Monthly Archives - May 2016

South Dakota Realtors

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for South Dakota Realtors

Keeping up with the latest housing trends, changes in laws and regulations is an important part of being a realtor in South Dakota. When the time comes to renew a realtor license, licensees must have taken the required number of continuing education courses. Those who have allowed their licenses to lapse may wonder what steps are necessary to reactivate them again. Following are some of the questions commonly asked about license renewal in South Dakota.

How Many Hours of Realtor Courses are Required for Licensees in South Dakota?

All licensees need to complete a total of 24 hours of education every two years for license renewal. The deadline to have completed this requirement is Nov. 30, 2017.

Are the South Dakota Relicensing Requirements Different for New Broker Associates?

New associates have higher post-licensing education requirements in order to build upon their expertise in the field. Those who are initially licensed must complete 60 hours of education after licensing. Half the hours must be completed during the initial licensing cycle and the remaining 30 hours during the second post-licensing cycle. All hours must be completed in required subjects.

Are There Required Subjects as Part of the Renewal Requirement?

12 of the required 24 hours must be completed in required subjects. These consist of courses in Contracts, License Law, Ethics, Fair Housing, Antitrust, Environmental Issues, Brokerage Services and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The remainder of hours may be chosen as electives.

South Dakota realtors

Targeted courses help a realtor give clients information they need.

What Is Required If a License Is Inactive?

The requirements to reactivate a license depends on the amount of time that license has been inactive. Those whose licenses have been in inactive status may reactivate them by completing the necessary 24-hours continuing education within the two-year period preceding reactivation. If a broker associate lets a license go inactive during the first or second post-licensing period, he or she must complete 30 hours for reactivation.

Is Anyone Exempt From the Education Requirements?

The South Dakota Real Estate Commission has the authority to grant an extension or make an exception concerning the continuing education requirements. This can include military service, health problems or other causes. In order to qualify, a licensee must provide proof to the SDREC office.

How Are Study Courses Offered?

Continuing education courses can be taken in a classroom setting, by independent study or through approved distance learning such as online or correspondence courses. Classroom education is provided by some agencies and may be chosen by some realtors for the ease of use. However, classroom education must be scheduled around appointments and other duties. Independent study is approved by the SDREC for up to six hours and may be through printed materials or videos.

Are There Advantages to Studying Online or Through Correspondence Courses?

The manner in which a licensee takes courses for relicensing depends on personal preference. However, online and correspondence courses offer certain advantages. Correspondence classes, sent in the form of booklets, let a licensee study at his or her own pace and refer back to clarify points or stop and start whenever he or she wishes.

Taking Realtor Courses the Simple Way

PDH Academy offers courses in multiple states that are approved as realtor continuing education courses. For South Dakota, we offer both correspondence and online courses and discounts for groups taking realtor courses. Those taking correspondence courses are required to receive a grade of 80 percent correct answers in order to pass. Online courses offer the advantage of convenience since they can be accessed from a laptop, tablet or other electronic device from any location and at any time. Once a course is passed successfully, we report the results to the SDREC and provide you with a certificate of completion for your files. PDH lets you study the easy way, at the time of your choosing and wherever it is convenient for you. Contact us for more information. We also offer unlimited phone support for any assistance or questions you might have.

Tennessee realtors

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for Tennessee Realtors

Continuing education is required of Tennessee realtors to ensure that industry professionals understand the latest trends and newest regulations surrounding the housing market. In order to renew your real estate license in the state of Tennessee, you must remain up to date on your continuing education courses. Still have questions about continuing education in Tennessee? These questions and answers will help you along the way.

1. I don’t want to practice real estate for a while, but don’t want to lose my license. Do I still need to take continuing education courses?

It is wise to take continuing education courses before you make your license inactive or retire it. You can also pay a small renewal fee to keep your license in a state so that you can use it again in the future.

2. What are Tennessee’s continuing education requirements?

In Tennessee, real estate agents must complete 16 hours of continuing education courses every two years. Additionally, six of these must be core course hours. You can only renew your license if you have taken approved courses.

3. I am a timeshare salesperson. Do I have continuing education requirements?

No. If you only sell timeshares and are not an affiliate broker, there are no continuing education requirements to fulfill.

4. What is the compliance date for my continuing education requirements?

The expiration date is based on the date on which you received your real estate license. The expiration date is the day by which you must complete the requirements.

5. How are continuing education courses available?

Several approved course delivery methods are available for real estate professionals. You may attend classroom sessions or study online independently and take a final exam. You must also receive a passing grade of 70 percent.

Tennessee realtors

The best way to help your clients is to continue educating yourself about the best real estate practices.

6. Can I carry over credits from my last renewal period?

No. You are not allowed to carry over extra credits from your last reporting period.

7. Can I repeat the same class for credit hours?

You are not allowed to receive additional credit for repeating the same class in one reporting period.

8. What classes will I be taking as part of my continuing education requirements?

A variety of courses are available in addition to Tennessee’s required core course. You will be learning about everything from real estate taxation and fair housing regulations to ethical behavior and client diversity.

Fulfilling your educational requirements is the only way to avoid having your license relapse. Do you still have questions about continuing education requirements in Tennessee? Contact us for more information about your state’s regulations.


7 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for New Hampshire Realtors

Just like any other state, New Hampshire has its own set of regulations surrounding work as a real estate agent. If you are licensed and expect to continue working as a realtor in your state, you must abide by New Hampshire’s continuing education requirements. Here are a few common questions realtors often have about their continuing education requirements:

1. How many classes do I need to take to maintain my license?

New Hampshire real estate agents must complete 15 hours of continuing education every two-year period. Of these hours, three are required to be core courses. The remaining hours consist of electives.

Continuing education for New Hampshire realtors

New Hampshire is ripe with lovely homes to purchase.

2. When is the deadline for taking continuing education courses?

On the two-year anniversary of the date the license was issued, your deadline for renewal occurs.

3. May I take correspondence courses to complete my continuing education requirements?

Yes, it is possible to achieve your credits with correspondence courses. New Hampshire requires that you pass your exam with a score of at least 85 percent. It is also important that you retain your certificate of completion.

4. Who reports my completion of courses to the New Hampshire board?

The school you attend for your continuing education courses will take care of this for you, reporting to the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission.

Continuing education for New Hampshire realtors

The best way to sell homes is to stay up to date with current practices.

5. What kinds of courses are available for New Hampshire realtors?

The course offerings vary depending on where you choose to take them. Course topics include safety while showing homes, the basics of investing in real estate, making your business paperless, and understanding the laws surrounding home loans.

6. What happens if I am unable to complete my continuing education requirements by the deadline?

If you do not fulfill your continuing education requirements by the two-year mark, your real estate license will become inactive. You will not be eligible to practice during this time. You can activate your license again by completing the requirements and paying a fee.

7. Why am I required to take continuing education courses as a realtor?

Real estate agents and brokers are required to take continuing education courses in an effort to ensure standards of professionalism in the field. Additionally, real estate agents are expected to stay up to date with current practices and new laws.

8. How much does it cost to renew my license after I complete continuing education requirements?

Once you complete the requirements to renew your license, you must pay a renewal fee of $80 to active your real estate salesperson license. For brokers, the fee is $100. There is a six-month grace period between the date the license expires and the date to renew the license without retaking examinations.

Do you still have questions about the New Hampshire real estate continuing education requirements? Contact us for more information about keeping your license up to date.


6 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for Oregon Realtors

In order to continue practicing as a real estate agent in Oregon, you must take continuing education courses and renew your license regularly. It can be confusing to keep up with the standards for realtors and brokers. These answers to common questions will help you keep up and maintain an active real estate license.

1. What are the continuing education requirements for Oregon realtors?

In Oregon, realtors are required to take 30 hours of courses per license renewal period. Of these 30 hours, three must be taken as part of a Law & Rule course. The remaining hours consist of electives.

2. How long should I keep my continuing education records?

It is important that you keep all proof that you have taken courses for three years following the renewal of your license for that period. When you renew your license, you will enter information regarding your education.

Continuing education for Oregon Realtors

Selling Oregon’s beautiful homes requires ongoing education.

3. How often must I take continuing education courses as a realtor?

In order to continue working as a realtor with an active license, you must take these courses every two years. Your renewal date is tied to the date your license was issued.

4. Are there requirements for final exam percentages on real estate continuing education courses?

No. While you must complete the course hours, Oregon does not have requirements pertaining to a final examination’s passing grade.

5. What classes may I take as a real estate agent in Oregon?

There are more than 30 courses that have been approved by Oregon for study. Courses cover topics like supervision, brokerage accounts, and anti-trust issues. They also discuss risk management, environmental concerns, and ethics in the business world.

Continuing education for Oregon Realtors

You can best help your clients when you are up to date with real estate practices.

6. Can I take my continuing education courses online?

Yes. Many real estate agents prefer correspondence courses for their convenience. Online study is offered via tablet, laptop, and smartphone.

7. My license has expired. What do I need to do?

If you fail to fulfill Oregon’s continuing education requirements for real estate agents, your license will be considered inactive. You will not be able to actively sell homes as a result. You must fulfill the requirements and pay a fee. You may also be required to take additional course hours.

Continuing education requirements can be confusing. Staying up to date with current practices in Oregon is essential if you want to continue working as a real estate agent or broker. Contact us for more information regarding your state’s requirements.


7 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for Pennsylvania Realtors

Continuing education

Taking continuing education courses helps a realtor assist clients.

Pennsylvania realtors know that continuing education is required to renew a license. Knowing the license expiration date, how many hours of study are required to renew and what to do if a realtor license has become inactive are important. Following are some commonly asked questions about renewing a realtor’s license in Pennsylvania when it comes to real estate agent education.

How Many Hours of Continuing Education Are Required for Licensees?

Fourteen hours of approved continuing education is required to reactivate or renew a realtor’s license in Pennsylvania. Credits completed for renewals have to be completed between June 1 and May 31st, and licenses are renewed on even years. The expiration date for a license appears on the wallet card, wall certificate and a realtor can check online.

Where Can Courses Be Taken in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission must approve providers to give continuing education courses. Approved providers do not necessarily have to be accredited colleges or located in the state. However, checking first to see if the courses you want to take are approved for a particular provider is necessary.

Continuing education

Continuing education can be studied conveniently.

What Are the Requirements if a Pennsylvania Real Estate License Is Inactive?

If a licensed salesperson or broker has an inactive license, it is necessary to take the required 14 hours of education before renewing. These hours do not apply later toward renewal, and the salesperson or broker must complete an additional 14 hours of study to complete that educational requirement. A realtor whose license has been inactive for more than five years must take the licensing examination again before it can be reissued. This includes completing a new application, background check, documents showing that continuing education was completed and the application fee.

How Are Courses Offered in Pennsylvania?

Realtors have a choice of classroom or online courses to complete the study requirements. While it might be convenient for realtors and salespersons to opt for in-house classroom study if it is offered at their agency, other may prefer online courses.

Why Is an Online Course a Good Option?

Online courses by approved providers allow a realtor or salesperson to study at any time or any place. This makes it a real convenience for those who lead busy lives.

Is There a Passing Grade for Online Courses?

A minimum score of 75 percent is required in order to pass an online course. However, PDH Academy lets you retake the course free if you don’t pass it the first time. Licensees taking courses also have the option to start or stop whenever they like, so they can study at their convenience.

PDH Approved Online Courses for Real Estate Education

PDH Academy offers individual online courses for those who prefer that option and bundled online courses at substantial savings that include everything a real estate licensee needs to renew a license in Pennsylvania. Once each real estate education course is passed, we send the licensee a copy of the completion certificate in no more than two days, which should be secured in a safe place in the event of an audit. Pennsylvania no longer requires that completed courses be reported to the state board. Contact us for more information or to enroll in courses.


Expert Interview Series: Jim Simpson of Crelow on Searching for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate

Jim Simpson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Crelow, the industry’s first demand-driven marketplace for commercial real estate. We recently checked in with him about the evolution of the commercial real estate marketplace. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about Crelow? Why did you want to change the way business owners search for office space?

I’ve always thought there had to be a better way. I’ve been self-employed my entire career and I’ve also been a landlord. It’s hard for business owners to find office space, especially if they’re looking for something smaller. Crelow was designed to give business owners a choice and put them in control of the process. They can fill out a Bid Request themselves and deal directly with landlord reps or they can use our Rep Matcher service to find a tenant rep to help them. Either way, our goal is to help business owners get the great office space they deserve.

What are some of the challenges facing tenants in finding the right office space for their business?

If you’re a tenant looking for less than about 2,500 square feet, you may have trouble finding a tenant rep to help you. The commission on the deal sometimes isn’t enough to get them interested in many markets. If you try to go it alone, the listing information that’s out there is incomplete and can be very expensive to access. There’s also the challenge of finding a perfect fit.

This industry always talks about space as a commodity – location, square feet, price per foot and lease term. However, that’s not the stuff that really matters to the tenant. They’re looking for things that will make it easier to hire great people and keep them engaged. The image and style of the building, whether or not it’s pet friendly, or LEED certified, or has a place to store bicycles. Whatever. No two tenants are alike but they all tell us the same thing. In the end, finding the right fit is more important than getting a low price. That’s exactly what Crelow was designed to do.

What considerations should business owners make when searching for the right space for their business?

Obviously, you should have a clear budget in mind and think about whether you’re likely to grow in the next few years. Don’t just focus on dollars and square feet, though. Look at the big picture and think about all the things that will help you attract and retain great talent over the long haul, even if it’s something that doesn’t really matter to you personally.

For example, make sure you know where the bulk of your employees live and pick a location that’s walkable or makes good use of mass transit. That’s a huge factor for Millennials. Think about the “vibe” of your space, too. People coming into the workforce now are looking for experiences, not jobs. Pick an office space that will make them want to “belong” to your company. A company is a community of people, after all.

What do you think are the most common mistakes or oversights businesses make when searching for office space?

A lot of businesses are leasing too much space. They’ve maybe always occupied 5,000 feet and just assume that’s what they need. However, with the new, wide-open collaborative workspaces and the shift away from cubes and offices, the space per head is going way, way down. Hire a good space planner to analyze your needs first and tell you what’s possible. The money you save by cutting your square footage could be invested in amenities that make your employees love coming to work. Always hire a real estate attorney, too. Business owners sometimes think if you’ve read one lease you’ve read them all. Big mistake. Office leases are complicated and it’s always money well spent to hire an attorney.

What are some red flags tenants/agents should be on the look out for that would demonstrate that a potential space is not a good fit?

That depends on the business but I would start by looking at the surroundings. Check the building directory first. If you’re a law firm, make sure your clients won’t be walking past a competitor every time they visit you. If there’s a call center or training facility in the building, you can bet there will be hoards of people coming and going at certain times of the day. It could be a real disruption for your business. Look at the condition of the building, too. The entryway and lobby is generally the best maintained space in an office building. If you see dirty windows and worn carpeting in the lobby, property management could end up being a sore spot. It’s an interesting topic.

How can real estate agents help business owners navigate this process?

A seasoned, hands-on tenant rep who has built a lot of relationships and really knows a market can be tremendously helpful to a business owner. They can help a business owner figure out what type of office space they need, where they should be looking, roughly how much space may be needed and roughly what they should expect to pay. They can also likely connect the tenant with other professionals like space planners, attorneys, contractors and so on. On the landlord rep side, they can help a business owner translate their vision into a workable reality and explain certain advantages of a property that might not be obvious from the outside. It’s all about listening to the tenant’s needs.

What advice can you offer on negotiating a fair lease term?

What’s “fair” depends on your point of view. Tenants generally want shorter terms because it gives them flexibility and landlords generally want longer terms because it locks in cashflow. Sometimes it’s possible for both parties to get what they want by bundling other factors into the decision. For example, if you’re a tenant and you expect your business to grow quickly, you might be willing to sign a longer lease than you wanted as long as it comes with expansion rights into an adjoining space. On the flip side, a landlord might be willing to offer a shorter lease term than they wanted if the tenant agrees to a smaller tenant improvement allowance or takes the space “as is.” No two situations are alike and nearly everything is negotiable.

How is the way business owners seek commercial real estate space evolving?

Technology is changing the game. All of the surveys show that 60 percent or more of office space searches start online, and that’s only going to go up. Think about Millennials. Their first thought is always to use a mobile device. For transportation, food, entertainment, dating, pretty much everything. As they rise through the ranks and become the business owners who are looking for office space, you can bet they’re going to start with a mobile device. They’re going to expect that’s how it’s done, because that’s how everything else is done. This industry is going digital fast and whoever delivers the best experience is going to win big.

Contact us for more information.


Expert Interview Series: Jordan Sale of Fundrise on Investing in Commercial Real Estate

Investing in commercial real estate

Jordan Sale is the director of marketing at Fundrise, the country’s first online platform for high-quality, low-fee real estate investment. We recently talked to her about the benefits of commercial real estate investment. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us about Fundrise. How does it work?

Our mission at Fundrise is to offer a low-fee, low-minimum alternative to traditional private real estate investment. By using technology, we’re able to offer any resident in the U.S. the chance to invest in high-quality commercial real estate online.

Why did you and the team at Fundrise think it was time to change the way we invest in real estate?

Historically, commercial real estate has proven to be one of the best-performing investments. As real estate investors ourselves, our team spent our early careers building and owning properties in Washington, D.C.. We found that the investment structure often resulted in high fees and low transparency for individual investors, while the majority of profits from most projects ended up in the pockets of our institutional investment partners, who in reality were acting as middlemen standing between us and the actual people whose money was being invested.

So, we started Fundrise with a simple idea: give everyone the opportunity to invest directly in high quality real estate, without the middlemen.

Our idea definitely had its skeptics. Industry professionals told us that it was impossible. But, after nearly a year of working with the Securities and Exchange Commission, we launched our first online offering, ending up with 175 individual investors. Then we did it again and again. Today, there are more than 90,000 members of Fundrise and we’ve invested in nearly $3 billion worth of real estate.

What are the advantages of investing in real estate? Why is real estate such a great investment opportunity?

Research shows that portfolios that include real estate outperform those that don’t. Between 2007 and 2011, pension portfolios including real estate, saw higher returns of more than 1.4 percentage points compared with traditional stock-bond mixes.

Furthermore, with increasing uncertainty in the global economy, U.S. commercial real estate tends to be seen as a secure investment that will continue to hold its value as other assets around the world fall in price.

What considerations should we make when choosing investment opportunities?

Understanding the financial goals for your portfolio will help you determine the type of investment strategy you should pursue and, as a result, the right type of investment. An essential part of the investment process is objectively evaluating each opportunity as it arises and working hard to remove any pre-existing biases. Take your time to figure out which approach makes the most sense for you and your investment goals and remember that diversification into different asset classes is one of the most effective ways to build a profitable portfolio!

What are the biggest mistakes you see people making when it comes to real estate investment?

Many people make the mistake of investing based on emotion and the allure of upside, rather than logic and what makes the most sense for their portfolio and financial goals.

What do you believe the future of commercial real estate investment looks like?

Extremely promising! It’s been exciting to see technology enter the real estate space in such interesting, creative ways and we continue to be encouraged by the validation our low-fee, transparent model is seeing from industry leaders around the country.

What are your favorite resources (books, publications, blogs, etc.) for learning more about commercial real estate investment?

I personally find The Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing by Gary Eldred particularly useful. We actually did a post on resources for new real estate investors a few months back:

Contact us for more information.

Continuing education for Missouri realtors

6 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for Missouri Realtors

If you find yourself with questions about continuing education requirements for Missouri realtors, you are not alone. Many real estate agents in your state have the same questions. These answers will help you stay within your state’s guidelines.

1. How often do Missouri realtors need to take courses?

The license period for Missouri real estate agents is two years. This means that continuing education must be completed every two years to maintain a valid, active license. Your license is no longer active if you fail to take the required courses. You will not be able to renew it.

2. How many credits must Missouri realtors earn to renew their licenses?

In order to renew your license, you must complete 12 hours of instruction each two-year period. All courses must be approved by the Missouri Real Estate Commission. Three hours must be taken in a core course, and the remaining nine hours may be elective hours.

3. Can I take my continuing education courses online?

Yes, online continuing education courses for realtors are available. Distance course providers approved by the commission are listed online. These courses typically require proctored close-booked exams.

Continuing education for Missouri realtors

Online courses are convenient and helpful for any realtor.

4. Can I take courses not approved by the Missouri Real Estate Commission for credit?

You may be eligible to receive credit for continuing education taken by unapproved courses, but you must submit a form called an Individual Request for Continuing Education Credit, also known as an ICE. You must submit the form 90 days before your real estate license expires, and there is a chance your credits may not be approved.

5. When must I complete my continuing education courses for them to be valid for my current licensing period?

If you are a broker, you must complete your education by June 30th on each even-numbered year. If you are a salesperson, you must complete your requirements by September 30th.

6. What if I fail to complete my continuing education courses by the deadline?

If you do not fulfill the requirements for continuing education in Missouri as a salesperson, you will be required to take and complete a Missouri Real Estate Practice course that takes 24 hours. This class is available online.

Understanding the requirements for your career may be difficult, but the Missouri Real Estate Commission maintains solid standards you must fulfill in order to keep your license active. Contact us for more information about continuing education for realtors in your state.


6 Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education for Maine Realtors

Are you a realtor with questions about the continuing education requirements in Maine? It can be difficult to work out the details of continuing education when you are trying to keep up with your career and everything else. The answers to these frequently asked questions about the requirements in Maine may ease your concerns.

1. How do I know if a course is approved by the Maine Real Estate Commission?

You will know that the Maine Real Estate Commission has approved of a course because all marketing materials are required to include a blurb that denotes approval. If you are interested in taking a course but do not see a message of approval, you can contact the Main Real Estate Commission to inquire about the course.

2. What happens when I complete a continuing education course?

At the end of the course, each realtor receives a certificate of completion. On the certificate, you will find notice of approval by the Real Estate Commission, the name of the course, and the date of completion. It also shows the number of clock hours completed.

Continuing education for Maine realtors

Continuing education courses can help you make a positive change in the lives of your clients.

3. Can I complete courses in a different state and have the count toward Maine’s continuing education requirements?

Not automatically. You may seek approval from the Maine Real Estate Commission by submitting an application and fee. If your application is approved, your hours may apply toward the requirement. You may not renew your license until you receive notice of approval, however.

4. I have not completed my continuing education requirements, and my license is about to expire. What should I do?

You will not be able to renew your real estate license until you finish your continuing education requirements. Once your license expires, you will have 90 days to complete the process and submit a late renewal. When your license is expired, you will not be allowed to work.

5. What are Maine’s continuing education requirements?

All realtors are required to complete a total of 21 hours during a licensing cycle, which is every two years. Three hours must come from core courses. These courses may be taken live or online.

6. If my license is inactive, what do I need to do to make it active again?

If your license has only been inactive for two years or less, you need to complete 21 credits to become active again. If you have been inactive for up to four years, you need to complete 28 credits. If you have been inactive for up to six years, you need to complete 36 credits. If your license has been inactive longer than this, you need to pass an examination.

Contact us for more information about questions you still have about continuing education for Main realtors.


How to Help Homebuyers Estimate the Cost of Ownership

If you already work as a realtor, you understand how many buyers are actually unprepared for the total costs associated with buying and owning a home. All too many buyers underestimate the costs associated with factors like property tax and closing costs. There is more to the costs of owning a home than simply paying the mortgage each month.

What You Can Do as a Realtor

Knowledge is power, and this is the best thing you can offer your clients. Preparing clients for the additional costs early on ensures that there are no surprises. Here are a few things new buyers need to be aware of:

1. Property Taxes

Typically, property taxes are about one percent of a home’s entire value, but they are no more than 4.2 percent of the value. The tax rate can differ from county to county, with the most expensive taxes existing in states like New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Cost of ownership

Preparing your clients for the cost of property tax takes away the sting

2. Homeowner’s Insurance

The costs associated with homeowner’s insurance will depend on the of the home as well as its size. Depending on location and some other factors, special protections (like those against flooding) may be required as well.

There is also mortgage insurance to consider, which is put on the home when the buyers put less than 20 percent down on the loan. This is another monthly fee.

3. Home Repairs & Finishing Touches

Maintaining a home can be more expensive than most buyers may think. Experts suggest budgeting one percent of the value of the home to make repairs and adjustments. Now that the home is purchased, it is also time to deck it out with furniture and other items. Budgeting for those finishing touches is something all too many new homeowners forget to do that. Of course, there are also the costs associated with paying for the yard to be maintained.

4. Homeowner’s Association Fees

If your client has purchased a home in a condo or neighborhood, he or she may be required to pay an HOA. This typically covers the maintenance of common areas, and it varies from location to location. These fees may be collected monthly or annually.

Cost of ownership

HOA fees often help to keep your community looking as great as the day you discovered it.

5. Closing Costs

Closing costs can be difficult to plan for because they vary. Your buyer may spend between 1 and 5 percent of the home’s sale price in closing costs. On a $300,000 house, buyers may be spending a minimum of $3,000 on closing fees alone.

6. Home Inspection

Prior to closing the sale of a home, many buyers choose to have the home undergo inspection and appraisal. This will find any hidden problems. This can cost several hundred dollars.

Owning a home can be more expensive than many people think. As a real estate agent, you can fan potential flames by informing your buyers, especially first-timers, of the realistic costs. Contact us for more information about educating buyers on the true costs of home ownership.