You could be the best real estate agent in the world, but if your sellers are not doing what they can to bring quality to the home showing, all may be lost. REALTOR® magazine polled 50 buyer agents, revealing the biggest deal breakers when it comes to home showings. After 20 years of showings, Elke W. McMenemy, ABR, CIPS, broker-owner at St. Augustine Real Estate Inc. in St. Augustine, Fla., told the magazine that she has  practically seen it all, from the “fully loaded litter boxes” to the “roach-infested ovens.” …

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) now represent 6.4 percent of the dollar volume on mortgage applications as of August 2019, according to cnbc.com. For reference, it was at its highest point, in 2005 (pre-recession), ARMs consisted of 49.7 percent of the market. The reason: The decrease in mortgage rates have occurred due to the continuing increase in home prices. Usually ARMs have always been popular with buyers who don’t expect to stay long in their purchased property, especially if they are first-time homebuyers. Their strategy is to move before the adjustable rate …

Swimming is not equally popular across markets, but there is always a segment of buyers looking for a property with a pool. In Arizona they may account for the majority of buyers while in Minnesota they may represent a much smaller percentage, but in both situations a pool is one more thing that could draw in a buyer who otherwise would have passed. Here are a number of ways to use a pool to maximize offers on a house. Is it big enough for laps? If the home you’re selling …

While the real estate market can feel uncertain at times, there are definitely best practices that will serve you well in the long-run when it comes to negotiating a home sale. Knowing what not to say or not to do when representing a seller is just as important as learning tactics that can improve your position.  Here are a number of actions that can make it much harder for you and your seller client to get a strong offer.  Nagging the buyerIt’s good to follow up immediately with a buyer’s …

It’s hard to decide what sales advice is right for you when there are so many books out there offering conflicting tips on how to get somebody to buy what you’re selling. The fact is that not every sales book is right for you. Some will advocate approaches that don’t fit your personality or career as a REALTOR®.  The key is to try different books and see which ones resonate with your experiences as an agent. Here are five books from five very different authors, all of which approach sales …

For a large percentage of family homebuyers, schools are a number one priority when deciding where to live. If you’re trying to get buyers into a home that matches their needs, understanding the school situation in your market is critical. Here are the kinds of things that buyers are considering when they’re deciding whether the area schools are suitable.  ProximityHow close is the nearby elementary school to the home? While the number of kids who walk alone to school has steadily declined in recent years, even parents who plan on …

There are so many tools out there for real estate agents to use in their marketing. We have sifted through the options and put together our list of the best (and free) options available today! #1 – MailChimp – The Best Free Real Estate Marketing Tool for Email Campaigns Want to send out emails to your clients about an upcoming client appreciation party? Or have a new listing that you want to send to your database of investors? MailChimp is the platform for you! With its basic plan, free for …

Write about real estateStarting a blog about area real estate could help make you a local authority on housing and a coveted agent. But it will only work if you write regularly and work hard to promote it both online and by word-of-mouth. People aren’t going to check into a blog that is only updated once a month so you should plan to write at least one post weekly. Insider tip: If you want to develop a strong following, you have to blog a few times a week. Not every post …

What changed everything: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the U.S. tax code more than it had been in several decades. The National Association of Realtors® reports that the new law will bring generally lower tax rates for all individual tax filers. Get used to the new law, because it doesn’t expire until 2025. The bottom line is that buyers may have to make due with fewer allowable deductions and larger amounts of debt. When it comes to mortgage interest, you can deduct interest on qualified residence loans with …

You’ve been an agent for a few years. You’ve become pretty good at what you do. You’re wondering what the next step is. Should you become a broker? There are pros and cons to starting your own brokerage, but before you weigh those, here are some boxes you should be able to check before you consider making that jump.  You’re legally eligible This one is obvious, but just in case you forgot, you need to make sure that you’ve completed the necessary coursework and operated as an agent for long enough …