Solicitor To Help With Property Buying

Real EstateBuying and selling property is not always as easy as it might seem, especially if you are a first time buyer. It is a process that can be frustrating with possible setbacks, especially when you choose to work alone without any professional assistance. Some of the most common setbacks that first time buyers face include vendor drop outs which could result from better offers from other buyers, property cost hikes, survey issues and mortgage difficulties.

Solicitors are very helpful in the property buying and selling process and your chances of going wrong with the deal are greatly reduced when you have one helping you. They generally handle all legal aspects of the property buying process and they keep you updated every step of the way so you are able to relax. Conveyances handle the contracts, carry our searches and surveys, and handle land registry and transfer of funds for the property. It is very important that you choose a licensed solicitor to make your process more pleasant and quick for that matter.

Solicitors are qualified lawyers and they offer a fuller range of legal services, but tend to be more expensive compared to conveyances. Licensed conveyances on the other hand do specialize in property, but they might not be able to handle complex legal issues.

Find your solicitor

To start with your search for the best solicitors for first time buyers, you can start by getting references from family and friends. You can also ask mortgage brokers, lenders and independent financial adviser for recommendations. Estate agents can also prove to be very helpful in helping you find the best solicitor to handle your property buying process. The internet is another good platform you can use to find solicitors that are best placed to handle your process and from this you can compare and choose the most suitable. Ensure that your solicitor is a member of the relevant law society and conveyancer is member of the relevant council of licensed conveyancers.

The fees

Different solicitors charge differently for their services. You might get one who charges a fixed fee for the whole process and all services rendered while others might charge hourly rates or a percentage in relation to the property price. Get as many quotes as possible and then check for the breakdown of the costs so that you can make the right decision. Check bank transfer charges, searches, land registry fees, stamp duty on the property if it applies and any other additional work that might attract charges. Courier services and postage are the other possible charges that will affect the fees that you pay for the services.

The solicitor

Besides getting a solicitor who is licensed and a member of the relevant body, you want a professional you can get along with. Contacting them should be easy and they should handle you professionally and in the friendliest manner. Find out what systems they use to track purchase progress, their location to your convenience and what days they have available to handle your needs.


Real Estate Services Profit Centers Can Be Overlooked

Many of us got into real estate by working as a real estate agent or broker. Or a traditional dealmaker and reseller who may rehab or wholesale property. Some make money and some do not, but many always seem to need a little more cash flow at times. Consider the skills you’ve picked up, but tend to hire out day to day. Or maybe a real estate related service that you’ve needed, but couldn’t find anyone offering locally. Why not offer it yourself during the slow periods of your main real estate business? Or perhaps you are new to the property investment game and want a low cost way to participate in the real estate industry to get the capital you need to begin. Many real estate services like ad syndication organization, cleaning services, errand running, house sitting and landscaping services don’t cost a lot to set into motion. As always, the value of the exposure for your company is an additional boost in your wages over and beyond the charges the happy clients are willing to pay.

Folks are so rushed now they really appreciate a one stop shopping experience. Anticipate what your clients will need while buying and selling real property and offer it to them in a prominent way. Sell it baby! Many savvy realtors have jumped on this bandwagon by offering free use of their moving trucks. With their big old ads on the sides of course. Brilliant stuff, huh? Perks of cleaning or landscaping services, local coupons and gift baskets are commonly seen. A clever real estate cash raiser will get other companies to participate and defray the cost of advertising and good will for the ones who organize the services and advertising campaigns. A big time saver is a collection of everything a new resident might need to find their way around. Help them register their kids for school with an info packet. Include emergency and human services contact information. Of course with discount coupons and ads for the offerings of your “service syndicate” members. This is the time to gain customers for life. Give good value and honest service to keep them coming back. Get creative and you can get a lot of good business exposure and word of mouth recommendations to get your cash flow going quickly. And if done right, without spending much money out of your own pocket.

If your time is limited as it is, you can always hire the labor using whatever legal arrangement makes sense for the projects. Stay flexible and keep a stable of reliable people who also need extra income from time to time. Few areas don’t have people looking for some part time work. You may be able to arrange lower wage internships with local students so they can gain skills and valuable work experience. Spend a little time thinking of new angles, a spin if you will, that you can put on your “regular” business activities to make them unique to your area, or more desirable to your customers. Add more value and you can often bump your revenue upwards without expending any more effort or time. Get a bit bold, if you haven’t tried something before, how do you know it won’t work for you? And if you are around children, you may be surprised at what suggestions they throw out that may be business genius from the mouths of babes. Ask their advice. You never know. Sometimes their fresh and innocent thinking will bring new successes your way. The obvious no longer overlooked can mean decent cash flow increases for your real estate business.


How to Professionalize a Real Estate Services Firm

Today’s property market scenario is not amenable to companies that do not present a professional front. Clients today are far more aware than ever before, and have become very aware of the difference between specialists and amateurs. Keeping this in mind, it is important to know what makes a real estate services firm truly professional in this new environment.

The inherent nature of the real estate business makes it very different from other business lines. Since it is difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition into the real estate business, a significant challenge for a professional property services firm is sourcing and training the right professionals.

Another challenge is developing a business plan or strategy that factors in the needs of the market. In today’s scenario, it is surprising that there is still so much emphasis on brokerage, when in fact the required services bouquet is much larger than that.

A truly professional real estate company needs to chart all aspects of the real estate market and have an entire array of service offerings. Considering the needs of the market today, the most successful real estate service firms offer every conceivable service – including research, consultancy, transactions, project and development services, integrated facility management, property management, capital markets, residential, hotels and retail advisory.

Nor is just offering such services sufficient – because of the high competitiveness prevalent today, the company should have operatives that have considerable expertise and experience in each segment. I don’t know how many of you will see it my way, but I have always believed that the most successful businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves.

This is very true in real estate, where it takes large teams of very talented people to find opportunities, zero in on them, groom clients and finally close transactions. If you don’t have the right people in sufficient numbers and rely solely on a small core group of experts, your business will crumble.

In India, the value a property services company adds to the overall market depends entirely on its local expertise, experience in matching Indian property to global requirements, its bouquet of services, the differentiators it introduces into these and whether or not it adheres to international best practices in property business.

A professional realty firm has clear, concise, measurable and achievable goals. It knows its market, the dynamics that drive it and the people who run and patronize it. Its business verticals are clearly defined and impeccably staffed, with sufficiently autonomous departments that are nevertheless centrally controlled.

Being a Jack of all trades and master of none only works well for smaller outfits that focus on making quick deals. A truly professional firm concerns itself with building a reputable brand that wields authority, respect and trust on the market.

When we talk of professionalizing a property-related services firm, we must obviously touch on the true definition of ‘professionalism’. Professionalism in any business line is primarily defined by two aspects – transparency and ethics.


All You Need to Know About Craigslist Classifieds Real Estate Service Section

Houses, apartments and office premises can be either bought or leased for a specific period of time with the help of Craigslist’s real estate section. Read on to know what you can find under this section.

1. Realtors or Real Estate Service Agents

The services of an agent, especially in real estate business, is sensible, since these people are professionally trained to give you sound advice on getting the best deal while buying, or selling, or renting a place. These people have good connections and experience that can prove to be indispensable in your real estate transactions.

2. Property Sale Assistance

A professional realtor can be expensive, which is why many people seek assistance from other individuals and companies while planning to sell their home. Buyers who wish to see your house can find it difficult to perceive the advantages of your house, especially while you are still living there. Property Sale Assistants help in setting your house up to attract any potential buyers.

3. House Repair

Home repair services such as landscaping, roofing, plumbing, and general contract work can be really useful when you wish to make some changes around your house. Advertisements and posts from such people can be found under Home repair services of real estate section on Craigslist.

4. Foreclosures and Loan Modifications

Many people post listings on Craigslist asserting their worth in bypassing the foreclosure procedure. However, not all of these claims are genuine, since many scammers sneak their profiles into such sections. It is always prudent to make financial deals and get loans with well known local services.


Craigslist and Real Estate

I am a realtor and leasing agent in the downtown condo market in Minneapolis, MN. I have found over and over that Craigslist, with 50 million American users, is a wonderful way to help people find terrific rented condominiums at prices they can afford.

However, the Internet inherently carries some risks. The anonymity of the virtual world occasionally can promote wrong behavior. When that happens, real people are affected.

In a common ploy, Craigslist operators will lift actual addresses and photos of properties listed for sale on MLS-driven web sites. The operator will post these items and list the property “for rent” on Craigslist-without any rights to the land or building whatsoever. Usually, the advertised rent amount is significantly less than the market rate. Respondents, hungry for a deal, email the advertiser. The operators respond that they are traveling, out of the country, or incapacitated. Then they ask the prospect to wire a deposit. This is accompanied by a heightened sense of urgency.

“The property will rent out quickly,” the advertiser writes in closing.

Which would be true, if the condo were truly for rent at said price.

Craigslist explicitly warns users to work only with advertisers willing to meet in person. Even so, sometimes I get five phone calls a week from people following up on these ads. The near-victims find my phone number after tracing me as the MLS listing agent. These are intelligent real estate consumers-obviously able to do Internet research!

Though disappointed by the proposed funding arrangement, the renters contact me, anyway, to find out if, by chance, the “steal” might be for real.

It is in fact legal for home owners to list a property for sale on MLS meanwhile continuing to search the market for appropriate renters. In that sense, navigating this scam can be a little more confusing because the premise of it is plausible.

Common sense instructs Craigslist users to be wary of any deal that might be a little too good to be true. Clearly the admonition on the web site to avoid absentee sellers bears repeating here. Based on my experience in the field, here are some additional safety tips:

– Observe carefully the email address posted on Craigslist compared to the one used in response to your emails. Scammers are known for using slightly different email addresses for every correspondence. This helps them organize their various false identities.

– Be wary of advertisers who use overtly religious language. The sentiments, coming from legitimate advertisers, can be sincere or even endearing to the right audience. Unfortunately, thieves use this to their own advantage. I have experienced this personally!

– For Owners of Rental Properties: Beware when a respondent offers you a check for an amount greater than what you are requesting as a deposit. The bearer is likely to ask you to wire the difference-unfortunately while his check is still clearing. Avoid this even when the circumstances sound convincing, for example, that the third-party check is part of the renter’s job relocation package.


Real Estate Tips That Work

You need to be sensitive to timing to succeed. In addition to understanding when to sell, you’ll need to understand reasons to sell and the way your home’s location influences your ability to sell it if you want to maximize your profits. Read the tips below to help yourself clarify these issues.

When you have spent the proper time preparing the inside of your home to be shown, walk around outside and check out the condition of your home from the exterior. You’ll want to add what’s referred to as “curb appeal”. This will be the first thing that a potential buyer sees when they pull up to your house, and as you know, first impressions are lasting ones. If there’s anything that catches your eye that might give off negative impressions, then you want it taken care of as soon as possible.

Paint your walls in neutral hues so that they are less personalized and thus more attractive to buyers. Light candles or bake cookies, so potential home buyers are greeted with an aroma they can relate to. A warm and relaxed atmosphere will appeal to buyers. They will sense that people enjoy living in this home, and see that they would like it too, and decide to buy.

Make sure that your property is well-lit before inviting potential buyers for a viewing. Creative lighting can be used to highlight interesting details and make rooms appear much more spacious. This could increase the number of offers you get on your home.

Before someone comes to look at your home, do not spray fragrances or light any scented candles. Not only can the smell be overwhelming to some buyers, you could trigger an asthma or allergy attack in others. Failure to address even one of these problems could cost you the sale. A better way to give your home a fresh, pleasant scent is to fill an attractive bowl with some potpourri.

Shine and polish all of your plumbing fixtures. Understand that people who are thinking about buying a house like to try everything out, so they’ll probably turn all the faucets and light switches off and on. If your plumbing fixtures appear old or seem worn, buyers will notice and be turned off from buying your home. Your fixtures need to look their best so that they don’t detract from the house’s appeal. If cleaning them does no good, then you may need to replace them completely.

The best time of year to have your house ready for sale would be during the late winter or early spring. A lot of buyers just want a home they can settle into by mid summer, take note of this and plan ahead.

Get rid of the clutter if you want potential buyers to find your home appealing. The closets should not only contain a limited number of items, but they should be clean and organized. Clean your kitchen cabinets and add a few sophisticated items to make your kitchen more welcoming.


How to Host a Successful Open House

With today’s slowing economy, it’s important for agents to pull out all the stops, and to really use their skills and tools in order to move sales. The ‘open house’ is just such a tool. An open house is a great way to create some hype around a property, as you have numerous clients coming in all throughout the day. Sometimes all it takes is the knowledge of a little competition for an offer, or more, to suddenly appear on the table. It’s also a great way to attract impulse buyers- those who will see a place once, fall in love and make an offer right then and there.

But in order to achieve a successful open house, certain bases need to be covered, and then some. First off, make sure you choose a winner of day for your open house. If you could control the weather, you might ask that it wasn’t the first sunny day in weeks on the day of your open house, but seeing as certain things are out of your control, stick to the things you can influence. Sunday afternoons, are the very best days for open houses as the majority of folks serious about looking will have this time off. As this is when most sellers host their open houses, home buyers will generally commit this day to open house tours.

Make sure you’ve got the word out there, and in advance. A well advertised open house will attract that many more interested clients. Mail post cards, and invite neighbors. Have a sign on the front lawn on, with the details of the open house, and pamphlets with some features photos of the property. Details of the open house should be advance listed in your local newspaper and on your agent’s website.

You’d be surprised how many people discover information on open houses on their own, go to them, and then, if they like what they see, they’ll set up a private viewing with their agent. With the internet, and so much more information available at the tip of our fingertips, people are more inclined to do their own investigating first. Open houses are a great way to take advantage of this consumer behavior.

Your realtor should be present at the open house and should have a station set up with a feature brochure and any other pertinent information about the area/neighborhood/town. It’s nice to have these other informational packages, in the case that the buyers don’t really know that much about the town/city/neighborhood.

From a sellers perspective there are details to attend to. Make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned, so that the home is sparkling and looking its best. De-clutter and de-personalize your home as if it were a show home. Make sure you take full advantage of whatever natural light you have in your home. Remove old curtains, or open them up. And, if your home needs more light, then, by all means light it up with extra fixtures or brighter bulbs. Clean the outside of your home and leverage your curb appeal. If you have pets, it’s best to re-locate them, all their hair, food, and toys for the open house. Some folks are very put off by animals- you wouldn’t want to risk a potential sale because “Fluffy” kept trying to sit on client x’s lap.


Real Estate Tips For the Recession

This is a golden opportunity that definitely shouldn’t be allowed to pass you by, but there are a few things you should watch out for.

1) First and foremost, when you’re choosing a company to invest in it’s essential that you choose one that’s going to weather the storm of the recession and bounce back when the time comes. If you sink your savings into a company and it goes under as a result of the recession you’re going to be no better off than you were before. To determine whether or not a company will survive to see a bright new future rather than being culled out when the recession separates the wheat from the chaff, answer the following questions:

o How long have they been in business? Companies that have been in business for many years are unlikely to go under because of a simple recession-in fact, they’ve likely weathered many of them in their time. A company that’s already proven their staying power is an excellent choice of investment, and should definitely be given first consideration.

o What do they do? Although companies that specialize tend to be movers and shakers when the economy is normal, if they are unable to expand and “macro” themselves (a topic we’ll talk about in greater detail in just a bit) to adjust to the changing economy they’re going to go under. If a company has not been able to expand and diversify, and if it doesn’t offer a product that people are guaranteed to need day after day and therefore are pretty much guaranteed to keep coming back for, it’s at a high risk for going under during the recession and should be given a wide berth.

o Is their industry stable? Historically, there are certain industries that tend to fare better in a recession than others, and these should be given firm consideration when you’re expanding your portfolio. Utility stocks (telephone, electric, gas), food and “escapes” such as cigarettes, alcohol and gambling have a history of tremendous success when it comes to riding out a recession because these are the industries that most consumers deem necessities and will continue pumping their money into.

o Is it a necessity? The industries listed above are stable choices during a recession because they are deemed to be necessities; however, if there is one industry that you can be sure is not going to go anywhere in the face of any kind of recession, it is the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Regardless of what the economy looks like, people are going to get sick and they’re going to need their medication to recover. This is a strong, stable choice for your portfolio, and it’s one that you can count on to bring in a steady, if not always remarkable, return.

o What about gold? Gold isn’t going anywhere. If you’re looking for a safe, solid and low risk investment during a recession period, gold is an excellent choice. There is very little chance that the value of gold is going to depreciate rapidly, and it’s definitely not going anywhere.

o Successful investing isn’t always just a matter of knowing what to invest in. Many times, it’s also a matter of knowing what not to invest in. There are certain industries that often bring about good returns when the stock market is high, but who are extremely risky during times of recession. Can you guess which industries those are? Right. Any industry that specializes in luxury services is going to take a hit when conscientious investors start counting their pennies, and as a result so are their stockholders. Good industries to avoid include airlines, luxury resorts, restaurants (unless they have been around for a while) and, of course, financial and lending institutions (who are likely to go under as their borrowers slip further and further into debt).

o If you aren’t familiar with the process of investing the best thing you could do for yourself to ensure the continued growth and success of your investments is find a skilled financial counselor and/or investment broker to work with. Ideally, they’ll be able to look at a company’s past history and their current place on the market and let you know whether or not they are a good choice for investment. Choose your broker with care, however; the last thing you want is to see your hard work and cautious planning fall apart because your broker was overly ambitious and pushed you into an investment that was doomed to failure from the very beginning.


Tips for Buying a Home

It is interesting to see that Victoria is building brand new homes at a fast pace; at almost double the rate of New South Wales. This may be due to the seventy thousand jobs that have recently been created in Victoria. By 2037, it is predicted that Melbourne is set to become Australia’s largest city leaving Sydney far behind.

Buying a home is never easy especially if you are not sure about what you want and where you want it. It is important that you first decide on where you would like to live and the size of the house you need. Then, of course, you will have to factor in what you can afford. The rules of purchasing a property vary from state to state depending on whether the property is sold through an auction or by private agreement.

Once you have decided on the property you wish to purchase, make an offer. Always offer a price that is lower than the asking price. Convey your serious intent to buy by paying an initial deposit of maybe 10% of the total price. You can then draw up legal agreements and insure the property. It will take you anywhere between a month and 90 days to finalize the sale. In case you change your mind about the property, the seller is legally allowed to retain 0.25% of your deposit and refund the rest.

Getting a home loan is easy as long as you have all the required documents. It is definitely easier for a salaried couple to get a housing loan. Self-employed persons are not considered as credit worthy as salaried people.

There are several types of home loans with fixed and variable rates of interest.

1. Basic Loan

2. Equity Line Credit Loan

3. No Deposit Loan

4. Fixed Rate Loan

5. Standard Variable Rate Loan

6. Non conforming Loan

7. Home Loan Package

In extremely rare cases, you might be able to swing a 100% loan and even get the financial institution to pay the stamp duty and other expenses. This is called the No Deposit Loan. Self-employed who may not meet the financial institution’s credit requirements, or those who have a bad credit background, or those who are casual workers with no steady job, or fresh immigrants with no history of loan repayment, can apply for the Non Conforming Loan.

There are several questions you need to ask before you buy a property:

• Why is the property on the market?

• Has the property been inspected for structural damage, etc?

• What are the items that come with the property?

• What is the market value of the property and how does it compare with the asking price?

• Is your agent also representing the buyer?

• When will you get possession of the property?

Buying property that is being sold by auction has its good points; you could become the legal owner within a month. But, you need to be financially sound before bidding. If there is any delay in settlement, you could face legal action.


Tips For a Greener Home

If you own your home, it probably represents the largest capital investment you have. Even if you are renting on a long or short term basis, it will still represent a large potion of your monthly expenditure, in rental payments, utility and possibly maintenance costs.

With utility costs continuing to rise, due largely to the increasing cost of fossil fuels, it makes sense to look at making sensible investments to reduce energy use and therefore monthly expenditure.

What is a sensible expenditure will depend on the length of time you will continue to occupy your property but anything that will reduce ongoing costs sufficiently to pay for the one of alteration is worth considering.

Even if you are renting a property it could be worth speaking with your landlord and seeing if they will fund the works or part of them, as expenditure will continue to benefit tenants in the future.

There are some quick wins, with insulation being amongst the lowest cost improvement for the greatest gains. Adding extra insulating to a loft will help keep in the heat, which has a natural tendency to rise and escape upwards. Cavity wall insulation can also help keep in your valuable heat.

An immediate saving can be had by turning down the thermostat on your heating system. This saving, which costs absolutely no money to implement, can save 1 % of your heating bill for each 1 degree of reduction over an eight hour period. By gradually reducing the temperature by a small amount each week, it is possible to build up to significant savings. If you are going out, try and get into the habit of turning the thermostat down even more; it may be a little cooler when you get home, but you will save energy and money. If your heating is not programmed to go off at night, consider doing this, or turning it down by a further 5 degrees for a further 5 per cent saving on your heating bills.

Another simple saving is to replace existing light bulbs with low energy ones. These are now available very cheaply (and as traditional light bulbs are being phased out the low energy options is now in many cases the cheaper option). These will start saving you money on your electricity bills straight away, and if you are renting short term, you can simply swap the bulbs back when you come to move again and take the energy efficient ones with you.


Tips For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

If you are buying a home, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. A good real estate agent can help ensure that you are notified of homes that meet all your criteria. A good agent will also answer your questions and will walk you through the buying process, which is an invaluable service for first-time homebuyers. Despite all this, most buyers choose their agent in a completely haphazard way, simply falling into a relationship with the first real estate agent they encounter. A much better strategy is to do some sleuthing to uncover the agent who will truly help you find that perfect property. You can find the right professional by:

1) Interviewing candidates. It may seem like a lot of work, but comparing different real estate agents from different agencies can quickly show you which agents you respond best to and which ones seem to offer the best service. Interviews also allow you to assess experience, education, and other factors important in a good real estate agent.

2) Checking qualifications and sales. Look for a real estate agent who has some experience and has been on the job long enough to have expertise in the area. Ideally, you want someone who has worked as an agent for years in the same area and has an impressive sales record. In every community, you will generally find a few agents who perform very well because they know what they are doing and are good at what they do. Look for these agents and check to make sure that no complaints have been filed about them with the State Board of Realtors.

3) Lining up personalities. Buying real estate is highly emotional, so it is important to find someone you are compatible with. Look for a real estate agent you can really communicate with. If your personalities do not match, you may feel that your real estate agent is not doing enough for you and your real estate agent may get frustrated that you are not placing any bids. Find someone that registers a high comfort level with you and you can avoid these problems.

4) Making sure that your real estate agent is creative. Your agent will use the Multiple Listing Service (M.L.S.) to find homes, but he or she should also use their knowledge, contacts and experience to find homes that match your needs. You don’t want someone who can simply run simplistic searches you can run yourself from home.

5) Ensuring that your agent knows the area. A real estate agent who knows the area where you hope to buy can help you understand what is available and at what prices.

6) Checking customer service before you enter into a relationship. Real estate agents are busy people, but they should still be able to offer you good care. Your phone calls should be returned, your concerns should be addressed and you should be able to contact your real estate agent when you need to. If your agent uses an assistant, you need to ensure that it is the real estate agent themselves who will handle all work with contracts as well as the closing. That is what you are paying your real estate agent for. Stay away from agents who seem distracted, disorganized, and are not able to interact with you personally. You may find that your home buying experience suffers with these sort of agents.