Home Insurance Explained

Congratulations! You’re about to become a full-fledged homeowner. Before you let the drawn-out home buying process pass and you begin to bask in the first moments of home ownership, be sure to be on top of the home insurance process.

After putting so much time, effort and money into buying your new home, you’re going to want to be sure your home has the proper coverage it needs.

Of course, you probably are not even sure of the type of varying coverage you need.

While there’s standard insurance for homes, every home and every homeowner has individual exposures that need to be addressed. And while insurance can seem like a thorny process, if viewed as piece by piece coverage, it is easier to understand.

The insurance people sum up six chief forms of coverage so that even a layman can make sense of the information.

The Six Essential Forms of Homeowners Insurance

1. Your dwelling coverage: This coverage protects you from damage to the actual premises of your house. If there is a covered loss – one incurred as a result of events such as fire, storms, theft and/or vandalism – you will be reimbursed up to the limits for repair work or rebuilding. In order to assess your coverage needs in regard to this, you and your insurance specialist can estimate how much it would cost to reconstruct your home. Additionally, if there’s a mortgage on the home, your lender will demand explicit kinds of coverage, as well as specified limits and deductibles.

2. Your other structures: Any detached garage or the like, such as sheds or fences, will be protected under this form of coverage. Coverage is generally up to 10% of the amount of insurance on your home, but you can request broader coverage if you think you need it.

3. Your personal property: This aspect of insurance shields you from damages or losses in regard to your personal things. This includes furniture, sporting goods, computer systems, kitchen appliances and so on. A standard policy will cover the actual cash value, but if you think it’s better to go with replacement cost coverage you can opt for it. Both of these forms of coverage are subject to the limits and deductibles set within the policy.

4. Your loss of use coverage: In the event your home is so damaged from a covered peril that you cannot live in it while under repair or reconstruction, this form of coverage pays for your temporary living costs.

5. Personal Liability: This coverage will protect you from a lawsuit if you or other household members cause an injury to another person or cause damage to another’s property.

6. Medical Payments: This type of coverage will cover the medical costs of those injured on your premises.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by M Wyzanski

Massage at Home – Five Reasons Why You Should Buy a Massage Table

With a massage table at home, you can easily indulge in the luxury and healing power of therapeutic touch on a regular basis. Check out the benefits of owning your own massage table below.


1. Enjoy giving and receiving massage in the comfort of your own home.

With a massage table at home, you can enjoy the luxury of therapeutic touch on a regular basis with your spouse or partner. You can learn simple massage techniques and more advanced methods from local classes in your community or learn-at-home courses. The more you practice, the better you will get at using different techniques. Take turns with your partner so that both of you get to enjoy giving and receiving massage.

2. Grow closer to your spouse or loved one.

Touch is a powerful factor in the strength of intimate relationships. If you’re looking to grow closer to your spouse or significant other, giving each other massages at home is a great way to bond on an emotional and physical level. In the broader American culture, touch is a neglected part of relationships with the ones we love. Massage at home is one way to improve intimate relationships through touch.

3. Live a healthier life.

Numerous studies have shown the wide-ranging benefits of massage. Studies by the Touch Research Institute have shown that both the massage giver and the one receiving massage experience benefits on multiple levels: emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental. Even those who are already healthy can benefit from improved circulation, deeper sleep, even emotional and spiritual well-being.

4. Learn to relax.

After a long day at work, what could sound better than a relaxing massage at home! Stress can build up over time and cause us to blow a situation out of proportion. You may not even realize how stressed out you are until something minor causes you to overreact. Don’t let stress overwhelm your life and complicate your relationships and day-to-day life. Learn how to let go and relax with regular massage at home.

5. Save your therapist’s back.

Carrying around a massage table-even a lightweight one-is hard on your body. It’s a risk some professional therapists don’t want to take, since their livelihood depends on the health of their body. Pulling a muscle or straining their back means that a therapist must either work through the pain or turn down clients until the injury heals. If a client owns a massage table, however, a professional therapist is much more likely to agree to travel to your home for an appointment. In fact, they may even offer you a discount.


With the option of professional and do-it-yourself massage, owning your own table provides benefits and flexibility on more than one level. See what the benefits are for yourself when you purchase your home massage table!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jesse K. Taylor

Why To CHOOSE A Specific Real Estate Agent?

Although, there are hundreds – of – thousands, of licensed real estate salespersons, in this country, only, a very small percentage of them, are responsible for the vast majority of the transactions/ deals, and, there is a significant difference, on many levels, between individuals, and how they perform the duties of an agent. Since, for most people, the value of their house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to carefully, CHOOSE the person, you hire, to serve and represent, your best interests? With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Character; creative; Competitive Market Analysis (CMA); cooperate: Seek someone, with the quality character, which benefits, and serves your best interests! Choose someone, with the combination of knowledge, creativity, and open – mindedness, combined with a willingness to cooperate, with all parties involved! When, selecting a Listing Agent, carefully, inspect, the quality, thoroughness, and professionalism, of their Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), and how he explains it, in terms of suggesting your listing price, and your options, etc.

2. Humane; helps; homes: Many homeowners struggle, with their decision to sell their homes, because of their emotional attachment, and, memories! It’s important for an agent, to proceed, with the humane actions, which helps one, put things into perspective, and make essential decisions, etc.

3. Options; opts; opportunities; optimal: It’s important to carefully, review, a variety of options and alternatives, and opt – for, the best strategic plan, moving – forward! Take advantage of the finest opportunities, in order to provide the optimal service, and representation!

4. Open – minded; Open Houses; organized: There is no such thing, as, one – size – fits – all, when it comes to choosing the finest agent, to represent you! You benefit, when one proceeds, in an open – minded, manner, and, in a well – considered, organized manner! It’s important to thoroughly, consider, examine, and identify, whether the marketing and selling of your home, would benefit, by holding, Open Houses.

5. System; strengths; solutions; service/ serve: Seek someone, who explains, thoroughly, his system and reasoning, and how he might, effectively, emphasize your home’s strengths, while addressing areas of weakness! Professional service means providing viable solutions, emphasizing, serving your best interests!

6. Empathy; excellence; endurance; efforts: Clients benefit, when they choose an agent, with the utmost degree of genuine empathy, which combines, real excellence, and the endurance, to maintain his professional efforts, throughout the process!

When you CHOOSE the real estate agent, to hire, and represent/ serve you. do so, carefully, and thoroughly! Making the wisest, possible decision. benefits you!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

5 Actions Smart Homeowners Take To Help Sell Their Houses!

Although, one’s choice, of the real estate professional, one hires, is, significant, the best results, are, only achieved, if/ when, the homeowner, proceeds, proactively, and takes 5 smart actions! Achieving the desired results, which, usually, is, selling one’s house, for the highest possible price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle/ stress, requires planning, and communication, between the seller, and his agent! Only, when planned – teamwork, is thoroughly considered, and used, and the homeowner, understands, what his responsibilities, are, will the optimal results, happen! With, that in mind, this article will, briefly, attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 important actions, which help, get the results, one desires.

1. Curb appeal (exterior): Paying attention to curb appeal, must be, more than, simply, empty rhetoric, and/ or, some, abstract ideas/ concepts! What, prospective, qualified buyers, see, gives them, a first impression, which, significantly, influences, their potential degree of consideration, for your home and property! Before, starting, gradually, approach your house, and look at it, as, a potential buyer, might. Commit to being, genuinely, objective, and addressing any potential weakness, proactively! Items, to address, related to essential aspect, including: using flowers, bushes, etc, to enhance the first – look; ensuring the area is neat, clean, and clutter – free; addressing any issues, related to the driveway, and front walkways/ paths; mowing lawns, and effectively, using mulch, etc; exterior areas, including appearance of concrete, foundations, paint, windows, screens, storm doors, exterior doors, etc.

2. Staging/ de – clutter: Many potential buyers are turned – off, when, they see, a house, full of clutter, and other distractions! Because, so many, often, are challenged, when it comes to, seeing things, as they may be, rather than, merely, are, from a cosmetic and/ or decorating perspective, it often is beneficial, to take advantage of, and hire, a professional, home – stager!

3. Thorough cleaning/ deodorized: To maximize potential interest, a smart homeowner, ensures, the house, is thoroughly, cleaned, and deodorized, prior to any showings, etc! In addition, every time, it is viewed, it must present as, being, neat, clean, clutter – free, and well – maintained!

4. Address all/ any potential distractions: You don’t want a potential buyer, to be negatively, distracted, especially, by some, easily addressed, potential distractions! Objectively, slowly, enter the house, and look around, in order to observe, anything, which fails to present, in a positive way! Also, ask for the input of the agent, you hire, so you are certain, to be, well – prepared, etc!

5. Accentuate strengths/ minimize weaknesses: How can you, accentuate the strengths of your home, and property, and get others, to pay much of their attention/ focus, to those areas/ items? In addition, what can you do, to minimize, potential areas of weakness? Accentuate the positive!

The key to homeowners, getting the best results, is, often, effectively, using teamwork, where the seller, and the agent, he hires, are, consistently, on the same – page! Since, for most, their house’s value, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t that, make sense?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

Buyers and Sellers, Be Aware of The Principles of Diminishing Returns in Real Estate

In your quest for choosing the best property for your budget, it is advisable that you arm yourself with am important principle in real estate: THE PRINCIPLE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS.

Let me explain this in common parplance: OVER IMPROVEMENT and UNDER IMPROVEMENT in real estate which should be avoided as much as possible.

Over Improvement – An improvement which is not suitable to the site on which it is placed because of excessive size or cost

Under Improvement – An improvement which is not suitable to the site in which it is placed because of deficient size or cost.

Based on years of experience, and with the knowledge of numerous successful developments in real estate, the rule of thumb is 30% value of the lot and 70% value of the house, more or less. So for example, if you have a 50 sqm lot intended for low cost housing valued at about P300,000 and you put up a house worth 700,000 that would be fine. Supposing you want to further improve the house making it 1 million in value, still fine but just be aware that there is a principle in real estate which is THE PRINCIPLE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS. Which means improvement that can lead to profit will be only up to a certain level, beyond that level, it will become a loss. Supposing further that you want to add a third storey of your 2-storey home with the same value of lot and perhaps the total value of the house would become 3 million pesos, this could be over improvement as the ratio of the value of lot and house is now distorted. The owner who over improves may not realize it while he is still living in the house, but when the time comes he has to sell the property for good due to changing situations in the family, he could not sell it for a profit.

For example, a house owner from Dalaguete Cebu asked me to sell his house with a lot area of 2,000 square meters for 15 million. And the reason for selling is he got separated with his wife and wants 50% share of the property. He said that the lot would come out free because P15 million alone is the cost of the house. It is such a big beautiful house and indeed when you build a house like that today, 15 million pesos would not be enough. But for a rural area like Dalaguete Cebu, the lot is very cheap and he put up a house as big as worth 15 million. After years of offering the property, nobody bought it even for 10 million offer. He spent so much for such a big house thinking only of how he would be happy with his home, and when conditions in his life changed, and he no longer needs the house, he then realized that it cannot be sold for a profit. This is an example of OVER IMPROVEMENT in real estate. He lost several millions due to OVER IMPROVEMENT.

Even some subdivision developers fall into the trap of OVER IMPROVEMENT. For example, developers developed low cost subdivisions or higher level approaching middle end classification, by putting up a nice swimming pool and a clubhouse. Eventually, the homeowners could not maintain the swimming pool and it became a pond. During raining days, you can see frogs swimming on the pool. The subdivision is located in the interior part of Mactan Cebu. Homeowners of this development cannot sell their property for a good profit due to lack of maintenance of the subdivision plus the fact that the cost of buying the house is high due to the cost of over improvement by the developer. Another example is a developer who developed a residential subdivision in Talamban Cebu City consisting of about 50 townhouses with prices ranging from 5.5 million to 6.5 million. Indeed, the quality of materials used and the design are very good. However, they missed to consider that the barangay road that connects the subdivision to the main road was too narrow and nothing can be done about it. It’s still a 2-way street but it’s narrow something less than 4 meters in width. They missed to consider that prospect residents of the place who have that budget of 5.5 million to 6.5 million won’t feel comfortable passing that very narrow road to an interior place no matter how good the house might be. It’s over improvement for such an inferior place caused by a narrow road. Result? Out of 50 ready for occupancy houses, only about 5 were sold. All the rest are still waiting for buyers although houses are already built.

On the other hand, a buyer or homeowner should also be aware that there is such thing also as UNDER IMPROVEMENT, an improvement which is not suitable to the site in which it is placed because of deficient size or cost. This can also cause losses in real estate investment.

For example, a house owner called me to sell his property in Cordova with a lot area of 1,300 square meters. He built a 150sqm bungalow at the back end of the lot leaving over 1,000 square meters of lot as frontage of his house. The husband is a foreigner married to Filipina but after years of living together they quarreled and decided to separate and sell their property for a 50/50 share. The wife wants to sell the house and lot for 7.5 Million pesos because it’s the real market value of the property. I agree with the wife’s contention that the house and lot is indeed valued at 7.5 million but the property has been in the market for 3 years now and no takers. Why? It’s because of UNDER IMPROVEMENT. Prospect buyers like the house, but the lot area at 1,300 square meters is too much for them that makes the property beyond their budget. They could have added townhouses on the 1,000 square meter lot frontage for a profit but given their situation, they cannot undertake such a plan due to their conflicts. All they want is a fast sale and share the proceeds right away. Unfortunately, it’s still waiting time for them as they could not even agree with the final price. The husband wants to sacrifice by selling it for 5 million but the wife insists on 7.5 Million. As to how they go about this conflict, it will be a legal case. But that’s another story to tell.


Manuel Jr. Arengo

Real Estate Broker License No. 0007808

15 years experience in Real Estate

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Manuel Racoma Arengo Jr.

Hot Home Staging Tips

Home staging is the preparing of your home to be sold by spending a little time and effort to make your home more of a presentation for potential home buyers. It can mean the difference between your home selling or becoming an expired listing. Staging can often raise the price of your home as it’s been estimated that sellers sell at anywhere from 7 to 10% higher when their home is staged.

Remodelling however is a more costly route and sometimes a necessary one. Kitchens are usually the most expensive room in the home to remodel. A home owner can spend in the amount of $35,000 to $80’000 to redo the kitchen depending on their vision, the size of the kitchen and the original value/type of home. Staging a living room is very important as you need to allow the potential buyers to envision themselves in that room. Buyers tend to buy on emotion as opposed to their logical thinking. You need to de-personalize the room as you do with the bedrooms as well.

The overall goal of home staging is to improve the home’s appearance to the buyers and sell it quickly for the best price so you can continue on with all the necessary packing as you head for a new chapter in your life! Think about it, when you bought your home do you remember the homes you viewed? Think about how they were presented to you and why the house you chose stood out enough for you to fall in love and buy. Likely the home was staged and well maintained. Clean and de-cluttered allowing you to envision yourself living there. Remember, your real estate agent can guide you to a home stager who he or she trusts to do the job right!

Here are a few benefits to home staging:

1. Staging can sell your home faster and get it off the market. The longer your home is on the market the more unappealing it becomes to potential buyers.

2. It enables you to think like a buyer once again

3. Your packing process is already half way complete as you have de-cluttered your home and packed away all things not required for immediate use before your big move.

4. It can increase the value of your home!

Let’s Get Staging

First let’s start with the exterior. Buyers will see the outside of your home first so make sure your home’s exterior starts them off with a good impression. If they are impressed immediately they walk into your home with a positive outlook!

1. Make sure your entrance is clear, clean and welcoming.

2. Take care of any chipped paint.

3. Remove and replace old curtains in the windows

4. Keep the lawn grass cut and edged.

5. Add mulch to your flower beds as it adds great appeal

6. Keep your garden neat and well cared for.

7. Choose warm welcoming colours for your garden to soothe potential buyers as they arrive.

8. If you have a large enough porch to fit a chair or two, maybe a bench with a small table add that to allow buyers to envision themselves sitting around relaxing

OK now onto the kitchen!

Kitchens have now become the most important room to potential buyers and are no longer just viewed as the room for cooking and preparing your food before entering the dining room or family room to eat! Make sure the right time and effort is put into your kitchen. If you stage your kitchen properly and you will be surprised how beautiful it will turn out no matter how old your home is preventing you from spending those thousands of dollars in remodelling.

1. Arrange some beautiful flowers or plants on the countertop

1. If you have a small eat-in kitchen downsize your table and chair set to make the area seem larger.

2. Arrange books, colourful plates, wine flutes or knickknacks in odd small numbers on any wall shelving or glass cabinetry you have.

3. Place large bowls of fruit on the counter in a colourful glass bowl that flows with the colour scheme of the kitchen and table mats or clothe, if any.

4. If necessary, make upgrades. Upgrade to stainless steel kitchen appliances. Think of yourself as the buyer. What would you want? If your cabinets are out dated, don’t even consider leaving them as is. Try a new paint/stain job or all new cabinets if your old ones are not salvageable.

5. Update your kitchen faucets and light fixtures.

6. Consider adding a back splash if there isn’t one.

7. Don’t block the windows, open your curtains and let in the light shine in.

Staging The Living Room

1. If your living room is small bring in smaller sofas and chairs to make the room seem larger.

2. De-clutter any shelving a replace with books, figurines, and knick knacks.

3. Hide all exposed wiring from your electronics.

4. Accentuate the fireplace with a large piece of artwork or a beautifully framed mirror.

5. Oversized pillows and throws for the furniture is a beautiful warm touch.

6. Bring in plants to give the room a warm earthy feel to it. Everyone loves nature.

7. Update your curtains if necessary.

8. Put furniture covers on your couches if they are out dated.

9. Don’t block the windows, open your curtains and let in the light shine in.

10. Add an area rug for texture and design.

11. Use bright inviting colors!

12. Remove any family photos to de-personalize the home for potential buyers.

Staging The Bedrooms

These same rules apply to your bedrooms as well. De-clutter, de-personalize and keep the room neat and clean. Arrange the furniture in a way that leaves the room looking spacious. Repaint or replace and worn down furniture. Update your bedding and add extra pillows to your bed! Arrange a few small items for display on the furniture like a little lamp and a book with a book mark in it directly under the lamp.

Remember, your real estate agent can guide you to a home stager who he or she trusts to do the job right!

Staging The Bathrooms

Just like kitchens, bathrooms are viewed as expensive rooms to fix up. If buyers don’t see a bathroom they like or that is up to date they will see it as a big job physically and financially. So as you now see it is very important to pay special attention to your bed rooms when your selling your home..

1. Keep the bathroom extremely clean, cleaner than clean. No one likes to see a used duty bathroom. No potential buyer will ever see beyond that to be able to envision them there.

2. De-clutter vanities, cupboards and sink.

3. If the tiles are still in good condition then clean them thoroughly to remove built up dirt. Make sure the grout is clean and if it’s not cleanable hire a tiler to regrout for you so your tiles look brand new again.

4. Update your faucets and if the mirror on the wall is removable update that too.

5. If the cabinetry is worn down repaint or replace them.

6. If the tiling on the floor is worn down, cracked and just simply no good, GET NEW TILES! It’s not worth prolonging the listing until it’s cold and becomes expired. Trust your real estate agent when they come to your home to do a walk through. If they give you some advice take it with a grain of salt and just listen. Believe me they have the nest intentions for you to sell your home fast.

7. Think candles and aromas. Have your bathroom smelling aromatic to add to the cleanly feeling.

If you have some money to spare invest in the bathroom. An smart investment is a Jacuzzi. Try to make the place look luxurious and classy just like an expensive hotel!

So follow these tips and you should sell your home quite fast. Remember, you have two main selling points in your home and those are your kitchen and your bathrooms. If these rooms are not on point then you risk a long stay on the market or worse, an expired listing. Again speak to your real estate agent about home staging because they know what to do to sell your home fast!

As your Whitby real estate agent I provide your consultation with a reputable home stager complimentary upon signing a listing agreement. It’s you have read above it is a key part of selling your home. Remember it costs about 1% of your home value to stage and can bring in a return of up to 10%!

Your Ajax Whitby Real Estate Sales Representative

Molena Gould

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Molena Gould

Top Ten Tips when Buying Real Estate!

In today’s financial climate, real estate continues to be a strong investment in many areas. Educated buyers will always make the most out of the real estate market. These top ten tips to buying real estate will help you enter into your next real estate transaction with confidence.

TIP #1: Hire the right Agent!

Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Every city has different laws governing what can and can’t be done with a property. Sanibel is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States due in part to its strict building codes and city planning. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. I have been an island property owner for many years and have walked through several local real estate transactions myself. From buying and selling lots to building new homes with local builders, to investing in rental income producing properties and utilizing 1031 Tax free exchanges, I don’t just sell island real estate; I invest in it because I believe there is no place in the world like Sanibel and Captiva. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

TIP #2: Utilize 1031 Tax Exchanges and Save Money!

1031 Tax Exchanges are tax free exchanges of investment property. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is one of the last great tax shelters. If you purchase an investment property of „like kind“ within 180 days of the sale of a similar type property, and you are willing to increase the amount of debt or value of the property, your capital gains taxes can be completely deferred. Having just completed a Reverse 1031 tax exchange myself, I believe in using this powerful tax shelter. Feel free to contact me if you are considering using a current Sanibel, Captiva, or Ft. Myers property in a 1031 Tax Exchange, or want to purchase an investment property that might qualify in the future for a 1031 Tax Exchange. A Reverse 1031 Tax Exchange is the same exchange concept as a 1031 Tax Exchange except you have purchased your replacement „like kind“ investment property first, before selling the property to be exchanged. Learn more about 1031 Tax Exchanges, and how to use them to your financial advantage. Keep in mind that a neutral party must have act a Qualified Intermediary. Real Estate may also be bought and sold through your self directed retirement account. Whether you utilize a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, or company plans such as 401 (k) plans, Keogh, or profit sharing plans, investigate your options.

TIP #3: Pre-qualify for Financing!

Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect paradise property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are …the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property. This is especially important if your dream property suddenly has a price reduction. When this occurs other buyers might come into the picture, that didn’t look at that property before it went „On Sale“! Often times a seller will take a financially solid contract over a higher offer. Be ready to put a deal together!

TIP #4: Location, Location, Location!

„Location, location, location“, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

TIP #5: Get a Home Inspection!

Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property „as is“ they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an „as is“ property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report. Don’t rely on the building inspector to look for termites and other harmful pest problems. Although an inspector will see pest damage, it is best to have a separate termite inspection conducted by a licensed company that understands pests and can eliminate them.

TIP #6: Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!

Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow.

Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

TIP #7: Be Realistic!

„Wants“ and „Needs“ are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you „want“ but exceeds the price range that you „need“…. be realistic. Who wouldn’t love a large, oceanfront, professionally decorated home or condominium, with all the bells and whistles? Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you „need“, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you „want“. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

TIP #8: Use Contract Contingencies Wisely!

Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. If you can see that major repairs or replacements need to be made due to neglect or age, make allowances for this in your offering price. The old adage „Everything is negotiable“ still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you. Try to avoid listing cosmetic changes you would like the seller to make as contingencies. Cosmetic changes are subjective, be objective when writing a contract.

TIP #9: Understand Regional Health and Safety Issues!

An informed realtor will help you understand other health and safety issues that should be considered when purchasing a property. Safety and Health topics can include EIFS (Synthetic Stucco), indoor air quality, mold, radon, and lead paint. Many of these require the seller to sign a disclosure statement, while others may not apply due to the age, type of construction, or location of the property being purchased.

TIP #10: Ask for Information!

Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs? I provide many services to insure my buyers always have information at their fingertips.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Eric J. Pfeifer

Communication Skills For Real Estate Agents – Key Areas You Should Work On

Of all of the skills a real estate agent needs to have, perhaps none is more important than communication. You will need to be able to both listen and speak effectively. Communicating is also much more than just being able to pick up the phone to tell your client the other party accepted the offer. Read on to learn more about the communication skills you will need in order to be a top real estate agent.

Listening. Actively listening to all of the parties is more important than just about anything else. Plowing through your ideas without really hearing the other party doesn’t help them – or you. They are likely to go to another agent who will listen. Take the time you need to really understand what is important to them, ask the questions you need to clarify any points that are unclear, and let them finish their thought. Interrupting or going off on another subject will convey a sense that you are not interested in serving your clients.

Translating the technical terms. You need to be able to read and understand documents and terms, and then make them make sense to your clients. A Craftsman with a partial basement next to an easement might make complete sense to you, but to a buyer, it can be as foreign as another language.

Interpreting what your client means. Some people are uncomfortable talking about money, but when it comes to making the biggest investment of their lives, they have to talk money. You need to know what they can actually afford, so they don’t get into a situation that is over their heads. They may not be able to express what they really want in a house, either. Some folks are better able to communicate using images or are just not sure how to put in words what they want in a house, so having pictures handy and letting your client show you what they want will help clarify their desires.

Speaking. You have to keep your clients up to date on what is happening with the sale. But it’s important to be tactful while still being realistic. Telling the other party that you think they are mad for the offer they are making is not going to endear you to them, nor will they trust you to be reliable. You must be able to effectively express your information and do so in a calm, professional manner.

Negotiating. There is truly an art to negotiation. You have to know what both sides want, and bridge the gap between them. It’s more than just throwing out new offers – it’s all about being persuasive, and that takes a little psychology. You have to get both sides to concede something, so making them both feel like winners takes practice.

So how can you improve your communication skills? Assess your own current levels and see what you need to do first. If you need to work on your reading or writing, your local community college will have courses you can enroll in that will enhance your skills. Other skills like negotiating and active listening are often available through professional development organizations. If speaking makes you anxious, try signing up at your local Toastmasters group. Then, practice, practice, practice – it always makes you better!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Bill Len

5 Best Real Estate Keywords Search Tools in 2017

Finding the right keywords for your real estate business is the real challenge. In fact, it is very crucial to start with. You need to search the right keywords that will attract the right audience for your business. At the same time, you need to think about the competition. The keywords that you should use should pass through your competitors or you need to search for words that have less competition that will likely help you to rank at search engine sites. This doesn’t mean that you need to look for the terms that nobody is searching and chasing for you are losing your main objective. Instead, you need to find something that attracts enough people for your real estate website but less competition. Tough, huh? This is why you need to use keywords search tools so you can carefully study your keywords and decide which ones to use.

However, if every realtor is using the same famous real estate keyword research tools then they will all come up with the same results. The key is to use one or two keyword search tools and match the results.

Here are some of the best keyword search tools that you can use for your real estate website this 2017.

Google Keyword Planner

This is one of the most famous keyword search tool but you might still want to consider this for reference and to match the other results you find in other search tools. This tool is free and integrated directly with Google AdWords. You need to have Google AdWords account to use this tool. You can sign up for free. The advantage is that it provides you deep information. It also gives you a monthly estimate of impressions based on the keyword phrase and offers you numerous ways to filter keyword searches. However, this tool will not show you how your real estate website is doing in search engines with the given keyword.

SEOBook’s Keyword Suggestion Tool

This is a great website by Aaron Wall that draws search data from different reliable sources. You can use this as a cross-referencing tool.

adCenter Add-in (for Excel)

You might also want to test your keywords with Microsoft keyword tool. It might be limited to MSN data but it will give you interesting insights that will guide you with your keyword strategy. It is not only Google that you wanted to please, but you might also want to rank with other search engines sites like MSN.


Small real estate businesses are using WordTracker to not only research for keywords but also to build new links which you can’t found in other search tools. It also helps you to develop a SEO strategic platform. The only limit of this tool is that some of the times the results it gives are fewer than its competitors.


This is a great tool to keep an eye with your competitors. This tools offers a lot more than the others. You can add your URL to see what keywords are ranking with your website or you can add your competitors URL to see which words rank with it.

Each tool has their own advantage and disadvantages, choose the one that fits your need at the moment.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Michael Yee

Niche Marketing For Realtors

Because of the challenges involved in today’s tough real estate market, more and more realtors are leaving the business. This exodus is causing an unprecedented opportunity for those realtors skilled at marketing to move forward in gaining large amounts of market share! The simplest way to focus your marketing efforts is to select a niche and focus on that group. Here are some niches that you may want to consider:

A Farm – This is the easiest niche for most agents to understand. A farm can be a subdivision, an area like waterfront homes on a certain street or even a county if it is small. Some great ways to start to become an expert in an area are to visit all the homes currently listed for sale in the neighborhood, visit all the FSBO’s who currently have their homes available, and offer to do open houses for agents who have current listings. Let the FSBO’s know when you are going to have your house open so you can coordinate with them to have theirs open also. Send postcards to the homeowners and also start a neighborhood newsletter giving sales information and relevant neighborhood info.

First Time Homebuyers – These are people who need the expertise and connections that a realtor can provide. To reach these buyers you can send postcards or walk apartment complexes, renters make great first time homebuyers! Offer to hold „lunch and learns“ to large area employers who have younger workforces that need to find housing solutions. You can partner with the affordable housing government agencies in your area, finding out the requirements for buyers to qualify. Offer to send them „hot“ listings that are in great shape and meet the pricing requirements of their programs. Make sure you preview and hold open all the houses in these price ranges that you can get your hands on so that you can know the ones that will be worth taking your clients to!

Luxury Home Buyers and Sellers – This one can feel like a farm but it is a little different. Targeting high end buyers and sellers will result in larger commissions AND larger expenses! Make sure your marketing materials are professionally designed to appeal to people in a top tier demographic. Target international buyers by displaying high end properties on your website and blog (if you do not have your own listings „borrow“ some from the other agents in your office after asking for permission). Make sure you list information about marinas, yacht clubs, tennis clubs, country clubs and golf courses on your website. If there are high end retail areas in your market list those shops and also any five star restaurants that may be nearby. Join the local country club and support the regional arts councils.

Baby Boomers – If you live in a warm climate this group is for you! Find out all the retirement and 55+ communities in your area and list them on your website or blog. Become familiar with the restrictions of the different communities (some allow pets, some don’t, some allow one person to be under 55, some require everyone to be over 62). Advertise in the senior magazines in your area, focusing on your expertise as a benefit to finding the perfect retirement home. Have a group of vendors that you can recommend if they need property management services while they go north for the summer or visit family for extended periods of time.

Those are just four of thousands of different niches you could choose! Whether you like boating or golfing, like working with buyers or sellers, love children or dogs, there is a niche for someone like you. Pick something today and focus on it with all your energy and you will be able to capture more of the market than you ever thought possible!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Tara Jacobsen

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