Tips to List Your Property Online

No doubt, listing property online is an easy thing to do, but it still needs some guidelines to perform the job perfectly. A little mistake in the listing may fail to bring your property into the limelight. And, advancement in the technological sector has increased the online real estate competition to a great extent. Every person feels easy in selling or buying property online which is leading to unlimited listings. So, you need to update your property intelligently to make it stand out. Here are a few tips that can help you sell or rent your listed property quickly.

Catchy Headline

The headline is the foremost thing that brings traffic on your listed asset. Make it short and crisp to catch maximum attention and make an impression on the visitors. It may include project or society name, area, price and the property features. Finding all these important points in the headline will insist the potential buyers, have a look and know more about your property. On the other hand, an incomplete or cluttered headline may leave your listing as a waste.

Uploading Photos and Videos

Nobody would take an interest in paying a physical visit to your house just through the description you have provided. However, to convert the listing into a successful deal you shall upload clear pictures of the property. And, if you want people to have a proper glance online, upload a video giving a complete overview of your house.

Give Appropriate Information

Exact information about your estate helps to catch the attention of potential buyers and renters. While, this information may include area, location, property’s age, surroundings, furnished/unfurnished or the additional features. Remember, to give to the point information. Adding irrelevant information may appear meaningless and distract the buyers.

Locate it Properly

Every buyer has some location choices. It may be due to the convenience in going to the office, school, or may be for anything. And, to make it easy for the customer find the location of their choice, you need to keep the location description up to the mark.

In addition, sometimes there are areas having any electricity or water related problems. And, if your area is away or at a distance from that location, do not miss on mentioning it. Simply, mention the particular sector, block or a landmark to make the customers identify the exact location.

Highlight Infra Facilities

People often pay a great attention to the infra facilities before making a purchase. So, do not forget to mention the infra facilities nearby your property. Mention distance from popular landmarks like malls, hospitals, bus stand or airport, etc.

Additionally, a little more description about the property like direction, outstanding features add an attention seeking factor to the house and increase the chances of getting sold or rented soon.

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

As a FSBO seller, you are responsible for handling all of the aspects of selling your home. So, how do you go about showing the property to interested buyers?

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

The huge advantage of selling your property for sale by owner is you save a ton of money on real estate agent commissions. At six percent a pop, the savings literally amount to tens of thousands of dollars. The potential downside is you actually have to do the work. One aspect where this is particularly true is when it comes time to show the property to interested buyers. Here are some tips to help you with the process.

First and foremost, it is important to time the showing. If you have multiple parties showing interest in the home, try to set a single time to show the home. The goal is to have them at the property at the same time. This creates the impression there is a lot of interest in the home. This impression will then motivate the buyers to make offers on your property.

A second tip is not to show your home on your own. As sad as it is, there are cranks and weirdoes out there. Make sure you have at least one other person with you when showing the property. If you need some help with this, mortgage brokers are often willing to come to showing. There goal is to snag one of the potential buyers as a mortgage client. Regardless, it gives you multiple people in the home and cuts down on any risk of something bad happening.

The third tip is to get your marketing brochures together. Buyers rarely look at just one home. You want to give them a brochure so they can remember and visual your home. The brochure should contain all the relevant information about your home including price, square footage, unique aspects, your contact information and pictures, pictures, pictures! Did I mention pictures?

Finally, make sure you have a guest book for potential buyers to sign. Ask for them to sign their names and provide a phone number. This will create a record for you of everyone that saw your home. It will also provide you with phone numbers so you can call them back if necessary.

Showing your home is a critical part of the real estate process. Follow these tips and it should go off without a hitch.

Property Management For Northern Virginia Real Estate – 10 Tips

Below are ten critical tips garnered from a property management company with over 15 years of experience in the Northern Virginia apartment leasing market. Of course, entire books have been written on the subject of property management, so think of the below as the start of your education as a property manager.

1) Research comparable rent prices. It is very important to do your due diligence when it comes to what price you’re going to advertise your property for. Price it too low and you’re going to lose out on extra rental income, too high and you might never schedule a showing of the property. Rent price is dependent on a number of factors including, the economy, whether people are buying versus renting, if local companies are hiring and moving people to the area, what current comparable listings you are competing with, and what prices have been obtained recently. For a list of comparable rent prices and average days on market it’s best to consult a local Realtor. In Northern Virginia be sure to research comps from NVAR’s metropolitan regional information system.

2) Clean and prep your rental property. First impressions can mean everything. If your rental property does not show well this can be devastating. You can be in the best area, across from a metro station, and with tons of companies hiring just around the corner, but if the walls are marked with crayon and you can’t pinpoint that certain smell (the not good one) then you’re likely not going to find a tenant. A reliable cleaning company in Northern Virginia is Maid Perfect.

3) List the property on the local MLS. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in many areas is going to be a solid source of leads for potential tenants. Real estate agents can list your property on the MLS and then the property is exposed to thousands of other agents who can show the property and find tenants for your unit. In Northern Virginia make sure your property is listed on MRIS.

4) Post your property on free listing websites. 70% or more potential tenants start their search for a rental on the internet. That being said, you want your listing to be posted on as many sites as possible. There are too many to list in this article, but a few Google searches will lead you to a ton of websites willing to host your listing and contact information free of charge. Use these sites to actively market your rental property. In Northern Virginia one of the key sites to be listed on is the Washington DC section of Craigslist.

5) Market your rental unit to local companies. One of the main reasons that people move is for a new job. Companies that are actively hiring are typically the largest source of new tenants in a given metropolitan area. Make best efforts to get in touch with the relocation departments of local companies so that they can actively source new hires to you. These new hires NEED to find a place to live and will be the best source for tenants that are ready to make a decision. In Northern VA, you can find a list of the largest businesses in your area by visiting Fairfax County’s government website.

6) Shoot a short video of the rental property. Pictures are nice, but video is better, especially when dealing with potential tenants that are relocating and can not see the property in person. You can use the video to qualify potential tenants for showings. Simply host the video on your favorite free video sharing site (YouTube, alo video, etc… ) and then point the potential tenant to the video to make sure they are interested in your unit. If they have further interest after the video showing, it might be worth setting up a showing in person. The average tenant looks at over 6 properties before they make a decision, so shooting this video can save you quite a bit of time when dealing with potential tenants that just want to take a look, but are not ready to make a decision. In Northern Virginia you will want to post your video to Fairfax TV.

7) Run a thorough credit check on the tenant. If we lived in a perfect world, everyone would pay their rent on time and there would be no evictions. The problem is we don’t live in a utopia. Have you tenant fill out a rental application which gives you permission to run a credit check on them. Make sure that you follow the latest FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) rules and regulations and get a FICO score for the potential tenant. This score will give you a good idea of whether the tenant is going to pay the rent on time, late, or not at all. A bad score usually means a tenant that will give you problems. It’s better to leave the place vacant than take the risk. In Northern Virginia the you should provide the tenant with the FCRA rules and regulations after running their credit. Legalities are often state specific. Please consult your state’s landlord tenant act before running credit or other background checks on potential tenants.

8) Obtain a rock solid lease agreement. The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and tenant. You want to obtain a fair lease agreement that protects you as the landlord. If things go well with the tenant, then you will probably never look at the lease again, however, at the first sign of trouble, this piece of paper is all you have to get you out of a bad situation. It may be worth having a leasing specialist or Realtor draft the lease for you, a lawyer might be too expensive, unless you have multiple properties and can reuse the same agreement. In Northern Virginia you’ll want to contact NVAR to obtain a rock solid lease.

9) Find a good contractor. When the plumbing goes out, or the HVAC does not work, who are you going to call? If you’re an expert in these areas then you have nothing to worry about… most of us aren’t. It’s a good idea to get to know an honest, reliable and timely plumber, electrician and general contractor. Timeliness is of supreme importance. Make sure to develop a good enough relationship with your contractor such that they take care of your tenants in a timely and professional manner. If the contractor isn’t contentious, it will hurt the relationship with your tenant. In Northern VA you can obtain a good list of contractors by going to the Washington DC section of ServiceMagic.

10) Consider using a Realtor, property manager or leasing specialist. Hiring the right help can make your life a lot easier. These folks will do all of the above and more for you. However, be sure to do your research. Not all property managers are created equal. Use someone local who has expertise in your community.

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.

Smooth Real Estate Transactions: 4 Tips to Consider When Selling or Buying a Commercial Property

No one would invest in a piece of commercial real estate without investigating it’s resale value, income generating potential, building structure, etc. However, there are a couple of things that seem to get overlooked, even by the savviest investors. Following are the four most overlooked items that you should consider when you are selling or buying a commercial property:

Has the building been unoccupied for more than 180 days?

Collier County has an established Land Development Code (LDC) that governs things like a building’s architectural standards, setbacks, landscape and parking requirements. These requirements vary based on the district where the property is located. The LDC is reviewed and updated twice a year and new projects are required to comply with the codes. Existing buildings are usually “grandfathered” in, however, there are certain times that a building is subject to review for compliance with the current land development code.

One reason a building is subject to review is if it is unoccupied for a period of more than 180 consecutive days. To bring newer buildings into compliance with the LDC may be as simple as revamping the landscaping with extra trees or buffer shrubs. However, with older buildings it can be very costly. A local businessman purchased an older building with the intention of using it as a warehouse-showroom. When he tried to get a permit for a renovation, he was informed that he would have to change the front facade of the building to include among other things, a 75% glass storefront. To bring this building into compliance, it would have meant serious structural changes that increased the renovation costs by tens of thousands of dollars. The project proved infeasible and the building was subsequently resold and developed.

Will the occupational license require a change of use for the building?

Another reason that would make the building subject to review for compliance with the land development code would be if there was a “change of use.” Change of use doesn’t necessarily mean a zoning change. It can mean going from a jewelry store to an office supply store, or a retail store to a restaurant. The reason for this review is to make certain that the new use is in compliance with the permitted uses of the specific zoning area. This review also ensures that there is adequate infrastructure (ie parking) to support the new use.

Will the building need alterations to the fire alarm or sprinkler system?

Another overlooked item is the fire safety system, which includes the fire alarm and fire sprinklers. By adding sprinklers or changing out a fire panel, you open the whole fire safety system up for review and it will have to be brought up to current code. Depending on the age of the building, this can include relocating the fire alarms on the wall; adding fire sprinkler heads; or replacing an entire control panel, which can add thousands of dollars to a project. If you are in doubt, get a consultation with a qualified general contractor or architect during your due diligence period.

Have you allotted enough TIME for planning and permitting?

Permitting is frequently the place where owners don’t allot enough time. According to the City of Naples Building Division, it typically takes three-four weeks for a permit application to be reviewed and a permit issued. However, if your permit application is rejected it can take another two-four weeks after your plans have been revised by the architect. According to the Collier County Building Department, it typically takes six weeks for a permit application to be reviewed and permitted. Depending on the complexity of the project and allowing for a couple of rejections, it is more realistic to plan on three to twelve months for a permit to be issued. A renovation might be three months and a building under 10,000sft might take six-nine months. Unfortunately, there are NO short cuts in getting through the permitting process.

With proper planning, your commercial real estate transaction can go smoothly and provide you with a profitable investment. If you have any questions about the process, it would be wise to consult with a reputable commercial general contractor and an architect.

Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of “right of ways” to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a “must have” trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for “family friendly” or “residential friendly” commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for “mover upper” homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces with combined commercial and residential areas. In particular, you can often get block grants to help with the financing on projects like this, and there are programs from HUD that can help out a great deal with “urban renovations”.

Another source to investigate is the demographics in your area. Look at the US Census figures (and local county figures) for median age, and median birth rate per capita. You want to invest in areas where the population is growing already. High skews in the ’40s and ’50s indicate that you’ve got a bunch of people who are going to retire soon, and retirees are highly prone to selling properties off. Places to watch carefully are most of the urban parts of California, and great swaths of the rural Midwest, where demographic trends have been changing entire towns since the 1950s as the country’s population has shifted to urban areas.

If there’s a local planning council, or urban development council, make it a point to get the minutes of all the meetings from the past year. The city council offices will have them on file as a matter of public record. Also try to get into the next range of meetings as an observer. Discuss with the city and county managers where they see housing and construction trends moving. What you’re looking for is real estate that will be desirable in two to three years; look at road planning atlases, and look for all the data you can find. Also look for real estate that will be scenic – lake front property is as close to a guaranteed bet as you can get in real estate investing, particularly if there’s a lake that’s at the “far end” of a development axis. Likewise, if there’s land that the city council is looking to acquire for parks, buying the adjacent lots now means you’ll be able to sell them later.

Lastly, talk to the professionals in your communities. Talk to architects who can tell you if they’re busy or not. Maintain professional contacts with engineers, bankers and attorneys. They will usually know about projects well before the general public. Also make a habit of reading the local newspaper’s business section. Often times, the first clue that a business may move in to your area is buried at the bottom of a column on page 8.

Using the guidelines suggested above will help you to find “sleeper” raw land properties. These “sleeper” properties are perfect for the buy low, sell high strategy used by successful commercial real estate investors.