5 Basic Tips for Investing in Real Estate

According to HuffPost

If you’re just beginning to invest in real estate, you’ll find that there’s a lot to learn. Real estate investing is more complicated than investing in stocks because of the financial, legal, and extensive due diligence requirements involved. That’s why it’s a good idea to give yourself a solid education before you purchase your first investment property.

However, before you get your advanced degree, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals. To that end, here are 5 basic tips for investing in real estate.

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HOW TO QUALIFY A REAL ESTATE AGENT

Hiring an Agent can be difficult if you don’t know the right questions to ask.

Here are some key topics you should investigate prior to working with a REALTOR®. 

Agent

How many listings have you marketed & sold in the past few years?

Over the past few years, we listed and sold 96 properties. In addition, we represented buyers in 42 property sales.

What were the average Days to Offer / Days on Market?

The average agents Days to Offer is 24 days, COVELLE & COHEN is 14 days! The average agent’s Days on Market is 70, COVELLE & COHEN sells in nearly half the amount of time with an average of 33 Days on Market.

What was the average ratio between the listing price & the final selling price?

Our list to sale price ratio is 103.3 %!  With of an average list price of $600,000, this means an extra $18,810 for our sellers.

Will my home be “enhanced” on the most visited Real Estate websites such as realtor.comBoston.com; & Zillow.com? How many websites will my home be marketed on?

Absolutely, we go above and beyond to market your home with expertise and enthusiasm. Once we place your home in the MLS, the property is given enhanced exposure on Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and Boston.com to name a few. In addition, all our listings are prominently featured on covellecohen.com, and actively promoted on our Instagram and Facebook pages.  Beyond that we implement ad campaigns on various platforms and send out a custom email blast to our database to ensure that anyone looking for that property type is aware that it is available and currently on the market.

Do you have a feedback system and if so, how does it work?

We use a system called Showing Time, which allows agents to submit feedback on the home after they view it with their clients.

How will you communicate with me regarding your efforts?

We have scheduled updates for all of our clients to ensure that they are aware of the marketing and the levels of activity and interest on their home or property. Aside from that, we make it a priority to be responsive to all of our clients.

How will you verify that the buyer is qualified to purchase my home?

If a buyer is seeking to finance, we want them to have a pre-approval from a reputable bank or mortgage company and an experienced and effective loan officer. Beyond that, we verify that the loan they seek is the appropriate kind to finance the purchase of your home or property.

If a buyer is purchasing without financing, we verify that they have sufficient funds to purchase your home or property.

Can you provide me with at least three recent references?

Yes. Successful agents should always be able to provide this for you and you can find many of our testimonials on our WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, ZILLOWREALTOR.COM.

COVELLE & COHEN MAP OF SOLD PROPERTIES

Properties

 A map of Covelle & Cohen’s sold properties over these past few years! Whether you are a BUYER or a SELLER…We are the talented professionals that will bring you to the finish line wherever you are or need to be!

See all our SOLD properties here 


Check out this The Balance article on reasons why you should hire a Real Estate Agent:

“With so much information readily available online, clients sometimes ask me, “Why should we hire a real estate agent?” They wonder, and rightfully so if they couldn’t buy or sell a home through the Internet or regular marketing and advertising channels without representation, without a real estate agent. Some do OK; many don’t. So if you’ve wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.”

1. Education & Experience

Properties
Andrew Bret Wallis/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost roughly the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We’re all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

2. Agents Are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder’s agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to write an offer immediately.

3. Neighborhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

4. Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

4. Market Conditions Information

Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

6. Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency, and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It’s part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork

One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today’s purchase agreements run ten pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!

9. Answer Questions After Closing

Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don’t leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

10. Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent’s success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.

Source: Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

Why It’s a Better Time for Buyers on a Budget

Budget

Why It’s a Better Time for Buyers on a Budget to Purchase a Home | realtor.com®

Those thinking about buying a home have probably heard all the tales of woe from other buyers out there: Sticker shock, getting outbid on the home of their dreams, or not being able to find a property with everything they were looking for within their budget. Still, those stresses may be easing somewhat now that we’re past the most competitive season for home buying.

The median price of an existing home dropped for the second month in a row to hit $253,500 in August after reaching an all-time high earlier this summer, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. The median price of a previously lived-in abode had hit $263,300 in June.

“Median sales prices typically decline a bit heading into the fall,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Summer is a big time for home purchases, so that families settle in before school starts in the fall. In the fall, the types of homes that sell are smaller for people without kids. So they tend to be less expensive.”

Existing homes are also cheaper than newly constructed ones that come with all the latest appliances and finishes. The median price of a new home was $313,700 in July—23.7% more than an existing one, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Still, there wasn’t much dramatic movement on the number of home sales. Sales of existing homes dipped 1.7% from July to August, due to the dearth of available homes on the market, according to the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report. But they were up 0.2% over August 2016. Meanwhile, monthly sales of single-family homes, those standalone homes that usually come with backyards, dropped 2.1% from July, but rose 0.4% annually. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 1.7% from the previous month, but were down 1.6% from last year.

“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country.”

The number of monthly sales of the abodes jumped the most in the Northeast. They increased 10.8% in the region from July as buyers dropped a median $289,500 on homes. Sales also edged up 1.4% from August 2016.

In the Midwest, the number of monthly sales jumped 2.4%, while annual sales notched up 0.8%. The median home price in the region was the lowest in the country at $200,500. Meanwhile, sales fell 4.8% in the West from July and were down 0.8% from the previous August. The median home price was $374,700.

The South, which has been growing by leaps and bounds as more companies and workers move to the lower-cost region, saw the biggest drop in buyers signing on the dotted line. Monthly sales fell 5.7% and annual sales were down 0.9%. The median price was $220,400. That’s likely due to Hurricane Harvey which destroyed and damaged an estimated 200,000 homes. The storm delayed and scrapped sales.

“Some of the South region’s decline in closings can be attributed to the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused to the greater Houston area,” Yun said. “Sales will be impacted the rest of the year in Houston, as well as in the most severely affected areas in Florida from Hurricane Irma.”

Source: Why It’s a Better Time for Buyers on a Budget to Purchase a Home | realtor.com®

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Stay Warm By the Fireplace This Fall

FIREPLACE BEFORE & AFTERS 

A fireplace is a great way not only to stay warm fall and winter, but to dress up a living room! It adds a cozy & comforting aspect to the room. Some people lean towards the classic style fireplaces or like to give a more modern/contemporary appearance. Here are a couple BEFORE & AFTERS that we just love!

fireplace

We absolutely love this before & after. The change of colors used adds a more trendy feel to the fireplace. We also love the touch of black that has been added! We also love the accessories and photos that have been added. The black & white portrait pulls everything together nicely. 

fireplace

All white is a great way to brighten up any room & an easy way to add a updated and fresh appearance. If you are looking to Sell your home, consider an all white palette, it allows potential Buyers to feel as though they can start on a clean slate and it is also eye catching. 

fireplace

Swiping out the beige for the gray embellishment around the fireplace also adds a more modern feel. We also love the white shelves that have been added for extra storage surrounding the fireplace.   fireplace

This is a more simple change, but makes the world of a difference. From old to new, this white coat on top the brick brightens up the room and creates the appearance of a larger fireplace. 


Are You Looking to Sell Your Home? Not only does our team have experience in Real Estate, but we also offer a free Consultation for Staging & Interior Design! 

Check out these BEFORE & AFTERS