Real Estate Insider Tricks

Insider Tricks Real Estate Agents Won’t Tell You About

The real estate market is an extremely competitive Darwinian field, specially in cities where the properties are over-priced. Once such city is New York City, where there are a little over 27,000 licensed real estate agents. However, in 2012 there were only 12,598 contracts as Ryan Serhant states in an ABC News interview.

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Ways to Attract Potential Customers

One common tactic that some real estate agents use to attract potential clients is through the use of old listings on their website. The agents will keep handsome properties up on their websites, even if they were sold a few years back. These eye-catching properties gets people to pick up the phone and contact the agent. However, since it is no longer available, the agent will tell the person that the property is now under escrow, or they just got an offer, or that is was just sold and the site needs to be updated. Then, they’ll offer the person on the phone various listings that are “similar” to that one, and boom, they have a client.

Another common tactic is to set up open houses and scout potential clients. Open houses don’t tent to sell a home, it is more of a marketing scheme from the agent’s point of view. Don’t get it wrong, open houses can be great marketing tools as well for homes, but a majority of agents push for these so as to gather more potential clients.

Watch the interesting video below to find out more secret tips real estate agents use.

 

 

5 Easy Ways to Save Money & the Environment

It is common knowledge that the human species has become very efficient at wasting the Earth’s resources and polluting it. While previously we were unaware of the harm we were causing, now we realize exactly how we are damaging our only home, the planet Earth. If we do not mend our ways, time will come that the planet will not be fit for even our own habitation.

There are many things that we can do on an individual level that can contribute to a cleaner environment. A large number of these strategies do not require any major investments, only simple lifestyle changes. Many of goals to save the environment merely involve cutting down on the expenditure of resources, and naturally when we reduce our needs we automatically save money.

These are 5 easy ways to save money and the environment at the same time.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money & the Environment

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  1. Purchase Refillable Water Bottles:

    Container Recycling Institute claims that daily sixty million disposable plastic water bottles end up in landfills. Carrying water in bottles that can be refilled will not only save you the cost of the bottle that you are going to throw away, but cut down costs of producing new bottles or recycling.

  1. Grow Your Own Produce:

    Salad materials like lettuce, herbs and tomatoes are not only easy to grow and fun but can be done in containers too! This will not only provide you with fresh salad, but the decrease in demand will cut down on transport hence release of vehicular emissions into the environment. Southern Living goes into more detail as to why you should grow your own produce, and how easy it really is.

  1. Go Meatless a Couple of Times a Week:

    The livestock industry depletes natural resource and emits methane gas, a greenhouse gas. It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef. This figure can be much higher, like 3,600 gallons in California, or a bit lower. Thus, it is important to understand how livestock and natural resources intertwine. Substituting meats with grains, beans and nuts is environmentally friendly and cheap.

  2. Use Cloth or Sponges for Cleanups:

    The use of paper towels to clean counters, or table tops is surely convenient, but you are throwing away pennies each time you discard a paper towel not to mention harm the environment. Approximately half of the trees that are cut in North America are used in production of paper according to Green Guide Web.

    Cloth or sponge cleaning napkins can be washed between every use. If you maintain a sufficient supply of cloth napkins, they can be thrown in with your regular wash and because they don’t take up much volume, the size of your load is not affected.

  3. Air Dry Clothes:

    Whenever weather allows, air dry your laundry naturally instead of using the dryer. Many Europeans opt out of buying dryers, and instead invest in drying racks, and dry their clothes naturally. Many people prefer this option of drying because the mentality is, if they can save energy why not? With such a green, and sustainable mindset, we could truly help decrease our carbon footprint significantly.

How To Properly Stage Your Home

Staging a Home Real Estate

Staging a house for a viewing is no longer an astronomical task. Whether you are a new real estate agent, or you want to sell your house, there are simple things you need to do to present your house in the best possible way. As opposed to the expensive makeovers that most people think is a must, these simple steps are very economical and require no services from any professional. Needless to say, properly staging your house greatly increases the chances of getting a buyer as quickly as possible and further increases the chances of a buyer wanting to buy it. Below are some pointers on how to go by properly staging your house.

Ensure Your House is Clean

The first and most important thing to do is to thoroughly clean your house. This includes the floor, toilet, bedroom, basement and closet. Do not forget other neglected areas like the window panes and the fittings. It matters if you vacuum, clean, and dust your house. Clear an entire day out of the week and go scrub every corner of the house. If you live with a spouse and children, split up the work. Make the cleaning a fun game for the kids so they don’t refuse entirely. By the end of the day your house will be sparkling clean!

As the premier real estate agent K. Ann Brizolis, who specialized in the San Diego Luxury Real Estate market, advices, it is best to have a sparkling home in order to have a clear mind. It also allows potential buyers to truly see themselves living in the house. After all, it is wise to follow the advice of someone who sells luxury homes to the rich and famous for a living.

Do Away with Clutter!

When visiting any house, buyers will want to walk around the house freely to size the house. Filling clutter to make it look bigger is not a good idea. In fact, apart from making the house stuffy, is will make the house look smaller than it is. Make it easier for the client to make an informed decision by removing any clutter and leaving only the necessary items you need like the furniture. Also, ensure to remove any personal items like family photos as they act as a distraction.

 

Brighten the Rooms

Brighten The Rooms Staging HomeOne of the best and simple ways to do this is by opening the curtains to let in the sun. If there are any abstractions like trees or bushes just trim them. Make sure to show your house during the day when it is brightest. Another way is to add fresh paint to give the rooms of your house a fresh new look. While applying the paint, make sure to choose neutral colour paints that are not too distracting. Use light colours to make rooms look bright and big, and most importantly welcoming!

Update Home Appliances

Is it a high end home? Well this is one of the most important aspects to consider. Many people won’t­­­­­­ buy a home that has appliances that are dated. You can rectify this by purchasing new appliances that match well with the floor and colour of the walls. In the kitchen for example, buy appliances that match well with the cabinets and the floor. This will go a long way in attracting more buyers.

Update Floor Covering

Do you have outdated, stained carpets? Well, do away with them. It’s time to buy new ones. In fact, it’s much better to leave your wood floor bare. Buyers do not like floor coverings that may not match the desired house colour scheme. To be on the safe side, ensure that your wooden floor is well made without any broken parts. If need be, you can polish it to look new. However, if your floor is not wooded, ensure to use a wall to wall carpet to make the clients comfortable.

Buying Your First Home

Buying Your First Home

So you decided to purchase a house? However, before stepping out to attend all the open houses and munching on the freebies, you have to understand that it is a huge commitment that requires a lot of planning to ensure that the experience is enjoyable.

 

The preparation for buying your first home begins months in advance, and the first order of business is to ensure that your financial situation is sold.

 

  1. Do you have sufficient funds for a down payment?

    Traditionally a minimum twenty percent down payment is mandatory to be able to qualify for a mortgage. So depending on the rough estimated value of the house you are looking to purchase, you must have 20% of that amount in the bank. Keep in mind that there will be additional closing costs, so realistically speaking you must have more than the twenty percent.

 

  1. Is your credit score good enough for a loan?

    Before a bank loans you any money, it will want information regarding your history as a borrower. They want to make sure that they will get the huge amount of money they are about to loan you back. They will look at many factors, including if you pay your credit card in full each month, or at least make the minimum payment? Do you have a stable source of income? And many more.

 

  1. Do you have all your documents needed for buying your first home?The application for a home mortgage requires you to provide sufficient documentation to prove to the lending institute that you are financially sound to take on the responsibility of paying back the loan. Having digital copies of all the following documents endures that they are all in one place.

 

  • Federal tax returns of two years
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of any investment income
  • W2 or 1099 statements of income for two years

 

  1. Did you get pre-qualified for a loan?This is a very simple procedure that costs nothing and takes very little time. It may be done online or over the phone. The benefit is that you will be able to get a ball park figure of how much loan you qualify for. Do note that it does not guarantee a loan. It only gives you an idea of what you may be able to get. Armed with this figure along with the amount of money you have in the bank, you will be able to determine the price range of the houses you can afford.

 

They will do this by looking at your credit report and score. It is a good idea to obtain a copy (simple online procedure that costs only a few dollars) of this report yourself first. This will allow you to ensure that there are no errors that may hurt your chances of obtaining a loan. Also if your report is not all that good due to some errors, you may end up paying more for the loan. So it is best to rectify any issues before you apply for the loan.

If there are no mistakes, but your report is still not that great, then take some time to improve your credit score by paying bills in a timely manner or lowering your debt amount.

Now that you have a good idea if you are in the position for buying your first home, you can actually start looking at houses that are in your range.