Google Plus is loaded with high performing real estate agents willing to share their knowledge not only with their followers but the general public as well. Providing the latest information on trends, changes in policy and best-practice tips help improve the market as a whole and furnishes a service to the consumer.

I have put together a new batch of tips and advice from some of the best agents across the land. The tips cover buying a home, specific reasons for getting one mortgage over another and a host of other golden ideas. In no particular order, here are this month’s top contributions.

Overall Tips for Purchasing a Home

There are a lot of things to cover when buying a home. With the wealth of information available on the internet, it can be a bit overwhelming for a first time home buyer to decide what points are important and what things can be pushed aside.

Bill Gassett has assembled a great list of such tips for buyers. This collaboration of data touches on several topics. For instance, buyers that find themselves in a bidding war can learn what to do in order to get their offer accepted. On the flip side, what if the seller comes back with a counter offer? Thankfully, Bill’s article has that covered as well.

The article also gives some helpful advice about preparing a budget prior to buying a house and working around student loan debt in the process. All in all, this one article provides a lot of needed information for new home buyers.

Should You Replace the Roof?

Most home sellers are looking for the same thing; the highest price for their home. To this end, many people will hire contractors and service professionals to complete a list of items such as improving outdoor lights, adding a fresh coat of paint to the living room and even refinishing hardwood floors. With these things in mind, should a new roof be added to the to-do list before selling a home?

In the insightful blog post presented by Frazier Roofing, the answer to this question may surprise you. Using firm data from various sources, the post brings up better energy usage numbers, changes in the home’s value and the potential to sell quicker.

Reasons A Home Has Been On Market for a Long Time

Most people want to save money when they buy almost any item, especially a home. There are some people that go to extremes with this idea and only look at homes that have been listed for sale for a while. But this begs the question “why do some homes sit for sale for an extended period of time compared to similar homes?

This question comes up a lot in real estate and our friend Sharon Paxson put together some facts to help answer the question. The majority of people think that a home that has been on the market for several months is simply too expensive. In some cases, that is the main reason. However, a lot of other subtle things about the home’s first impression, the availability for a showing and other important items may be the problem.

The article explores each of the possibilities and provides resolutions to the issue to help people get their home sold faster.

Reasons to Choose a VA Mortgage

Most people are familiar with the idea of weighing the pros and cons of any decision. Taking a new job, buying a different automobile, or choosing a college all have good points and bad points to consider. In a similar fashion, picking one mortgage over another should be done with the right information at hand.

Our friend Bill Gassett has an extensive article that dives into the advantages of picking a VA home loan. For those who are not aware of these mortgages, the Veterans Administration has authorized attractive home mortgages for qualified veterans and active duty members of the armed forces.

These loans have a lot of qualities that make them a top choice among eligible borrowers. The article explains the no money down option along with other things like closing costs, approval guidelines and the absence of private mortgage insurance.

Do You Still Need a Real Estate Agent When You Buy a Home?

As previously mentioned, the internet has been a real game changer for the real estate industry. People can now view prospective homes from their smartphone, look at neighborhood and community demographics and get a good idea about the traffic conditions without ever leaving the home. With that in mind, is it really necessary to use a real estate agent to purchase a house?

The good folks at MortgageRealty say YES, and for good reason. Their blog post points out the fact that buying a home involves a complicated contract. They also answer the question “does the internet truly give a person access to ALL THE HOMES that are available for sale?” And they also make a compelling case for the agent’s most important job during the transaction.

Tips for Green Energy Newbies

The idea of green energy has been around for many years. Solar panels, wind turbines and turning a river current into usable energy are just a few examples of using nature’s resources to provide electricity to homes and businesses. But there are small steps that newbies can take to utilize green energy options at their home now without major expense or long hours of work.

Phoenix-based real estate agent John Cunningham is no stranger to high temperatures and the expensive power bill that comes from trying to keep a home cool in the extreme heat of Arizona. His article points out 3 simple ways people can use green energy innovations; programmable thermostats, a hybrid heater for water and smart power strips. John explains how each of these items can be easily adopted by most people and the advantages that the technology can provide to the users.

Does an Open House Really Help Sell a Home?

Take a ride through any nice neighborhood on a quiet Sunday afternoon and you will likely see at least one sign that reads “Open House today, 2:00 to 4:00”. For years real estate agents have lobbied home sellers to host an open house in an effort to find the right buyer. However, that marketing trend may be all but dead.

Paul Sian feels that more people are using the internet to look for a potential home to buy and the Open House is not productive. His article points out some facts from the National Association of Realtors that gives strong evidence to his argument. He also points out some risks that sellers may not be aware of when they are preparing the home for the showing.

Another article from Kevin Vitali also makes you think about who is showing up at an open house. An eye opener for sure.

Tips for Picking Your Next Fence

Lots of people long for a nice fence in the backyard. Some people have young children and they wish to create a safe area for the kids to run and play, free from prying eyes. Other folks like to entertain with relatives or friends and would enjoy a private area to have their parties. Regardless of the reason, picking a fence should be done with quality facts at hand.

Anita Clark has just what the doctor ordered. Her post provides information for how a fence can provide much-needed security but also add beauty to the overall property. Anita also discusses different types of fences that serve various purposes. For example, a fence that will work well for a garden would likely not do the same thing for a pool.

The article also gives some detail about the different materials used for fencing and tips about obeying the laws concerning property lines.

New Only Lasts a Short Time

People like to talk about that “new car smell” and show off their new shoes or their new clothes. But that new feeling will wear off rather quickly.

In the real estate world, a home is considered a NEW listing for a very short time. In some areas, it may be a few days while in others it may be a week or so. Regardless of the time, agents agree that a home gets the most attention during this NEW phase.

To maximize this short period of time, Kevin Vitali has some great tips. He explains why there is so much buzz around new homes and how sellers can take advantage of the attention. He also explains how to prepare for the home listing so that this short period of time works in the seller’s favor.

What To Do if the Buyer Backs Out?

Most home sellers think that once a buyer has paid earnest money and signed a contract for purchase, the only thing that could cancel the contract is a financial issue. However, ask any real estate agent that has been in the business for a few years and they will likely have at least one crazy story depicting how a buyer walked away from a deal.

What is a seller to do in such a situation? Lynn Pineda has your answer. First and foremost, Lynn suggests taking precautions to make sure the buyer is actually ready to purchase a home and that they are committed to the transaction. If none of that works, then the agent may need to re-start the marketing process to find a new buyer. With the right contingencies in place, an experienced real estate agent should be able to salvage the situation and find a new buyer.

This is Why the Home Did Not Sell

Some homes don’t sell, and it is a mystery to both the owner and the agent. However, that only happens in a few rare instances. Most of the time, the agent can point to at least one, if not several, reasons why the home has not attracted the right buyer.

To put these things in perspective, Michelle Gibson has assembled a list of the top 7 reasons why a home has not sold yet. Thankfully, these particular reasons can all be rectified by any seller. It may take a small sacrifice of time or a bit of work, but getting the home in good condition and getting a contract to buy should be within the reach of most sellers.

Summing It Up

As you can see from the range of topics, I have information for both home sellers, home buyers and homeowners. Whether it is improving a property, narrowing down a loan or planning for a contingency, I have you covered. I hope this information will benefit you and your clients and make your upcoming month a great success.

Previous Best of Google Plus Round-ups.

See some great real estate content in these previous additions of the best of Google+!

Luke Skar


About the author: 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, NMLS ID #1016.