Posts Tagged as For Agents

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Mold is a hot-button topic in real estate sales. Today’s tightly-sealed, more efficient buildings provide an ideal environment for its growth, and as public awareness of the issue grows alongside multi-million-dollar mold settlements, it pays to stay on-point when it comes to evolving mold legalities.

You Aren’t Required to be a Mold Expert – But You Can’t Stick Your Head in the Sand

While it’s not up to you to detect and diagnose mold issues, you must be knowledgeable and aware of the basic signs of mold to protect your clients (and your reputation). Red flags include:

– Musty, mildewy odors.

– Stained walls, ceilings, and baseboards, from common to multi-colored varieties.

– Plumbing leaks and drainage problems.

What to Do if You Suspect Mold & Why You May be a Target

Unfortunately, for most states there are no standard practices in effect – though that is rapidly changing. California recently enacted the country’s first mold legislation, listing standards for acceptable indoor levels and requirements for home seller disclosure.

In the wake of recent lawsuits and legislation, home inspectors and pest control operations are rapidly adjusting disclaimer legalese to limit their liability, with homeowners insurance companies commonly limiting compensation. Thus agents should be prepared for the possibility of agent liability with buyer clients in real estate sales involving mold issues.

Tips to Reduce Liability and Protect the Health of Your Real Estate Career:

1. Be diligent about checking for red flags, including odors and visual cues.

2. If you notice mold, carefully word disclosures, avoiding ‘black mold’ and ‘toxic mold’ verbiage. You’re not offering expert analysis. Be generic: Note ‘mold-type’ or ‘mildew-like’ staining/odors and their location(s).

3. Refer clients to ‘contact a qualified specialist for review,’ insisting potential buyers have their own, independent home inspection conducted.

4. Get to know mold experts in your area. Provide a list, but do not recommend particular vendors.

Real estate sales problems growing like mold? PropertiesOnline can help.

Timing of Your Client's Home Sale Means More Money

Timing of Your Client’s Home Sale Means More Money

In today’s dog-eat-dog world of real estate sales, where supply is low and housing prices rapidly rising, seller’s remorse is a common issue. If Steve or Sally Seller is driving themselves insane over timing issues, wondering if their home will be ‘worth’ more if they simply wait to sell, it’s time to get down to the brass tacks.

You Can’t Perfectly Time a Home Sale

Like stocks, you can’t time a home listing for the absolute peak of a housing market ascent. Without ESP or a Magic-8 Ball, you’re out of luck. Even staid economists and real estate agents cannot predict exactly what will happen next in real estate sales with any level of certainty. (Remember the housing bubble?)

Home prices could rise – or drop – in which case waiting would fall firmly in the ‘no bueno’ category. Like stocks, marginal differences based on timing will likely be insignificant. Taking a long-term perspective is key.

Housing Costs Will Rise Alongside the Value of Your Current Home

Let’s face it, you have to live somewhere, and the majority of Americans are looking to move up – not down or laterally – in listing their current home. If values are rising, they’re rising everywhere. The math simply doesn’t add up. The more you make on your current home, the more you’ll spend on whatever home you choose to buy.

Put Plainly: It’s Time to Sell When You Have To…

Like when you’re relocating for that great new job, making room for a new family member, or finding your dream home. At these times, when sellers worry about listing too soon, reminding them to look at the bigger picture can quell uncertainties, preventing listing limbo from becoming a stumbling block to bigger, better things.

It’s now or never. Are you ready to up your real estate sales game? Make the move with the help of Properties Online today.

What to Do When You Get a Negative Online Review

What to Do When You Get a Negative Online Review

Negative reviews stink. And they’re easy to take personally, given all the time and effort you pour into your business, but that’s not the best way to handle one. Before you lob one back, take a look at these simple real estate marketing tips for managing bad publicity:

Out There for the Whole World to See
Because 84% of consumers trust online reviews as they would personal recommendations, timely response to a negative review is essential. Equally important: diffusing the situation and attempting to turn the negative review into a positive one.

Simmer Down Now
Take a deep breath and think before hastily responding. Firing-back when you’re angry is a bad idea. If you don’t have any already, keep a couple of ‘canned’ responses on-hand as starting points on the path to a solution. Customize your response to customer feedback, and don’t use the same one over-and-over.

Take a Swing
Ignoring a bad review is not an option. It shows you don’t care. Responding boosts advocacy. In many cases, a response is all a customer wants, and soothes the situation. In fact, if you resolve a problem with a customer at first-contact, customers are twice as likely to patron your services again. 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels treated, and responding with care shows them the love.

Get a Second-Opinion . . .
. . . from an impartial third-party before posting your response to ensure it won’t be misinterpreted. Calling rather than posting in potentially explosive situations is ideal.

Bust-Out Your Toolbox & Fix It
Simply responding isn’t enough. This may mean online, telephone, or in-person contact. Fixing the issue makes the offended customer happier, and shows potential clientele how important your customers are to you.

Ask for a Second-Shot
Request the negative review be taken-down.

Safeguard your reputation and your business with the help of these and other essential real estate marketing tips and technology from Properties Online today.

What to Do When You Get a Negative Online Review

How to Narrow Your Buyers Choices and Lower Home Shows Before Even Leaving the Office

Tired of driving drudgery? We’ve got the real estate buyer’s agent tips you need to put a stop to those endless showings. Clients may love looking at houses, but you deserve to live a life outside the office.

How Can You Cut Down on the Property Parade?
We’ll look at common scenarios, and workarounds friendly but firm in putting an end to unnecessary showings in these real estate buyer’s agent tips:

Trimming the Looky-Loo List
Clients often want to look at 10-20 homes before deciding on one. Gently explain while pre-Internet that was the way to shop, today’s technology makes it easier to browse properties right from home, with HD photos and video tours increasingly the norm.

Let clients know in today’s market, homes are flying off the shelf fast, putting them at a disadvantage if they kick too may tires. Send them home with a list of homes, having them narrow it down to their top 10, so they don’t waste precious time and lose an opportunity. From there, have them pick the top 5, performing a drive-by. ‘Because smart clients can instantly assess if an area is right for them.’ This will narrow the list further, ensuring a faster offer and better shot at a house your clients will love.

Homing-In on the Details
Before you go, ask clients to speak aloud about their likes/dislikes, so you can better help them eliminate homes from their list. Go over this list when leaving the first home, deciding whether to keep that home on ‘the list.’ Repeat the process, each time weeding out the bottom contender.

Beating the Competition
Remind customers if they continue to look, they may lose their favorite home to competing buyers, stressing the need for a backup home choice.

Put down the keys, and pick up your life with the help of these and other real estate buyer’s agent tips and technology from Properties Online today.

How to Handle Asking Sellers to Lower the Price

How to Handle Requests for a Lower Selling Commission

Discount brokers are popping up nationwide, sporting “sell-to-the-commission” tactics. In today’s real estate selling tips, we’ll take a look into how this concept backfires for all parties, and how to explain to buyers why a fair commission will net a better all-around sales experience.

The Unalienable Truth of a Fair Commission:
Lower Sales Cost + Lower Commission = Shortage of Showings.
This also equates to confusion and frustration for buyers and sellers, who are left on the sidelines. If more buyers/sellers understood the following facets of agent commissions, they would finally understand why ‘you get what you pay for’ when it comes to sales commissions.

The Split:
In the typical 50/50 commission scenario, a 5% split would pay 2.5% each to the buyer’s and seller’s agents. With a discount broker, the buyer’s agent typically ends up shorted, getting 2% to the seller’s 2.5%. With an average home price of $250,000, sellers see that 0.5% saved as an extra $1,250 in-pocket. This miniscule portion, however, points agents representing buyers to other homes not nickel-and-diming agents.

The result? Less showings, with less potential sales. Less competition, with a lower possibility of the coveted ‘bidding war’. A longer time on the market, with buyers wondering what’s wrong with the home. A negative stigma, resulting in a lower purchase price, and lagging sale. It’s the same extended market time that overpricing leads to, which likewise kills the potential to get top dollar.

The Ridiculous Question
Ask your sellers to ask themselves, “Which house do you think a buyer’s agent will want to sell: A competing home willing to pay the typical commission, or a home listed by a ‘discount broker,’ which involves the same work for them, but pays less?”

Delve into the nitty-gritty of this argument in Part-2, exploring what you assume clients know, but often don’t, about commissions, and the real estate selling tips to break it down from Properties Online today.