8 Tips on Investing in Real Estate

Posted Posted in Real Estate

Most of us make at least one major real estate investment in our lives. A real estate investment can be for living in it or as an owner you can rent it out and the property becomes a source of income for you. You can also invest to build a retirement nest egg for later years. Whatever, the ultimate goal, you can do this right if you follow these 8 simple tips on real estate investment.

Real Estate investment in condos and apartment buildings
Invest in Apartments or Condos

Budget Awareness

Real estate investments require a substantial amount of money. Therefore, be aware of financial capability and align your purchase to your budget. A pre-approval on loan from your bank can help you arrive at your budget.

Market Awareness

It is important to do your homework and research the market rates before you go hunting for prospective properties. For instance, if the market rates are over your budget, then you might want to wait before the situation changes to suit your requirements.

Demand Awareness

A property might be beautiful, but it may lack in rental potential. To ensure that your investment does not become a liability, do an area survey before you make the purchase. It is often seen that properties near educational institutions and convenient transportation will always remain in demand.

Investment Goal Clarity

Be clear on what you want to gain from the property. Do you want to hold on for longer? Or, are you aiming for quick capital growth? Being clear about these aspects can help you decide better.

Livability

More than anything, the property must be livable. You can invest in an exquisite piece of real estate but if it has poorly designed interiors, then you might find it difficult to rent out or live in.

Practicality

Simply put, don’t get caught in your emotions. Buy with your head and make a practical purchase. Weigh the plusses and minuses before you enter into the contract.

Building Inspection

You might not be presented with a clear picture of the property. Therefore, a third-party building inspection is always a good idea. This will not just make sure that you get a detailed inspection report on the property’s situation, but it will also help you avoid any future repairs.

Legal Advice

The documentation involved can be complex and filled with jargon. So, to make sure that your interests are covered, run the contracts through a property lawyer before you sign on the dotted line.

Apart from following these tips, make sure that you avoid the common mistakes like making hasty decisions before due diligence. Also, avoid too much risk like relying solely on rental income to pay off the mortgage installment payments or going ahead without legal advice. Most investors invest in real estate intending to make handsome profits, but only a handful of them progress beyond their first investments. If you are one of the lucky few, then hiring a property manager can prove to be a wise decision.

How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Posted Posted in Realtors

Hunting for the best real estate agent can take a toll on you. It takes time but it’ll pay off in the end.

Here are a few tips to finding that right agent for you.

How to find realtors. Look for sold signs in the neighborhood

Get Referrals from People You Know and Trust

Perhaps the easiest way to look for an agent is from a referral or a recommendation from a trusted person you know like a friend or a family member. They will most likely give honest opinions and assessments of a certain agent they have worked with. However, be careful when selecting an agent based on a friend’s or family member’s referrals. Their real estate needs may differ from yours, so make sure to interview the prospects to ensure the agent has the expertise you require.

If in any case, if you can’t find a real estate agent through referrals, there are other alternatives you can choose in your agent-hunting adventure.

Look for those “For Sale” Signs in the Neighborhood

A “For Sale” sign might pop up around in your neighborhood. If so, check them and take note of the agents working in the area. You can also note when these “For Sale” signs go up or disappear, or when it is replaced by a “sold” sign. You might want an agent who sells listings the fastest rather than go for an agent who keeps putting up a large number of “For Sale” signs. Results will tell you an agent’s quality.

Real estate open house - go to some to get idea of realtor

Attend Several Open Houses

You can also look for real estate agents in open houses. Collect their business cards and note certain details of agents you meet. If you’re selling a house, observe how the agent shows the home. A good real estate agent selling a home is polite, informative and knowledgeable about the house. Additionally, a good agent also gives out promotional materials about the home that looks professionally created. Another good quality of an agent is that he or she points out ideal home features and gives tours.

Search Online

The prospect of finding a really good real estate agent may lie with just a click of a mouse and an internet connection. Search for real estate agents in online directories like zillow.com and realtor.com. Although you can get information by this manner fast and easy, there is no guarantee that these agents are of quality. Often, these agents only pay site owners to get listed in their directories.

A better way when researching agents using online search engines is to research websites of the top real estate companies in your locale. You can look up for agents’ profiles. Check details on their experience, but not excluding novices and read comments and review of their clients.

Do Not Neglect the Print Ads

When real estate agents run ads, it’s because they want to sell real estate or they are seeking to promote themselves. Read the house advertisements in your local newspaper and take note of the agent advertising. You can even check their websites. You might just end up with the right find.

Ask the Professionals for Referrals Too!

It’s not only friends and family members that you can ask for referrals. Have you also thought of asking the pros for their referrals? Most often, they will happily recommend sellers and buyers to their associates, especially when you need a service that’s not their specialty. Other resources who might know of top-quality agents are bank loan officers and mortgage brokers.

Follow these guides and you’re sure to find an agent who will assist you in your house-hunting or sell the one you have.

How Realtors Can Avoid Risky Circumstances

Posted Posted in Realtors

Meet First in the Office

Besides the issue of safety, this makes sense because you can find out about the person or couple and their interests and not waste a lot of your time driving around.

By having them come in to the office first, you get a chance to meet them in a safe environment and can get them to fill out paperwork. You can get a copy of their driver’s license and get them to fill out an Identification Form. A lot of brokers are making this a requirement for the safety of their Realtors.

If you can’t meet in the office, start someplace public and not a vacant house. Then make an electronic “paper trail” by taking a picture of their drivers license and license plate and emailing it to the office manager.

No Bling

Criminals look for Realtors who where expensive jewelry and watches in their ads. Also avoid ads that shows you with expensive cars. Look classy and professional, just no bling.

Minimize Personal Information

Don’t tell clients all about your kids, yourself, where you live and other personal information. Some is fine but limit it. Likewise, in ads or on business cards, don’t use your personal address and phone number and email. Give out business email, phone and address not personal.

Put a Spotlight on Clients

Not literally of course, but if you introduce them to co-workers and make them know, they are less likely to do anything. They like to stay anonymous and inconspicuous.

Check in with Your Location

When you are meeting someone, let someone else know your schedule, and where you will be when. Plus give them the contact information for the client you are meeting. Make sure to give a return time and when you have left the client, call or text your partner to know all is OK. Some brokers also have boards or web pages where you can put that information in including the return time.

Never List Properties Vacant

That is not to say don’t list vacant properties. It means don’t put that they are vacant on the listing or in advertising. That sends a signals to criminals. Besides clients knowing that you are going to a vacant house, by advertising that fact, you could go to the house and find it occupied by squatters. That creates another whole kettle of fish.

Always Keep Your Phone

Don’t leave it in the car. Always keep it with you. Plus have a security app installed on it that lets you press a button quickly to send a distress message. Also have a safe word or code you can use if you call a friend or family member.

Park on the Street

If you park in the driveway, the client can pull up behind you and block you. Parking on the street also makes your car more visible to neighbors and if you have to leave quickly you can do so faster. In addition, put your purse and laptop in the trunk before going into the house.

Showing Strategies at the House

Let the client go first and not be behind you. You can point them in the direction of different parts of the house. Also, don’t go into the basement or attic where you could be trapped. They can go there on their own.

Dress Appropriately

That doesn’t mean don’t dress provocatively although you shouldn’t do that either. It means dress appropriately for whatever the weather is. If the car breaks down or you have to go on foot, you want to have the proper clothes on.

Trust Your Instincts

If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore the feeling. Try to think of alternatives, have someone come with you or whatever will help.