Choosing The Right Investment Property

With real estate investing, you can either be incredibly successful, or you can lose it all. You may believe location, location, location is the number one rule, but the reality is that knowing who you are dealing with is even more important. However, the world of real estate is filled with shady characters. For instance, those people who tell you that you can be a millionaire on late night television should always be avoided.

You should never invest in real estate before having a few affairs in order. To get started, you will firstly need to have investment capital. Also, make sure that you get to know the real estate market and learn about the neighborhoods you are interested in.

If you use this knowledge and apply it to real estate, you need to look for cash flow rather than appreciation. Your cash flow is how much you end up with at the end of the month after all your obligations have been met. What you should do is leave your cash flow alone, and keep that as savings as much as possible. Your cash flow will also go up as rent prices go up. If your mortgage payments stay the same, then your cash flow will be even better. You should make sure that at least 20% of the money you get is cash flow. Spend some time using the internet to work out exactly how much your cash flow is.

For those who don’t have a lot of money to put down on a property, it will generally be a lot easier to still get started in it if they are younger. This is because banks usually want at least 20% as a down payment before agreeing on a mortgage. That kind of deposit can be too expensive for many people, particularly if the property itself will need some repairs as well. However, those who are younger can often get better deals on mortgages, as they have longer to pay them back. There is a lot more to real estate investing than this. Finding the property is an entire enterprise on its own. If you want to find a property, however, you need to have the time to do a lot of research and you must analyze your options. Plus, you will need to find a representative realtor to help you as well. They will help you to find the best properties for your needs. Once you have your property, you need to learn what it means to be a good landlord, which will also take some time. However, overall, it is time well spent.

How Sellers Can Entice Buyers Just With Their Front Lawn

If a house doesn’t look great on the outside, you can be sure that potential buyers will not be hitting on the brakes for a second look, they’ll keep driving. Congratulations, you’ve already lost buyers before they even walked into the home. It is proven that curb appeal is what makes or breaks a sale. Be sure to use these tips so you don’t make the mistakes that many homeowners in the process of selling their home do.

Now is the time to get the outside looking spectacular. From fixing up the deck on the front porch to adding some new flowers to the landscaping, there are plenty of elements to make your home look more welcoming.

Projects such as painting or replacing the entry door, doing the side yard, or window replacements can get homeowners much more money than they would have, just by making a few simple improvements. Of course, sometimes renovations must be done, but if you don’t have the time or money to do so, you can do some of the things below on your own for free.

When it comes to selling your home, many realtors will tell you that state of the art appliances and kitchens are the most important thing when selling a home. These things are absolutely true. However, find comfort in the fact that you do not necessarily need to spend an arm and a leg to sell your house. These minor improvements above are a great, and budget friendly way to drive up the sale price of your home.

• Wash any and all windows
• Update and/or replace front porch lighting fixtures
• Install new street numbers, door knobs, door knockers, and/or mailboxes
• Replace or remove window treatments if necessary
• Repair the front walk if needed
• Remove dead trees or flowers
• Be sure to mow the lawn, and remove any weeds
• Power wash your house
• Clean and sweep the entryway, front lights, and walkway of any debris or trash
• Add colorful plants
• Paint and clean your front door
• Clean and sweep the driveway
• Store all yard equipment, pet toys, and children’s toys
• Do not use the porch for storage
• Clean up after your pets
• Make sure garbage cans are not visible from the street

For more tips, check out this article on Adding Value to Your Curb Appeal; and, The 10 Best Ways to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal to Buyers.

Making Offers on Overpriced Homes


Why Do Sellers Overprice Their Homes? Can I Get Them to Go Down?

Many buyers and sellers are finding it difficult to come up with comparables that support their agreed-upon price, even in cases where there are multiple offers. Here are a few need-to-knows that should inform your thought process around this home.

The assessment is largely irrelevant. There are lots of reasons assessed values can be wildly off of from a home’s fair market value. First among them is that homeowners have a deep, vested interest in depressing their home’s tax assessment: it’s the basis for their property taxes.

So, tax-savvy homeowners jump through all sorts of loops, legitimate and less so, in an effort to get or keep their assessments (and property taxes) low, from failing to report improvements to the property, to submitting aggressive appeals of their assessments using not-so-comparable sales data. And no, an assessment lower than the true fair market value doesn’t necessarily help you if you do buy the property; in many states, tax assessors revise the assessed value to the purchase price when you buy it.

Maybe the list price is fair. What’s more, the definition of a home’s fair market value on any given Sunday is what a qualified buyer would be willing to pay for the property on that day. And, as you already understand, the best way to gauge that is by what similar, nearby homes have sold for as recently as possible. This is where the fact that the home is rural and that very little comparable sales data exists becomes a problem.

This will likely also become a problem for any buyer that attempts to purchase the property with a mortgage; the lender will require an appraiser to provide comparables and/or some other strong argument that supports the purchase price.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether you agree; it might be a good idea to look through any pictures or old listing materials your agent can find about the other home, so you can do your own compare and contrast.

Maybe they’re overpriced. At higher price ranges, it’s more common than elsewhere to see sellers price higher than they believe the place is worth, assuming they’ll need room to negotiate downward to meet a buyer’s demands. And virtually everywhere, at every price range, buyers know that there are simply some sellers that are in the clouds regarding their pricing.

The list price should inform, but not govern, your offer price. This is real estate, remember, so nearly everything is negotiable, especially price. The list price and any information about the seller’s motivation level or priorities that the listing agent will give your agent should definitely factor into your decision-making about how much to offer, if you decide to make an offer. But so should your own good judgment, common sense, personal financial resources and analysis of the relevant local market data, which your agent should happily help you undertake.

Do what you can to make the best offer that takes into account all of these factors; don’t feel forced to overpay for a property because the seller is unrealistic.

Here’s a useful video on How To Make An Offer to Buy a House, and an article on, When It’s Best to Walk Away From An Overpriced Listing.


Most Common Tales About Realtors


What are The Most Common Myths About Realtors?

Buying or selling a house is not something most of us do every day. People don’t usually house-hop, they buy a house with the intent to start a life there. Despite the fact that most of us enter the world of real estate only rarely, we all think we know how it works, based on the experiences of friends and family members, stories we have heard and things we have read.

But for everything we believe we know about the industry, there are a number of myths that circulate about how real estate actually works. Buying into those can hurt your chances of buying or selling the right home at the right price.

The Internet has made much more information available to consumers, but not all the information is equal, or even accurate. Some people warn that you should read what is written about realtors online with a grain of salt. The danger with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you money when it’s time to buy or sell a home. Here are some of the most common myths that can trip up buyers and sellers:

Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Listing your home at too high a price may get you a lower price, actually. That’s because shoppers and their real estate agents often don’t even look at homes that are priced above market value. While you can always lower it later, buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks.

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don’t use an agent. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don’t have an agent, the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.

You can save money selling your home yourself. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It’s not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you’d get with an agent, but it’s not easy.

You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel and renovation could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste. You’re better off adjusting your price accordingly.

Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes.

Here is an excellent video on The Pros and Cons of Using a Real Estate Agent, as well as another useful article on Debunking the Top 10 Myths About Real Estate Agents.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home


Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

No matter where you’re at in the home selling process, educating yourself about one of the biggest transactions in your lifetime is important. Selling your home can be pretty stressful at times, so you want to do everything you can to prepare for a successful sale. Here are some tips to avoid.

Listing with a bad agent.

This is, by far, the biggest mistake you can make. A bad agent will kill your selling price, leaving less money in your pocket when it’s all said and done. It’s easy to just call up the agent that helped you buy your home years ago, but selling is way different than buying. They may be a great buying agent but have a poor selling record.

Hiring a Family Member or Personal Friend

You might think that working with an agent personally close to you will be fun, but it’s generally not a good idea. When an agent is working with a typical client, there’s more pressure to impress. If the agent doesn’t impress their client, there won’t be any personal referrals from that client.

Setting the Wrong Price for Your Home

You’re not in the wrong for wanting to make a lot of money off of your home, but you might be wrong about how much you think it should sell for. Setting the price too high can cause your home to sit on the market for a long time, making it unattractive to buyers.

Selling it On Your Own

There is an overwhelming amount of data that proves that hiring an agent is the best way to go.  If you’re an expert marketer, know how to set the price right, feel like swimming in paperwork, have a ton of free time to show your house and field calls, and are a great negotiator, then you might have a chance of successfully selling by yourself.

Remaining Emotionally Attached to Your Home

I’m a homeowner, so I understand how much a house can mean to a family. It’s time to let a new family take over your house when you’re selling. Do your best not to be offended by a hopeful buyer’s demands. Don’t ruin a selling opportunity because you refuse to leave a light fixture behind that the buyer really wants because you’re attached to it.

Ignoring Problem Areas in Your Home

When gearing up to sell, it’s time to start making repairs and quick fixes.This is a major transaction for the buyer, so even the smallest problems with your home can throw up red flags. Leaky faucet? Fix it. There are too many home improvement stores to not be doing this.

Not Advertising

Home buyers use the internet to help them in their search. When buyers are looking at hundreds of potential new homes on websites such as Zillow and Trulia, you want your home to stand out. People are attracted to high quality photos, and you should hire a photographer.

Ignoring Your Home’s Appearance

You don’t have to drop thousands on redoing your landscaping, but ignoring eye sores won’t help you at all. Edge your lawn by the sidewalks, touch up the paint, throw in some new mulch, and go the extra mile with some nice flowers. No home is perfect but if there are too many eye sores they will add up and turn off buyers. Bring a trusted friend by your home and ask them to be critical – like a potential buyer – to help you notice eye sores. It is worth bringing someone in to stage your home, or DIY.

Not Depersonalizing

Pack away the pictures of you and your spouse above the TV and the cute drawings from your kids on the fridge. You want potential buyers to visualize themselves in your space.

Ignoring Your Financial Situation

Set up a meeting with your mortgage lender to discuss selling your home. You want to be clear on your remaining loan payoff and any other issues with paying off your mortgage early. Make sure you’re qualified for a loan for your next home, too!

Here is a great video on the Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home and an article on Four Ways to Sell Your Home Faster.