Archive for July, 2011

A Long-Term Plan

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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Are you currently in a job that you don’t love?  Do you dream of starting your own company? Or dream of following a passion for real estate investing that would lead to a long-term career?

Jason Sorrells, independent owner and operator of JSRL Investments, LLC, a HomeVestors® franchise located in Dallas, TX, had those dreams and made them into a reality.  As a franchise owner of a smoothie/ice cream business, Jason considered this job as a means to an end.  That end was real estate investing.  His interest in real estate and his desire to become a full-time real estate investor have been the driving force behind his strong work ethic.  When Jason bought his franchise with HomeVestors, he knew this was the long-term career he had been working for.  Jason chose HomeVestors because of their strong brand and name recognition, their lead generation, and their solid business model.  Being new to real estate investing, Jason realized it was necessary for his success to be connected with a company that would give him “support and shorten the learning curve in real estate investing” by consulting and networking with other franchisee owners.  He was determined not to make mistakes that would set him back years, and he found the foundation he was looking for in HomeVestors.

Interested in joining a team that offers solid support, networking opportunities, and strong lead generation?  Look no further.  Call 1-800-44-BUYER or visit www.homevestors.com for more information.

Updates for Real Estate professionals who specialize in Short Sales

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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In the current market, homeowners are having greater problems hanging on to their homes. Some unethical people have taken advantage of the owners by convincing them to do a short sale. While this is fine, often these other businesses would leave the homeowner holding the bag. As a result, legislation was passed to record the short sale amongst other measures to help protect the homeowner. Although they are a good idea, some the measures have created hardships and complications for ethical real estate agents that wish to truly help homeowners.

Good News!

As of July 15, the FTC declared it would overlook a lot of the provisions on real estate agents that try to help homeowners short sell their homes. After encouragement from groups like the NAR, the FTC has ruled that real estate professionals that are working as their license or certification has states may forgo some of the requirements of a short sale, including advance fee ban, recordkeeping requirements, and required disclosures. This “overlooking” only applies to brokers and authorized agents that are in good standing with state laws, comply with all state laws that are over real estate practices, and are attempting to help customers Arrange or negotiate the short sale of their home,. However, the FTC has declared they will still enforce all measures to protect homeowners from misrepresentations by real estate professionals in regards to short sales.

This great news for real estate professionals that have had to drop or lose potential clients due to the recent MARS legislation. The changes will increase potential sales for many professionals and help to reestablish credibility for professionals that specialize in short sales. The reputation of many real estate agencies has gone into question due to the unethical practices of other individuals claiming to be “real” real estate professionals.

Be careful though

Real estate agents and brokers, be cautious. Although the FTC has made these changes, each state and the Consumer “Financial Protection Bureau will still have to change their stances. As of right now, these groups may still enforce the entire MARS ruling. Be sure to find out how your local officials stand with the MARS and the FTC’s decision before deciding not to file the appropriate paperwork. You wouldn’t want to lose your good reputation.

Short sales are complicated as it is. Be sure you have the most up-to-date information on short sales and that you are qualified or certified to help homeowners through the process.

For more information on the concerns of real estate agents and the real estate business, look us up at Homevestors.com. We have lots of information on real estate investment opportunities as well as real estate franchises.

Are you a Realtor?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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Realtor is the name of a real estate agent belonging to the National Association of Realtors. The NAR began in 1908 with 120 members under the name National Association of Real Estate Exchanges in Chicago. In 1918, the group changed their name to The National Association of Real Estate Boards, and in 1974, they settled with their current name. Over the last hundred years, their membership base has grown nationwide to over a million members in every area of the real estate industry. They have also started many of the practices and services many real estate agents use today.

MLSs

The NAR has been at the forefront of the real estate industry for years. The most important movement they have made is the Multiple Listing Services system or MLSs. This is the current way most real estate agents share information about the properties that are available in their areas with other people.

Why should you become a member?

The NAR has an established set of ethics and practices that make being a real estate agent easy. Their century of existence has helped them to figure out the best ways to help others, to sell real estate, and to help you run a successful business.

They also have up-to-date training and educational opportunities for their members. They strive to keep their members informed of all of the latest changes in real estate law, procedures, and technology.  Their membership based is made up people in every facet of the real estate industry, including brokers, counselors, salespeople, appraisers, and property managers. The NAR provides additional training and resources for these niches. As a realtor, you can become trained and certified as a:

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)

Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM)

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

Certified Property Manager (CPM)

Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB)

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Certification for Internet Professionalism (e-PRO)

Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)

Counselor of Real Estate (CRE)

Graduate of the Realtor’s Institute (GRI)

Real Estate Professional Assistant (REPA)

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

Realtor Political Action Committee

The NAR also has a legal arm that works to be the voice of all realtors in the government. The RPAC represents all realtors by working on issues like sales tax on commission and unearned referral fee demands at all levels of government. They work at the local, state, and federal levels. Recently, they have even started the Realtor Party. These are real estate professionals that “fight to keep the dream of homeownership alive.” In 2009, realtors made a difference by contacting their Senators in regard to the Homebuyer Tax Credit.

If you are looking for an active organization that represents your interests and helps you to grow as a professional, the National Association of Realtors may be for you.

For more information on the real estate business or real estate investment, look us up at Homevestors.com.

 

Foreclosure

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

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At some points in time no matter what you do, finances just do not work out. There are lots of options out there, and due to stress, you may be even more susceptible to scam or fraud. Understanding the real estate foreclosure process can keep you from becoming a victim of fraud.

What is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the process that allows financial lenders to recoup the delinquent amount of a defaulted loan by selling or repossessing the property used to obtain the loan.

The Steps

Step 1 – The foreclosure process starts when the person who took out the loan doesn’t make his loan payments.

Step 2 – The financial lender, usually a bank, submits in writing to the lendee that he has 20 days to pay the amount due.

Step 3 – At any point in those 21 days, the lendee or property owner may pay the amount due to the lender.

Step 4 – If the property owner does not pay the amount due, the financial lender files a public default notice known as a Notice of Default or Lis Pendens. The Notice of Default must be filed with the county clerk, be mailed to the borrower at their last known address, and posted on the county courthouse door at least 21 days before the foreclosure sale.

Step 5 – After 21 days and proper notice has been given to the property owner, the sale of the property takes place on the courthouse steps on the first Tuesday of the month. Important things to remember are anyone may bid on the property, including the financial lender and any amount may be bid on the property.

Step 6 – After the sale, the financial lender may ask for a delinquency judgment. They are limited to the difference between the fair market value of the property at the time of sale and the balance of the loan in default, and they must prove what the fair market value for the property is.

How to End Foreclosure

Sometimes, foreclosure is best because it allows you to get out from the situation and start all over again. However, there are a couple ways to stop foreclosure.

Option A – During the pre-foreclosure period, the property owner may pay off the delinquent amount. As long as he keeps paying, the financial institution stops the foreclosure proceedings. This is great if your financial situation changes and you are able to have a consistent method of paying your mortgage every month.

Option B – The property owner can sell the property during the pre-foreclosure period and pay off the loan. This allows the property owner to avoid having a foreclosure on his or her credit history. This is where you have to be careful. There are a lot of un-reputable businesses that will buy or sell your property fast, but what they are doing is only giving you a small portion of what your home is really worth. They are also leaving you obligated for any amount you fall short of paying your financial lender. Be sure to thoroughly research the company before you buy into a deal that’s too good to be true.

 

For more information on foreclosures and real estate opportunities, contact us at Homevestors.com.

What does the Qualified Residential Mortgage mean to you?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

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Real estate agents need to be greatly concerned with the new rulings on down payments for residential mortgages. According to a new proposal by the Dodd-Wall street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act, homebuyers will have to have a down payment of twenty precent before they will qualify for a Qualified Residential Mortgage.

Although the idea is good, not every individual will be able to save a large down payment in a short amount of time In fact, most consumers would have to save religiously for ten to twenty years before they would have enough money in savings. This means that if the legislation passes, the amount of homebuyers will be greatly decreased. This is not only dangerous for the recovering housing market, this is dangerous for the real estate business as a whole. Fewer transactions will be completed, and more properties will stay on the market longer.

Alternatives

Although the Dodd-Wall street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act mean well there have to be better alternatives available to protect consumers and the real estate industry. Instead of mandating the down payment amount for all people, one of the alternatives could be legislation to ensure ethical practices in financial advisement. Part of the problem is people that cannot afford loans are being ill advised in their financial matters. For example, senior citizens on limited incomes that are convinced getting a loan to pay off their debts will reduce their monthly expenses when it actually increases them. This is how we end up with repossessed cars or homes and families and senior citizens living on the street.

A second alternative could be greater consequences for those individuals that convince people to take loans that cannot afford them. It is unethical for a professional to push for a sale or refinancing when the consumer cannot afford it. Changing the consequences for these individuals would create a greater impact on society and help to prevent further unethical business practices.

Although the proposals for Qualified Residential Mortgages are meant to help, it sounds like they are going to create more problems in the real estate industry. Every real estate agent needs to contact his association representative to find out more about how Qualified Residential Mortgages will effect their business. A smarter agent will contact his congressmen and voice his concern over the potential legislation.

The ever expanding real estate business needs great, ethical real estate agents and investors. With the way things look, it is more prudent now than ever before. If you are interested in real estate investment, contact us at Homevestors.com. We have lots of information on real estate franchises and the real estate business.

New HomeVestors Franchise in Richmond

Monday, July 18th, 2011

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HomeVestors announced the addition of a new franchise in Richmond, Virginia.

Zach Kennedy joined a very strong team of franchisees in Richmond. Zach has experience in the real estate business, and will be a great addition to the HVA team. He will be working with Wes Donovan as his Development Agent.  HomeVestors DA program adds another dimension to real estate investor training. Each new franchise works with an experienced mentor.

Zach has already completed training, and will buy ugly houses in and around the Richmond, Virginia area.

Congratulations to Zach. Welcome to HomeVestors, America’s #1 Home Buyer. Each franchise office is independently owned and operated. Learn more about HomeVestors real estate franchise opportunities.

The Importance of Real Estate Investors Working with a Team

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

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We all know that the first step when considering a new business is to write a business plan.  One of the key elements of a good business plan is to address local competition.  If you want to sell sandwiches, will you generate more business and confidence with a brand name?

So is a real estate investment business like most businesses? Does it help for Real Estate Investors to work with a team?

You might be surprised to know that in the markets where we currently have multiple HomeVestors offices, those existing franchisees look forward to and welcome new franchisees.  Why?

Here are several reasons why HomeVestors franchisees welcome other HomeVestors offices in their market:

  1. HomeVestors franchisees participate in Ad Councils where each office contributes to the same advertising fund in their local markets.  This creates an increase in the exposure and awareness of the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” brand, creating more leads for you!
  2. “Each Franchise Office is Independently Owned and Operated”.  The houses that one franchise office decides to buy may be totally different than the houses you intend to buy.  Our local HomeVestors offices frequently buy and sell houses to each other.
  3. The benefit of many versus one.  At HomeVestors, having someone near you who is following the same system is a good thing!  Our local offices network with other related businesses and share resources with each other such as contractors, Real Estate Brokers, closing attorneys, etc.  And, they hold networking functions and establish wholesale real estate deal maker groups as a central outlet for all HomeVestors houses for sale.
  4. Learning from a team approach. There is no other place that professional real estate investors can learn from others as the HVA Team. With HomeVestors, you can learn from the best. Our franchisees have bought over 45,000 houses. You learn something with that kind of institutional knowledge, you do not learn anywhere else!

If you are considering a HomeVestors franchise business, you want a franchise company that will train you, support you, and is genuinely concerned about the success of your business.  HomeVestors is not just here to sell you a business, they are in it with you all of the way!

_____________________________________________________

Rob Caldwell is a Development Agent with HomeVestors®  and is based in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Rob’s role is to recruit, train and support HomeVestors franchise offices in North and South Carolina. Since 2004 Rob has bought more than 100 houses through the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” franchise system. If you are interested in a HomeVestors franchise in the Carolinas, contact Rob today! Rob.Caldwell@homevestors.com or 828-625-5836.

Are you a Realist?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

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Admittedly, when you first look at the title it looks like the word realist. A Realist, however, it is so much more. Realists are real estate agents that have adopted the beliefs and become members of the NAREB. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers originally began in 1947 by African American real estate agents that wanted equal housing opportunities for all people. Since then, it has grown to an enormous organization with lots of heart and lots of potential. If you are an active real estate agent, the NAREB is a great resource and opportunity for you.

The NAREB began in a time when housing, schooling, and more was still segregated. Even though the nation was supposed to be more tolerant, many people still had not changed their old school way of thinking. They were still trying to prevent good people from obtaining good housing in good locations. Thus, this group was formed to help speak up and promote equal housing rights regardless of race. Since then, this group has grown to be active in promoting housing rights for people of all races, creeds, and colors. They are actively involved in legislative affairs through the NATPAC.

Benefits

Belonging to an organization that promotes equal housing for all is a great honor in itself. There are other benefits real estate agents receive by becoming a Realist. The membership fees or dues are very minimal.

  • Networking – There are chapters and members all across the nation. You can connect with them in person or meet with them via the internet. You can learn from each other and help each other to find sales and buyers.
  • Education & Training – Nothing says professional like being trained and educated. The NAREB provides online training courses to keep you up-to-date on all of the latest legal affairs, technology, and the best practices for your business.
  • Affiliations – the NAREB is affiliated with 6 other organizations dedicated to specialities with the industry.
  • Discounts- Some businesses know the benefits of working with active, ethical individuals and they are offering discounts on their services to you.
  • Legislation & Voting– We believe that your voice should be heard. That’s why we let you vote on what should be on the agenda. We also take your voice and opinion to the legislature so they can act on how you feel.

These are just a few of the great things the NAREB offers. As a real estate agent, what is it that you want to stand for are you just another agent or are you a realist? No matter which association or organization you choose to belong to, any professional organization that promotes education, training, and provides resources for you may be a great idea for the growth of your real estate business.

For information on real estate business, real estate investment, or real estate franchises, go to our website www.homevestors.com.

 

Should your real estate business belong to a real estate association or organization?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

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Almost every industry has organizations and associations for professionals to belong to. The real estate industry is no exception. There are several organizations available that can provide valuable resources for your real estate business.

Organizations

Across the nation, there are members of these national organizations as well as local chapters.

  • The National Association of Realtors is the largest organization devoted to real estate in every specialization.
  • The Realtor Political Action Committee is an organization that works with the NAR to give real estate agents a voice in political affairs.
  • The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents is a specialty organization for agents that represent only buyers.
  • The National Association of Real Estate Brokers is a specialty organization that is devoted to making sure all people are given the right to equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or color,

There are also a number of associations for specialties within the real estate industry available for those that are interested in a specific niche, like corporate real estate.

Why Should I Join?

Real estate associations and organization provide a number of resources that will benefit your real estate business in the long run.

  • Code of Ethics – When you join, you agree to uphold a standard of business practices that assures quality and professionalism to your clients.
  • Reputation & Trust – These organizations have been around for years, and they have built a positive reputation based on trust amongst the community. By becoming a member, you are also associated with that same reputation and trust.
  • Distinguishment – You stand out from the competition. Not every individual or business is willing to invest the time and money to become a practicing association member. Not every real estate business practices a good code of ethics either.
  • National advertising campaigns – Associations advertise and network on a national level. As awareness of the association grows, your business grows due to the national campaigns.
  • Save time & money – Your time is saved due to years of practice and information gathered into one location. Also, they have business alliances that have discounts for active members.
  • Research and Training – There are always new changes in laws, advances in technology, changes in industry trends, etc. Associations provide training on these changes, how to handle them, and more.
  • Voice in government – They advocate laws and policies to keep the real estate business strong. They represent you and your best interests.
  • Conferences & Meetings – These are opportunities for you to network, gain business contacts, get training, voice your opinions, ask questions, and more.

Before jumping into any organization, do your homework. Find out if the ideals and ethics are something you can agree to. These organizations, if used properly, can help your real estate business grow.

For more information on the real estate business and real estate investment opportunities, contact us at Homevestors.com.

Have a Seller’s Meeting, Now What?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

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For beginning real estate investors and even for experienced ones, knowing what to do, what to say, and how to act around a potential seller can create quite a conundrum. Although some people can play off the affair with smooth suaveness, the rest of us can easily appear like Paul Blart in Mall Cop. To keep from turning off potential clients at preliminary meetings, it is a great idea to be prepared.

Make a List of Questions

Having a list of questions ready will help you keep the seller talking. Anything you need to know about the house or the reasons for selling can included in your list of questions. By popping them into your conversation, you will learn a lot about the house without trying too hard.

Make a List of Common Problems

Experienced real estate investors are already aware of the problems homes of a certain age have. Have a standardised list of problems homes of certain ages may have. You can research homes in the area around the house or talk to inspectors or other real estate investors to help you create and narrow down your list. While talking to the seller, you can bring up these potential problems and find out if they have been problems the seller has already dealt with.

Have all the paperwork with you

This is often easier said than done. Any person can be forgetful in the rush of daily life. However, nothing says unprofessional like not having all of the right materials together. Gather together all of the needed contracts, lists, and other paperwork you may need the day before and put them in the car. This way they all together and less likely to be left.

Be On Time

Nothing says unprofessional like making the customer wait on you. You wouldn’t want to have to wait on a customer, a pizza, or a service professional. Put your best foot forward and be on time if not early. This helps to put the client at ease and makes you seem a little more trustworthy.

Listen

Any person can sit there and say, “Uh huh.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean the person is truly paying attention to what is being said. Pay attention to the seller’s words and his body language. They will tell you if the seller is happy, sad, anxious, uncomfortable, or maybe even hiding something. By listening with more than just your ears, you can find a lot of helpful information to ensure the real estate sale is a success.

Finding and keeping real estate clients is an exciting, and time consuming adventure. Preparation is the key to real estate success. Contact Homevestors.com for more information on real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities.