To be clear, the holiday season is not the best time of year to be trying to buy or sell a home. But in real estate, the client is king. You’ll have buyers looking to grab a home before New Year’s and sellers desperate to get out just as quickly. Here are a few things to keep in mind. Do: Plan ahead Listing a home that is still occupied is always a challenge for sellers, particularly if they are typically at home during the day. Getting sellers to vacate the …

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 …

Fall is here, which means home sales are typically a tad slower than during the previous few months. What does that mean for a hardworking real estate agent? You just got to work a little bit harder to sell those houses! Season-appropriate home staging is one of the most important things to focus on. Here are some ideas to consider. Lights, lights, lights As noted by ForSaleByOwner, it’s important to brighten up the home as the days get shorter. Leave lights on for visiting buyers –– don’t make them walk …

A lingering pet smell can really put a damper on an otherwise appealing home. But there are proven ways to get animal odors out of houses. They’re worth learning since they are bound to come of use in a long career in real estate. Start with the vacuum Before we get into specialized techniques, you have to have the basics covered. That means a thorough vacuuming to pick up every remaining pet hair in the house. Pay particular attention to carpeted areas, since they have likely accumulated thousands of hairs …

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 …

Residential properties that include guest houses are generally uncommon, but can offer a variety of benefits when it comes to selling the property. The major advantage of a guest house is that it may increase property value. It’s an added bonus that could be well appreciated by enterprising potential buyers who may see the property as a way to make money. This could be realized as an Airbnb plan or long-term rental. In particular, if the property is located near a vacation spot such as a beach, mountains or tourist …

First, this may make you feel a little better: audits by the IRS are actually rare. However, in the event that you are audited, there is virtually nothing you can do to stop it. With that in mind, though, CBS News reports that only three percent of Americans who earned at least $1 million last year were audited by the IRS. The main reason for fewer audits: funding cuts. CBS News reports that the agency has reduced its staffing from 100,000 employees in 2010 to just over 79,000. As of …

A short sale happens when a homeowner agrees to sell their property for less than the amount owed on a mortgage loan. This sale cannot happen without the lender’s approval. The usual result is that the seller will continue to owe money to the lender after the sale. However, it’s also considered a viable alternative to foreclosure, with the seller’s credit remaining intact. Usually, a short sale comes into consideration when the seller falls behind in their mortgage payments, often by several months. Rather than let the situation continue to …

The economy may be adding jobs, but most new jobs are at the low end of the pay scale, according to Forbes; inflation-adjusted earnings for the average worker actually has not increased in the last ten years. As a result, demand for rentals — both single-family and apartments — will continue to remain high. Real estate investors should concentrate on properties where asking rent does not rise above 25 percent of the average rent, according to Ingo Winzer of Local Market Monitor. That’s where you’ll find the largest concentration of …

As of April 2019, mortgage rates seem to have stabilized, just in time for the spring homebuying season. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased (slightly) to 4.28 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. That’s down from 4.29 percent. Let your homebuyers and refinancers know that these rates are arriving at a 15-month low.  A year ago at the same time, the mortgage rate was 4.49 percent. Most prevalent: zero-down loans and new underwater refinance options that have been unveiled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to …