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

The Short Sale Process For Buyers

Home buying has changed in so many ways. One of these ways is we now have an abundance of short sale homes and lender owned homes as well as the independent homeowner selling their homes. You decide that the home you want is a short sale home.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is a process the seller is hoping to complete before they lose the home to a foreclosure. This is good for the seller as a short sale is less dramatic for them as it will typically not hit them on their long term credit as much as a foreclosure. A foreclosure means the seller won’t be able to buy a home for much longer than a short sale as their credit is hit harder. The seller has started the process with their mortgage company by sending in required paperwork. Now they wait for an offer or several offers.

The Offer

Your offer will be written along with the various documents that you acknowledge the property will be sold in „As Is“ condition. You will also be informed that the seller will not be making any repairs or be receiving any monies or paying any out of pocket expenses. Most likely the seller will not be disclosing any past repairs or changes made to the property. What does this mean to the buyer? You are probably buying a property for less than the same home would sell for if it was not a short sale so you can expect a bit more out of pocket repairs and a property that is not in „top notch“ condition. Some sellers that simply want to make this process as painless as possible and get an offer prior to a foreclosure so they maintain the property beautifully. This is not typical, most sellers are distressed and have vacated the property and have left it a bit in disrepair.

The Wait

The offer gets faxed into the mortgage company along with a copy of the HUD and your proof of financing the property. Most mortgage companies are flooded with so many that waiting to get a response can vary anywhere from just a week or so to several months. Not only are you waiting to hear if they are even going to consider your offer you also may be competing with other offers that are either on the table or come in during the wait process. Sometimes you have no idea that you are not the only offer in or whether or not the mortgage company is prepared to take the lesser amount owed. Be patient, this process is not a sure bet and it can be a long wait. If you absolutely need to be placed in a home within the next month or two you should consider a bank owned or individually owned property.


Assuming your offer has been negotiated and accepted the bank will then give a time-frame in which you MUST close by and the contract will become null and void if not closed by that date. Now is the time for you to do your due diligence and get a home inspection! Do not forego the inspection, you need to know the extent of the condition of the property before the end of the inspection period is over and you are now at risk of losing the earnest deposit if you do not move forward and close on the property.

Most Important!

It is extremely important that you have hired an experienced Real Estate Agent that represents you and only you, not the seller. You need to have your own representation with someone that has knowledge with short sales.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Nancy Niblett

I Just Got Served Foreclosure Papers – What Do I Do?

The first thing you do is to take a deep breath and realize that you have some time to work things out and realize there are solutions.

It is not a real pleasant thing to have a sheriff knock on your door and hand you paperwork that says your bank has begun the process of taking back your home but you can almost always work things out via a loan modification.

A loan modification is a process where the borrower and the lender work out different payment arrangements than originally agreed upon. The banks and lending institutions have certain criteria they go by when offering a loan modification and vary somewhat from institution to institution.

After you take a deep breath consider some of your options before taking action.

Your choices are basically:

1) Pack up and leave the home if you have a place to go.

2) Beg, borrow and steal to get the money for the past due payments.

3) Work out an arrangement with your bank.

Numbers one and two do not appeal to most folks so you need to work on the third option if at all possible. Working out an arrangement with the bank can be stressful to say the least. You will need to gather certain financial documents, put together letters of explanation and get documentation from third party sources.

All that can be time consuming and cause you to lose some sleep at night but a loan modification can save your home and the equity that you have worked for over the past years so it is certainly worth the effort whether you handle it on your own or use a loan modification firm.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Will Stone

What Is VA Home Foreclosure?

A VA home foreclosure is when the government takes back your house because you have defaulted in payments. When this happens, many people go into a state of shock and denial. However there are alternatives that should be looked into before you let your house get repossessed. As soon as you receive the notice you need to contact your lender right away to discuss what you can do to save your house. Do not just give up and panic, instead take action to help yourself.

First off, just what is a VA home loan? This is a special offer to help those who have served in the armed forces. Sometimes these veterans do not have enough money for a mortgage, so the government steps in to help them get a loan for their house. The government agency guarantees their loan. If for some reason the veterans default in their loan payment the government will take steps to repossess the house.

What can you do when you are faced with a VA home foreclosure? As mentioned, all is not lost because you receive a notice of repossession in the mail. You just have to act quickly to examine your options. Sometimes your financial problems are temporary. In this case your lender can work with you to get the monthly payments lowered and allow you to catch up. This will enable you to continue paying the mortgage and the lender can still get his payments, so it becomes a winning situation for both of you. Normally, your lender will be happy to work with you because if your house is repossessed the lender knows that they will lose money.

Is it possible to gain from VA home foreclosure? In a quick answer, yes you can.

You see, if you need a house, these repossessed properties may be just what you need. When the government takes the homes they are often stuck with them, especially with the glut of foreclosures in the marketplace, and will be forced to auction the house for a substantially smaller price than the current market value. This means that you can grab a house for 20 percent below appraised value. This helps many people with less income to get houses who might otherwise not have had a chance to get.

Before you go out and try to purchase a VA foreclosure home, you need to check the condition of the property. Often you will find these houses are run down and have quite a few repairs needed. You will need to get a proper inspection done to alert you to what needs to be done. Sometimes it is good to go through a real estate agent so that they can help you with this. Always try to assess the amount of money you will need to spend on repairs before you buy the house, as this can be quite costly and could end up costing you more than a new home that has not been foreclosed on.

If you decide to invest in a VA foreclosure home, just how do you go about finding one? First place to check would have to be the internet, because you can find a lot of different types of repossessed properties online. There are websites that provide lists of repossessed properties and some will even show pictures of the houses. This helps you to choose the one that will suit your needs.

If you seriously want to purchase a VA foreclosed home, the best thing is to contact a real estate agent that specializes in foreclosure properties. He will be familiar with all of the forms and red tape that needs to be filled out before you purchase a home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Sydney Heiden

Five Unique (And Crazy) Ways To Sell Your Own Home

It is hard to imagine that it was just half a decade ago when banks and financial institutions seemed like they had a bottomless well of cash to loan. That was actually the problem – it was too easy to get a loan. Interest rates soared through the roof, and people were left clueless as to how they are going to pay off their mortgages.

Suddenly, thousands of people were thinking, „I need to sell my house quickly!“ With so much competition, it was a tough property market to be in. There have been signs of improvement; home sales rose to 72,100 in July, that’s double the figures in January, according to the LSL/Acadametrics House Price Index.

But it is still a volatile housing market, and to be able to sell your house fast, you need to think out of the box. Here are five unusual, bordering on desperate, (some of them a bit over the top) ways to sell a home.

1. Sell your house to a cash home buyer.

As John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading said, „Encouraging new business models, online estate agents and private seller platforms could put useful competitive pressure on traditional models and lead to better value for buyers and sellers.“

2. Stage a raffle.

This sales technique requires a lot of hard work. The average price for a UK home is £162,000, so assuming each raffle ticket is sold at £25, you’d have to sell 6,500 tickets to make that amount. You might have to sell in shops, restaurants, pubs, train stations, and on the streets. As in any raffle, the lucky winner gets the house.

However, ticket revenue often falls short of the asking price, especially on more expensive properties. What do you with the proceeds then? You certainly don’t want a mob of angry protesters on your doorstep. One way to solve the dilemma is to give away a cash prize, whatever is left of the proceeds from the ticket sales after deducting costs. Be careful not to get arrested for breaching gaming laws though.

3. Beyond Classified Ads, advertise in unexpected places.

It’s free. It has millions of viewers. And it works. Estate agents, brokers, and even well-known property firms have made their own videos and posted them on YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing website. With just a digital camera and simple editing software, you can create your own video – the catchier the better of course – and post it on YouTube. Then you can market it by posting the link on Craigslist and Facebook, and e-mailing it to friends. Beats paying for a spot on network TV. But if you have the budget, you may even put up a billboard along a major road. It’s great exposure and if especially if you’re from a small town, it does not really cost a fortune.

4. Auction with a twist.

Auctioning to sell houses is actually quite a common practice, but one poster on an online community forum shared a story she had read in one of the free papers in London. The headline read: A £175,000 Garden Flat for Only £70?“

According to the post, it was £70 to enter the auction, and the bidder then has the right to submit up to 200 bids, in whole pennies starting at 1p. When enough people have registered to cover the asking price and the selling costs, the vendor was to award the house to the bidder with the „lowest unique bid.“ It is „deemed to have an element of skill,“ according to the paper, therefore it’s not a lottery and not covered by gaming laws.

5. Attract attention with smart and unusual gimmicks.

A small broker in Florida once rented a latte cart and parked it in front of her open house. That simple trick tripled the amount of traffic to her open house, had three bids and the house sold in nine days for $23,000 (£15,000) over the asking price.

Some people offer free beer and pizza for a year, while Rick Hill, who owned a £1,150,000 house in Hockley, Essex, gave away a Lamborghini worth as much as £150,000. Beat this though – Ian Usher, from Darlington, put his whole life in Australia up for sale on eBay. Turns out his house, car, job, and friends were worth £192,000, although the deal actually fell through.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by David Cuerden

Real Estate Selling Tips – Incentives That Will Close the Deal

Things can really get tough for home sellers when we are in a buyers market. However, this does not mean that we will have to settle for the short end of the deal. There are still opportunities where you can work out a good deal with your potential buyer. You can use certain inducements and concessions in order to finally convince your buyer to „sign on the dotted line.“

With things not going your way in the real estate market, it is essential that you exert more effort in order to make some headway without having to be perceived as being a hard sell. Though the market forces seem to be conspiring against you, a great deal is still achievable with proper planning and concessions which you can present at the negotiation table.

Here are some of the effective concessions or inducements which you can consider in order to close the deal with your prospective buyer:

Closing Cost

You may offer to pay for the closing cost as a concession to your buyer. This will reduce the amount of equity that he has to raise to complete the home purchase. In most cases, real estate deals are easily sealed once this concession is presented on the negotiation table.

Add on Furnishings

This is a viable inducement when selling properties that are located in areas where relocation is very common. Buyers find a deal appealing when it involves a property that is partly or fully furnished. In some instances, your buyer might find a particular furnishing as interesting. You may throw in this furnishing as extra in order to convince the buyer to close the deal with you.


The use of warranties is purely a judgment call. You may have to assume the cost of ownership of the furnace, dryer/washer or even the roof and foundation. Buyers are more comfortable in buying a property that is covered by homeowner’s warranty.

Gym Memberships, Condo Fees

If the transaction involves upscale properties, you may have to assume this additional cost items in order to clinch a deal with a prospective buyer who is not inclined to shoulder additional cost outside of the home purchase. A fair offer may involve prepayment of these dues for six months.

Rent-to-Own Option

One way to close a deal in a slow market is to allow your prospective buyer to „test-drive“ the property. The offer involves giving the right to your buyer to rent the property for a fixed duration before they can finally purchase the property. In most instances, a portion of the rent is applied to the down payment to make the offer more attractive to the buyer. This option may present other responsibilities as you will have to shoulder repair and maintenance for the entire duration that your buyer is renting the property.

Seller Financing

If you already have significant equity on the property, then you might explore the possibility of seller financing with your prospective buyer. This can defray the amount of money that a buyer has to raise to complete the purchase. There are critical issues that you need to seriously consider when you decide to offer this kind of concession to your buyer. It is essential that you hire a real estate attorney to handle the legal matters.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Laurel R. Lindsay

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