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Business Contractor

Who Controls the Real Estate Process?

Let’s narrow that definition down a bit by taking a look at the components. Real Estate markets usually segment into commercial, industrial, new home construction, residential resale, leasing, vacation destinations and time share. These broad categories identify specific market segments with each having a unique group of participants. Conceptually, when we talk about the real estate market in the broadest sense, it includes all of these and other uniquely identifiable business models that support and enable the process.
Parallel business models that take part in the process are: Mortgage & Financing, Title and Escrow services and a broad category of additional providers called Ancillary Services. Ancillary Services include: homeowner insurance products, flood insurance, tax certification, home owners warranty (HOW), legal services and documentation, home improvement and repair, painting, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) landscaping, appliances, property and mechanical inspection, municipal utility districts (MUDS), home owners associations, notice to the public – I’m running out of breath. You get the idea. Improved real estate is a complex animal, and there are many participants that comprise the process by which real estate is bought, sold, financed, transferred and ultimately occupied.
In looking for the “who” or “what” that exercises control of the industry; we should consider the role of government regulatory or quasi-governmental entities. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack were created to stimulate and control the flow of mortgage financing dollars and to provide stability within the mortgage industry. Oops! Ginny Mae guarantees the timely repayment to the investor on loans that it guarantees. These guarantees are provided through Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) or pools of loans that contain VA and FHA originated mortgages. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides regulatory oversight, and the Treasury provides an occasional bail out. This group of entities is introduced because they have certain powers and influence over technical, legal and procedural aspects of the industry. They do not control the “how” things are done within the process. The private sector determines “how” things are done.
Any control or “ownership” of this market then will exist within the private sector. Identifying the “who” (forgive me Dr. Seuss) can be done intuitively. The components of the broad real estate industry fit more or less into four primary areas. Let’s call them:
1. New Construction
· Commercial
· Industrial
· Single Family Residential
· Multifamily
· Pre-fabricated Structures
2. Resale
· Existing Buildings
· Existing Homes
· Other
3. Mortgage and Financing
· Construction Financing
· Mortgage Financing
· Refinancing
4. Title, Escrow and Ancillary Services
· Title Insurance Companies
· Title Insurance and Escrow Agents
· Legal and Documentation
· Recordation or Registration
· All Ancillary Services
These four categories are industries or business models within the real estate game. The major companies that operate within these categories would have insight and knowledge as to how to connect the dots and to accomplish the transaction. Each of them, in turn, exercises certain control or influence over their part of the process. There are multiple large players in each of these arenas, and they compete aggressively. There exists no such thing as an industry accepted solution that defines “how” the component business models integrate, but there should be. The level of redundancies and inefficiencies keep the process paper bound, disparate and errors are often time consuming to correct. The labor intensity of the process alone makes it more expensive and requires more management. A seamlessly integrated solution can change all that, and as a byproduct can achieve what others cannot – a commoditization of the real estate market.
The terms “transaction coordination,” “transaction facilitation,” and “transaction integration” were coined along with an effort to streamline and to integrate this process. This was an ill fated attempt to gain some level of control over the process. Working to gain an edge, each player offers partial solutions toward an industry standard. These solutions are often tied to their specific software architecture with bridges that invite their customers and agents to participate. They are not comprehensive, do not reach a large enough cross section of the market, and they do not provide an acceptable global solution.
Homebuilders are focused on competing with other home builders; realtors compete with other realtors; mortgage lenders compete with other mortgage lenders and competition is intense between the title and escrow providers. Should one player come up with a solution that improves the process, they would want it to be proprietary. Competitors would be reluctant to adopt it, and would not constitute a solution.
Fannie, Freddie, Ginny, HUD and any governmental entity has a different mission. A concept age visionary will be the one to combine the attributes that provide a more global solution, and in the doing of it, ownership of the thread and commoditization of real estate can be created. The right platform will benefit all participants. The idea is to facilitate the process to the level that its use will be natural, almost viral. By not using it, you are opting out. Soft Sell has the concept, vision, and the knowledge to create this platform.
With the right development partner, this platform and solution can be brought to market in real time. As the real estate and financial markets make a sustained recovery, Soft Sells solution would be in place to provide the structure for revolutionary change. As a side note, Fannie, Freddie and virtually every large bank has a portfolio of short sales and foreclosures that will continue to grow. It will be several years before these are recycled. Soft Sell would be an ideal platform for managing these assets through the process.…

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For Sale by Owner

Foreign Real Estate Investor Activity On The Florida Real Estate Market From June 2011 To June 2012

Foreign real estate investors are certainly making their presence felt on the Florida real estate market as their tremendous boost in sales has accounted for as much as 19 percent of the $58 billion worth of home sales made within the state over the period from June 2011 to June 2012.
According to reports, a total of $10.7 billion was spent by foreign real estate investors who have chosen to engage in the Florida real estate market for all of their investment needs. Most of the transactions were carried out in cash.
Top Locations
Out of the many locations found within the state of Florida, the top locations for most foreign real estate investors include Miami-Dade County where 32 percent of all sales were made, Broward County were 12 percent of all sales were made, and Palm Beach County where 7 percent of all sales were made.
Florida has always been a major tourist destination within the United States. With so many different settings and communities to choose from, there is really no surprise in finding the foreign population growing, especially since the region has been known to have such broad cultural diversity in the first place.
Prime Reasons
Aside from the opportunity to be able to own their very own home within one of the most beautiful states within the United States where the best lifestyles are provided, foreigners have also been eager about the many bargain opportunities that have been available on the Florida real estate market, especially in the case of those whose local currency provides them with the chance to acquire higher value for their money.
Likewise, foreigners coming in from nations that are faced with economic trials tend to seek out stable investment opportunities such as the ones available within Florida which enable them to keep their wealth in a safe place with the possibility to gaining profit over time.
Needless to say, the luxury sector of the market has been gaining a lot of attention as wealthy property buyers from around the world are looking to take advantage of great discounts which are currently being offered on the most illustrious homes and condos available within the region, particularly those within exclusive communities in Miami Beach such as the South of Fifth neighborhood, South Beach, Millionaire’s Row, Bal Harbour, and Sunny Isles Beach.
If you are interested in the different types of options that are currently being offered to foreign real estate investors on the property market, you should make it a point to get in touch with a professional agent that can provide you with complete details on your available options.…

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Real Estate For Sale

Lake Geneva Real Estate Spring 2010 Update

I am often asked about the current Lake Geneva real estate market conditions, in fact I would guess that I have the question asked of me at least once a day by prospective Buyers, Sellers or just about anyone new that I meet when they learn that I’m in real estate.
Having worked in the Lake Geneva real estate market for over 30 years, I feel like I’ve learned many valuable lessons about the market and what makes our market different than many others. In fact there is a saying in our business that there really is no such thing as a “National Real Estate Market” but rather many individual markets that combined together make up the National Market. The point being that how good or bad the market may be doing is determined by many considerations including jobs and job growth, general business strength, foreclosures, the weather and lots of other things. More than any other factor when it comes to real estate is a healthy balance between supply and demand. The total number of all property for sale at any given time is referred to as the inventory.
The number of qualified Buyers actively in the market looking at any given time is referred to as the demand. A high amount of inventory and low demand is obviously not a good thing. It tends to make for more competition when it comes to pricing and can limit the potential for appreciation. A high amount of demand and low inventory can tend to drive up prices and increase appreciation. What caused a lot of problems in many markets was mortgage lending practices that allowed for low or no down payments and little or no documentation of the Buyers ability to be able to afford a mortgage and most importantly pay the money back. The fact is that for a variety of reasons, many loans were made to people that just shouldn’t have been made. The other factor in play was that in many markets there was an unusually high amount of new construction taking place that was being artificially driven by these large number of potential Buyers in the market. When the number of Buyers began to decline as a result of stricter loan qualification guidelines, in some markets the inventory grew out of control.
When it comes to the Lake Geneva market there are a number of things going in our favor that has helped us weather the storm. First, they’re not making any more lakes like Lake Geneva. Second, many people don’t want to drive more than 2 hours from home so the days of going to central or northern Wisconsin for many is not an option. Third, there just aren’t many other options for other areas for people to go to. Many don’t want to fight the traffic nightmare going south and around the lake over to Michigan.
When you factor in the number of families in Chicago and the suburbs who have the financial means the desire to find a getaway home within a couple of hours of home, we are fortunate to have somewhat of a captive audience and as close as one can come to an assurance of Buyers who will just naturally come to the Lake Geneva area to find that ideal concept of the “On Golden Pond” vacation home.
So the answer to the question of “How’s the market” will depend on the time of year and which specific type of property and price range is in question. But the general answer to the question, when it comes to Lake Geneva, is “better than many other markets” and just because Florida or California or Las Vegas is struggling, that doesn’t mean those same factors affecting those markets are applicable here.…

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Business Contractor

What Are the Secrets of Door Knocking in Real Estate Investing?

Door knocking for real estate investors is either an experience akin to a severe sunburn or a primary source of deals. The difference between investors’ sentiments about door knocking is the ones who hate it aren’t doing it properly or at all, and the ones who love it do it regularly. Learning a few basic secrets of this time-honored prospecting technique can be very profitable.
Door knocking is the actual process of going into a targeted neighborhood and one-by-one knocking on each resident’s door. Not only should the neighborhood be targeted for the type and price home you want to purchase, the homeowners can be targeted by finding out beforehand if they are in pre-foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy or any other situation that would make them motivated sellers.
With a little pre-planning and basic development of a “script” of what to say to each type of targeted homeowner, this method of prospecting can be an investor’s most cost-effective and efficient format. I recommend that the door-knocker be dressed for success. This means no sloppy jeans and casual shirt, but preferably a logoed short with your company name and a neat and tidy appearance. You’ll only have 10 – 20 seconds to get out enough of a tickler sentence to get the seller’s attention so practicing what you will say is very important.
Most successful investors who use this method, will hire door-knockers to pre-screen the perspective sellers for them. The targeted prospects are kept for the investor training the crew, as these are much higher probability prospects. College and mature high school students are viable candidates for this job.
When a homeowner answers the door, the following strategies should be used:
1. Always take at least one step back to give the person answering the door a comfort zone.
2. Make sure you stick to your script! As an example, for people in foreclosure you might say, “Mr. Homeowner, I saw in the public record that your bank is trying to take your home and I wanted to see if we could help.”
3. If the person answering the door says they have it taken care of, just explain that you understand and that you will continue to follow their progress in the public record.
4. Give them a handout, even if it is a one page flyer, which explains what you do and why they should work with you. Short sales are always popular for foreclosure victims if they understand the process. Your brochure should convey these important benefits to them. Even if they don’t answer the door, you should leave your flyer.
5. Follow-up on the prospect’s progress, including going back to door knock if the property isn’t sold at auction or otherwise disposed of.
If you are invited into a property, always be careful. Use good judgment as one deal is not worth your life. Door knocking can work equally well in upper income neighborhoods as long as you don’t have to contend with gated or guarded communities. You should not be alone when you door knock for safety reasons.
In summary, door knocking can be humiliating or wonderful depending on your results. Never be intimidated or argue with rude people, it is not worth your time. Door knocking is possibly the single best source of getting deals quickly and at little or no cost. You’ll need persistence and fortitude to make it happen but the more you become experienced, the better and more effective your knocking will become.…

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Property Search

Real Estate Finders Fees – The Way to Make $100,000 a Year From Home With Unclaimed Property

Heard of the “found money” business? Working as a money finder is becoming more and more lucrative due to the global economic situation. Most money finders work the State Unclaimed Funds Division’s unclaimed property, and are able to charge up to 15% per transaction. If that sounds good, you’re going to love this: some real estate finders fees can be up to 50% (or more), and few money finders know about them.
Real estate finders fees, in this case, come from (logically) real estate created overages. These stem from things like tax foreclosure and mortgage foreclosure, as well as from missing pieces of probate cases and the like. Real estate overages generally are the funds that were overbid when foreclosed properties were sold at auction. Depending on the state, these overages are held for the former owners to collect. But as you can imagine, these folks become good at ignoring notices from the government regarding their delinquent property and generally miss the notice informing them of the overage.
If you can find these funds, and find their owners, you’re legally able to charge 50% or more in real estate finders fees. This is because these funds aren’t held by the state, and thus aren’t subject to state laws. Overages typically range from $2,000-100,000 or more. That means you have the potential of making a $50,000+ paycheck from one transaction.
And from an altruistic vantage point, you’re also helping these former owners not lose the equity they had in their home when it was sold at tax or sheriff’s sale. Most have no idea where they could be due money from, and will lose all of it if someone doesn’t step in. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing, so don’t have too much of a moral dilemma when considering pursuing this as a career choice. 9 times out of 10 owners are nothing but grateful for your assistance.…

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Contractor Service

How 800 Call Capture is Increasing Listings For Real Estate Agents

What is 800 call capture, and how can a real estate agent best use it to increase their listings? 800 call capture is technology that allows the recipient of a telephone call to extract, or “capture” information about that call. In its most basic form, caller ID is call capture: someone calls the real estate agent, and the caller’s telephone number is displayed. Caller ID, however, cannot capture blocked telephone numbers, or capture any other information. Modern 800 call capture systems not only identify blocked numbers, but identify the caller, his phone number and extension, his address, whether he is a buyer or seller, and an ad code to inform the agent what spurred the call originally.
In addition, the service bought can be tailored to cause the caller to want to give even more information during the call. What this means for an agent, is that time formerly dedicated to lead generation can now be put to much better use doing things that can lead directly to sales. Finally, since the potential lead originated the call, the agent is free to call back for the next 90 days under the “90 day business inquiry” provisions of the “Do Not Call” laws.
Here’s an overview of the process. An agent advertises their services in newspaper real estate sections, bus benches, free neighborhood papers, sign riders, local bulletin boards, etc. – putting their 800 call capture system to work. In their ads, they offer the potential caller some free service: a download of a report on the “Five Things You Must Know Before Selling Your House,” say, or a hotline with the latest market rundown, or the choice to press an extension to receive a faxed report of a property listing of interest, or even to press an extension and be connected with the agent directly. The 800 call capture system can be structured to request specific information from the caller in return for these free benefits. When the caller hangs up, the agent receives a report via email or text message on their cell phone, usually within seconds. The basic information is captured and reported to the agent even if the caller hangs up.
The benefits are obvious and substantial. Not only does 800 call capture minimize or eliminate the need for cold-calling or buying leads, it efficiently and immediately delivers information about pre-qualified leads to the agent in time for the agent to return the call within minutes. Follow up is streamlined and much more effective without the usual time lag between the original call and a personal contact from the agent, perhaps the first personal contact the potential lead has gotten in his or her quest to buy or sell a home.
A seller who has called the 800 call capture number, used an agent’s free service, and received a return call from the agent almost immediately is bound to be impressed with the level of service demonstrated (not just claimed) right out of the gate. The report generated by the 800 call capture system can provide the agent with information that can personalize the listing presentation to the potential seller, further increasing the level of trust in the agent, and making it much more likely that the potential seller will list with their company. In addition, the 800 call capture report itself can be a powerful tool to influence a potential seller to list with the agent.
When the agent sits down with Mr. and Mrs. Potential Lister to make their case for the listing, they can not only claim, but prove the advantage by demonstrating the 800 call capture system in action. By calling the toll-free number, hanging up, and waiting for the report to be forwarded to their cell phone, the potential client can see in real time how the 800 call capture system increases the agent’s effectiveness in following up inquiries by potential buyers when their interest is greatest. That’s a pretty convincing sales tactic.…

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Foreclosed Homes

Solid Advice For When You're Making a Real Estate Purchase

Buying a new house or property is one of the biggest investments you will make and should be taken seriously. And these days, saving money and finding a good deal is more important than ever. This article has several tips that can help you save money buying a new home.

To protect your interests when buying real estate, don’t use the seller’s agent. You might think calling the agent’s number on the “for sale” sign would be the easiest thing to do, but that agent works for the seller, and must put the seller’s needs first. To protect yourself, hire a buyer’s agent.

You should never use a friend or someone that is entirely new to the real estate industry, as your agent. With the myriad of potential problems and risks associated with real estate, your best bet is to use an experienced professional that can help guide you through the ins and outs of your purchase.

Keep an open mind about the houses you look at. These were or are someone’s home, and while they may not have made the decorating choices you would have, it was their decision. Don’t judge a house by its decor. Instead, focus on what you would do if it were to become yours.

If you are investing in a home, do not over-analyze it. If you see some things you do not like about the property, make a lower offer instead, or ask for repairs. Over-analyzing will mean you buy less property, which also will add up to less profit for you in the long run.

Take a risk. You may think it would be impossible to afford, or too good to be true, but if you see a home that you absolutely love, go for it! The worst that can happen is not getting it. You will never know what a seller may approve unless you try.

You should always check your options for down payment assistance. If you’re a single mother, a student, a minority, or another qualified candidate, you may be able to find down payment grants that will take care of the initial payment on the property. Any financial assistance could be a big help.

Look for rental properties in student areas. A college or university neighborhood is a great place to look for a rental property to purchase. In most cases, the vacancy rate will be minimal, and most of the time students pre-pay their rent for the semester or even the entire year. The one drawback is that some students only want 3 month leases; however, if you form a relationship with the school’s housing office, you will most likely have no problem at all finding tenants.

As stated before, buying a new home is a serious investment and one in which you should try to save as much money as possible. If you follow the tips in this article, finding a great deal in the market will be easy. Hopefully you will find a great house at a price that won’t break the bank.…