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Insist on a Weekly Report Before You List Your House with a Realtor

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Life Changes

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You’ve listed your house for sale with a realtor. Days, even weeks, have gone by with no apparent interest in your house. You start to get anxious. What’s going on?

So you call your realtor. He or she tells you what’s being done to market your house. You discuss some alternatives. You hang up your phone and you feel better.

But in a few days, you still don’t see any potential buyers so you call again. Is your realtor doing anything? So you call your realtor again. And once again, after talking with him or her, you feel better about what’s being done to move your house.

Then a few days later … well, you get the picture!

There’s a better way – insist on a weekly report before you list your property with your realtor.

4 Pointers for the Report

Short

You don’t need a detailed written report from your realtor. After all, you want him or her focusing on finding buyers, not talking to you! However, your realtor should be able to get you up-to-speed on what’s going on in a few minutes.

Form
Agree to how the report will be delivered. It can be a phone call or an e-mail. See what your realtor prefers. If it’s a phone call, take notes and e-mail them to your realtor for review to make sure you accurately understood what was said.

Activities
You want to know what’s been done to market your product. Get a feeling for the number of times your house has been shown, any comments that were made, and any suggestions your realtor may have now.

Alternatives
Your contact with your realtor should conclude by discussing your alternatives. We’ll discuss this more in our next article on selling your house.

Getting a weekly report from your realtor serves two purposes:

  • It keeps your realtor accountable
  • It keeps you from bugging them too much!

You’ll feel less stress if you communicate regularly with your realtor. You may also be able to make some adjustments as new information becomes available.

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Differentiate Your Offer When You List Your House for Sale

By Bigg Success Staff
04-02-08

Life Changes

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When you’re ready to sell your house, we recommend that you 290 list it with a realtor]. They will prove to be an invaluable resource in moving your home relatively quickly for a reasonable price.

A good realtor helps you in many ways. One of those is making recommendations, based on the market at that time, to make your house and your offer attractive to prospective buyers.

So you’ll want to discuss incentives with your realtor. A good realtor will welcome a seller willing to consider incentives because it shows that you are serious about moving your property.

Here are some common incentives for buyers that you may consider:

  • pay for the buyer’s home warranty coverage for a year
  • prepay the buyer’s homeowner’s association dues for a year
  • offer a credit toward the buyer’s closing costs

Of course, what you offer depends on the value of the home you’re selling. You still want to come out ahead, but don’t be afraid to get creative.

For example, if your situation allows, consider a travel voucher (for a weekend away or longer). Buy this house and you’ll get a vacation for free! Would that get your attention?

Another thing to consider is that your realtor’s compensation is negotiable as well. A lot of sellers try to negotiate down. Among other things, this may unintentionally signal that you’re not serious about moving your house quickly.

Consider doing the opposite – give them a higher rate. Instead of that, you may consider a bonus if the house moves within a certain time frame. Good realtors don’t base which homes they sell on what they get paid. However, they may put forth a little extra early effort, and even spend more money, getting the word out about your listing if there is a reason to do so.

In the end, your professional realtor will weigh the options you’ve discussed and make some recommendations about which incentives will be best. The odds are that they’ll direct you to toward buyer’s incentives, if your listing price allows them.

You’ll have to make the final decision. Balance what you need and want from the sale of your home with how quickly you want it to move to create a price with incentives that is likely to meet your goals.

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Choose The Right Realtor To Sell Your House … Fast!

By Bigg Success Staff
03-05-08

Life Changes

We recently posted an article entitled 269] We’re constantly bombarded with the turbulence of the real estate markets. But real estate is a very local business – you need to understand what’s going on in your market, not the national market.

We think the simplest way to do that is by contracting with a realtor. It’s also the most effective way to sell your house. They are professionals immersed in the market every day.

They will help you get the best price possible for your home, given market conditions. It’s also likely that they will sell your house faster than any other way, short of an auction. In short, they will earn every penny you pay them.

We’ll assume you don’t already know a good realtor, because if you did you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. How do you select the right realtor for you?

Get referrals
This is the single best way to find a good realtor. Talk to friends, neighbors, business associates, and your hair stylist. They hear it all! Ask them who they would use to sell their house. When you start hearing a name over and over, you have a good lead!

Interview them
Now that you have two or three names, set up a meeting to talk with them. Respect their time – good realtors are busy people. Offer to meet at their office or some other convenient place. You may even interview them over the phone.

You’re looking for two things from your realtor – someone with whom you have good chemistry and someone who can deliver the results you want.

You have to feel comfortable with your realtor at the start because selling your home can be very stressful. You have to know they can deliver so you trust them, even if little to nothing seems to be happening. 

Verify their information
The easiest way to do this is to look up their REALTOR® listing. You can see what professional designations they’ve earned. You should also ask for third-party verification for any claims that were made. For instance, did they tell you about a national award or did they show you proof?

Follow-up on references
Good agents will be happy to provide you with references to two or three satisfied sellers. The more recently they’ve sold, the better – you want to talk to people who faced circumstances as close as possible to yours. Contact them to see if they would use the realtor again.

Hire your agent
Pick the agent you think is best suited for the task at hand. Once you made the decision, notify them to get the process rolling. You should also drop a note to any other realtors you interviewed thanking them again.

Choosing a realtor is perhaps the most important decision you will make when selling your house. A good realtor will make the rest of the process much more manageable. Choose your realtor well and sell your house … fast! 

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Turn Misfortune Into Fortune: Tips for Starting Over

Last time, we talked about Todd, a young real estate entrepreneur, whose triumph turned to tragedy. Todd’s story comes from an article, in the New York Times, by John Leland, entitled A Real Estate Speculator Goes From Boom To Bust. We discussed some lessons you can learn from Todd’s misfortune.

Today, we want to go beyond the lessons and offer some advice on how to recover from a devastating turn of events.

Keep your dream alive.
Stay positive. Reach out to people close to you. People love helping people. Let them.

You should also be thankful for your misfortune. Yes, we do mean that. It means you’re one step closer to success! History is ripe with examples of people who failed before they succeeded bigg. Plan on your name being added to that list!

Here’s the first step to starting over:
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not going to repeat the past, you have to learn from it. That’s how you 13 fail forward]. Learn from it and then forget about it – move on.

In Todd’s case, it’s obvious he is a dynamic young man. His banker said he performs. That’s a striking compliment coming from a banker who has foreclosed on him. It appears that Todd is good with Operations and Sales. Management, particularly financial management, is his weakness. This is common among entrepreneurs.

You want to build on your strengths and get around your weaknesses. For example, Todd may take in a partner with strong financial skills to complement his abilities.

What if you’ve declared bankruptcy (or are deep in debt)?
We’re not attorneys, or financial planners, or anything else worthy of giving you information for your specific situation. Keep that in mind.

A successful business person referred a friend, who had just declared bankruptcy, to a banker. The bank turned him down. The business person called the banker and explained that his friend was a better risk than he was.

“How can that be?” the banker asked. “You have stellar credit.”

The business person replied, “Because if you lend me the money, I can declare bankruptcy tomorrow. My friend can’t do that for seven years.”

We’re not sure if that’s still the case, but the point is to find ways of turning your liabilities into assets. Todd has changed from a merchant-model (i.e. he buys it, then sells it), to a broker-model. Now he makes money without having to invest any capital. Brilliant!

Our quote today comes from the great Dig Hammarskjöld.

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top.
Then you will see how low it was.”

Keep climbing. You’ll find that many of your mountains were really just mole hills.

Tune in next time to see what people regret the most, according to a recent study. Until then, here’s to your big success!

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Lessons Learned From A Bankrupt Business Owner

Last time, we talked about jump starting your passive income by investing in rental real estate. Today we’ll look at what we can learn from a bankrupt business owner.

We came across an interesting article a little bit ago in the New York Times. It was about a young real estate speculator named Todd.

Back in 1994, after attending a seminar on buying real estate, 20-year old Todd found a property which he bought, fixed up, and sold for a $4,000 profit.

By the year 2000, Todd, now 26, was holding as many as 25 houses at a time. He had perfected his system – making up to $15,000 on every house. Eight banks were in line to provide him money when he needed it. Todd decided to start building new homes because prices had gone up so much on the houses he was buying.

Fast forwarding to May of 2006, Todd was living the American dream at 33. He had a 5,000 square foot house that cost $1.2 million. He had a BMW and a Corvette. An inventory of 89 lots was waiting for buyers. He owned an office building. Life was good!

Now, his marriage has collapsed. Banks have taken back his lovely house; he now rents a small one. His beautiful cars are gone. He’s driving a pick up truck. He’s lost everything else. He sells beverages full-time, and brokers deals to other speculators part-time.

We applaud Todd for sharing his story. And a big salute to John Leland for this excellent article – A Real Estate Speculator Goes From Boom to Bust.

So what can we learn from Todd’s experience? Here are some lessons:

Just because a bank will give you $$$, that doesn’t mean you should take it!
Todd had a banker who did him a favor, if he would have only recognized it. She told him “no”. So Todd went to another banker who kept the funds coming. If Todd had only paused to consider why his first banker said no, he may be in less of a mess now.

When you’re living on borrowed money, you may be living on borrowed time.
Todd was highly leveraged, in business and at home. Being levered in business may be fine. Piling on to that with personal debt is a bad idea. Borrowing money is a two-edged sword – it will make you rich, or poor, more quickly.

When it comes to your standard of living, keep your standards low.
Todd had the best of everything – the house, the cars, and more. Which is fine, if you have assets that will produce the income to pay for everything. But when you’re borrowing to buy status symbols, you’re bound to wind up in trouble.

Know how you’re getting out before you get in.
If Todd had done this, he might have noticed that it was getting more expensive for his customers to buy houses. He could have shifted his business model once – find a customer, then build it. That would mean he was “out” without getting “in”.

Fully analyze your situation by considering a number of situations.
Todd did this once – he shifted from flipping houses to building new ones. He didn’t contemplate how rising prices were affecting his customer’s ability to buy his product. He failed to consider how long it would take him to sell his inventory of lots. Had he done so, he may have prevented the major disaster that happened.

Todd learned the hard way – by making the mistakes himself. Hopefully, you can learn from his mistakes so you don’t make the same ones.

Our quote today comes from Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine.

“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares,
but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.”

So shake off the nightmare and rest assured, your sweet dreams will come true.

Next time, we’ll offer some tips for starting over, for turning misfortune into fortune. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!