Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home in NELA

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In a strong real estate market, as currently exists in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA), it’s easy to imagine one simply needs to throw up a sign and the offers will come in. But it rarely (if ever) works that way. Real estate in Eagle Rock and homes in Highland Park are in demand, but that sure doesn’t mean a seller doesn’t have to perform due diligence to find the right agent. A selling agent will make sure the home is made to be maximally attractive and sell at the best price, working on behalf of the current owners and their best interests.

So what makes the best choice in Realtors? Your ideal selling agent offers the following:

Experience in the area and the types of homes – A good real estate agent in Northeast Los Angeles absolutely will have experience in single family residences because the inventory of homes for sale in Pasadena, Glassell Park, Hermon, Eagle Rock and Highland Park is rich with bungalows, mid-century moderns (MCMs) and Victorian homes. But the condo market in each of these towns is strong as well. Some agents consult with colleagues who specialize in one or the other.

Will share references of past clients – The relative success of a Realtor is defined by what they have sold in the past. Of course, both sellers and buyers need to complete their transactions with some degree of satisfaction. So ask to speak with at least five past clients to learn how well things went: ask about the hunting phase, negotiating, the guidance they offered to find a lender, in the closing process and after the closing.

Will market it using appropriate tactics – The Internet has upended the world of selling homes in that so many first “showings” are done online. So your agent should be adept with photography, videography and placement of that imagery on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, as well as real estate online portals Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. But note that not all tools work for all types of properties in all locales. Ask your agent questions as to what is selected and why. Once the property is posted online, you will be able to see the traffic it gets and perhaps get feedback as well.

Is communicative – How do you prefer to communicate (particularly when at work)? If you want to text, or email, or speak by voice, your Realtor should be able to do the same. You are the customer, after all. If you are at work in Pasadena but your home in Mt. Washington or Garvanza might have a last-minute buyer, minute-by-minute communication can be critical.

Provides gently blunt advice -This is sometimes referred to as the “your children are ugly” conversation. Almost every home seller will need to make physical changes to the property and sometimes accept price compromises in order to get a sales contract. Do not take constructive criticism personally – listen to what your agent knows from his or her work in the field to get rid of a sofa, change a rug, clean out closets or lower your price expectations. They share your ultimate interests – to sell the property – so the advice is always genuine. Your “child” just needed a new haircut and braces, in most cases.

Realtors are like any professional in that no two are alike. Buying and selling real estate demands patience and dedication and, above all, buyers and sellers performing their due diligence to learn more about the background, resources and track record of whichever agent they hire.

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Source by Samantha Turkle

How to Sell Your House Fast Yourself

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Selling your house fast can be challenging in these times. It is tricky and almost impossible in some parts of the country to sell property quickly. In today’s markets, your property should be impressive to attract the buyers. Well, you can take follow the below given tips to sell your house fast.

Take a look of your house inside out and make a list of repairs that need to be done before you sell it. Replace any dripping faucets, leaking pipes, torn window screens, damaged decking and more.

Organize your closets and cabinets because the buyers are here to see the maximum potential of your house in terms of everything including storage. Remove away any extra belongings and even the extra furniture for the time being. In addition, get rid of any clutter from your house. It will help make your home look extra spacious and orderly. Your house should look like a magazine layout, organized and glossy, if you are serious about selling it fast.

Next thing is make your house thoroughly clean before any prospective buyer comes to view your house. A clean house is sure to make a lasting impression in the minds of people who are coming for the first time. Clean all the windows, window panes, dust the furniture, remove cobwebs, wax the floors, and clean the shower gout and more. If it needs paint, go for it. When you show your home, everything should be spotlessly clean.

Pay special attention to the entrance area of your house since an attractive entrance will help your sell your house fast. Make the porches and walkways clean; place some pots with flowers near the entrance to make it beautiful. Also, make sure that hardware on the door is polished and doorbell rings. The foyer should be well-lit, clean, attractive and comfortable.

To uplift the mood and make it brighter, make sure that is well-lit on all sides, open the drapes and curtains. Also, make sure that there is no bad smell doing rounds in your house when the buyers make a visit. It is better to use a lightly scented air freshener or some fresh aroma coming from kitchen.

Even after doing all these efforts, you are not able to sell house quickly within the period you want, it is best to contact cash house buyers. These legitimate companies buy houses and other properties in any condition and at any location.

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Source by Damien Wilson

No Realtor, No Problem

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Homeowners have three options when attempting to sell their home.

  • They can list with a real estate agent
  • They can list it “For sale by owner”
  • They can sell it to a real estate investor

Each option has its own benefits and obstacles. A lot of Agents prefer to see the homeowner make a lot of repairs or upgrades before putting the house on the market. It can also mean a long wait to find a qualified buyer. Not an option for those looking to sell quickly. Trying to sell the home yourself also means a lot of work. Homeowners will be responsible for their own repairs, marketing, contracts and dealing with escrow. For the average homeowner, this is a frustrating and time-consuming process. It’s unlikely to result in a sale within 10 days.

List with an Agent

Selling the home with an agent offers many benefits for the homeowner as well as inconvenience. There’s a reason these professionals charge so much for each home sale, but that high price tag, as much as 6% of the purchase price, may be more than you are willing to part with on a sale. A $300,000 house could cost the homeowner $18,000 in commissions, reducing the proceeds for the homeowner. When repairs, clean-up,improvements, open houses and other showings are factored into the process, plus the extended time it takes, only the Owner can determine if this approach is right for them.

For Sale By Owner

Selling your home on your own is one way to cut back on fees. It also provides the homeowner with lots of freedom to do things their way. On the downside, going the “For Sale By Owner” route can mean a lot of work and extra time. The homeowner is responsible for prepping their home, performing due diligence, marketing the property, listing it on the MLS, dealing with homebuyers and closing escrow. The homeowner is responsible for a lot of things in their home sale when they go this route.

Sell to an Investor

This is the best way to sell your home fast. Homeowners who want to sell their homes within 10 days, or less, should consider selling to a real estate investor. These professionals are used to closing deals quickly and they try to minimize or eliminate the obstacles for sale. They will work with any homeowner, no matter their financial situation and can even help out homeowners in or near foreclosure. The only focus for these investors is whether or not the property is a good investment. Real estate investors are business persons who buy and sell real estate for a profit. Investors generally purchase lower priced homes or properties that homeowners want to sell quickly. These may be inherited properties, properties about to go into foreclosure and homes with major repairs needed. The investor buys the house, fixes it up and puts it back on sale for a slightly higher price. This increase in price constitutes their utilities fees, repair costs and potential profit. Homeowners need only be concerned about selling their property to the investor. The investors handle the rest on their own.

Preparing a house for sale, before putting it on the market, can help increase its chances of selling fast. Homebuyers love to see that “move-in ready” sign! Additionally, it cuts down on the risk that the bank or home inspection finds faults during the closing process that could derail the sale. However, homeowners can choose to bypass all those issues and sell their home to a real estate investor. Investors have immediate access to money and can usually buy a home within a week. They also base their offer prices on local research and homebuyers can get a decent price for their home. Let the investors deal with the process of making up the contracts, getting home inspections, finding a title company and handling escrow. All the homeowner needs to do is accept the offer, have an attorney look over the paperwork and sign on the dotted line.

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Source by Dennis Genaw

Do You Know What For Sale By Owner Means?

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Nowadays everyone has seen the signs in the front yard that say "For Sale By Owner," but what does this really mean? Is it going to be a legally correct deal for both parties? Does it really save money? The answer to both of these questions is, yes, but it does require a little bit more work from everyone involved.

For Sale By Owner means simply that there is not going to be a Realtor involved in the process. The owner will handle everything directly from showing to negotiations. There is a range of about 10-20 percent of homes sold with a FSBO sale and the number goes up and down from year to year.

Why Would You Sell With A For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?

From the sellers point of view the cost involved with selling this way are greatly reduced. When you deal with a real estate agent the commission cost alone can be between 5-7% of the final sale price of the house. As an example, if you had a home selling for 200K at 5% commission it would be $10,000 in commission fees. If the seller is able to sell their home without the use of a Realtor they would save all of that money.

Why Buy A FSBO Home?

From the buyers point of view the process of buying is much the same as long as you are an informed buyer and know what is a good deal and what is not. The one big benefit is that you have direct communication with the person selling the home. Because there is no middle man involved you can call the seller directly without having to deal with a real estate agent as a go-between. This means that buying this way can often take less time then if there is an agent involved.

Things To Think About

For everyone involved it is good to have a team of people helping with the sale even if no agent is directly responsible. Having a real estate lawyer on your side can help a great deal and will typically only cost a couple hundred dollars, but it will be some of the best money you spend in the entire process.

Another thing to keep in mind is the price. As a seller it is easy for you to overprice your house to get the greatest profit on the sale of your home. For the buyer you have to remember that you will have to do more work yourself because there is no one guiding the process. For both parties it is important to ensure that you have done your homework on the local markets and ensured that you have the correct price on your home. Getting a valuation report can help the process and ensure that you are setting a good price for your home that will be competitive with the rest of the market.

Resources

As of late there has been a lot of information put out about how to deal with the ins and outs of this type of deal. Sites like ForSaleByOwner.com and Zillow.com have a huge list of different FSBO homes and tips and advice to make the process easier. Going to library or other book store will show you that there are a lot of books on the subject as well. Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions of most peoples lives but it does not require a real estate agent if you are willing to do some more of the work yourself.

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Source by Melissa Gifford

Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

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Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and “pretend” like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for “smart” lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the “shackle” (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a “digital key” that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilà, the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that “it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.” Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an “access fob” in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks’ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a “Smart-Card” which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a “card reader” that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your “digital key” docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then “tweak” the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. “Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer” Nolan Says. He continues that “if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.”

Nolan’s’ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better “fit” for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

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Source by Michael Justin Wolf

List FSBO’s With Real Estate Letters That Offer Good Advice

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Trying to list FSBO’s? Here’s what your marketing needs to stress.

You know why home sellers are trying to sell without your help. They think they’re going to save a lot of money. And to be absolutely honest, those who know what they’re doing, have nerves of steel, and who don’t need to go to a job every day can come close to doing what you can do.

As for the rest of them… your marketing needs to gently point out that they simply don’t know what they’re getting into!

No, you can’t say that. Making a would-be client look or feel foolish is definitely not the way to earn their business. So you need to be gentle in your presentation.

You need to offer some help in the form of tips, or perhaps clue them in about the various disclosure forms they’ll need. You might offer some advice about how to steel themselves against the insults they’ll hear as buyers try to push the price downward. (I used to laugh to myself about the comments buyers made to me. Sometimes I wanted to ask why they wanted to buy the house since they hated it so much.)

And of course, you need to remind them that buyers will try to point out that they’re not paying a Realtor so naturally they can sell the house for less.

Before embarking on do-it-yourself home selling, homeowners should ask themselves:

• Do I know how to determine their home’s value in today’s market?

• Am willing to work with and pay a buyer’s agent?

• Do I know how to market my home and get it in front of enough buyers?

• Can I deal in a civil manner with people who severely criticize my home?

• Am I willing to demand that buyers reveal their financial situation before I take my home off the market to negotiate with them?

You should touch on all these points when you’re talking with FSBO sellers, and you can incorporate them into a special report or a series of real estate letters to mail to them. If you enjoy writing and have a few extra hours you can create letters that are uniquely yours.

If you don’t enjoy writing or don’t have extra hours, you can buy pre-written real estate letters and just get busy sending them.

Either way, real estate letters written in this manner are a soft-sell technique that will position you as a non-pushy, non-threatening agent who knows how to sell homes. With each letter you’ll become more of a trusted adviser, so that when they do decide they need help they’ll naturally turn to you.

But how do you first contact these people?

One way is to offer the special report on your website. Visitors opt in to get the report and their addresses are automatically entered into your auto responder to receive the letters.

You could write down addresses and try to locate the names to go with them, or (Please, no!) write to Dear Homeowner. I personally think you should use an opt-in on your site even if you take the hands-on approach… which is to get out there and meet the people.

I know – that can be a little bit scary. But if you decide what you’re going to say ahead of time, and practice it, it will get easier.

Write a script that sounds natural to you. Something along the lines of “Hi, my name is Sally Jones from ABC Realty. I see you’re offering your home for sale by owner and I stopped by to ask if you were willing to let buyer agents show it to their customers.”

If you say it all at once, they won’t have a chance to say “I’m not listing” and slam the door on you.

Some of them may not have thought about the fact that some buyers want agent representation, so at this point you may need to explain the procedure. If you have a buyer list you mail to, you could mention it. If you use a one-time / one-party listing agreement, do mention that as well.

If they say yes, they’re willing to work with buyer’s agents, do ask for a tour and do take notes. You could even snap a picture to go with the notes.

The important thing is that you don’t ask for the listing at that time. (Not unless they throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take over this horrible job they got themselves into. In that case you must be a good samaritan and help them. )

If they say they don’t want to work with buyer agents, be polite and friendly and say “OK, I’ll let the others in my office know so they won’t bother you.” You might also throw in something complimentary about the house and tell them that if they change their minds to let you know, because you’d sure like to show it. Give them your card, of course.

Before you leave, tell them that you have a special report with tips for owner-sellers and you’d like to send it to them. That gives you the opportunity to ask for their names. You probably should also ask if the house address is their mailing address, since some people do prefer post office boxes to home delivery. Mail the special report as soon as you get back to the office, and enclose a nice little handwritten note thanking them for talking with you. If you can come up with something more personal to add, do it. For instance, if they were about to leave for a child’s soccer game, say you hope their team won. That’s just to show that to you they are more than just a house address – you noticed who they really are.

Be sure to enclose another card just in case they tossed the first one the minute you left.

Then, every few days send along a new real estate letter with a new bit of advice that will be useful to them. Do end each letter with an offer to help should they decide against doing this on their own.

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Source by Marte Cliff

National For Sale By Owner Companies – They May Not Save You As Much As You Think!

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The For Sale By Owner home seller: FSBO (Fizz-Bow). One of the most sought after of all real estate clients. Why? Because their homes are for sale and real estate agents can mail these folks any number of solicitations without stepping on another agent’s toes. These are the home sellers that have taken a chance in order to potentially save thousands of dollars in listing commissions. They’ve done a little homework and have decided to try and save some of the equity that has accrued in their homes.

As a real estate agent I love For Sale by Owner home sellers! Sound a little strange for a real estate agent to say he loves For Sale by Owner home sellers? Perhaps, but when the numbers are in and it becomes clear that only 14% of all homes that are For Sale by Owner actually sell as a true for sale by owner, you’ll understand why. Because that leaves fully 86% of these home sellers as potential listing clients for real estate agents (such as myself) to try and snatch up! And the number of true FSBOs has actually declined from a high of 19% in 1991 to just over 14% in 2004.

Now, as with many statistics, it depends on whose numbers you’re looking at. The big, national For Sale by Owner (FSBO) companies have one set of numbers and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has another set of numbers on homes that are actually sold by owners. Personally I’m sticking with the numbers provided by the NAR (which are the numbers quoted above). They have been compiling and providing these numbers for a heck of a lot longer than the National FSBO companies have. The bottom line is that true for sale by owner successes are declining.

One of the major problems I see with the For Sale by Owner segment of the real estate market is that they have a tendency to fall in love with the idea of selling their home on their own, but they fail to create a good back-up plan that can be quickly implemented in the event they are unsuccessful with their For Sale by Owner adventure. And many of these folks are down right militant toward the traditional, conventional real estate community! Many of them regard traditional real estate companies and agents as nothing more than charlatans and snake oil salesmen! Which may be all well and good in a white-hot housing market but not so good in a changing real estate environment.

Just a year or two ago a home seller could put a “For Sale” sign in their front yard in the morning and have their home sold by dinner. And many times at or above their asking price! Not so any longer. The housing market has been on a great run but it’s now showing signs of running out of steam. Those For Sale by Owner signs are now staying in the front yard for weeks and months rather than hours and days. But even in this changing market, I still recommend that home sellers at least make an attempt to sell as a true For Sale by Owner. I recommend that they try it for a set period of time, say, four to six weeks and, if the home doesn’t sell, then give it up and move on.

And often times it’s that moving on that gets the true FSBO into financial hot water. First, they don’t have a good back-up plan in place that can be quickly activated when they finally give up on the FSBO dream. Second, they often end up going from one extreme to the other by listing with a traditional, Big Name Real Estate Company and paying a 4% to 6% listing commission. (Just for the record, the national average listing commission is currently 5.1%). Or they may fall for the smoke and hype of one of the big, national For Sale by Owner assistance companies and still end up paying a huge flat fee, and a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing commission on top of that. So what’s a poor, uninformed FSBO to do? Why, outfox them, of course!

But before our FSBO hero can outfox them, he or she first needs to know how they work. So, let’s now take a look at the truth behind another type of for sale sign; let’s take a look at the Truth Behind The For Sale By Owner Sign.

The true FSBO is a home seller that does not pay one red cent in sales/listing commissions and doesn’t use any type of conventional Real Estate Company or Real Estate Agent to sell their home. These folks are totally on their own! They make the sign in the yard, they price their home, they field all the calls and deal with prospective buyers, they conduct the open houses, they write and pay for any and all print advertising, they qualify the buyers, and they prepare all of the paper work and documents necessary to close the deal. These brave souls are the sellers that fall into the magical 14% of successful, true For Sale by Owners whose homes actually sell.

But what about the other 86%? Well, they usually end up falling into the Almost For Sale by Owners category: the AFSBOs as I have named them (pronounced Affs-Bows). They choose instead to list their property with one of the many new and emerging real estate services companies that are challenging conventional brokerage firms by offering an à la carte menu of real estate services.

Some of the biggest names in the For Sale By Owner real estate assistance business offer many of these à la carte services. These big, national For Sale by Owner assistance companies are playing the same game the large, brand name, traditional real estate companies have been playing for decades. They’re banking on that so-called “big, trusted, familiar name” to sell their services. And it’s working! One of these large, national FSBO assistance companies is opening one new franchise office every 48 hours! They expect to hit 1800 franchises by 2008.

The current president of this national FSBO assistance company is quoted as saying the following on the company headquarters web site: “The winds started shifting away from the traditional way to compensate REALTORS® years ago. It’s like a gale wind now and by all signs, it’s going to continue to grow in force”. Sounds great to me! A gale force wind of change blowing across the stagnant waters of the current real estate industry is just what is needed. But FSBOs can still find a better and more cost effective way (without sacrificing service and knowledge) to navigate the equity in their homes to safer waters.

If you’ve decided to pursue the route of a true For Sale By Owner, that’s great! By now you know the drill. And you can find enough information in books and on the web to help you out in your quest for the FSBO dream. But if your back up plan (and as you now know, everyone should have a back up plan) is to go the non-traditional route as an AFSBO, you first need to get over the notion of wanting, or thinking you need, a “big, familiar name” to sell your home. The idea of no longer needing that “big, familiar name” applies to AFSBOs every bit as much as it does to traditional, conventional home sellers. And AFSBOs should never forget the fact that these big, national FSBO assistance companies know all to well that 86% of their sellers will end up not as true For Sale by Owners, but as flat fee/discounted commission listings! And the flat fees that these big For Sale by Owner assistance companies charge can be huge! Some fees running as high as $2,500 to $4,400!

Before you sign on the dotted line with any real estate company either For Sale By Owner or traditional get the facts. Know the true cost. Read the fine print. And, watch out for the up sell on services. It’s the additional services that can put a FSBO in the listing commission poor house before they ever know what has hit them. Make these companies put it in writing. Because, if it isn’t in writing. It isn’t going to happen!

But just like a bug caught in a spider’s web, most home sellers that sign with these big, national FSBO assistance companies will, out of ignorance or for the sake of convenience, continue on to the next level and end up paying more than they should to sell their home.

I know this may seem like subversive stuff but hey, you’ve worked hard to purchase your current home and the equity you have in it is real money! Why give it away? What you need to do now is work just a little harder to educate yourself on the changing real estate industry and all that it currently has to offer. And the more you educate yourself, the more of your home’s equity you can keep from falling into the hands of the over priced real estate companies, be they traditional or FSBO assistance. A little knowledge isn’t always a dangerous thing, often it can be a money saving thing!

“There Is Nothing So Costly As Ignorance.”

-Horace Mann — The Father of American Education

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Source by Bill Brynelsen

How to Sell a House by Owner by Employing Real Estate Investor Secrets – Part 2

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In How to Sell a House by Owner, Part 1, we pointed out the all important hand painted, pink fluorescent signs. They work! I have had as many as 250 flyers taken from the flyer box in a single weekend. For me, that has been the magic bullet on how to sell a house by owner and get a swift house sale.

It requires considerable time to create the signs, and to stick them on all of the corners within your neighborhood, but trust me when I say to you, your problem will not be, “not bringing in enough lookers”.

In case you are at all like me, or wish to be like me, in the sense that you do not want to use a Realtor to sell your property, as soon as you get the buyers looking through your house, then you definitely have some different techniques to select from.

Listed here are the ways savvy Real Estate Investors intelligently and creatively attempt selling their homes repeatedly without using a Realtor. In this down real estate market it just could be time for you to utilize some of the same secrets.

* First: Once you have had the lookers walking through your house, now it is time to make the best deal that you can, and then fill out a Purchase & Sales Agreement and open up escrow.

* The second method gets a bit more creative. This is called The 9-Day Highest/Best Bidder Sale. Your home will sell in 9 days. You merely do not know exactly how much the price will be.

Have a minimum of two one-hour open houses during two weekends and 1-open house in the middle of the week. Take bids on the house and on the last day at 5 pm, you start the rebidding process and then sell to the highest bidder (if you choose to accept their offer).

* The third technique is the Transferable Seller Financing Approach. This gets considerably more in-depth and very creative, but it is just another tool you can make use of if you need to be creative to get a quick sale.

* The fourth technique is the use of a Lease with an Option to Purchase. This approach will get a person into the property quickly, alleviating you from the burden of having to make the house payments, and it gives the potential buyer a given time frame to actually purchase the house.

* And, the fifth technique, should you be behind on your house payments, is utilizing a Short Sale.

That is one way on how to sell a house (by owner), and get a quick house sale, without using a Realtor (however, with the Short Sale, a Realtor might be included in this approach). Of course, if you are looking to get the very best possible price for your home, then your home should be in “Model Home” condition. Anything less will attract a lesser sum for your house. If your home is a fixer-upper, then price should not be the most important issue, but selling quickly might be.

When you start thinking like a Real Estate Investor, you will discover how to sell a house by owner, and perhaps have a high probability for a quick house sale, and attract a greater profit for your efforts.

Learning how to obtain or sell a residence in this real estate market suggests doing it like a real estate investor. I would only acquire a home way below current market value. It only makes sense to discover How to Buy a Home Short Sale. Regarding how to sell a house by owner, you need to discover all of the real estate investor secrets.

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Source by Trevor MC

5 Tips on How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

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1-Don’t change your mind after you made the advertising and preparations for selling the property. If you decide to sell your house without a realtor then keep it this way, because if you change your mind you will feel about it and your morale will go down. Think this way: If so much people make money through selling their own house why shouldn’t I do the same thing.

There’s no ultra-secret method that real estate agents use to sell your house, and there’s no secret tips that everyone sell their own houses without a realtor.

2-Be sure that you are doing the right things, because the main mistake that people do is to think if they spend a fortune on advertising they will get higher offers.No. Advertise in the right place,
through newspaper and websites and put a sign outside the house.

3-Try to make small improvements to your house in order to increase it’s value.

4-Have patience and don’t rush things, because you will get a buyer for your house eventually.

5-Price your house correctly. This is one of the most important tips on how to sell your house without realtor: When you evaluate your house I suggest to find out the price for houses that are for sale or were sold in your neighbourhood and price your house 10% lower. This way you will get most visitors to your house and the chances of getting fast offers for your house increase. Keep in mind that in order to have a relevant price you must look for houses that are close to yours. I mean houses that have the same number of rooms, same number of baths, same style.

These are just a few tips on how to sell your house without a realtor, but I will reveal more soon.Keep in mind that selling houses can pe a profitable business if it’s done correctly.

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Source by Nicusor Valentin Prefac

How to Write a Home Sale Ad

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Many people are choosing to sell their homes without a Realtor these days, a plan that can save you some serious money. Of course, your house has to actually sell before you can consider that strategy effective. Below are some tips and tricks for writing an ad that generates interesting in your house and, hopefully, leads to a sale.

o    Consider your ad options. Not very long ago, a real estate ad had only one purpose: to appear in your local newspaper. And while newspapers are still a great option, modern technology calls for a more far-reaching marketing strategy. The best place to start is by asking yourself where you would look if you were in the market to buy a home. The answer, for most people, is the Internet. It’s ideal becase you don’t need to leave your house to browse the selection, and it’s ready whenever homebuyers are. These are the same reasons you want your ad to be online, and there are plenty of for sale by owner (FSBO) websites that will be happy to run your ad. Newspapers, of course, are a tried-and-true option that shouldn’t be discounted, even with the Internet’s prominence. If you’re outside a major metropolitan area, make sure that your ad appears in your local paper, as well as a large daily in nearby cities; you never know when someone will want to move out of the city and into a more rural location.

o    Set the scene. It only takes a few words for homebuyers to grab the nearest phone and beg to see your home-or for those same homebuyers to turn the page without giving your house a second thought. Include basics such as the style (ranch, two story, etc.) and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but you also want to include descriptive phrases that help people imagine themselves living there. Make it easy on readers by spoon-feeding them gems like, “Spacious kitchen that opens into a great room-perfect for entertaining” or “Remodeled master bathroom that recreates your favorite spa.”

o    Put a positive spin on things. It’s not okay to lie, but it is okay to make your house sound as charming as possible. If it’s not move-in ready, say something like, “Ready to be fixed up into the home of your dreams.” And if you live in a neighborhood that has a less-than-desirable reputation-maybe it’s known for older houses without much space-be sure to convey how your house is different. Describe how your house sits on a big lot or the fact that you have an oversized garage that can be used as a workshop. Give homebuyers a reason to change their minds about the neighborhood.  

o    Create a winning headline. It’s the first thing people will read, so it has to grab them. Pick out the absolute best feature or characteristic of your house and make that the headline: “Upscale family living at a great price” or “Sprawling country retreat with orchards,” for example.

o    Include a photo (or two). While fabulous copy can create an attractive mental picture, there’s no substitute for an actual photo. When you have plenty of space-website ads and flyers, for example-include multiple photos of the inside and outside of your home. When you only have room for one photo, it should be the outside of the home, preferably taken on a sunny day. No matter what angle or space you’re photographing, the number one rule is “clean and tidy.” Clear out all clutter before snapping a picture, and be sure the area is spic and span.

o    It’s all about the price. It’s astounding how many home sellers omit the asking price in their ad. Whether by accident or intent, it’s a mistake. It doesn’t matter how much someone loves your house, if it’s $100,000 over their budget, you’ve wasted your time and theirs because there’s no way they’ll be making an offer. Letting people know up front how much the house costs is both efficient and courteous. You don’t have time to field 20 calls a day from people inquiring about the cost, only to have them slam the phone down upon hearing it. You want to take phone calls from people who know the price, are comfortable with the ballpark, and want to set up an appointment to see it.

o    Keep it short and sweet. The paragraphs, that is. The best way to lose someone’s attention is to cram a lot of info into rambling paragraphs. Bullets are a great way to separate facts into easily digestible bites. 

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Source by Jason Kay

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