Title Insurance: What You Need to Know

We all know the purposes of health and life insurance, but what about title insurance? When buying or selling a home, title insurance is an important factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, it is an essential component of the home buying process thanks to the protections that it provides. Here’s everything you need to know to be an informed buyer.

Title Insurance Guarantees Your Home Is Actually Yours

A home cannot be transferred into your name without a clear title. The title is a document that grants you ownership to the land and the rights to modify or transfer what you own. Unfortunately, the process of passing the home’s title from owner to owner can get complicated.

There is always a chance that your seller actually lacks free and clear ownership of the house and property. If you unknowingly purchase a home that does not have a clear title, you could lose everything, including your investment and the home itself. Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance that prevents this nightmare from happening to you. Read more

Realtor Safety 101: What to Do to Keep Yourself Safe During Showings

When asked to list dangerous jobs, most people would list law enforcement or construction, but any buyer’s or seller’s agent knows that there is plenty of danger in the real estate field as well. Since agents commonly need to meet strangers in empty, isolated homes at unconventional hours to host showings, the potential for an attack should always be taken seriously.

If you are a real estate agent yourself, use the following tips to keep yourself as safe as possible during showings.

Always Meet in the Office First

Even in broad daylight on a busy street, it’s not the best idea to meet a total stranger for a showing in an unfamiliar home. Always meet clients in your office first. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about your client and identify any suspicious or threatening behaviors. Read more

Postcards Every Real Estate Pro Needs to Have in His Arsenal

Social media has taken over our lives, but the art of snail mail isn’t dead! This is especially true for real estate agents who can use postcard mailers to connect with potential clients and boost sales. If you want to become the best real estate pro in your community, put these postcards in your arsenal and use them to your advantage.

Why Use Postcards?

Postcards provide a way to catch the attention of buyers, sellers, and those who are in the middle but need a push to take action. At the very least, distributing postcards establishes your brand recognition and makes it more likely that a recipient will search for your name when help is needed in the future. In the best case scenario, you will receive multiple leads responding to the purpose of your postcard.

Just Listed Postcards

A just listed postcard can be sent to your existing contacts and leads or an entire development or subdivision. Be sure to include the following elements in this type of postcard:

  • Picture(s) of home
  • “Just Listed” or “New to the Market” in large font
  • Quick, easy-to-skim highlights of home’s features
  • Price, if desired
  • Your contact information

Read more

Must-Have Documents Every Home Buyer Must Have

Buying a home might seem overwhelming, but with the right preparation you can enjoy a smooth and stress-free process that helps you purchase the home of your dreams. Gathering all of your must-have documents is one of the most important components of home buying preparation. Make sure you have all of the following documents ready as you begin your search.

Current Pay Stubs and W2s

First and foremost, your mortgage lender needs to see your income in order to consider your application. If you receive pay stubs, you should have at least the past month to provide, but if you’re self-employed or use other sources of income, expect to show 1099 forms, direct deposits, and other means of proving your income amount.

Federal Tax Returns

Federal tax returns offer a full and uninhibited financial story. Expect to hand over the past one or two years’ worth of tax returns to your mortgage lender. Your tax returns will be cross-referenced with your other documents to ensure everything is accurate and that you do indeed have the resources needed to buy a home. Read more

Getting More From Your Summer Marketing Campaign

Summer is the ultimate time to kick your marketing campaign into high gear, but you can’t do so without effective marketing techniques at your fingertips. Try these tips to take advantage of the summer moving rush and capture as much business as possible.

Build a Summer-Themed Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for marketing purposes. Any of advertisements or links that you use your summer marketing campaign can direct visitors to your landing page.

Unlike your homepage, the entire purpose of a landing page is to capture the visitor’s email address and share an interested and useful “freebie” such as a guide, ebook, or checklist. Since the summer season is in full swing, you can consider offering the following freebies on your landing page:

  • Top 5 DIY Projects For Your Yard
  • Your Ultimate Summer Vacation Checklist
  • How to Find the Perfect Caribbean Resort

Your landing page will not directly sell visitors on real estate, but your freebies will generate interest, help them view you as an industry expert, and give you another warm lead to follow. Read more

Thinking Outside the Box to Find Real Estate Leads

A business without leads is like a well without water. You might have the best homes to sell, but those homes will sit languishing on the market until you find prospective buyers. However, we all know that the process of finding legitimate leads isn’t always easy. Try these out of the box ideas to accumulate new leads and accelerate your sales.

Give and Get Referrals: A Two-Way Street

There are many service professionals in your local area who come across potential real estate leads every day during their meetings and appointments. Divorce attorneys, financial advisors, and human resource managers are just a few examples of the professionals who could help you find leads.

This lead generation system is based on referrals, but it must be a two-way street. If you can prove you bring value to the business relationship, and a local divorce attorney or financial advisor can do the same, then you can generate referrals for each other.

For example, divorce attorneys are often the first to know when the sale or purchase of a home needs to take place. Your divorce attorney contacts can recommend your name or provide your business card. There’s your lead! Read more

Marketing Your Home to Millennials: What You Need to Know

As you prepare to sell your home, you will put yourself at a major disadvantage if you don’t take meaningful steps to reach millennial homebuyers. As of 2015, Millennials became the largest generational group in America, making them even bigger than the Baby Boomers! Any person born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s is considered a Millennial, which means that most are now between 18 and 34 years old. By marketing to this growing group of buyers, you can sell your home quickly and easily.

Become a Master of Technology

Perhaps no two terms have become so closely correlated as “Millennial” and “technology.” If you want to reach Millennials to let them know that your home is on the market, utilize all technology avenues first: Read more

3 Reasons You May Be Having Trouble Selling Your Home

You activated your listing, put a For Sale sign in the yard, and hosted a few showings, but your home still hasn’t sold. You’re becoming frustrated and wondering if you should lower your listing price, start repainting the walls, hire a new realtor, or all of the above. Slow down and take a breath! It’s common to have trouble selling your home, especially if you can relate to any of the following three reasons. Just take our advice and you’ll be sitting at the closing table in no time.

Your Listing Needs a Facelift

This is the digital world, and a potential buyer’s very first impression of your home comes from its online listing. If your online listing is missing pictures, showing unflattering photographs, missing critical information, or poorly written, buyers will pass right over your property for the listings that appeal to them. This is true even if your home is truly beautiful and fairly priced. Take a close look at your listing and make a few of the following changes to encourage buyers: Read more

4 Reasons You Should Own a Home

Though the home rental industry is growing, owning a home is still a major goal and achievement for the majority of Americans. Beyond an eye-catching car or designer clothes, a home is the single most powerful way to define your lifestyle and settle into a place that is all your own. In addition to the obvious benefits of homeownership, the following four perks shouldn’t ignored.

Tax Savings

Taxes are a headache, but owning a home can at least make them a more rewarding headache. The government currently rewards homeowners in the form of homeowner tax deductions. You can deduct the interest paid on your mortgage and your other home-related expenses from your income in order to pay less taxes. There are other possibilities for tax deductions that only become available through homeownership, like installing solar panels on your roof. Read more

How to Craft an Effective Open House Flyer

You don’t want to invest your time and effort into creating marketing pieces that will be largely ignored, so it is important to use techniques and strategies that are proven to deliver results. The following ideas will help you craft an effective open house flyer to boost your sales.

Let Your Picture Do the Talking

Choose one or two pictures to show as the focal point of your flyer, and make sure those pictures display your property in an attractive, appealing, and complimentary way. If done well, your pictures will be persuasive enough to encourage potential buyers to read the rest of the information on your flyer. It all starts with grabbing their attention! Read more