Realtor Secrets! Selling a Home is Easy Real Estate has changed since the internet. There are some REALTOR secrets that your real estate agent doesn’t want you to know. If a home is properly priced for the existing market conditions and is clean, it will sell with little to no effort. In fact, the paperwork, photography, and data entry alone are more work than the actual selling of your home. Websites like Zillow dominate the internet, so as long as your home is posted there, the whole world can see it. It’s worth noting, posting a home for sale in Zillow is free. Its no shock that many real estate brokers speak negatively of Zillow. More “Buyer’s Agents” than you think Don’t Know What They’re Doing Let me back up slightly, first. What I’m about to write is not intended to discredit any honest-to-goodness, really good Buyer’s Agent, because a really good Buyer’s Agent has skills that few REALTORS possess. With that being said, many rookie real estate agents start out working with buyers first. Buyers are easier to locate, and being a logical first place to start, it’s where most new REALTORS cut their teeth. Experienced Listing (or “Seller’s) Agents really dislike this, because it requires a lot of hand-holding with the inexperienced Buyer’s Agent… but yet they earn the same or more than the more experienced, skilled agent. Working with a rookie real estate agent in any capacity is full of potential pitfalls, and while many times the duty of the Seller’s Broker is usually the highest, but they’re often paid the lowest. Commissions are ALWAYS Negotiable Despite popular opinion, real estate commissions are not set by “the market” or the law. Real Estate commissions are ALWAYS negotiable, and you SHOULD attempt to negotiate a lower commission if you think it’s reasonable. Selling a home is a big deal, but so are REALTOR’S commission fees. I’ve seen many a homeowner decide not to sell simply because they could not afford the REALTOR’S commission. So, unless you’re working with a Discount Real Estate Broker, selling your home can be terribly expensive. Listing Commissions are Way Too High While I’ve always argued that a Listing Agent’s duty is the highest of all in any sales transaction, the commission is still too much money for what the job entails. Selling a home does require the most experienced and competent REALTOR you can afford, but if you’re using a Discount Real Estate Broker, that same guy isn’t as expensive as everyone thinks he is. Most Buyer’ Broker Commissions are Also Way Too High This follows our principle that most real estate commissions are already too high anyway – not to insult one specialty more than the other. Again, while this may not apply to the experienced Buyer’s Agent, but when you’re new, finding buyers is always easier than finding sellers. Even Though Realtors May Work For The Same Company, There is Always Internal Agent Competition. I learned this early in my […]
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Scams that Target Renters: Avoid these Rental Scams Rental scams have been around for decades, and sadly, they don’t appear to be going anywhere. Here are some of the most common scams that target renters. Landlord Foreclosure Scams If an owner has failed to make his payments, is served with a foreclosure notice and has vacated the property, he is expected to surrender the right to rent the property out. But out of desperation or spite, some resort to scamming unsuspecting renters instead. The landlord foreclosure scam involves renting the home out, pocketing the deposit and first month’s rent, and skipping town before anyone notices. This leaves the bank to deal with the new renter, who is often asked to leave because there is no lease that the lender will honor. It doesn’t matter where the bank is located; they will find out that the tenant is not the owner when the sheriff knocks on the door, thinking he is going to evict the owner. He will contact the bank, and because there is no lease and their client is gone, they will evict whoever is living on the property. Fake Landlord Scams This rental scam long pre-dates the housing crisis. It involves con men assuming “ownership” of seemingly abandoned homes, advertising them for rent and collecting rent from the new tenants for as long as they can. Many times, homes that are owned by out-of-state landlords are the most vulnerable real estate properties for this kind of activity. As is the case with all rental scams, the occupants will eventually be evicted, whether or not they knew anything about the scam. Many of these types of scams are rampant on websites like Craigslist. To search for properties for sale and rent that are less likely to have scams, visit your local real estate broker’s website. The Slumlord Scam This one is also as old as time. When a property is flagged for building code violations, including those pertaining to the safety of tenants, the tenants do not always necessarily know about it. Often, they are told by county officials who come to inspect the property. They may end up being evicted, all because their landlord did not want to pay for repairs to the building. This rental scam is most common in urban apartment complexes, but it can happen anywhere. Avoid Problems The best way to avoid any of these rental scams is to find your home through a qualified real estate broker who has experience in Property Management. Management companies usually verify ownership of the properties they manage, so it’s more than likely that you’d be safe renting from them. They keep records of all transactions and all documents relating to the property, so if a problem ever arose, you’d be guaranteed to have copies of everything. While there’s nothing wrong renting from a good owner, property management companies can frequently give you better and/or faster service than a regular landlord.