Do Not Let Your Emotions Deter Your Home Buying Decision

Did you know that 80% homes are bought on „emotion“? Seems a little scary to make one of the most important financial decisions of your life with „emotion“ as a factor. One of the best ways to substantially reduce this „emotion“ factor is to hire a real estate professional.

We tend to let our emotions take control when we walk into a beautiful home that seems to be perfect for the buyer and/or their family. It feels comfortable, is the right size, has the bedrooms or additional rooms we are looking for, and seems to be priced reasonably and so on.

If you have a family with children, schools are an important part of your buying decision. It is very important to follow through with the knowledge your real estate agent provides to you. Go visit the school where your child would be attending. Talk to the Principle, look at test scores and most importantly verify that the school boundaries are not changing anytime soon. School boundaries do change in an ongoing growing city or community.

Here are a few of the concerns you should also consider that could affect the current or future value of the home. These all play a role in location, location, and location. They might include:

1. Power Lines

2. Airport Noise

3. Privacy of the backyard

4. Major or Interior Road behind the property

5. Sun exposure of the property

There are many other things to consider that your real estate agent should bring to your attention. You should be provided with a pamphlet that will provide all other concerns you might have such as crime, pest infestation, mold, etc.

Of course not paying over market value is extremely important. The buyer is usually protected by the appraisal. If the home appraises for less than your offer then you are able to re-negotiate the contract with the seller or walk away. Be sure to review the comparable sales that your agent will provide to you. Be sure the recent sales are in the immediate neighborhood, not over 6 months old and are similar in square footage and bedrooms.

All of this information is a lot to take in and another reason why you should hire a real estate professional. Be sure the real estate is professional and exclusively represents YOU, the buyer and not the seller. Be sure they have years of experience in real estate. Look for realtors with designations such as ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) or CRS (Certified Residential Specialist). This is a good sign they have that experience.

Buying a home should and can be a very enjoyable and stress-less experience. You should be emotional and excited but be thorough in your decision making.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jeffrey Austin

10 Surefire Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Brochures

Businesses rely on brochures as their front line in communicating their products or services. Yet according to Shannon Cherry, APR, many find them not as successful because they underestimate the skills and resources necessary to publish attractive and effective materials.

„Most people forget a brochure is important because it represents you to the world and reflects your image,“ says Cherry, president of Cherry Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that helps businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations be heard.

„But the best brochures do more than impress,“ she says. „Effective copy and design can intrigue, inform, convince and capture customer business just as an effective salesperson does. Brochure effectiveness is linked to an audience-appropriate marketing strategy that drives the design process.“

Cherry shares the following top ten list of hints can help your brochure put its best foot forward:

1. Keep headlines short. According to studies, headlines with fewer than ten words get more readership.

2. Focus your headline on your target audience. Show a picture of your target group and make sure the headline has the groups description in it. For example: If you are targeting moms, uses a headline like, „Moms Know Best.“

3. Keep text lines at a comfortable length. Body copy lines should never be shorter than the font size or longer than double the font size.

4. Keep paragraphs – especially lead paragraphs – short. Perhaps even one sentence.

5. Use graphical dingbats including bullets, hyphens, and asterisks, to break up text.

6. Use captions to draw the reader in. Next to the cover, captions are the most read items in a brochure.

7. Set captions in a different style.

8. Avoid typographic overkill by using too many CAPS, italics and bolds.

9. Stick to no more than three different fonts in a brochure.

10. If you use photos with people in them, make sure their heads are at least the size of a dime.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Shannon Cherry

Home Security: Do It Yourself Home Security

In the last year that the Bureau of Justice released Crime Statistics (2004)

–77% of all crime was property related

–On average nearly 17 % of all crime domiciles were violated by a burglar

–In 85% of burglaries, the offender gained entry into the house or other building.

Ask any expert in the field and they will tell you that 90% of all burglaries are preventable. So if the odds are so good that it will happen to you and it is such a preventable event-what is it you have to do to stop the burglars? I am so glad you asked.

Sometimes the best home security is implemented when you are the one making the assessment and any corrective action- a do it yourself home security plan.

Here are home security tips to think about that will definitely discourage or flat out stop a potential intruder from entering your house. It is not an all inclusive list but one that if followed will certainly go a long way toward making your home more secure.

1. Take a critical look at your house from the outside. Is your house well lit? Are there hiding places near doors and windows? If you can spot a potential weakness in your home’s „look“ you can bet a professional burglar can exploit it. Remember that light is a burglars‘ enemy-darkness a friend.

2. What could slow down a burglar from entering your home? Simple home security devices such as locks on doors(deadbolts are best) and windows, bars, grates-items that are visible from the exterior of the house will not only act as a deterrent but slow down an intruder should he decide to try to enter. The more time it takes to break into a home, the more discouraged a burglar will become. Time is the enemy of the burglar.

3. How noisy can you make it if someone gains entry? Noise is also the enemy of the burglar. There are many home security alarms activated by doors or windows opening or by motion. The sound of a barking dog, real or recorded, are very effective and will scare most burglars away.

Lights, noise and time-they are the three biggest enemies of an intruder. If you implement these home security tips to fortify your house you may well avoid a lot of potential break-ins. But there are some other things that will help as well.

Move valuables away from outside view. Don’t risk tempting someone. Consider putting small valuables in Diversion Safes.

Start or join a neighborhood watch. Strangers usually stick out in a neighborhood and should be reported immediately to police.

Make your house look occupied when you are gone. Burglars are much less likely to consider a house they feel is occupied.

Lock your doors and windows Even when you are gone for a short period of time. Summertime presents a huge temptation to leave doors or windows open. Don’t give in to the temptation. I have seen so many garage doors open only one or two feet to let the heat out-just enough to let a burglar in.

Many police departments as a public service will offer advice on how to make your home more secure. Call for availability in your area.

There are several simple things you can do to make your home less prone to intrusion by a burglar. Start with an assessment on how to make your home well lit, more secure, and in the event of an entry-how to make it very noisy. Light, time, and noise are the enemies of the professional burglar.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jack Krohn

We Buy Houses Signs – The Good, The Bad, and The Big Yellow Ugly

Yes they’re ugly, but… I know they’re ugly, that’s sort of the point, these signs, are not invisible, and help to catch the attention of the locals. We live in a world of perfect typography, so when ugly painted text shows up, we tend to read it. It’s advertising, the sad part is, like all other forms of advertising, people do get used to these as well, and they become almost invisible. So, I personally use these on an on and off basis.

We Buy Houses, the truth is…

Most real estate investors are known as transactional engineers with many different tools in their tool bag. I personally find that more often then not, a cash offer simply won’t help the sellers situation, this is where we as investors dig in, and get creative! Truth of the matter is, sometimes selling the house in a traditional way will cost you money. We work to find a solution to at the very least, make sure that you don’t come out of pocket when selling. If you find yourself in a position where you or your loved ones need to sell your house fast, know that you have options, and that big, ugly, yellow sign was meant for you!

Most people, don’t want the ugly sign, but…

While 95% of the people will drive by and think nothing of it. There are a few folks that come across these beacons of hope, and feel relief. Mr. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, said it best „Your home is not an asset,“ not only is this a fundamental truth, but sometimes your house can actually be hurting your finances. Letting the home go in to foreclosure is what most people end up having to do, not knowing they had options! So, while you might be thinking you are helping your community by „cleaning up“ and taking down the ugly yellow sign. You might actually be hurting someone in a life changing way, foreclosure is not pretty!

Ugly for beauty, you decide…

These signs are typically placed in high traffic, high cash transaction areas, and not in residential communities. Yes they make your telephone poll look ugly, but lets take a closer look at the good they do for your neighborhood. You know that vacant home growing tall grass, almost as fast as the haunted house stories it’s originating? That’s what we as investors are looking for! We find these ugly homes, and completely renovate them! Investors make them beautiful again adding value to your neighborhood! Let the telephone poll look ugly, your house is now worth more because of it!

Don’t take the ugly yellow signs down, they help people, and well… they cost a lot of money. For those of you that have seen these signs and ultimately brought you here, I hope I was able to provide some insight!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Glenn C. Elliott

How You Could Avoid Repossession By Using An Ethical Rent Back Scheme

Sadly the statistics of repossession are growing with a 65% increase in the amount of homeowners being faced with the horror of losing their homes. The rise in interest rates, which on average boosts mortgage repayments up by £500 per year goes towards these statistics. It really is a grim picture, with over 100,000 homeowners admitting to be in arrears of two months or more and a predicted 19,000 homes expected to fall back into the hands of the mortgage lender due to repossession every year.

For these people life becomes an increasing struggle and an ever growing worry; however there is a solution which should be given some thought that could greatly ease the pressure and worry of repossession. An ethical sell and rent back company could buy your home quickly, and would allow you to remain in it while paying affordable monthly rent to them.

Looking online, you will be able to find ethical specialists in selling and rent back, who could work with you to help you avoid repossession by your lender. As time is crucial when stopping repossession, firms such as these will act in the shortest times possible to buy your home, which then allows you to settle up with your mortgage lender. It is quite usual for the whole process of buying and renting back to be completed in around 7 to 10 days.

The beauty of going with specialists such as this is that you do not have to look around for buyers, there are no chains which might break, any costs are paid by the company, such as solicitor’s fees and of course the biggest bonus is the fact that you are able to remain in the property.

A sell and rent back scheme can work very well for those who have limited options and are faced with imminent repossession of their home. A prime example of this would be if you are so far behind in mortgage arrears that there is no possibility of catching up on the missed repayments. Of course if problems have just arisen with your finances and this is only in the short term, then in the first instance you should contact your lender to see if they are willing to reach an agreement.

If you are considering a sell and rent back option then it is essential to choose a professional company. The company should always have the homeowner’s best interests at heart and work alongside them to reach a financial solution tailored to the needs of the individual and which they can afford.

A specialist would work with you to come to an agreed purchase price along with the monthly rent you will pay to remain in the property. However, it doesn’t stop there as an ethical company will quash proceedings for repossession which may have begun and give advice on the procedures you will have to follow to in relation to the Court. Of course, as with all contracts, you should always read the small print of any contract you are considering before actually signing your home away.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Oliver Darraugh

How to Choose The Right Real Estate Agent For You

Whether buying, or selling a home, choosing the right real estate agent or buyers agent, is the most important step to take. The process of buying or selling a home is very detailed and difficult. In addition to the fact that mistakes can cost a great deal of money?

Your assets are on the line, and losing through the purchase or sale is the last thing you want to do. There are many real estate agents around. The ones that are dedicated and stay with you every step of the way, or the ones that farm out the work to other brokers.

The areas of expertise you need to look for are:

· How much education in the area of real estate does the agent have?

· How much knowledge does the agent have about the homes in the areas you are looking at?

· Do they have a wide variety of homes for sale for you to view?

The title that carries the most education and experience is a real estate broker. The real estate broker has a real estate license, training, and is recognized by the National Association of Realtors. This professional would likely be able to assist you with all of the needs you would have for buying or selling a home.

After the real estate broker is the realtor. This professional received the real estate license, and some additional training. He or she has also received recognition from the National Association of Realtors.

Finally the real estate agent is a person who has received the license, however may not have the same amount of experience as the more seasoned broker.

Most states have minimal requirements for being a real estate agent and this is the cause for some of the issues that are incurred during the transferring of ownership of a home. However keep in mind that at all levels of this expertise there are good agents, realtors and brokers. Doing a little checking can help you find the right one for you.

Most of the time a real estate agent is representing the seller of the home. If you are looking to buy a home, you are looking for a real estate buyer’s agent. This is important because you want to be represented in the best interest of your needs. Not those of the person on the other end of the deal.

When you are doing your research about the right agent for you, you will want to look for the commitment you deserve. There are many agents on the market just like there are many homes to be sold. If you do not get the attention and prompt response you deserve, go looking for someone else. They will make a profit from your purchase and they should be treating you with a reasonable amount of respect and professionalism.

The rule of thumb is that you want a real estate agent that has been around for a couple of years. With the turn around in the real estate market the way it is, this is the reason it may take you contacting a couple of agents.

You want to start your search by getting the right real estate representative for you. The home you are looking for will come along. There are bait and switch agents out there who specifically use a house within a price range and look that is appealing to the average home purchaser and then when they get the call, they may tell you it is sold, but there is another they have that you will love also. Keep this in mind so as to not get stuck by a tricky agent, instead look for the representative, agent, or broker that will show you what is available at all levels of purchasing and will keep your best interest in mind.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Tina Abraham

Mortgage Interest Rates – How Are They Determined?

Mortgage interest rates are the single-most important factor determining the borrowing power of a potential house buyer. When rates are very low, a borrower can service a large amount of debt with a relatively small payment, and when interest rates are very high, a borrower can service a small amount of debt with a relatively large payment.

Mortgage interest rates are determined by market forces where investors in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities bid for these assets. The rate of return demanded by these investors determines the interest rate the originating lender will have to charge in order to sell the loan in the secondary market. Some lenders still hold mortgages in their own investment portfolio, but these mortgages and mortgage rates are subject to the same supply and demand pressures generated by the secondary mortgage market.

Mortgage interest rates are determined by investor demands for risk adjusted return on their investment. The return investors demand is determined by three primary factors: the riskless rate of return, the inflation premium and the risk premium.

The riskless rate of return is the return an investor could obtain in an investment like a short-term Treasury Bill. Treasury Bills range in duration from a few days to as long as 26 weeks. Due to their short duration, Treasury Bills contain little if any allowance for inflation. A close approximation to this rate is the Federal Funds Rate controlled by the Federal Reserve. It is one of the reasons this activities of the Federal Reserve are watched so closely by investors.

The closest risk-free approximation to mortgage loans is the 10-year Treasury Note. Treasury Notes earn a fixed rate of interest every six months until maturity issued in terms of 2, 5, and 10 years. The 10-year Treasury Note is a close approximation to mortgage loans because most fixed-rate mortgages are paid off before the 30 year maturity with 7 years being a typical payoff timeframe.

The difference in yield between a 10-year Treasury Note and a 30-day Treasury Bill is a measure of investor expectation of inflation, and the difference between the yield on a 10-year Treasury Note and the prevailing market mortgage interest rate is a measure of the risk premium.

Inflation reduces the buying power of money over time, and if investors must wait a long period of time to be repaid, as is the case in a home mortgage, they will be receiving dollars that have less value than the ones they provided when the loan was originated. Investors demand compensation to offset the corrosive effect of inflation. This is the inflation premium.

The risk premium is the added interest investors demand to compensate them for the possibility the investment may not perform as planned. Investors know exactly how much they will get if they invest in Treasury Notes, but they do not know exactly what they will get back if they invest in residential home mortgages or the investment vehicles created from them. This uncertainty of return causes them to ask for a rate higher than that of Treasury Notes. This additional compensation is the risk premium.

Thus, mortgage interest rates are a combination of the riskless rate of return, the risk premium and the inflation premium.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Lawrence D Roberts

How to List an FSBO Home

Did you know that nowadays only one-third of all home buyers used a real estate agent? Did you know that a seller can utilize MLS listings on their own, without an agent? In today’s real estate market these are absolute facts! It is now much easier and more profitable to sell your home as a „For Sale By Owner“ (FSBO) home than ever before. To ensure you earn all the money you can from selling your home, do it yourself! Forget the agents! Only you will have your best interests at heart when it comes time for you to sell your home anyhow. There are some things you must know how to do first though before you do sell your own home. We will examine some helpful tips in this article.

First, check the records on your property. Utilize your county courthouse files and personnel. Be certain there aren’t any liens or legal claims of someone else to take ownership of your home. If you want to stay clear of the courthouse a real estate lawyer can also help in this area. However, be sure to do this upfront! Now is the time to find out this information! You do not want to be unpleasantly surprised when you think you are ready to close a deal on your home.

Next, make sure you personally know the weaknesses and strengths of your property and home. This is another area where you do not want to wind up surprised! Have an inspection done early on by a professional inspector. They will let you know of any problems you have that need attention and are likely to impact your sale. You will be better off if you fix these problems right away yourself (using reputable professional services only.) However; if you choose not to fix them, you must adjust your selling price accordingly. Otherwise nobody will buy the home.

That leads us to the next tip for FSBOs – have the price of your home evaluated by an objective expert. Hire an appraiser for a few hundred dollars. They will be best suited to thoroughly evaluate your home and compare that evaluation to similar homes for sale in your town. This should not be a guessing game on your part! If you price your home too high, nobody will buy it. However; if you estimate it too low, you will be cheating yourself. Unless you happen to be an expert in this field, do yourself (and your family) a favor – get a professional home appraisal!

One last point in being an FSBO is to make sure you plan a selling strategy for yourself. Some research on your potential home buyers is in order here. Find out the things that stand out to them when they are looking for a home. Today only 36% of buyers will find out about homes from a real estate agent. That leaves a huge percentage of people that are looking on their own. Don’t forget – THEY want the savings offered by an FSBO too. When you discover what the public wants in their home, you can accentuate the features of your home that match their criteria.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Bill Len

How a New Realtor Can Get Their First Real Estate Listing

Getting your first listing can be one of the biggest hurdles in the real estate sales business. There are many ways to get listings, but let’s just cover some of the fastest and easiest ways. I’ll assume that you will like to keep your marketing budget low for your first listing.

I always go back to this, but start by asking your family, your friends, co-workers, ex schoolmates, Facebook friends, and anyone else that knows you. Ask them of all the people they know, who would they say is most likely to be the next person that would think about selling their house. Get them thinking about it. Even if the person they tell you about is not ready to sell yet, you now have a good potential listing lead. You can follow up with them every couple of weeks, and even set up a buyer profile for them on the MLS to keep your name in front of them.

Another way to find motivated sellers is by looking for „for sale by owner“ properties, and also by following up with expired listings from the MLS. Again, I am assuming your marketing budget is very low, so let’s go ahead and use an effective yet uncomfortable technique. You can do the same with expired listings. Go directly to the house, bring your marketing material, and knock on the door. What you will say is going to differ between these two types of potential clients, so let’s go through both sales scripts now.

FSBO sales script.

„Hello FSBO person, my name is _______, and I’m a Realtor at _____________. I just wanted to stop by and ask if you plan to use a Realtor to help you buy your next house after you sell this one? (Let them respond). The nice thing about using a Realtor as a buyer’s agent is that you do not have to pay a commission, that is paid by the seller. Can I get a little information about what you will be looking for so I can keep an eye out for you? I can even set up a profile for you on the MLS that will email you listings so you get a feel for what is out there, and of course these services are all free for you.“

Note: Don’t ask to list their house when you first meet them. Most FSBO’s think they will sell it themselves, then get tired of trying. If you are the agent that has been in contact with them during this time, then you have a great chance of being the one that lists their house.

Expired listing sales script.

(Use this the same day the listing expired on the MLS)

Hello homeowner, my name is _________. I’m a Realtor with _____________. I was just stopping by as a courtesy to let you know your home is no longer listed for sale on the MLS. Your listing expired today. (let them respond). Are you still planning to sell your home? (response) Why do you think your home didn’t sell? (Response) (If they are planning on relisting with their current agent, don’t waste any more time. If it is looking promising try to go straight in to a listing appointment, or at least try to set an appointment for the same day or at least within 24 hours.)

Note: Going directly to the persons house is time consuming, but more effective than mailings or phone calls. As your marketing budget grows, your time will become more valuable and you will not want to spend so much time going to all of these houses. Use these techniques effectively and you should be able to bring in some new listings within a week or two. It is a lot of hard work, and you will need to put in a lot of time, but this is a great way to get started spending almost no money.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Justin Razmus

Mediation or Collaborative Divorce and Real Estate in Virginia Beach, VA

Mediation means the couple agrees to use one hopefully neutral mediator. The Mediator does not give legal advice or be an advocate for either side.

The choice more couples are now making is Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative divorce involves the use of lawyers for both sides who agree from the beginning to work with each other to develop a fair outcome for everyone which includes division of property and selling of your home. The collaborative divorce team may include financial professionals, your REALTOR®, child specialists, or other professionals both spouses may agree upon. The main point is they engage in meaningful dialogue which will bring the process to faster resolution and saving both parties unneeded grief and money.

Just like a real estate transaction where you choose your own separate closing attorney, you benefit from having your own personal legal representation that is committed to rapid and proper settlement. The Lawyers for both sides ensure legal stipulations are satisfied.

Why is this good?

The most obvious is to save thousands of dollars

Negotiate settlement without courts involved

Keeps communication open

Develop shared solutions which best benefit both parties

If children involved, keeping their best interests in the forefront

Maintain control of the divorce process

Will this work for you?

If you can agree to disagree, keep children first, listen, plan for the future, and be ethical then it can work.

So with contested divorces potentially averaging in excess of $25,000.00, collaborative divorce may be a sensible option in Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads. Consult your attorney before making any decision.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Dennis Blackmore

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