Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ()
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

FOUR_TIPS_FOR_BUILDING_INVENTORY

Visible to anyone in the world


Making the Most of Your Market Opportunities

It's certainly a different market than we saw a year or two ago isn't it? The buyers are out in force and agents are now fast and furiously competing to both find and market new listing inventory. If EVER there's been a time where listings are the name of the game? It's right now.

Let's look at four tips and tools you can use to position yourself as the go-to agent for listings in your market.


1. Systematically work For Sale By Owners and Expired listings.

Send them something. Get voice-to-voice. Go see them. Since they're already motivated sellers-make sure they know how motivated you are to help them achieve the results you want! Call us at 866.405.3638 to see how we can help you market to FSBOs and Expireds.

2. Include a PDF.

Another strategy came from one of our top agent customers who, before every listing appointment, creates a pdf version of a Just Listed postcard with a picture of the potential seller's house and all listing details and includes it in every listing presentation as an example of the marketing that she will get started immediately upon getting their signature! (Very clever!) Click here to see a selection of Just Listed Postcards you can download.

3. Host an Open House to generate listing leads.

Especially in areas where homes are just starting to turn over, you'll more than likely shake out the 3-4 (or more) other homeowners in the neighborhood who have been thinking about selling. Be sure to do your homework though -- canvas the neighborhood well in advance of your open house. Advertise it well. Send open house cards or flyers to your existing sphere of influence or farm areas as well. Some agents create an open house field day -- where they'll advertise 3-6 open houses all on the same day, one right after the other. While it makes for a long day, it does showcase you as an agent who has a lot going on and knows how to get things done. I always recommend having powerful collateral pieces at your open houses as well. Like 6 Pitfalls to Overpricing Your Home, Saving for a Down Payment and the Cash Buyer Checklist. When you have more creative collateral than just the home listing flyer you present yourself at a higher level of service and resource.

4. Saturate Your Target Neighborhood.

Working an area or areas where you know turnover is starting to happen? Blanket those areas with a powerful inventory needed campaign that speaks to the mindset of potential sellers and spotlights you as the agent to call when they are thinking of selling now or in the near future. We've got a terrific series of postcards that are getting tremendous results across the nation. Then be sure to follow up on that saturation mailing and make the most of your marketing efforts.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

FLORIDA_REALTOR_LICENSE

Visible to anyone in the world


FLORIDA_REALTOR_LICENSE

FLORIDA REAL ESTATE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Mail all applications to:
DBPR Central Intake Unit
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

For initial application or supporting documents for your application, please fax them to 850-488-8040.

Any active member in good standing with the Florida Bar who is otherwise qualified under the real estate license law is exempt from the FREC prescribed prerequisite educational course for licensure as a real estate sales associate. An applicant must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma (more detailed information is available in Chapter 475.17, Florida Statutes) and fulfill the following:

Real Estate Associate

  1. Successfully complete a FREC-approved pre-licensing course for sales associates consisting of 63 classroom-hours and covering the topics required by the FREC. The course is valid for licensure purposes for two years after the course completion date. Licensees with a permanent physical disability as defined by FREC may qualify for a correspondence pre-licensing course if unable, due to a permanent physical disability, to attend the site where the course is conducted.
  2. Submit a completed application, electronic fingerprints, and appropriate fee.
  3. Pass the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Examination (external link) with a grade of at least 75 or pass the Florida Real Estate Law Exam with a grade of at least 30.
  4. Activate the license, otherwise the license is issued in an inactive status. This can be doneusing the DBPR RE 10-Sales Associate, Broker Sales Associate Transactions form. Alternatively, once the new license number is issued, the broker can activate the sales associate using the broker's online account.
  5. Whether holding an active or inactive license, successfully complete a FREC-approved post-licensing course for sales associate consisting of at least 45 classroom-hours, prior to the expiration of the initial sales associate license.

Real Estate Broker

  1. Hold an active real estate sales associate license and complete 24 months (effective 7/1/08) real estate experience during the 5 year period preceding becoming licensed as a broker or a licensed real estate sales associate or broker who has real estate experience in another state may apply the experience toward a Florida real estate broker license if the applicant has held an active sales associate or a valid broker license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years. If the applicant is claiming experience from a jurisdiction other than Florida, attach to the application a current certification of real estate license history (not more than 30 days old) from the licensing agency of that jurisdiction. The real estate license must have been obtained from the real estate licensing authority by completing its education and examination requirements. NOTE: If the applicant holds a Florida real estate sales associate license (s)he must fulfill the sales associate post-licensing education requirement before being eligible to obtain a broker license. This method does not exempt a sales associate who holds a Florida sales associate license from successfully completing the sales associate post-licensing course.
  2. Successfully complete a FREC approved pre-licensing course for brokers consisting of 72 classroom hours and covering the topics required by the FREC. The course is valid for licensure purposes for two years after the course completion date. Applicants with a permanent physical disability as defined by FREC Rule 61J2-3.013(2) may qualify for a correspondence pre-licensing course if unable, due to a permanent physical disability, to attend the site where the course is conducted.
  3. Submit a completed application, electronic fingerprints, and appropriate fee.
  4. Pass the FloridaReal Estate Broker Examination (external link) with a grade of at least 75.
  5. Submit a completed DBPR RE 11-Broker Transactions form to activate the license, otherwise the license is issued in an inactive status. Alternatively, the broker can activate the license using the broker's online account .
  6. Successfully complete a FREC-approved post-licensing course for brokers consisting of at least 60 classroom hours prior to the expiration of the initial broker license.

Real Estate School Instructor

"School instructor" means an individual who instructs persons in the classroom in noncredit college courses in a college, university, or community college, or courses in an area technical center or proprietary real estate school. Where the course or courses to be taught are prescribed by the FREC precedent to licensure or renewal as a real estate sales associate or broker, the applicant must certify their competency and obtain an instructor permit by meeting one of the following requirements:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree in a business-related subject (such as real estate, finance, accounting, business administration, or its equivalent) and hold a valid broker's license in this state.

  2. Hold a bachelor's degree, have extensive real estate expe​rience (as defined by rule) and hold a valid broker's license in this state.

  3. Pass an Instructor Examination (external link) approved by the FREC.
  4. Submit a completed DBPR RE 13-Instructor Transactions form to register as a Real Estate Instructor for a real estate school.
  5. The continuing education requirement for a real estate instructor is a minimum of 7 classroom hours of instruction in real estate subjects or instructional techniques as prescribed by the FREC.

Mutual Recognition Agreements

Florida has mutual recognition agreements with 8 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma. If you reside in one of the states you are required to take Florida Core Law Exam at a Pearson Vue testing center. Currently MLS Campus does not offer a Core Law Prep Course, however the Exam Prep Master is great tool to help you prepare for the exam.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

Florida_Real_Estate_Title_and_Land_Records

Visible to anyone in the world


Florida_Real_Estate_Title_and_Land_Records

TITLE (PROPERTY)

Title is a legal term for a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or an equitable interest . [1] The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership . Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. Title is distinct from possession , a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, both possession and title may be transferred independently of each other. 
The main rights in the title bundle are usually:

The rights in real property may be separated further, examples including:

Possession is the actual holding of a thing, whether or not one has any right to do so. The right of possession is the legitimacy of possession (with or without actual possession), the evidence for which is such that the law will uphold it unless a better claim is proven. The right of property is that right which, if all relevant facts were known (and allowed), would defeat all other claims. Each of these may be in a different person.

For example, suppose A steals from B, what B had previously bought in good faith from C, which C had earlier stolen from D, which had been an heirloom of D's family for generations, but had originally been stolen centuries earlier (though this fact is now forgotten by all) from E. Here A has the possession, B has an apparent right of possession (as evidenced by the purchase), D has the absolute right of possession (being the best claim that can be proven), and the heirs of E, if they knew it, have the right of property, which they cannot prove. Good title consists in uniting these three (possession, right of possession, and right of property) in the same person(s).

The extinguishing of ancient, forgotten, or unasserted claims, such as E's in the example above, was the original purpose of statutes of limitations . Otherwise, title to property would always be uncertain.

Equitable versus legal title

The equitable title refers to the actual enjoyment and use of a property , whereas a legal title implies actual ownership. An example of such is a trust . In a trust, one person may own the legal title, such as the trustees . Another may own the equitable title such as the beneficiary .

Applications

In countries with a sophisticated private property system, documents of title are commonly used for real estate , motor vehicles , and some types of intangible property. When such documents are used, they are often part of a registration system whereby ownership of such property can be verified. In some cases, a title can also serve as a permanent legal record of condemnation of property, such as in the case of an automobile junk or salvage title . In the case of real estate , the legal instrument used to transfer title is the deed . A famous rule is that a thief cannot convey good title, so title searches are routine (or highly recommended) for purchases of many types of expensive property (especially real estate). In several counties and municipalities in the US a standard title search (generally accompanied by title insurance ) is required under the law as a part of ownership transfer.

Paramount title is the best title in Fee simple available for the true owner. The person who is owner of real property with paramount title has the higher (or better, or "superior") right in an action to Quiet title . The concept is inherently a relative one. Technically, paramount title is not always the best (or highest) title, since it is necessarily based on some other person's title. [3] [4] 
Quiet title action is a lawsuit to settle competing claims or rights to real property, for example, missing heirs , tenants , reverters , remainders and lien holders all competing to get ownership to the house or land. [5] [6] Each of the United States have different procedures for a quiet title action . [7]

However, most personal property items do not have a formal document of title. For such items, possession is the simplest indication of title, unless the circumstances give rise to suspicion about the possessor's ownership of the item. Proof of legal acquisition, such as a bill of sale or purchase receipt, is contributory. Transfer of possession to a good faith purchaser will normally convey title if no document is required.

Political issues

California prevented aliens (mainly Asians ) from holding title to land until the law was declared unconstitutional in 1952. Currently there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of land in the United States, although sales of real estate by non-resident aliens are subject to certain special taxation rules.

DEED

deed is a signed and, in some jurisdictions, usually sealed legal instrument in writing used to grant a right . Deeds have historically been part of the broader category of instruments under seal , requiring only the affixing of a common seal to render them valid. Today, however, deeds are instruments in solemn form which require the author's signature and, depending upon the jurisdiction, either notarization or a number of attesting witnesses. In some places (but usually not in the United States), deeds are also referred to as agreements under seal , contracts by deed , or specialties . A specialty is a contract under seal (bond, legal mortgage, debt secured by writing under seal) and formerly ranked in priority above a simple contract in the administration of a decedent's estate for paying off liabilities, especially since specialties have a 12 year limitation period, twice that of a simple contract.They are often used by lawyers when a very formal document is required. 
Deeds can be described as contract-like as they require the mutual agreement of more than one person. Deeds can therefore be distinguished from covenants , which, being also under seal, are unilateral promises. However, a deed differs from a simple contract in that it is enforceable without consideration , in some jurisdictions has a liability limitation period of double that of a contract, and allows for a third party beneficiary to enforce an undertaking in the deed, thereby overcoming the doctrine of privity . In its narrowest sense, a deed is any formal document that confirms or transfers interest or right of ownership ( title ) to an asset from one person to another, often using a description of its metes and bounds , e.g., conveyances , transfers, mortgages , charges, or leases ; these are known as deeds of title (title-deeds). However, by the general definition, powers of attorney , commissions , patents , and even diplomas conferring academic degrees are also deeds. 
Traditionally and under common law , to be valid and enforceable, a deed must fulfill several requirements:

  • It must state on its face it is a deed, using wording like "This Deed..." or "executed as a deed".
  • It must indicate that the instrument itself conveys some privilege or thing to someone. This is indicated by using the word hereby or the phrase by these presents in the clause indicating the gift.
  • The grantor must have the legal ability to grant the thing or privilege.
  • The grantee must have the legal capacity to receive it.
  • It must be executed by the grantor in presence of the prescribed number of witnesses, known as instrumentary witnesses (this is known as being in solemn form ) or be notarized.
  • seal must be affixed to it. Originally, affixing seals made persons parties to the deed and signatures were optional, but most jurisdictions made seals outdated, and now the grantor and either witnesses signatures or notarization are primary.
  • It must be delivered to ( delivery ) and accepted by the grantee ( acceptance ).
  • It should be properly acknowledged before a competent officer, most often a notary public .

Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as covenants . A deed indented or indenture is one executed in two or more parts according to the number of parties, which were formerly separated by cutting in a curved or indented line known as the chirograph. A deed poll is one executed in one part, by one party, having the edge polled or cut even, and includes simple grants and appointments.

Deed types

General and special warranty

In the transfer of real estate, a deed conveys ownership from the old owner (the grantor) to the new owner (the grantee), and can include various warranties . The precise name and nature of these warranties differ by jurisdiction. Often, however, the basic differences between them is the degree to which the grantor warrants the title. The grantor may give a general warranty of title against any claims, or the warranty may be limited only to claims which occurred after the grantor obtained the real estate. The latter type of deed is usually known as a special warranty deed . While a general warranty deed was normally used for residential real estate sales and transfers, special warranty deeds are becoming more common and are more commonly used in commercial transactions.

Bargain and sale deed

A third type of deed, known as a bargain and sale deed , implies that the grantor has the right to convey title but makes no warranties against encumbrances. This type of deed is most commonly used by court officials or fiduciaries that hold the property by force of law rather than title, such as properties seized for unpaid taxes and sold at sheriff's sale , or an executor .

Quitclaim deed

A so-called quitclaim deed is (in most states) actually not a deed at all—it is actually an estoppel disclaiming rights of the person signing it to property.

Deed of trust

In some jurisdictions, a deed of trust is used as an alternative to a mortgage . A deed of trust is not used to transfer property directly. It is commonly used in some states, California, for example, to transfer title to land to a “trustee”, usually a trust or title company, which holds the title as security ("in escrow ") for a loan. When the loan is paid off, title is transferred to the borrower by recording a release of the obligation, and the trustee's contingent ownership is extinguished. Otherwise, upon default, the trustee will liquidate the property with a new deed and offset the lender's loss with the proceeds.

Deeds as alternatives to bankruptcy

  • -Deed of arrangement - document setting out an arrangement for a debtor to pay part or all outstanding debts, as an alternative to bankruptcy; (Australian law).
  • -Deed of assignment - document in which a debtor appoints a trustee to take charge of property to pay debts, partly or wholly, as an alternative to bankruptcy; (Australian law).

Recording

Usually the transfer of ownership of real estate is registered at a cadastre in the United Kingdom . In most parts of the United States, deeds must be submitted to the Recorder of deeds , who acts as a cadastre, to be registered. An unrecorded deed may be valid proof of ownership between the parties, but may have no effect upon third-party claims until disclosed or recorded. A local statute may prescribe a period beyond which unrecorded deeds become void as to third-parties, at least as to intervening acts.

Joint ownership

Ownership transfer may also be crafted within deeds to pass by demise, as where a property is held in concurrent estate such as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" (JTWROS) or "tenants by the entirety". In each case, the title to the property immediately and automatically vests in the named survivor(s) upon the death of the other tenant(s).

In most states joint tenancy with the right of survivorship require all owners to have equal interests in the property, meaning upon sale or partition of the property all owners would receive an equal distribution of the proceeds.

Joint ownership may also be by tenants in common (TIC). In some states, joint ownership is presumed to be as tenants in common unless the parties are married and the deed so states or the deed sets for joint tenants with right of survivorship. Upon death, the decedent's share passes to his or her estate.

life estate is the right to use, possess and enjoy the property for a period of time measured by the natural life of a person or persons. When all life tenants are dead, the remainderman holds full title.

Joint tenants with rights of survivorship vs. joints tenants in common

When deeds are taken as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) or joint tenants in common (TIC), any co-owner can file a petition for partition to dissolve the tenancy relationship. JTWROS deed holders always take the property in equal shares; therefore, if the partnership is dissolved through partition, the proceeds must be equally distributed between all of the co-owners without regard to how much each co-owner contributed to the purchase price of the property. No credits would be allowed for any excess contributions to the purchase price. For example, if A and B co-own property as JTWROS and A contributed 80% of the purchase price, A and B would still receive equal distributions upon partition. On the other hand, TIC deed holders may be granted at partition a credit for unequal contributions to purchase price. During either partition, credits may be awarded to any co-owner who may have contributed in excess of his share to the property expenses after taking deed to the property. Credits may be allowed for utilities and maintenance; however, credits for improvements may not be allowed unless the improvements actually added substantial value to the property.
In the United States , a pardon of the President was once considered to be a deed and thus needed to be accepted by the recipient. This made it impossible to grant a pardon posthumously. However, in the case of Henry Ossian Flipper , this view was altered when President Bill Clinton pardoned him in 1999.

Title deed

In the United Kingdom, England and Wales operate a 'property register'. Title deeds are documents showing ownership, as well as rights, obligations, or mortgages on the property. Since around 2000, compulsory registration has been required for all properties mortgaged or transferred. The details of rights, obligations, and covenants referred to in deeds will be transferred to the register, a contract describing the property ownership.

Difference between deed and an agreement

The main difference between Deed and an agreement is that the deed is generally signed by only one person / party. Examples of the Deed are Deed of Hypothecation for creating charge on movable properties in favour of the banks / financial institutions etc. 
Agreement by it names suggests that there should be at least two parties signing / approving the same. Examples of the agreement are Agreement to sale, Loan Agreement etc. 
At common law, ownership was proven via an unbroken chain of title deeds. The Torrens title system is an alternative way of proving ownership. First introduced in South Australia in 1858 by Sir Robert Torrens and adopted later by the other Australian states and other countries, ownership under Torrens title is proven by possession of a certificate of title and the corresponding entry in the property register. This system removes risks associated with unregistered deeds and fraudulent or otherwise incorrect transactions. It is much easier and cheaper to administer, lowering transaction costs. Some Australian properties are still conveyed using a chain of title deeds - usually properties that have been owned by the same family since the nineteenth century - and these are often referred to as 'Old System' deeds.

Wild deeds

A deed that is recorded, but is not connected to the chain of title of the property, is called a wild deed . A wild deed does not provide constructive notice to later purchasers of the property, because subsequent bona fide purchasers can not reasonably be expected to locate the deed while investigating the chain of title to the property.

Property Restrictions

When purchasing property, buyers should be aware of any possible property restrictions that will impact their intended use. Property owner’s rights generally allow them to use their property freely, however, there are restrictions on real property from real property laws that owners need to know. Property restrictions can come from the government or from private agreements with surrounding property owners. Government restrictions come from real property law, and can include zoning statutes, environmental regulations, restrictive covenant, or anti-nuisance laws designed to ensure the use of one property does not negatively affect surrounding property owners’ rights. Private agreements regulating use create what is known as a restrictive covenant. A restrictive covenant is a signed contract between property owners of adjacent or nearby properties that can enforce a variety of property restrictions such as: listing allowable structures and improvements, restricting the height of structures on the property, and specifying what type of building can go on a property. A restrictive covenant is commonly found in residential development neighborhoods to promote uniformity in appearance and use throughout. Buyers should be aware of any restrictive covenants prior to a real estate purchase. For assistance understanding property restrictions, consult a real estate attorney.

What are some typical restrictions imposed by law on owning real property?

There is a myriad of federal, state, county and local laws which restrict what you can do with the real property that you own. Enforcement of these laws typically resides with various governmental agencies which are responsible for keeping you in compliance with these laws. The three most common restrictions ...

What non-government restrictions are there on the use of my property?

In addition to laws established by the government, there may also be private party agreements and other restrictions controlling what you can do with your real property. For example, a real estate developer may sell homes in a subdivision or condominiums subject to restrictive covenants in the purchase contract (typically ...


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

FLORIDA_REAL_ESTATE_TAXES

Visible to anyone in the world


gt

Florida taxes are complex, just as they are in any other state. The real estate taxes that you pay on a home can vary widely depending on what city and what county you are buying the home in.However, in this article, we take a look at how residents of the Sunshine State are affected by income tax, sales tax, property tax, intangible tax and other government levies. 
Why the difference in Florida Real Estate taxes? There are several factors which affect the size of your property tax bill, but the main thing is that the taxes will usually be higher in areas that are experiencing rapid population and housing growth. When rapid growth happens some local governments cannot provide the level of services expected of them without raising taxes. This usually happens because city governments didn’t anticipate the rapid growth and must then play catch-up. Had they foreseen the growth, it might be a different story. They could have used the expanding tax base from more people moving into the area to increase the amount and level of services that would be needed such as building new roads and infrastructure, providing adequate schools, police, medical, and fire services, and hiring more public servants to oversee and run them.

Income Tax

The strength of Florida’s low tax burden comes from its lack of an income tax, making them one of seven such states in the U.S. The state constitution prohibits such a tax, though Floridians still have to pay federal income taxes.

Sales Tax

Florida law mandates a minimum sales tax rate of 6%, collected by the state government to provide services to all Floridians. However, the law also provides for a local option sales tax that lets each county set its own local tax that is collected on top of the general state rate. This means that you'll pay a different sales tax rate in each Florida county. For the current rates in each county in the state.

Property Tax

IThough the state government does not collect any property taxes, local governments receive much of their funding through these taxes. These rates are assessed at the local level and can vary by county, and they are based on the value of the property. Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country, although there are several exemptions to try to lighten the load on some Floridians.

Florida's Intangible Tax

At one time, Florida assessed an annual intangible tax on investment assets held by individuals. This tax was repealed in 2007.

Property Tax Exemptions

• Homestead Exemptions of up to $50,000 are available to Florida residents on their primary residence. The first $25,000 of this exemption applies to all property taxes. The second $25,000, which applies to asses values between $50,000 and $75,000, applies to non-school taxes only.

  • • Widow(er)’s Exemptions of $500 are available to non-remarried widows and widowers.
  • • Senior Citizen’s Exemptions of up to $50,000 are available in certain counties and cities to citizens aged 65 and older who have gross income below $20,000 (in 2001 dollars, adjusted for inflation).

 

Disability Exemptions

Additional exemptions are available for citizens who have various types of disability, ranging from a $500 exemption to complete relief from property taxes. These exemptions include:

• Disability Exemptions of $500 are available to Florida residents who are totally and permanently disabled.

  •  Blindness Exemptions of $500 are available to legally blind residents.
  •  Quadriplegic Exemptions are available on real estate owned and used as a homestead by a quadriplegic. Such homesteads are completely exempt from property tax.
  • • Total Disability Exemptions are available to real estate owned and used as a homestead by a totally and permanently disabled person who must use a wheelchair for mobility or is legally blind and has gross income below $14,500 (in 1991 dollars, adjusted for inflation). This exemption provides complete relief from property taxes
  • Veteran’s Exemptions exist in a number of different forms.
  • • A veteran documented as disabled by 10% or more in war or service-connected events can earn an additional exemption of $5,000 on any owned property.
  • • An honorably discharged veteran who is totally and permanently disabled or requires a wheelchair for mobility due to their service can be exempt from all property taxes. In some circumstances, this benefit can be transferred to a surviving spouse.
  • • An honorably discharged and disabled veteran who is 65 or older who was a Florida resident when they entered military service may be eligible for an additional exemption. The disability must be permanent and must have been acquired as a result of the military service. The property tax will be discounted based on the percent of the disability.
  •  Members of the military deployed during the last calendar year can receive exemptions based on the percent of time during the year they were deployed.

 

Other Taxes

Corporate Income Tax While individuals do not have to pay income taxes, the same is not true for all types of businesses in Florida. Corporations and artificial entities that conduct business, or earn or receive income in Florida, including out-of-state corporations, must file a Florida corporate income tax return unless exempt. They must file a return even if no tax is due. Sole proprietorships, individuals, estates of decedents, and testamentary trusts are exempted and do not have to file a return. S Corporations are usually exempt as well, unless federal income tax is owed. The Florida Corporate Income Tax rate is 5.5%.
Reemployment Tax (formerly Unemployment Tax) Eligible businesses must also pay the Reemployment Tax. Formerly called the Unemployment Tax before being renamed in 2012, this tax is used to give partial, temporary income to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and who are able and available to work.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

FLORIDA_REAL_ESTATE_SCHOOL

Visible to anyone in the world


Our online courses are the most comprehensive in the State of Florida! You are free to access these courses at anytime 24/7 from any internet connected computer. These courses combine lessons that students can review at their own pace and exams that measure student understanding of the material.

  • Easiest and Fastest way to complete the course
  • Access the course at anytime via any internet connected computer, tablet or smartphone
  • No Shipping and nothing will be downloaded to your computer
  • Works on both PC and Mac Systems
  • Instant feedback on assignments
  • Work at your own Pace

Choose from:
PRE LICENSE COURSES
Florida Sales Associate Pre License Course
Florida Broker Pre License Course

POST LICENSE COURSES
Florida Sales Associate Post License Course
Florida Broker Post License Course

CE & REACTIVATION
Florida Continuing Education Course
Florida Reactivation Course

EXAM PREP COURSES
Exam Prep Master
Exam Math Prep


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

FLORIDA_REAL_ESTATE_PROPERTY_MANAGEMENT

Visible to anyone in the world


FLORIDA_REAL_ESTATE_PROPERTY_MANAGEMENT

Property management is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate .It encompasses all aspects of running an income property, from finding and screening tenants to maintaining the property, collecting rent, and handling any issues that arise.

Property Manager in Florida

A property manager or estate manager is a person or firm charged with operating a real estate property for a fee, when the owner is unable to personally attend to such details, or is not interested in doing so. The property may be individual title owned or it may be owned under sectional title, share block company owned and may be registered for residential, commercial office and retail or industrial use. Florida state requires property management companies to be licensed real estate brokers if they are collecting rent, listing properties for rent or helping negotiate leases. A property manager may be a licensed real estate salesperson but generally they must be working under a licensed real estate broker. Most states in the United States have a public license check system on-line for anyone holding a real estate salesperson or real estate broker's license. Owners who manage their own property are exempt from the requirement of having a real estate license. However, owners who do not live near the rental property may be required, by local government, to hire the services of a property management company.

MANAGEMENT ROLE AND SERVICES

One important role of a "Property Manager" is that of liaison between the ownership or asset manager and the actual tenant/leasee tenant, providing a buffer for those owners who are desiring to distance themselves from their tenant constituency. Duties of property management generally will include a minimum of these basic primary tasks:

  • • Leasing / Advertising / Computerized Accounting
  • • On-site Interior Inspections Credit / Criminal Tenant Screening
  • • Website / Email Move Out Inspections
  • • Cost Effective Maintenance
  • • Our Specialties
  • • Single-family Homes
  • • Multi-family Apartments
  • • Condominiums
  • • Duplexes
  • • House Sitting
  • • Investment Sales

Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

Florida_Real_Estate_Post_License_Requirements

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by MLS Campus Instructor I, Thursday, 27 April 2017, 10:59 AM


Don’t procrastinate and put your Florida real estate license at risk!

To maintain your real estate license, all licensees must comply with post-licensing requirements or continuing education requirements and pay the necessary renewal fees.  This also applies to those licensees with a suspended license. If your required education is not complete and/or reported, you will NOT be able to renew your license.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) rules require anyone with a Sale Associate license or a Broker License to complete Post-License training prior to their first renewal deadline. There is no grace period.

Sales Associates Requirements

Complete 45 Hours of Sales Associate Post License Training

Complete 45 Hours of Sales Associate Post License Test

MLS Campus’s Post-License Sales Associate course is designed to go beyond the principles of Real Estate that were taught in your Pre-License course, and give you the real-world application skills that will enhance your ability to be successful out in the market. The sooner you acquire these skills which include marketing techniques, listing acquisition, and helpful tips for buyers and sellers, the faster you will be able to build a solid base and experience greater success.

If you do not complete your 45 Hours of Post License Training your license becomes void, and you have to retake the pre-license course, pass its exam, and retake the state exam.  In effect, you have to start from scratch.

Broker Requirements

Complete 60 Hours of Broker Post License - 30 Hours Investment & 30 Hours Management Training

The Florida Real Estate Commission rules require anyone with a Broker’s license to complete 60 hours of Post-License training prior to their first renewal deadline. MLS Campus’s Broker Post-License course is designed to go beyond the material taught in your Pre-License course, and enhance your skills in office management and investment analysis. The sooner you acquire these skills, the faster you will be able to put them to use and successfully build your business.

If you do not complete your 60 Hours of Post License Training your license reverts to a sales associate’s license. 

In an earlier article we discussed how to manage your license at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Post and Continuing Education Monitoring Database.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

Which_Repairs_Should_You_Make?

Visible to anyone in the world

If you're preparing to place your home on the market, it's inevitable that you'll need a couple of minor repairs and slight improvements before your broker can drive a "For Sale" sign into your front yard.
Practical and aesthetic projects like a fresh coat of paint drain neither time nor money and can make your home more attractive while perhaps speeding your sale.
But what if a larger item needs repair, something which doesn't jeopardize anyone's health or safety—a problem of the "out of sight, out of mind" variety. Should you simply disclose it and leave the buyer to deal with the problem? Or should you fix it before placing your home on the market?
 
Before you make any decisions, consider that repairing the problem yourself could result in a potentially higher sales price for you. What sweet music it is to any buyer's ears to hear the terms "new" or "just replaced" as they walk through a home.
Neal Hribar with Coldwell Banker in San Diego says, "If your house is in move-in condition, it will appeal to a wider group of prospective home buyers. First-time home buyers, and buyers with busy lifestyles, often will not consider buying a home that needs a lot of work. That is because they do not have the time or the experience to deal with the problems.
 
"The listings that command the most attention are those that are in the best condition," Hribar explains. "If homes look sharp and are priced right, more than one buyer may make an offer. When multiple offers occur, the price may get bid up. Even if there are not multiple offers, experience has shown that a house that is in good condition will sell more quickly than one that needs work. A quick sale often means that the sales price will be close to the list price."
Another point to consider: Many if not most home sales today include the use of a home inspection clause. Depending on how it's written, this clause can allow buyers to terminate a contract if the inspection is not "satisfactory" to them or if certain repairs are not completed.
 
According to the online legal resource Nolo.com, buyers often have the opportunity with a proper inspection clause to effectively re-open negotiations by either asking the owner to undertake repairs.
Another result of an unhappy inspection works like this: The buyer asks for a discount—sometimes a very ambitious discount based on an inflated view of repair costs.
When considering minor aesthetic improvements, your decision should depend on local market conditions. Your broker can suggest what's needed to be competitive and perhaps what's not. In a hot market you may need to do nothing, while in a buyer's market your list of repairs and upgrades may be extensive.
 
While not fixing up is a problem, fixing up too much—over-improving—is also an issue. The usual rule for buyers is that they purchase the least expensive home in the most expensive neighborhood they can afford. The result is that a house with too many improvements may be priced at the top of the local market, not the best place to be from a selling standpoint.
The moral of the story: You have an obligation to repair or at least inform buyers regarding health and safety hazards. For their protection—and to guard against unwarranted future claims against you—buyers should get a home inspection.
No less important, the longer a home languishes in the marketplace, the more likely it is to fetch a lower price. Thus fixing up is not only good for buyers, it also may lead to a quicker sale—something beneficial for owners.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

WHERE_YOU_WORK_SHOULD_HELP_YOU_DECIDE_WHERE_TO_BUY

Visible to anyone in the world

If you're entering into the real estate market for the first time, you'll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That's three of the key factors... I'm kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern.

However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice, with parks, good schools, retail stores nearby, and somewhat close to freeways, it's a good location. But what also makes it a good location is how close it is to your work.

These days many people are telecommuting, which allows them to work from home and save gas. If that's the case, a 45-minute or hour-plus drive, one-way to the office, might not be too intimidating because you're not going to have to do it every day. But your long commute could still become a key factor when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Some lenders may factor in your long commute as part of your overall debt-to-income ratio, (DTI) which will directly impact how much money you can borrow. Regardless of whether the lender takes your extended commute into consideration, buyers should. With rising gas prices and increasing traffic, an extra long commute to the office can hurt your pocketbook.

A study from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology reported that transportation expenses for households in the largest metro areas increased 44 percent from 2000 to 2010. And about 600,000 full-time workers have a huge commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to get to the office, according to U.S. Census data.

Sometimes the allure of rural areas with typically less expensive housing prices is so strong that buyers forget to consider how long they'll be on the road before they're home at night. They also don't factor in the gas costs that add up fast and can amount to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.

If you do purchase a home with a long commute, talk to your company about possible commuting subsidies, arrange a carpool, or try to work remotely more frequently to reduce the back and forth commute. Craigslist.com and eRideShare.com help connect people with others who live and work nearby. Some cities even have their own sponsored program for free online matching services for carpooling. You can also ask your work to adjust your hours so that you can come in and leave at times when you'll miss rush hours. This way you're not just burning gas while sitting in tight, slow-moving traffic.

Cities with good mass transit are attracting buyers and providing options that help avoid putting extra unwanted miles on their vehicles. It makes sense. Sometimes the commute, if they don't have to drive, is a welcome break giving workers time to catch up on a good book, movie, or extra work. Plus, some cities have waterway ferries that make it a beautiful and enjoyable commute.

If you're shopping for a home and considering the long commute, spend a little time weighing the pros and cons. Also, do a little research. You can visit commutesolutions.org to use their online calculator to determine the true cost of your driving commute. Having a road map that shows your expected expenses will help you accurately budget for them.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

WHEN_IT_COMES_TO_FAIR_HOUSING,_WHAT_CAN_YOU_SAY?

Visible to anyone in the world

Some myths take on a life of their own. Not only do they refuse to die, but also they grow and expand. Recently, it has come to our attention that this seems to be true of what we might call the real estate myth of prohibited language. Like most myths, it began in a truth. The truth was, and is, that Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act "prohibits the making, printing, and publishing of advertisements which state a preference, limitation or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin." The prohibition applies both to publishers, such as newspapers and Internet sites, and to individuals and entities who place real estate advertisements.

What is the myth? It is the belief that the Fair Housing Act prohibits the use of any words or phrases that could conceivably offend someone or that could in any way, shape, or form suggest that the style or configuration of a residence or dwelling unit might be derived from or suitable for one type of living arrangement rather than another. Thus, for example, according to the myth, the phrase "family room" ought not to appear in an advertisement describing a residence, because it is possible that such a phrase might suggest a preference for one type of life style rather than another.

It has been almost twenty years since the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a memorandum, HUD Guidance Regarding Advertisements Under Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, which was designed to put the myth to rest. Alas, the myth seems to have had greater staying power. While the memorandum is still official HUD policy, many people in the real estate community -- including those who police the MLS -- seem to be oblivious to it. Fortunately, the memo is readily available as an appendix in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) publication, Fair Housing Handbook.

The memorandum addresses wording issues as they arise with respect to the various (seven) protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. What is said will no doubt come as a surprise to some. And a relief to others. Some samples:

1. Race, color, or national origin: "Use of words describing the housing, the current or potential residents or the neighbors or neighborhood in racial or ethnic terms (i.e., white family home, no Irish) will create liability under this section. However, advertisements which are facially [apparently] neutral will not create liability. Thus, complaints over use of phrases such as master bedroom, rare find, or desirable neighborhood should not be filed."

2. Religion: "Advertisements should not contain an explicit preference, limitation or discrimination on account of religion (i.e. no Jews, Christian home)… Advertisements containing descriptions of properties (apartment complex with chapel), or services (kosher meals available) do not on their face state a preference for persons likely to make use of those facilities, and are not violations of the Act."

3. Sex: "… Use of the term master bedroom does not constitute a violation of either the sex discrimination provisions or the race discrimination provisions. Terms such as "mother-in-law suite" and "bachelor apartment" are commonly used as physical descriptions of housing units and do not violate the Act."

4. Handicap: "…Advertisements containing descriptions of properties (great view, fourth floor walkup, walk-in closets), services or facilities (jogging trails) or neighborhoods (walk to bus stop) do not violate the Act…"

5. Familial status: "…Advertisements describing the properties (two bedroom, cozy, family room), services and facilities (no bicycles allowed) or neighborhoods (quiet streets) are not facially discriminatory and do not violate the Act."

So there you have it. Straight from your government. Something sensible. Savor it and pass the word. Myth busters, unite.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What's_Got_Gurus_Buzzing_about_Every_Door_Direct_Mail?

Visible to anyone in the world

And Why Agents are Using it to Create Strong Market Positions

I don't know if you're tapped into the chatter or if you've heard the buzz both offline and online these days - but many of the top marketing gurus, mega-agent teams and real estate coaches are sharing their pearls of wisdom with audiences and clients that Every Door Direct is the way to go to jump start a big shift in market share.

Hey - I'm with them. As a big fan of common sense marketing - you can't beat the price or the deliverability. Two factors that usually are quick to stop agents in their tracks from consistently and effectively marketing themselves and their listings. Add in the fact that agents don't even have to have a LIST - and you've got a trifecta of marketing savvy! Every Door Direct Mail or EDDM is just smart for today's budget-conscious agents. You take a postage rate of just 16 cents and you can get in literally EVERY door in a geographic area with your message, your brand and a great call to action - do that consistently over the course of six months - you've got yourself name recognition, top of mind awareness - and as the gurus will tell you - listing leads pouring in. (Which again, makes sense - choose an area where there is good turnover or one right on the verge of some change and you've got a recipe for a listing inventory windfall!)

If you're not familiar yet with EDDM- it's a relatively new service produced by the post office that allows you to choose a carrier route (fairly simple to map out with a handy tool), and deliver your marketing piece to every single mailbox on that route for as low as 16 cents postage per piece. There are some size restrictions (though you can send a larger piece for the same price) and you do have to choose the entirety of the route. (So say a route has 600 homes - you don't have the flexibility of sending to just 400 of them for example.) But for agents eager to break into a new area and establish themselves as a neighborhood specialist - this really is as good as it gets price factor wise.

I love that there is so much buzz about this product. Just a word of warning when you're getting caught up in the hype. You don't need a fancy, tricked-out, six-week, 32-CD course to use this product. It's pretty simple and it works. Will you have questions? Absolutely. It's new and it's got some twists and tricks that can make it easier or harder depending on your knowledge of it. But that's what we do. Walk people through the twists and tricks. We did a webinar not long ago and had some great customer feedback and questions - you can watch it on demand if you'd like - just click here.

We also gathered some GREAT insights from agents who are rocking this program and we featured them in a recent article 3 Do's and Don'ts of Every Door Direct Mail. If this is something you'd like to explore - check that out and see what's working for agents just like you.

Honestly? If you're ready to break out and create a real presence in your market area with higher exposure for less marketing dollars, this really is a great tool to do the job. And you don't have to have a guru to do it. Just call our team at 866-405-3638 and they'll be happy to walk you through it, find your carrier routes, choose a template that works for you and get you off and running in no time. You can also walk through a little 'tour' of what it is, what it isn't, how it works, how it doesn't right online at prospectsplus.com/eddm2 . You can even call and have one of our team members on the line when you do so if you have questions you can say, "Hey - how do I...?" and they're happy to help you find the answers you need. We're kind of fun like that (in a non-guru kind of way!)

Have fun with it. Get creative. Be sure to have some great direct response offers on your marketing piece so people will be compelled to raise their hands and contact you. (We've got some cool free reports you can offer if you need some backup collateral.) Like any other marketing tool out there though - be consistent! If you're going to send just one mailing - don't expect the phone to ring off the hook. A smarter choice is to pick a smaller carrier route and send every month or every other month for the next six months to a year - THAT'S a brand builder. Go for it! Call us today at 866-405-3638 and good luck!


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_You_Should_Look_for_When_House_Hunting

Visible to anyone in the world

Keep your eye on these big-ticket items when shopping for a home
 
By Diana Lundin
 
If you’re shopping for a home and can afford to buy one, you couldn’t be in a better position right now. In many parts of the country, housing inventory is high and both home prices and interest rates are low and as a buyer, you can take advantage of that.
With so many properties on the market, you can probably take a more leisurely approach to house hunting without getting into a fast-paced bidding war. There is a caveat, however. The best homes priced properly for the market conditions will always be in higher demand.
 
As you begin your search for the right home for you, it pays to keep in mind things you need to check carefully so that they don’t cost you big bucks in the long run.
 
Kitchen
If kitchens matter to you, you might want to be fairly selective about them when looking for a new home. The2009 average price for a minor kitchen remodel for a midrange home is more than $21,000 and the cost for a major remodel is more than $57,000 and the costs are substantially more for higher-end homes.
Look carefully at the appliances, cabinetry, counters and floor. Those are the elements that cost more to replace. If possible, you want newer appliances to save money on repairs and energy costs; solid-wood cabinets; and solid-surface counters, such as granite, stainless steel, butcher block or engineered stone. Your floor choices include wood, cork, laminates and tile and it’s a matter of what’s comfortable and durable for your lifestyle.
 
Bathrooms
Following kitchens, bathrooms are also expensive rooms to remodel at a 2009 national average of more than $16,000 because of the fixtures and plumbing. Make sure you see no leaks or evidence of leaks in tubs, toilets and flooring. Sharing bathrooms can be one of those pain points for families so make sure you get what you need.
 
Roof
A roof is a big-ticket item with an average 2009 replacement cost of more than $19,000 although adding a second layer to a roof is not nearly as expensive as replacing the entire thing. Inside the house, you can check the attic, ceilings and skylights for signs of water damage, look for places where the roof deck is sagging, and see if you can detect any light coming through. If you do see light coming through, it is likely not a problem if the roof is made of shake shingles. Outside, inspect for cracked, ripped, curling or missing shingles and damaged flashing.  Also look for rotting, buckling, blistering or algae growth, which could also be signs of trouble.
 
HVAC
An old heater can be hard to repair and eats up energy at a pace faster than newer units. Furnaces can start at about $5,000 to replace and if you buy a combined unit with the air conditioner, add on several thousand dollars. You may need to replace the heat pump or air conditioner if it’s older than 10 years and a furnace or boiler if it’s more than 15 years old.
 
Basement
The extra room you gain may be a huge headache if the basement floods. Look for water marks and find out if the house has a system for removing water.
Other areas of concern that might cost money down the line are the driveways and sidewalks, chimneys, insulation and windows.
If you find a house and your offer is accepted, you’ll be dealing with a home inspector who can fill in the gaps with a professional’s eye. The thing is, if you really want the home, you don’t have to let problems deter you. You are in position to negotiate a price reduction with the seller or insist repairs be made to the property before your offer is finalized.
 
If you can afford a house, you can afford the luxury of taking your time to find the right one for you.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_To_Look_For_When_Buying_Real_Estate

Visible to anyone in the world

The first thing that most of us think of is the adage... "location, location, location". While that is certainly very critical, there are many other things to consider when buying real estate. Here are some universal guidelines.

  • How long you intend to stay in a home.This is an important question to consider because moving is quite expensive. If you're in a temporary job and may soon be relocating to another city or even state, renting rather than owning might be a better option.
     
    While none of us entirely knows how our future will play out, understanding how long you expect to stay in your home allows you the chance to decide how large a home you want. If you're a young couple, a home that is able to grow with you might be appealing.

    Whether you're buying a home to live in or as a rental, the next series of tips can help in either circumstance. What makes a home more comfortable to its owners can also make it more attractive to renters.

  • Job market. It's always a good idea to check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how the employment is in an area that you are considering purchasing a home. Areas with lower unemployment, of course, are most attractive. The greater the demand for jobs in an area, the more likely home prices are to go up.
  • Check area vacancies. This may not seem that important if you're planning to live in the home but actually this is a good thing to know even if you don't rent your home. If there are lots of vacancies compared to surrounding areas, there could be a slowing in the market. If you're planning to rent the home, you'll want to make sure that you have enough savings to cover expenses any time when your home sits vacant. If the market is slowing, there could be a period of several months before you get a quality tenant in place. Being prepared will ease the stress.
  • Visit the local police. Crime in an area isn't always detectable right away from a few visits to your potential home. Do a little digging. Ask questions. Investigate the neighborhood. Some areas may look okay but may have a high crime rate. It's best to understand the neighborhood you might soon call home.
  • Natural disasters.Believe it or not, some people like a home so much that they disregard the natural disasters in the area. This isn't to say that buyers should say, "Well, I can't buy a home in California because they have occasional earthquakes." Rather, some buyers are willing to gamble big time. For instance, they are willing to buy homes that are located on unstable cliffs where the cliffs are eroding year after year. Insurance... if you can get it... will certainly be higher. Natural disaster-prone areas such as flood zones may require additional insurance and a strong stomach to endure the stress.

    Ultimately, what to look for when buying real estate is about considering the things that will matter not just in this moment but in the years to come. Having a good strong foundation beneath your home and a safe neighborhood are key components to creating a happy homeownership and good investment.

    Written by Phoebe Chongchua

 


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_is_the_Florida_Real_Estate_Recovery_Fund?

Visible to anyone in the world

What is the Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund? 

This is a short summary of what the Real Estate Recovery Fund (“RF”) is and how it works. It is not an exact restatement of the law. Any specific questions concerning eligibility or discussion of a specific claim should be directed to a licensed Florida attorney. 

The Real Estate Recovery Fund is an account created by the Florida Real Estate Commission (“FREC”) to reimburse any person, partnership, or corporation adjudged by a court of competent civil jurisdiction in this state to have suffered monetary damages by reason of any act committed, as a part of any real estate brokerage transaction involving real property in this state, by any broker or sales associate.

 

The RF is funded by a fee of $3.50 added to the license fee of new and renewal broker's licenses, as well as a fee of $1.50 added to the license fee of new and renewal sales associate licenses. In addition, all moneys collected from fines imposed and collected by FREC are transferred to the RF.

 

Q: What Does This Mean for Brokers?

A: It is important to know about the process if a brokerage intends to hold escrow because the RF provides the protection for the broker if the broker receives an escrow disbursement order issued by the FREC. A brokerage should make sure they take the requisite steps when dealing with an escrow claim so that they can preserve their right to claim on the RF.

Be aware that the process of claiming on the RF is a legal one. A person must have a license to practice law to assist a third party in the filing of a claim. If a customer believes that they have been damaged by the actions of another licensee in Florida, the licensee should recommend they speak with an attorney concerning their claim.

Q: What Circumstances Allow Someone to Claim on the Recovery Fund?

 A: Florida Statutes provides for two separate circumstances in which the FREC will allow recovery from the RF:


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_Does_Properly_Priced_Mean?

Visible to anyone in the world

In a market where demand is strong and it has become more difficult to figure out how much buyers are willing to spend, how do real estate agents determine the right asking price for a house?
It has never been an exact science. These days, agents often find themselves starting at a higher price than is borne out by the facts and go from there.
Supply and demand, of course, dictate asking price. Obviously, if the supply is low, the asking price will have to be adjusted upward to meet it. In general, though, the asking price is a balance obtained by considering a neighborhood and the sale prices of comparable houses within the context of market conditions.
 
Demand in some areas of the country is so strong that agents put up a number and someone pays it because the buyer fears that the asking price will be higher next week. Out-of-town investors often help to further inflate prices.
Some current markets have shades of the late 1980s, when property appreciation and inflation made proper pricing beyond real estate agents' control.
 
Comps still count in hot market

In a normal market, agents should be able to take comparable sales and come up with something that looks almost like an appraisal, with all the pluses and minuses.
Now, many agents look at the comparables and the competition to see how the house stacks up against the others on the market. Then they will tell the seller that they'll look at the price again after two weeks of good marketing and re-evaluate it.
 
If there are no second showings or offers after two weeks, the asking price is probably too high.
 
How the property looks, its size and location are major factors in determining asking price. Sometimes, though, the house has features that are so special that agents adjust the asking price upward after looking at comparable sales over the last six months to a year.
 
Builder sets new home prices

Determining prices for new construction is totally different, because the seller is the builder, and the ones who are the most savvy about the market are the most successful.
First, the builder determines the construction costs and keeps that number to the side. Then the builder checks out what the competition is doing. This means considering the features that the builder offers and the competition doesn't, the square footage and the builder's specifications.
 
Different houses are priced based on type versus square footage and features. After coming up with a sale price, construction costs are factored in to make sure the builder is making the profit he expects.
Marketing a model home is a snap compared with marketing an existing home, because the builder is in control of the situation.
With existing homes, the houses reflect the tastes of the sellers, which may not be what most buyers are interested in.
A seller's "taste" can be a plus or a minus. If a buyer wants hardwood floors and sees that the seller has replaced them with a less appropriate and too personal a choice, then there is a problem.
Curb appeal and amenities all contribute to pricing. Buyers shop in price increments based on what they think they should be getting. If the asking price is outside the increment, the house will sit. If a buyer knows that he will get a three-car garage in the $300,000 price range and sees a house at $275,000 with the three-car garage, he'll buy it.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor I

Florida_Real_Estate_Appraisal

Visible to anyone in the world


Florida_Real_Estate_Appraisal

To appraise real property means to estimate its value. Appraising is considered to be an art, not a science, because although the appraisal process involves mathematical calculations, appraisers also use their own judgment when appraising real property. There are many reasons for appraising real property. Local communities hire appraisers to estimate the value of property for assessment of property taxes and to determine the amount of compensation in a condemnation preceding that involves a taking by eminent domain. However, the most prevalent use of an appraisal is to establish the value of real property that will be used as collateral to finance its purchase.
In Florida, you have to take, 7 appraisal classes before you can get your "Trainee Appraiser license." Once you have this license, you must work under a Certified Appraiser and obtain 2000 hours of experience in no less than 12 months. Then you can apply and take a test to get your "Residential Appraisal License”. Then, you can work on your own and have your own company. In Florida you can move from supervisor to supervisor- you just need to keep good records and get the supervisor to sign off on your log.
A professional appraiser will come to the property, look it over inside and out, and measure each room, take pictures, take pictures of comparable properties in the neighborhood, search recent sales in the area. The benefit is to you, whether you're trying to get an idea of how much to sell it for or to refinance. You may identify an appraiser who is willing to do the work in exchange for your being sure that s/he will be hired by the Buyer.
A Realtor can help you get an idea of your property value. However, that can be done only in connection with being your agent. If your house square footage is 1500 or less, you should plan to spend around $400 for appraisal.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_Buyers_Really_Want_In_A_Home

Visible to anyone in the world

Size matters, according to the recent survey by The National Association Of Homebuilders. It seems buyers are now seeking homes that are approximately 2,000 square feet, but the problem is half of U.S. homes are nearly 40 years old and don't have many of the amenities buyers want.

NAHB says that only about one-third of the current homes on the market have 2,000 or more square feet of livable space. NAHB writes on its website, "Existing homes, on the other hand, are more likely to be under 1,600 - or even under 1,200 - square feet, a size relatively few buyers say they want."

So what does this mean for sellers whose homes might not be in that 2,000 square-foot-sweet spot? Will buyers just shun your home and continue on to find the home that meets their square footage requirements? Well, that depends.

Size, like location, is a very important consideration. However, both of these areas are often open for negotiation and buyers may consider sacrificing one aspect in order to achieve a more important amenity.

For instance, if the home is smaller than the buyers were originally looking for but is in an area that has the best school district and the potential for expansion, then suddenly this home becomes more appealing.

However, in order to market a home properly, you have to find out who your target is. If you reference this recent survey, then you can assume size matters. If your home falls short in this area, look for other great amenities to highlight. Make sure you and your agent have good marketing flyers that play up the features of your home.

Another great thing to do is to show what's possible with the home. If you had ever considered remodeling and had received ideas from a remodeling firm, you can let buyers know what options you had considered. This can give them an idea of how to use various areas of your home. Maybe they need a den and you have an area that could be easily turned into a small den or office loft. Helping buyers see the possibilities will open up their minds to opportunities and help them not rule out your home simply because its current condition doesn't meet all their needs.

As with any home, the way you show it is going to be a big influencer. With small homes this can be extra important because if the home is crowded with furniture and clutter it will look even smaller and maybe even give a claustrophobic feeling.

Remove any furniture that doesn't complement the home. The furniture should showcase the home, its architecture, and style without engulfing it. In my experience, this means that you will likely remove several pieces of furniture because often, over the years, people add lots of pieces that they actually don't need. Taking them out could give the home a refreshing, open airy feel.

Ultimately, remember, even if your home is smaller than what many buyers want, it doesn't mean you won't find that perfect buyer, it just might be that you need to emphasize the fantastic amenities that come in small packages!

Written by Phoebe Chongchua


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

What_are_the_Steps_to_Qualify_for_a_Homepath_Mortgage

Visible to anyone in the world

What_are_the_Steps_to_Qualify_for_a_Homepath_Mortgage

HomePath is a program offering mortgages with low down-payment amounts. This program is only available for loans to buy properties being sold by the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae. These properties have been repossessed when the previous owners' mortgages were foreclosed.

Step 1

Prepare for a meeting with a HomePath mortgage lender by understanding your current financial profile. Investigate your FICO score. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Accumulate cash in the bank to use as a down payment. Decide whether you’re going to live in the property, be an investor and rent it out, or use it as a second home, as HomePath mortgages are available for all three scenarios.

Step 2

Apply for a HomePath mortgage if your credit score is 660 or higher, you plan to live in the house and are putting a 3 percent investment as a down payment. Submit a mortgage application with a 620 credit score but be prepared to pay a 20 percent down payment for an owner-occupied home. Use the property as a second home if your credit score is 660 or above and as an investment if your score is 700 or higher.

Step 3

Apply for a HomePath mortgage if you’ve had a foreclosure, bankruptcy or deed in lieu of foreclosure, but expect to pay 10 percent cash as a down payment. Don’t have mortgage or rent delinquencies for more than 60 days in the 12 months prior to the credit report.

Step 4

Submit your financial records and bank statements to a HomePath lender in an attempt to get a HomePath pre-approval letter. Add your monthly expenses and subtract them from your gross income to arrive at your DTI ratio, as a HomePath mortgage requires a maximum 55 percent DTI score. Decrease your credit card obligations to at least 25 percent of the maximum allowed. Remain current on all bills.

Step 5

Accept a monetary gift of the down payment amount if the property is to be your primary residence. Have cash in the bank for at least three months to cover 5 percent of the purchase price if you’re using the HomePath mortgage for a second home. Do not expect to use a monetary gift for a down payment on an investment property if you’re applying for HomePath funding.


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

Ways_to_Stop_Foreclosure_Process_in_Florida

Visible to anyone in the world

Ways_to_Stop_Foreclosure_Process_in_Florida

Foreclosure is the legal process by which a mortgaged property is sold when a borrower defaults on mortgage payments. Foreclosure laws vary from one state to another. If you are at risk of losing your home or property and live in Florida, it is important you understand what your options ar. As this can have a serious impact on your financial future, it is best to avoid this process if at all possible. So what should you do if foreclosure seems eminent?

1. First and foremost, talk to the lender. Do not avoid communication, but ask to speak to the Loss Mitigation Department. See if they will work with you. Stay in the property while doing so otherwise it may be considered abandonment and you will most likely not qualify for any assistance programs.

2. In addition to speaking to the lender, contact a HUD approved housing counseling agency. They are a valuable resource that should never be overlooked as they can provide you with government programs which can help to save your home. The counseling agency may also be able to offer information about community and private organizations who offer the same services. Some offer credit counseling at no charge.

3. Read any paperwork that comes from your mortgage lender immediately; do not ignore it. If a foreclosure lawsuit is filed against you, you will be served papers; file a "pro se" (defending yourself without an attorney) answer within 21 to 28 days, or hire an attorney who can file the answer for you to defend the lawsuit and fight the mortgage lender from foreclosing on the Florida property.

4. Stay in your Florida home, if this is your primary residence. If the worst-case scenario happens and the home is sold, the new owner is required to follow Florida law in having the previous owner evicted. Abandoning the home makes it easier for the mortgage lender to gain a foreclosure more quickly.

5. Do not sign anything without having an attorney look over the paperwork, even from the mortgage lender. Make sure all guarantees by the lender are given in writing, and that they are thoroughly understood before any agreement is made to avoid the foreclosure in Florida.

6. Retain the Florida property by paying the full amount of the loan and any attorney or legal fees, as well as interest that has accrued, before a sheriff's sale or auction. This may require taking out a new mortgage with another lender, or borrowing the money elsewhere to retain the Florida property and avoid a foreclosure on your credit report.

7. File a lawsuit against the mortgage lender, if you can prove wrongdoing, to stop the wrongful foreclosure of your Florida property. Courts are often deciding in favor of homeowners over proof of breach of contract, violations of "Truth In Lending Act" (TILA) laws, invalid parties affiliated with the lenders listed on the lawsuit, and even unreasonable attorney fees.

8. If you are unable to continue making the mortgage payments even with the assistance programs mentioned above, you may wish to sell your home. Some choose to go with a pre-foreclosure sale. Here you will sell your property for less than what you owe on your current mortgage. As with a partial claim, certain conditions must be met to hold this type of sale. Your final option is a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Here you voluntarily turn the property back over to the lender and walk away. Although you won't have your home, your credit won't be as badly damaged as with a foreclosure. Consider all options when foreclosure seems eminent. Many are able to save their homes while using these programs. Others are not, but are able to walk away with less damage to their credit. If you are unsure of which route is best for you, speak to a counseling agency. They can help you choose the right course of action for your situation.

​​


Permalink
Share post
Picture of MLS Campus Instructor II

Ways_to_keep_sellers_happy

Visible to anyone in the world

Ever wished you could have a “do-over” with a seller? Go back to that kitchen table where you first met and rediscuss price or reset your client’s expectations — or maybe both?

If you’re like many listing agents, when you present your market analysis you use some version of the following script:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, my goal is to sell your home in the shortest amount of time, for the highest price, with the least amount of inconvenience.”

A wise goal considering the National Association of Realtors has identified that one of the top four things sellers expect from us is to sell within their time frame. And, in a healthy market, this should be an attainable goal.

But let’s face it, even in a good market some listings don’t sell as quickly as anticipated, and we find ourselves in the position of managing and maintaining the trust our clients placed in us. 

So how do you keep sellers happy and minimize frustration during a longer-than-expected market time?

1. Consistent and properly delivered communication

This may seem like a no-brainer but many agents rarely (if ever) have this conversation with clients. How does the client want to be updated? Phone, email, text, in person?

How often does the client expect to hear from you? Will you give periodic updates and will that time frame be acceptable to the client? Remember, this could become a long-term relationship, so setting and managing expectations is a must. If your client is the sort who requires a phone call every morning, is that a level of service you can (or want to) deliver? If not, maybe you can reach a mutually agreeable alternative before an angry message is left in your voice mail.

2. Demonstrate market reach

Clients expect you to do “things.” In fact, they’re going to assume you’re doing them because you told them (at their kitchen table) you would. But 90 days down the road, if you haven’t been sharing and demonstrating those “things,” will you still be as credible when advocating for a price reduction?

The Internet has gifted listing agents with wonderful tools in the form of stats and hyperlinks. Weekly seller reports showing visitor counts, virtual tour activity, friend shares and more give sellers concrete evidence their property is “out there” and being seen. This transparency not only gives you content for those regular updates, it also validates future conversations where you feel an adjustment is necessary and removes any doubt about whether you’re earning your commission.

3. Report market activity

When new listings hit the market, or others sell, make sure the sellers are notified as quickly as possible. I set up new listing/sales alerts for sellers just as I would for buyers. When a new listing in the neighborhood comes on the market, or a competing property down the street goes under contract, they are notified right away and are able to assess their market position. If nothing is selling, nothing is selling. If competition is selling, then it’s time for a market review.

4. Be genuine

Nobody wants to hear from “that guy” who’s always putting an artificially positive spin on things (or a negative one for that matter), and no one is going to benefit from such a superficial approach. Always be honest and genuine in your feedback and communication. Telling sellers what you think they want to hear doesn’t help anyone. If you don’t know why their house isn’t selling, tell them so. “You’re priced right, feedback is great, it should be sold, but it’s not. Here are our options. …”

Seriously, people don’t go through the listing process because they like having strangers tour their home. They want to sell! They expect you to help guide them when making decisions about what it’s going to take to make that happen.

5. Be grateful

When market time on a listing goes beyond what was expected, it’s easy to slip into a defensive, reactive mindset. That file can become an emotional drain. Did I do something wrong? Was there something I could have done better? Are the sellers angry? Are they going to get angry? Are they going to call me any minute and be ticked? We’re human — we start to doubt ourselves and our skills when things don’t go as planned. Whenever my thoughts turn this direction, I stop and remind myself that out of thousands of brokers, these clients hired me. They chose me and for that I am grateful. Gratitude causes a shift in perspective and can instantly move you from reactive agent to proactive problem solver.

Getting from the kitchen table to the closing table is the ultimate goal — sometimes there are just a few detours along the way.


Permalink
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ()

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.