Getting the Full Value for your House

When it comes to the time we want to sell our house, we will have to have it evaluated and regardless of whatever we think the house is worth, the official valuation price is the one that will get it sold. It is up to us to say what asking price we want but the evaluation would have taken into account what people are willing to pay, in the current economic climate, for a house that size, in that area.

Although other houses of the same size in your area have sold for one price, you can perhaps get a higher price for yours as these are some of the things that will be taken into consideration apart from location and size.

Obviously the overall condition of the house will play a role, so hopefully it is not in need of any repairs. How the house looks from the street can also play a role and this is called curb appeal. If a house looks good from the road, a higher asking price can be set.

Some of the ways you can improve this curb appeal are: Have the house painted and do some landscaping of the grounds. Obviously a freshly painted house looks better than one with the paint peeling off and if the grounds around the house have been well landscaped, they can add significantly to the overall look of the house.

Once your house has been valued, you do not really want to ask too much more as you may never get any buyers but as buyers will usually offer you less than you ask, ask for 5% or 10% more than the evaluation.

One of the things that you will probably be concerned about is if you will get as much for your old house, as you need for your new house. It is perhaps therefore best if you get an evaluation of your home, prior to making your final decision to move.

When it comes the time to show a potential buyer the house, ensure you have cleaned up thoroughly including all personal items. For instance, you will not want the bathroom cluttered up with soaps, brushes, pastes and shampoos, let them see the house free from any distractions like litter bins and family portraits in every free space.

If the bathroom is relatively small, a rug on the floor will make it look even smaller and so roll it up and put it out of the way until after they left. Often it are the kitchens and master bathrooms which get the most attention  and so can possibly wield the most influence.

For this reason you should spend extra time in those rooms, trying to make them look as welcoming as possible. If it is winter and the day is very cold, it may be beneficial to have something like both on the stove but other than that, don’t have any cooking on the go and ensure all your plates and cutlery are neatly put away.

Investing in Real Estate

A common way of investing in real estate is to buy a house with the sole purpose of renting it out. By doing this, you can have the rent from the tenants cover the cost of any mortgage and once the mortgage is paid, you have paid for house which you could then place on the market and get a large amount of money or, continue to rent it out with all the rental fees becoming a regular additional income for you.

This may sound perhaps too easy to be true but the problem comes in the math. Usually many investors will use a 1% rule to determine if a house will be suitable for a buy to rent option.

This rule states that the rent you can ask should not be less than 1% of the cost of the house. This means that if you buy a house for $100,000 you will need to be able to reasonably ask $1,000 rent per month.

For this reason most investors stick to buying houses in the lower price range as even for a $200,000 house, few people would be prepared to pay $2,000 rent each month. Prior to the economic crises around 2007, investors operated on a 2% rule but had to drop to 1% as they found it increasing hard to meet the 2%.

Many investors find it easier to reach their target if they buy buildings that have multiple family units in at, such as a duplex or an apartment block. Obviously in the case of a duplex which costs the same $100,000, two rents of $500 per month may be easier to find than one of $1,000.

If this 1% seems excessive, you must keep in mind that there is not just the mortgage to think about but also other expenses. You will have to put some money aside from the rent to allow or any of the units being vacant for any period of time.

You will also have to keep money to one side for any maintenance that may be needed to the property. As most investors opt to hire an estate agent to be their property managers, they must also include the estate agent’s fees. Only after all of those expenses have been taken into consideration, will you be able to look at what profit you may make.

If all the outgoing expenses seem to be covered by the rent, before you go ahead and make the purchase, ensure that you investigate any plans that may be scheduled for the area.

If employment in the area of the house is very much dependent on a local factory, if there are plans to close the factory, it may adversely affect your ability to find tenants, or at least tenants which are prepared to pay what rent you are planning to ask.

This could of course work in your favour if a factory is scheduled to be built, once it is, you may be in a position to ask for higher rents.

estate agents seo

The Life of a Real Estate Agent

Although, by many, the life of a real estate agent may be a glamorous one, the truth is that it is not really clamorous at all. Many people think that real estate agents get to spend half their days in large glamorous buildings showing potential buyers some of their hidden beauties.

Although that may be a part of their job, it is only a very small part and certainly they do not spend half their days doing that. Much of their time is spent in an office dealing with paperwork as although legal procedures for the buying and selling of property may be complex, it is the agent’s task to ensure that all legal technicalities are properly met.

When a lot of agencies are starting out, they struggle to find their place in the market and appeal to a client base. This is why a lot of companies focus on estate agents seo in order to appeal to a wider audience.

Estate agents do of course show potential buyers around properties they are interested in but this means that as most people are normally only available outside of regular working hours, those are the times the agent must work in order to give those potential buyers a tour. An agent’s working week may be only between 35 and 40 hours but many of those hours may have to be on weekends or holidays in order to give tours when the buyers are available.

Although agents must fully understand all aspects of the law regarding the selling of property, no standard academic qualifications are needed to become an agent but agencies will hire and train their own personnel but, in order to be hired, you should have good people skills, be good at math and display honesty and perhaps a flair for sales.

A starting salary for a new agent may be as little as £12,000 per year but as they progress, gaining experience and taking the distance learning courses provided by the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP), the salary often increases to as much as £35,000 per year.

Some agencies may pay their agents commissions on their sales but this is entirely up to them and so is perhaps something a budding agent should ask about when applying to join an agency.
Apart from seeing to the legal requirements for house purchases and giving tours of property, agents must also arrange for the details of the properties to be properly listed in any real estate listings. This will entail having measurements and photographs taken and writing up a brief description of the property.

It is also expected that the agent should learn as much as possible about the location of the property, such as the distance to local schools, locations of churches, shops, gyms and any other amenities a potential buyer may enquire after.

An inexperienced real estate agent may need to have someone appraise a property in order to give it a reasonable asking price whilst the more experienced agents may do their own evaluation. Either way though, it will be up to the agent to recommend an asking price to the property owner, based on the property’s value and the economical real estate climate.


A Real Estate Agent’s Job

There are probably a lot of people that think that a real estate agent’s job is easy as all they have to do is show people houses and when someone buys one, receive a huge commission. The truth is that although there may be the odd one that has life that easy, for the vast majority of estate agents, the job involves far more than that and they may not even get commissions.

Whilst it may be true that some real estate agencies do receive commissions, it up to the agency as to whether or not they pass on any or all of that commission to the agent. Ordinarily an agent will be on a salary and the starting salary for an inexperienced agent will probably be no more than £12,000 per year.

Salaries do differ though depending on what part of the country you live and the price of real estate in that area. Obviously in the heart of London where real estate is expensive, the salaries may be higher but there again, so is the cost of living.

Someone wanting to start out in the real estate business need not have any special academic qualifications but they will be expected to be good with numbers, honest and have good people skills, perhaps a background in customer service. Having been accepted by an agency, you will work in the office until you learn enough skills to go out on your own.

Although these skills can be taught on the job, many agents take courses which are provided by the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP).
These courses are specifically designed for estate agents and so are carried out by distance learning or part time study, allowing agents to increase their experience and abilities. A fully qualified estate agent that has a lot of experience could earn as much as £35,000 per year and of course also receive some commissions.

An estate agents job is to show potential buyers properties but it entails far more than just that. An agent will be expected to have photographs of properties taken as well as acquire evaluations, evaluating them themselves once they are qualified.

They have to ensure that any property is properly advertised and added to any real estate listings. They will have to learn all about each property as well as the area in which the property is located so they can answer any questions a potential buyer may have like, where are the nearest schools, gyms and other amenities.

Often they will evaluate how energy efficient the house is as that can often be a good selling point, allowing the house to be sold quicker. If there are any discrepancies between what the seller wants for the house and the price a potential buyer is willing to pay, it is the estate agent that will act as the mediator, hopefully ensuring that the two can reach a mutual agreement. Of course though, the agent has to also ensure that all legal requirements for the sale are met.


The Real Estate Business

The real estate business is often complex with both national and local laws to be taken into consideration for a sale to become legitimate. It is for this reason that most people will use estate agents to assist them in any sale or purchase of real estate.

As specialists in their field, real estate agents are aware of all the complexities involved, both legal and otherwise and so can ensure that any sale is expedited speedily and legally. An estate agent may also act as a property manager. Some people opt to invest their money in real estate and when they do, they may buy properties with the explicit intent to rent it out.

Although sometimes they may buy a property in their own area in which case they may be able to manage it themselves but more often than not, they are unable to manage it themselves and so enlist the assistance of a real estate agent to act on their behalf.

Of course it is still up to the property owner how much rent they charge but the agent may collect that rent and also look after any maintenance that is needed. In these instances an agent will usually be paid a fixed monthly fee and only ask for additional funds to deal with any maintenance problems.

This means that an estate agent must be able to oversee the buying or selling of property and also be aware of property management procedures. Even though a real estate agency may have to deal with these diverse tasks, they often do not take on new staff that have formal training but prefer to train them themselves.

To become an estate agent, it is therefore not necessary to have any particular academic qualifications but, any agency would only take on people that can show that they are honest, good with interacting with people and are capable with figures.

Due to the lack of qualifications needed, someone just starting in the real estate business, as an inexperienced agent, can only expect to earn a salary of £12,000. However, as they gain experience and perhaps take further training courses which are available, that salary can increase to as much as £35,000 perhaps even £50,000 in places of high property costs such as London.

Although an agency may receive a commission on any sale, it is up to that particular agency as to whether or not they pass on any of that commission to their agent. Because of the diversity of their job, an estate agent can expect to work between 35 and 40 hours a week but many of those hours may be at weekends or holidays.

A real estate agent’s job is fairly well respected and is also fairly secure as over the next ten years, the number of real estate agents is predicted to increase by 10%. This, at a time when many other jobs are at risk, makes the prospect of becoming a real estate agent quite attractive.