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Things that make me sad or cry

I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting older, softer, mushier, or what but there are so many things that make me sad now and I find myself crying. WTF–Boys Don’t Cry as the old Cure song goes right? AND to boot it’s the dumbest things that I cry about. I grew up in The Bronx in the mid seventies to early nineties, NYC was quite the place then–very GRITTY! We travelled the city with IMPUNITY, I was never afraid to go anywhere. I’m just going to list them:

  • I get teary eyed when I am watching a show where people have trained and they show those stupid vignettes that show me thier home lives. I was watching the Titan Games a couple nights ago, the two lady competitors, one was an OBGYN, who gets up everyday at 4:30AM to train/workout. She has 3 daughters and she wants to show them that girls are strong! The other girl she went to the Olympics, came in 4th and just trains, she looks at being a Titan her redemption. I start tearing up when I see the dumb vignette that they do for each athlete–UGH!
  • Bud Greenspan I HATE you. I have watched those Olympics short stories you produce. The one that sticks with me is when they profile the US Rowing Team in 2000 Olympics in Beijing. Watching the story about their coxswain Mary Whipple (who is 4′ tall?), she wanted to be a rower but was too short–these ladies were TALL and all very pleasing to the eye I might add. Mary spoke about choosing theam, how sad it is to watch those ladies get cut–they worked as hard as the ladies that made the team, but there were only a certain number that could go. When those girls are cut it is very sad, there’s crying, andit just makes me respect what they do. They push their bodies to the max, which they have been doing since they were started rowing, that is extremely moving to me.
  • When I see these movies about the struggle of single mom’s and what they had to do to keep their kid on the straight and narrow or how they had to fight to get by. It makes me think of my mother, she was a great woman, gave me everything, she made sure EVERYDAY that I didn’t want for anything. There was nothing that I ever wanted or needed that she wouldn’t go to end of the world to make sure I had it. Don’t get me wrong, she also taught me the value of a dollar I had a paper route from age 8-18!What really makes me cry is that these struggles were real, it is as if they are in my life. Personally when I see these shows/movies it always make me lament that I didn’t thank my mother or say ‘I love you,’ to her. We just weren’t that ‘touchy feely.’
  • It makes me sad when I think about all the things I never said to my mother, we were never the ‘touchy feely’ family, I learned about expressing my emotions when I was with Jenn. I think about all the thigs unsaid to her. Now I find it easier to say these things to her, since she’s not in front of me. Honestly she would have thought I wanted something from her–usually money as terrible as I feel about saying that.
  • I am also saddened when I think about my marriage and divorce. Pat was a nice lady when I met her but something changed after we were married. She like me never expressed herself, so I never knew what was going on. I in turn never expressed myself, I internalized everything and never spoke about the things bothering me. Indiandian people aren’t supposed to get divorced, we stay together and are miserable. I am glad/sad we never had kids because I’d be stuck in a loveless marriage up to now. When my mother passed away, it was a sort of relief. I didn’t worry about what she would think if we divorced. As much as I miss her and her death saddens me, it gave me a whole new life. I met the greates woman in the world–Kathy. I totally hit the jackpot when I met her. We have the greates kid in the world and I SPOIL HIM ROTTEN as much as I can–THAT MAKES ME HAPPY amongst my sad feelings when I don’t think about him.
  • When I see how minorities are diminished now a days it saddens me. What going on now in the Twin Cities, what happened in Atlanta to the kid running, to what happened to Trayvon Martin, and I can go on and on and on and on. Why can’t we break this cycle of police being violent to minorities. I just don’t understand it, it’s very sad.
  • On the other side to when I see what black people and other minorities went through pre civil rights amendment. It just sucks, segregated counters, bathrooms, water fountains? Sitting at the back of the bus; not being able to marry a person that wasn’t black. Conversely, it saddens me when I see young black youth acting like idiots, robbing someone, the shootings wherever they occure–just plain old acting like a fool. I’m not trying to point out minorities in general, but just people doing so many DUMB things, it is sad. My mother taught me better than that. I never once feared the police or anything I thought they might do to me, which in my few interaction with them was to help me. This saddens me greatly.

These are just some of the things that affect me, I’m not making a social commentary but I am saying that there are things that shouldn’t effect me this way but unfortunately living in the world we live in just makes me shake my head.

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Best Time of Year To Sell Your Home

Guest Contributor Catherine Way

When you decide it is time to sell your home or move, what seasons you list in, can play a huge effect on how much you earn off your property. Sellers that want to see large paydays may want to wait for warmer days before they list their homes. 

Planning to sell your home? Waiting for warmer weather can lead to large paydays! 

 Get ready to sell your home now, and you could have more showings and a better price for your home. When is the best time of year to sell your home? 

Why Buyers Love The Summer

Summer is a favorite for many, and for homebuyers, spring and summer months are the best for home shopping. Many realtors know that peak house-hunting season in late spring or early summer. More buyers are looking for homes in the warm months. 

So why do over 30% of homes sell in the summer months? 

Many realtors believe the top reasons home sell for more in the summer:

  1. Schools Out: With no school, it is easy to make childcare care arrangements and move quickly without the worry of missing school days. Moving in the middle of the school year is hard on growing families and it is easier to move in the spring and summer. 
  2. More Demand: More sellers list homes during the spring and summer, and give buyers a fresh pick of a variety of houses. Buyers want to get the best homes as soon as they list, meaning higher prices for the sellers. 
  3. Easier To Move: With vacation time, holidays, and no school it is easier for more buyers and sellers to sell and buy new homes in the summer. 
  4. More Daylight: Late spring and summer have longer daylight hours than the cooler months. This means your home can be in peak viewing condition for more hours in the day. This makes it easier for home buyers to see your newly listed home for more hours in a day.
  5. More Jobs: Many companies start hiring in the spring and summer as well making it a great time of year for more buyers to look at homes in your area! 

For many selling a home in the summer months can lead to larger paychecks! You can add more editing. 

Summer Is The Best Time of Year To Sell Your Home

ATTOM Data Solutions, released a new analysis of the best days of the year to sell a home. To no surprise, the summer and spring months ranked as the best times of year to sell your home. Not only do homes sell for more during this time, but they can also sell faster. 

According to the study, home sellers see the highest premiums average 9.6% percent above market value in June and 8.3% percent above in May. 

After analyzing more than 33 million single-family home and condo sales over the past nine years to discover the best two months to sell your home. These hot months are great for buyers, and shows how motivated they are to buy a home.  For those to sell the homes faster and for more, summer and spring are the best months to list your home! 

The months for home sellers to make the highest premiums were:

  • June (9.6 percent) 
  • May (8.3 percent) 
  • July (7.3 percent) 
  • April (6.8 percent)
  • February (6.7 percent)

Summer is a great time of years for families to move, and to find their next home, as well as job seekers to move to new areas. For those looking to make the most of their homes, June is the month to list your home!

The 3 Best Days to Sell Your Home

For those looking to make the biggest paychecks off their homes, it can vary. Having the right buyer, listing, and timing of your property can determine how much you can earn when you sell your home. Some days of the year show higher premiums for the sellers are better than others! 

ATTOM Data Solutions stated that the following days in June showed the highest premiums.  

The Top Three Days To Sell A Home Were: 

  1. June 22nd (10.5%)
  2. June 21st (10.5%)
  3. June 29th (10.5%)

For those that are considering selling their homes, listing in late may can lead to higher premiums and faster closings dates. Listing your home in May and June can lead to a higher chance of selling your home, and for higher amounts than other months. 

If you are looking to make the most of your home, having the right repairs can help you sell your home for more as well. Hard money lenders suggest the following repairs to make the more off your home. 

The Top Selling Repairs For a Home Are: 

  • Gray Paint:  Homes with Gray paint (on the exterior) can add up $3,496 in value to your home. Gray paint can even attract more potential buyers to our home. 
  • White Subway Tile: 
  • Smart Features: Smart Appliances in a home can increase the value of your home by 11%. 

If you are looking to sell your home for top dollar, make sure that your home is in tip-top shape. Working with a great realtor and getting your home staged for photos and buyers to see can also improve how quickly your home can sell. For those looking to make the most money when they sell, following these tips can lead to a large pay day. 

Summary

If you want to make the most money on your home, selling in the summer months can lead to larger pay days. If you list at the right time, you might earn more money for your home depending on when you choose to sell. 

 Make sure you list at the right time of year to earn the most money!

  • Why Buyers Love The Summer: With Schools out, families are ready to move, and have more time to view and find the perfect home. 
  • Best Time of Year To Sell Your Home: Research shows that the best time of year is to make the most money is the summer! The Top months to sell your home are June, May, and July!
  • The 3 Best Days to Sell Your Home: June is one of the best months to sell your home, with three of the days showing the highest premiums for home sellers. You can make additional repairs, and upgrades to sell your home for more money! 

Are You Selling Your Home This Year? 
About the Author: Catherine Way graduated from Michigan State University with her Bachelor of Advertising, with a specialization in Graphic Design. She is a content marketer for business, mortgage, and real estate industries. She currently writes and reports for Prime Plus Mortgages: Hard Money Lender Arizona

Real Estate Commissions questions answered

Here’s a great article I read, it answers a lot of common misconceptions and conceptions about how we as Realtors get paid.

A closer look at transparency about compensation for agents on both sides of the transaction

By Michele Lerner

Ask a recent home buyer how much they paid in real estate commissions and they’ll say “nothing.” Ask a recent home seller how much they paid in commissions and they’ll likely quote a dollar amount or a percentage of their home price.

Greater transparency about commissions is being introduced in some areas of the country and among some real estate brokerages that could change the conversation about how agents are compensated.

Traditionally, the commissions for sellers’ and buyers’ agents are paid by the sellers out of their profits from the sale of the home. So sellers are the ones who decide how much to offer to the buyer’s agent.

Now a few markets are opening the information to buyers, giving them an opportunity to make the compensation for their agents’ work part of the negotiations.

In the largely experimental move, buyers can ask their agent to take a lower commission to reduce the overall price of the property or they can ask their agent to provide them with a rebate of some of their commission. But on rare occasions, some brokers say, opening up the commission could result in buyers having to directly pay part of their agents’ commission.

Since October, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) in Seattle has allowed real estate brokerages to publish the amount of the commission being offered to the buyers’ agent. The NWMLS policy also removed the requirement that a seller offer a commission to the buyers’ agent.

If no commission is offered, the buyers and their brokers can negotiate the compensation. In other MLS systems, such as Bright MLS in the Mid-Atlantic region, some buyers’ agent compensation must be offered with the listing, although only agents can see that proposed commission.

Since last summer, Redfin real estate brokerage publishes the buyers’ agent commission on its website for all of its listings. The company isn’t allowed to publish buyers’ agent commissions offered by other brokerages on their website, except in Seattle.ADhttps://0f43a90db22c62ae62f130a9b591f260.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“Publishing fees will make sellers more aware that they’re paying the buyers’ agent,” says Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin. “At the same time, this will liberate sellers to pay different amounts to the buyers’ agent depending on market conditions and the property they’re selling.”

Of course, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is upending market dynamics in most of the country. Buyers and sellers can always ask their agents for a reduced commission. In a market like this one, with fewer homes for sale and fewer transactions happening, agents may be more willing than usual to negotiate.

“During this time of economic uncertainty and social distancing, our sellers’ primary concern is using all of the virtual technology and marketing tools available to find a buyer and get their home sold quickly and safely,” says Michael Alderfer, a real estate agent with Redfin in Washington, D.C. “Sellers are less concerned about how much commission to offer the buyers’ agent right now than they are in a more normal market, but fees are always part of the conversation.”AD

Dawn McKenna of the the Dawn McKenna Group with Coldwell Banker Realty in the Chicago area and Naples, Fla., says that between March 15 and May 10 she and her agents have sold more than $115 million in properties without any clients asking for a reduction in commissions because of the pandemic.

“We’re getting more creative and sophisticated than ever before to find the right buyer for the right home,” says McKenna. “This includes leveraging our network, all the marketing resources we have, and all the data and new technology available.”

Discussion about real estate commissions can provoke strong emotions among today’s buyers and sellers because much of the traditional legwork of finding a home can be done online. Real estate agents say their value lies in their advisory role, their market knowledge and their experience with contracts and negotiations.AD

“In any industry there are discount options and consumers know there are other options besides a full-service model in real estate,” says Jenn Smira, a real estate agent with Compass real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C. “In our business, you get what you pay for, so the conversation is about what each agent brings to the table rather than who may reduce their fee by a half percent.”

Many consumers are unaware of their ability to negotiate with real estate agents about their compensation. Most don’t know that the combined commissions to real estate agents in any transaction typically totals 5 to 6 percent of the sale price of a property, according to recent research by the Consumer Federation of America.

In addition, the research found that most traditional real estate agents (73 percent) would not negotiate their portion of the real estate commission. Buyers who ask about the commission their agent earns are typically told that the sellers pay the commissions, so buyers drop the issue, according to CFA’s research.AD

In reality, while home sellers pay commissions out of the profit from the sale of their home, there wouldn’t be any profit or sale without the buyer’s money.

“Buyers have always paid the commissions for the real estate agents on both sides of the transaction, they just didn’t know it,” says Matt Van Winkle, a broker-owner and attorney with Re/Max Northwest in Seattle. “If buyers don’t like the price of a house, they can negotiate that, but the commission portion of the sale is out of their hands.”

Commission conversations

Buyers are sometimes confused about how their agent gets paid, says Christine Richardson, a real estate agent with Weichert Realtors in Great Falls, Va., and 2019 president of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

“Anything we can do to make it less weird to them and to be more transparent is good,” says Richardson. “Clarity is always good, and consumers can understand that they can possibly negotiate commissions.”AD

While buyers rarely ask about commissions, sellers must talk about commissions because they need to calculate the numbers of their sale to map out their decisions about moving, says Smira.

“The idea of being transparent and publishing commission information for consumers is meant to start a conversation,” says Alderfer. “The heart of the issue is that it’s complicated, especially for buyers, to understand who’s being compensated and how.”

Van Winkle says that in Seattle, buyers and sellers are more likely to ask about the value an agent provides before hiring them now that consumers are more aware of their commission.

Real estate agents have always seen the compensation offered to a buyers’ agent. The NWMLS policy makes it possible to share that information with the public, too. So far, NWMLS is the only listing service that has introduced this policy of transparency.AD

“The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has always said publishing the buyers’ agent commission is an option that’s up to each local multiple listing service to decide,” says Rene Galicia, director of MLS engagement for NAR.

While Galicia says NAR is in favor of transparency, he adds that compensation offers have been kept out of the public eye in the past.

“Some information on the MLS is kept confidential, such as showing information or lockbox information that protects the privacy of sellers and their families,” says Galicia. “A commission offer from the listing broker on behalf of the seller to the buyer broker is between the brokers, so that’s why it’s often confidential. But as consumer understanding of how agents are paid grows, there’s no reason to keep that information hidden.”

In 2019, an antitrust lawsuit was filed against NAR and four large real estate brokerages that accused the firms of a conspiracy that forces sellers to pay the commission of the agent representing their buyers. The complaint brought to light what some sellers see as an unfair practice that commissions for agents on both sides of the transaction are part of the closing costs assigned to sellers.AD

Negotiating commissions

Both buyers and sellers can negotiate when they choose a full-service agent, but they can also choose a flat fee model and negotiate a price for each service. For example, sellers can choose to pay just for an MLS listing. Other real estate businesses offer discounted fees for reduced services.

“It’s important for consumers to know that commissions are fully negotiable,” says Galicia. “Both buyers and sellers can talk to their agents about how they get compensated and they should do that at the very beginning of the relationship.”

When buyers sign a buyer agency agreement, they should discuss how their agent will be compensated, says Galicia.

“Buyers think they’re getting their buyers’ agent’s services for free, but the buyers’ agent should explain to them as soon as possible that buyers pay for their services as part of their home purchase,” says Galicia.

If there’s a gap between what the buyers’ agent agreement says about compensation and what the buyers’ agent actually receives, it’s possible that the buyers would have to make up the difference. However, that’s an extremely rare occurrence in residential real estate, says Van Winkle. He says that real estate agents rely heavily on referral business and would be unlikely to press a buyer for payment, particularly for a small difference in compensation.

Buyers can ask their agent if they’ll consider working for a lower compensation and they can also ask for a rebate of the agent’s compensation, says Alderfer.

Sellers often want to discuss the value of the commission they’re offering a buyers’ agent, says Alderfer.

“The buyers’ agent commission is one of many factors that will impact the speed and sales price of a home, including the condition of the property and the listing price,” says Alderfer. “In some markets, sellers might be able to offer a lower commission, but in others, 2½ or 3 percent is recommended.”

Buyers’ agent commissions can be part of a comprehensive marketing plan, says Smira.

“Depending on the property and the market, sometimes it makes sense to increase the buyers’ agent’s commission as an incentive and to get more attention for a property that isn’t selling,” says Smira. “With one listing recently, the owners were in a hurry and didn’t want to lower their price, so they offered a 4 percent buyer’s agent commission. The house sold immediately for top price.”

Buyers’ agents who diligently represent their clients’ best interest shouldn’t be swayed by a lower or a higher commission offer.

If an agent is only showing a buyer properties with a 3 percent commission and none with a lower commission, a buyer could ask the agent if the compensation is limiting what they’re being shown. For now, however, that information about how much their agent is offered is only available in the Seattle market and on Redfin listings.

At this point, the long-term implications of making this information public are unknown.

“Full-service, professional agents are delivering value to their clients and clients seem willing to pay for full service,” says Van Winkle. “However, part-time and limited-service agents are seeing their effective commission rates reduced proportionate to the service provided. Agents who don’t bring sufficient value to the consumer are no longer able to collect the same commission as professional agents and we’re already seeing that play out in the market.”

It remains to be seen what impact transparency about buyers’ agent commissions will have on the broader real estate industry and whether that transparency will become widespread in other markets and brokerages. In the meantime, buyers and sellers have every right to an honest discussion about how their agents gets paid.

5 Reasons you should work with a Realtor as a Real Estate Investor

Working with investors is one of the greatest improvements I have personally made in my business several years ago. For my clients it has created massive wealth and profit producing income; it has also provided me with more income and added to my annual salary (this is a job after all).

Most Realtors are afraid to work with investors, agents are inherently trained to help their clients. The problem is many times agents don’t train themselves on what investors are looking for. One of the reasons we want to work with investors is we want your future business! I want to work with you to find your tenants, I want to work with you to find your next property, I want to help you grow your portfolio, whether it be residential or commercial, maybe a little of both?

This is the BEST time to learn how to be an investor, with this economic downturn we are bound to see wealth change hands (fortunate? unfortunate?) Most of this change will be in the Real Estate sector.

1 have a funnel of clients who want to work with me

For landlords:

  • Determine where the end-user owners (avatar), who will buy the newly remodeled house from the flipper, are buying now.
  • Always get agreement on you receiving the listing when the flipper is ready to sell the remodeled property.
  • Aggressively market your investors’ newly remodeled listings so you can get the end-user (avatar) buy side, too. In fact, the avatar may need to sell their existing home before buying this one, and that way, you get another listing. This could result in up to four commissions.

For landlords:

  • Make sure you focus on areas that are generally between one-third and two-thirds rentership. Exceptions are areas near hospitals, universities, shopping, transportation, military bases, etc. These areas are likely as high as 80-plus rentership, as they should be. These are great areas in which to own rentals.
  • Always earn referral fees from property management companies when you refer your client to them to manage your client’s rentals. Better yet, manage them with your own team or company! This is a huge source of additional contact information as well as income.

For both types of investors:

  • Start with data from public data sources like census and planning commissions to determine the housing statistics for the area. You don’t want to try to flip a home in a rental area and vice versa.
  • Use targeted direct response marketing to attract the right investors and repel the rest.
  • Always screen prospective investors before going any further. Interview prospects to determine readiness, willingness, ability, timing and motivation.
  • Always get prospects under an agency agreement before doing any work.

2. Foster relationships one time that pay you multiple times

I know when you work with me, you will want to work with me again. Not only will you want to work with me again, you will want to find more properties. Typically investors buy between one to severa dozen homes per year.

3. I will work on your schedule

I know my investors do a lot of legwork as that’s what is required for the serious ones. I am your guide. I will give you many choices and the pros and cons associated with each.

4. I operate my business and don’t worry about what other agents do

I know that you have to buy and sell homes, I am committed to find that next home for you and/or your tenants.

5. I understand that the first transaction leads to many others

I not only want to sell you one home, I want to sell the home when you improve it, when you sell it, when you want to rent it.

You will need my property management skills at some point. I will rent the vacabt units in the property when they become available.

I AM SO FED UP!

The global pandemic we are dealing with is a true tragedy, today we passed 100,000 people dead from the virus (a number which I think is MUCH LARGER than what they are saying). That’s another story for another time. I am a huge sports fan, I have always been. My favorite sport is cycling, but we know that’s not the sport it is in Europe; football, basketball, tennis, golf, baseball, even hockey I love to follow. I am not as big a baseball fan as I was when I was a kid, but then again I a big football fan, but not a crazed fan!

So what is the story with baseball? I don’t fault these guys for making as much money as they can–their shelf life is limited. There are only a handful of people in the world who can play Major League Baseball and god bless them let them make as much as they can. What is going on now is truly a travesty, baseball is as American as apple pie, I know that’s cliche but it’s true. The fact that they can’t come to an agreement to just play baseball is such a travesty. The owners are being greedy, I am totally on the players side, but they are crying poverty.

WHY? MLB is a license to print money. It is a protected monopoly end of story. Why do we pay $12 for a hot dog and $15 for a beer–total bullshit. I understand by not having fans in the ballpark there is a source of revenue that is diminished, but quite frankly the money is in the TV contract! Everyone’s eyes will b GLUED to the TV, the owners and TV networks will be able to charge more for the product than ever. I just don’t get it.

The NFL, NHL, pro golfers have all seemed to figure it out, but WTF is wrong with these baseball people. It’s frustrating to hear day after day how many people have filed for unemployemnt but the guy who was supposed to make $35 million will only make $10M this year? Should I feel bad about this or just shake my head. Baseball owner should get their heads out of their ass.

LET’S GET IT TOGETHER BASEBALL!

10 tips for buyers putting in offers sight unseen amid COVID-19

Buying a property sight unseen is a daunting taks, but in the COVID-19 world it has become common, here are some things to consider.

  1. Be specific and realistic about wants/needs and expectations

Normally I’ll have a consultation with you prior to viewing properties. Generally I will get a feeling of what you like as I show you homes and see your reactions to features, smells, looks, etc. I need you to be extremely communicative about what you like, what you need, what you don’t like, etc.

2. Measure furniture before you pack it

You have to measure all your furniture to make sure it will fit in the home.

3. Buyers need to master online search tools

You need to use all the tools on the Internet to do as much due diligence as possible. Whether it’s Realtor.com or google earth, there’s tons of information to overlay on whatever. On google earth you can explore the neighborhood, don’t ask me to do it, you do it so you can see exactly the neighborhood you will be making this major purchase in.

4. Use phones for interactive virtual tours

I can show you any home in real time and walk thru it just as if you are walking thru it. We can open any door, look out any window, go up or down any stairs. We do this in REAL TIME!

5. Bring in outside help!

I’m sure you have friends or family in the neighborhood. I will accomodate showing them the property so there is someone more impartial. As we know the Realtor is full of S… 🙂

6. Write the offer with a contingency

Generally we don’t want to write an offer contingent upon you seeing it. BUT, the standard home inspection or financing contingency gives us enough time to have you or one of your friends to come in and look at the home.

7. Talk to the inspectors

The home, pest, and other inspectors are great. These are people that you pay to do an inspection and are impartial. Ask for their advice they will be happy to give it to you.

8. Prepare buyers to walk into a smaller, uglier reality

Its human nature that reality is always different from virtual. As much as I try to show the property in the best light, and when you come into the home it will smell like someone else’s home. It will look shabbier, it will be uglier, the neighbor’s home is an ugly yellow color, you may feel like you paid too much. This is all normal, I will under promise and over deliver (hopefully)!

9. Grid paper rules

Despite your best efforts, your buyers may still feel let down when they walk into their new empty house. Help them cope by stocking the entry with a pad of grid paper, a tape measure, a ruler and several brand new sharp pencils. Let them know their first job is to measure the rooms and create a scale drawing of each room on the grid paper. Their second job is to haul out their furniture measurements and start arranging furniture on paper before their moving truck pulls up.

If you have a handyman you rely on, share contact information with your buyers. In other words, give them the tools to see that the house they just bought can be the home they love sooner rather than later.

10. A great agent is the key to success

Representing buyers purchasing properties sight-unseen is one of the most difficult challenges any agent faces, because so much can go wrong. Plus, you can easily get sucked into viewing endless numbers of properties, sketching multiple floor plans to email your buyers, and getting mired in the search without ever approaching the finish line.

In general, you don’t want to take on absentee buyers unless they face a near-term purchase deadline, and they understand what you can do and what you can’t.

Agents, for the most part, are can-do people. We’re not accustomed much to focusing on what we can’t do. But in the case of absentee buyers, that’s a crucial step in defining your role upfront. You can only do you; you can’t be them. And everybody needs to accept that.

First time investor/landlord? Here are some tips to help you navigate!

Real estate investing is competitive and risky, it can make you very wealthy, or you can lose everything. The good news is no one could ever predsict a global pandemic which has caused this economy to spin out of control and have landlords sweating to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately there is no end in sight right now, and the problem will only compound itself with the high unemployment rates we are seeing right now.

As a beginner real estate investor there are very specific strategies and actions you can use to mitigate your risk and see the upside. Here are a few of them.

  1. Invest in the right properties

The old saying in real estate is you make your money when you buy–buying at the right price virtually guarantees you’ll make a profit in the long run. If you overpay you’llalways be trying to catch up–not ideal in a perfect world.

In addition make sure you are investing in the right type of properties you want real estate that will perform well in all kinds of markets–including growing economie and recessions. Generally modest single family homes, close proximity to amentities (jobs, food shopping, gas, etc) will always have high demand. If you want to get into luxury homes those are highly dependent on the health of the economy at large.

2. Purchase good insurance

No body wants to pay a lot for insurance, but it’s better to pay more for insurance that you need than not have enough insurance when a disaster strikes. Consider an umbrella policy and always require tenants to have renters insurance.

3. Screen tenants METICULOUSLY

You can save yourself a lot of headaches by by being extremely stringent and detailed in your tennt screening process.

  • Full credit reports
  • Very employer
  • Verify tenancy and past landlords
  • Do a background check
  • Require a thorough application and security deposit

Don’t feel like you are being nosy you MUST do your due diligence. While you can’t prevent a global pandemic, you can look at a perspective tenants job security; are they in a staple industry? Is there job dependent on a healthy economy? You shouldn’t make a decision solely based on this but it is something to keep in mind.

4. Streamline rent collection

One of the biggest problems investors have is collectiing rent and the excuses that come with them. The more you can do to mitigate this the better it will be for you.

The best way to streamline rent collection is to have tenants set up DIRECT DEPOSIT. This keeps their hands off the rent money and makes it more likely you’ll receive it on time each month.

Another option is to set up a online rent portal so that checks ‘dont get lot in the mail.’ It also makes it easier for them to pay rent as there’s no need to write a check or find an envelope or stamp, etc.

5. Partner with the right professionals

Ever investor has a strong network of professionals they rely on for assistance, guidance and service. Such as:

  • Property Manager
  • Reputable contractor
  • Real estate attorney
  • Insurance broker
  • CPA or bookeeper
  • Banker/lender
  • Reliable Realtor

Partnering with the right people will save you a lot of time and headaches.

6. Keep Good records

Real estate is serious business. A failure to comply with the financial and legal rules instituted by the regulatory bodies in your jurisdiction could land you in some very hot water. And the best way to prevent this is to keep good records.

Keeping good records means properly filing and organizing all important documents so that they’re safe and easily accessible. When possible, make digital copies of all paper files you have and save them to the cloud. This lowers the risk of losing your important files in a natural disaster or computer crash. 

7. Supercharge your ROI

Real estate investing is a competitive and risky game. And though there will always be factors that you can’t control — such as a massive economic collapse at the hands of a global health pandemic — there are plenty of smaller elements that you have direct influence over. Make sure you’re spending your energy and effort on these latter aspects.

Thanks for help from Anna Johansson on this article

OK, we’re back from camping!

I have to tell you I was such an idiot. I went camping kicking and screaming because I didn’t want to go–end result? I LOVED IT! I feel so bad for all the drama I put Kathy thru at the beginning. Look camping in an Airstream is not like camping honestly–it’s total GLAMPING.

We had an OK day when we went down there on Friday, we got in ate but the weather cleared up and we were ok. Saturday the weather was beautiful, we went down to the beach and walked around. Im not a big sitting on the beach person, I just don’t see the point. The water temps were cold hence no one went in, even though Sean wated too, but too cold. I hung out on the boardwalk. We got ice cream and then went back to the camp. I BBQ’d chicken and hot dogs and corn, it was great we all ate and then ‘cozied’ up for the night. Watched some movies, in the heated cabin, and oh man it was like being at home!

Sunday was not so promising, we woke up and it was chilly. It was 57 degrees and felt like it was colder. Luckily there’s HEAT in the Airstream! We went back to the beach to walk around just to get outside and get some exercise. It was cold, we all wore coats. Sean insisted on having ice creram because it would warm him up–got him ice cream and he proceeded to fall right to sleep! LOL.

I told Kathy I was going to hunker down when we got back, watch TV and cook inside the camper. She wanted to sit by the fire and read a book. Problem is she couldn’t get the fire lit, hence I went out and got it going. I thought we were going to cook inside, but again, I ended up BBQing–SHE TRICKED ME! We had a good meal and went to sleep in a fully heated camper.

I woke up this morning and was ready to go! I wanted to get back to work. I had several cliebts calling me all weekend to see some rentals, but obviously wasn’t in the area. Tomorrow starts work again. I believ e we are off to Maryland next week for camping. This time we won’t fotgrt thr bikes and Seans ‘chariot.’

All in all it turned out to be agreat weekend, even though because of my drama I almost ruined it,

So we’re camping…

So we’re down here I Virginia Beacjh right now. OH, tTHE DRAMA before we got here. I told Kathy I’d go and I was sincere about it, but then when I woke up yesterday it was raining, then Iooked at the long range forecast for Virginia Beach and the weather was looking to be lousy. I didn’t want to go. I knew there would be adverse feelings if I didn’t go but I really didn’t ant to go and be miserable.

At the end of the day I ended I went because I do love my lady and surprisingly enough I am having a good time. The drive took about three hours, at which time I was trying to annoy Kathy as much as I could, lol. We got here about 6:00PM last night, we set up the Airstream and BBQ’d. As I said it was actually surprisingly pleasant.

Fast forward to today, I am a camping eENTHUSIAST now! I cn’t wait for our next trip, this Airstream is incredible it’s like a little hotel room with all the amenities I like—SCREW CAMPING AT THE FOUR SEASONS! We went to the beach today, walked around the area. Due to all the drama I caused yesterday we didn’t bring the bikes which would have been IDEAL here. We have vowed no more trips without the bikes. I think we’re going to rent a couple of bikes tomorrow

Next week we’re going to a state park in Maryland for the weekend, we are going to Alumpalooza which is Airstreams annual convention. We were looking at some videos on You Tube an it looked like fun. I can’t believe that it took me to be 51 years old to discover this whole ‘glamming’ thing. We’re also looking forward to doing RAGBRAI next summer—only problem is; who do we get to drive the car and trailer!

So we’re going camping, ugh…

Today we are off to Virginia Beach, to go camping. The first time I went to Virginia Beach, I went with my friends for our senior trip, a lot of people took the bus that wenrt down, we drove down in my trusty 1978 Toyota Corona, which I believe is still running strong. That car was great, I only had it for about a year, but it was so reliable, I didn’t know jack about maintenance. I don’t think I ever changed the oil, transmission fluid or anything else that would be considered ‘preventive maintenance.’ That car started up like a champ everyday, that’s why I am sure it is going strong somewhere even today.

So we drove down, met everyone else and had a great time. Afterwards we drove back home. Now I don’t like anyone driving my car, but I was so tired I let Dave drive. I remember waking up and we were right up a truck ass; Dave was explaining the aerodynamics of being that close–we’d get better gas mileage and go faster. My consternation was what if the truck stops suddenly–WE ARE FU..ED! I mean later on I would learn he was absolutely correct but I would rather have tested his theory at the time in HIS car–LOL.

I remember we got lost coming back. Imagine that. we got lost and we only had to follow one road all the the down and we managed to get lost in Washington, DC. Now that I live in the DMV, it’s easy to understand why, the roads are very confusing even though I live here, but as a 17 yrl old you can only imagine. I remember, asking a person who we thought was a woman but answered us back in one of the deepest voices I ever heard, LOL. Oh man we were so young and naiive, even though we grew up in NYC and thought we were all that.

Fast forward 40+ years latert, the last time we were down there, I’d say about 4 years ago, Kathy rented one of these bungalows right on the beach, it was a pimped out place, and the price was ridiculous. These were brand new homes–BTW they were on a Navy base hence the discount for the unit. I more prefer glamping than camping. I have no problem camping at the four seasons, but when you tell me to sleep outside, I’m a little iffy on that. Luckily we have an Airstream, so I am halfway there as far as camping/glamping.

I go because I want Kathy to go to RAGBRAI next year, well actually THIS year but since COVID 19 it’s been cancelled. If I don’t go cmping now then there’s definitely no shot of her going then. Ahhh, the things we do for love. I hate camping even at RAGBRAI, but the bike rifing is awesome so there’s a little give and take in everything. It’s Memorial Day weekend, time to relax a little. I really shouldn’t complain, but I am admittedly a prima dona!

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