Of home purchase loans in the U.S. the percentage including a co-signer continues to increase, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. With rising home prices and interest rates, and intense competition among buyers, first-time homebuyers are facing tough financial challenges. They’re often asking parents, grandparents and other friends and relatives to co-sign a loan in order to make their American Dream happen. As a real estate agent, you’re not obligated to provide financial advice on this topic, but it would be helpful to be prepared with some co-signing red flags if …

Updated as of Monday, January 21, 2019 First the bad news, and then some good news about how you can still get paid during the shutdown: 2019 is off to a worrisome start. As of this posting, the United States government remains in a partial shutdown. The President and Congress are unable to agree on the provisions of a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government, particularly the funding (or not) of a wall that would be built along the Mexican border. A partial shutdown means that only some — …

The average American credit score is getting stronger, according to CNBC. In fact, the average score hit a record in 2018: 704. Congratulations, America! To measure creditworthiness, the most widely used score in the country is FICO (named for its creator, Fair Isaac & Company, in 1956). The game played here is called “predictive analytics,” which uses your credit information to analyze and predict how you would handle more credit and responsibility. Somebody with a poor FICO score may not be approved for further credit opportunities. The assumption could be …

Due to the recent economy and simply the demands of life in general, almost nobody has a perfect credit score. A poor score can stand in the way of your client securing financing for a property, or affect the amount they would have to pay. A credit score is simply an overview of a client’s financial history and current debt. A number (score) is assigned as a result of a variety of factors: payment history, amount of credit owed, types of credit established (loans, credit cards), the utilization of credit …

When you sell a home, your client will be paying a mortgage for possibly 10, 15, or 30 years or more. Make sure that they remember you fondly and respectfully for recommending the right way to find a mortgage lender. Especially within the last decade, mortgages have become more complicated, diverse, and highly regulated. You can be a hero by patiently steering your client through this intimidating and often overwhelming process. Consider these tips to share with your clients: Get a head start on the mortgage process Ask your clients …

It’s been a long road, but America is finally creeping out of the shadows of the 2008 economic meltdown that sent home prices tumbling and forced millions of Americans into foreclosure. Not only is the economy growing, but more people are buying homes. Just as important, fewer and fewer people are falling behind on their mortgages. Here’s a snapshot of the current state of affairs for foreclosures. 13-year low According to Consumer Affairs, there were 191,824 foreclosed properties in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2017. That total is …

It’s far from clear that any major reforms to the tax system are coming anytime soon. There is plenty of disagreement in Congress over who should receive tax cuts (individuals, businesses etc.) and how those cuts can be achieved without substantially increasing the federal budget deficit. Tax policy plays an important role in the real estate industry. That’s why the National REALTORS® Association and other groups involved in the housing business are paying close attention to various proposals under consideration. Here are a number of ways that potential changes could …

As you’re assembling a team to help you develop your business into a full-fledged real estate powerhouse, you need to think critically about the type of people you want to surround yourself with. First hire: Assistant The first step to building a strong team is finding somebody to take over much of the administrative work that you take on so that you can focus on generating leads and customer service. The top priority for an administrative assistant is finding somebody who is organized and competent, not necessarily somebody who knows …

You need thick skin and a tough mind to make it as a real estate agent. The first few years can be a mighty test of your will. You have to constantly hustle to build a network and a reputation that is large enough to provide you a steady stream of clients. Dry spells are unavoidable, particularly as sales slow down in the winter months. During that time, however, you want to keep the momentum going by continuing to invest in your business. Here are a number of ways that …

Piggybank

Not many of us were born with the instincts of a Wall Street bond trader. Investing for yourself — either on your own or with the help of a professional — takes time to learn.   But even if you’re not a billionaire like Warren Buffett, you can still learn how to become a better manager of your financial portfolio thanks to many helpful books written on the topic. To help you start figuring out how to grow your own personal wealth, we have included a brief description of six …