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June 2008

Blogging for Buyers - Las Vegas Fox 5 News Interview about Social Networking and Real Estate

I did a mini-interview for the local FOX affiliate for a story they were doing on "Blogging for Buyers" - how some agents are using social networking and blogs to reach more consumers (Gen Y in particular).  Here's a link to the story and video clip: Realtors Use Internet To Attract Young Buyers

If you are not familiar with the term Gen Y (aka Millenials), here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Gen Y represents more than 70 million consumers in the United States and refers to a specific cohort of individuals born, roughly, between 1980-83 and 1994 (first half) and 1995-2001 (second half). "Generation Y" alludes to a succession from Generation X (used to describe generations in many countries around the world born from 1965 to around 1982).

Generation Y & technology

In their recent book, Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa (2007) found that in a survey of 7,705 college students in the US:

  • 97% own a computer
  • 94% own a cell phone
  • 76% use Instant Messaging.
  • 15% of IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week
  • 34% use websites as their primary source of news
  • 28% author a blog and 44% read blogs
  • 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing
  • 75% of college students have a Facebook account[23]
  • 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod.

Real Estate Blogworld in Las Vegas - September 19-21, 2008

I am excited and honored to be a part of the RE Blogworld Conference on Friday, September 19, 2008 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  I will be joining Pat Kitano of TransparentRE and Kevin Boer of 3Oceans Real Estate as moderators for this full-day conference kicking off the Blogworld & New Media Conference set for September 20 and 21 in Las Vegas.

Todd Carpenter and Jason Berman are the organizers of this full day event for real estate agents, mortgage brokers  and other real estate professionals.  Learn from the leaders in the RE.net about how to leverage the power of blogging and other social media to enhance marketing efforts and your overall business.

The BlogWorld & New Media Expo is the world's largest blogging and new media trade show.  I attended the Blogworld Expo last year and totally enjoyed the experience.  There was something for everyone - a variety of tracks to choose from blogging for beginners, advanced blogging, to video and podcasting.  Here's a link to my blog posts and reviews of the Blogworld 2007 sessions I attended.

Registration is now open for the 2008 event! Save $200 and sign up before June 20th and receive full access to RE BlogWorld and BlogWorld & New Media Expo for the combined price of $250!

BlogWorldExpo 2008

Reblogworld_pricing


How to Actively Build Your Client Database and Referrals

Building your database is an ongoing and daily process.  It's a mindset.  Set a goal of the number of people you want to add to your database on a weekly or monthly basis.  Every day, you will have opportunities to network and talk to others.  Turn every day situations into an opportunity to discuss the real estate business and invite someone to be added to your mailing or email list.  Here are some strategies and ideas to begin implementing in your daily Action Plan today!

Build a habit of sending personal notes

  • Commit to a certain number of personal, hand-written notes daily.
  • Write the note in the moment – when the reason for sending the note occurs.
  • Have a supply of blank note cards and envelopes with you – in your car – at home – in the office.
  • Ideas for personal notes:
    • Open house visitors
    • After client contact (call or visit)
    • Co-op agent on a transaction
    • Business vendors and partners
    • When you receive a referral
    • At close of escrow on a transaction

Acknowledge your Referrals

  • Immediately upon receiving a referral from a past client or anyone, send a personal note and a thank you for the referral item.
  • The key is to have a supply of your thank you items on-hand (Gift card/movie tickets, etc.) and send a personal note immediately after receiving the referral.  Don't wait to send the thank you note after the close of escrow!  Make an impression immediately by acknowledging the referral as soon as you receive it, regardless if it turns into business or not.  Send a Starbucks card, car wash card, gas card or movie tickets along with your note.
  • Another idea is to send a perishable item (i.e. flowers, cookies) to the referring client’s workplace.

Commit to adding 5 people a week to your database

  • Actively handout 10 business cards 5 days a week and ask for referrals!  (Everywhere – standing in line, restaurants, interacting with businesses daily)
  • Hold 2-3 Open Houses a week - you wil meet prospective buyers and people to add to your database.
  • Active prospecting - FSBOs, Expireds, door knocking, calling, just listed and just solds
  • Networking and business events
  • Get involved in community events or groups

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Real Estate Farming - How to Increase Your Listing Inventory

Real_estate_farming In the real estate business, there are several types of "farms."  The geographic farm (prospecting specific neighborhoods or subdivisions) is the most common. Other farms might include:

  • Professional (teachers, attorneys, nurses, doctors - maybe from a related previous career)
  • Apartments and tenant occupied residential properties
  • Out-of-state owners
  • Your last name (I could farm all property owners with the last name O'Brien, O'Brian, O'Bryan for example.)
  • Cultural group

Real Estate Farming is analogous to agricultural farming.  The "farmer" must analyze the land; prepare and fertilize it; sow the seeds, water, weed and nurture the garden; then harvest the crop when it is ready.  In my experience, farming only works if you are committed to it long term.  Many agents decide to farm without properly analyzing and preparing for it.  They mail something out to a neighborhood only to quit 3 to 4 months later because it didn't produce results quick enough. 

Like all types of prospecting - farming takes perseverance, consistency and adequate contacts to succeed.  If you farm effectively and leverage your success with other prospecting activities you can increase your listing inventory and generate more buyer leads.  The following action steps are part of our real estate coaching  program for essential business systems.

Deciding Where to Farm

  • Your farm should be located in the same Zip Code (Min 150 pieces per zip code) to take advantage of the best bulk mail rates.
  • 500-750 homes is optimal to start.  Your budget will determine the total number of homes you mail to monthly) .
  • Turnover ratio should be a minimum of 12 to 15% (total # of homes in the subdivision divided by the # of closings in one year = turnover %).
  • Research MLS to ensure another agent doesn’t have more than 20% market share.  In Las Vegas we don't have protected farm areas, it's just smart to know who, if anyone, is your competition.
  • Gather the following statistics for your designated geographic farm:
  • Subdivision Name(s)/Number(s)
  • Total Number of Homes
  • Total Sales in Previous Year
  • Turnover Ratio
  • Total Sales YTD
  • Models and sqft range
  • Benefits, ammenities and features of the neighborhood
  • Contact your local Title Company for assistance with a farm packet.  You should be able to get detailed reports and your farm in an electronic format.  This will allow you to import the data into your contact management system for mail merging letters, mailing labels or addressing envelopes.
  • Use Salestraq Archive feature to get floor plans of all models if available.
  • Preview available inventory in the farm.  Get to know the features and benefits of all the models.

What to mail or email:

  • Every other month prepare a neighborhood market update - this is the information the homeowner wants to know - the current value of the homes.  Include availables, pending and contingent and recent solds.  You could also include other stats like average days on market, average price per sq ft. 
  • On the other months - mail information about your marketing plan.  Why should the homeowner choose you when it's time to sell their home?  You could highlight one or two key reasons that set you apart from the competition every other month.  What is your Unique Value  or Selling Proposition?
  • Keep it simple and easy to read.  Use a template for the market update and make sure to brand it with your  photo and other information.  Here's a sample template:   NeighborhoodUpdate.dot

Leveraging for Success.  The following activities will assist you in leveraging your farming success.  The goal is to become the trusted neighborhood expert.

  • Use personalized Yard Signs.
  • Hold Open Houses in your farm.  Use personalized open house signs.
  • Mail Just Listed/Solds every time you take anew listing and sell one in your farm.
  • Call Your Farm or Knock 30-50 doors when you list and again when you sell a property.
  • Visit the neighborhood, knock doors or door drop your market update.
  • Consider  Community Activities
    • Sponsor garage sales
    • Help Establish a neighborhood watch
  • Seasonal/Holiday activities or items (flags on 4th of July; pumpkins at Halloween are classics)

Systemize it!

The final step to creating a successful Farming System is to actually schedule the day or week of the month that you are committed to getting the mailers out.  The other key step is to have your template or newsletter set up in advance.  Take the time to design and finalize your mailers for the entire year, then just schedule them on a monthly basis.  If you follow this advice, the only additional task every other month is to put together the current market stats.

Next up:  Taking farming to the next level with Blogs and Social Networks.

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7 Action Steps to Creating Your SOI/Past Client Referral System

Realestatereferralsystem There are 3 basic reasons why many agents fail to conquer the most important real estate system to implement – your Sphere of Influence (SOI) and Past Client Referral System.

1. They never decide on a contact management or software solution.
2. If they have a solution, they don’t enter the contacts, sort and categorize them.
3. They over-analyze or never decide what to do or send out each month – thus, ultimately doing nothing for months on end.

So, let’s break it down step-by-step, get this critical system in place and generating business and referrals immediately.  The key to implementing this system is to commit to the process and set a deadline to complete each action step, one at a time. 

Action Step 1 - Create your list of past clients and sphere of influence

If you have started a list or have it scattered in 2 or 3 places (MLS, Outlook, other email program, scraps of paper, transaction folders, etc) get it all together in one place.  Make sure you have all the vital information on your contacts – names, address, emails, phone numbers, IM names or other social networking contact info.  Set a deadline to accomplish this task. 

Action Step 2 - Decide on a contact management /real estate transaction system

You can choose a program like Outlook to get started and always upgrade to a more comprehensive, real estate-specific program.  The important thing is to choose something and just get started!  Here are two possible solutions for you to consider:

REST – Real Estate Success Tracker  (www.GetRESTnow.com )  ($399 for single user license)

  • REST is my personal recommendation.  In my opinion, REST is the best real estate software on the market.  Easy to use, more intuitive, not as complicated as many programs.
  • Single and multi-user options available.  You install REST on your desktop/laptop but you can also remotely access from your PDA or another computer.

Top Producer

  • There are a variety of extras and add=ons with Top Producer and price points.
  • I find many agents have this program and are not using it to its full potential - only the contact management portion.

Research the solutions (there are others out there) and make a decision.  Set a deadline for purchase, installation and familiarization/training.

Action Step 3 - Input all contact information into selected program

Set aside a few hours and get this task done!  If you aren’t going to get to this task any time soon - hire someone to get this job done for you.  Computer-savvy people (teenagers, family members, your colleagues’ family members, agents in your office, local high school or community college students) are everywhere – find someone and hire them for this project.   Set a realistic deadline to accomplish this action step.

Action Step 4 - Sort and categorize your database. 

Optimally, complete this step simultaneously with the data entry of Step 3.  I recommend using the technique taught by Brian Buffini to sort your database:

  • A+ Multiple transactions or multiple referrals
  • A    Referred at least one client
  • B     Haven’t referred yet – probably will when you remind them/show them how
  • C     You know them/just met them – haven’t sold them a home yet
  • D    Delete - Not going to mail to them

You can also group your database by other specific categories or contact types (sellers, buyers, farm, past clients, newsletter, prospects, vendors, B2B, etc).

Action Step 5 - Create an Introduction or Reconnect letter with a deadline to mail out.

  • If you are a New Agent, ask your broker for an endorsement letter from your Broker – company.  The concept here is the SOI member knows that the agent is new and may not have a high level of confidence in their ability or experience yet.   The letter reassures the potential client that not only do you get the agent but a team of professionals and support staff.

  • The letter should outline what the recipient can expect from this point forward; what services you provide; your client appreciation program; local market updates; annual market analysis of their property; business to business resources to name some possibilities.

Bonus Action Step:  Call the people in your database and ask this qualifying and sorting question (Mayor Campaign from Brian Buffini program):

“Oh by the way, if you were buying or selling a home or had a friend or family member who was, am I the Realtor you would refer them to?”

This one extra step will help you immediately sort your database and the major side benefit…you will more than likely generate business either directly or by referral from the activity of all the calls you make.

Action Step 6 - Decide on what you are going to mail or email each month

This is the step many agents get stuck on.  They can’t decide on what to send or procrastinate about it or waste time creating their own newsletter or mailout.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.  Just pick one and do it.  You can always modify and refine later.

  • Current Market Data.  Most local Title Companies provide excellent market condition reports.  This is the information people are most interested in – what is happening in your local market.  Be the provider of that information!

Where to find - Las Vegas Real Estate Market information:

  • Members of GLVAR can access a monthly Consumer Newsletter to email to your SOI, a myriad of graphs and current market data at www.LasVegasRealtor.com
  • Nevada Title produces a monthly Market Condition Report with commentary and other excellent market reports and data.  
  • www.Salestraq.com - Fast Facts is an e-newsletter about the new and existing home market. $25/month.
  • www.HomeBuildersResearch.com - Monthly Market overview. $18/month.  Contact Dennis Smith, 702-645-4200
  • UNLV - Center for Business and Research presents the quarterly Las Vegas Housing Market Conditions for $25/year.

Action Step 7Systemize it! 

This is the final step and a key to the overall success of the system.  It simply means deciding on a day or week of the month that you will actually prepare and send out your monthly mailer or email.  Schedule it.  Place it on a visible calendar and make it happen.  Hire someone to get this task complete for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

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Home Staging Tips and Resources

In any market, but particularly a buyer's market, the listing that looks the best, shows the best and feels the best will sell faster (that is given the listing is also priced properly!).   The best staged home will sell faster when all other things are comparable (price, terms, location).

Livroomtable_home_stagingHelping a seller to prepare the home for showings and staging the property are two initial and essential strategies in a successful listing and marketing program.  The three major areas of consideration for preparing a home to go on the market are:

  1. Clean
  2. De-Clutter
  3. Stage individual rooms

Las Vegas real estate agent, Barbara O'Neill, has a natural talent and eye for decorating and staging and includes practical advice and guidance to her sellers as a part of her listing service.  Barbara has found success in staging both vacant and owner-occupied listings - and our Las Vegas market currently has a high percentage of vacant properties.  Here are some of her staging tips.

Key Rooms to Stage When the Listing is Vacant:

Make the Front Entry look inviting.  First impressions are lasting.  Make it a good one.  Colored Pots with Artificial plants, a bench, a Welcome mat, a dried or silk door wreath all work wonders to set the stage for what the prospective buyer is going to see and feel inside the home.

Kitchen

  • 2 or 3 tier stand with plates and bowls
  • Decorative fruit bowl or basket on the counter
  • Artificial plant or dried flower arrangement
  • Canister set
  • Vanilla, Cinnamon or Apple scented wall plugs (Bath & Body Works)
  • Bistro or dining table and chairs
  • Bar stools if applicable

Guest Bathroom

  • Make it a functioning bathroom with toilet paper, hand soap
  • Hand towels
  • Decorative items
  • Scented wall plug

Master Bedroom/Bath

  • Bed with comforter, pillows and shams
  • Night table (s)
  • Lamps
  • Books
  • Small picture on the nightstands
  • Bath – make it spa-like (towels, robes, candles, vanity bench if applicable)

Note: Hang a few pictures where needed and do not worry about the nail holes.  They are easy to patch.

General Tips

o Select items that everyone uses regularly that coordinates with décor and color of the home.  Make it look and feel real.
o Decorate to the house’s architecture, style & colors not necessarily your taste.
o Preparing and staging the home should be done prior to the home going on the market. The first pictures that go in the MLS and on the flier should be the staged pictures. 

Where to find Staging Supplies and Decorator Items  (bargains in Las Vegas)

  • Big Lots
  • Ross
  • Marshall’s
  • TJ Maxx
  • Stein Mart
  • Colleen’s Consign and Design
  • Warehouse showrooms for Walker Furniture and R C Willey

Staging the Owner-Occupied Home

Conduct an inspection/assessment with the Sellers.  Give them a checklist or a pad of paper and ask them to write down what needs to get done – involve them in the process.  On your walk-around, room-by-room, make staging suggestions, look for and note any necessary repairs or maintenance, ways to de-clutter or clean the space. 

There are abundant resources available online with tips for cleaning, de-cluttering and staging and preparing the home.   I've compiled a list of FAQs regarding home staging and some useful resources for your review below.

Home Staging FAQs

  • Who does the staging?
    o You
    o Hire a professional  Home Stager or Interior Decorator
  • What does it cost to hire a home staging professional?
    o Free Consultation offered by some home staging companies
    o Written Assessment – $350 approx. and seller does the work
    o o Home Staging Company does it all
    o Professional home stagers charge anywhere from $500 to $5000 - depending on the scope of work needed.  Furniture may be rented from Stager or purchased.
  • Who pays for it? 
    o Seller
    o You
    o Combination
  • What happens to the staging props and furniture after close of escrow?
    o Buyer asks for it in the offer
    o Seller keeps it
    o Seller sells it
    oYou keep it and reuse on your next listing (if you choose this option)
    o Returns to Home Staging Company (if seller leased it)

Home Staging Resources   (Download home_staging_resources.pdf)

Home Staging Blogs

Home Staging Certification & Training


Multiple Offers on Short Sales - Best Practices

In the June 2008 issue of Southern Nevada Realtor, GLVAR attorney, Deanne Rymarowicz, addresses the subject of managing short sales.  In this article she answers some very specific questions real estate agents are currently dealing with in our market.  I recently addressed Common Questions and Answers on Short Sales and want to expand on the discussion regarding multiple offers and best practices.   

Deanne answers the question "Can the seller refuse to respond to all offers, and finally accept only the one the bank approves?"   

To summarize her answer:

  • "If the licensee is advising the seller to refuse to respond, there could be legal and ethical consequences."
  • NAC 645.632 ,"Notification of rejection of offer or counteroffer," requires the licensee representing a seller to provide the buyer or buyer's agent written notice signed by the seller informing the buyer that the offer has not been accepted and "within a reasonable time after the offer has been presented to the seller."
  • Of course, the argument could now become what is the definition of "reasonable time" in our current market where it is sometimes taking weeks or months to get a lender approval of a short sale?
  • Are you acting in the best interest of the seller when you handle the multiple offers in this way?  There is no legally-binding contract, earnest money, or escrow opened.  The lender approval is simply a contingency of the offer.  Will the lender even review an unsigned contract?  What guarantee does the lender have that all parties are acting in good faith?

For Las Vegas REALTORS -  Go to the home page of www.LasVegasRealtor.com  scroll down and and click on...

Glvar_resource_guide_2

 

In my opinion, the best practice in a multiple offer short sale situation is to ...

  1. review all the offers with the seller
  2. either have the seller accept or counter the best offer or alternatively
  3. counter all of the offers using a proper multiple offer form which puts all parties on notice of the multiple offers and contains contract language that states the offer is not valid until re-signed by the seller  (this step allows all prospective buyers to present their final and best offer or withdraw their offer)
  4. use the GLVAR Short Sale Addendum to Purchase Agreement which contains key clauses and disclosures about the short sale process
  5. submit the fully executed best offer to the lender for approval
  6. keep all parties informed of status as appropriate; notify respective agents if any offers have been rejected by seller
  7. in the event another offer is subsequently received the Short Sale Addendum contains language which states: "The Parties understand that additional offers may be received by the Seller's Agent, which must be presented to the Seller pursuant to Nevada law.  Such offers may be accepted by the Seller and forwarded to Lender for review and approval."

More articles on REO, Short Sales, Foreclosures


Is Email a Time-saver or Time-stealer?

Email_managementI just read Seth Godin's post entitled Email Checklist - "Before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list...."   It's a classic and got me thinking about my love-hate relationship with email.

Most days I am so done with email!  Is an empty Inbox a real possibility in this lifetime?  Seriously, how many hours a day are you spending on email - reading, sorting, deleting and responding?  Is email making your life more or less stressful?  Is it really more efficient then picking up the phone and talking to the other party?

Personally, I find that we have become too dependent on email as the primary communication method in the workplace.  Often, email can be misinterpreted, overlooked, scanned and not fully read and understood.  What started out as a quicker and more efficient method of communicating has become more of a burden and overwhelming.

Ways I attempt to conquer the email madness :

  • I am selectively unsubscribing to all those lists, retailers and newsletters I signed up for and thought it would be great to receive.  I realized if I want to find out what's on sale at West Elm, I can just go online or stop by the store if and when I have the need.
  • The subject line and who the email is from determines how quickly  I hit the delete key.
  • I have category folders set up in Outlook to sort and save emails I don't want to delete .  I also have a "01-Waiting for Response" and  "02-To Do"   folder  which are immediately after the Inbox (using the number sequence).
  • I strive  to review my emails and immediately delete, respond or sort the email accordingly at prescribed times throughout the day.  Definitely, first thing in the morning and end of the day.  I do my best to not  be distracted and constantly check new emails as they arrive.

Some other notable email management resources to check out:


Common Questions and Answers on Short Sales

It is interesting how the learning curve in real estate truly reflects who is doing the business.  It amazes me how every day I am coaching and advising real estate agents on how to handle a short sale or REO sale.  I catch myself saying, "how is it that this agent or the agent on the other side of the transaction is not aware of how to handle these situations?"  After all, haven't we covered this in numerous sales meetings? Don't they read the company attorney's blog? Listen to the CEO's conference calls? Did they catch what the GLVAR published on the subject of short sales, foreclosures and REO listings  - Download stopreadthis.pdf ? Don't they stay on top of what's happening in the real estate market and seek out the knowledge?

Then, I remember it's just the nature of the business - it really is the 90/10 rule.  Ten percent of the agent population is conducting the majority of the business.  And daily, I am happily educating agents who are dealing with REOs, short sales, foreclosures for the first time!  The good news, business is picking up and more of the 90% are actively engaging in the business - at least that's what I'm experiencing in my real estate office of 250+ licensees.

In an effort to continue to educate the masses - or those who might be interested - I want to share some recent short sales situations and our best (collective) advice for Nevada licensees.  First of all, I direct you to this previous post on Short Sale Tips for Real Estate Agents and Sellers.  In this post I refer you to more great blog resources on short sales, REOs and foreclosures from the legal blog of Prudential Americana Group's in-house attorney, Darren Welsh and our CEO, Mark Stark.

Fellow real estate trainer Steve Kitnick of NevadaCE.com  made a couple of great comments on this post.  I share this one with you and add to it:

"Is it in your client's best interest to open escrow immediately following an accepted offer that is contingent upon the Seller's lienholders approval to the Seller's satisfaction?  If not, try this Short Sale Contract Clause - "Upon Seller receiving written notification of their lienholder(s) approval of the short sale to the Seller's satisfaction, Seller or their authorized agent shall provide Buyer or Buyer's authorized agent written notification of said approval within ___ business day(s). Escrow shall then be opened within ____ business day(s) upon Buyer or Buyer's authorized agent receiving said notice."

The first question "When do I open escrow?"  Some possible answers:

  1. Consider Steve's comment above and open escrow after lenders approval.  Problem - what do you do with the earnest money in the mean time?  Nevada Revised Statutes state earnest money must be deposited into the broker's trust account or escrow within one business day of accepted offer.  And do you have an accepted offer when the buyer and seller agree on all terms with the offer contingent upon lenders approval?  All parties could agree to a lesser EM amount, open the escrow and deposit the remainder upon lender's approval.
  2. The latest GLVAR Short Sale Addendum to Purchase Agreement

    Download short_sale_addendum_0408.pdf

    is an excellent addendum and I feel protects the buyer and his/her earnest money during the (often lengthy) time-frame the lender takes to review the short sale packet and purchase agreement.  The addendum allows a buyer to withdraw their offer at any time prior to receipt of the lenders approval without penalty (i.e. the earnest money is refunded to the buyer).  I recommend using this addendum and opening the escrow as normal.

The next question... "How do you handle multiple offers when you are the listing agent?"

  1. As the listing agent, it is recommended that you review all offers with the seller.  The seller can accept or counter the best offer.  Alternatively, you could use a multiple counteroffer form with all acceptable offers which also serves as notification of multiple offer status.  The seller counters all offers, gets back signed counter offers from respective buyers, re-signs the best offer and presents this offer to the lender for approval.  In this case, all other offers can choose to stay in a backup offer status or move on to another property.  The offer is still contingent upon the lenders approval.  This is the recommended protocol according to NVAR attorney Sue Saunders.
  2. I've also seen transactions recently where the listing agent is not having the seller accept or even counter the offer (s) and forwarding all offers to the lender for approval of the best one.  The problem here is that you don't actually have an accepted offer.  Remember, the lender in a short sale is not the party that will be executing the contracts.  The offer is simply contingent on the lender accepting the terms and agreeing to accept less than what is owed by the borrower.  A listing agent doing this may also be trying to circumvent the GLVAR requirement to place the listing in "C" (Contingent) status thus encouraging other offers on the property.  This practice may be deemed more beneficial to the seller as it encourages multiple offers thus a better chance of receiving an offer the lender may approve.  For the buyer, this is a weaker position and they must make the decision to wait and see what happens or move on.
  3. Still other listing agents are countering the multiple offers and submitting them all to the lender.  In this case you also use a multiple counter offer,  buyer(s) accept the terms of the counteroffer, then all accepted counteroffers are sent to the lender for an approval of one.  Only after the Seller reconfirms (signs) the acceptable offer to the bank do you have a binding purchase agreement.

One more question... "When does the due diligence period start?"  Again I refer you to the GLVAR short sale addendum which offers choices:

  1. Due diligence is per the purchase agreement which I interpret to mean as soon as the seller signs the contract.
  2. Due diligence period begins one calendar day after buyer is notified of the lenders approval of the transaction ( best choice if you are representing the buyer).
  3. Other - agree on something else.

Resources from NVAR General Counsel, Sue Saunders:

Best practice tips:

  • Licensees must deal fair and honestly with all parties to the transaction.
  • Open communication and putting everything in writing is a must.  Use the proper addenda/contracts and disclose what is happening in the transaction.
  • Buyers and sellers can mutually agree to almost anything but make sure you are following respective NRS/NAC statutes and code.  Remember it's your license on the line here.
  • If you are going to be successful in this market, you will probably be dealing with REOs and short sales.  Make sure you are educating your buyer or seller on the process, what to expect and the fact that it may take the lender/bank weeks or even months to give you an answer. 
  • And it goes without saying...Educate yourself... by the way... We Can Help!!

What other scenarios have you encountered?  Do you have more questions and possible solutions to share?

More articles on REO, Short Sales, Foreclosures


Real Estate Business Plan, Goal Setting and Action Plan

Basic Business planning is a 3 step process:

  1. Set Your Goals/Outcomes

    Keys to Achievable Outcomes and Write Your Goals - Download Keys-to-an-Achievable-Outcome.pdf

  2. Create Your Written Business Plan

    Form to Review your Previous Year's Business Download a_review_of_your_business.pdf

    A basic 3 page Business Plan  Download basic_real_estate_business_plan.pdf

  3. Track and Measure your Results

    Basic Income and Expenses Statement  - Download income_statement.pdf

Business_planning Visit this post - "Three Steps to Creating A Real Estate Busines Plan" for more details on real estate business planning and to download all the business planning and goal setting forms. 

Once you have your business plan in place, it is critical to review it and make necessary course corrections at least quarterly .  On a monthly basis, make sure to use the performance dashboard or a suitable tracking form to record your actuals and compare them to your plan or goal.

From the business plan you can create your daily, weekly, monthly ACTION PLAN.  This plan will outline the income-producing activities and other tasks you are committed to in order to achieve your  desired outcomes.  Review and stick to your Action Plan DAILY! 

  • Put the document in front of your dayplanner
  • Post it in your workspace
  • Tape it to your bathroom mirror and review it daily
  • Review and record your results daily also

A basic mantra or affirmation for your consideration and real estate success could simply be:

"I make one qualified appointment daily!" 

Create an Action Plan that works for you -
it may consist of some of the following activities:

  1. Make ______ contacts daily
  2. Send ______ personal notes weekly
  3. Add _______ people to your database weekly or monthly
  4. Contact _____ FSBOs weekly
  5. Contact ______ Expireds weekly
  6. Hold ______ effective open houses weekly/ monthly
  7. Mail or email to your SOI/Past clients valuable market information monthly
  8. Mail or email to your designated farm of ______  properties monthly
  9. Door knock/ door drop _________ houses monthly
  10. Take ____ past client to lunch monthly
  11. Network with ____ business to business referrals monthly
  12. Hand out 5-10 business cards, 5 days/week and actively ask for business or for permission to add them to your database

Other resources:

5 Principles of Success

Keys to an Achievable Outcome

Career Realty - Business Plan Downloads page - a more detailed excel-based business plan, samples, budgets and other tracking forms are available at this website.

Quick Link to all posts in this series:  Real Estate Business Systems Series

 

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WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan Online Course and Downloads