Real Estate Commissions – You Charge HOW MUCH?

Real Estate Commissions – You Charge HOW MUCH?

  I often hear from consumers that they feel real estate commission are too high. I often hear from real estate agents that real estate commissions are too low. I guess it depends on what side you’re on!  I also train a lot of agents. In doing so, I am always struck by the same sentiment from all of them. “Wow, there is a lot more to this than I thought.” Yep, there sure is. I once had a client get his real estate license in hopes to save money since he bought multiple properties each year. He very quickly realized that not only was the time invested not worth the money saved, but that he really wasn’t saving anything after all the fees and taxes were paid. As Realtors, we own our own business which comes with several perks. It also comes with a lot of liability and a lot of expenses. There are tools we need to do a great job for our clients. We need equipment, so we can keep up with technology to service our clients. We are required to take continuing education that is a benefit to clients. We pay self-employment taxes. If we have any help with paperwork, such as an office assistant or a contract to close professional, we pay for that. Most hire professionals to do things like take photographs, videos and measure houses. That all comes out of our pocket. We have errors and omissions insurance and license fees. Marketing and advertising and gas to and from properties. We also pay our companies for the benefit of the experience and advice the Brokers give us and those are just hard costs. We’ve all heard the expression, “time is money.” Why are so many people so opposed to paying others for their time? Just like those new agents discover, there is a lot of time spent during the buying and selling process that most clients never see. Phone conversations with clients and agents, emails, text messages, drive time to appointments, scheduling and rescheduling showing appointments, inspections, appraisals, reviewing offers, drafting offers, negotiating, late nights and early mornings, coordinating closings with title companies to make sure that all the client needs to do is show up! Those are just a sample of things that Realtors spend their time doing behind the scenes, so their client doesn’t have to worry about anything but the move. Yes, time is money. Most of us think nothing of spending hundreds of dollars to go see our favorite entertainer or sports team but we balk at paying a professional Realtor handle the details of, quite possibly, the biggest investment we will make in our life. Before I...

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Nashville Investment Property

Nashville Investment Property

  Nashville is the “It” city. It has been ranked the #1 housing market in the nation. Depending on the day, we hear that 80-100 people move to Nashville every day. We were named the #1 Minor League Baseball city. We are in the Top 20 cities for tech jobs, #6 for young professionals and #7 for millennials. We are among the Top 10 cities in which to launch a career and Nashville has the third fastest growing large Metro economy. The list goes on and on. But, with all these accolades, does that mean that Nashville is a great place to buy investment property? Yes and no. With Nashville’s influx of residents, we have also had low inventory. Because a lot of those are millennials and young professionals, the demand for properties under $200,000 has increased significantly. Typically, this is where investors like to buy. They can get in a property for a decent price, rent it out for an attractive price, and still get a nice return on their investment every month. We were getting multiple calls a week for a while from people all across the country that wanted to invest in Nashville. Most used the word that investors dream about, “deal.” “I want to get a deal.” “I’m looking for a deal.” “Where can I find a deal?” and “If you find a deal, I’ll buy it.” Well, the truth of the matter is, there really aren’t many, if any, “deals” in Nashville right now. First time home buyers, young professionals, millennials and investors are all competing over the same property. Investors that have cash may be more attractive to sellers, however, cash is not always king and not all investors have cash. Some sellers don’t want to sell to an investor and will take an offer from an owner-occupant over an investor because they either want to help the “little man” or they don’t like the thought of renters living in the home they have loved for years. Another pitfall of investors is thinking that cash is king – no matter the offer. Sellers won’t necessarily take thousands less for their home just to have it close in two weeks. Some would rather wait another 2- 3 weeks and make more in the long run. If you plan on investing but you are getting a loan, you are in the same boat, for the most part, that owner-occupants are in and you will find the Nashville market a tough one to compete in. The best thing to do is to find the properties before they go on the market or at very least, the same day. Find a Realtor that diligently hunts for properties...

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Change

Change

People change – well some do. I believe we are meant to be constantly learning, growing, and, ultimately, being better every day. And I am one of those perpetual learners. I’ve had a business coach for the past four years and I’m in a weekly Mastermind group that helps me evaluate myself and my business. My real estate team sends out surveys requesting feedback from our clients periodically. The last time these were sent out all of them came back with glowing reviews. They wouldn’t have changed anything about the experience and they would refer us to all their friends and family. Well, all except one. One survey revealed that we had missed the mark. We had helped this client purchase several properties in the past and he had been very pleased, but we messed up on the latest one. We did not meet his expectations and he was disappointed. He gave us examples of what he felt we could have done differently. I was upset but so happy at the same time. I was upset that we didn’t do our best and that a client was less than impressed. I was happy that he was honest and gave us the opportunity to make it right and do better next time. I called him and asked to take him to lunch to discuss his experience and the survey. He was so gracious. He gave me very constructive criticism and, ultimately another chance. Our Mastermind group does peer evaluations each year. We say what each member of the group is great at and where each member needs improvement. This year, the group affirmed that I can juggle and wear a lot of hats. They also pointed out that I need to be more open and ask for help more often. Dang it, they know me so well. The greatest thing about both of those scenarios is that it gives our team and me, personally, the chance to improve and make changes. The two worst things that could happen is if we don’t receive feedback on how we can improve, or we don’t take action on it. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance and that’s OK. As long as we learn from it, make the necessary changes and do better next time, we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone needs to improve. Don’t get stuck. Don’t be that person that never changes, that just stays in that dead-end job that you hate, that doesn’t get out and do more, experience more, BE more. Be a person that is open to hearing how you can improve. It’s not always the easiest thing to hear, but you and others...

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What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For?

  This is the time of year that a lot of us reflect on our lives and count our blessings. This time of year, also, typically makes us more aware of those in need and those less fortunate. What are you thankful for? How are you making a difference for someone else? Take time to reach out to friends or family and let them know you are thinking of them. Let them know you are thankful for them. Maybe you don’t love your job or your kids are being rebellious. Think of those that need a job or desperately want children of their own. Maybe you’re not where you want to be in life. Me neither! Hopefully we are always growing, learning, and becoming better human beings every day. Be thankful for how far you’ve come. Haven’t got that project completed? If you worked on it today, you are one step closer. Haven’t lost all the weight? If you’re eating right and exercising, good for you. You’re not where you were last month. I am thankful that I get to have a career that helps make so many dreams come true. Every day I get to see new beginnings – and new chapters being opened. I am thankful for the clients that trust me to help them with what is typically the biggest investment of their life. I am also thankful for the agents in my company that are in our family. They make me proud to work with them. I think it’s easy for some of us to watch tv or movies and compare our lives to the stars we see. Or flip through social media and wonder why you can’t have what they have. Most of it’s not real, first of all, and secondly, right now there is someone looking at you wishing they could live in your shoes. So be thankful and keep growing. Keep being grateful. Happy Thanksgiving....

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What is a real estate closing?

What is a real estate closing?

  Ok, you have signed the Purchase & Sale Agreement, all contingencies are satisfied and now it’s time for closing. But what is a real estate closing? Well, your real estate market may do it differently, but I will give you an idea of how most closings happen in the Greater Nashville area. A title company gets all the contract documents from the two parties. If you are using a Realtor, they will handle this for you. The title company works behind the scenes to handle all of the legal work, but, in a nutshell, they make sure all the liens are paid off and that the contract is followed as it is written. In our area, it is very common for the Buyer and Seller to have different title companies and they perform their “closing” at different offices, at different times. A lot of clients will ask me if the buyer or seller will be in the same room. Most of the time, the parties never even meet. The Buyer is entitled to do a final walk-through of the property before closing. This is done to check for any repairs that were to be done and to make sure there has been no damage to the property. Basically, the house needs to be in as good or better shape than when the contract was signed. Typically, the final walk-through is done 1-2 days prior to closing. In a perfect world, the Seller would have everything out of the property so the Buyer can see everything. The world is not always perfect, however. A lot of times, the Seller will still be packing up to move when the Buyer walks through. This can cause stress for both the Seller and the Buyer. The Seller feels the pressure of getting everything out of the house and the Buyer feels anxiety about the Seller having everything out of the house and it being ready for them to move in. Unfortunately, I have had one too many experiences where the moving out doesn’t go quite as planned. I say this as a caution, because if at all possible, it is always best to have everything out of the house the day before closing. Moves almost always take longer than anticipated. The movers were supposed to send four men and two trucks and someone doesn’t show up for work and a truck breaks down. Yep, this stuff happens. I have seen people moving out until midnight, people having to get hotel rooms at the last minute, pay for extra storage days, have to do repairs at the 11th hour, and experienced the myriad of emotions that go along with all of those issues. The actual closing...

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