Monthly Archives - June 2018

Grey house with a wheel chair ramp at the entrance.

How to Best Serve Real Estate Clients with Disabilities

As a real estate agent, you may already know that your clients often possess specific desires. Additionally, many clients will also have particular requirements. Individuals living with disabilities often require homes that meet their special needs. Even if you have real estate training under your belt, you may benefit from developing a better understanding of these needs.

Understand the Fair Housing Act

According to the CDC, an estimated 22 percent of Americans live with some sort of disability. These disabilities may be related to vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, and other matters linked with serious physical and mental health disorders. Many people need some extra assistance contending with issues related to independent living and self-care.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the housing industry based on factors that include disabilities. As a real estate agent, you must understand the regulations in place to ensure that you do not discriminate against an individual with a disability who is shopping for a home. Extra real estate training can help refresh you on this topic.

Know Which Terms May Be Loaded

Clients with disabilities extend beyond baby boomers, and client requests regarding disabilities have increased approximately 20 percent according to some real estate agents. For this reason, you may need to brush up on the lingo real estate agents are using. Some terms may have different meanings when you are talking to somebody with disabilities. For instance, saying that a home is “a short walk to” a local mall does not mean the same thing to an individual who has a mobility limitation.

Refer Clients to Available Resources

Different resources are available to individuals with disabilities buying homes. You can provide your clients with excellent service by referring them to the different programs available, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Veterans Affairs’ Special Housing department.

Being able to refer your clients to local contractors is another valuable service you can provide. Clients may require modifications to a home, and your relationships with the right contractors may help them understand how much renovations and rebuilds are going to cost them.

Real estate training

Many home modifications are simple, whereas others may require total rebuilds. Talk to your clients to learn about their specific needs.

Ask Clients about their Needs

Some clients have severe restrictions whereas others require just a few changes to a home. You are wise to ask your clients about any potential restrictions rather than make assumptions.

Common special needs for clients with disabilities may include proximity to public transportation or a large parking space. Some clients may require that an entire kitchen is modified so that the counters sit lower, for example. Sit down with your clients to develop a plan of action for looking at homes that meet their needs.

Continue Educating Yourself

With the help of real estate training, you can better understand the needs of your clients. Not only must you appeal to clients in need of your skills and resources, but you must also follow through with your promises. Education can help you do just that. Start your training today!

Yellow taxis on a street with skyscrapers in the background.

Tips on Selling a Difficult Home

Just when you think the seller’s market is working in your favor, you may realize that some homes just aren’t as easy to sell as others. Fortunately, you need not be dismayed. As you will learn in real estate continuing education, even the quirkiest homes have potential owners out there looking for them. You simply need to know how to find them.

What Makes a Home Hard to Sell?

Many homes garner a reputation for being a hard sell. For instance, homes on a busy street may not appeal to buyers with young children or pets.

A home with bad “bones” is also a difficult home to sell. If a home has too much work to be done at a high price, most buyers are not going to be interested.

Outdated features are difficult to sell. For example, a home with an outdated kitchen and old cabinetry is not going to go for the same price as another home in the neighborhood with a newly renovated cooking space. Additionally, a home with only one small bathroom is not going to appeal to most buyers either.

One way to appeal to buyers is to revamp a home so that it allows buyers to overlook a potential fault. For instance, a home on a busy street may need to see an increase in curb appeal. Hire a landscaper, install a picket fence, or plant shrubs to create an attractive barrier.

You can also consider the home’s condition. What needs to be fixed up? Could you spruce up the walls with a neutral color? Does the home need a deep cleaning? Each of these factors requires careful consideration.

How to Sell an Unsellable Home

If you are struggling with a home you feel is unsellable, you have options. As you learn in real estate continuing education, understanding trends and regulations in your area is critical. You must learn how to analyze a property, the neighborhood, and what kinds of homes are hot on the market at this time.

Red brick building with green shutters.

With a bit of care and attention, real estate agents can sell a home that feels unsellable.

Next, know the right price to ask for the home. Mispricing is an easy mistake that even seasoned real estate agents make. Local research and comparison can be a great help for situations like these.

Also, keep in mind that the real estate agent’s role matters. As an agent, focus on offering quality and full-time dedication. Provide ideas for promotions and establish yourself as an expert in the industry. Set up frequent open houses to get clients in to look at the home rather than rely on assumptions and impressions.

Finally, take some time to develop a better property listing. The property description is linked to the property’s sellability. With your listing, be sure to include high-quality photos, even hiring a professional if necessary. A strong description and catchy headline are vital to attracting potential clients, but a promotional video can help highlight the better features of a difficult home.

Real estate continuing education is one key to learning how to sell homes like these. Real estate classes can help you, no matter where you work. Choose your state now!

Woman sitting on her couch drinking coffee and looking at her tablet.

What Real Estate Pros Should Know About Smart Home Technology

Technology has led us to a point where innovations seem a common occurrence. What started as the clapper, a device that allows you to turn on the lights without even getting out of bed, has now evolved into the smart home.

Real estate agents are beginning to see these smart homes hit the market, and professionals are discovering that they still have a lot still to learn. Is real estate CE progressing fast enough? What do real estate agents need to know about smart home tech?

What Is a Smart Home?

Nearly half of homeowners either owned some type of smart home technology or intended to invest in it as of 2016. A smart home contains a variety of electronics connected to the Internet. Devices may include thermostats, entertainment systems, security cameras, motion sensors, appliances, sprinklers, locks, and even garage doors. Most people feel that having simply one type of smart tech does not mean you have a smart home.

Buyers are willing to pay more for certain smart home technology in their homes, especially when the buyers are millennials. One thing to keep in mind is that technology changes quickly. Smart tech today may be old news in just a few years.

What Do Real Estate Agents Need to Know about Smart Homes?

Approximately 81 percent of buyers have stated that they would likely purchase a smart home, but real estate agents need to know more about smart home tech than where devices are in the home to land the sale. Sales agents may need to point out different features associated with smart technology as well as how to use them.

Woman checking her home digital thermostat.

Having access to smart home technology can impact the sale. Consider your role in showing the benefits devices provide.

First, always check with sellers to first ensure which technology will be staying in the home. Sometimes sellers want to take certain items with them. Include details about which devices are staying in the sales contract. Otherwise, you may promise something to the buyer that cannot come to fruition.

Real estate agents should also be knowledgeable about how smart home technology can reduce costs. For instance, how much money on a heating or cooling bill will a smart thermostat save? What savings are available for individuals who use a smart pool cleaner or filter? Buyers want these details up front.

Next time you host an open house, consider including cards with detailed information about the smart tech near each device. Professional cards with information allow clients to better understand the gadgets, and many will be impressed when you can show them how the devices work. Clients looking at a home may become frustrated if they cannot figure out how to use the technology.

Finally, consider pursuing additional real estate CE. Continuing education may involve receiving a smart home certification you can use to show buyers and sellers that you know exactly what you are talking about. Are you ready to learn more about smart home tech? Start your training today!

Door knob with a real estate lock box.

What You Need to Know About Staying Safe in Your Real Estate Business

As much as we might like to think that the rest of the world has our best interests in mind, the world can be quite dangerous at times. All too many real estate agents believe that their experience indicates they will always be safe on the job.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to stay free from harm when you work. Even with proper real estate training, you might be missing some key tips. While the U.S. Department of Labor considers real estate sales and leasing to be hazardous in some ways, the industry still lacks an oversight or enforcement team similar to OSHA.

Lack of standardization has led to some unsafe practices, but now you can take action. Take some careful steps to avoid the most significant hazards associated with your profession.

Consider Signing Up for a Safety Program

Real estate professionals often run workshops and courses to help you continue learning about safety issues in the real estate world. These classes are often more beneficial than standard safety courses because they are geared toward real estate professionals like you.

In courses run by actual real estate agents, you also have the opportunity to hear real stories. You can also learn from people who have been in your shoes and faced similar dilemmas.

Develop a Plan for Showing Properties

If you show properties by yourself, be sure to develop a plan of action. To start, only show properties during the daylight hours.

Before showing a property to a client or prospective buyer, make sure to take identification. Most real estate agents prefer to make a photocopy of the client’s driver’s license ahead of time. Leave the copies somewhere somebody else in the office knows to look.

When you arrive at the site of your next showing, take a quick note of what is happening in the area. Park in a spot that is well-lit and where you cannot become blocked in by another vehicle.

Real estate agents are also wise to create a distress code or phrase with somebody either back at the office or at home. Establish a plan of action to take if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use the code.

Miniature yellow house with chains and lock on it.

Real estate agents may spend a lot of time considering home security, but courses now teach safety lessons for the real estate practice itself.

Understand Possible Technological Risks

Not all risks facing real estate agents and their clients are physical. Fraud is a major issue all agents should understand. In fact, you would be wise to create a fraud alert for any credit cards or bank accounts in your name.

One step you can take against fraud is to shred all mail and old paperwork. Ensure that your information is not easy to discern, but also that your clients are protected from scams involving theft of old documents.

Real estate agents should also be aware of phishing scams via email. Phishing scams involve asking you to click on a link and log in with your credentials, but the link will not be legitimate. Instead, scammers will take your password and log in for themselves.

Take Care of Yourself & Your Clients

As a real estate agent, training is your best friend. Stay up to date with safety techniques and real estate guidelines that keep you safe on the job with continuing education courses available online. Start your training today!