Real estate broker

A good real estate broker Real estate is a popular investment avenue. A lot of people go for real estate investing. Some people follow real estate as their prime job. So you have real estate brokers, real estate investors, real estate attorneys and others who thrive mainly on the real estate industry. However, there are … Continue reading “Real estate broker”

A good real estate broker

Real estate is a popular investment avenue. A lot of people go for real estate investing. Some people follow real estate as their prime job. So you have real estate brokers, real estate investors, real estate attorneys and others who thrive mainly on the real estate industry. However, there are others who don’t follow real estate investing as a profession but still want to invest in real estate (as it is an attractive avenue for investment). For such people, getting a good real estate broker can make a big difference between a good deal and not-so-good one.

So how does one choose a good real estate broker?

The first thing to look for is the reputation of the real estate broker. A real estate broker who has good reputation would have earned it over a period of time by helping buyers get the property of their choice (and as per their needs), at the same time getting a good price for the property seller. In fact, experience is the second important thing to look for in a real estate broker. Bad real estate brokers can’t exist for long (since the bad news about anyone travels much faster than the good news). So experience is a good measure because then you know that the real estate broker hasn’t done anything so bad as to throw them out of business. A good real estate broker will not act just as the salesperson for the seller (from whom the real estate broker is due to receive commission/fee when the deal materializes) but will also pay heed to the needs of the buyer. Also, a good real estate broker will normally have a lot of properties available for sale at any point of time. Good real estate brokers will generally have a small team of people working in an organized way to get the deal closed between a buyer and a seller (making both parties happy at the same time). Good real estate brokers will group the properties in a way that is easy to understand e.g. group them on the basis of location, grouping them on the basis of price, grouping them on the basis of house types etc. for the buyer. A good real estate broker will also offer advice to the seller on small repairs or things that can get help them in getting an even better price for their property. And a good real estate broker will patiently listen to the requirements of the buyers and point them to the properties that best fit their requirements (instead of just showing them the list and asking to choose one).

Checking with friends/family that have previously used the services of a good real estate broker can sometimes help you in getting a good real estate broker fairly quickly.

Real estate license

Getting a real estate license

Real estate brokering is known as a very lucrative business and a lot of people are working as real estate agents throughout the nation. Not only are they making good money, they are also contributing to the society in a way i.e. by helping the sellers in selling their property and at the same time helping the buyers in buying a property. So, can anyone start real estate brokering? Well, not really.

Real estate license is a pre-requisite for becoming a real estate agent. However, obtaining a real estate license is not difficult. In most states, the qualifications for getting a real estate license are very minimal. So you should first check the eligibility criteria for obtaining a real estate license (rather pre-license) in your state. The real estate license eligibility criterion includes things like the minimum age limit (which is mostly 19 years) and educational qualifications (which is mostly high school). Once you know that you satisfy those real estate license (pre-license) eligibility criteria, you can go ahead and enrol for a pre-license training. There a number of real estate schools that offer real estate license training. Some real estate schools offer online training for real estate license. Choose a course that is spread over a sufficient duration of time e.g. 1 year so that you are able to grasp the concepts properly (after all you want to become a successful real estate agent and not just another real estate agent). You will be taught a number of topics as part of your real estate license training. All this will help you develop a basic understanding of real estate and various aspects related to real estate (e.g. real estate law, deeds, contracts, ownership transfer, etc) Once you have undergone this real estate license training, you will be required to undergo a state exam. After you pass this exam, you will generally need to undergo another training on state approved courses. And that’s it, you can now get a real estate license which is worth that effort (as you will find in a couple of years of starting real state brokering). Most states also require you to go for continuous education after you have received your real estate license. However, this is a just a few hours every few years.

So real estate license is what you need to start your career as real estate agent. But your success after that will be dependent on how seriously, ethically and smartly you carry out your job.

Real estate investment

Real estate investment is about finding good deals

Real estate investments are often treated as one the best ways of investing money. However, what you are looking for is not just any real estate investment, but real estate investment that can give you good returns. By real estate investment we mean investing money into property i.e. buying property at a low price and selling it at a higher price so as to make a profit out of it. So the most important part of good real estate investment is to get hold of such properties which can give you good returns.

Now, how can you get these potential profit-making deals?

Your first avenue for finding good deals is the local newspaper (the property newspaper). Just search for properties that are listed directly by the owners who want to avoid paying commission to the real estate brokers. Since the owner is saving on the commission that they would otherwise have to pay to the broker, they would probably be able to offer a lower price to you and be more open to negotiations. You could also place your own ‘wanted’ ad in the local newspapers. On the same lines, you could use internet to search for the real estate investment avenues. In fact, you would be astonished by the number of real estate investment opportunities you are able to locate on the internet. Not only that, searching for real estate investment opportunities (i.e. property for sale) is much easier on internet than anywhere else.

Another good way to hunt for real estate investment opportunities is by using the services of real estate brokers. Some people use real estate agents as their first (and maybe the only) touch point for getting real estate investment opportunities. The real estate agents act as information hub for people looking to buy property. In fact, a lot of sellers find it much more convenient to sell their properties by listing it with real estate agents.

Multiple listings service is another good way to find real estate investment opportunities. Since the multiple listing book is provided only to the real estate agents and not to the general public (unless you are very lucky), all the cream (good real estate investment opportunities) would have already been taken before you get to see the book. The key here is to look for expired listings that didn’t get converted to a deal.

Another good way to get a property, that is a good real estate investment, is to look for foreclosures by banks/ VA/ FHA or to visit public auctions. You can generally get a good deal here. Divorce settlements are another good real estate investment opportunity.

So, real estate investment is really about finding good deals. And finding good deals does take some effort

Orlando real estate

Orlando real estate – The land of Disney

Yes, getting a piece of Orlando real estate is indeed a very attractive proposition. For a lot of people, buying Orlando real estate is like becoming a part of Disney or Universal Studios or just any theme park. Some others are attracted to Orlando real estate due to the moderate climatic conditions. So owning Orlando real estate speaks both of comfort and fun.

Some treat Orlando real estate as an investment for their retirement. In fact a lot of people buy Orlando real estate just so that they can settle in Orlando later in their lives. When it comes to investing in Orlando real estate, vacation homes also seem a popular thing. A number of people go for properties that are in Disney’s proximity. Renting out vacation homes is a popular thing and some people invest in Orlando real estate so that they can earn rental income till the time there decide to actually live in that property. With some tour operators offering rental guarantee, the vacation homes are gaining a lot of popularity in Orlando. Sometimes people are even able to pay their monthly mortgage payments using the monthly rental income from the vacation homes. However, if you go looking for Orlando real estate (for getting rental income), you must make sure that you buy it as close to the theme parks as possible. That is where you will get the most in terms of rental income from your Orlando real estate investment. So, even though you might have to pay a bit more for that piece of Orlando real estate, you should also consider the fact that the rental income will also increase in the same proportion. Moreover, going for a vacation home that is cheaper but much farther from Disney and other attractions, might not get rented out at all. So that cheaper piece of Orlando real estate might actually turn out more expensive for you.

However, if you are looking to live in by yourself, then the proximity to theme parks might not be your priority. Instead you should be looking for convenience, in terms of comfort and in terms of availability of necessary amenities (and if you have kids then you would also be looking for schools etc). Of course, other/general criteria for selection of real estate would be applicable to Orlando real estate too.

So, Orlando real estate investment does seem to make a lot of sense. The only important thing is to evaluate the reason for going for Orlando real estate and then make a good decision.

Real estate agent

All about real estate agents

Real estate agents are professionals who help in connecting the buyer to the seller. A lot of real estate agents also do rentals wherein they connect tenants to landlords and even maintain the property on the behalf of the landlords. The real estate agents work by linking together the two interested parties and charging a commission for their services. For sales, they charge commission only to the seller but for rentals (i.e. agent managed rentals) the commission is charged to both parties involved in the transaction. Real estate agents generally calculate their fee as a percentage of the selling price (in case of sales) and as part of the rent (for rentals). People, who want to sell/let their property, leave the details of their property with the real estate agent (and in fact, even leave the keys of the house so that the real estate agent can arrange for viewings without them getting into any hassle). The other interested party (i.e. the buyer/tenant), gets access to this information by contacting the real estate agent. That’s how the real estate agents become a hub of information.

A lot of home seekers (including real estate investors) use the services of real estate agents not just for getting good deals but also getting them quick. Since real estate agents are probably most familiar with the market situation in their region of operation, it makes sense to approach them to get an idea of the going rate for properties in that region. Real estate agents would generally know the prices of various properties of different types and at various locations in the region.

A property seller can possibly get a few thousands more for his/her property by using the advice received from a good real estate agent. A good real estate agent will also analyse the needs of a home buyer/tenant and provide suggestions on what kind of home could be available to them within their budget. So a good real estate agent will not just throw a list of available properties to the buyer/ tenant but will actually discuss their needs and make a suggestion. This, in fact, works in the favour of real estate agent in two ways. Firstly, if the real estate agent is able to sell the house they get their commission and secondly, if they make the buyer happy too they earn a good reputation (and hence more business).

However, it is worth noting that real estate agents work on seller’s behalf. So, beware if they are trying too hard to sell a property.