Save Yourself From Fake Realtors

People across the globe have been fooled and cheated by land scamsters. The misleading claims of real estate dealers lure people in buying property, which was never open to sale! If you are thinking of purchasing land, do the necessary homework beforehand to avoid falling victim to such land scams.

In these tough economic conditions, investing into real estate is considered to be a potent tool to attain financial stability. This is the reason why people find investment in real estate more reliable and are therefore ready to pour down their fortune to own a piece of land. As usual, this boom has also given birth to frauds and scams and a considerable amount of people have fallen victim to these swindlers.

So, if you are thinking of acquiring a plot, beware of these con artists. You can follow these simple steps to avoid being a victim;

Reputation Of The Real Estate Dealer

First look around to know about the reputation of the real estate dealer. You can also check with the firm itself to know about its experience in the field. Tell them to show you testimonials from previous clients. Find out whether the dealer you are thinking of hiring holds and participates in property exhibitions periodically. This will help you judge the goodwill of the firm or the dealer. You can also research on the amount of expertise or capability of the personnel associated with this firm. Last thing that counts to judge the reputation of the concern is whether the top brass of the firm are invited or rather asked to speak at social gatherings. These points will really help you to judge the reputation of the real estate dealer.

Visit The Realtors

Sometimes, due to work pressures, we often find it hard to manage time for a visit to the real estate dealer. And therefore we try to get the entire work done either through phone or online. Studies show that maximum land scams occur due to this very reason. Though you can start a negotiation online or through phone but you are advised to visit the realtor personally. Doing so will let you spend some time with the firm which will further educate you on their capabilities and previous work reports. Moreover, you can also ask them questions regarding the property.

Legal Guarantees

When you acquire land, you also get inclined to several issues and tensions. To get rid of such complications you should make sure that the realtor or firm you are choosing offers guarantee that the land is indeed up for sale and they have the right to sell it. Go through the legal documents very carefully.

Verify All The Claims Made

Your watch out job starts when you visit the real estate dealer and are presented with a brochure. This brochure usually contain information about the plot as researched by the firm in due times. Studying them carefully will give you an idea whether the inputs are sketchy or true to sense. …

Wholesaling Real Estate In Six Easy Daily Checklists

We ran the largest real estate wholesaling business in the world wholesaling properties to investors in 280 US markets and the entire wholesaling process can be broken down into 6 easy to implement daily checklists. Here they are in order of importance and, coincidentally, the order you should work them each day.

First, you need to remind yourself daily the direction you are heading in and what you want to achieve. Stephen Covey says, “begin with the end in mind,” and so we want to review our goals, empowering daily questions and affirmations first. It should only take 5 or 10 minutes but it sets the tone for the entire day and is a critical, often overlooked, first step.

Second, and this is a big one, you need to take care of all your marketing. When wholesaling real estate you need to focus on marketing in a few major categories: buying (or controlling properties), selling (and building your buyers list) and hiring help.

For the marketing for buying properties you’ll be taking actions that get sellers calling you with the properties they have for sale. Easy things like using Craigslist effectively can produce a steady flow of wholesale deals.

You can also rely heavily on Craigslist when marketing to sell properties that you have control of and to grow and strengthen your buyers list. However, there are some highly effective, low cost direct mail methods of finding the most serious, active buyers that are buying deals just like the ones you control and are trying to wholesale too.

One of the easiest things to do to automate your wholesaling business is to find help that costs you nothing up front and that is only paid when you close a deal. Posting just one or two ads per week to find researchers and bird dogs can bring you a flood of deals and investor buyers that puts you in the position of sifting and sorting which sellers and investors you work with.

The third daily checklist is working with your seller inquiries through the entire buying process from the initial call back, through the research phase, to making offers and following up all the way through you collecting your wholesaler fee when you release control of the property to your buyer.

The fourth daily checklist is working with your buyers (both retail and investor). One of the great appeals to wholesaling is being able to rely heavily on the work you’ve done in the past with your existing buyers list. Growing your buyers list in number and strengthening your relationship with your buyers list are worthwhile daily activities.

The fifth daily checklist is where you work with your other real estate dream team members. Here’s where you focus on working with your title company, hard money lender, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and more. A strong team can make even the weakest leader successful so focus on getting the strongest team possible and let them do their best. If the transaction …

Real Estate Investing Basics – Choose Your Neighbor Marketing

A very effective, yet often overlooked method of marketing both your rentals and your houses for sale is door to door flyers in the neighborhood of your property. Residents who live near your property are likely to know someone – a friend, colleague or family member in the market for housing that they can pass your flyer on to. You may also attract the direct attention of a neighbor who is ready to buy or move up/down in their housing.

If you are local and don’t mind running around the neighborhood yourself, this method will only cost you a few hours plus the cost of printing. If you’re not available for the distribution, or just have better things to do, paying someone to distribute flyers is very cheap and incredibly cost effective if it results in a sale or a qualified tenant placement. Just remember to do a quick drive through of the neighborhood to ensure the flyers have been distributed if you’re paying someone to do it.

As for the content of the flyer, it’s worth it to take some quality photographs of the interior and exterior of the home. If your main selling point is the quality of the property, be sure to feature these in full color along with some of the basic specs of the home. If you are advertising a rent to own that’s a really great deal, make sure your analysis of the numbers is prominent and easily understood. Also, be sure to emphasize that this property is in their neighborhood and that this is an opportunity for them to choose their new neighbor. Lastly, don’t forget to include full contact information: your telephone number, fax number, email address and 24 hour recorded information line if you have one.

A more expensive variation of this method is to use direct mail to target your property’s neighborhood. Again, you’ll want to tailor your marketing message to let them know that this is their chance to mold the neighborhood by helping to select the new neighbors. To maximize your exposure, try using both flyer and direct mail distribution methods, timed several weeks apart to make sure that as many neighbors as possible get your message that you have a great property for sale or rent in their neighborhood.…

BPO Questions and Answers – 10 Secrets for Completing Broker Price Opinions Like a Pro!

The BPO business is an exciting niche of the foreclosure industry to be in today. Whether you are a veteran real estate agent or you are brand new to the business, real estate agents typically spend several hours every week creating comparative market analyses (CMAs) for potential clients with the hope of landing a listing or convincing a buyer to make an offer. In the end, every agent hopes that their CMA will result in a nice paycheck; but this is not always the case. When you complete a BPO, however, you are certain that the report you spend an hour or two completing will result in some additional income for that month.

So what is between you and that pay check when you complete a BPO? Other than the obvious need to photograph the property and complete the report, there is a department of every BPO company that is in charge of quality control. If you cannot get past this department, then you will not only delay how quickly you get paid, but it will determine if you will receive any additional BPOs from that company. Also, if your orders are turned in on time and without errors, your chances of selling that property when it gets foreclosed on increased because the banks know you are a reliable real estate agent.

After completing over 2000+ BPOs over the past 18 months I would like to share with you 10 Secrets to Completing Your BPO Reports Like a Pro:

1. Immediately upon acceptance of a BPO order, read the confirmation email and write down the DATE and TIME that the order is due. Note the time zone of the due time as it may be different than your current time zone. Not paying attention to this can make the difference between a report that is turned in on time and one that is late.

2. Note whether the order is an exterior or interior BPO. If it is an interior, look for point of contact (POC) information to gain access to the property as soon as possible. Also note what photos are required. There is nothing worse than forgetting to take the right photos. It is better to take too many photos than not enough.

3. Most BPO companies have a website that you log into to complete the report. Be sure to log into that company’s website and read the full details of that report which will include the guidelines for that report. This will save you a lot of trouble in your analysis of the property and when you go to research comparables.

4. Pull the tax record and/or call the County Assessor’s office to learn as much as you can about the property. Note the property’s parcel number, market and land assessment values, if the property is residential or commercial, current property taxes for the entire year, if any taxes are delinquent and what year the last assessment occurred. The property taxes will be provided by …

Beginners Guide to Your Commercial Real Estate Lease

Trying to completely cover the leasing process in a few paragraphs would be understating its importance. Your rent will be one of, if not the single largest monthly expense. Upon finding a location satisfactory, you must then be able to negotiate the lease to terms which will facilitate your startup, coincide with your anticipated opening (which in our industry is imperative), insure your long-term profitability, and make it possible for you to sell your business in time to someone who may continue on successfully. In order to do so, you must understand that everything is negotiable in a lease. Anything is fair game for discussion. And the stronger your business plan and financials, you will find the more flexible landlords will be.

Negotiating a commercial real estate lease needn’t be a battle. Remember, and you shouldn’t have to remind the landlord of this, that it is in both of your best interests that you are successful. If you lease on bad terms, you go out of business, and they have no tenant. In fact, many landlords now recognize that providing “superior tenant service” begins by making the lease negotiation process as simple and efficient for tenants as possible. As important as it is to arrive at a lease agreement that meets the needs of both tenant and landlord, long delays over minor details serve neither party.

It has become more commonplace that landlords have ‘standard’ alternate clauses prepared to substitute should the situation dictate. This prevents delays in legal counsel having to re-prepare specific language repeatedly.

If you choose to deal with an agent, make sure that they are looking out for YOUR best interest. Just hiring an agent doesn’t commit them to your success. Bear in mind that oftentimes they are going to be paid by the landlord for filling the space. Building a relationship with your agent can be done, just as building a relationship with your banker, your realtor you bought your home with, or your advertising agent – with communication. Ask around, ask other agents, ask the agent questions, leave nothing to question.

Terminology

Some basic terminology, to simplify the explanation process.

Request For Proposal (RFP): To be sent, via your agent, to the landlord to request a copy of their standard lease form agreement. The RFP will address many important issues but should always include a section outlining the tenant’s expectations with respect to Common Area Maintenance (CAM) and Tax Escalation.

Standard Lease Form Agreement: The standard lease that every landlord has prepared for any commercial property up for lease. Terms and language may differ from property to property, landlord to landlord, but remain very similar in structure.

Base Rent: The asking price for the space itself, not including any taxes, maintenance, insurance, or any type of financed money that may be used for buildout.

CAM: Common Area Maintenance. Do not assume or mistake CAM for Triple Net, or you may be in for a surprise.

Triple Net: The total between the CAM, taxes, and …

What Are Escrow Fees

Basics

The escrow company usually serves as a neutral intermediary between all the parties involved in a real estate or mortgage transaction.

These parties can include:

  • lenders
  • brokers
  • insurance agents
  • appraisers
  • notaries

A mortgage loan usually involves a very large amount of paperwork. This is necessary to protect all the parties involved, including buyers, sellers, lenders, and others.

The escrow agent also handles the transfer of money between the parties. A lender will wire money into an escrow account. If it is a refinance to cash equity out the escrow agent will deduct the relevant fees owed to other parties and pay the remainder out to the borrower.

If the transaction is a real estate purchase the escrow agent will receive money from the lender, pay off any existing mortgages and closing costs, collect any buyer depsosit, and give the rest as sales proceeds to the lender.

After any transaction the relevant public records are updated to reflect the ownership of a property and the liens on it.

It is a crtitical job that requires meticulous record keeping.

How The Escrow Affects You

Escrow fees are usually around $500 – $1500 depending on the loan size. The size of the escrow fee may change depending on the amount of the loan or transaction.

Shopping Around For Escrow Services

The escrow service is usually chosen by the realtors in the event of a real estate purchase and the lender or mortgage broker in the event of a refinance.

Professionals who have done lots of deals usually get a better per deal price from an escrow company which may in turn pass on the savings to you.

You can ask how the escrow agent is selected, and find out how their rates compare.…

Zoning 101 – Understanding Buncombe County Zoning and Real Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Zoning can be a confusing issue regardless of where you own real estate, whether it’s a large city like Charlotte (NC), a small city like Asheville (NC) or a rural area like Buncombe County Western North Carolina. Zoning is a tool used to designate individual areas of land for specific purposes. When used correctly zoning can help fast developing cities and counties create a smart growth plan. This is one of the reasons Buncombe County commissioners are implementing new zoning in the metropolitan region surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.

The new zoning, adopted in May of 2007, impacts property owners throughout Buncombe County, as well as future homebuyers, sellers and real estate investors. A clear understanding of the zoning ordinances and restrictions is essential if you are going own real estate. It affects the value of your home and the choices you can make when selling or building on your property. This applies to residential real estate as well as commercial property owners.

Zoning Rules for Real Estate in Asheville, NC: The Importance of Community Accountability

In a video entitled “Will Zoning Affect You?” on the Buncombe County web site, [http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/Planning/landUse.htm], Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton explains the county’s motivation for implementing new zoning in the spring of 2007 and describes the proposed zoning changes. He also confirms that concerns about the increasing number of county residents, real estate developers and homes being built on the tops and sides of mountains have compelled Buncombe County and city of Asheville officials to make zoning a priority.

Creighton begins by defining an Open Use zoning designation. Open Use, or OU, is zoning usually found in rural areas. Land considered available for Open Use means property can be purchased and sold for a wide variety of residential and commercial purposes with the exception of certain restricted uses. The uses restricted on Open Use land include incinerators, concrete plants, landfills, asphalt plants, chip mills, mining operations and motor sports facilities.

According to Creighton these types of businesses have a large impact on the community, as a whole, so any real estate investor or property owner interested in these ventures must present a project proposal at a public hearing. This allows other property and homeowners in the Asheville area to hold Western North Carolina business and real estate developers accountable for the impact they have on existing neighborhoods and residents.

How Does Zoning Affect Buyers and Sellers of Mountain Homes and Land Near Asheville, North Carolina?

The comprehensive zoning throughout Buncombe County and Asheville, NC also changed in 2007. Comprehensive zoning differs from Open Use because it separates residential and commercial areas into designations like R-1 and R-2 residential districts, employment districts, and neighborhood and commercial service districts. Buncombe County and Asheville homebuyers and sellers can find their property’s zoning designation using the county’s online GIS system. The system can be found at [http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/Planning/landUse.htm].

Property owners and real estate investors interested in changing the zoning designation of specific land can approach the Buncombe County Commissioners and …

Quick Flipping Raw Land

Most people believe that when investing in raw land that the property has to be in the path of growth or it has to have some development potential. The truth is that there is niche in land investing that very few people are taking advantage of. Before I get into the niche itself, it is important to understand what I am talking about when I say raw land. I am talking about land that has NO development potential and IS NOT in the path of growth. I am specifically talking about property such as farms, ranches, mountain land, timber land, hunting land and just recreational land in general.

I have been involved in over 1,000,000 of raw land transactions and focusing on these type properties usually means there is virtually no competition from other investors. Why is this? Think about it this way. If there is a person who has a 1,000 tract of land that is 1 hour outside of a larger city and they are asking $2,000,000 or $2,000 per acre for the entire property, how many potential buyers do they have? It is a very small buying pool because most owners do not want to split the property up because they could be left with pieces and not sell enough to actually “get out” of the property. So, what the seller is looking for is that one person who is willing to spend $2,000,000 to have a place to get away to on the weekend or to have a place to hunt. Now do you see what I mean about a small buying pool?

SO how can you quick flip a property like this and make money when the owner hasn’t been able to sell it a year or more? You are not going to look for that one buyer, you are going to find around 30 or so buyers that can spend about $85,000 each. Now, look what you have done to the potential buying pool. You are no longer looking for just millionaires because we have structured the property so that someone with $85,000 can buy a piece.

How do you structure the property to get these buyers? There are 3 simple key principles we use to accomplish this. First, we are not going to buy the property because we want to limit our risk and not everyone can afford to purchase a $2,000,000 piece of land. We are going to control the property using an option. So let’s assume we can option the property at $1,800,000. We will then do a dual or simultaneous closing when we sell the property so that we won’t have to take cash out of our pocket to do this deal. Second, we are going to split the property into smaller tracts (only on paper, no surveying) and offer it to the public in different sizes. This allows potential buyers to buy what they want. They can combine several tracts together to buy even more. Third, we are going …

Buying a Home? Watch Out For These Estate Agent Tricks

This is the second in a series of three articles warning home buyers and sellers about the main tricks estate agents use to get hold of your money. These articles are aimed at helping you avoid being fleeced by your estate agent.

Selling to buyers

Although we all know that agents are acting for sellers, many are experts in befriending buyers and getting them to feel that they are on our side, working to help us get the best property at the best price. If you’re buying a property you should be on your guard against several sales traps including the block, stock-shifting, pumping up the price, the spider’s web and the sealed-bid scam.

1. The Block

Of all estate agents’ tricks, the block is probably the one people least expect. Most of us assume agents want to sell properties to us and so it doesn’t occur to us that they may be interested in preventing us from buying. There are several reasons an agent might try to block us from buying a property. The most obvious is that they’ve planned a slash-and-grab for themselves or one of their contacts and so don’t want us to disrupt their plans by buying at a higher price than they’re offering. Another reason may be that the agent has a buyer who is also taking out a mortgage through that agent or an associate mortgage agent. The agent can earn almost as much commission from flogging the mortgage as from selling the property and so may be less interested helping a buyer with cash or who has organised their own mortgage. In both these cases, an agent may withhold our offers from a seller or, if they do pass on our offers, they may discourage the seller from accepting them by suggesting that we may not be in a good position to buy. An investigation by one journalist found that of six offers made to estate agents, only two were passed on to sellers.

2. The stock-shift

Buyers may be looking for their ideal home, but agents can only sell the properties they have on their books. Moreover, they have to shift their stock if they are to meet their sales targets. Unless an agent is lucky enough to have properties that perfectly match buyers’ requirements, the only way they can get their monthly bonus is by convincing buyers to take whatever they’ve got to sell. So the art of a successful agent is to influence buyers to compromise and take what is available rather than hold out for their dream property.

There are various ways of getting buyers to compromise. The easiest is to use fear to push you into making an offer. An agent may tell you that they have the perfect property, that this has just come on the market, but that you’ll have to move quickly before someone else snaps it up. Or if a buyer is hesitating, the agent will use the phantom buyer trick and claim that …

100 Rental Market Tips

Sometimes we need ideas to get started with items in life. This list is meant to provide 101 “ideas” and stuff to check out to get the creative juices rolling. Most are pure real estate points to think about. A few are simple ideas that I believe help get things moving in life. So here we go:

  1. Loopnet is the largest online brokerage in the United States. You can find 100s or even thousands of deals there.
  2. Over 50% of leases originate online. To really capitalize, you need a rental website.
  3. 50% of new households formed over the next decade will be rentals based on current U.S. Census Bureau data.
  4. Focus landscaping and grounds efforts on the entrance to improve rental prospect traffic.
  5. If you have onsite staff, locate them away from the best areas and in the areas that tend the struggle more, the area will improve immediately with only modest costs.
  6. Rental insurance is a great way to gain incremental income.
  7. Large pet policies can increase rental traffic and income if managed correctly.
  8. Pay attention to the condition, visibility and readability of your outdoor property signs. 40% of business traffic begins with a good sign.
  9. The state Department of Transportation can normally provide traffic data on major streets. Knowing the traffic tells a great deal about how the property will perform.
  10. Have a common dress code for property staff to improve new resident impressions.
  11. Your leasing manager should be from a similar social demographic group with your target rental traffic. If not, leasing will be damaged.
  12. Follow up all electronic contact within one hour to dramatically improve your prospect close rates.
  13. 20% of prospects look for apartments and rental homes over the weekend. Do you have a plan to meet this shopping pattern?
  14. Online prospects fail to continue to be interested in your property over 80% of the time after the first hour. Do you have a plan to ensure a positive response before the second hour?
  15. 36% of new heads of households for the next decade will be Hispanic. Do you offer Spanish speaking access and documents? Your occupancy could depend on this.
  16. Immigrant households will account for 82% of U.S. population growth for the next 40 years. These households will have a disproportionate number of children. Marketing focused on this fact will have an advantage.
  17. Urban rentals are favored by 77% of Gen Y (approximately 75,000,000 emerging renters).
  18. Baby boomers are entering a prime renting period based on age. Do you have a senior renting strategy?
  19. Offer an energy saver gift basket to new renters moving in. Include energy saving light bulbs, weatherstripping, and other items they can use immediately to cut utility bills.
  20. Craigslist is statistically the source of over 14% of new leases.
  21. Posting Craigslist ads late in the day improves their effectiveness.
  22. Posting Craigslist ads on Saturday night is the most effective posting time of the week.
  23. Most rentals occur on Monday and the volume trails down over the course of the week