Demanding Respect As A Primary Agent

Written by Debrisha French on . Posted in General

Every agent sets out to achieve the one goal to become the primary agent in a highly populated/ high volume area. Completingimages order can determine your spot as a primary agent but the trick is keeping the top spot. There is always a new, young, hot shot agent that comes in on the scene to make a statement on why he should be #1. I will break down the facts on what agencies and title companies look for in a good candidate to demand the primary spot.

Great communication skills

Believe it or not, most agencies would love an agent that communicates with them. In this line of work communication is key. You may not have to speak with them physically, but communicating is a great way to ensure the spot of primary agent. One way to ensure that you will keep your spot as the primary agent is to accept new orders when they are sent to you. Granted, we do know that most agents are out on the field all day and will not be able to look over new orders once they reach home. If that is the case, make the effort to communicate with the client with a simple phone call or email. Once the client gets any idea that you’re not interested, they will quickly replace you. Give the client’s a piece of mind. Simple right?

Great turn-around times

Quick turnaround times will help you keep the primary spot with any company. Most clients are under a great deal of stress dealing with cranky lenders nagging about orders. Most lenders are willing to wait 48hrs max for an order to be returned back to them. So we all have a part to play on getting this turnaround time possible. The first thing any clients or agencies will look for is a person who is willing to have orders returned back in 24hrs or under in case of any discrepancies.

With great communication and turn-around times demanding respect as a primary agent is a giving!

Moving Tips

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors

moving-tipsIf you are one of thousands of people who have moved their family to a new home or community, you probably have fresh memories of  some of the ups and downs, thrills or frustrations of moving. One of the best moving tips you’ll ever hear is that good packing is essential for a stress-free move.  If you choose to do some or all of your own packing, it is important that you familiarize yourself with packing techniques. Also moving boxes that will best protect your possessions are a big help. It may be convenient to make a list. Before packing one box, create a simple record keeping system. Place a number on every box you pack and list the contents on your list. When describing the box contents, be specific. For example, ” A-D files” is better than just writing “files” It may not hurt to color coordinate as well. Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Place colored stickers on the box near the box number. Inside your new home, place a matching sticker on the door to each room. If you have hired movers, they will know where to put everything once they arrive to the new destination.  It’s also helpful to post a sign on the wall where you may want boxes stacked to keep out of furniture and traffic areas. Try to keep things together when you or the movers are packing boxes. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. Small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes. Larger corresponding items such as a cable TV cord can be placed in a resealable bag and then taped to the underside or back of the item.

Home Buying. Good or Bad Investment?

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

homes1Most people seem to think that owning a house is a great investment. Thornburg investments says houses return a barely positive return on a real, return basis, but as they note, all of the fees are not actually included in this calculation.  If you consider a house as two distinctly different pieces, you have the land that you own and the actual house itself.  The land is what some would call an ” investment” since it’s highly probable the land itself will appreciate in value over time. The house itself, however, is a depreciating asset that is guaranteed to fall apart just like your car will. Like all financial asset purchases you are guaranteed to stat your purchase in the red by the amount of fees involved in purchasing the asset. Homes are an unusual financial asset in that they are extraordinarily expensive from an up-front cost perspective. You have Realtor commissions, closing costs, inspections, appraisal, insurance and a whole slew of other potential costs such as moving or maintenance. This is before you have even stepped foot into your “investment” and of course before you have started paying the real fees such as mortgage. Over the life of a home you will have to pay taxes, mortgage payments, property insurance, utilities, water, disposal and routine maintenance. These are all fixed costs and whether you rent or buy you will have to pay some of these fees no matter what. Throwing out utilities, water and disposal with the assumption that your rental option has these costs embedded you will still have to pay mortgage, taxes, property insurance and you will have to maintain the property yourself if you own your home. None of this means that buying a house is a bad idea. It is simply intended to put the total costs and real, real returns in the right perspective for those who buy a home with a mortgage and live in that home.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities.

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General

tenantsTenant’s have rights and responsibilities during a tenancy agreement.  In almost every state, tenants are entitled to a safe and livable home, regardless of how much rent you pay or whether your landlord tries to get you to accept a hovel.  Your right to livable housing has a lofty-sounding legal name: You’re ­entitled to the benefit of the landlord’s “implied warranty of habit­ability.” What this means is that your landlord has promised you a livable place simply by renting it to you. You are entitled to a quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home.  You are entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation. You are entitled to a rent book. You have the right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable time.  You are also entitled to have appropriate  contact info such as telephone numbers, email addresses, postal address, etc. As a tenant you also have obligations and responsibilities.  You as a tenant must pay your rent on time. Keep the property in good order. Inform the landlord if repairs are needed and give them access to the property to carry out repairs. You must avoid causing damage or nuisance. Also you must comply with any special terms in your tenancy agreement, verbal or written. If your landlord’s mortgage is in arrears and the mortgage lender has appointed a receiver, you must pay the rent to the receiver, but it is the landlord who remains legally responsible for matters such as returning your deposits. The receiver may arrange for repairs to be carried out, but it is unclear whether the receiver is required to do this or whether the receiver takes on any of the responsibilities of a landlord. If you feel your rights as a tenant have been infringed, you have some methods of redress. In case of disputes regarding private tenancy agreements, you may take your case to the Private Residential Tenancies Board, which provides a dispute resolution service.If your landlord is not maintaining the property to the proper standards you can contact your local authority, which is responsible for enforcing standards in rented housing.

House Flipping

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors

house-flipping-conceptSo much in house-flipping depends on the real-estate  market.  During a boom, flippers have the upper hand and can almost name their price in some areas. However, while in a slow period, many of these homes can sit for months. A lot of decisions are to be made from the very beginning. Once you know where you want to buy then your next decision is on what type of property you want to purchase. Deciding on a fixer-upper involves committing to improving that home, which takes time and money. If you purchase a foreclosed home you could get a bargain on an under priced house but keep in mind that if the previous owners could not pay the mortgage they most likely couldn’t afford to upkeep the house. You would then have to worry about problems such as a leaky roof or a dead or overgrown yard  These two types of properties are what most people think of when flipping comes to mind. One of the first piece of advice that most flipping experts give is to make a budget. While finding the perfect place and knowing your skill set is important, budgeting is where new flippers most often fail. So the first place to start is to get financing.  When financing it is very helpful to know that the larger down payment that you are able to pay, the lower the interest rate. It does not hurt to save cash for fixing up. Make sure that you research on what type of neighborhood you intend to do your house flip. Really investigate the area by driving around during the day and at night. Check recent sale prices and find out of any other flippers are sitting on empty houses.  Keep in mind that some markets are more profitable than others, such as: Great school systems, low crime rates, city improvements, including street repaving, new street lights and street signs.

Home Insurance

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General

homeowners-insurance-9Before finalizing a mortgage loan, lenders require that home buyers purchase a least of minimal level of homeowner’s insurance.  The homeowner’s insurance will cover unintentional damage or destruction by fire, smoke, wind, hail, theft, vandalism, or other similar events. To better protect your home you may want to consider acquiring more complete coverage than what your lender requires. You want to know exactly what the policy you purchase will and will not cover. In addition to the house itself, homeowner’s insurance will typically protect furniture and other personal items, as well as any other structures on the property such as a poor or separate garage. Most policies will not cover business equipment, damage caused by natural disasters or loss of art or jewelry over a certain amount.  That is where the additional insurance comes in handy. When you are purchasing insurance you want to decide on how much coverage you need. The better your coverage, the less you will have to pay out of your own pocket if disaster strikes.  Finding out what can be included can be surprising. For example, there are some policies that will provide coverage for mandated upgrades and spoiled food coverage such as if your home were to burn down and a new law requires for sprinklers to be installed, or if a power outage spoiled all your freezer and fridge items. The insured has coverage for up to $500 under this particular policy. Comparing other insurance companies is recommended. You are not required to purchase insurance from the company your lender suggests. There are a number of unbiased sources available to find out what different insurers charge for identical products and services. You can consult your state insurance department, consumer publications or your public library. Last but not least you want to make sure that you read your policy carefully. You should be aware that a home insurance policy is a legal contract. It is written so that your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the insurance company are clearly stated. You should read that policy and make certain you understand its contents.  

How to Market Yourself as a New Agent

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in General

imagesIf you are a new agent in the business, you do not need to announce this fact to the world. Sending out an announcement that you just got your real estate license and are looking for business won’t give anyone much motivation to call you.

Make the announcement that you are “in real estate” not that you “just got your real estate license” and are “looking for business.” Simply start communicating with people you know and remind them that you’re in real estate.

Here are some other ideas for getting the word out:

1. Send out an email offering your friends some promotional item or service. Don’t mention that you just got your license. Pretend that you’ve been selling real estate for a while now.

2. If it’s holiday time, send out holiday cards with your business card enclosed. Write a personal note in each.

3. Send out a “Happy New Year” (any time of year) family newsletter with all the happenings in your life, including your venture into real estate. Don’t be specific as to when your career started, and be sure to include your business card.

4. Put together a mini-newsletter with a description of special services you offer as a local real estate professional. If you have a digital camera, you could offer to take pictures of your client’s properties for their online marketing, or before-and-after shots for clients who are doing remodeling.

5. Send thank-you cards every day to anyone who helped you out that day. Some sales trainers advise sending out five thank you cards every single day. Not only does this practice put you in a grateful frame of mind, it also gets your business card out there in the hands of the public.

You don’t have to send the same thing out to everyone. If you belong to a special interest group, you can clip a relevant magazine article and send out copies along with your card and a short note.  

Protecting Your Home

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General

a thiefOne of the biggest worries that homeowners face nowadays is being able to secure their home. You want to be able to feel safe and at peace when your not only inside but away from your house. It can get a bit expensive sometimes trying to protect your home with high tech alarm systems and security cameras. However, you can protect your home a lot more with little to no money and that’s because the best home protection simply involves smart thinking and good habits. One simple way of  keeping your home safe is to lock your doors.  People who live in friendly communities feel that they are generally safe and think that they do not need to lock their doors. This is one of the biggest mistakes that’s made.  Making a nightly routine to ensure that all doors are locked before going to bed can be helpful.  Also never open the door to uninvited strangers. Another way to protect your home is to make it look less approachable. Getting a dog to guard your house can be one option to do this. If you are not a dog person then that is okay. You can post a “Beware of Dog” sign  and even without actually having a dog makes intruders think twice before entering your property. Motion-sensor lights are great for this as well and they are affordable. When you are away from your home you want to try your best to not make it obvious to others. Leave a vehicle in your carport or in the front of your home if it’s possible.  You can set electronics (televisions, wall lamps, digital timers, etc)  to switch on and off during a  specific time in the day.  Have your post office hold your mail delivery so that while you are gone for longer duration’s you won’t have days worth of mail sitting in your mailbox, giving an obvious sign that no one is home.

HOA

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General

uncle_scamA homeowner association is by definition, a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision.  They provide services, regulate activities, levy assessments and may, as delegated by the states legislature, impose fines.  HOA can enforce its actions through the threat and levying of fines and private legal action under civil law.  Annual, quarterly or monthly dues are required in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. These dues are typically established to cover the amenities in your community and can include things like lawn maintenance, playgrounds, golf courses, pools and in cases of condos or townhouses, these fees often include any exterior maintenance required on your home. You can pretty much get an idea of what the purpose of an HOA is supposed to be. It may not be the best idea to put yourself in the position to purchase a home in an HOA community.  A lot of homeowners will agree that the people who sit on their boards are often petty and vindictive.  Lane’s, a North Carolina man who’s caught up in a dispute with his HOA because he planted some pansies in a community common area. He “felt the flowers would spruce up the park”, which he viewed as unsightly and unkempt. For his act he was fined and when he refused to pay the HOA placed a lien on his home. This brings up one major disadvantage . A homeowners association can foreclose a member’s house without any judicial procedure in order to collect special assessments, fees and fines or otherwise place an enforceable lien on the property. For example, a case involves a soldier who, in 2008 was informed that his fully paid-for $300,000 home in Frisco, TX had been foreclosed on and sold for $3,500 by his HOA over unpaid dues of $800 while he was serving in Iraq. This case was eventually settled in 2010 and the soldier regained ownership.  

Timeshares

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General

Tieshares-Ball-and-Chain-jpeg1 Timeshares are one of the top sellers in the travel and hospitality industry. Thousands are available and millions of people own them. But having a timeshare may not be the best idea.  Spending money on a timeshare is not an investment and will not generate money for you.  With timeshares, you are pre-paying your hotel bill for the next 20 years whether or not you use it. You also will have to worry about paying maintenance fees. Instead of worrying about maintenance, you must pay large fees to provide upkeep for your unit, and they are known to increase by up to 4% every year. So, although you do not physically have to write up taxes, fix leaks or get cable TV, you end up paying for these things anyway. The cost can range from $200 to over $500 US, depending on the location and type of property. I’m sure it’s becoming evident that networking is key in time sharing, but it can catch up to you; another con appears when owners of floating timeshares have to battle it out over who gets the unit at a given time in the year. Usually, the majority of vacationers want the space at the same time, and compromises are hard to come by. There is a specific period of the year that your Floating Week can be used. This requires you to make a reservation for your resort for a week within your assigned floating period. If you do not make your reservation soon enough, there is a possibility that all the units will be taken for the week you are requesting, and you will have to look at a different week. If you purchase a timeshare that includes a point system, they never end up being enough and they are always trying to sell you more. This is especially true if you are trying to vacation in high season. Be careful and investigate before you make the same mistake.