Bitcoin Moves to Real Estate – a Real First!

“Accepts Bitcoin” signs are popping up worldwide from NYC to South Africa. Rapidly gaining acceptance, Bitcoin use is growing from smaller coffee and retail merchandise purchases to the first ever real estate buying transaction accomplished entirely via Bitcoin. Another sign of the widespread acceptance of the currency, a newly built custom Texas home’s entire purchase price was recently transferred to its seller/builder via Bitcoin.

Show Me the Money
The seller later converted the Bitcoin funds to USD. Shocked by the ease of the process, the broker stated, “In all of my 33 years of closing transactions, I honestly couldn’t have expected something so unique to go so smoothly. In a matter of 10 minutes, the Bitcoin was changed to US Dollars and the deal was done…” Leading to other companies and industries to look at this and similar digital currencies as a means for investments and asset transfers.

Why Use It for Real Estate Buying?
Quicker, cheaper, and more reliable than currency tied to individual nations, anyone can purchase and sell Bitcoins via online digital currency exchanges. Finite in number with complicated identification (hexadecimal code) – they are far more difficult to steal than other credit sources. However, Bitcoins today don’t offer complete protection against fraudulent charges.

What the Heck is Bitcoin, Really?
Bitcoin is simply digital currency. But unlike nationally-specific currency, it doesn’t experience inflation. It’s number is finite: 21-million max. Divorced from government, it cannot be diluted by the introduction of new currency. It’s value variable: Up $1,200 from April to May alone. But it’s entirely digital – you cannot carry one in your wallet. Cryptography is used to secure transaction and coin creation, putting it in league with other ‘cryptocurrencies’ like IOTA, Litecoin, Peercoin, etc. (This site breaks it down using an easy to follow metaphor.)

Panning for digital gold? We’ve got the real estate buying and selling treasure you’re seeking. Learn more from Properties Online today.

Great School Districts Help Sell Homes!

5 Tips for Pricing Homes in Great School Districts

For families on the hunt for a new place to live, school district quality is of prime concern. Whether trying to keep kids close to friends in an existing district or seeking out one where the proverbial grass is greener, many are willing to pay up. But how much should real estate selling be influenced by proximity to a great school?

Setting Home Prices in Good School Districts Without Pricing Out Buyers
When puzzling out prices, consider…

  1. Statistics Lie
    Though 1-in-10 would pay 20% more, and 1-in-5 pay 10% more for homes in good districts, a significant portion of buyers will NOT pay these inflated prices for the school alone. And we all know the dangers of overpricing listings.
  2. Location is King
    As always, look to current sales in the area as a means of determining home value, running a full market analysis based on the school district as a factor.
  3. The Need for a Specific Locale Varies by School Type
    Public school ratings should be key when determining sales price. Though it is convenient for families to be close to private, charter, and magnet schools, public schools alone require an address in a specific area to attend.
  4. ‘Parent-Approved’ Walking Distance
    Homes within walking distance from schools can go at a premium. However, how far you think a child can safely walk home may differ greatly from what a parent thinks. Consider instead how many children are walking home in the afternoon – a couple, or masses – when setting your price.
  5. What Really Matters to Buyers
    In the end, the majority of parents choose the option best-suited for their child over square footage and amenities. Be mindful when raising prices, however. Your listing won’t be the only one on the market, and greedy pricing can push cash-strapped parents to acceptable neighboring schools.

Looking for A+ real estate selling tips? Find them at Properties Online today.

Help Your Seller the Right Way

Living the Dream: Taming Seller Expectations

In today’s sellers’ market, it’s easy for homeowners looking to list to be living with their head in the clouds. In this week’s real estate agent selling tips, we’ll look into common seller misconceptions that can cause homes to remain on the listing market.

Do You Need to Bring Sellers Down from these Listing Myths?

* You’ll always make money
Selling a home for more than was paid for it isn’t a given, and varies by market. This is where sales data offers key insight into realistic values.

* Price high to reel-in the dough
Sky-high pricing schemes can lead to listing lag-times. In essence, you’re sacrificing prime advertising time on the off-chance someone will overpay for your home. (Buyer’s agents advise shoppers to steer clear of these homes.)

* Overpriced? It’s no big deal to lower it later
Reality is, shoppers assume listings that have labored on the market have something wrong with them, and will look elsewhere – or underbid. Pricing right from the start facilitates a quick, easy sale.

* Low pricing stifles offers
This often counterintuitive strategy can offer big returns, drumming up massive interest – and bidding wars – as the competitive spirit (and egos) come into play.

* Past appraisals provide accurate pricing
Appraisals from past refinancing are out of date and do not properly reflect current value information. Much can change in a few months. The most reliable appraisals should be current – no more than 60 days old.

* Just add the cost of renovations onto the home price
Sellers often assume whatever money they’ve shelled out for recent renovations will be returned in-kind. But the truth is: the full investment is rarely recouped. On average, sellers earn back 64% of home improvements investments – but this return varies greatly by renovation/addition type.

Looking for real estate agent selling tips for the real world? Properties Online is tried and true. Discover more today.

Market Your Properties for Success With Specialized Tools

Helping Your Buyer Make Their Bid – Tips to Getting It “Right” and Winning the Sale

One of the biggest purchases in a person’s life, buying a house is a big deal. Such a life-changing event shouldn’t be entered into lightly. So, as a realtor who respects their clients and is looking to build their reputation, it’s essential to have the right real estate buying tips to both cinch the sale and protect the sellers.

Six Steps to Helping Sellers Present the ‘Right’ Offer:

1. Research
Search for comps and consider local market data to surmise fair market price, considering the seller’s original purchase price and date to determine offer flexibility.

2. Find financing
Be sure to have prospective buyers get a pre-approval for the offer to ensure it is taken seriously. Given multiple offers, sellers will always lean toward those backed with approved financing.

3. Protect buyers with contingencies
Including a home appraisal and acceptable inspection, as well as a commitment of agreeable financing terms, making certain the buyer fully understands each before submitting. These are essential to protecting the buyer’s right to cancel the contract without penalty and preserving their down payment money.

4. Safeguard funds
Arrange to hold the down payment deposit in an escrow account (not with the seller). This way, money can easily be recouped if the offer falls through, or deducted from purchase costs at closing.

5. Make it official
Put together a written “purchase agreement” for delivery to the seller’s agent that meets state legal requirements, including:
• Date
• Address
• Offer
• Financing terms
• Escrow details
• Closing/possession dates
• Contingencies

6. Sign on the dotted line
Accept/counteroffer until a price is mutually agreed upon or either party exits negotiations. Work with a legal team as necessary to navigate and fully understand the contract, as once the offer is signed, it is binding.

Looking for winning real estate buying tips? Put yourself at the head of the pack with the help of Properties Online today.

How to Care for Your Buyers

Danger Zones: What You Don’t Know May Just Hurt You

From gas explosions to sinkholes and neighborhood crime, it’s a jungle out there. And whether you’re helping sellers list or helping buyers find the perfect home, it pays to get the details. Failing to do so could come at the expense of your reputation.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Get the 4-1-1 On Home Safety
Use these real estate buying tips to distinguish homes in the danger zone…

• Crime Rates
Check Trulia’s neighborhood guides to detect high crime rates – or simply ask neighbors, who are often a cornucopia of information.

• Flood Zones
Seek out flood zone maps, and beware of ground pitch under homes. Soil should be graded to slope gently away from the home to prevent flooding in storms. Homes located at the bottom of a hill are at additional risk.

• Gas
Contact the local utility to find out if/where larger gas lines are buried in relation to the home.

• Natural Disasters
Contact a local insurance carrier to inquire which natural disasters are common to a potential home site. A move of even a few miles could make a major difference.

• Trees
Often overlooked, trees can cause a good deal of damage, turning a simple rainstorm into a waterfall over a home. Luckily, local arborists or tree specialists often provide free consultations to homeowners/buyers, and can point out issues.

• Seller Disclosures
Though legally required disclosures vary somewhat by state, carefully review disclosure documents, which typically require disclosures regarding:
– Lead paint
– Water damage & mold
– Drainage issues (basement floods, standing water)
– Significant physical issues (foundation, roof leaks, asbestos, radon, etc.)
– Pests (snakes, mice, bats, bedbugs…)
– Neighbor disputes (boundary issues)
– Emotional defects (murder, suicide, violent crime, paranormal activity)

Do you have the real estate buying tips you need to safeguard your clients – and your reputation? Protect yourself with the help of Properties Online today.