Why Flat-Fee MLS Service Is Best For You

For sale by owner or FSBO are those that sell their property on their own without the help or with just a very little help from real estate brokers. The main reason why there are people who would like to sell their own property without the aide of a broker is simple, because they want to save on the sale and get more profits from the sale. The danger however of selling the property on your own, especially if it is your first time to sell real estate, is the fact that you do not have the same skill set and experience as that of a real estate broker. On top of that statistics would show that majority of those selling their property on their own as an FSBO fail and reverted back to hiring the services of a real estate broker.

However, today, there is a service that could help a property owner sell his property with the help of a professionals in the real estate industry without having to pay a huge percentage, instead he would just have to pay a flat rate. This service is called flat fee MLS, this service would provide you several real estate brokerage services that would only require you to pay a flat subscription rate. We have outlined below the different reasons why this service is best for FSBO.

  1. Provides Real Estate Brokerage Services – although as a FSBO you will still have to do most of the work, flat-fee MLS service will provide you with the essentials. Like having your property listed in hundreds of MLS Listing sites which is only accessible to real estate brokers. By doing this you are potentially putting your property in front of thousands if not millions of potential and interested buyers.
  2. Flat-Fee MLS Provides Offline Services As Well – how do you capture the attention of passers-by who are also potential customers? You place a for sale yard sign in your property. This service can provide you with this service still by paying a flat-rate. Which means as an FSBO you do not have to make the yard sign on your own, the flat fee MLS provider will do that for you.
  3. Affordable Fees – this maybe one of the biggest reasons why as an FSBO, you should be getting this service to help you sell your property. The subscription fees for flat-fee MLS is affordable, in fact it starts from $99 three months subscription and you get all the services and then some.
  4. Great After-sales services – most reputable flat-fee MLS companies would have an after-sales service where you will be able to get live customer support for when you encounter problems with your subscription or if you want to change things in your listing. Not to mention the fact that some providers have a money-back guarantee to make sure that you are secured with the investment that you have put in. These are some of the reasons why you should use flat-fee MLS service to help you in selling your property. Of course every provider is different and one is always above the other in terms of the services that they provide, so you have to choose the provider that is reputable and trusted.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy – What Every Person Facing Foreclosure Should Know

If you are worried about losing your home to foreclosure and are getting behind on your mortgage payments, there are some financially strategic things you can do to save your home. It’s best to learn about the foreclosure laws in our state and understand the well-documented case law. You should probably immediately seek the professional advice of a bankruptcy attorney who has dealt with such issues if you want to prevent foreclosure.

Did you know that once you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in California, the bank cannot do a foreclosure sale during the proceeding which take about 3-4 months? The lender can petition the judge to bypass that general rule and foreclose early or ask for a foreclosure sale, but it’s rarely ever granted without extenuating circumstances.

In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will have to keep up on your mortgage payments and/or make a deal with your lender, otherwise, the lender can ask the judge to foreclose anyway. Depending on your relationship with your lender and your good faith, the judge sometimes allows this. Again, it’s best to ask your bankruptcy attorney what to do and how to do it in order to have the best chances of keeping your home when it is over.

Can You Stay in Your Home After Foreclosure in California?

It turns out that you can stay in your home after foreclosure and up to the final sale, although that would be cutting it close. Generally speaking, after a foreclosure it takes anywhere from 2 months to a year for the actual sale to occur. This is the case for both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures.

In fact, in California, there is a terrible problem where the family that once lived in the home before foreclosure leaves as requested, but then a new party, a homeless squatter, moves in and stays in the home until it is sold, often until the new owners try to move in. Sometimes the new owners have to go and get an eviction notice, which also takes time. It’s an interesting world we live in but that’s what’s happening here in California.

In Ventura County, there has been a whole slew of cases where this has happened. Squatters learn about the loopholes in the law on the Internet, often watching YouTube Videos. Some of the advice is garbage, some is valid. Either way, it is causing a problem in neighborhoods around the Ventura County area and nearby adjacent neighborhood that are in Los Angeles County.

Can You Buy a New Home After You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The answer to this question might shock you. After all, people assume that filing for bankruptcy is the kiss of death, and their credit will be shot forever or at least a decade. Not so. Indeed, 24-months after the date your bankruptcy is completed you will be able to qualify for a home loan and mortgage providing you have adequate income at that time to service the loan payments.

For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the situation is similar, but there are other things you need to know and you should contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area who specializes in these venues for all the correct details.

What Can I Keep from My Home If the Bank Forecloses?

This is a very important question and if you get it wrong you could find yourself in jail for grand theft. You cannot take solar panels, hot water heaters, or any built-in appliances. Don’t attempt to take garbage disposals, trash compactors, built-in ranges, dishwashers, or air-conditioning systems. You cannot take burglar alarms, smoke detectors, or smart house systems that are built into the home as an integrated system. You may take televisions, refrigerators, and washers and dryers.

You cannot take an outdoor patio system that is anchored to the house on one or more sides or on top. Basically, the law reads that you cannot take anything affixed to the building or land. Again, take these rules seriously, and if you have any questions, ask your bankruptcy attorney. If you have to go and you’ve exhausted all other avenues, do it right. You don’t want to begin your fresh start with a new criminal conviction – that doesn’t look good on any resume.

There Are Ways to Prevent Foreclosure in California

The easiest way is by asking your lender for a loan modification. The bank doesn’t want to take back your home, they just want to get paid. Thus, it is in their best interest to work out a favorable deal that will have you back making payments until that mortgage is paid in full. Sometimes lenders won’t move an inch on the first request, but when an attorney contacts them on your behalf, it’s amazing what you can negotiate.

If you pay off your mortgage the lender cannot foreclose obviously, which is one more option. Get a loan from another source and pay off the mortgage. You can also sell your home in a short sale, or for the amount left on the mortgage. Although you won’t get any equity back, your credit will be great having paid it off.

Other Considerations

After the housing crash of 2008 many servicers made errors in the paperwork. The court no longer takes their word over the borrower. If they made a serious mistake, your attorney will now be in a very favorable position to negotiate for you. At least, your bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney will have the lender start the process all over again, and at best, might save you 10s of thousands of dollars and a truly stellar renegotiated mortgage rate and terms. Be sure to learn all the facts.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Use Incentives To Sell Your Home In A Tough Market

Here are some ways in which you can sweeten the pot and beat your competition to a sale

Out here in the field we are seeing home prices dropping as sellers respond to housing market pressures. Some sellers are still expecting premium sales prices for their homes, but the transitioning real estate market is resisting high prices and causing sellers to re-evaluate their expectations.

It’s a whole new ball game and, if you want to play, you need to know the new rules. Getting an agent to stick your home on the local MLS system and waiting for the offers to come in won’t cut it anymore. Today, traditional sales methods are not enough to sell your home in a reasonable time for a decent price. Home buyers have too many choices and home options to choose from. They are driving the market and your home is only one of many that they are evaluating.

The obvious response to the market, which has been adopted by many sellers, but at a price, is to reduce the price of your home below other comparable houses in your neighborhood. Although many sellers have built in some wiggle room between their asking price and their bottom line, buyers are asking for reductions that will significantly erode the seller’s profit, sometimes to zero. Those who have a need to move quickly, for employment for example, will even take a loss in order to remove the burden of two mortgages or ending up renting. This situation, by the way, offers real estate investors an opportunity to pick up some good bargains.

Even in today’s market, you don’t have to drop the price of your home to the point of taking a loss. There are other ways in which you can add value to your home, even if it is only perceived value, that will enable you to make a good profit and still sell in a reasonably short time. The use of sales incentives can be a very smart and cost-effective way to add value to your home without sacrificing much of your asking price, if any. Here are some things that can sweeten the pot and make your home a more attractive choice to potential buyers:

1. Offer a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent. Some agents will not show your home for less than that and they will most likely pick your home apart in front of the buyer if they do show it.

2. If you’re in a homeowner’s association, pay the new buyer’s fees for the first year or more.

3. Buy a home warranty, which protects all the appliances in the house including the air conditioning and heating systems. The cost is usually less than $450 for one year.

4. You can pay all or part of the buyer’s closing costs, which can be deducted at closing from your sales proceeds, so you have no out of pocket expense.

5. Pay the buyer’s property taxes for a year or some period. You may already have paid a portion or all of it anyway. Again, no out of pocket expense.

6. If you have oil heat or propane, give the buyer a full tank of fuel.

7. Offer free grass cutting or landscaping for a period of time.

8. Provide all new carpeting or kitchen appliances or leave furnishings that the buyer may want.

9. Offer to pay the buyer’s property insurance for a year or more.

10. Buy down the buyer’s mortgage points by a point or two. This adds significant value to the buyer in terms of dollars saved and it will cost you little.

If you think about it, you can probably come up with more. I have suggested and used these and other methods for distinguishing my clients‘ homes in this tough seller’s market. In addition, if you spruce up your home with new paint, especially the front door and kitchen, landscape your yard, clean thoroughly throughout, and stage your home to put it in it’s best light, your home will outshine the others in your neighborhood.

One final suggestion – hire a competent real estate agent. An agent will ensure that you don’t leave money on the table and help you with all the ways in which your home can be the best buy on the block. I can always justify my commissions because I get the home seller more money than he could on his own. A top-performing pro will make you money and not cost you. Just ask the many ‚for sale by owners‘ who ended up hiring an agent after an unsuccessful attempt to sell on their own or the ones that ended up getting much less than their asking price. But if you are determined to go it alone, the above tips should help.

Till Next Time,

Bernie Rosellen, Real Estate Auctioneer

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Agent Goals – Key Goals for Real Estate Beginners

When you first start out as a real estate agent it is important to set yourself some goals so that you have something to shoot towards while you work. Of course, expecting to sell every property under the sun is a tad unrealistic, so you need to ensure that the goals you set yourself are achievable, while still providing a good challenge for you to dig your teeth into.

Your key goals should be based around selling properties and trying to achieve higher rates with each sale. Let’s take a look at some good goals to start with, which will provide you with a foundation to build on.

Five Properties In A Year

When you first start out you won’t have the advantage that experience brings in terms of reputation, which means you will find your client list to be fairly small. Furthermore, if you work as part of an agency, you are going to find that you get stuck with some of the less desirable properties, while the best go to the people who have proven themselves in the industry.

This doesn’t mean that you should get discouraged and fail to put the work in. Set yourself a target of selling five properties entirely by yourself during the course of your first year. Take the time to identify strengths and weaknesses of each property you work with and experiment with ways to turn this to your advantage and attract buyer attention. With that base, you can then increase the goal by a few properties every year, until people start to take notice.

Go For The Average

Through your research you should be able to discover the average price that a property like the one you are dealing with sells at. This should be your target in your early years. Many novice real estate agents panic when they sell a property at slightly below market value, but this is to be expected when you are first starting out.

The important thing is that you take the experience from these early sales and apply it to your newer ones. Your goal should be to reach the average selling price within two years, to demonstrate that you are learning and your experiences are showing you what it is that customers want from a house.

Understand What You Want

The real estate industry can take up your entire life if you are not careful, so it is important to understand exactly what it is that you want from the industry and construct your goals around that. For many people, this means earning a certain amount of money. If that sounds like you, set out a long-term plan with milestones for each year, with the goal being to earn the amount of money you set out to earn for that year.

Others may wish to ensure they maintain a proper work and life balance, and must set their goals accordingly. Simply put, you should know what you want before you set any goals for yourself.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Can a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Be Successful?

Attempting to sell your home today, on your own, is at best an uphill battle. Understanding the complexities of the market, home pricing, timing, marketing challenges, safety, legal issues and navigating the new TRID, all paint an interesting and challenging scenario for the „For Sale By Owner“ (FSBO).

Selling your home on your own in today’s marketplace is akin to winning a championship game without a coach. Can it be done? Possibly. Is it the best you can do? Not Likely.

People desiring to sell their homes on their own typically have their personal reasons for doing so. Usually, it is perceived that one will save money on the sale of their home. While this may appear to be sound thinking at the surface, there are many reasons why this is not necessarily true, especially today. Industry statistics show that a home owner will typically net a higher sale price when utilizing the services of a professional Realtor®.

Let’s start with the TRID. This is an acronym for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. In a nutshell… it replaces the familiar HUD with a whole new level of complex rules and procedures that will affect your transaction. You and your buyer will come face-to-face to TRID at closing time. The scope of this new legislation is far beyond the scope of this article, but there are numerous web resources where one can become better educated as to it’s procedures and requirements. Under more ideal circumstances, your Realtor®, Mortgage Loan Officer and the Closing Attorney navigate these waters for you.

How do FSBOs screen potential buyers? Typically they don’t. Most are so anxious to sell that they open their doors to anyone. Most sellers, if they ask at all, do not understand the difference between loan pre-qualification and pre-approval. They have no idea if their „prospective buyer“ is even able to secure a sufficient loan to buy their home. They possibly may not even be who they say they are. Frustrated, many will waste a great deal of time with „window-shoppers and tire-kickers.“

Dealing with home inspections, effectively staging the home, preparing the all-important first impression via the presentation of the exterior of the home and landscaping, and knowing what to say to prospective buyers often are areas that cripple a sale. Furthermore, a seller’s emotional involvement with the sale of their home often has detrimental disadvantages. The home seller usually has too much of an emotional bond to their home to remain objective in negotiations.

Most FSBOs do not understand market pricing and often have their home’s price set higher than it should be. Sellers are frequently under the misconception that the selling price of their home is related to their financial needs or to how much they have invested in their property. Not so! They often will miss that precious four-week window when a home is first introduced to the market because of pricing error, poor staging and other issues. Establishing an accurate selling price for market entry is a skill that professionals well understand but novices lack.

Sellers must also be comfortable communicating directly with buyers, their agents, lawyers, home inspection companies, appraisers and loan companies. This area alone stifles most transactions. There are also numerous ways to make legal mistakes. Contracts have specific deadlines that must be managed effectively or sellers can be held in breach of contract. A Real Estate Contract To Buy is a legal document that contains deadlines, specific instructions, clauses and contingencies that are often difficult to understand for the untrained.

Since FSBOs are extremely vulnerable to so many areas that can halt a transaction, many sellers have the experience of seeing their sale disintegrate at or prior to closing because of failure to manage the legal details of the transaction. In fact, the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) has collected data that shows that less than 10% of all FSBO’s actually sell their property that way. Less than 1% of all home sales are FSBOs.

Unless the homeowner is fully prepared for the reality of selling their home on their own, many may quickly realize the need for a trusted professional partner, a Realtor®, who will effectively market their home in a variety of mediums, providing maximum exposure, show it to prospective, well-qualified buyers, negotiate the purchase contract, suggest financing and closing attorneys, oversee the inspections, handle all necessary legal paperwork and monitor the closing. Your Listing Agent can take care of everything you need, from start to close and communicate with you throughout the process.

Is hiring a professional Realtor® to represent your best interests a good idea? You be the judge.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Lakeside Properties for Sale Can Mean Income for The Buyer

More and more people are ditching life in the city and purchasing lakeside properties for sale. They want to enjoy beautiful views, find some privacy, and lead a more relaxing life. Sometimes these dreams can be realized on the heels of understanding that income can be earned from a lakefront purchase.

Many people would jump at the opportunity for some peace, quiet, and tranquility. The mere chance of replacing the wave sound machine with real waves can bring a true level of calm. When you find lakeside properties for sale, pick your perfect spot, buy it, and turn it into money.

Waterfront Properties Retain Their Value

Besides having fun and leading a more relaxing lifestyle, you can expect your lakeside property to retain its value much better than its counterpart in the city. These properties are limited in number and are usually very high in demand. Economics 101 says that limited supply plus high demand equals great value. That value can also be passed down to family members for generations, so, you can consider it an investment in your future.

Rent Your Property

In addition to a future investment, lakeside properties for sale can also generate income shortly after purchase. Vacationers love to rent lakeside homes! In fact, there are websites dedicated to listing waterfront homes for rent. Those sites often offer the homeowner options to list the property for rent by the month or by the week.

Many lakeside properties for sale will also have a pier or boat dock. This saves the owner money because they won’t have to pay slip or docking fees at a marina. The pier or boat dock also presents another way to make income: you can rent out the dock or pier for someone’s celebration.

Protect Yourself While Making Money

The general rule of thumb when renting out any property is that the renter will not treat it the same way you would. Since it is your property, be as selective as you want about the people you allow to use it. The first thing to do is make sure you have a competitively high rental rate. Don’t be afraid to ask for a deposit. Renters will be more likely to take care of your place if they have extra money on the line. You should also take some time and list out any restrictions you’d like to put into place, such as no smoking or pets. You can even limit the number of people allowed to stay overnight. Finally, just in case, do not leave anything of value to you in the house when you’re renting it out.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Do You Really Need The Services Of A Realtor?


When buying a home, you are not paying the Realtor commission in most cases. Some buyers think they will get a better deal when purchasing privately, however that is often not the case. I have seen over and over again when a buyer has overpaid for their home that was a For Sale By Owner. Without a Realtor to research most recent sale prices, active listings and expired listings you are at risk of paying too much. Since you are not paying the commission why on earth would you not use a realtor?

Simple reasons why it is best to use a Realtor when buying a home:

– Your Realtor can assist you with the process of viewing homes and deciding which homes to view.

– Your Realtor will keep you focused so you don’t make an emotional decision that you may regret.

– Your Realtor can assist you with researching financing options and refer you to lenders

– Your Realtor will assist you with finding professionals to conduct your home inspection

– Your Realtor will prepare the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, including conditions necessary to protect you.

– Your Realtor will negotiate on your behalf as per your instructions.


When selling your home, a Realtor’s services will ensure that the process is as painless as possible. A Realtor will recommend ‚touch up’s‘ and things you can do so that your home will show favourably. Your Realtor will prepare a Competitive Market Analysis so that you set a selling price that will be accurate in the current market. Overpricing your home is a big mistake. As any professional Realtor will tell you, the first 2 weeks of a listing a crucial, and if you overprice, you will immediately discourage a large portion of potential buyers from even looking at your home.

Simple reasons why it is best to use a Realtor when selling a home:

– Your Realtor will market your home to potential buyers and to other realtors.

– Your Realtor will schedule showings and follow up to give you feedback on those showings.

– Your Realtor will give you updates as to the current market regarding competing properties and recent sales.

– Your Realtor will assist you with the negotiating process once you do receive an offer. Conditions, timelines and negotiating tactics can be overwhelming to understand.

Tips for choosing the Realtor:

Ask if the Realtor is full time or has another job. You want someone who is available to you, other agents and buyers.

Ask the Realtor if they provide staging.

Look at the Realtor’s website/blog. Make sure they are using social media.

Make sure you have a ‚connection‘.

Working with a Realtor should result in a comfortable and productive purchase or sale.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Broker Marketing

The real estate market has become a more and more difficult place to survive for the agent and particularly for the broker. In order to survive in a depressed market it is vital that a realtor do all they can to assure that they utilizing effective real estate broker marketing. There are many aspects that can be utilized to assure that the general public in their area is aware that they exist.

A common way for a realtor to create public awareness through real estate broker marketing is to do what is referred to in the industry as farming. This general concept entails using marketing sources to harvest, or plant seeds among a community or neighborhood. Farming involves using marketing tools that will help cultivate a growing awareness among both current and potential home owners.

There are many tools that are commonly used in order to increase your potential for future customers. Common real estate broker marketing tools include post cards, newsletters, direct mailings, and other forms of marketing. While not all of these will have the same results for everyone, it is vital that a realtor continue to „water“ their potential crops on a regular basis.

One common tool that is typically successful in real estate broker marketing is a newsletter. Newsletters in many cases are not directed at promoting particular properties as they are used to simply keep potential customers aware of their local realtor. More and more newsletters consist of general interest articles, news events human interest stories local events and may even cater to the man or the woman of the house.

Newsletters used for real estate broker marketing may have articles such as car collecting and recent trends in the industry and to articles on financing and methods to avoid potential foreclosure.

While the articles contained within a news letter may not be strictly dedicated to the industry they should provide the same general message to potential clients. The very nature of real estate broker marketing provides that the reader of the newsletter will have something to remind them that the broker is in the area and what benefits their services can provide.

Regardless what type of articles are used in the newsletter, they should bring interest to the potential customer and allow them to go away from the newsletter remembering the broker and that they are in the area. Effective real estate broker marketing can be the difference between surviving and starving in a depressed housing market.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Spokane Real Estate Market Trends

FSBO stands for „For Sale by Owner“. Quite a few homeowners suppose it’s not big deal to sell a home on their own, the FSBO way. They assume they can net thousands of dollars more at closing than if they hire a real estate broker and pay sales commissions. Many homeowners choose to sell their home without the aid of a real estate broker and do just fine; others find out the hard way how much help a real estate broker can be and how they can actually help to net more cash at the end of the negotiations. Selling your own home can sound attractive, and it can save you thousands of dollars if you are up for it. It can also cost you thousands if you go about it the wrong way.

Here in Spokane Washington, the FSBO market cycled through many ups and downs. Most recently the seller’s market that ended a couple years ago it was certainly easier to sell your home without the help of a broker. Recently however, the market has shifted into a more balanced market. Many experts say that it is now a buyer’s market as the number of expired listings has shot way up along with the total number of active listings. As of last week, Spokane had over 5,300 active listings in the Spokane Association of Realtors MLS. There we also 2,711 residential sales that closed in the last six months. At the current rate of sales with this number of listings it would take over a year for them to all with no new listing being added to the MLS. With nearly 2,000 real estate agents actively marketing these homes, someone working on their own seems to be at a definite disadvantage in today’s market conditions. Of course, Realtors, real estate brokers and Agents are experts in their field and expect to get paid a reasonable fee for their services.

Any homeowner who decides to take on the job of selling their own home is taking on an enormous amount of work and responsibility, but there are some potential benefits and challenges to doing it yourself.

The main motivation for someone to sell their home FSBO is to avoid paying a sales commission and keep that money themselves. Real estate brokers typically require 5%-7% of the total sale price as their fee. If your home is worth $200,000 then this fee is $10,000 to $14,000! This is money that you could possibly keep in your own accounts by selling your home yourself. Conversely, if you make a mistake by underestimating the value of your home, leave it on the market for too long, negotiate details of the transaction poorly or prepare the sales contract incorrectly, you could lose even more.

If you decide to sell your home FSBO you must analyze the potential savings and compare it the value of your time and effort it’s worth. In the process of selling your home by yourself you will necessarily invest enormous amounts of time researching legalities, technicalities in sales contracts, negotiating strategies, comparable properties and the current condition of the local real estate market. These are all things that a Realtor stays current with in the course of running their business. If you do not have the time for this, you may be better off with a real estate professional.

It is possible to market your home simply and without the assistance of a real estate professional. Posters, signs, fliers and newspaper ads can be effective marketing tools and they are available to anyone. Employing these marketing strategies will start to eat into the money you were planning to save though. When using a real estate professional, the agency will often absorb the costs of marketing.

Realtors sometimes make use of all the marketing options the FSBO sellers do but hey have access to the biggest marketing tool available and it’s not available to someone selling on their own. Real estate brokers have access to the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This is a computer database service that instantly publishes the information about available property to other all the other Realtors and agents that are corresponding members of that particular MLS. Additionally, with recent syndication agreements the information on these listing are pushed to hundreds of other web sites that offer searchable information on homes for sale around the State and even across the country and around the world

When someone sells their home FSBO they take on the all responsibilities of selling the home. These include not only for the costs of the various professionals, but the time and effort in finding and screening them for quality of service and professionalism. Realtors have an established a network of related professionals and agencies that will help you through the process. As a FSBO seller you are working from scratch.

Selling a home can be an emotional experience. After all it could be where you have lived for years and it may be the place of your most precious memories. Home buyers tend to be very critical of homes they look at to purchase. Having a potential buyer who is a stranger come into your home be very critical can be a trying experience. This is a very important aspect of being represented by a real estate professional. As an agent they represent your interest and shield the homeowner from direct confrontation in the negotiations. Realtors are expert negotiators. A real estate professional see selling a home as a business transaction, there will be low-balling, offers made that are never meant to be accepted, etc. Remember that the buying party may be a better negotiator than you, or they may be working with a negotiating real estate professional themselves.

Real estate contracts are complicated. There is a lot of legalities involved in the sale of a home. Most every state has laws protecting consumers. Some of them concern proper disclosure, lead paint, radon, inspections, and so on. Many sellers may violate state laws without ever intended to. If you are determined to sell your home without a real estate professional, have a lawyer look over any contracts involved. This is an area in which even one misplaced word can undo all of your hard work. Realtors pay for „Errors and Omissions“ insurance to protect them and their clients in the case of a mistake like this. In most cases, Realtors use preprinted legal forms that have been reviewed by attorneys and have been determined not to favor one party over another.

If you have the time, patience, money and desire to sell your home by yourself, then by all means go ahead and give it a try. But be aware of what you are getting yourself into first. There is a good reason that real estate agents exist; buying and selling property is not easy. Realtors provide valuable service and earn the commissions by serving their clients well. In the end, you may decide that your time and happiness is worth more than the commissions you could save. Know yourself, research your options and choose wisely.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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