Real Estate Videos | “Interviewing an Agent”
There are over 5000 real estate agents in San Diego County alone. Needless to say there are a lot of options. So how do you choose the best one to sell your home? Here are some questions to ask when interviewing real estate agents.
- How much experience do you have as a Realtor?
- How much experience do you have selling in my neighborhood?
- What’s your marketing plan?
- How many open houses do you plan to have?
- Will it be on Broker Caravan?
- Will you get feedback from each showing?
- What kind of photography/videography will be taken of my home?
- What separates you from the competition?
- Can I have references and can I contact them?
- What are your hours and availability?
- Will you be holding the open houses or showings or will another agent be there in your place?
- What are your fees?
This will serve as a guideline so you can learn about the various agents to make the best decision to meet your real estate goals.
Real Estate Videos | “Getting Pre-Approved”
When looking for a new home, you need to be pre-approved for a loan before making a purchase. But what does that mean and what are the steps to getting pre approved?
Pre-approval means you’ve worked with a mortgage lender and understand what kind of loan you qualify for. Getting pre-approved doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. To be pre approved, you’ll need to send in a preliminary application to a lender. They’ll review your credit, income, and assets and determine what loan you can qualify for.
Here is the documentation you’ll need to begin the process to see which loan you are qualify for:
- Paystubs – Most recent 1 month
- W’2’s – Most recent 2 years
- Tax returns – Most recent 2 years
- Bank statements – Most recent 2 months
- Investment 401k/statements
- Copy of your driver’s license
- Mortgage statement
Keep in mind that pre-approval is different from pre-qualification. Pre-qualification is merely an estimate of what you may be able to afford. Pre-approval occurs when the lender has reviewed your credit and believes that you can finance a home up to a specific amount. There is no obligation to accept the loan the lender proposes for pre-approval, but the information you gain from being pre-approved will also help you understand the costs involved when purchasing a home.
Being pre-approved by a lender can therefore put you in a much stronger negotiating position, because it shows the seller that you are financially capable of buying and more likely to close on the property.
Real Estate Videos | “Above and Beyond the MLS for Buyers”
In this competitive market a buyer needs more than an agent setting up a search on the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS). To give you the most competitive advantage your agent needs to go above and beyond to find out about homes not yet listed on the market and create opportunities.
If my clients identify a particular neighborhood they want to be in, we’ve door knocked the community to see if they are interested in selling. We’ve mailed postcards, letters, & cold called to let them know we have a buyer who is interested & able to close on this property. This can be intriguing to a seller who doesn’t want to spend the time and money getting the home ready to sell and having strangers come into their homes during open houses and showings.
We also regularly attend our local Broker Marketing Sessions where 100’s of agent and affiliates meet to discuss current and upcoming listings. We often learn about new opportunities that haven’t hit the market and deals are done before the home ever goes public. Our team is a part of numerous groups and organizations sharing “Coming Soon” (pocket listings) which also gives us a competitive advantage.
We think outside the box, pound the pavement to create results for our clients.
Real Estate Videos | “Above and Beyond the MLS for Sellers”
When listing your home for sale there is so much more involved than merely putting it on the MLS. Our goal is to create as much exposure as possible to gain as much interest as possible to obtain the highest and best offer for our clients.
We have a global reach to brokers and buyers. We utilize our growing domestic and international database, have an effective social media marketing plan, conduct mega open houses, neighbor open houses, and strategically market to agents who have clients looking to buy. Your property has a marketing pitch at our local Broker Caravan, which markets the property to over 150 real estate professionals. We have digital and hard copy flyers showcasing the professional photography of your home as well as drone and professional videos.
Exceeding your goals is our number one priority and we absolutely go above and beyond to make that happen.
Real Estate Videos | “3 Tip for Buying New Construction”
If you are thinking of buying new construction it can differ from buying a resale home. Here are 3 tips to understanding new home construction.
- Understand that the home you buy may not look like the models. The builders have showcased the models to highlight many of the upgraded options so if you want your home to look like the model plan for your budget to increase. Some builders include some upgrades but not all to look like a model. The nice thing is you can finance the upgrades into the purchase price of the home. This is helpful is you don’t want to pay these costs upfront but still want your home to include these upgraded features.
- Builders have sales goals they need to meet and also need to move onto the future projects. They don’t like inventory sitting. Sometimes you can get a better deal with a “standing inventory” home, a home that is already under construction. Keep in mind you may not be able to make as many changes to the floorpan or design choices since it will already be under construction.
- Find an agent who is experienced with new home construction. They represent YOU, not the builder and can negotiate on your behalf. Builders won’t always drop their prices but rather offer other incentives, like closing cost credit or an upgrade package. Your agent will work to get you the best deal possible. It is a long process since the homes aren’t built yet so you need an agent that will stay on top of the deal, keep the builder accountable for timeframes, and keep you informed along the way. Also make sure your agent accompanies you and registers you on your first visit to the community.
Real Estate Videos | “Winning in a Multiple Offer Situation”
As you may be aware of, we’re in a extremely competitive market, with multiple offers being made on properties. As a buyer we want to make your offer really stand out from the crowd. Besides price, here are 5 tips to writing a strong offer.
- Tip 1: In addition to a pre-qualification provide proof of funds with your offer. Proof of funds show the seller you have enough funds for the deposit and closing costs. It’s not required to be submitted with the offer but it gives the seller more confidence you are a strong buyer and have the financial means to close the deal.
- Tip 2: Not only be pre-qualified, but be pre-approved. Pre-qualified is completing a loan application to find out how much the bank will lend you. On the other hand a pre-approval goes more in depth. You submit all of the required financial documentation up front and have the under writer review. Then once the offer is accepted, all you need is the appraisal and the loan process can move faster, enabling you to shorten the loan contingency to a shorter timeframe than the typical 21 days. This makes your offer more aggressive because you can close faster.
- Tip 3: Have your Realtor find out as much information from the listing agent as possible about the seller and their needs. It’s not always about price; there can many other factors that are more important such as the sellers needing to rent back the home for a certain timeframe, or a longer escrow period, etc. If we can accommodate the sellers needs upfront and address it our offer it may be the sweet spot to get our offer accepted.
- Tip 4: Shorten contingency periods. The buyer has typically 17 days to conduct inspections and due diligence. If we are timely and focused we can get inspections done quicker and shorter this contingency period from 17 days down to possibly 10 days or sooner. This is where I can help get all inspections ordered and stay on top of the multiple parties involved so we all stick to the shorten timeframe in our offer.
- Tip 5: Go above & beyond to stand out. Write a personal letter introducing yourself and highlight what you love about the home. It shows you’re not just a name on a paper; it connects the seller with a real person. If the seller has any emotional connection to the home this can help knowing they’re selling it to someone who adores the home just as much as they did. We’ve even gone as far as creating a short video from the buyers in lieu of a letter.
Real Estate Videos | “What is Escrow”
You found your dream home and the seller accepts your offer! You deliver a deposit of funds and it’s placed in “escrow”. But what really is escrow?
Escrow is the home buying process in which an unbiased third party officer (from a closing company, an attorney, or a title agency) holds on to your money which is meant for your future home while you and the seller negotiate a contract and close the deal. After an agreed upon closing deal is made, the third party makes sure everything runs smoothly, including the transfer of money and documents.
Escrow is protection for all parties, ensuring that no funds or property change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met, including inspections, repairs and other requirements from both you and the seller. As each task in your contract is completed, proper documents are filled out with the escrow officer. After all conditions have been met, the escrow officer then transfers the money due to the seller and clears the title of the property… you are an official homeowner!