Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Agent

Some homeowners who are preparing to sell their homes quickly come to the conclusion that they are not knowledgeable enough about the selling process to attempt an FSBO (For Sale by Owner). Other homeowners know they just do not want to be bothered by the DIY process; “Always hire a pro!” is their motto. A…

Some homeowners who are preparing to sell their homes quickly come to the conclusion that they are not knowledgeable enough about the selling process to attempt an FSBO (For Sale by Owner). Other homeowners know they just do not want to be bothered by the DIY process; “Always hire a pro!” is their motto. A third type of homeowner sits on the bubble, wondering if they should (or should not) hire a real estate agent to sell their house.

Which type of home seller are you? If you're really on the bubble, you'll want to investigate the home selling process as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using a real estate agent. Today's topic is about some disadvantages.

The Number One Reason

An estimated 93 percent of home sellers work with an agent – at least to some extent during the selling process. But the number one reason many DIY home sellers site as a disadvantage of working with an agent is paying a sales commission to the agent. A typical agent's commission on the sale of a house is 6 percent of the sale price. Many homeowners are very dependent to pay any sales commission.

Success vs Time

Most home sellers who plan to partner with an agent interview a number of agents and hope to select the most successful person to represent their home. After all, a successful agent has a lot of clients and sales. He or she will most likely sell your home quickly and at a great price, right?

Keep in mind that a successful agent is also likely to be a very busy agent. Will that successful agent be able (and willing) to devote the amount of time needed to ensure that your home is well prepared and represented through the time it is on the market? Your super-busy agent may not give your home the marketing time and attention it needs.

Some busy / successful agents are masters of time management and responsiveness. They return calls in a timely manner, follow up on paperwork, rarely miss deadlines, and always manage to keep your best interests in mind. Other busy / successful agents fail in one or more of these important areas. You may feel increasingly frustrated at the lack of responsiveness and results.

The Middleman

Some home sellers and buyers find that a real estate agent is sometimes an inconvenient middleman in the deal making process. You'd think the transaction should be fairly simple and straightforward – you have a home for sale and someone wants to buy it. The middleman (agent) may be pressuring you and the buyer to hurry to an agreement that may or may not be in the best interest of you, or the buyer, or both parties.

Personality and Honor (or Not)
After doing your due diligence in selecting a real estate agent, personality conflicts may arise after you have signed with your agent. These things happen and the only resolution may be to review the contractual agreement to determine if, how, and when it can be determined.

Another risk or disadvantage occurs when the agent turns out to be dishonest. Your home may be sold at a less profitable price or information you share in confidence with the agent is used for fraudulent applications.

Before you plan to put your house up for sale, determine what kind of home seller you are. If you are a DIY-I-prefer-control person, the FSBO plan may work well for you. There are usually advantages and disadvantages to almost any undertaking and for you, the disadvantages of working with a real estate agent may far outweigh the advantages. Only you can make this decision.

Best wishes for the sale of your home.

Real Estate Agents – The Pros

What constitutes a professional real estate agent – a Pro? Passing the state exam? Hanging the license on the brokerage office wall? Quality printed business cards? All of those things are important in one way but in another way, they are “accessories” that confer official approval to work as an agent, or help promote a…

What constitutes a professional real estate agent – a Pro? Passing the state exam? Hanging the license on the brokerage office wall? Quality printed business cards?

All of those things are important in one way but in another way, they are “accessories” that confer official approval to work as an agent, or help promote a person as a real estate agent. The transformation of a newly-qualified agent into a professional real estate agent occurs over time.

Let's look at some of the things that help build an agent into a Pro.

The Power in Knowledge

An agent who is determined to become a highly skilled and successful Pro knows that his or her education does not stop once the state licensing exam has been passed.

The Pro remains on a quest for knowledge of or participation in:

• The real estate industry: like any other industry, real estate continuously evolves and the professional agent strides to remain current on industry trends, practices, and changing rules and regulations.
• Continuing education: many professional real estate organizations offer courses, seminars, webinars, and other training opportunities to help agents expand their industry knowledge. Some agents also pursue more traditional continuing education courses to further their knowledge of business practices (especially in the areas related to marketing and negotiation).
• Industry participation: some agents expand their commitment to the real estate industry by participating in various industry-related organizations. Some organizations function as part of a self-regulatory body to establish and up the ethical standards of the industry; other organizations influence the laws and regulations that pertain to real estate on a state or national level.
• Neighborhood knowledge: a real estate agent who does not become thoroughly knowledgeable about the neighborhood he or she represents will most likely never become a true Pro. Pros know the trends, the clients and prospective clients, pricing, unique qualities, and even the “soul” of their market.
• Architecture: another hallmark of a Pro is an intensive interest in and knowledge of the architecture of the neighborhood. Sharing this knowledge with prospective buyers (and sellers) helps clients develop a feel for the history of the area and its evolution as a community.
Knowledge of architecture also helps the professional agent address issues typically related to older buildings. This knowledge is important for the seller to better prepare a property for sale. It also is important for the prospective buyer who can be better informed about the challenges and opportunities related to owning a vintage property.

Resource Central

A professional estate agent often serves as “Resource Central” for his or her clients. Over time, the pro builds a network of reliable resources that includes home inspectors, real estate-knowledgeable attorneys, title companies, mortgage consultants, special cleaning services, and other support services that the buyer or seller may need to use at some point.

Negotiation

A Pro learns to be a skilled negotiator. Negotiations may occur at any stage of the estate buying or selling process. The Pro may be negotiating a sale or buying price for a client, negotiating between third parties (like home inspectors, appraisers, title companies), or even negotiating with other agents or brokers.

Focus on Client Well-Being

Ultimately, the truly professional estate agent is always focused on the well-being of his or her clients at every stage of the buying or selling relationship – and even beyond. For these Pros, the client's business is not a transitory relationship. It may continue through many years, nurtured by a client's trust in the knowledge, resources, and skills that the Pro continues to cultivate with each year.

7 Tips on Picking the Best Realtor for You!

There are things you can do to pull back the curtain and asses a realtor's past performance and potential success with your home. Whether you are looking to buy a home or selling yours, here are seven ways you can research your realtor before hiring. 1. TALK WITH RECENT CLIENTS Ask agents to provide you…

There are things you can do to pull back the curtain and asses a realtor's past performance and potential success with your home. Whether you are looking to buy a home or selling yours, here are seven ways you can research your realtor before hiring.

1. TALK WITH RECENT CLIENTS

Ask agents to provide you a list of what they have listed and sold in the past year, along with contact information. Before calling, ask the agent if anyone will be either particularly pleased or particularly disappointed. With past clients a great question to ask is “what the asking price was and what the actual sales price was”.

2. LOOK UP THEIR LICENSE

States have boards that both license and discipline Realtors. Check with your state's regulatory board to find out if the person is licensed and if there have ever been any diplomatic actions or complaints.

3. PICK A WINNER

Peer-given rewards count. One really worth noting is the “Realtor of the year” award. These Realtors are the best as they are judged by their peers.

4. SELECT A REALTOR WITH THE RIGHT CREDENTIALS

In the same way doctors specialize, so do Realtors. The lettering after their name is often an indication that the person has taken additional classes. Here's what some of the designs mean:

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): completed training on handling residential real estate.

ABR (Accredited Buyers Specialist): completed education in representing Buyers in a transaction.

SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50+ plus age range.

5. RESEARCH HOW LONG THE REALTOR HAS BEEN IN THE BUSINESS

This is often found by contacting the state licensing authority. Or just ask the agent. Ultimately, what you're looking for is someone who is actively engaged in a particular area and price range.

6. LOOK AT THEIR CURRENT LISTINGS

Two places you can look are the agency's own website and Realtor.com. Most buyers start their search online, and you want an agent who uses that tool effectively. You can also look at how close the Realtors listings mirror the home you want to buy or sell. Are they in the same area? is the price range similar? and does the realtor have enough listings to indicate a steady amount of business or that you would be just another number.

7. ASK ABOUT HOUSES FOR SALE NEARBY

A good agent should know about other homes available in the area. If the agent knows the property and can also give you a few details, that is a good indication they know the area. You want someone like that.

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…

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. Occasionally, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and following 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 have obtained 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 brokers. 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 everave gain 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 competitive 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 brokers, 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 brokers. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokers 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 transactions 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 certainly 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 dislose 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 broker represented the buyer's interests. It soon became apparent the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to imposes in order to simplify and clarify the agency relations 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 broker, 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 brokers 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 a seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions.The association meets 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 relations with real estate licensee.”

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Representative 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.

The Disadvantages of Living in an Apartment

There is absolutely nothing wrong with apartment living. Apartments have served people well for hundreds of years, either as temporary housing for a transitional time or permanent housing for those who love to have the freedom of not caring for a yard and not having to keep up with the maintenance that comes with owning…

There is absolutely nothing wrong with apartment living. Apartments have served people well for hundreds of years, either as temporary housing for a transitional time or permanent housing for those who love to have the freedom of not caring for a yard and not having to keep up with the maintenance that comes with owning a house . But there are downsides to living in an apartment that need to be considered. Let's look at a few of those factors.

1. Closeness to your neighbors. Some of your neighbors are noisy, or do not clean up after their pets in common areas. Others are destructive, and you can hear every headbanging moment into the walls. Thin walls let you hear everything your neighbors listen to, watch on TV, or say. You might be able to file a complaint with the apartment manager, but until they can respond, the noise will keep on. This can really be frustrating if you work non-traditional hours and are trying to sleep during the day.

2. Communal trash and recycling. You may find that some of your neighbors are not that considerate about what goes into the trash area. Large furniture and mattresses may end up in the dumpster and leave you with no place to put your trash.

3. Small size. Apartments suffer from a built-in lack of storage space, and the units themselves are often a smaller size than you can get in a house. This limits the amount of furniture that can be in the unit, and it also means there is not a lot of room for people to come visit, making entertaining tricky. Some places have a storage box in the car port above the car, but this container does not hold very much.

4. No yard. If you love gardening and you love having your own backyard oasis, apartment living will be difficult for you. There are very few places that will let you tend your own garden, but you might be able to grow some plants on a patio.

5. No customization. If you want a place you can change paint colors and add cabinets to, an apartment will not be the right place for you. Most rent contracts forbid you from making any changes to the apartment contents, even minor ones. Then again, if you do not have time or the inclining to tinker, then an apartment might be just the place for you.

6. Restrictions concerning pets. Some apartment complexes will allow you to bring in pets of almost any type. Others will put restrictions on pets regarding size or breed, while others ban them outright. If you find a complex that allows pets, you may find that areas that they can play in are small, if they exist at all.

7. No equity being built. When you own a house, you are building equity in your home, which can be used as an investment. The same is not true of renting. Rent pays for the space, the upkeep, the utilities, and the insurance, but it does not build wealth.

For you, these might not be big issues. You love the idea of ​​a place to call your own that is just big enough to hold your few marriages, but small enough to be cozy. You might love not having to do any of the upkeep and maintenance yourself. It might help you to make a checklist or a pros and cons worksheet to see what will be the right home for you.

1 Piece of Advice on How to Become a Realtor

This piece of advice comes from the self-professed rock god, Gene Simmons: “If you look at YOURSELF as the brand, then you will understand an intrinsic truth: People judge.” In school you heard it as “Do not judge a book by its cover.” But guess what? People do. Why else do authors pay people lots…

This piece of advice comes from the self-professed rock god, Gene Simmons: “If you look at YOURSELF as the brand, then you will understand an intrinsic truth: People judge.”

In school you heard it as “Do not judge a book by its cover.” But guess what? People do. Why else do authors pay people lots of money to conceptualize and design book covers? Why are not all book covers just black with the book title in simple white lettering? The reason is simple: people do judge, and once you realize that you have the key to how to become a realtor who makes a good living.

You are the brand. This is just as important as if you were Beyonce, Michael Jordan, or Karl Lagerfeld. In fact, as a realtor, your brand may be even more important because you're so much on referrals. The Beyonces of the world have a PR machine to help make them a household name; you, as a realtor covering a small geographical area, have no so such PR machine. You are just a realtor in a small but always competitive area, and you need to build a brand fast.

You may be thinking that you do not need to build a brand because you are part of an established brokerage. That is why you need a brand even more; you have to stand out from the crowd. The brokerage's brand helps a potential client choose that company, but what will make them choose you? Do you exhibit that little Je Ne Sais Quoi that will make people point in your direction and say, “I want to work with her.”

So while you are taking your classes and studying for your exams, you should already be thinking about what your brand will be. The coursework, exams, and relationship with a broker just allow you entry into the real estate industry; they do not ensure your success in this industry. Building a client / referral portfolio is essential to having a successful real estate career, but how can you build a career that is lucrative and long lasting?

The answer to that question is the piece of advice dispensed at the beginning of this article. Yes, the advice comes from a man dressed in black leather and with enough black-and-white paint on his face to blend in with a pack of zebras. Neverheless, it is salient advice. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will be on your way to real estate success.

Qualities To Look For In A Good Real Estate Agents’ Insurance Broker

A claim made by a dissatisfied property investor can really ruin the business of any real estate agency. These claims can damage the reputation of a real estate firm and it will also have a negative effect on the cash flow of the company. After all, if a real estate firm will be slapped with…

A claim made by a dissatisfied property investor can really ruin the business of any real estate agency. These claims can damage the reputation of a real estate firm and it will also have a negative effect on the cash flow of the company. After all, if a real estate firm will be slapped with some legal complaints, the company will have to pay for court representation and other fees that would come with this whole othersome issue.

Real estate firms can avoid all the hassles that come with receiving complaints or claims from their clients when they have professional indemnity insurance. This insurance covers real estate agents from any civil liabilities filed by their dissatisfied clients. With the right professional indemnity coverage, a real estate firm's operational budget can remain intact in spite of the need cash outflow caused by the lawsuit.

Having good professional indemnity insurance will also depend greatly on the broker you will choose. There are numerous insurance agents offering their services and expertise and as such, how do you find a good broker? Below are some of the key qualities to look for when doing your search for a good insurance broker:

Knowledgeable. One of the best qualities all insurance brokers should have is superb knowledge of the products they offer. Sometimes, professional indemnity insurance policies can be too complex for the average realtors to understand. The broker who understands your business requirements and budget can help you get the right kind of insurance protection and coverage. The insurance broker should know the ins and outs of the policy and can summarize and explain it to you easily.

Has outstanding communication skills. Select a broker who takes the time to listen to you first. A good broker can offer you the best coverage if he or she communicates well and clearly with you and understands your business thoroughly. The best insurance agent will explain to you all the policy details, not just the key strengths of the policy, but also the weaknesses and exclusions.

Possesses a great degree or years of relevant experience. The best brokers have experience with working with your business, your industry, your protection needs and with insurance. This is an important quality to look for since this will help the agent with helping you choose the right plan or policy.

Easily accessible. Lastly, when you need to get in touch with your insurance broker, he or she needs to be available. To keep your business, a good agent ensures that you can reach him or her when you need to, even during odd hours. Since the agent will often serve as the point person when you need to file a claim, it will help you very much when he or she is always accessible and flexible.

Real Estate Agents – Tips For Making Your Choice

Whether you have just left the military or you are now home from a long term deployment; you are moving to a new base or finding a permanent place, finally, finding a real estate agent who understands your unique needs can be difficult. There are different needs a military buyer has that a civil does…

Whether you have just left the military or you are now home from a long term deployment; you are moving to a new base or finding a permanent place, finally, finding a real estate agent who understands your unique needs can be difficult. There are different needs a military buyer has that a civil does not, but some are also the same. Let's take a look at what a military buyer should think about when screening for a real estate agent.

1. For many military families, you often need to have an agent who can act on your behalf in your absence. You need to find someone who can devote quite a bit of time to searching for a home for you. Your agent should not be distracted by his or her phone chiming in alerts while videoconferencing with you, and worse, he or she should not be answering those messages while talking to you. That dedication to you and your needs is going to pay off in the end.

2. You also want to find an agent who has some experience and is familiar with the area you are moving to. You need to trust his or her judgment because you can not needlessly be there in person, so finding someone who does not have a good track record and does not have the network an experienced agent has not will be as helpful for you. He or she will be able to take your information and guide you to a home in the area near the schools you want or other items that matter most to you. He or she will also have a much deeper network of sellers' agents to work with in your area.

3. If you are asked to sign a buyer's agreement, meaning you will work exclusively with just that agent, be sure to read it over and find out what kind of an exit clause is included in case you are unable to work together well.

4. Your agent should have a good website that will allow you to get a really good feel for the features of each home, no matter wherever you are far away stationed in Korea, or if you are on base looking for an off base home.

5. If you have the opportunity, ask your potential agent for references that you can check. These should come from a variety of sources, so you can get a feel for how your agent will be able to negotiate and handle both civil and military needs. There are also reverse referrals you can ask for. Instead of asking your friends and family for people they like to work with, ask them if any have worked with the agent you are considering.

6. A military agent should also be comfortable working with the sometimes confusing regulations that accompaniment VA loans. There is a separate advisory required by a VA loan and there are certain property requirements that have to be met for the loan to be valid. An agent used to these requirements will not be frustrated by them.

Above all else, trust your instincts and your impressions of the agent. You need to know you can trust him or her and work well with that person.

Real Estate Agents – Tips For Making Your Selection

There are times you need to find a real estate agent when you are buying a home, but when you go online or look in a magazine's realtor guide, it can just feel overwhelming and like you will never find someone. There seems to be no end of what appear to be sharp agents, all…

There are times you need to find a real estate agent when you are buying a home, but when you go online or look in a magazine's realtor guide, it can just feel overwhelming and like you will never find someone. There seems to be no end of what appear to be sharp agents, all vying for your business. So who can you trust? How can you tell what to choose? Let's take a look at a few tips that can help make selecting a real estate agent smoother.

1. One thing you can look for is the Realtor designation. If your agent states that he or she is a Realtor, that means that person belongs to the National Association of Realtors, an agency devoted to ensuring a level of consistency among its members and also that every member agreements to abide by a code of ethics. You will also know that your agent has met all of the state licensing requirements.

2. Additional letters on the agent's title means that person has taken on some additional education and is certified to be a specialist in their chosen field. For instance, ABR means that your agent is an Accredited Buyer Representative, meaning that this person has additional training and is also experienced negotiating transactions representing buyers. Then there is ALC, or Accredited Land Consultant. These agents are experts in helping find you the perfect land to build your home on.

3. How attentive is your agent? Does your agent expect you to conform to his or her schedule, or are you valued enough that the agent will work around your schedule? Is your agent willing to include you in a conversation, or does he or she just do what is on his or her agenda only?

4. Does your agent communicate well and regularly? This can also mean your agent answer your questions personally or are you handed off to someone else? Is the agent willing to communicate with you in the way that you prefer, ie email, phone call, or other? Communication can also include making sure you are fully aware of all fees and potential other costs so you have no surprises.

5. Does your agent have good references from truly happy past clients, and not just a select few or people who are the agent's friends? Those references should be able to speak to the aspects of the agent that can not be gleaned from a resume '. Did the agent find houses to show that were in the right price range and had the features the buyers wanted? Were homes that he or she showed priced right based on the market? You can also do a peer survey to see what other agents think of a particular agent. And, do not be afraid to ask what the buyer reference wished his or her agent might have done differently.

Perhaps more than anything else, trust your gut. If you just can not get along with a person, it will never be a good fit, no matter how successful your agent might be.

Helpful Tips For Passing The North Carolina Real Estate Exam The First Time

Passing your North Carolina real estate exam the first time is the best way. It costs sixty one dollars to take it again. Spend that money somewhere else besides at the exam site. The first thing you need to do is study. Study a lot. Study in the morning. Study at night. Put your family…

Passing your North Carolina real estate exam the first time is the best way. It costs sixty one dollars to take it again. Spend that money somewhere else besides at the exam site.

The first thing you need to do is study. Study a lot. Study in the morning. Study at night. Put your family on notice that you will be busy studying until the exam. Turn the television off. Turn Facebook off. Turn the video games off. Turn the study lamp on.

Make flash cards. Flash cards are an easy way to study. Take a three by five card and write a question on one side of the card. Write the answer on the back of the card. Write a question like, “How many members are on the North Carolina Real Estate Commission?”. Write “nine” on the back. Make about five hundred of these flash cards. Use the questions in the back of your chapters in your textbook to find questions. Look in the glossary of your textbook for questions. Many of the questions on the North Carolina real estate exam are testing your vocabulary. Look in the glossary. Find a word like appurtenant. Write on the front of the card, “What do we call something that adds value to a parcel of real estate in an auxiliary way?”. Write “appurtenant” on the back. Making the flash cards is half of the learning process. The real value of flash cards is how easy they are to use. You can use them in the car while you are sitting at a red light. You can use them during the TV commercials. You can use them almost consistently. Make yourself some flashcards.

If you go to You Tube there are several videos posted to help you do the math that is on the North Carolina real estate exam. The math is fifteen per cent of the North Carolina exam. Many North Carolina real estate instructors teach the math too fast. Many instructors assume that you know basic math. That is cool if you do. If you find the math difficult, watching a video is a great way to learn. You can watch it once or twice or three times. You do not have to raise your hand. Embarrass yourself. Let everyone in the room know that you do not understand. You just hit replay. It is very difficult to pass the North Carolina real estate exam if you miss most of the math. Also, you have to balance a RESPA closing statement. Take the time to watch the North Carolina real estate math videos on You Tube.

Get together with your classmates to study. This can be fun. It also forces you to study. If you meet three of your friends at the library, you are forced to study. If you had stayed home alone, you may have watched TV or some other goof off activity. Ask each other questions. Explain concepts like joint tenancy to each other. Studying together is a good thing.

Read the textbook. Many students do not read the textbook. I suggest that you read the textbook before you go to class. If you prefer, read the textbook after the instructor goes over the material. Read the material sometime.

Speaking of real estate instructors, you may be lucky enough to have an instructor that is knowledgeable, fun, witty, and charismatic. If not, make the best of a bad situation. Pay attention in class. Do not daydream. Look at the instructor while he is talking. Ask questions if you do not understand. If you are a link to ask questions in class, write your question down and give it to the teacher during the break. Please do not skip class. You have paid your tuition. You did not pay to be entertained. You paid to learn what is on the North Carolina real estate exam.

When you think you are ready for the North Carolina real estate exam, take a practice test online. Taking a practice test has several advantages. The obvious advantage is you know how you are doing. Many times students think they are ready. They take the practice test and score a sixty. Think again. Another advantage of taking a good practice test is that you learn, at least, one hundred concepts. You either confirm that you knew these concepts already by getting those questions right or you learn something that you did not know when you grade your paper. The most important thing that you learn by taking a practice test is whether or not you need to study more.

Do not worry about over studying. This will not happen. I have heard many stories about people barely failing. They made a 74%. That has to feel awful. In North Carolina if you pass the exam, you do not get a grade. Did you make a 75% or 99%? Who cares? You passed. You are finished studying for the North Carolina real estate exam.

Real Estate Agents – How to Choose One

One of the hardest parts of selling your home is picking the right agent. You want to be sure the person you pick is trustworthy, and that you can get along with him or her. There are a few tactics you can employ to help you narrow down your choices and find the right one.…

One of the hardest parts of selling your home is picking the right agent. You want to be sure the person you pick is trustworthy, and that you can get along with him or her. There are a few tactics you can employ to help you narrow down your choices and find the right one. Let's look at a few of them.

Interview recent clients

Your prospective agent should be able to give you a list of who he or she has worked with recently. Clients within the last year are the best choices. Before you do call any of them, just double check if any would mind the call. You can ask them about how the transaction went, did they get a sales price that was close to what they wanted, and was the agent familiar with properties like their. A home that was on the market for too long due to a bad price means your agent does not have a good understanding of the market.

Check the license

Every state has a real estate agent licensing board. You can always check your prospective agent's license with the state board and see if any complaints have been filed, if any diplomatic actions have been taken, or even if the license is current. You may also see that some have specialties like certificates for residential real estate, or that that they specialize in senior sales.

NAR membership

If your potential real estate agent is a member realtor with the National Association of Realtors, you will know that he or she has agreed to abide by the NAR's code of ethics. It can also give you the ability to see if your agent has received any rewards, like Realtor of the Year which is one granted by other agents. That lets you know what fellow agents think and it gives you a good base for how well he or she will get along with you.

MLS listings

Another thing to check is whether your agent is on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. This is the major national database of homes available for sale. Your agent should be on this service so he or she can get your listing out in front of as many potential buyers as possible.

Website availability

Paired with the MLS is the website your agent runs. If your agent does not have a website, it may be time to pass him or her by since nearly 85% of people start their home search process online. An agent who runs a good website filled with good pictures of your home will be able to show buyers what your home has no matter where they are.

How long has the agent been in business?

Obviously everyone has to start somewhere. But an agent who has been in business for less than five years is still in the process of learning the market and the tactics he or she will need to be successful. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to consider.

This set of points is by no means exhaustive, but they should serve as a launching point to help you do some research on your agent and find the right one for you.

How to Maintain Client Confidentiality in the Real Estate Office

Oregon law requires that certain client information be maintained as confidential. The ability of associates in the same office or company to represent the seller and buyer in the same transaction as single agents with the full range of fiduciary obligations necessitates enhanced protection of client confidential information. Every real estate office should have policies…

Oregon law requires that certain client information be maintained as confidential. The ability of associates in the same office or company to represent the seller and buyer in the same transaction as single agents with the full range of fiduciary obligations necessitates enhanced protection of client confidential information.

Every real estate office should have policies and procedures in place that will fulfill the confidentiality requirements of both Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Administrative Rules. These confidentiality requirements can best be met by establishing two file systems:

  1. Client Files; and
  2. Transaction Files.

Client Files will start out as active and eventually become inactive. Typically, these files will contain such things as client contact information and profiles, financial information, a list of properties shown to the client and why they were liked or disliked, as well as other confidential client information.

Transaction Files contain all documents relating to the transaction itself. A single transaction file is necessary for each transaction reduced to writing – whether the transaction is accepted, rejected, expired, closed or failed to close.

The following are some of the more important issues that should be considered in developing file keeping procedures for client and transaction files:

  • The principal broker must maintain the active client files. If there is more than one principal broker in the office, then principal brokers should not have access to the active client files of any other principal broker.
  • Every principal broker should maintain active client file confidentiality by limiting access to the files and by providing secure locking storage facilities. If unlicensed personnel have access to the files to assist the principal broker in carrying out their duties, they should be instructed not to discuss the contents of the files with any other licensee, unless principal broker authorization is given.
  • Active client files should be maintained separately from inactive or closed transaction files. An active client file should be established once an agency relationship has been entered into the client. All pertinent client information should be maintained in the active file.
  • The associate who established the agency relationship with the client may either maintain the active client files under the control of the principal broker or, with the principal broker's permission, maintain a separate duplicate containing confidential information relating to the client or transaction. In either case, licenseses in the office should not have access to the active client files of other licensees. If the licensee maintains the file, the licensee should ensure, at all times, that the files are secure and not available for examination by others in the office.
  • If there is any inadvertent or intentional violation of a client's confidentiality by another licensee, this should be reported immediately to the principal broker and should be considered as grounds for licensee termination. In addition, the principal broker should immediately report the violation to the client. If the principal broker maintains the files in a central location, procedures should be in place to make sure that only the licensee who has the agency relationship with the client has access to the file.
  • All active client files should be marked or stamped Confidential.
  • The principal broker must maintain a secure file maintenance system for transaction files relating to the sale, purchase, lease option, or exchange of real property. These files are necessary for transactions that closed escrow and those that failed to close. Only licensees having an established agency relationship with the clients of a particular file should have access to that file. If unauthorized access does occur, the principal broker should be informed immediately. The principal broker has a duty to take a disciplinary action, including termination of the offending licensee, and notify all clients who were subject to the unauthorized access.
  • Confidential client information should not be maintained in Transaction Files. Instead, all confidential client information should be maintained in Client Files. For storage purposes, both types of files are under the control of the principal broker. Most information provided by third parties to a transaction is not confidential information and should be filed in the Transaction File. All other information should be filed in the Client File.
  • Transaction and Client Files can be cross-referenced.
  • The preservation of client confidential information also means that discussion of any confidential client information with other licensees, office personnel, or third parties who should not have access to confidential client information is prohibited. Violations of this policy should have immediately been reported to the principal broker for disciplinary action and immediate reporting to the clients who had their confidentiality violated.
  • All discussion concerning confidential information between agents and clients must be in an environment that allows for appropriate privacy. Conversations over speaker phones, or with conference room or office doors open should not be permitted.
  • A system must be in place to protect the confidentiality of faxes and telephone messages. This means that confidential faxes should only be sent to a fax machine located in a private environment.
  • The same office personnel or assistants can not assist brokers who represent different clients to the same transaction.

The utmost care and attention should be given to make sure the fiduciary responsibility of confidentiality is preserved in real estate offices of all sizes. Clients and transactions can be damaged by the real estate broker's failure to keep files and information confidential.

10 Steps for Getting an Oregon Real Estate Broker License

Oregon requires a license in order to conduct professional real estate activity within the state. Oregon's entry-level license it the Real Estate Broker license. Oregon does not have a Salesperson license. Applicants for licensure must complete these 10 steps: Enroll in an Agency approved pre-license course; Submit your license application to the Agency sometime before…

Oregon requires a license in order to conduct professional real estate activity within the state. Oregon's entry-level license it the Real Estate Broker license. Oregon does not have a Salesperson license. Applicants for licensure must complete these 10 steps:

  1. Enroll in an Agency approved pre-license course;
  2. Submit your license application to the Agency sometime before completion of your coursework;
  3. Complete your approved pre-license training course;
  4. Confirm with your course provider that you have submitted your license by giving your provider ID number;
  5. Your course provider will upload your electronic qualification file and required personal information to PSI, the licensing exam proctor.
  6. Schedule and pay for your licensing examination using the PSI web site;
  7. Sit for the licensing exam at the PSI location you select and pass your examination;
  8. At the PSI exam center, pay for fingerprinting and the required background check;
  9. PSI will send your fingerprints electronically for the criminal background check; and
  10. Print your license at the Agency web site once you complete these items.

Your approved pre-licensing course will contain seven topics of study:

  1. Agency;
  2. Contracts;
  3. Real Estate Law;
  4. Practice;
  5. Brokerage;
  6. Finance; and
  7. Property Management.

The applicant's course provider must be licensed by the Oregon Higher Education Coordination Commission as a Career School and have approved voluntary instructors to teach the course.

Oregon-approved courses can be delivered in a classroom, by correspondence, or over the Internet. Internet and correspondence schools must have their course delivery method approved by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO).

The Agency may deny your background check you have:

  • had a criminal conviction;
  • had a state license revoked or suspended;
  • been disciplined by a professional body;
  • filed for bankruptcy;
  • fallen behind on child support payments, or
  • have been involved in civil lawsuits that would give the impression you are less than honest.

Oregon grants licenses on a case-by-case basis. This means that applicants will be given an opportunity to explain any adverse background check findings.

Oregon has licensing agreements with Alabama, Alberta, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. If you hold a resident real estate license from one of these jurisdictions, you should contact the Oregon Real Estate Agency for information and special conditions about obtaining an Oregon real estate broker license. In most cases, you will still be required to complete the Oregon educational requirement, but you may receive waiver on the national part of the state licensing exam.

Real Estate Agents – How to Hire the Best Agent

There is no bigger financial transaction you will ever undertake than a home purchase or sale. You know you need to find a good real estate agent, but then things start to get fuzzy. What kinds of things should you look for in a good agent? How will you know if you have indeed found…

There is no bigger financial transaction you will ever undertake than a home purchase or sale. You know you need to find a good real estate agent, but then things start to get fuzzy. What kinds of things should you look for in a good agent? How will you know if you have indeed found a good agent? Read on to learn more about how to hire the best agent possible.

Go local

You already know that a real estate agent can do a great job of getting your home sold faster and for a better price than you can sell it yourself. They have marketing tools at their disposal that get your home in front of a lot of potential buyers. Or, if you are looking for a home, your agent can narrow down all the homes on the market to just the ones that fit what you want. The best thing to look for in any agent, buyer or seller, is that he or she is locally based. Only someone local really knows the area.

Finding a local agent means you will have someone who knows the best local shops, which schools are good and which ones you should avoid, and what the morning commute is really like. To find out if you agent is local, ask for a list of the homes he or she has sold recently. You might even want to ask if your agent lives in the area and if so, for how long.

Is your agent used to dealing in homes like yours or like the ones you are interested in? Someone who usually handles large commercial accounts will not understand residential transactions as well as someone who does nothing but homes in your area.

Get references

You also want to make sure that your agent is a good one. Do not be afraid to ask for references. Any agent who really wants your business will be more than happy to share references and happy clients with you. They should also be newer references, not just ones that the agent knows will be favorable ones.

Find the busy ones

You will want to find an agent who is busy with clients, but not so busy that he or she can not take care of you appropriately. Most agents have between 5 and 10 clients at a time. You should also look for a full time agent, so you know that when you call you will not be getting your agent on an off day.

In it to win it?

Some markets have not recovered as well from the housing crash as others. One thing you will want to ask your prospective agent is how long will he or she be willing to represent you should your house not be snapped up quickly. Perhaps a companion question would be to ask what kind of experience your agent has in selling homes in a tough time.

Above all else, you should be able to get along well with your agent, and you should feel comfortable working with him or her, since you will both be along for quite an adventure.

Real Estate Agents – How to Choose the Best One

Once you know you want to list your home – or you need to – your next step is to try to find an agent to help you. There are those few adventurous souls who want to try to sell their homes themselves, and the fewer still who end up succeeding. Agents know the market…

Once you know you want to list your home – or you need to – your next step is to try to find an agent to help you. There are those few adventurous souls who want to try to sell their homes themselves, and the fewer still who end up succeeding. Agents know the market and the wherefores of the process, and they are the perfect people to pull along side you when you try to navigate the waters of the real estate market. But how can you pick the right one? Read on for some tips on how to find the right real estate agent for you.

Check the commission rate

Your agent typically charges around a 6% commission rate. Anything more than that should be comparable to the market. If it is not, this is an agent to steer clear of. Your agent should also be one who will spell out any other fees that are going to be part of the transaction so there are no surprises at the end.

Do not just go with a friend

You may have a friend or a relative who is a real estate agent. While he or she might be perfectly competent, you want someone who can represent you in the real estate transaction, and someone close to you might not be able to be wholly objective. So vet your potential agents carefully, and choose one you can work with, but who will not be bringing up the turkey dinner disaster every time. You also want one who will be cooperative with other agents. Alienating others when they have to work together will mean your home will not sell well, if at all with this agent.

Do not be blinded by the dollars

You might have talked to an agent who promised to get you top dollar, and offered a very favorable price for your home. Problem is – is that a realistic amount for your home? You want to find an agent who will listen to you, determine your needs, and have the skills to reach the right buyers for your home. Look for an agent who is able to help you market your home in the very best light and offer advice and solutions to make improvements that will benefit you in the long run.

Looking for references

Talk to people who have used this agent before and ask them questions like how knowledgeable was the agent? Was it easy to reach him or her with questions or concerns? What kind of advice did he or she offer? How supported did they feel through the transaction? Is the agent a part of the National Association of Realtors? How current is his or her license to sell real estate? And, how many sales did your agent have last year?

What is the plan?

Do not be afraid to ask your prospective agent what he or she has in mind to be able to sell your home. This can include what price your home might be able to sell for, what the marketing strategy will be, how often you will hear back from your agent during the listing time and when / how you will be informed about potential buyers.

When you are sure you are comfortable with the answers you have from your prospective agent, and you are ready to go forward with selling your home, you will be ready to confidently sign on the dotted line. Congratulations!