The Sneaky Title Defects That Could Threaten Your Home Ownership

The real estate market is one of the backbones of the American economy, but every transaction is vulnerable to some level of risk. This is why title insurance has existed for more than 125 years to protect home buyers and lenders alike.

Title insurance is a simple insurance policy that exists in two forms. If you are the buyer of a real estate property, title insurance protects your investment in the unlikely scenario that a title defect is discovered after your sale. Title insurance also covers the institution providing the buyer’s mortgage loan for the same reason.

Most home buyers are surprised to learn that the title of their home might not be free and clear. The following three title defects are a few of the problems that could threaten your newly purchased home without title insurance.

Unknown Liens

Lien is a claim that can be placed on a home in response to money owed by the homeowners. It serves as a legal notice that the home cannot be sold until the debt is resolved. Mortgage companies don’t offer financing until all liens are cleared from a property. Liens are typically uncovered before a home is sold, but it’s possible for an unknown lien to be discovered after you’ve already purchased your new dream home. Without title insurance, you would risk losing your home due to a lien you never caused. Read more

How to Generate Buzz For Your New Listings

A beautiful listing is nice to admire, but it won’t help you sell a home unless it generates buzz and captures the attention of nearby homeowners-to-be. In a world saturated with marketing ploys and advertisements, it can feel challenging to create enough buzz for your listings. These tips will help you make the most of each listing you create and close deals like a pro.

Use Social Media For All It’s Worth

Social media is a powerful tool when used the right way. You can leverage so much more than just your own profile to spread word about your new listing:

  • Create a post and pay to “boost” it to your local community. It only takes $20 or $30 to make sure you ad is seen by thousands of hopeful homeowners.
  • Create and post a video tour of the new home – you can even use Facebook Live to give an exclusive “First Look” that gathers extra viewers
  • Join local groups that are most likely to discuss, post, and search for real estate, and use the forum to offer your new listing as the exciting opportunity it is.

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4 Excellent Social Media Tips For Real Estate Agents

Whether you love it or hate it, social media has become an absolutely essential platform for real estate agents. The Internet has transformed the home buying process, with 94% of younger generations and 84% of baby boomers using online sites and tools to search for their future homes. Use the following social media tips to make sure you are properly capitalizing on this steadily growing wave of Internet power.

Add Services and Reviews

Facebook makes it possible to add descriptions of the different services that you offer as a realtor. This might include a free buyer consultation or a free market valuation for sellers. Emphasize your best services as well as the services most likely to attract new customers. These will be featured on your social media profile for any visitors looking to learn more about you.

The same goes for reviews. Ask past clients for reviews of your services and make sure you have permission to post them publicly. These testimonials will speak for themselves and help potential clients identify you as a trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable local real estate agent.

Participate in Local Groups

Social media houses countless groups for just about every purpose in your local area. Join groups that have the potential to be relevant to real estate – like swap groups, neighborhood chat groups, and local events groups. Participate in the discussions to publicize your name and capitalize on any opportunity to subtly advertise one of your properties. Read more

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

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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