As the New Year rapidly approaches the majority of real estate agents and mortgage lenders see a decline in business. This period of time is usually focused on making business plans that will help elevate our overall success. Part of those plans should include attention for your online presence.
Listed below are summaries of some of the best articles we have witnessed on our Google+ circles. These are contributions from current real estate agents that make their living representing buyers and sellers. The articles are divided in two areas:
- Information you can use to educate your sellers and potential buyers
- Information for your own use.
The information includes valuable advice for valuable home renovations as well as tips for preparing the property for winter. There is a special section aimed just at real estate agents to help you improve in your business.
Look over some of the best real estate articles on Google+ this November and leave us some feedback about how you plan to improve your online presence in the upcoming year.
Articles for Buyers and Sellers:
Selling a Home During the Holidays: Good Idea or Bad Idea?
There is no denying that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is extremely busy. Most people are making plans for visiting family, attending a few dinners and parties and shopping for gifts. This would seem like a less than ideal time to try to sell a home.
However, Bill Gassett walks us through how selling a home around the holidays can yield some great advantages. Namely, you will likely be dealing with a serious buyer who is ready to purchase quickly. It is also advantageous to sell a home for tax purposes at the end of the year.
Protecting a Home against Winter Weather
The winter months pose specific situations that can lead to damage on your home if you are not vigilant. Most of the country will experience temperatures below freezing at some time during the year. Places as far south as Louisiana and Georgia have seen temperatures below 32 at various times in January and early February. Other areas further north deal with accumulation of snow and extended periods of time with temperatures in the single digits.
Some of the most important things to consider when getting ready for the cold months are the condition of the chimney, roof and gutters. These areas take a lot of abuse and need to be thoroughly inspected long before the north winds howl. Kyle Hiscock has some specific action steps to winterize your home along with some other areas that are often neglected.
Home Maintenance Tips for the Winter
There are other things that a lot of people can either do on their own or pay someone to do inexpensively. Items like checking the filter to the furnace, changing the direction of blades on a ceiling fan and ensuring the irrigation system are completed drained are just a few examples of ways people can prepare their home for the winter.
David Cronnin has put together a full list of home maintenance tips for the winter aimed at people who are handy and like to tackle DIY projects at his blog.
Renovations for Historic Properties that LOWER the Value
It would seem that any type of work done around a home that increases safety or modernizes the home would add value. However, historic homes are a unique structure. The items that make the homes historic actually need to be preserved, if possible.
For example, if you are considering replacing the exterior windows, there are guidelines set forth by the historic district board that dictates what is allowed and what is prohibited.
However, this does not mean that a historic home cannot be modified or improved upon. It simply means that you must take extra care when undertaking any type of project.
Karen Highland lets you know which historic renovations to stay away from to avoid costly headaches.
Home Improvement Projects that Actually Increase Property Value
There are many ways people can customize or improve their home in terms of comfort, utility efficiency and appearance. Yet not all of those projects yield a significant increase in the home’s value.
Anita Clark has a nice graphic that outlines some of the most common remodeling projects that increase a home’s value. The graphic shows average costs to complete the project as well as how much you can anticipate recovering through a higher sales price.
Most Important FHA Guidelines
There is no denying that the FHA mortgages have their fair share of paperwork. However, it is not necessary for a new homeowner to be an expert in every possible FHA rule in order to feel comfortable buying their next house.
The following summary from Inlanta Mortgage covers the 10 most important FHA guidelines that will likely influence almost every transaction. Things like the necessary down payment, explanation of mortgage insurance, limits on loan amounts and allowable property types can all be found there.
Important Jargon for Mortgages
Paul Sian understands that the mortgage world has its own language. While a nurse or doctor has one definition of an ARM, a real estate agent or mortgage lender has a completely different definition. Getting a handle on all of the terms that are specific to this industry would fill a large book. However, that much reading is not necessary for the typical customer.
This list of 20 mortgage terms will help home buyers and sellers alike get a better feel for the work done by lenders and be able to follow along with a conversation more closely.
An Open House or a Broker Open House; what’s the Difference?
Many people who have simply bought one or two homes in their life may not even be aware that there is an open house just for agents which are completely separate from the typical Sunday afternoon open house.
Since agents in any area are licensed to sell almost every home in their market, it can be tough for agents to have the fine details of each and every property. A broker open house gives the agents in the area a chance to inspect a home at their leisure and ask questions to fully understand the attributes of the house.
David O’Doherty goes into more detail about what makes a Broker Open house better.
Financing for New Construction
Buying a home versus getting a construction loan are two extremely different animals. Some real estate agents avoid new construction transactions due to the added complexity. However, there are alternatives that can make a construction transaction a real possibility.
The top options are turnkey financing or the renovation loans offered by FHA and Fannie Mae. Michael Roberts outlines these two alternatives to construction loans that could help make the entire process much easier.
Articles for Agents:
As the Old Adage says, SAFETY FIRST
Although the risks are different from those faced by a solider or police officer, real estate agents are often put in precarious situations. Riding around in a car with a person that you met yesterday can pose quite a bit of risk. Similarly, meeting a prospective buyer at a vacant home could spell disaster.
Whether you are a new agent looking to sell that first home or you have 15+ years of experience in the industry, it pays to keep yourself and your clients safe. Several veteran agents provided insight to Neighborhood Loans about Realtor safety.
Home Sellers: Let Your Agent Work for You
People that are trying to sell a home often feel pressured to consider any offer, regardless of how ridiculous it may be. This sense of desperation can lead sellers to make a bad choice that will ultimately cost them.
Angela Duong has some specific action steps to ensure sellers are showing their home in the best way possible without making themselves vulnerable to damage.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Learn from Experienced Real Estate Agents
In every profession, there are people who offer their services as mentors. Young doctors fresh out of medical school often go to work at a practice with more seasoned professionals. Rookie firefighters will spend time with the older guys to learn the proper techniques of their profession.
For real estate agents, there is a wealth of information available on the internet about how to sell homes. Unfortunately, some of it may be best for newcomers while other pieces of information will work better for someone with a bit of experience.
If you are new to the real estate business, we have some great information for you. Ryan Fitzgerald knocks it out of the park as 17 different agents offer their single biggest advice for your first year in real estate. Take a look and soak in this valuable information.
Avoid the Hassle: How to Decide Whether to Fire Your Client
The Pareto principle states that 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your efforts. This principle has been proven in nature with crops, in animal colonies and in the work place. There is no denying it.
For this reason, it is important to identify the problem clients that are wasting your time and keeping you from focusing on the 20% of your work that will yield results.
In the following article Debbie Drummond lays out some items you need to cover with your clients and also how to decide when it’s time fire your real estate client.
If you found this information valuable then you need to check out previous issues of the best of Google+ real estate! In your search for the best content found on the Google+ network you have come to the right place.
Previous Best Google+ Real Estate Article Recaps
This article was written by Luke Skar of Inlanta Mortgage – Madison which serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Florida. Since 1993 Inlanta Mortgage has provided award winning customer service to clients who need to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage.
Luke serves as the Social Media Strategist for Inlanta Mortgage. His role is to provide original content for all of their social media profiles as well as generating new leads from his website MadisonMortgageGuys.com NMLS ID #1016