Recently, after reviewing my annual mortgage statement I started thinking just how much money I could save a month by making a few adjustments.  Those adjustments include the Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), insurance and taxes.  Now, if I actually accomplish saving on all three of these I’ll be doing alright!  Notice – this won’t take a lot of time but will take a few hours at least.

My first priority is to remove the PMI which is over $100.00 a month.  Multiply that by 12 and you understand!  After looking at the remaining loan amount I realized I have 20% equity in my home.  Did you know once you’ve reached 20% equity in your home you can ask your lender to remove the PMI off your monthly payments? They are required to do it automatically once they’ve determined you’ve reached a 20% equity status, but their determination and ours are often quite different and you’ll pay much longer than you need to.  With the prices having increased over the last year and with my original down payment and monthly payments since, I am now easily over the 20% threshold.  To prove it, I’ll pull comparables from our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and provide these to my mortgage company to analyze.  Since I’m a Broker, it’s easy for me; however, you may want to contact your local Realtor to get this information for you.  If you’re in the Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Lakeway, Leander or Pflugerville areas I can pull this information for you – no cost and no obligation!  They may require an actual appraisal if the information is not clear to them but that’s alright, I’ll still be ahead once it’s done.  So, step 1 of saving money is done, now on to step 2…

Taxes… you gotta pay… or do you?  I live in Williamson County, Texas and this county is one of the harder ones to protest your housing taxes but there are ways to.  My preference this year will be to hire a company which is expert at this or moreso than I am anyways!  I don’t pretend to be able to win in this county and have spoken with many folks who have hired a company who protests taxes.  A large majority win and you only pay a certain percentage of the amount they are able to save you when they win – nothing before and nothing unless they win.  This is a win-win in my book!  Step 2 goal is to shave off $600+ dollars this year which equals another $50 off my monthly payment.  Not a lot but I’ll accept that!  Step 3 here we come…

Insurance is a necessary evil, gotta have it “just in case!”  My insurance has risen annually since I bought this house.  I’ve not made a single claim and even have “policy reducers” on my policy which the insurance company deems as favorable items.  The problem as we all know it is natural catastrophes in Texas and other states cause rates to increase.  Our state is one of the worst and highest so reducing the cost won’t be as easy but it can be done.  First, I already have a multi-policy discount so that can’t be done.  What I can do is to “SHOP” the different companies and find one which is a higher rating but doesn’t necessarily do a lot of business in Texas.  What do I mean by that you might ask?  There are companies which sell in Texas but are dominant in other states (they want to get in on the gravy train) and do some business in Texas but stay away from cities/areas which have a lot of natural catastrophes.  By doing so, they limit their liability somewhat and the policies they do sell are cheaper.  Another way I intend to save money is by ensuring the amounts they have on my policy are accurate.  I warn against lowering any amounts to less than what you have “just in case…”  My goal is to save $200-$300.00.

For prosperity’s sake (pun intended), let’s add up my prospective savings goals and see what I can shave off my monthly payment.  $1200.00 + $600.00 + $250.00 = “$2,50.00”  “WOW” I love this and you will too!  Let me know if you need further clarification or help.  You can always call me direct at 512-800-9155 or email me michelle@michelleallen.us.

Remember, no obligation and no high pressure!

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Feb

17

In any real estate transaction, sometimes we experience stress which affects our performance in the negotiation all the way to the closing of the deal.

They are detrimental, not only for the seller but equally to the buyer as well and for many different reasons.  For example, in the case of the seller: loss aversion, a tendency to have a preference to avoid the significance of a loss like exploring options for a better price when probably the present offer might be the best one.  The seller, as a result of the offer presented might feel it was too much for them to bear and the final decision usually comes from clouded judgement without all the facts.  They usually haven’t had the opportunity to de-stress and also clear his/her mind before making the decision.  Buyers on the other hand, might get exposed too much to the stress that the whole transaction brings and the cost of the inspections and other parts needed to make an informed decision.  Several things to consider are the offer itself (is it a multiple offer situation), the inspections and knowing when it really is a big deal and finally, understanding all the paperwork…

In certain cases both involving the buyer and the seller, the stressors arising from the real estate transaction process might make the home buying experience a lot more frustrating than usual. In the event where the negotiation between the two parties involved might become chaotic and defensive it is best to take a step back and ask for time to think or even ask clarifying questions of the other party.  More specifically, the agents of the buyer and seller would be better suited to ask and answer the questions.  Buyers arguing his/her offer to the seller to the point of insisting that it be the final offer, to which the seller inexplicably declines, and added negative arguments that might lead to transactions being called off.

All these stressors though, have a positive point of understanding, and it is the fact that through it all, you get to learn something from it, and that it can make you a better buyer/seller in the future.   At first you don’t succeed and get what you ultimately want, be willing to go at it (the transaction process) in a less defensive way with open mind and try again in finding your ideal home.

Through time you will become successful, because of those “stressors which have been experienced before. It also goes with the quote “what doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger”.

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There are many things a buyer goes through when he/she decides to buy real estate; one aspect is the obvious dilemma of finding the right one that suits him/her best.  Another one is finding the right location that the potential property might be in (that might prove to be beneficial to the buyers living condition preferences in the long run).  The one that seems to seal the deal, and might make or break the decision of the buyer, is the price offered.

We could really say that it is the most, if not, critical part of the whole process of purchasing the real estate because what would happen if prices are too high then they (buyers) would eventually want look for other “good” offers out there? Or what would happen if prices are too low?  Buyers would think of a possible conspiracy happening in the negotiation process, or they would think that the seller is just plain trying to trick the buyer into purchasing the real estate that you, the seller, is advertising with flowery and sugar-coated descriptions of the real estate when in fact it doesn’t look like that at all.

What we must take into consideration when raising or lowering the prices of property to be put out there in the market is that the price for which you accentuate your real estate is interconnected to how the buyer reacts to your over-all offer, and also how much you offer goes to show, in a subtle way, your personality as a real estate seller.  For example, if you continuously put out prices that are above the normal category for the houses you are advertising to the market, then chances are people would define you as a high-standards, money-hungry person, trying to make a name for oneself in the real estate business. Though trying to make a name for oneself isn’t a bad thing, setting high prices for houses not deserving prices that high is.

Offering the RIGHT value for your real estate eventually seals the deal if you want to be successful in your selling pursuits and if you want to be successful in the long run in the real estate business.

 

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Technology’s impact to the Business world has really been groundbreaking of sorts because not only are sellers and clients easier to contact and approach to, you can now, through mutual agreement, process transactions through technology itself. For example, big-time companies and franchises have recently been using teleconferencing, group video chatting, group messaging, and the like, to handle business deals and decision-making and even resorting to the above mentioned to make big time moves such as external franchising, foreclosures, auctioning, etc.

 

Indeed, technology has played a vital role for buyers, sellers, and those contributing to the process in terms of faster and smoother transactions. People, who engage in Real Estate as well, resort to these kinds of measures as they go on to find the Real Estate that’s right for them. For example, people nowadays look up the internet for prospective listings and some would download applications from real estate agents to make them updated on-the-go while their busy with other important matters.

 

Technology is, in fact, increasingly changing the real estate business landscape through the Internet, mobile technology, various applications and software solutions that attends to the needs of Real Estate and other types of Business dealings. The online and mobile experience has a definite impact, especially when consumers are purchasing a home; it makes the process more speedy, organized, and timely. Technologies such as smartphones, tablets and mobile apps have made data information conveniently available to the customer through the various massive search engines we have today in the internet and through using specific applications.

 

This is ultimately a way to help people receive information in less time and by making more informed decisions. Thereby making us more advanced and ahead of others in terms of getting the Real Estate we have always wanted. Technology is making buying/selling more convenient. Question is, do you apply it in your Business dealings?

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As buyers looking to purchase Real Estate in a systematized, timely, and organized manner, getting the contact details of the Real Estate Agent that has the listing of your interest is only one important aspect from the many out there essential to straighten and speed out the negotiation process and also to solidify your Agent-Client Relationship.

 

It can be vital to whatever you want to pursue as you go on the process of finding your ideal Real Estate. Because through this manner, you become duly updated of foreclosures, Open houses, and updates on your Real Estate (that the Realtor has up for listing) on a timely basis, which is eventually critical in bringing out your final decision, to purchase the Real Estate or search for more interesting offers.

 

But to Really bring out the best in your pursuit to find the Real Estate which you envision to have, you must have options in quantity, and by quantity, it means that you should lean on to not one, not two, but multiple Real Estate Agents that have similar Sales on the Real Estate Market that might also be to your interest. This way, there are more options to choose from, and along the screening process, you may build the Realtor-Client (that was aforementioned) from the Agents you contacted.

 

Also, as you get to know the Agents and their background and of course, their listings and the Real Estate available, as you ask for the contact details, show the nicest and most positive attitude possible in approaching them, this way, you can solidify your relationship with the agent which can prove to beneficial in the long run.

 

Add this to your repertoire of strategies, then you are definitely in for success in the Real Estate Business, and not only that, you, the buyer concerned, learn about how Real Estate works in general, making you more vigilant in your future Real Estate purchases.

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Real Estate is really a perplexing task to behold, at times. Surely it goes with all the hard work of everyone involved in advertising potential Real Estate to buyers, including their sweat and tears (minus blood of course), and with it goes the attitude you bring with all the Talking, negotiating, decision-making, and these are eventually the keys to making your Real Estate an “eye candy” to the buyer.

 

There are those, though, that are taken over by their ego along the transaction process in an effort to hasten the negotiations for whatever reasons the seller has and it eventually causes a chain reaction, bringing a negative aura not only to the client you’re discussing with but the process itself, and what happens in the end is that he/she (the client) would sadly think twice about purchasing the Real Estate you are offering to him/her, and the worst part is that he/she will NOT want to pay money for it at all.

 

What we must learn from situations like the ones mentioned above is that if sellers want to make their Real Estate “Sellable”, they should know that preparations for the transaction process should come from them, and that they should prepare themselves mentally and attitude-wise, in other words, Sellers should be at their most polite behavior possible along the negotiation process, so that their reputation will not be compromised and the outcome (of the transaction process) is sure to be a positive one.

 

These are what eventually define a “Successful Real Estate Seller”, Someone who is really down-to-earth, and would not crumble and break down despite the rigors and hardships experienced along the negotiation process, and that regardless of how frustrating the process gets, he/she would still get to collect him/herself mentally and would not give up on the client, and would be willing to wait for his/her decision whether to purchase the Real Estate or not.

 

An Appealing Seller is definitely the key to an appealing Real Estate, it’s as simple as that, and if only sellers would put this into practice, then definitely they are on their way to long-term success.

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Sellers looking to build profit from their Real Estate transactions should always stick to the simple tenet that says “ you don’t want to market your auctioned real estate to people or groups of interested buyers (in cases of auctions) who might not bring out the best offer to someone like you who is looking for optimum financial profit .“  Find those who specifically are  flexible enough on financial offers, and who aren’t hesitant to finalize a deal.

Find those with the most interest in something they are offering, this way, financial negotiations can increase positively for the seller and they can gain profit very fast from the transaction. Let’s look at it this way, you’re faced with a situation, for example, and you go on to choose a buyer among potential prospects with you having little research about their track record, and eventually choose a buyer with little knowledge of how to handle business dealings like this, or to put it simply, “freshers” or the people who are not being advised or possibly taking that advice, then chances are negotiations may not go exactly as smooth as expected compared to a prospect who knows and has been a veteran to real estate in general.  The result would be a roughly-carved out decision from both negotiating parties, eventually leaving you with an uninteresting final offer; therefore, leaving you to find others who might be more cooperative with a better offer.

It is all eventually broken down into this simple understanding, that everything which has been mentioned above is just like finding the best tasting fish among all those swimming in the water, and if eventually you find that ideal prospect among the crowd of interested buyers, someone who is set apart from other potential buyers in terms of real estate knowledge, and someone who has experienced the highs and lows of dealing with other sellers with different personalities, then you (the seller/real estate agent) are definitely on the right track to a successful negotiation, and will be rewarded greatly for it.

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People nowadays are looking for that 1st-step ahead of others when it comes to competition for the best Real Estate put out in the market, be it open or private, but what people don’t usually come to realize is that the potential to acquire that desired Real Estate that would stand out from other Real Estate needs to be done by a business entity that knows the nooks and crannies of the Real Estate Business, A Real Estate Agency and someone in it who has been devoted and “tenured” to the occupation for a long time and has amassed a handful of knowledge on strategies, tactics and information on how to properly process papers and negotiations in acquiring the Real Estate.

 

Getting into the search (for the “tenured” Real Estate Agency/Agent) though, can be just as competitive as finding yourself the ideal Real Estate you’re yearning for, for the simple fact that there would also be other potential clients that would be wanting the services of that agent you wish to hire to co-handle your Real Estate Pursuits. And that would result in a conflict, eventually, which we don’t want. So, it would all boil down to this: if you really want to have a class-A professional service, Fast and Reliable strategic planning, then you really need to look for the one who has been in the business for a long while and studied (almost) every bit of information relating to Real Estate and it’s sub-branches.

 

But there’s a catch, be early in the search because you don’t want to be left hanging and eventually settle on an agency with Real Estate Professionals that have provide less-productive service than others. This is the essence of competition: being ahead of others. And with that understanding come the mindset of being clever and strategic enough to be the first one to get the attention of that “Tenured” Real Estate Agent.

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Time is gold, so they say, but it definitely goes beyond just a mere saying because in our world today, it is important to be ahead of others in terms of business ventures and financial pursuits, and not settling into mediocrity, and in being ahead of others it is essential that people develop their own way to properly manage the time given to them and not wasting it on things that are not appropriate as of that very moment.

I have recently read a Blog about time management, especially on the Real Estate business saying that, and I quote, “If it’s not in your schedule, it doesn’t exist.” And also the words “Real estate is a complex business, and we all juggle our personal lives in addition to our professional ones. True enough, as I have observed among the hardworking-class people, including the people from the Real Estate Profession, that they usually mix things up in terms of personal and professional lives, and what happens is that conflict would eventually arise internally in the family, doubts will come from the family members, and fights would eventually ensue between the Husband and wife over the priorities of the families, and in the long term, your professional life as well may become compromised.

 

But it all goes down to how to you prevent this from the get-go? As stated above, if there are things which you seem it important to do, then don’t do it during a time when you’re arranging yourself for a meeting with a Real Estate agent, don’t do personal family time when you’re in the middle of a property Sale, Do it during your free time, or better yet, set it up for a proper time, schedule it in your calendar. That way, things will be a lot easier and you will eventually realize that prioritizing for a certain event or schedule would be more appropriate than trying to mix things up with more important work.

 

Don’t do things that are not on your schedule, it is as simple and as easy as that.

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People Nowadays who engage in the Real Estate Business find it quite a task to behold when it comes to the decision-making process, not only in buying desired Real Estate but Real Estate in general and the elements that come into play with it, that includes the different types of Real Estate Involved (Single-Floor Houses, 3-Story mansions, Public/Private Rest houses, and the like), the Real Estate Professionals that help concretize your decision,. And the Real Estate Agency responsible for helping you reach your final goal. All of which (the ones mentioned above) are equally as important to you as a Seller or a Buyer.

 

But there is one strategy that can really be vital as well, and it is the simple fact that other people that give you advices can be helpful as well and information you gain from that can be very informational and can set up a foundation for years to come, in other words, the info. You get from them can be very useful. For example, you hire a Professional Licensed Architect to give to the proper Aesthetics and proper window placements and door locations to a Real Estate you envision to create, then you also have Marketing Specialists/Entrepreneurs that can give you strategies business-wise on how to properly market your Real Estate to prospective buyers that can give you maximum income, engineers that can fine tune every nooks and crannies in your Real Estate that can eventually bring out the best long-term benefit for any potential buyer.

 

Everything can be utilized if put to good and clever use, and the different professions that help shape the business world can be as vital and as important in the Real Estate Universe as well.

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