Aug 19 2010

Selling a House: 4 Tips to Get More Buyers through Your Door

Sell a home tips

If you’re trying to sell a house this year, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you.

Since the end of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 long-term homeowner tax credit on April 30, the number of people interested in buying a house has plummeted by as much as 40 percent.

With more foreclosures coming onto the market, home sellers are in a tough spot: the number of homes for sale is increasing just as the number of home buyers is decreasing.

That means you might have to drop your price to catch a home buyer’s interest.

But before you go that route, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the attention of the maximum number of home buyers. Make sure you do everything on this list:

Selling a House Tip #1: Make your house look good enough to be on TV.

Today’s home buyers have watched tons of real estate programming on HGTV, Bravo, and other satellite networks that shows how to transform ugly homes into polished gems…

via Finance Blog – Real Estate: Selling a House: 4 Tips to Get More Buyers through Your Door.

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Aug 19 2010

Batting Averages for Listing Agents

Batting averages for real estate agents

By: Glenn Kelman

Posted: Monday, August 16th, 2010, 4:58 pm

Redfin just published MLS data from seven counties across the U.S. on the likelihood that a listing activated in 2009 sold by August of 2010. It turns out that the listing agent got a sale 47% of the time, a number that seemed surprisingly low to us, particularly since staging, photographing and marketing costs can add up…

via | Batting Averages for Listing Agents | National real estate marketing and technology blog | Realtors and real estate, mortgage and investment news.

May 23 2010

Broker Terminology

Broker Terminology

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

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As you begin your house hunting, it helps to keep straight the various terms for real estate licensees.

Agent is a general term for anyone empowered to act for another. Many agents you meet have been hired by the seller and have special fiduciary duties to the seller (more on that important point later.)

Broker is a legal term for someone licensed by the state to negotiate real estate transactions and to charge for services.

Salesperson is the term for the holder of an entry-level license; a salesperson is allowed to assist a broker who is legally responsible for a salesperson’s activities. In some areas the word agent may be used for a salesperson, as opposed to a broker. A salesperson may not operate without supervision and may collect fees only from the sponsoring broker as a share of commissions earned by the salesperson’s efforts. In a new home purchase, the salesperson or builder sales consultant is generally employed by the builder to sell new home neighborhoods, with a license usually overseen by a “broker of record” within the building organization.

REALTOR® is a trademark designation (properly capitalized, like Xerox, Kleenex or Coke) for a broker (in some areas a salesperson) who belongs to a private organization called the local Association, or Board, of REALTORS®, a state board of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® subscribe to a code of ethics that goes beyond state license law, and usually sponsor a local Multiple Listing System, which offers access to houses listed for sale by many different firms.

REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® is the term used by some boards of REALTORS® for salespersons associated with member brokers.

So as you start your search for the best agent, should you prefer a salesperson or a broker? There’s something to be said for each. In general, you can expect a broker to have more education and experience. On the other hand, some long-time salespersons remain at that status simply because they prefer not to go into business for themselves. And you could run into a well-trained, highly motivated newcomer with the time and enthusiasm to do a first-class job for you.

via Home Buying: Chapter 2 Introduction. Continue reading

May 23 2010

Choosing an Agent: Tests to Apply

Here are a few tests to apply when judging a broker:

Does the broker explain your state’s law of agency at your first meeting and make it clear for whom he or she is working?

Does the agent return phone calls promptly? This simple question is a good screening device, whether you’re looking for a broker, lawyer, or plumber. In these days of cell phones, pagers, voicemail, and e-mail, there is no excuse to be out of touch. Does the agent explain things so you can understand them? This attribute is especially important for first-time buyers. If you can find an agent who is a born teacher, you are in luck. (The fact is, many brokers are former teachers.)

Does the agent seem ready to invest time in you? Where the broker is holding an open house that’s on the market, does he or she just wave you through, asking as you leave whether you’re interested in that house and letting it go at that? You want someone who, if not busy with other prospects, shows you the house in a professional manner, asks questions about your needs and wants, and offers to sit down and discuss other places on the market if you’re not interested in the house you’re touring.

Does the agent seem to have knowledge of the Internet? Some agents carry a laptop computer with them wherever they go and are able to pull up pertinent information and new listings on the spot. A computer has become a valuable hi-tech sales tool and a convenient and ready resource for savvy brokers these days. If Internet communication is important to you, ask agents if they e-mail their clients with information on new listings as they appear.

Does the broker suggest an initial session in the office, rather than simply meeting you at the house you called about? To get good service, you need a sit-down financial analysis and discussion of your whole situation in a confidential and professional setting.

Does the agent ask questions about your finances soon after meeting you? This may not be proper etiquette in ordinary society, but it’s the mark of an efficient broker who aims to give you good service. Suggesting a prequalification or a full loan preapproval is better yet, so that you have placed yourself in a position of strength and credibility as a buyer. If you haven’t already spoken to a loan agent, the agent may suggest someone with whom he or she has a track record of success.

Does the broker explain up front if he or she is acting as a seller’s agent? In most states, this information must be given to you in writing upon first contact.

When suggesting potential houses for the first time, did the agent show you listings that convince you that he or she has been listening and understands what you are looking for? If you’re shown houses with the wrong number of bedrooms or ones clearly out of your price range, this may not be the agent for you.

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May 23 2010

Why Use a REALTOR®

\Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

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Many consumers consider selling their home directly but eventually turn to REALTORS®. Smart home sellers realize they need the expertise in pricing their home, making connections with REALTORS® working with buyers, arranging and staffing open houses, and coordinating with other professionals in the sales process.

Only about half of all real estate agents are REALTORS® – the top half, in our not-so-humble opinion. REALTORS® work independently, for small agencies, or for large brokerages. They help people buy and sell residential or commercial properties, vacation homes, and land; they conduct appraisals; they operate in the United States and in other countries; some specialize in auctions; and others are buyer’s representatives.

Move or Remodel

Are you considering a move? Check out HouseLogic, NAR‘s new consumer site, to analyze the pros and cons of moving or staying put, plus lots more information about owning a home.

REALTORS® Are Experts

Eighty-five percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home, according to NAR Research, and 79 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.

Why Use a REALTOR®?

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