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

 

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A New Plan of Action

I have been going through a training program at work.  The idea behind the program is to get you acclimated with the various ways you can drum up some business.  A quick overview of the plan goes something like this:

In a given week, pick from this list and prospect off of it for the week.

1.  FSBO (for sale by owner)
2.  Short Sales
3.  Foreclosures
4.  Expired Listings

Here’s the problem for me, this is a list of people to cold-call.  When I signed up for the program, I thought I was well qualified to be an agent because of my sales background.  I had won many contests and had wonderful relationships with my clients.  The problem for me is that I am a face-to face type of person.  I’m not talking about the type of person who will show up at your door unannounced.  I offer my services in a laid back unthreatening way.  I am not a pushy sales person.  Honestly I don’t even like the title “salesperson.”  I prefer to see myself as a consultant who is available to help a customer navigate down the road to a new home or out of the home they own now.

I have spoken with several agents in the office.  The training program is helpful in that you are shown several ways to possibly find new clients.  The idea being that if you touch on each area each week, something is bound to come through for you.  Basically it’s a numbers game.  It’s a starting off point that none of the agents I spoke with use.

I have given an honest effort towards making cold-calls.  For me, it has felt like a huge waste of time.  It is the amount of research and general downtime needed before calls are made that really get to me more than anything.  Lets say you want to call expired listings.  You have to look up the listings, cross-reference for a phone number, cross-reference that with the do not call registry, and then make the call.  In 23 calls I made, I got two people who answered.  One person no longer owned their home, the other was just not interested.  It had taken me almost three hours of cross-referencing before I could make the calls.  All other numbers on that list were either fax machines, answering machines that were full or disconnected numbers.  This is what I call a huge waste of time.

I am in the process of overhauling the way I do business.  I prefer to go with my gut.  I know what works best for me.  I want to come across as the authentic, honest person I am.  I don’t want to appear robotic and seeming to talk from a script.  When I make cold-calls, I never know what to say.  I seem clumsy and inefficient.  The response is bad and then my self-esteem goes down the tubes.  I really love real estate and know I would be a great person to work with.  That being said, I am throwing out all the techniques aimed at spinning your wheels.

I am going for the human approach.  This means that I will be going in to places such as attorney’s offices, caterers and senior living centers to see if there is an opportunity to pass out some cards.  I am also doing some more volunteering.  I would prefer to spend my time doing something I love and hope to spark some interest along the way than be stuck in a chair for hours making calls to uninterested people who get overloaded with calls from agents every day.

I’ll get back with you and let you know how this new way of going about business works out for me.  In the meantime, as always, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 23, 2012 in career, lifestyle, opinion, people, personal

 

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