Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.

Monthly Archives: April 2010

After Repair Value – What Is It?

“After repair value” (abbreviated ARV) is the savvy real estate investor’s equivalent to fair market value (FMV). It’s no secret that the vast majority of discounted properties are abandoned junk properties, vacant properties or fixer uppers.

They are often properties that need repairs to be returned to the fullest profitable use. As a result, investors have found that they must know the difference between the “as-is” value of a desired property, and the value we expect a developed piece of real estate to fetch on the open market after it has been completely fixed up.

This open market value “after fix-up” is known as the ARV.

After Repair Value Vs. As-Is Value
As an investor, your initial concern should be,”At what price should I pay to acquire this property?”

That’s your As-Is Value.

In order to renovate and re-sell your houses you need to estimate ARV to determine expected profit after covering costs (acquisition costs, holding costs, and soft costs). This concern should quickly follow in your though process.

The ARV and As-Is Value are all estimates used for analysis and decision making. But, they are not set in stone…(and they are certainly neither “fair” nor “unfair”).

Steps for Estimating After Repair Value

As an investor, we want to understand the analysis needed to estimate after repair values. Here are a few tips:

* Use sales figures from home sales not listing (asking) prices. At InvestorCompsOnline a report will give you these real estate comps not listings.

* Compare home sales figures of directly comparable properties in the same subdivision or very nearby; typically within a mile.

* Get rehab estimates from about 3 licensed general contractors – each component must be clearly itemized.

* Use supplies and parts cost estimates from the big box stores – Home Depot,Lowe’s and Sears.

The first two points let you know what you can expect to sell the property for after it’s been renovated (ARV). The last two points have more to do with determining how much you want to pay for a property (As Is Value) you intend to rehab, by factoring out expected repair and other costs.

And of course, use your on demand training available at InvestorCompsOnline to learn and grow in all the areas of real estate investing.

House Surge But Will It Last?

Last week’s 27 percent surge in new home sales in March, the biggest advance since April 1963, signals future increases in existing home sales, which rose only 7 percent in March, and may show the real impact of the homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of this week.

That’s because new home sales reported by government agencies are closings. Existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors represent contracts currently pending on properties. It may take as long as two months for a buyer and seller to close after a contract has been accepted. First-time and existing buyers whose contracts are accepted by May 1 have until June 30 to close if they wish to qualify for the tax credit.

The new homes numbers surprised most economists, who had expected 330,000 new home sales in March after February’s results were revised upward to 324,000, still an all-time low. In fact, sales of new single-family homes in March 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales exceeded the March 2009 estimate of 332,000.

“Undoubtedly, the tax credit is working,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Builders are seeing a growing optimism among consumers.”

“The near record-breaking 27 percent increase over February was the result of home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit as well as a carryover of demand that was held back by unusually bad weather in February,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

“The increased sales are very welcome news and sales will continue to improve, although we expect them to plateau in late spring and early summer when the credit expires. Following that, the housing momentum will be carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, excellent affordability conditions and a budding employment growth,” Crowe said.

“It shows that the tax credit still has some punch, and we will probably see some better sales numbers for April,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. But “if we don’t get more jobs, the housing market is going nowhere.”

Tips on Being a Business Blogger

As a real estate investor, you have to let your market know what you have, who you are, and why they want to come to you. One of those ways is by establishing a strong Internet presence. Commenting on blogs is a great way to extend your presence online, meet other bloggers, business owners, and potential customers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your own blog and website.

But what makes a good blog comment? How do you go about “joining the conversation,” as multitudes of well-meaning people are constantly haranguing you to do? Is there a science to it? An established theorem of blog commenting best practices? What’s a business blogger to do?

Let’s take a simple, mathematical approach to commenting on other people’s blogs.

Add

Add something useful, new, or interesting to the conversation. Easier said than done, to be sure. But avoid leaving comments just for the sake of leaving comments, especially those that add nothing to the topic at hand.

Example: While everybody likes to be agreed with, try to go beyond a simple “I agree” in your comments. What exactly do you agree with? Was one of the points made by the blogger more persuasive than the others? Which arguments were less persuasive?

Added benefit: Blog comments offer a great opportunity to show more of your human face to the readers in your space. A personal anecdote goes a long way in contributing something truly unique and valuable to the conversation that only you can add. Share something of yourself, your background, your expertise.

Subtract

Subtract any gratuitous self-promotion from your blog comments. If you have a truly relevant blog post on your own site, then by all means refer to it, but only after summarizing how and why it is relevant to the author’s post. Avoid talking about your own products and services on other people’s blogs.

Example: If you sell accounting software, and the author of another blog writes about a tricky tax question that your software helps answer, try to answer the question in a simple, layman-friendly way and help the readers of this blog understand the issue better.

Added benefit: You’ve just uncovered a blog post that is dying to be written on your own blog. Write in more detail on your own site about how to approach the tricky tax question, and link back to the article that sparked the idea for the post.

Multiply

Multiply the positive effect of your comments by referring (and linking, where appropriate) to the blogs, comments, and contributions of others. Draw connections and parallels where others have not yet pointed them out. Promote the good work and insights of other commenters, and be specific about what it is you value about their contributions.

Example: If you sell signs and banners, visit the blogs of graphic designers and artists who design for the commercial sector. Talk about what you admire in their designs, and why these principles are important in business signs and marketing.

Added benefit: You might find some bloggers in a related space who might be interested in guest blogging for your site. Adding diverse voices to your blog increases the readability and potential audience for your blog by a surprising amount.

Divide

Divide your attention among blogs in a number of different spaces — not just the one your own blog occupies. What types of blogs do your customers enjoy, when they are not thinking fondly of you and your products and services?

Seek out a number of different worlds that might be of interest to your customers, your partners, your vendors, your friends. Visit these blogs as frequently as you do those in your own segment (if not more), and contribute thoughtful remarks to these conversations as well. Avoid confining yourself to your own little “echo chamber” by frequenting new and exciting different neighborhoods in the blogosphere.

Example: If you sell pools, and write a blog about pools and hot tubs, find some blogs that discuss outdoor home decorating, home gardening, lawn sports, and other related leisure activities.

Additional benefit: These sites might give you ideas for posts of your own: what kind of furniture do you need when you own a pool? What kind of food might you serve poolside this summer? What are some tips for keeping your skin safe from UV rays during the warmer months?

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It all adds up to a great business blog, and to creating a strong and helpful presence in the blogosphere that builds your brand’s reputation, authority, and good will.

Be on the look out for my new blog COMING SOON where I’d be glad to have you practice these tips!

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life

Real Estate Wholesaling Can Change Your Life…If You Treat It Like A Business!

Real estate wholesaling can change your life if you start now and start right. On the other hand, if you approach the real estate flipping business carelessly, or any other real estate niche opportunity for that matter, you will waste time, burn out and earn nothing.

Cheerful, huh!

It’s very important that you understand the factors that can lead to your success or failure as a real estate flipper. Make your profit when you buy! Buying right can make or break you in real estate.

Making a profitable offer on a property requires confidence in your knowledge of how much the property will re-sell for, how much repairs might cost and confidence in your ability to deal with the inevitable contingencies that come up. Such knowledge takes some time to develop but I can help with my KnowYourARV system and the real estate comps and training at InvestorCompsOnline.

Wholesaling real estate involves finding a property at a bargain price (or negotiating a discount), putting the property under contract and either assigning the contract or re-selling the property to an investor buyer.

It especially refers to the “unimproved” resale of such discounted properties to the sort of buyers who either intend to fix and sell (rehabbers) or hold as a rental (landlords).

Wholesaling real estate is in my experience the simplest and most elegant way a relative newcomer to real estate can successfully make money real estate investing with no bank financing, very little money and no repair hassles.

If you intend to build wealth with rehab real estate or rental property investing, wholesaling provides the most useful and profitable real estate investment education.

Setting the Stage – How to Sell Your Property Faster

Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to investors trying to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Typically we figure, a quality house at a fair price will sell itself. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Many real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell “” it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

So, what exactly is home staging? It’s the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. Preparing involves cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. The investor and the stager work together as a team and decide what needs to be done to present the home on the marketplace.

Staging is all marketing “” that’s all it is. It’s a tool that’s no different than what someone might use to sell a box of cereal.

Now, you may be asking: shouldn’t home shoppers be able to look at an unstaged house and visualize themselves there? Well, they should. But statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that only 10 percent of buyers can see past what is in front of them. It’s just natural for people to react to ‘stuff.’

Why is staging considered more important now? It’s crucial in this market because there are just so many options for buyers to choose from. You need to be different; you need to add extra value to your home. Buyers are very move-in ready, so they can keep on moving right on down the line if they don’t like what they see. It used to be that if you were buying a home you might look at four or five homes before you made your decision. Now an average buyer might look at 35, 50 homes.

Okay but as an investor, you wanna know the nuts and bolts of this right? How much does it cost? It can range from $750 to $2,500 and average maybe $1,000 to $1,500.

You can consider staging on your own by using pieces you have in other properties and stage only a few essential rooms. Either way, staging is an option to consider selling your home quickly.