Lease-Option and Rent-To-Own Properties – 11 Ways to Find Them When They’re Not on the MLS

Lease-options (also known as rent-to-own, and similar to lease-purchases or land contracts) are a good way to find properties to buy when you can’t buy traditionally. Perhaps you have poor credit, or no down payment. Or maybe you’re not sure about a new neighborhood, and want to rent before buying. The problem is: Lease-options can be difficult to find. Many aren’t listed as „lease-options“ on the MLS („Multiple Listing Service“–the real estate databases used by Realtors), and others are not on the MLS at all. Here are some little-known ways to find a lease-option when they are not listed on the MLS.

But, first, the fundamentals:

A lease option combines a lease for a piece of property and an option to buy the property at some point in the future. There’s no one „standard“ lease. But the lease can be typical for your area. (The secret to this technique lies in the option.) The lease says that the tenant has the right to occupy the property for 12 (or 24, or whatever you choose) months, paying rent of $x a month. It contains the same basic provisions as any lease: keep the property clean, no illegal activities, pay rent on time, etc. There isn’t anything unusual about the lease.

The magic is in the option. The option gives the tenant-buyer (the renter who may become the owner) the right to purchase the property for a specific amount in a specific time frame so long as he obeys the terms of the lease.

So those are the fundamentals. The problem is: How do you find them? If you go to a Realtor, he/she isn’t going to find many–if any–on the MLS. But don’t let that stop you. There are many, many of them out there. You just need to know where to look.

Non-MLS Rentals

Many rental properties-single-family homes, townhouses, and condos-are rented out directly by the property’s owner. Remember, as we pointed out above, that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ All the points made above apply to non-listed rent-als. In addition, these owners are facing the hassle of dealing with calls from many „tire kickers“ and less-than-serious callers. So, many get frustrated pretty quickly.

And the person seeking a lease-option has another advantage: The ability to speak directly to the owner. Now, technically, even if a property is listed with an agent, you can speak directly to the owner. But the owner has decided to use a real estate agent, in part, to avoid all that hassle. It’s poor form, and usually not a good idea, to try negotiating directly with a seller when that seller is represented by a real estate agent. In the case of non-listed rentals, there is no such buffer. You can call and, in most cases, speak directly with the owner.

There can be another advantage, too: Not having to deal with a real estate agent who doesn’t understand lease-options, doesn’t „believe in them,“ or thinks that he or she is protecting the owners‘ interest by not accurately presenting your offer to the owners.

You can find these properties in the classified ad sections of newspapers. You can also find them on online services such as Craigslist. And you can find them by looking at bulletin boards at your local supermarket or other locations. And if you can’t find enough by looking, then place your own ads in the newspaper, on Craigslist, and on bulletin boards.

Here are some clues to properties that might work out as lease-options:

For Sale by Owner (FSBOs) Properties

These are properties that the owners are trying to sell themselves. People often try to sell properties themselves for two reasons: In a seller’s market–when there’s more demand than supply–FSBOs figure that the house will pretty much sell regardless of who the agent is, how much marketing is used, or even the price of the house. So why, FSBOs wonder, should they pay an agent 4%, 5%, 6%, or even more when all it’ll take is a „For Sale“ sign. In a seller’s market, it’s very difficult to find lease-option properties, especially among FSBOs.

The picture changes sharply in a buyer’s market-when there’s more supply than demand. In a slow market, some sellers think they can’t afford to pay an agent’s commission. They think that they’ll end up with more money in their pockets if they sell the home themselves. They’re often wrong, but that’s their strategy.

One other thing to keep in mind about FSBOs: The asking price of their house is far more likely to be too high than too low, or even properly priced. In part, they don’t have access to all the tools a real estate agent does. In part, they’re emotionally attached to their homes.

Sometimes, they had an appraisal on their property for one purpose, such as a refinance or home equity line of credit (in which cases, the appraisals tend to be on the high side), and they think that the appraisal was an accurate reflection of the value upon resale. It isn’t. And sometimes they’ve used one of the many online services, such as Zillow, to price their homes. Those services sometimes are reasonably accurate. Often, they’re not.

So, in any market, hot or cold, FSBOs are likely to be overpriced. And in a slow market, that means most will sit there and just not sell. That’s why you, the buyer, should have a real estate agent on your „Dream Team“ even if you’re planning on finding the property yourself. Your agent can quickly tell you whether the price being asked by the seller is reasonable.

When dealing with a FSBO, a lease-option buyer can offer closer to what the FSBO actually wants. The catch, of course, is that the sale will occur a year or more into the future, not today. If the FSBO needs all of his equity out of the property, this strategy won’t work. But if the FSBO can wait a year or two, there are golden opportunities for the lease-option buyer. The tenant-buyer explains to the FSBO that he can pay what the FSBO is asking (or close to what the FSBO is asking). Just not right away. It’s the same basic strategy that’s used above, for listed homes for sale. But now you can make your case directly to the seller.

Owner-Advertised Lease-Options

Sometimes owners will advertise lease-options. They understand the benefits of lease options to them-immediate cash flow, often at higher-than-market rent, plus a good opportunity to sell their homes-and decide to try it themselves. You can find these anywhere owners advertise-local newspapers, bulletin boards, Craigslist, and so on. In structured formats, such as newspapers and Craigslist, look under both properties for rent and properties for sale.

Owner-Advertised: Other Delayed Purchases

Be sure your agent also searches using other terms that describe similar structures. These terms include „lease-purchase,“ „rent-to-own,“ „rent-to-buy,“ „land contract,“ and „contract for deed.“ In each case, the owner is signaling that he or she wants to sell, but is willing to wait for the sale occurs. Some of these techniques, and some of these terms, are more often used in certain areas of the country than others. So search for them all.

Owner Financing

Search for properties on which the owner is willing to hold financing. This means the owner is willing to act as the bank. He doesn’t need all the money at closing. He’s willing to take payments over time while the tenant is living in the home. And many owners don’t have the lending criteria as strict or inflexible as the big banks.

But don’t stop there. Remember: A lease-option couples a lease with an option to purchase. So look for owners who are trying to rent their properties but are open to selling, or for owners who are trying to sell, but are open to renting.

Properties for Rent and for Sale

The first step is to find properties both for rent and sale. Even if they’re not listed as „lease-options,“ owners are willing to lease and sell. All you’re asking is that they lease now and sell later.

Former „For Sale“ Properties Now Listed for Rent

These might be properties that had been listed with a real estate agent, or properties that the owner was trying to sell himself. It doesn’t matter. But the house didn’t sell, and now it’s up for rent. These are properties that the owners really would like to sell. But they weren’t able to, so they’re will-ing to rent. Again, you’re offering a solution to their problem. You’re willing to rent now, and may be willing to buy later.

Former Rentals Now for Sale

Along the same lines, look for properties that first were listed as rentals, but now are listed for sale. There probably will be fewer of these than those first for sale, now for rent, but it never hurts to look. These, too, are properties that the owner is both willing to rent and to sell.

Thus far, we’ve identified properties that we know the owners have been willing to both rent and sell. Now we’ll move on to owners who might be willing to both rent and to sell.

Vacant Houses for Sale

Start with owners who are trying to sell, and whose house is vacant. These owners may have bought a new home, but haven’t yet sold the old one. They’re paying two mortgages-usually an uncomfortable situation. You can help out by providing a quick revenue stream–your rent payments–while offering the possibility of a sale in the future. If you’re able to, target the properties that have been on the market the longest.

Rentals

You’ll find more prospects among owners who are renting out their homes. It may be their former primary residence, and they’ve moved on to a new home. Or it may be a property they’ve held as an investment property for awhile. It’s important to remember that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ It wasn’t their original intent to rent out their property. They don’t particularly enjoy the whole rental process, and they don’t like the hassle of dealing with tenants. But somehow they’ve become landlords and they’re trying to make the best of it.

For these owners, the solution you’re offering is the immediate gratification of a rental, and the longer term possibility of a sale. It may help if the property is vacant, but even reluctant landlords whose tenants have given proper notice, and haven’t moved out, may be eager to end their landlording hassles.

Investors

Some investors put together lease-options, then market the lease-options to tenant-buyer with a markup. These are called „sandwich lease-options“ because the structure resembles a sandwich: An owner on one side (one slice of bread in the „sandwich“) lease-optioning the property to an investor; the investor in the middle (the meat in the sandwich), and the tenant-buyer on the other side (the other slice of bread in the „sandwich“).

So those are many of the ways you can find a lease-option or rent-to-own home even when the property may not be listed on the multiple listing service. And the point worth repeating is: Some homes will be „advertised“ as a lease-option. Many won’t be. You’ll reduce or eliminate your competition by looking where others aren’t looking.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Is the Most Current Real Estate Information Really Available to You?

It is a general misconception that Realtors and multiple listing services (MLS) available online provide the most reliable and timely information about the current state of any local real estate market. While it is true that people in the profession have a good understanding of broad sales trends and price movements, they rely on outdated information that is based on past trends in sales of comparable properties in large market areas. However, what is true for the board (macro-level) housing market may not necessarily be true for the small (micro-level) market. And usually it is NOT.

Factors that affect home prices, such as job and income growth, may differ substantially among different neighborhoods in a broader housing market, which would thus reflect in different ways on future demand and values of homes between the broader and the block-level markets.

Therefore, Realtors and the Web-based MSLs, such as RealtorTrack.com and Zillow.com, which rely on trends in broad markets and use as benchmarks prices that may reflect speculative demand and other non-core demand drivers, fail to provide accurate information about the state of housing in any small local area. What’s more, they cannot offer any insight into the future price developments for any particular market or hyper local market or Census Block Group.

However, tools has been developed as an analytical tool that provides reliable information of current changes at a block (neighborhood) level. The Home Value Predictor is also the only available online tool that provides information about future price movements in both broad real estate markets and block-level housing markets. It offers data that is more reliable than the realtor-based price information because it relies on multiple variables, such as job and disposable income, migration, and other primary drivers of demand that determine price growth in any particular block-level market. This is important because real estate is truly a local market for which only the price information that relies on variables that are specific for that particular micro-level market can offer the accurate picture of current and future market trends.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Andorra Real Estate Can Be Bought Easily

The Andorra real estate listings can be found quite easily. The Andorra real estate property is in demand by the foreign buyers. The buyers are especially attracted to the place since there is zero inheritance and income tax. Most buyers for the estate for sale are looking for the ski apartments since the country is known for its ski slopes and is one of the most popular sports in the country. The skiing season starts in December and lasts till April. Even when the owners of the estate property don’t use heir property personally, they can get good Andorra rentals on the property. This is because tourist is always looking for good villas and chalets to rent when they come fro their skiing holidays.

Though the Rental yields at 4 – 5 % may seem disappointing for many of the estate investors, this is a tax free. Moreover the price inflation can be 10% or even above and this makes estate for sale properties quite attractive.

Mortgage value for about 60% of the cost of estate for sale is quite easily available from the local banks. The mortgage terms are available for over 15 years. However the entire payment should be made by the sixtieth birthday. So if a person is 52 years, they will get a mortgage term for only 8 years (till they reach their 60th birthday and a 45 year old person will get a mortgage term for 15 years (till their 60th birthday).

The typical Andorra real estate for sale that is available is apartments and chalets and the most favored places for buying the Andorra real estate property is La Massana, Arinsal, Les Salines and El Serrat. Andorra isn’t a member of the European Union, but the citizens of the European Union don’t require a visa to come to the country. Catalan is the local language that is spoken here, even though English, French and Spanish are widely spoken and understood.

The estate for sale is available quite easily and will depend on the location of the place. This is one of the smallest countries in Europe and isn’t a part of the European Union. But the Euro is the de facto currency and the Euro debit and credit cards are widely used in the country. Andorra is officially known as the Principality of the Andorra and has an area of only 468 square kilometer. Tourism is the major earner of the GDP and accounts for 80% of the GDP. Banking sector, since the principality is a tax haven also contributes substantially to the GDP.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying Villa Holiday Home Cyprus – A Place of Your Own on a Paradise Island

Are you searching for a great location to go to in order to escape from your busy life in the city? How about looking for a place which has clear water and friendly locals? Consider buying or renting a villa located in Cyprus! If you want to buy a holiday property then Cyprus is an awesome island in the Mediterranean Sea which hosts visitors from all around the globe, and can also be a good place for taking a long vacation on a holiday or simply for rest and relaxation.

Buying villa holiday home Cyprus provides you with a variety of purchasing options, regardless of whether you prefer a seashore getaway or a metro-style apartment in one of the little villages. If you are house hunting on this lovely isle, all sorts of bargains are out there waiting for you. Cyprus apartments for sale are also plentiful in various locales here, but the majority of the homes on the island’s real estate market are luxury villas.

If you want to examine many villas quickly, Pafos villa hunting is property the best approach to take. Pafos is usaully spelled Paphos in the West. It is the island’s largest coastal district and contains the longest stretches of shoreline that Cyprus has to offer. Tourists can buy or rent villas and apartments in this area quickly and without difficulty. Many villas are available for purchase in the Pafos area for less than 100,000 British pounds or 200,000 American dollars.

If you’d like to look for a holiday villa, home, or apartment on Cyprus, you don’t have to go to the island in person. Instead, you can search online for pictures and data about available properties, most of which are posted on the Internet. The real estate systems are similar to the American and British systems, and you’ll feel right at home with the way that the property listings are laid out online.

You’ll find that many of the online retailers who list Cypriot properties also publish plenty of pictures of the surrounding countryside. You’ll be able to see tons of gorgeous views, including ocean and beach pictures, as well as shots of the insides of the houses for sale. Even the city centers are picturesque, offering diverse and beautiful architecture. Best of all, most towns are only about an hour from the sea, so you’ll always be able to see the ocean with a short drive.

If you are considering purchasing a villa as a vacation residence, the isle of Cyprus can provide you with marvelous options online or on the spot. You can be sure that these properties will make a reconnoitering trip here absolutely worthwhile. If such an expenditure is within your means, you will be delighted to discover that a short getaway (or a long retirement) in Cyprus is the most effective way to unwind regardless of how high your stress level may be.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Long Beach Homes for Sale – Four Things You Will Love About Long Beach, California

More and more individuals especially those who are planning to find their homes are now starting to recognize the pleasing qualities of Long Beach both as a business and pleasure haven. This interesting city seems to be the perfect example of a place where bikinis and business suits combine harmoniously as elegant buildings where businesses and trade is a common scenario stands mightily next to the Pacific Ocean. This pleasing mystery is one of the driving factors that drive many home seekers to delve into Long Beach homes for sale and Long Beach real estate listings.

Indeed, investing in Long Beach houses for sale is a worthy undertaking – whether you plan to live in it for a long time or rent it out for holiday takers. There is a lot of things to like about owning homes in this pleasant community.

1. Convenient Transportation Means

5 ½ miles of mesmerizing coastline with an airport serving national flights easily accessed by a light rail system known as the Blue Line MetroRail taking commuters to Staples Center and downtown Los Angeles and from there be able to connect to Pasadena and Hollywood are just few out of the many reasons that attracts not only tourists but also aspiring residents to invest in Long Beach real estate.

There are also plenty of buses that can take individuals to any place downtown and nearby places like the Ocean Boulevard wherein neatly painted and prearranged residences and commercial establishments constructed many decades ago are located.

This means that even if you do not have your own car, you can easily report to your work and go back home without much difficulty since transportation methods are offered in variation.

2. Diverse and Pleasing Recreational Attractions

Just like the old adage goes, „All work and no play make Jack a dull boy“. Well, this would not happen if you are living here. It is definitely one of the most wonderful cities in the nation wherein there is more than just beach to enjoy. Going downtown you will gain pleasure from the plenty of trendy shops, dining places and other attractions that offer fun and entertainment for individuals of all ages.

Shoreline Village offers great shops and dining locations wherein you can see the splendid skyline. The 5th largest city of California is also home to many nice parks, and other recreational areas wherein golf, skateboarding and lawn bowling are just few out of the numerous sports activities that you can engage in during your free hours.

3. Charming Beaches

As you browse around Long Beach MLS for sure you would come across with descriptions that define the beaches in this part of California. The beautiful city offers some sandy beaches and equally charming coastline close to the downtown area. There are also choices of beaches near Naples and Long Beach Peninsula wherein you can just sit and frolic on the sand with your kids as a breather from a busy week at work. For those who love quiet times, you can just sit there with your loved one as you watch the skyline and the sun for a romantic but serene quality time.

4. But more than anything else, the booming and continually sprouting economy of the place is the top reason why many are rushing to invest in homes for sale in this part of California.

It is then pretty easy to understand why investing in Long Beach homes for sale can benefit you financially if you choose to rent it out. At the same time, it can also provide you much pleasure in terms of experience if you decide to exclusively use it with your family.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Photography Tips For Realtors – Don’t Do it Yourself, You’ll Lose Your Commission Check

I’ve done it myself; taken what I thought were great listing pictures and used them for my online MLS listing. My clients thought they were fine and I thought they were just fine, until I started working as a buyer’s agent in Seattle a few years back.

I worked with over 40 different buyers a week and everyday I’d hear, „Did you see those listing pictures? There’s no way we want to see that house, it’s a dump! Does the listing agent know how bad they are?“ Obviously, the listing agent didn’t spend anything on real estate photography.

My buyers would also see some great listing photos and want to get in to see the home that afternoon. We’d step inside and they’d wonder if it was the same home they saw online. They felt cheated because the pictures were nothing like the real home. (but at least the listing agent got buyers walking through the house).

It all came down to the listing pictures they saw online. That’s essential marketing for listings! Give buyers a great picture and they’ll jump inside the house that day. Give them a „do-it-yourself“ picture and they’ll move onto the next home. The listing pictures make the difference, especially when you spend a few bucks on professional real estate photography!

Even when the listing pictures were better than the actual house, guess what? It still got the buyers inside! That’s your goal as a listing agent; get as many showings as possible. Professional real estate photography makes that happen.

With upwards of 80%+ of buyers looking online now, the listing photos are the first thing they’re looking at and basing their initial impressions on.

How much money in lost commissions do you think you’re missing because you won’t spend a couple hundred bucks for professional real estate photography?

If you did spend the well invested marketing dollars on some professional real estate photography…….

  1. You could have more satisfied clients because the home sold faster.
  2. You could have made more cash because you didn’t have to drop the sales price when the listing became stale on the market.
  3. You could look like a top producer in the area because of the quicker sales, better looking listings and more satisfied clients. Your overall image is enhanced, big time!

Isn’t it funny how such a small aspect of your business can affect the whole thing? Anytime you realize how one issue affects your net profits, that’ll make you perk up, right?

Now don’t give me the excuse that it’s too expensive because it’s not. Look at it as a marketing and advertising expense because that’s exactly what it is. And real estate photography is one of the best things you can spend your marketing dollars on.

You have a couple options……..

You could grab a professional in real estate photography in your local area and offer them $50-$200 to come to your listing and take some fabulous photos. Make sure they’re top notch, have all the right equipment and understand the goal of these photos. You don’t want to pay for real estate photography that’s no better than your own.

Your other option is to go with a company like Vicaso.com who does real estate photography exclusively. Their business is listing photos for real estate agents!

You can schedule your photo shoot on their website, pay about $200 or so and get the most captivating listing photos you’ll ever see. Even if you have a crack house listed for sale, their real estate photography will make it look like a palace.

I’m telling you; don’t skimp on your real estate photography. Look at the cost as an investment. If you spent $200 on professional real estate photography and got back another $20,000 in commissions that year from faster sales, more clients, and higher listing prices, wouldn’t that be worth it? You betcha!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Notes For Sale

Over the past few years, more and more people in the United States have been offering real estate notes for sale. Selling real estate is an easy way to turn one’s monthly receivable payment into an immediate and large sum of cash. A real estate note for sale can be a mortgage note, a contract for sale or a land contract.

The best way to find real estate notes for sale is to look for real estate note listings. Several websites provide information on real estate notes for sale. They usually list real estate notes from different states. These websites also provide information on various categories of real estate notes. You can approach real estate note brokers who generally have up-to-date information on the real estate note market. They can also simplify the process of transaction. Local newspapers and magazines are other places to look for real estate notes for sale. Real estate investment clubs are a good forum to discuss matters related to real estate notes.

Competition in this field is very high. Earlier, it was easy to buy real estate notes for huge margins of profit. With several financial institutions and companies hunting for real estate notes, individual buyers often find it hard to buy and sell real estate notes. Most real estate note sellers do not sell their entire lot of real estate notes at once. This can place individual buyers in certain tricky situations. Generally, real estate notes sold partially would not generate immediate income. It is better you go for professional help, as the transaction can sometimes be confusing.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Buying a Property in Romania – Real Estate Law in Romania

If you are looking to buy a holiday or second home or invest in Romania, Transylvania or at the Black Sea and you are a foreign citizen/investor, there are few aspects you should know about the procedure an the costs for the acquisition of Romanian land or Romanian houses.

After 2012, foreign citizens EU citizens (non-Romanian) may purchase a home or apartment in Romania may freely buy and sell any Romanian property, without restrictions. Along with the sell price for the property, buying real estate in Romania has other costs associated with it.

If you have chosen to collaborate with a Romanian real estate agent/ broker you can expect to have an additional commission of approximately 2-4% of the price of the property. The local tax will be 2-4% of the price of the property. The signing of a contract must be witnessed by a public notary who submits it for certification by the Land Registry in charge of real estate records. The fees for the Romanian public notary is about 0.5-1% of the purchase price. You will also have to pay fees to the Land Registry („Cartea Funciara“) to register the Transfer Deed. The Romanian Land Registry Fee for a purchase of a property will vary from 1-3% according to the length of time that the seller had owned the property and the property’s value.

The Romanian law on property states that Citizens of EU member states, legal persons incorporated in the EU member states and stateless people domiciled in an EU member state can purchase land in Romania only if the land is used for secondary residences or for secondary headquarters after a 5 (five) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU (starting with January 1st, 2012); only for the agricultural land and forest land 7 (seven) years term from the accession of Romania to the EU ( starting with January 1st, 2014).

But for the Citizens, legal persons and stateless people not from a EU member state, the Romanian legal system establishes that they can purchase land in Romania, under the conditions of international treaties between Romania and the states of origin on these persons, under a reciprocity basis.

In our point of view, a prudent investor will hire a Romanian lawyer/ a Romanian Law Office, who will liaise closely with the notary on the verification of the title, obtaining the Land Registry excerpt and the drafting of the agreement for the transfer of ownership of the real estate. This means that the Romanian lawyer will be solely acting for and is responsible to his or her client, whereas the notary will not have the same degree of responsibility to the purchaser.

Under Romanian law there are three basic rights to land and buildings such as right of ownership; usage rights as lease, usufruct, superficies; concession right. The principle of contractual liberty represents the key core of the property law in Romania.

Sometimes, an investor/purchaser can opt for closing a pre-sale agreement, by which the seller undertakes to transfer ownership to the buyer at a certain date in exchange for an agreed consideration. The content of the pre-sale contract will stipulate all commercial and legal conditions for the transfer of ownership, as conditions precedent to the final transfer of ownership. The closing of such pre-contract for purchase does not means the transfer over the property, but the stipulate binding obligations for the parties, in regard to, as example, damages or penalties set out in them, if the seller refuses to sign the final notarized deed of transfer at the agreed deadline.

The closing of the pre-sale agreement is to protect the investor/buyer from any possible purchase to other buyers and to matters regarding the fixed price and duration of a future purchase. In our point of view, it is a must that the pre-sale agreement to be concluded at a Public Notary and clearly stipulate the sale price and other clauses regarding duration of future purchase. In this case, it can be enforced in court on the buyer’s request as a deed to transfer ownership.

A sale agreement signed in Romania, according to the Romanian legislation will mandatory stipulate: obligations of the parties for the fulfillment of the sale contract, delivery and quality conditions of goods and/or services, terms, payment methods and payment guarantees, payment instruments and price insurance, contractual risk, as well as method of solving eventual litigations arising from the contract. Other required elements include the full name and identification details of the parties (for legal entities) and name of the person signing the contract (representing a legal entity).

Our team of romanian lawyers offer a wide variety of legal services in the real estate law http://www.lawyersinromania.com

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Staging Your Home for Sale – The Magic Move to Sell it Quicker

I was hanging out with a few people at a wedding recently and the conversation turned to

today’s real estate market.

One of my friends, John, from a town near San Jose, CA told a fascinating, yet familiar,

story. I thought I would share it with all of you.

John and his wife, Liz, decided to sell their home. They bought the house in 2004, saw it

increase in value, and this summer decided to sell it. They interviewed four different

agents to sell their home and finally decided on the one who agreed to sell their home for

what they wanted to sell it for.

They believed the home was worth $625,000. The first three agents who came in to

interview for the listing told them the house would never sell at that price and that they

should consider listing it below $600,000. They all felt $589,000-$599,000 was the

„magic“ number.

John is a commercial real estate broker. He knew that his asking price was high but he

was in no hurry to sell. He also didn’t like the fact these three agents weren’t offering

any „solutions“ they were only discussing the „problems“ he would face at the higher

price.

These agents told John and Liz about the current market conditions for their area. If

their home sold, it would likely take up to 120 days. There was a 55% chance that the

home wouldn’t sell at all during these four months. Based on what they wanted for their

home, they needed to be prepared for this. The agents told them they needed to consider

lowering the price.

John and Liz talked very seriously about lowering their price. Then they met a fourth

agent named Lynette.

Lynette came in and presented her case. It really wasn’t much different than the rest.

She also told them about days on the market and the chances of selling their home. She

also suggested they may be priced a bit high but then she offered an option.

„Let’s stage your home using a professional home staging company,“ Lynette suggested.

„This is going to cost you about $4000. We will list the home at the $625,000 you want

but to offset some of this expense, when I sell your home, I will split this expense with

you.“

Whereas real estate professionals, like Lynette, are highly skilled in marketing, selling

and closing your home, home stagers are designers. They are artists who prepare your

home for resale.

Home stagers work with the „flow“ of your home. They will remove and re-arrange

furniture. They will eliminate clutter. They may even add pictures, bedspreads, paint,

art, rugs and other items to make it more appealing. They may even assist in enhancing

curb-appeal.

Their goal is to make an incredible first impression on potential homebuyers the moment

they pull in front of your home.

Lynette explained that although the décor of the house was very nice and contemporary,

the home was cluttered because of their three young boys and busy lifestyle. The home

didn’t feel as large as it was because it was packed with too many items to display it

properly. The home was „too personal,“ she told them. They had picture of the boys

all over the house from birth to last year’s soccer playoffs.

She told them that they needed to compete with new home builders who are offering

buyers the most incredible purchase incentives. She said that when you walk into the

model homes of the builder you are „blown away.“

„THAT is your competition,“ Lynette said. „You need to blow away the people who

walk into your home too.“ She also explained that the last few clients who hired her

home staging company sold their home in less than 60 days and didn’t discount their

asking price.

John and Liz were not crazy about spending $4000, and certainly not thrilled about taking

down pictures of their beloved family, but they were encouraged by Lynette’s creative

idea. At the end of the day, what they really cared about was selling this home, so they

did it.

John said the home staging company came in and made the house seem like a „hotel.“

„They took out way more things than they put in, but it did look better, like a nice bed

and breakfast hotel,“ he said. „It almost made me want to stay there,“ he joked.

It worked. Their house sold in three weeks….at the $625,000 list price. Lynette did an

amazing job from start to finish!!

Just this month, I sold my very own investment house that was staged in 11 days. There

were three like models listed in the subdivision at the same time. Mine was the highest

priced. My incredibly talented real estate agent did an amazing job too but I truly

believe staging was a real key as well. I did take a small loss on this home. However a

sale in 11 days is no small accomplishment in today’s market.

Experts say that if you are hiring a professional staging company, plan on spending

between $2000-$5000 based on the size and condition of the home. If you just want

consultation, plan on $100 or so per hour.

Experts, like StagedHomes.com, say that a staged home sells in half the time as a similar

home that is not staged and that a staged home sells for 7-10% higher.

Coldwell Banker tracked nearly 3,000 properties, ranging in price from $229,000 to $4.8

million, in eight major U.S. cities.

During this time, they determined the average home was on the market for nearly 31

days, the typical staged home sold in less than 14 days.

The average home sold for 1.6% over the seller’s asking price. The staged homes, in the

Coldwell Banker study, over the same time, went for a 6.3% more.

This means, if the average home price is $300,000, you can expect the average staged

home to sell for $318,000-$330,000. Obviously, this makes the $2000-$5000 investment

a no-brainer.

Inventory is at an all-time high in many areas. The National Association of Realtors

recently reported the biggest drop in home prices since the trade group began compiling

price data in 1968. Many experts are now saying housing prices will continue to decline

though 2007.

So do you take your home off the market until 2008, and hope it gets better, with the

possibility it gets even worse, or do you separate yourself from the competition and do

what it takes to give your home the very best chance it has to sell today?

We are in a slower real estate market, however the people who are most committed to selling their

home will likely still be successful. When you are selling real estate it’s no different

than selling any other product. You have to market to find a capable buyer and then you

have to impress him.

Your real estate professional will market the property to bring the buyers but the product

and how it’s displayed will determine if it sells and at what price. This is where the

professional home stager comes in.

OK, so you want to give Home Staging a try? Here’s how.

There are many websites out there. Just type „professional home staging“ into your

favorite search engine like Google, Yahoo!, or MSN and you can start looking for the one

that best fits you.

If you want to try doing it yourself, take these tips from professional home stagers like

StagedHomes.com and others:

HOW TO „STAGE“ YOUR HOME YOURSELF

MAKE AN AWESOME FIRST IMPRESSION

Look at your house like you will look at the homes you want to buy next.

Prospective buyers make up their minds about your house even before they get out

of the car.

This is your chance to WOW them. Clean up the yard; rake the leaves and sweep

driveways and porches.

Get out the rags and cleanser and spend 30 minutes scouring your front door,

porch, railings and steps.

Make sure all of all your trash cans, recycling cans, other bins, discarded wood

scraps, extra building materials, etc., are in the garage.

Check gutters for roof moss and dry rot. Make sure they are swept and cleaned.

Look at all plants. Prune your bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking

windows.

Weed and then mulch all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized.

Remove dead plants or shrubs.

Clear patios or decks of all small items such as small planters, flower pots, charcoal,

barbecues, and toys. Box them away and store them.

Check the paint condition of the house, especially the front door and trim.

UNCLUTTER YOUR HOUSE

Empty your closets to a minimum, clear out the cupboards, and get rid of the small

appliances. Take books off the shelves, get rid of all of the magazines, the CDs,

video games, and DVDs, and lose the kid’s toys. Minimize it all.

Rent a storage unit or box what you want to keep and toss the rest.

Now is the time to say goodbye to your house and your stuff and transition. Your

life may be a bit uncomfortable during this time but you are now in the business of

selling your home.

GET RID OF THAT FURNITURE

An easy way to „unclutter“ and create a much greater sense of space is to get rid of

some furniture.

Consider moving your sofa, extra chairs, and end tables into storage so you can

make the home feel like it is larger and has much more space.

If your furniture is old, you may want to pack it away and rent a few more

contemporary pieces.

The goal is to sell your home, not display your old furniture.

MAKE YOUR HOME „THEIR“ HOME

The goal here is to get the potential buyer to imagine that he is living in your house.

If he feels like an intruder during his tour, your chances of selling the house are less.

That means put away anything connected to your family or personal interests. Like

trophies, family vacation photos, and personal mementos. Box it all away!

Clear refrigerator fronts of all messages, magnets, pictures, reminders, etc.

Stagers say the bathroom is a crucial place to pay close attention too. Shampoo

bottles in the shower and toothbrushes near the sink make it very hard for the

buyer to picture himself there. Box it away during the day and bring it out at night

for your use.

Keep the towels to minimum as well. Think „neat hotel bathroom“ on the day you

checked in.

MAKE THAT HOUSE AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE

If your house is clean, the buyer tends to believe everything else is great with the

house as well. This means clean everything! The mirrors, walls, floors, carpets,

drapes, bathrooms, kitchen, and even door handles, light fixtures and pantry

cupboards.

If you hate cleaning, bring in a professional maid service regularly while your home

is listed and get someone in to do the windows, driveway and walkways. Remember,

it costs money to make money.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL HANDYMAN

As I mentioned, I recently sold an investment property of mine that was staged in 11

days. I staged it myself by following all of the items listed here.

The day before my agent officially placed my home in MLS and started contacting

all of his previous clients, I called a handyman to come out and fix a few things.

I had a missing face plate for a light switch. I had some mold around one of the

toilets. One of the sinks had a broken drain valve. The door leading out to the

garage was dinged up a bit and needed a coat of paint. This was less than $100

worth of work. Many sellers would simply have ignored these items, offered the

buyer a blanket repair credit, and said „get it fixed yourself when you move in.“

Because of my research on this topic, I knew better and made an appointment to get

the handyman out to fix it. He was busy so he committed to come in a week.

However, my home went on the market the next day.

Two days later, five days before the handyman came; the eventual buyer of my

home toured my house. He came back a week later, after the handyman had been

there, and bought it. When I finally met the buyer at the final walk-through, I

asked him whey he didn’t make the offer the first time through.

He told me the missing face plate on the light switch and the dinged up garage door

really bugged him. When he came back and it was fixed, he was impressed and

knew I cared about the home.

A $3 item from Home Depot and a simple coat of cheap grade white paint almost

cost me the sale of my home.

Don’t wait! Fix those minor problems today!

COLOR UP THAT HOUSE WITH PAINT AND CARE

A fresh coat of paint in key areas of your home really makes a big difference. If

your home feels „special“ like you care, that will translate to buyers. Experts say

flowers in the entry or near the front door make your home feel more special, warm

and inviting.

FACE IT, YOUR HOUSE STINKS…MAKE IT SMELL BETTER

Stagers say that people don’t realize it but many of their homes simply stink. They

stink from pets or just everyday family use. The easiest way to overcome this is to

keep your windows open for 10 minutes a day.

This strategy works better than deodorizers, says Barb Schwarz, president of

StagedHomes.com, since a lot of people have allergies to artificial room fresheners.

The oldest trick of all? Leave chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. The smell

helps buyers bond with your home.

MAKE YOUR HOME BRIGHTER AND MORE ALIVE

When things are lighter they feel more vibrant and alive. Dark is depressing. You

don’t want the buyer feeling depressed walking through your home.

Staging experts say clean windows let in as much as 30% more light than dirty ones.

Get them cleaned.

Clean the shades on your light fixtures and add floor lamps if an area seems dim.

Get rid of those energy-saving 60-watt bulbs and go with higher wattage lights for

maximum illumination.

When it comes time to show your home, make sure all the lights are on.

GET HOMEY AND CREATIVE

Flowers, plants, candles, expressive art are all items that are not overly personal

that give a good vibe to the buyer walking through your home. Show these off or go

buy some to add that touch.

You want your home to feel like a model home you see at a new house tract or,

better yet, a comfortable hotel lobby.

For real estate agents, in my opinion, this is a great tool to separate yourself from your

competition in trying to get a listing and sell the home. I think it’s a good idea to take a

few home staging classes or have a professional home stager as part of your team as an

option to present sellers.

StagedHomes.com offers two-day home staging workshops for real estate agents.

For homeowners with a lot of equity, I think hiring a professional stager is a tremendous

idea as well.

If you don’t have as much room financially and the costs of hiring a professional stager

seem preventative, you may want to try the „do-it-yourself“ ideas listed above first.

If those still don’t work, but you notice the feedback is more positive, you may want to

then consider hiring a home staging professional.

From all indications, and I can tell you first-hand, the price of staging your home is small

compared to the benefits you can realize.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Why To CHOOSE A Specific Real Estate Agent?

Although, there are hundreds – of – thousands, of licensed real estate salespersons, in this country, only, a very small percentage of them, are responsible for the vast majority of the transactions/ deals, and, there is a significant difference, on many levels, between individuals, and how they perform the duties of an agent. Since, for most people, the value of their house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to carefully, CHOOSE the person, you hire, to serve and represent, your best interests? With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Character; creative; Competitive Market Analysis (CMA); cooperate: Seek someone, with the quality character, which benefits, and serves your best interests! Choose someone, with the combination of knowledge, creativity, and open – mindedness, combined with a willingness to cooperate, with all parties involved! When, selecting a Listing Agent, carefully, inspect, the quality, thoroughness, and professionalism, of their Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), and how he explains it, in terms of suggesting your listing price, and your options, etc.

2. Humane; helps; homes: Many homeowners struggle, with their decision to sell their homes, because of their emotional attachment, and, memories! It’s important for an agent, to proceed, with the humane actions, which helps one, put things into perspective, and make essential decisions, etc.

3. Options; opts; opportunities; optimal: It’s important to carefully, review, a variety of options and alternatives, and opt – for, the best strategic plan, moving – forward! Take advantage of the finest opportunities, in order to provide the optimal service, and representation!

4. Open – minded; Open Houses; organized: There is no such thing, as, one – size – fits – all, when it comes to choosing the finest agent, to represent you! You benefit, when one proceeds, in an open – minded, manner, and, in a well – considered, organized manner! It’s important to thoroughly, consider, examine, and identify, whether the marketing and selling of your home, would benefit, by holding, Open Houses.

5. System; strengths; solutions; service/ serve: Seek someone, who explains, thoroughly, his system and reasoning, and how he might, effectively, emphasize your home’s strengths, while addressing areas of weakness! Professional service means providing viable solutions, emphasizing, serving your best interests!

6. Empathy; excellence; endurance; efforts: Clients benefit, when they choose an agent, with the utmost degree of genuine empathy, which combines, real excellence, and the endurance, to maintain his professional efforts, throughout the process!

When you CHOOSE the real estate agent, to hire, and represent/ serve you. do so, carefully, and thoroughly! Making the wisest, possible decision. benefits you!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Durch die weitere Nutzung der Seite stimmst du der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Wenn Sie nach unten scrollen, gilt dies auch als Zustimmung. Weitere Informationen

Die Cookie-Einstellungen auf dieser Website sind auf \"Cookies zulassen\" eingestellt, um das beste Surferlebnis zu ermöglichen. Wenn du diese Website ohne Änderung der Cookie-Einstellungen verwendest oder auf \"Akzeptieren\" klickst, erklärst du sich damit einverstanden.

Schließen