By Andrew Janos
As the real estate market continues to be fast-paced, the need to prepare your buyers is growing exponentially. Making sure buyers have a grasp on the market conditions and purchase process will allow you to manage expectations through the entire purchase. Here are three tips:
Get pre-approval: Preparing a buyer financially ensures that they do not fall in love with something they can’t have. In order to even put in an offer, the buyer needs a current and accurate pre-approval. Routinely, buyers push to see houses without a pre-approval, but you must resist the urge to show them without it. Your client’s buying power might be lower once a loan originator runs through all of the qualifying questions. In our fast-paced environment, one buyer could lose to another while obtaining approval to buy the house of their dreams if the other party is already prepared. It’s tough to turn down the opportunity to take clients out that call, but its important to screen them and make sure they are ready to purchase. After talking to them a bit, you might find out that they should wait until next year based on their situation. It’s not just about the type of house they are interested in, but also the right fit for their life goals and current situation.
Educate them on the market: We all know that real estate is location, location, location, but the other important ingredient is education. Take the time to explain current market conditions and what your clients can expect. They should be informed about current sales frequency and volume in conjunction with prices of sold homes. If your buyer drags their feet, they may miss out while inventory and mortgage rates are low. If a home is priced competitively, there could potentially be multiple offers made. Making sure your buyers are comfortable with the purchase process will allow for a smoother transaction.
Set the stage for first-time buyers: You are the one repeatedly facilitating sales, and if you are working with a first time buyer, they have no idea what to expect. This could be as simple as explaining the importance of mortgage contingencies and home inspections. It could also be managing expectations for counter offers on a low bid. Either way, the more that your client knows, the less stress you feel and the buyer will have more trust in you.
In the end, make sure you are following our No. 1 rule as REALTORS®: to protect your client’s best interest and allow them to have an exciting purchase. They are, after all, buying a home, which is one of the biggest decisions they will make in their life.
Andrew Janon is a vice president and salesperson with U S Spaces in Philadelphia. Connect with Andrew at andrewjanos.com.
By Brandon Doyle
My Matterport Pro 3-D camera system arrived on Thursday, and agents who are early adopters of new technology will see the benefits of being able to offer your clients something that no one else can do.
Matterport is the equivalent of HD Google Street View for the interior of a house. It provides consumers the ability to virtually tour a property in 3-D from anywhere in the world. Scanning is done with the 3-D camera ($4,500), which rotates 360 degrees on a tripod, as well as an iPad app. Typically, this process takes anywhere from one to two hours for an average-size home. As you complete scans, the iPad mapping images fill in until the entire property has been mapped. At that point, the file gets uploaded to Matterport’s cloud system and is rendered into a 3-D model. Users can go online and interact with the doll house view, floor plan, and even walk through the property at their own leisure from any desktop computer. Agents are able to syndicate the link through the MLS similar to the way you would with slideshows and videos.
These 3-D virtual tours could be great for new construction, allowing the builder or agent to continue to show the home and provide examples of their work even after the house has been sold – without inconveniencing the current owners. It gives potential buyers a feel for the layout of property, which they can share with friends and family online. This technology could cut down on time that sellers need to be out of the home, and buyers’ time spent in the car.
After my team completed our first 3-D rendering, the home owners were blown away. It was something they had never seen done before and they told everyone they know.
Here is the example from listing in Maple Lake, Minn.:
Please note: Matterport tours are not yet mobile/tablet compatible; they must be viewed on a desktop computer. Matterport also has plans in the future to allow editing of finished renderings, such as changing paint colors, finishes, and possibly even doing full virtual renovations.
You step into a room and you know something is off but you can’t pinpoint it. Could it be the furniture arrangement?
Home design writer Fred Albert with the Houzz editorial staff offers up several tips on proper furniture arrangement. Here are four of his tips, along with some tips from HGTV.com, on finding the right balance when furnishing a space.
1. Pinpoint a focal point: What do you want to highlight in the room? A fireplace or the beautiful view it offers to the outside? Arrange the furniture to highlight the focal point. Have the largest piece of furniture, such as the sofa, pointed toward the room’s focal point.
2. Create balance: You can achieve balance by using symmetrical or even asymmetrical arrangements, depending on the feel you want to create in the room. In formal areas, symmetrical tends to work best, such as two alike sofas across from one another. If you want a room to feel more casual, you might do an asymmetrical arrangement, such as a sectional across from two small arm chairs.
3. Good flow: Consider how traffic will walk through the room. You’ll want to be sure to keep a path between doorways. Albert recommends allowing 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.
4. Mix in some contrast: Consider combining straight and curved lines in furnishings. For example, Albert notes that if the furniture is modern and linear, you might consider throwing in a round table for greater contrast. If the furniture is curvy, add in an angular piece.
Help home owners make their home the “youngest” on the block. Add to your e-newsletter a free article, “Is Your Home Older Than Its Years?,” from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Maintenance Saves Money: Projects for 2014” article package. Share all five today.
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
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By Rob Reuter
Yesterday was a special day for YPN. More than 90 YPN chairs, vice chairs, and staff liaisons convened in Chicago representing networks from 31 states and Canada in what I expect to be the first of many annual YPN Leadership Retreats.
Whether a member of YPN since its inception in 2007 or representing a network less than two weeks old, the group engaged in a full-day workshop on how to run stronger networks and build better real estate businesses.
The format of the day catered to the typical YPNer: high member participation and engagement with discussion moderators rather than the traditional classroom-style education. Emceed by 2014 YPN Advisory Board Chair Matt Phipps and Vice Chair Bobbi Howe, the day produced an atmosphere of energy, professional education, and fun. Three 90-minute tracks focused on YPN, technology, and the REALTOR® Association were broken down into three 30-minute small group discussions. Each topic was introduced by either a YPN Advisory Board member or industry thought leader, discussed in small groups for 15 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of idea sharing with the group at-large.
A water battle to raise funds for RPAC? Food trucks plus real estate? There was no shortage of creativity from this group. Traditional topics such as direct mailing, door knocking, and geographic farming were also discussed. Another popular topic: the difference between having a client database and truly leveraging it by contacting people and growing it daily.
When the day was done, many of the attendees rushed off to catch their flights, but not before exchanging one last business card or adding one more friend on Facebook. The overall feedback was extremely positive with the primary negative being that the event was too short! Looks like we’ll have to extend the event next time.
We look forward to seeing the group back in Chicago in August 2015.