By Scott Newman
With the market picking up steam, buyers are out there scooping up homes and they’re counting on you as their agent to help them navigate the treacherous waters of their transaction. When they are buying a condo, that path can be filled with even more landmines, and you have a whole new realm of elements to account for when advising your buyer clients. I’ve outlined some best practices for agents below who are representing buyers purchasing a condo.
Understand the Financials
Nothing will make you look more foolish than advising your client to make an offer, having it accepted, and then finding out there is something wrong with the building that prohibits financing. Review condo documents and know what’s going on with the overall health of the building your client is interested in — this is not just your attorney’s job post contract execution — it’s your job before your client ever puts pen to paper! Request a 22.1 disclosure, call the management company, speak to the listing agent — do whatever you need to do to ensure that the building your client wants to buy in qualifies for the type of loan your client is applying for.
Know Your Client
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a listing that gets put under contract, only to have the deal fall apart for ridiculous reasons that could have been brought to light long before an offer was made. Again, as the buyer’s agent, your job is to stay on top of these situations to ensure that you come across as a professional and that your client isn’t wasting their time. The only way to do this is to ask the right questions!
Do your clients have a dog or are they planning to buy one during their residency in the building? Are they planning to smoke inside their unit? Do they like to host company during very late hours? These can all be potential issues for a client as the rules in condo buildings can vary wildly, so it’s never safe to assume anything!
All of the above are examples of questions you should be asking to ensure that your client isn’t wasting their time. Get the right information ahead of time and call the HOA or listing agent personally to ensure that your client’s unique needs will be met by the building.
Do Your Homework
The time to find out whether or not the building has a pool or how nice the gym is should not be when you show up to the property with your client. Continue reading »
By Trisha Ocona Francis
Being a real estate professional is more than just helping people sell, buy, or rent property, but rather assisting them in achieving their real estate goals. One of the best ways in doing so is by narrowing down your practice of real estate to an area you know extremely well, enjoy doing, and are committed to furthering your knowledge on the topic. It allows you to focus, and shows your clients your commitment and dedication as an expert towards their particular issue.
There are many areas to choose from, such as the luxury market, commercial sales, office leasing, residential, investing, foreclosures, apartment rentals, government program housing placement, senior housing, relocation specialist, or you can always develop your own area of expertise.
You may decide to gear your real estate practice towards commercial real estate because you like analyzing the potential profits of a building, the adventure of negotiating, and helping your clients produce their desired results. Or you may work with seniors because you enjoyed helping your previous senior clients transition from homeownership of forty years to senior housing, loved their history stories, and learned a lot about senior housing programs in the process.
The road to becoming this “Specialized Real Estate Expert” is similar to a college student deciding on a major and ultimate career choice. Medical doctors and attorneys concentrate on a specific field to practice for the same reasons.
To begin, here are a few questions to ask yourself: Continue reading »
By David Krichmar
As I talk to newer REALTORS®, about 50 percent of them do not want to commit to a “niche” or area of expertise. “I sell anywhere so I do not want to commit to one area,” which is a valid point. But at the same time, every REALTOR® sells anywhere locally. So how do you separate yourself and get the phone to ring? Commit to an area of expertise. Here are my ideas on how to find your expertise:
1. Past Deals: You know from your past experience that you have dealt with certain types of deals. Have a majority of those deals been in a certain town? Maybe you have sold a larger number of condos? So you could market yourself as a condo expert.
2. Your Work Experience: Before you became a REALTOR® what did you do? If you worked for a new home builder, then your area of expertise is with new construction homes. Was marketing your prior career? If so, you can use that expertise when becoming a listing agent — marketing is such a huge part of being a listing agent. Most likely any past career you had, you can use that knowledge in your real estate career
3. Your Competition: This is the sneaky suggestion, but may be the best! Research your competition; is there a specific area of real estate that they are not focusing on? Eg. A specific neighborhood, folks downsizing, newly wed couples needing to buy a home, etc.
At first as a new REALTOR®, this topic can be very scary because you want to sell all Real Estate. But, in order to separate yourself, you must find an area of expertise to grow your business. Once you find your niche, get to work marketing your butt off.
Some marketing ideas are:
- Blog about the topic
- Farm to that area
- Have a catchy slogan that explains your area of expertise
Do not be afraid of your area of expertise. Love it and live it.