I am happy to let everyone know that I have successfully completed my Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation. What does this mean?
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS® who have additional education on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions. We also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners, CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Our mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.
I am happy to be able to use my newly acquired specialist designation in conjunction with my 7 years of local real estate expertise to better provide for my clients.
If market conditions are right and you decide to sell your home, you’ll need a trusted realtor who will work for you. With these simple and effective steps I’ll show you how to find a trusted and most important person to help you with your real estate transaction. You see, not all real estate agents are created equal and not all of them are realtors. Let me show you how to find the best fit for you. You may ask why give away this information rather than just promote myself? Because each realtor works in a particular geography. These tips work for everyone and, I would only promote myself if you had a house to buy or sell in my real estate geography. The chances are that you don’t.
With so many real estate agents out there, how do you choose? Ask your friend for referrals, but beware of choosing a realtor based purely on referral. You should select a realtor who is very familiar with your area, not just what they can just look up online. If they have spent time marketing houses in your area previously then you will want to put them on your shortlist. Because they will know what works well in that area.
Ask your friends specifically if they know a real estate agent who has sold any properties in YOUR area in the past couple of years.
Once you have selected a potential realtor you want to work with, email or call their office and await a reply. You are checking to see how responsive they are. Ideally, she should get back to you that same day.
Generally, no response after 4 hours is cause for caution. Too many elements of real estate are time sensitive i.e. competing offers or home inspection issues, so you want a realtor who is in constant contact with you and has your interests as a top priority.
Since you’re essentially hiring an agent to work in your best interests think of it as an interview. Ask them interview questions. Try to determine how they’re answering the questions. Are they deflecting the question and not answering? Are they unsure of their answers? Are they not comfortable answering the questions?
How long have you been selling and buying houses as a realtor? Aim for Realtors with at least 5 years of experience, enough time to really understand their business and optimize their marketing and selling plans.
How many houses did you sell last year? Try to look for agents who sell 30 or more properties a year
What percentage of your listings do you sell? Ideally you want an agent who has sold an average of 60% to 80%.
What is the average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings? This can fluctuate by market, but you should still look for roughly a 95% minimum in the worst case scenario.
It’s common knowledge that to sell a house quickly and get closest to your asking price, you need to reach as large and audience as you can. The way to determine if your an agent can do that is to ask these questions:
How will you market my home? A Realtor should use at least a good brokerage website to showcase your listing, national listing portals such as realtor.ca, and an email subscription list.
How will you use social media? They should use at least Facebook to market listings.
What offline materials do you use? While most marketing is done online now, your Realtor should still make use of tried-and-true methods such as fliers, yard signs, and brochures, especially at an open house.
How much do you spend on advertising? Their answer should be a dollar figure. Advertising costs will vary widely by area, but Realtors should consistently spend a portion of their business expenses on advertising. If you don’t get a dollar amount, you’ll know if they’re doing that or not.
Like anything, you get what you pay for. The least expensive realtor will not be spending the required amount of money to promote and market your house. Although this is not cut and dry, ask for a discount and see what their answer is. If they reason that it’s not typical to do that as it undermines their quality then they are a safe bet. If they jump at the chance immediately without offering a reason that could be a red flag. A realtor should be confident enough about their services to stand by their fees because if they can’t even negotiate to justify and protect their own money, it’s unlikely they will work to protect yours. It’ll be a test of confidence in their own services at least.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Wednesday a proposal to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule until Oct. 1.
May new home sales gain 2.2% from April
Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire
3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage
It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate
At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”
Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.
We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!
Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space
Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online
To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question