. In today's age, the first impression is a lasting impression. Agents know this. So, what happens next? You, as their listing agent, speak to the sellers and may receive numerous objections. Here are the top 10 objections that most real estate agents face and how to overcome them:
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First-Time Home Buyers Are Dangerous: Fact or Fiction?
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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