Real Estate Agents – Strengths and Weaknesses in Listing Commercial Property Today

In this commercial property market there are some real pressures and challenges that confront a lot of property owners when they want to sell or lease their property. They need the help of top agents that really understand the local area, to help in moving the property.

Contrary to popular belief, it is in markets like this that good agents can make a lot of commission. It all comes down to the way in which they package their services and help their clients.

In simple terms, top agents and experienced agents can do very well today providing they work the local area and their database. A good database will always get you through any market conditions and frustrations. In saying, that I am a big believer that a salesperson’s database should not be delegated to the office administrative staff to control.

Every salesperson should take ownership of their database; in this way they will get good activities from it. In this market you need leads that you can do something with. When a database is passed over to the administrative staff to control, the inevitable result is inaccurate and old data. The database soon becomes redundant. The salesperson doesn’t keep it up to date.

Become Change Agents

So we are the ‚agents of change‘ when it comes to helping our property clients an owners get results in this market. We should know how to attract the right people to every property listing that we take on. Exclusive listings are more important in today than ever before. Some top agents will not take on ‚open listings‘ for the very reason that they are a waste of time and effort.

When you know the drawbacks of the industry and the listings today, you can offer the clients that you serve some solid solutions. So what are the drawbacks? Here is a list of some of the bigger ones:

  1. The time that it takes to sell or lease a property can be longer today. Every client has to be conditioned for the best price or rent so the time on market is not lengthened. The first few weeks of every marketing effort are the most important. Position the property correctly to get the best enquiry in this time.
  2. High prices and high rents will achieve nothing. The price or rent for the property should be optimised for enquiry. You have to do more with less when it comes to marketing and inspecting of properties.
  3. A larger number of competing properties can frustrate your marketing efforts and time on market. Check out these properties before you do anything with your listing.
  4. Buyers and tenants are slower to enquire, inspect the property, and then make a decision. Your skills with each stage of the listing should be optimised. Hone your skills accordingly.
  5. Limited finance can put some ‚brakes‘ on the larger deals. Find out where your prospects can get finance from and what the criteria of approval may be.

Whilst these may be drawbacks in the market, they are also opportunities for agents that can get focused and organised. Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

Are you a solution provider in this commercial real estate market? Top agents are just that. You can be too.

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First Time Homebuyers and Down Payment Assistance Programs

May 27, 2010 Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA’s) for First Time Home Buyers By: Michael A. Foote, CMB

There is money available for first time homebuyers today. In a much needed addition to financing products available today, down payment assistance programs are available once again. Down Payment Assistance Programs are generally a local, state or federal grant or bond program designed to assist certain persons with certain income levels in certain areas, with money that can be used for down payment and closing costs on many purchase loans.

These tax free grants or loans are generally forgivable provided the buyer stays in the home for a designated amount of time. And these dollars can dramatically change the amount of money required for closing when these first time homebuyers buy a home. For example, a typically FHA borrower may have to come up with over 4-7% total of the sales price whereas a borrower with a WISH down payment assistance program may only need to bring in 2-3% total. That’s a huge amount of money on a several hundred thousand dollar transaction. If you amortize out that difference the savings are literally tens of thousands of dollars since most closing costs are financed in the new mortgage.

So what does the process with „DPA“ look like when compared to the regular loan process. Quite frankly, it’s seem less to the user insofar that the lender will generally have to deal with the additional hoops during the process. For the borrower/buyer they probably wouldn’t know the difference. The only real difference is a potential for a slightly longer loan processing time. So is DPA a good idea? Well, lately it has been a challenge for Realtors to get clients using FHA let alone FHA WITH Down Payment Assistance so an argument could be made that using DPA on an Offer to Purchase could be a determining factor for the seller’s side when these choose the offer to open escrow with. The only cure for this pitfall will need to be more product on the market for properties up to the $400,000 range as DPA generally have no purpose and no qualifying borrowers as the sales price rises and/or in areas of high per capita income. Undoubtedly, DPA has a place in today’s financing landscape and those of in the industry are happy to have it, it is one more additional tool to increase homeownership for low to mid income families. And this product will help sell the forecasted shadow inventory rumored to be lurking around the corner.

Only time will tell if that come to fruition or not. These programs are not free from abuse, there have been in the past scams related to DPA and officials, lenders, and large institutions have really scaled back what is allowable as DPA. Also economics play into the availability of these from all the time. There are many DPA’s completely drained of funds.

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Essential Tips to Finding Condos for Sale

There are a few tips you may want to take under advisement when looking for a condo for sale so that you know the one you choose is the perfect match for you and your family moving forward, a place where you will feel safe and can enjoy for years to come.

One of the first things you are going to want to take into consideration before you even start looking at a condo for sale is to consider your lifestyle. Are you a small family with young children a handful of pets? Are you a single professional looking for the convenience of a lock up and go or are you a young couple who enjoy spending weekends away at various destinations throughout the country? Your lifestyle will determine if condo living is the right choice for you.

Remember a condo, or condominium, is a unit in a complex. This means that you will have neighbors close by, but you also get the added benefit of a host of facilities and amenities. Some come with swimming pools, others come with laundries and there are those that also include a small fitness center as an added convenience.

With your lifestyle identified and you have decided that a condo for sale is the best choice for you right now, you are going to want to look for an experienced an agent. If you have heard of a new complex being built in your area, then contact the agents handling the complex to see if there are any units still available and make an arrangement to view at your convenience. Try and choose an agent who has experience selling these types of units, someone with a wealth of information that can provide you with the advise and assistance you need to make the right investment decision moving forward.

When you find a condo for sale you feel meets your exact requirements, then you are going to want to start working on your financing options. Speak to the agent you are dealing with to see who they recommend for financing. If you have your own bank you have been using for years and you have a good credit history, it is worthwhile approaching your bank directly to see what finance they can provide to you, so you can pay your deposit and secure your unit without delay.

Identify what is included with the condo. In most instances you find that condominiums come with a host of facilities and amenities. Some will have swimming pools, some will have fitness centers and others will have both. These are conveniences that you may or may not make use of, but they are fantastic selling points when you choose to sell or upgrade one day.

Ensure you identify the Homeowners Association fees you need to pay each month and what these fees include. These fees are charged by the association that oversees the complex. In most instances this will include overall maintenance of the building and public areas, along with refuse removal and more. Each association has different rules and fees, so ensure you have a good understanding of these before making any final decision.

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Some Facts About Collingwood, Ontario

The town of Collingwood is located in the centre of Ontario’s top all season tourist destination. Collingwood is a town which features old time charm in the historical buildings it has preserved with excellent recreation resources. This is a town where one can truly enjoy the art and theater scene in the community. The town is progressive while maintaining an old town charm. This is all part of what makes the town of Collingwood an excellent destination for a get-a-way and a great place to reside.

If you are considering moving to the town of Collingwood you can find homes of all types. Depending upon your preference there are currently homes for sale with easy access to shopping and recreation, the towns, famous nature trails, and some of towns famed historical sites. There are also homes available which are tucked away in the peace and quiet where one can calmly enjoy the beauty of Collingwood. There are several luxury homes for sale in Collingwood for those looking to have a great vacation home. Having a second home in the town of Collingwood is great for trips year round and not just one season. This is because the town of Collingwood offers several fun events and exciting events and activities to attend year round. Plus there are different wonderful outdoor activities to be enjoyed during each season.

The town of Collingwood is a great location which makes it a great investment now and in the future. Currently Collingwood has been named one of the ten best places to live in Canada. This is due in part to the view and the other homes in the area. One of the many wonderful places to check out is a community called the Shipyards. There are 712 homes available in an area which used to be a Brownfield shipbuilding area. One of the great features of the community is easy access to a public waterfront everyone can take advantage of. You will enjoy the fusion between contemporary design and history. The different homes in the community offer different views. One of the most popular views is the ones overlooking the waterfront. The first phase of the Shipyards is underway with townhomes and condos available for purchase. The second phase is in the works.

The great part about the many different Collingwood homes for sale is there are just about no properties which will not offer a great view with excellent amenities. There is so much to do in the area which is why it is on the list of the top places in Canada to live. It is fortunate there are several moderately priced homes available for purchase.

Of the many Collingwood homes for sale, there are different areas to choose from. You will get more housing dollar no matter what area you choose. You can also choose between the Blue Mountain and Georgian Peaks areas. You will find great amenities including shopping, activities, theater, and art galleries. All of the different areas are sure to offer you a fantastic choice for a place you can call home.

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New Condos For Sale In Los Angeles California

For work convenience, for pleasure, or for a number of other reasons, many people today are considering a second residence. The residence of choice for many of these people is the condo. From the beaches to the mountains, from the Northeast to the shores of California, there is a plethora of condos to choose from in the United States alone. The community atmosphere of a condominium neighborhood is attractive to many people, as are the many amenities that come with owning a condo. There are a number of new condos for sale in all areas of the country, and they can be found by doing a little research.

First of all, talk to your local real estate agent. Agents have a wealth of information about the market at their fingertips, so take advantage of all the resources available to you. Your agent can point you to the new condos for sale that best meet your needs with regards to both amenities and finances. A new condo can even be constructed especially for you and your family, depending on the regulations in the condominium development in which you wish to build. Many condo communities have regulations regarding what can and cannot be built on the property and what kind of additions and renovations can be made afterwards, so be sure you find out all of this information before beginning any significant planning. Your real estate agent should be able to provide all of this type of information for you either through prior work with the condo developers or by contacting the community directly.

Condo developments are usually organized in a community atmosphere. While everyone in the area may not necessarily know one another, they share the feeling of being in a small town separated from the rest of the world. A typical condo development will contain meeting and event halls, restaurants, and sometimes even golf courses and other such amenities. This type of environment is ideal for some people, and there are a variety of these small communities being built all around the world in various locations. No matter what your interests or needs, there are sure to be some condos for sale that will be exactly what you are looking for.

New condos for sale are popping up all over the world, most recently in places such as Bangkok and Singapore. If you are considering a cross-cultural vacation home, or simply need a way to increase your traveling capabilities, perhaps you should consider one of these condos. Owning an overseas condo could mean different regulations, financial and legal matters; so check into all of these issues and be sure you know your rights as well as your responsibilities when purchasing overseas real estate.

There are new condos for sale coming onto the market regularly, and one of them is sure to be a perfect match for you and your family. By doing some research to find the condo community and location that is right for you and by enlisting the help of a certified real estate agent, your dream of owning a new condo can be realized.

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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agents

There are many players in the world of residential real estate such as appraisers, home inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, mortgage loan offices, government agencies etc. But the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction depends on those people that act as coordinators in the entire process- yes, they are real estate brokers. But in the midst of the agents, how should you find the best one? You can find him easily. All you need are traits which will help you to understand the efficiency of the agent.

An ideal real estate broker is similar to a conductor of symphony in nature. Both coordinate with different players to turn an imaginative transaction into reality. The role of the agent changes at the different stages of this process. Sometimes, he acts as salesperson; sometimes buyer’s advocate; often as analyst, business manager, negotiator, consultant, marketer etc. Apart from these, they play many other roles to ease the task of their clients. Whenever you are searching for an efficient agent, you should observe whether he has these ten traits or skills (discussed below) or not.

Knowledge:

The best agents will always keep themselves up-to-date on the latest market trends and strategies. The local market will help him to give a better service to your clients.

Network connections:

Successful real estate agents have a wide network of contacts within the market they serve. These connections must include other real estate agents in their locality or neighbourhood, brokers, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers etc. An efficient broker will always keep educating himself throughout his career.

Local housing market:

An established agent always appreciate and utilizes the nuances that make a specific community’s hosting market and pricing strategies as well. His focus should always stay on local real estate market which allows him to establish his differences from his competitors.

Detail information:

A good broker should always pay close attention to each detail of your property. He should conduct his research on the property in an organized manner gathering all the important information and communicating with several sources.

Engaging personality:

The agent should have a pleasing personality which can convince the both parties. At first, it is the personality which you would notice about him at your first meeting.

Interest in houses & architecture:

The agent should have interest in this field of real estate. When you will be talking to him, you can find the reflection of his interest in his conversation. Interest leads one to knowledge. So, an immensely interested person will have knowledge in his favor.

Hustle and tenacity:

As a top producing real estate broker , one should have a great work ethic. The agents must possess tenacity to pursue every lead and of course the hustle to aggressively market your properties to give you profits. It requires not only time. It also requires smart work, putting in the right amount of time and arranging everything wisely.

Honesty & integrity:

Honesty and integrity are required in every profession. Real estate is not an exception obviously. Honesty helps to be well known and demandable in the market. Clients come seeing the background which also includes honesty and ethics.

Self-motivated entrepreneur:

A positive and motivated person is the best one who can engage people in a property. People love to deal with motivated agents. If your agent has this quality, he will be able to make each party happy and satisfied. So, this is also important thing which you should try to point out in the nature of your broker before assigning him.

Problem solver mindset:

Each client prefers to receive some creative solutions or ideas regarding their cases. Good real estate agents know how to showcase a property in order to make it marketable and demanding in the market.

These are the primary skills which you should notice in your real estate brokers. One person may not have all the skills. But he should possess at least the basic skills such as knowledge about current market, analytical power to research the market and assume the future situations and of course loyalty.

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Farm Expired Listings For Big Commissions

Many real estate agents begin and sometimes sadly end their careers without a plan. And as the saying goes, failing to plan is as good as planning to fail.

Sure, some do the usual and expected things to cultivate new business, like mailing letters and post cards to friends and relatives, phoning acquaintances, and giving out business cards to any and everybody they meet.

Heck, some are courageous enough to „cold call“ prospects, the most

dreaded of all tasks! And while all of these activities are good things to do, they don’t necessarily translate into new business opportunities – now or later!

And while these may be good strategies you need more. But instead of working harder why not work smarter?

The most successful Realtors and Real Estate Agents have „lead

generating systems.“ Some Farm Expired Listings for huge profits.

A good listing system can:

jump start new or average real estate sales career; bring in real estate listings on a regular basis; week after week

generate prospective buyers and sellers; give you marketing exposure in months rather than years; and position you to know the best real estate investment buys

Personally, I love Expired Listing Systems and their laser beam like focus on warm, responsive sellers. Sellers that are typically still Realtor friendly, eager to sell and will do what it takes to get their properties sold.

Owners of expired listings are motivated for many reasons; double mortgages, vacant properties, terrible tenants, recently married and combining households, recently divorced and liquidating real estate assets, and on and on.

Plus, they have gone through a listing cycle and may be anxious to get on with their lives. But, as you know, or will soon learn, all listings aren’t worth having.

As for me, I initially listed every property that I could; vacant land, single family homes, condo’s, triplexes, mobile home parks, mobile homes, homes in top notch condition, fixer uppers, whatever.

And I got to feeling pretty darn good (and just a little smug) as my listing portfolio grew to more listings than I could manage.

So, I first hired a part time clerk/assistant to help me market my listings, then took on a newly licensed salesperson as a partner and split the listing fees 50/50. Pretty soon my listing system was humming and I was averaging 1-2 listings a week.

I then had an army of agents working for me day and night, as almost all of my listings were in the Multiple Listing System. Working to get me paid, even when I was chaperoning field trips, getting a haircut, or just taking a day off!

That’s what a good real estate listing system can do for you!

So, if you don’t have a good listing system you should get one. After all, if real estate listings are the lifeblood of the industry then how successful can you be without them?

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5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

If you are a first time home buyer, you may want to have the right strategies to save a down payment, apply for a mortgage, and buy a house that you desire. Just like any large project, you need to get the details right for a successful home buying experience. With these steps, you can navigate the process and get a great deal. Given below are some of the tips that can help you purchase the best home. Read on to find out more.

1. Start Saving as Early as Possible

Make sure you start saving as soon as possible. This way you will have plenty of money to spend on the best house. You need money for making a down payment and meeting closing costs and move-in expenses. Generally, the down payment is 10% of the full value of the property.

2. Decide on your Budget

Find out how much you can spend on the property prior to starting your search. You can use an affordability calculator in order to set a price range on the basis of a lot of factors, such as your credit rating, down payment, and income, just to name a few.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Working with a reliable real estate agent can help you check out homes that can meet your needs. They can make it easier for you to negotiate with sellers and get the best deal possible. You may also want to get referrals from other home buyers. We suggest that you interview at least five agents and ask them for references. Make sure that the agent has at least 10 years of experience in the field.

4. Go for the Right type of House

You may want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of different types of properties based on your budget and lifestyle. Unlike a single-family home, a townhome or condominium can be a much better choice. Another great option that you may want to consider is a fixer-upper. They come with lower price tags. But you may want to set some money aside for remodeling these properties.

You may want to consider your long-term needs, especially if you are planning to expand your family. In other words, you may want to purchase a house that has additional rooms.

5. Stick to your Budget

You may not want to spend more than what you can afford. Therefore, it is not a good idea to spend more than what you can payback. This is important if you want to avoid financial stress in the future. It is better that you consider properties that are priced lower than your maximum budget.

Long story short, if you are a first-time home buyer, we suggest that you follow these steps and you will be able to buy your first home without getting into trouble. Just make sure you have set a budget and taken into consideration all the important pointers given in this article.

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Tips To Help You Buy Furniture For Your Home

Furniture is on the list of essential items for any office or home. You don’t have to buy a car as you can travel without one. But you cannot manage without an office or home furniture. Although it may seem easy to buy furniture, you have to consider a few important factors before making this choice. So, if you want to upgrade your home decor or you are going to move to a new house, we suggest that you buy new furniture. In this article, we are going to share with you a few tips to help you purchase new furniture for your home.

Get the Measurements

First of all, you should get the proper measurements. If the furniture you have purchased does not fit well, you will find no use in it. These numbers will give you a pretty good idea of the type of furniture that will fit properly. Therefore, you may want to save yourself from all the trouble and purchase your desired furniture based on the correct measurements.

Consider the Color of the Walls

Before you purchase furniture for your rooms, don’t forget to take into account the wall color. If you don’t want to make things look clumsy, make sure that the furniture you have purchased contrasts with the wall color.

So, what you need to do is study and analyze the colors unless you have plans to paint your interior walls after purchasing the furniture.

Don’t go for Silly Offers

Today, you may find that a lot of companies making offers on office and home furniture. Although you can save a lot of money by opting for these offers, it is not worth it. The reason is that these furniture articles are not high quality. Good quality stuff does not come cheap.

In other words, you don’t want to invest in sub-standard furniture or furniture that has some type of defects. So, if an offer looks too good to be true, you should avoid it.

Set your Budget

Before you purchase fresh furniture, make sure you have a budget figure in your mind. It is better that you don’t compromise on the quality aspect. Once you have set your budget, you should stick to it. However, it is a great idea to keep your budget a little bit flexible. Factors that you cannot compromise on include the quality, longevity, design, and durability of your furniture.

Consider your Lifestyle

Depending upon your lifestyle, you should choose the best furniture. So, what you need to do is consider your needs, purpose, and the uses of the furniture before you place your order. This will give you a clear idea of what you should go for. In other words, the furniture you are going to purchase should meet your lifestyle.

Long story short, if you are going to buy home furniture for the first time, we suggest that you consider the tips given in this article. This will help you make it easier to purchase the best furniture.

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Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

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