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Best Ways to Get More Real Estate Clients

This is the perfect time of year to review your last year as a real estate agent.  While the weather is cold and the client’s aren’t coming out of the woodwork, you should be organizing your papers, planning new advertising strategies and finding new ways to increase your prospects.

I like to go through my social media sites and make sure all of my information is correct and freshened up.  This is also a great time to take a few classes and get them out of the way before the season really goes into high gear.

What I like to concentrate the most on is how to get more clients.  I do a lot of research on the internet, read books, get involved with different networking groups and talk with other realtors.

While doing some browsing on the internet, I found a few sites that I feel might be of value to you as an agent.  there are several things you can do to increase your client base.  I’m sure some of what you read will be information you have heard before.  I’m also sure that there will be some information that will come in handy.

Take a look through the links.  I hope this year brings you twice the success of the year before. 🙂

http://www.realestatesalesleads.net/marketing/39-ways-to-generate-new-real-estate-sales-leads/

http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-1700.html

http://realestate.about.com/od/marketingforrealestate/Marketing_for_the_Agent_Brokerage_and_Client_Properties.htm

http://neilschwartz.net/

If you are interested in buying or selling a home, you can contact Wendy McCance at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in advice, business, career, how to

 

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What you Need to Know if you Decide to Rent out your Home

The economy has changed the way people are handling their homes.  Most specifically, many people have not been able to sell due to an upside down mortgage so they rent out their home and wait it out.  People often decide to rent out their home until they have enough equity in the home to sell.

In general this can be a great way of making sure you have money coming in and aren’t at risk of losing your home.  It seems like every other person these days is renting out their home and honestly, rental homes are in huge demand these days due to people having poor credit or not enough money to buy a home.

An ideal situation is when you can get a tenant who would like to sign a rent to own deal.  You are renting the home out, but the possibility of those same people buying your home after a certain length of time increases due to the lease you put together.  If the renters decide not to buy, you get an amount of money that is non-refundable because the renters changed their mind.  It’s more of a win-win situation.

The problem arises when you have a renter sign a long-term lease (say for two years) and then want to sell the home before the lease is up.  Sure you might be able to sell the home depending on the way the lease is written up, but the renters can still stay in the home until their lease is up (unless you wrote something in the lease to the contrary).  This means that any potential buyer has to agree to be a landlord for a particular amount of time before they can take over the property.

There are times when this might not be a bad solution.  If you have a starter home that would make a great investment property, having a renter occupying the home might be a plus.  If you have a bigger home though, you won’t attract the investors and most buyers will look elsewhere.

I encourage you to always contact an attorney and have them write out a lease if you decide to rent out your property at any time.  Make sure you understand all of the issues that could arise if you want to sell at some point down the line.  Just because every other person is becoming a landlord these days doesn’t mean they understand all of the implications of what they are doing.

Research as much as you can.  Get expert opinions and make sure you fully understand what you are about to undertake before you decide to rent out your home.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in business, how to, rental property

 

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The Inspections you Need Before Buying a Home

Article by Wendy McCance

Let’s say that you are looking to buy a home.  You come across a home that looks like it might be “the one.”   You put in an offer and it is accepted.  Before you start the celebration, you decide to get an inspection done on the property.  This is the typical scenario that most potential buyers go through.  Getting an inspection is an incredibly important part of the entire buying process.

The reason to get an inspection is to find out what may be a potential issue that you might have to deal with.  Are there issues with the foundation, evidence of water damage or an infestation of termites?  There are so many potential problems in a home to know about up front.  Maybe a problem is found and you renegotiate the price or decide to walk away.  Thank goodness you found out about the problem before signing those final papers.  Although inspections are highly recommended, they don’t cover everything.  There are other people who should be contacted to look over the home you are interested in.  Another inspector to contact would be an inspector to check out your sewer.

A sewer inspector can find out if there are clogged pipes or pipes that are falling apart.  To get a sewer dug up and fixed is so outrageously expensive, spending on average of $95.00 for the inspection is well worth the money.  (Important) That general inspector that you hire will not look at the sewer system.  It’s important to know there is a specialist who works specifically with sewers that will have to look at your sewer for you.

Long before I became an agent, our family bought a home that had been inspected.  Our real estate agent never mentioned getting the sewer inspected, and it wasn’t something that occurred to us either.  We moved into the home and put all of the boxes in the basement.  We would bring them up one by one to unpack.  The basement was beautifully finished and carpeted.  Within two weeks, I went downstairs to the basement to do some laundry and noticed a big stain on the carpet.  A while later, that stain became a puddle and then a sloshy mess in our basement.

Our sewer lines were clogged.  We had been doing a ton of laundry and dishes.  The sewer lines had tree roots in them and the water backed up.  That stain (it turned out) was where our drain was located and it was under the carpet.

$1,200 later and a basement that had torn up carpet and damp floors, our sewer was fixed.  Thank goodness those boxes hadn’t been placed on the ground.  They were all on tables and shelves.  We truly got lucky.  I wish we had known to have our sewer checked out.  We would still have a great looking basement and a lot more money.

Other inspections that you might want to consider are a radon test and a check of your septic system.  If you have a septic system, you might want an inspector to come out and check your septic system if you aren’t connected to your city’s water system.

The bottom line is to over think the problems that could go wrong.  Get picky and make sure you get the inspections you need while you still have an opportunity to negotiate or walk away from a home that carries any issues that concern you.

If you are interested in a free consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 1, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to

 

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Selling your Own Home vs Using a Seller’s Agent

If you have ever thought about selling your home yourself, I’m sure you have wondered what the positive and negatives points are compared to a real estate agent selling your home for you.

First let’s go over the positive reasons for selling a home on your own.

1.  You will not be giving a sellers agent a commission.

2.  You will meet any potential buyers yourself.  I’m not sure if this is a positive reason, but it might mean a lot to some home owners.

3.  You are in control of the entire process.  For those of you who like to have their hands in the entire process from meeting buyers to the negotiation process directly with those buyers, this might be a plus.

4.  You decide when to show the home and will be present for those showings.

Now, let’s go over the negative aspects of selling your own home.

1.  You pay for any advertising.  On top of that, you will not have access to the MLS which all agents have access to.  That means that instead of agents emailing their clients your home information when it appears on the MLS, you have to find the interested buyers yourself.  Agents are also more adept at only showing clients who have a definite interest in the features of your home.  You could have people looking at your home that aren’t pre-approved, are just window shopping or truly are not looking for what your home has to offer.

2.  You will need to understand all of the paperwork needed to sell your home.  It is also highly recommended that you hire an attorney to write-up the paperwork and make sure everything is included.  An attorney might be more expensive to use.  Another consideration is that an attorney doesn’t typically write-up paperwork to sell  homes as part of their job and might miss something along the way.

3.  If you aren’t available to show your home, your home won’t be shown if you sell it on your own.  When you work with an agent, it doesn’t matter if you are on vacation.  The home can still be viewed and an offer can still be made.

4.  Knowing what to price your home at.  Why waste your time if you price your home to high?  You also have to worry about what an appraisal will decide your home is worth.  You could get an interested buyer who is willing to pay the price you are offering.  If the appraisal comes back and is lower, the bank will not finance the buyer at that price.

5.  When a buyer knows you are selling a home yourself, they know you aren’t paying a sellers commission.  Because of that, the buyer will typically bid extra low to cover the difference.  Meaning you might still be out the same amount of money or more.

6.  If you don’t offer a buyer’s agent a commission, many real estate agents won’t be enthusiastic about showing your home verse a home that is similar with a commission included.  (Although this is ethically wrong, it has been known to happen quite frequently).

7.  It will take much longer to sell your home on your own.  This is because of the amount of advertising needed. Also, the less you are available to show your home, the longer it will take to sell.

8.  When you take into account fees for advertising and the lawyer, you might end up paying more money, than if you used an agent.

9.  You will have to make sure you understand the laws.  You aren’t exempt from getting in trouble for lack of knowledge.  You must understand the laws regarding who you decide to sell to and why.  You will need to understand how to get a clear title before the closing of the home can occur.  Some cities require a city inspector to view your home and there is a fee.  You must also understand that any defects in the home must be disclosed to anyone who views your home.  Not mentioning that there was a flood in the basement several years ago, for instance can result in a lawsuit if the buyer finds out after purchasing your home.

Many people try to sell their home themselves.  A good majority of these same people end up using a realtor after a lot of frustration and money spent.  If you decide to go it alone, make sure you truly understand what you are getting into before putting up a sign in your yard.

If you are interested in a consultation with Wendy McCance, you can contact her at:

Real Estate One

26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2013 in advice, houses for sale, how to, real estate

 

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Buying a Home? Here are 5 Things to do Before you Start Looking

I have received several calls from people who are planning to buy their first home over the summer.  I tend to get the same questions, so I thought I’d put together a list of things to do before looking for a home.

1.  Get pre-approved.

I can’t stress this enough.  People tend to drag their feet getting pre-approved.  The reason why it is so important isn’t just so you know what amount of money you are approved for.  You also need to know how much you might need to save up for a down-payment.  Cleaning up any credit blemishes is another reason to get pre-approved as soon as possible.

2.  Put together a plan for how you will save up the money for that down-payment.

The amount needed for a down-payment can be quite a chunk of money.  Another thing that needs to be considered is extra money for unexpected expenses.  If you are getting a foreclosed property or if you want to update the home you have chosen, having extra money set aside is a must.

3.  Decide where you would like to live.

There are a million reason’s why a particular city is picked out.  The homes might be more affordable, you love the night life of the area, or maybe the area is close to friends and family.  What ever your reason, it is much easier to find a home you will love when you have an area picked out as being perfect for your personal needs.

4.  Start shopping taxes.

This really goes hand in hand with picking the area you will live in.  It’s amazing how two cities next to each other can have such a wide range in what is taxed on homeowners.  You should be aware of how much you can afford and how the taxes will play into your decision.  Maybe the taxes are low and you will be able to afford more home.  On the other hand, maybe the taxes are incredibly high, but the lure of the location is enough for you to go for the smaller home because you love the neighborhood you are choosing.

5.  Get familiar with what you want in a home and how realistic it might be.

At Real Estate One, we have a free program where we send emails to the customer which show homes for sale.  The homes the customer views take into account the criteria that is important to the customer.  Let’s say the customer names 3 cities as possible choices.  The home should have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a garage and 1400 sq ft minimum.  The criteria will be set and the customer will get email updates with pictures and information on homes that fit those needs.

It’s a great program in that it gives the potential homeowner a peek at what is available with the criteria they have chosen.  If the choices are sparse, the customer can tweak their criteria and see if they fare better with what is available.

If you are interested in discussing how you can get into a new home or maybe you have a home you need to sell, give me a call.  I would be happy to help you set up a plan to get ready to move and then find the home of your dreams.

Wendy McCance
Real Estate Agent
Real Estate One
26236 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067 
Direct: 248-414-1248 ext. 119
wendymccance@realestateone.com
 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2013 in advice, housing, how to

 

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Getting Through the Lean Months

After having such a busy schedule these last few months, my schedule has slowed down considerably as the holidays are fast approaching.  Like every new realtor, there is a worry about getting through the lean months.

Lets face it, you can advertise and farm areas to death with no immediate results.  These methods are key in establishing yourself and making your name familiar with the masses.  This is not a fast way to sustain your income though.

I make it a priority to keep my name circulating through flyers, email, social media and volunteer work.  Even so, I still need a source of income.  I think that in the beginning, many people fall off the real estate wagon because they don’t have the funds or a backup plan to sustain them.

I am a writer.  I can pull in extra money from the articles I write.  This is an ideal job because I can juggle my real estate career and my writing career without a conflict in schedules (at least at this point in my career).  I do realize that down the road, this could become a bit more challenging as I get busier.  For now, I find this to be a good compromise.

My advice to anyone starting their career is that now that you have worked to hard get here, don’t let something like paying bills get in your way of success.  It’s inevitable that down the road you will see an increase in your income, but this is a career where making money is slow in gaining momentum.

Have a back-up plan.  Something that won’t affect your number one goal of being a realtor.  Whether it is a part-time job, or a small side business, you will need some sort of supplement.  Below I have listed a few ideas for ways of making some extra money.

1.  Teach classes at a local community center.  They can be classes on how to get your home ready to sell or how to rent out your home.  The class might be based on a hobby you have or a skill you possess.

2.  Become a freelance writer.

3.  Set up a social media campaign for clients.  (maybe for other realtors or small business owners).

4.  Sell items at craft shows if you are creative.  Slow months for realtors are busy months for craft shows.

5.  Babysitting is a big business.  Try care.com or sittercity.com.

6.  Running errands or pet sitting are always in demand.

7.  Lastly, think about the skills you possess.  Maybe you are a great organizer or know how to do bookkeeping.  Whatever it is, take advantage of it so that you have more money flowing through your household.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in advice, career, how to, self-help

 

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Reorganize and Set New Goals

This time of year is always busy.  There is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all back to back.  Personal obligations increase as family stops in from out-of-town, there are holiday parties to attend and endless amounts of shopping.  Even during the craziness of the season, my mind drifts back to where I am at in my real estate career.

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching about what I have accomplished so far in my career and what I would like to see happen this next year.  I have definitely gotten my feet wet by renting out properties and listing and selling a home.  I feel more comfortable with the mounds of paperwork and the knowledge of what is the correct protocol while working with a client.  With the uneasiness of so many new experiences behind me, I can now concentrate on what I have learned and what areas I need to tweak.

My biggest pitfall was getting so wrapped up in the activity of working with several clients at once, that promoting myself fell into the background.  I felt overloaded and had difficulty juggling the task of continuing to get my name out there.  I did hand out flyers and send out emails, but now that I am wrapping up some deals, I have little on my plate to work with.

I am looking forward to the fact that December is a little bit of a quieter month.  I need to reorganize all of my paperwork and come up with a better filing system.  I need to sit down and tear apart all that I have done to make a solid career out of real estate and plan a new way of going after business.

I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had.  I am thrilled that I work for a company that has weekly training seminars that help you on your path.  Ideas are always fresh this way.  We have had so many different people come and speak with us at these meetings.  Truly, that is my favorite part of these meetings.  I love to hear from so many different personalities.  There are so many ways to go after business, and it’s great to pull a little bit of an idea from one person and a little more from someone else.

By the time January hits, I will be running full force again.  I will have completed my work makeover and will feel organized.  I will have a plan in place and some extra confidence to back me up.

Have you considered where you are at with your own career?  Have you ripped apart your way of going after business and restructured your plans?  I believe in keeping things fresh.  If you spend too many months working one system, you will get bored and a bit lazy.  I believe that every now and then you should shake up your system.  Reevaluate where you are at and what you want to accomplish.  Success is there for the taking.  Being mindful of what your weaknesses are and adjusting your plan of action can be the difference between success and failure.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in advice, career, how to

 

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