By Brooke Wolford
As a real estate agent, I sometimes feel as if it’s all about me. This is my business, my success, and my livelihood. For me, after several years I have tried to focus on my “team.” I have a terrific team of people who I work with.
My “team,” consists of a loan officer, closer, inspector, insurance agent, and handyman.
I try to bring this team to my clients. I do this because I know my team is the best at what they do. This will ultimately allow my clients to have the best experience ever.
My brokerage also has its own team. This is a great thing, however, it’s not necessarily the best thing for all of my clients.
In my closing days, I couldn’t understand why agents did not use the affiliated companies. In most cases, the agents did have a good outcome. But now that I am on the other side, and I see why it wasn’t always the best situation. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
The skinny: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking public commentary through Aug. 14 on three “measures” that “reduce financial risk and preserve affordable mortgage financing for responsible consumers.”
1. Update the combination of credit and down payment requirements for new borrowers. New borrowers seeking FHA-insured financing will be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for FHA’s flagship 3.5 percent down payment program. New borrowers with credit scores of less than a 580 will be required to make a cash investment of at least 10 percent. Borrowers with credit scores of less than 500 will no longer qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage.
2. Reduce allowable seller concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent. Allowing sellers to contribute up to 6 percent of the home’s sales price to offset a buyer’s costs exposes the FHA to excess risk by potentially driving up the cost of the home beyond its appraised value. Reducing seller concessions to 3 percent will bring FHA into conformity with industry standards. Continue reading »
By Rob Reuter, YPN manager
This year’s NAR conference and Expo is going to be one for the ages. I haven’t even been to New Orleans and despite all the talk of oil leaks and Post-Katrina Syndrome, I’m still very excited about this trip to the land of Bourbon Street, beads, and body shots. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s Home to the Super Bowl Champion Saints…and Drew Brees. Considering everything that’s happened to New Orleans in the past few years, how can you not be a fan of the Saints? And now I have a connection who can possibly introduce me to Saints QB Drew Brees: YPN Subcommittee member Rogers Healy, Drew’s REALTOR®.
While that has a slim chance of happening, wishful thinking never hurt anybody…and I still get to hang out with Rogers.
- One Word: FOOD. I’m looking forward to finding a nice, sweaty oyster bar and eating unlimited oysters, shrimp, and crawdads (I believe that’s the local term for them). Continue reading »
By Crystal Webster
…And REALTORS® make the worst clients. Has anyone else had the “privilege” of working with another REALTOR® – or even purchasing a home for themselves? I use the word privilege very loosely.
Some of you may remember, I began looking for my new personal residence back in September. I am pleased to inform you that I closed about a month ago (seven month after I started looking, mind you…).
Between my husband (the human computer), who is also an inactive REALTOR®, and I, there was always something that “wasn’t quite right” or “if we wait then maybe we’ll find…” We found plenty of good, decent homes that would have worked just great – but we just weren’t able to remove the emotion and focus on just the pros and cons of the bones of the property.
In the end, we have a great home that we will be very happy with for many years to come. I got lots of great practice on working with “difficult” clients, and I even worked on a few of my overcoming objections scripts (some multiple times).
If you haven’t worked with someone you have a personal interest in (maybe not yourself but a family member or close friend), do it! It reminded me why I got into the business to begin with and it feels so good to help better the lives of people you really care about.
By Toby Boyce
As an agent, would you prefer your brokerage to have an amazing brick and mortar location or an amazing online presence?
The question flowed from Michael McClure, president and CEO of Professional One Franchising, on Twitter (@professionalone) recently. There were several agents who jumped right into the discussion — and being on Twitter, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure the direction the discussion went. Brick and mortar are so old-school; who does that stuff anymore? But, then isn’t a great virtual presence just a new look on the old-school mind set?
The idea that the brokerage would require this wonderful “awe inspiring” location — whether geographically or virtually — continues to propagate the notion that the brokerage is the one that feeds the agents. Isn’t that the type of management structure that agents have been rallying against for years? Whom do these big audacious locations benefit? The walk-ins — or at least the signage on that beautiful castle — and the Internet leads go into the brokerage’s pool and dispersed across the masses of agents that are chirping like baby birds for a free worm.
I’m sorry — well not really — but I’d rather the brokerage assist me in creating that presence for me, “The Agent,” so that there is only one fat, well-fed bird getting those leads. Continue reading »
By G. M. Filisko, contributing writer, HouseLogic
Working with sellers looking for another way to make their home stand out? Suggest they dip their toes into a yard-watering system that saves water and money.
Almost one-third of the water the average family uses—an average of 100 gallons a day—ends up in home owners’ yard and garden, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The trouble is that as much as half that water is wasted. It falls on sidewalks or evaporates before it ever reaches the ground.
Sellers can impress potential buyers with a water-saving irrigation strategy, and you can show them how with tips from the July “Outdoor Projects that Save You Money” article package now available at the REALTOR® Content Resource. Here’s information you can share with sellers:
1. Drip irrigation systems save water because they put it only where you want it—directly to plants’ roots, which cuts down on waste and also reduces weeds. A drip system is basically a long, thin plastic tube sitting on the ground or, less often, buried right below the surface. Small fittings, called emitters, release water at rates of one-half to four gallons an hour. The tubing is attached to your outside faucet with a valve. A new drip system cost from $50 for about 20 plants to $200 or more for a whole yard. Continue reading »