Sell Your Own Home Tips

Home values these past sixty years has steadily risen. Everyone (even those who should have known better) believed that the rise would continue forever and the entire realty industry was established upon that concept. So, the worst takes place after hyper-inflation of house values starts to tank. That bursting of the real estate bubble has caused a re-evaluation how one is to interact or should work with the real estate industry.

Sell Your Own Home Without Agents
Realtors make a lot of sense when home values are steadily increasing. Surrendering six percent commission to real estate agents was not an issue when someone was likely to make a significant profit on their property sale. However, we live in sadder, poorer time, a real estate agent becomes an issue as many people may actually be selling their home at a lost.

Sell Your Own Home Legal Assistance
Realize that title companies and escrow companies will be providing a massive amount of assistance in selling your own home. Even so, for legal paperwork inquire at a form and contract provider like We The People for a retailer or LegalZoom for someone online. A free source of information to answer basic questions if used sparingly and politely is a title company. Should more unique issues arise, seek legal help from real estate attorneys. Many will have flat rates for those doing a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).

Sell Your Own Home Marketing
Put the advertisements of the house on every free Internet classified service you are able to discover. Web sites such as Craigslist, USFreeads, and Backpage, do not overlook national services as they may provide you with an investor looking at your area. Position signage about the property, thus notifying every passerby that the home is purchasable. Advertise in newspaper publishers like the Penny Saver or Thrifty Nickel, they will be more inexpensive than the general, local papers. Lastly, construct a list of a hundred people you are able to contact who may come across other people who are looking to buy a home. Your hairdresser, insurance broker, instructors, pastors, everybody who is continually in contact with or in front of people, make sure they know you’re selling a home.

8 Key Real Estate Photography Tips Tricks

Equipment – What Other Equipment Should I Use?

TIP 1 – Lenses – Good glass can make a big difference in how your photos appear and appeal. If you are in the market for a new lens for your digital SLR, then look for a good quality, wide-angle lens that can, ideally, zoom down to a 10-12 mm focal length. You don’t necessarily have to opt for major brand name (e.g. Canon or Nikon) lenses. If you want to save money, there are some fine lenses made by Tokina and Sigma (to name a few). I have used both and can vouch for them. Use the wide-angle lens for all of your indoor shots. Consider a longer zoom lens for outdoor photos (especially for view shots or shots of the home taken from a distance). Something that will zoom at least to 200mm would suffice. I actually use 2 cameras with a wide-angle and a longer zoom lens permanently mounted so I don’t have to change lenses (which can introduce dust and take extra time).

TIP 2 – Flash – Sometimes the onboard flash is sufficient for supplemental lighting, and with point-and-shoot cameras, you may not have an option for mounting an external flash. If your camera does have a hot shoe, consider an electronic flash that will tilt and swivel. They do cost a bit more, but having the flexibility to angle the flash at a 45 degree angle, for example, will give you some bounce off the ceiling and soften the harsh shadows that can appear as a result of a direct flash. Additionally, adding a flash diffuser will broaden the flash and reduce the effect of photos showing a very bright center with weaker lighting on the sides.

TIP 3 – Tripod – A good, sturdy tripod is a must, especially for indoor photos where you will be using slower shutter speeds. It will support and steady your camera. Some tripods have a built in level. I prefer using a ball head on my tripod. There are heads available with built in levels. You could also purchase a small level that slides into the hot shoe of your camera. It would be OK for outdoors, but not recommended for indoors since you would not be able to mount an external flash.

Camera Settings – What Should My Camera Settings Be?

TIP 4 – Mode – Shoot in Aperture priority mode. Automatic is not recommended. With this setting, your camera will determine the proper shutter speed for you. Manual mode gives you full control, but until you are well versed in all of the features of your camera, stick with Aperture priority.

TIP 5 – White Balance – Auto white balance is usually fine. If you notice a yellow cast to your photos, try switching to an incandescent setting. If you notice a green cast under older fluorescent bulbs, change to a fluorescent setting. Sometimes you have to experiment with this until you get the desired look to your photos. Do keep an eye on the photos as you shoot, since you may need to change white balance from time to time.

TIP 6 – Aperture (F-Stop) – You will usually want to have a good depth-of-field for real estate photos (focus is sharp both close up and far away), so a higher number F-stop will give you that. F5.6, through F8 will usually be fine for most applications. Note that the higher the number, the lower the amount of light being let in which will, in turn, slow down your shutter speed. Again, indoors, a tripod is essential unless you have a rock-steady hand. Outdoors during daytime, you can get away with hand-held and higher (F11 say) F-Stop. If you don’t want to mess with it, generally, you can set your aperture at F7.1 or F8 and leave it there.

Preparation – What Can be Done to Get Ready for a Photo Shoot?

TIP 7 – Determine the best time of day for shooting. Getting a great front shot of the home is usually very important since this is often the photo that will start your MLS slide show or appear in print ads. If possible, you want to have the sun behind you for a shot of the home’s fa├žade. Shoot east facing homes late morning, west-facing homes early afternoon. South facing homes can be shot most any time, but close to mid-day will give you fewer long shadows. North facing homes are the bigger challenge and should be shot either early morning or late afternoon so the sun is not directly over the home. Dusk, or after-sunset, is a great time to shoot since the sun doesn’t affect the photos. But they can be tricky since you have very little time to do your photo session. I’ll talk about dusk photo shoots in another article.

TIP 8 – Do a walk-through before starting your shoot. Make sure each area (indoor and outdoor) is “photo ready”. If there is anything that needs to be cleaned up or removed, ask the homeowner to do that while you go on to other areas. Adjust blinds if any glaring sunlight is showing through (or a messy neighboring yard) and turn on all lights as you go. Put toilet seats down and close closet doors. Make sure all vehicles are away from the property and not showing in any of the windows.

Purchasing Commercial Real Estate – A Few Tips

Recent reports from a private real estate analyst called Real Capital Analytics indicate that region of South Florida actually ranks number 15 worldwide when it comes to the level of commercial real estate deals with regard to global property market transactions. This report is actually one of the first ones that have been done with regards to transactions around major metropolitan areas not just in the United States but also in the whole world.

The report has actually tracked global statistics and figures that totals to 1.04 billion US dollars in the field of office, industrial, retail, hotel, apartment and land sales in the year of 2007 alone. Furthermore, there are also information that indicates that more than 1 billion US dollars worth of transactions have been done for commercial property in 114 metropolitan areas in the same year.

With such good reports and astonishing figures, anyone can rightly assume that the Florida commercial real estate is something that countless numbers of investors are setting sights on because of its undeniable profitability. As a proof of this, the reports likewise indicate that foreign investments continue to grow in the most part of the state. Some observers in the Florida commercial real estate market even concludes that as time passes, it will become more and more profitable for people to invest in it. The favorable reports that the state continues to get and enjoy is a good indication that whatever place around the state you choose, you would still be getting back your investment in no time at all, as long as you know how to handle your business well since there is always a ready market for you if the business is really something hat people in Florida will either want or need.

If you are someone who is thinking about purchasing a Florida commercial real estate then be assured that the strategic location and the large number of residents and tourists in the place can expose your business in the local and international market. As more and more people get drawn to the many sights and attractions that the state has, they will then notice your business and you will have a ready market for those products or services that you hope to sell. Needless to say, there really is a big chance for you to earn big and earn quick if you will purchase a Florida commercial real estate because a lot of other business owners have already done that in the past.

On the other hand, if you are someone who is interested to be a Florida commercial real estate professional, then that could help you gain profits well too. Just get in touch with other people who are also involved in the same industry so you could get ideas what are the things that you should know and do so you could succeed in the market as well. In most cases, these professionals are very willing and eager to assist those who are only starting out in the filed.

7 Tips to Know Before You Buy an Apartment

The process of purchasing an apartment is more complicated than that of purchasing a house. This is because you don’t purchase the land right away. If you are going to buy an apartment for the first time, we suggest that you follow the 7 tips given below. Read on to find out more.

1. Freehold and leasehold

First, you should understand the difference between leasehold and freehold. In case of a freehold property, the buyer owns the land and the home. On the other hand, a leasehold is the property that you pay for to occupy, but you share the property with other people.

For instance, flats are leased as they are made in a building that’s shared with hundreds of other people. In fact, this is one of the most obvious differences between a leasehold property and a freehold one.

2. Lease period

In case of leasehold, the buyer buys the right to live in the said property for a specific period. This period can be up to 999 years long. With the passage of time, this value comes down. Therefore, it’s important that you find out the time remaining on the lease. You can ask your real estate agent to find out this information for you.

3. Service charges

You should find out about the ground rent and other service charges you need to pay for the apartment. Plus, you should find out about who will be responsible for the communal area repairs. This will help you set your budget properly.

4. Alterations

Can you make changes to the property? If so, are there any restrictions to follow? The restrictions can be either subtle or obvious. If you have major plans to make alterations to the flat, you may want to contact your lawyer.

5. Major repairs

The service charges may include general maintenance as well. However, it may not cover major repairs like roof repairs. For large repairs, make sure you know the person who will pay for them. This is quite important, especially if you have a limited budget for repairs and other tasks of this sort. Keep in mind that major repairs will cost a great deal of money.

6. Restrictions

Make sure you know if you can keep pets in your apartment or not. Some apartment buildings don’t allow any type of pets. Similarly, some apartments don’t allow to play music after, say, 12pm. Therefore, you should ask your real estate agent about the restrictions you have to follow.

7. Assistance

After you have bought your apartment, make sure you know who will come to your help when you are in need. You can contact the lease advisory service of government to find out information about landlords and tenants.

In short, if you are going to buy an apartment, we suggest that you check out these tips. With these tips in mind, it will be much easier for you to make the right choice and avoid some common mistakes. Hopefully, this can help you go through the process more easily.

Helpful Tips For Better Real Estate Management

Managing rental properties can be a tedious process sometimes landing you into legal issues. As a property manager or owner, you should think about preventing problems even before they occur to have an easier time maintaining order. Apart from making your tenants feel worthy, you should also find ways of making the management process easy for you especially when handling large properties or multiple properties. When you are organized in how you handle your property, it becomes easier to keep everything in check and a few tips can help you put in the best measures into the management process.

Tip 1 – Get a professional property manager

If you are a property owner with little knowledge of how to go about management, you should consider getting a professional property manager to ease out the process for you. Professional managers with some knowledge and experience in the real estate industry will know exactly how to go about the process and find organizational solutions to ease everything out. When there is a manager in place, you will feel more at peace and have fewer issues to deal with.

Tip 2 – Embrace technology

There are very effective real estate management solutions available thanks to technological advancements. Real estate management software is among the best solutions you can find to make the process easy and organized. Such a solution can improve communications and payments and data maintenance for the property. With the right system you will have an easy time collecting, returning and holding security deposits, as well as inspecting and documenting rental unit conditions before move-outs. There is just so much you can do with real estate management software to streamline processes so look for the best solution.

Tip 3 – Handle tenants appropriately

First of all you should consider screening tenants before allowing them into your property. It is a simple way of keeping troublesome characters off your property. It is also important that you put tenant landlord agreement in writing to keep things clear and ensure that you treat all tenants equally and without any discrimination. Discriminating prospective tenants based on sex, race, origin, disability or even familial status can land you into trouble. It is also important to respect their personal privacy even if the property is yours by notifying them prior to entering their rental units. Handling tenants appropriately will save you from a lot of trouble especially legally.

Tip 4 – Keep the property in top shape

Regular inspections are very important so you can make any improvements and changes where need be. Recklessness on your part leading to safety and security issues can lead to hefty losses in terms of compensations. You should therefore make a point of making prompt repairs and consider having a security system in place to give your tenants the sense of security they deserve as well as ensure that their safety is not compromised in any way.

Tip 5 – Oversee managers

They should be competent enough to keep your property in check. It is therefore important that as a landlord you choose and supervise property managers. Background checks and clearly spelling out their duties will prevent issues cropping out later.

Six Top Tips For Identifying 1031 Exchange Replacement Property

There is no argument that the IRS is quite strict when it comes to applying the rules governing 1031 exchanges. Every year, hundreds of proposed exchanges fail because the investor fails to meet one of the requirements set forth in the code.

One of the biggest areas where mistakes are made? Identifying the replacement property.

To make sure you don’t make a misstep here and jeopardize your next exchange, we offer our top tips for identification. When you understand all the requirements of identifying replacement property, you are far less likely to jeopardize your planned exchange.

3 Property Rule – There are different rules that set forth how many possible replacement properties may be identified by an investor, but most follow this rule. It allows an investor to identify up to three replacement properties and eventually acquire, one, two or all three of them.

200% Rule – An investor can identify more than three possible replacement properties so long as the total fair market value of all those properties identified does not exceed 200% of the fair market value of the relinquished property.

95% Rule – Not commonly used, this allows investors to identify more than three replacement properties with a total value greater than 200% of the FMV of the relinquished property, so long as the investor acquires at least 95% of the value of the identified properties.

Manner Of Identification – This must be in writing and signed by the investor, and the property must be unambiguously described. This generally means identified by address or legal description. If the property is one where the investor is acquiring less than 100% interest, the percentage share of the acquisition must be identified, too.

Provide Information To The Right Person – The investor must provide the requisite identification information to either (a) the person obligated to transfer the replacement property to the investor, or (b) any other person “involved” in the exchange, such as the qualified intermediary, escrow agent or title company. However, the person receiving the information cannot be a disqualified person like the investor’s real estate agent or a family member. Generally, the qualified intermediary is the recipient of choice in an exchange.

Replacement Property Must Be The Same As What Was Identified – The investor must receive “substantially the same” property as he or she identified. While what the IRS considers “substantially the same” is a bit ambiguous, generally they draw the line at property that differs in basic nature or character.

Tips To Help You Achieve Success As A Real Estate Investor

If you are looking for a great way of building your net worth, investing in real estate is a great idea. You can make a lot of money if you do it the right way. However, if you don’t follow the right techniques, this venture can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, we have shared a few tips with you that can help you achieve success as a real estate investor.

Opt for a Good Location

Location is the first thing that people consider when they need to buy a residential, vocational or commercial properly. Ideally, the property you are going to buy should be near a workplace and school. Similarly, if it’s close to the marketplace, people can go there without burning a lot of gas or killing a lot of time. Therefore, it’s much better to choose a better location.

Upgrade or Renovate Your Property

It’s better that you upgrade your property features to make it more appealing. For instance, you may add home automation, such as automated lighting. The same is true about commercial real estate as well.

If you offer wheelchair lifts, for instance, it can make your property more useful for people with disabilities. This will attract many more buyers. Actually, it all depends upon how convenient your property is. If your property offers features that can help people make their lives easier, more people will show their interest in what you offer.

Improve Property Conditions

More buyers will contact you if your house or apartment is well maintained. However, make sure you don’t go beyond the limits. In other words, you may not want to spend an arm and a leg just to make your property more beautiful. It won’t increase the value of your property exponentially. Although it may be worth it in certain situations, spending too much is not a good idea.

Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you make your property well-maintained.

Kitchen: if you do it right, your kitchen can increase the value of your property by up to 80%. Therefore, if you renovate your kitchen by spending $15,000, you can sell your house at 80% higher price.

Plumbing: we all need clean running water. Keep in mind that rusty pipes pose a health hazard in addition to reducing the beauty of your house.

Landscaping: If you maintain your landscape properly, it can add ambience to your house or apartment. In addition, landscaping helps reduce your energy bills.

Do Your Research

Make sure you consider the type of people that you think will be suitable if you want to sell or rent your house. If you want to get the highest return on your investment, make sure you contact the right people. Otherwise, you won’t be able to earn a lot of profit or find good buyers. Opting for the right clients can help you find a great deal.

Conclusion

So, these are a few tips that you can follow if you want to get the most out of your investment. Hopefully, you will find these tips pretty helpful.

4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it’s because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it’s an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.

Do I Need A Real Estate Investing Course?

Taking a real estate investing course will introduce lots of helpful information needed in today’s market. Most investors find that their motivation and desire to succeed is all the help needed. However, there are some that may need additional guidance with their projects. The real goal is understanding the basics of real estate investing (REI). These basics are essential to being successful in this business.

For starters, here are a few things that an investors course will teach:

Negotiations: As you begin investing, you will find that negotiation is a major aspect of these investments. In terms of time, negotiation may seem like a small part of an extensive process, but the rewards resulting from negotiation can be quite financially rewarding. Learning to negotiate through courses will prove beneficial during your endeavors with investing.

Using Trusts: Trusts involve companies that channel real estate transactions with investors in a way that is more profitable. By using trusts, you can operate with less taxes while protecting your assets in the event of a dispute. If you are a new investor, trusts may seem like an undesirable and unnecessary investment tool, but the effective form of protection offered by this system can easily prove worthwhile.

Managing Your Real Estate Investment: Owning a real estate investment can be a financial burden, and can be a headache even more so if you are uninformed about how to manage your investment. When managing a property, you are essentially operating a home-based business. The overall nature of real estate investing requires investors to incorporate proper management techniques in order to be successful. REI courses provide a detailed outlook on management, an unrivaled perspective that can only be given from experts who have managed real properties.

How To Buy and Sell: REI courses will provide worthwhile education about buying and selling properties, such as information on financing your purchase or tips for finding the best deals. If you are a beginner, it will be difficult for you to access this information without the help of an experienced source. Since this stage is the first in finding good investments, it is important that you learn these tips about buying and selling before you actually get started.

General Tips & Information: There are many insignificant aspects of real estate investments that can actually be very important when conducting business. REI courses contain information that, while trivial, can be just as important to success in the long run. These courses serve as a source for information that is often times unobtainable elsewhere.

All in all, the resulting advantages of consulting with REI courses are countless. The knowledge you learn will advance your success both directly and indirectly, as each piece of information will help you to acquire useful techniques while simultaneously gaining valuable experience in investing. Investors of all calibers will find that REI investing courses are a more than worthwhile tool in your real estate business.

Generate Real Estate Leads Easily With These Tips

Generation of real estate leads has gone digital. With different lead generation tools and some mobile marketing apps, you might feel overwhelmed. So, how can you decide which tools to add to your strategy on lead generation to attract or nurture potential prospects?

Concentrate your core strategy on the basics to real estate marketing. Methods that are tried and true are ageless and should still part of your plan even if they are dressed up for the digital consumers.

Video

It’s absolutely worth investing in high quality professional videos to showcase yourself as a real estate agent. Buying a house is often the biggest purchase an individual will make in her or his lifetime and he or she likes to work with the one who has traits they trust like personality and authenticity. They’re also looking to see if you’re the agent they like to work with, so make sure to put your best face forward. Some agents create YouTube videos to show expertise and knowledge blended with their relatable and honest style. Videos may humanize an individual much more than the static site profile. Numerous realtors showcase the area’s beauty they specialize in on videos. Videos also bring a high ROI and have proven to be important marketing technique to generate leads.

Client Testimonials

You cannot beat a passionate, heartfelt statement from satisfied clients. Reviews and testimonials must definitely be part of your presence online. Video testimonials are a perfect so some potential sellers and buyers can resonate with that individual. If you do not have video capability, there are lots of ways to show your happy customers. Make a page on your social media or website to share testimonials and share them to bigger sites as well. Sellers and buyers will appreciate the customer’s honesty and have high probability to reach out.

Social Media

It is highly recommended to use social media. Facebook is one of the most dominant communication forms across the globe and the paid ad platforms are cost-effective way to generate some real estate leads. Use this when targeting your core demographic. Majority of marketers include Facebook strategies in marketing plans and you should also. It is a worthwhile, practical advertising investment that would pay off when generating some new leads. Although you do not spend money on the ads, you may still improve generation of leads on Facebook with the use of fresh content, engagement, and optimization.

Real Estate Lead Capture Forms

Majority of people used to look for homes for sale in a newspaper, yet now a lot of consumers start their home search over the internet. Having some forms on your site for lead generation is a good way to bring in the new business. It’s one of the best lead-generating strategies, yet never forget to ensure that your site is fresh and updated so people would keep visiting and you can boost your repeat traffic.

Blog

It can really improve your online presence and show your expertise as a real estate agent. Use this to communicate your grasp of everything related real estate consistently. Never forget to end your blog with effective call to action fill out the form for lead generation or make phone calls.