Monthly Archives: February 2015
Monthly Archives: February 2015
Real Estate Transaction Closing Rules and Forms Change on August 1, 2015
On August 1, 2015 the HUD1 and the Good Faith Estimate will no longer be used. There will be NO more HUD1 or Good Faith Estimate.
This is important for real estate agents to understand and be able to also schedule closings taking the new changes into account.
Don’t get embarrassed by asking your buyer to get a Good Faith Estimate after August 2015:).
The documents that will be replacing them are:
1. New Loan Estimate
2. New Closing Disclosure
The reason for these new documents is because of the Dodd Frank Reform Act that was passed on July 21, 2010. They phase in all the new laws.
The reason for the government to implement these 2 new documents they say is to: “improve the settlement process for consumers”.
After we read the laws regarding these forms we see how it could really become an issue rather than an improvement.
We’ll come back to that after we explain what the new forms entail:
The most important changes are that IF anything changes at all it will require the lender’s approval and a 3 day waiting period for the buyer.
If the interest rate changes this automatically triggers a 3 day waiting period. This means that even if the buyer has to close or wants to close, the law will NOT allow him or her to close. Of course, the regulators “know” more than the consumers do about what is good for them.
If the loan product changes in any way this automatically triggers a 3 day waiting period. The means that even if the contract states that the closing will happen at said time and place, the government rules trump your contract. ( Now that is for another discussion.)
Talk about having to lock in your loans! ( Is that still allowed?)
If the seller removes something from the property and thereby this triggers an addendum to the contract… oh no…. that triggers not only a 3 day waiting period but also an approval from the buyer’s lender who is most likely not going to be at the closing table.
Make sure you schedule your closings with these built in waiting times. NAR legal counsel advises to set your closing up for 7 days in advance of the day you want to close.
Work very hard to not have any last minute changes, especially at the closing table. Explain to your sellers and buyers the reason why, that the closing WILL be delayed.
Make sure your sellers stick to their agreements in the purchase and sales agreement.
Make sure that you stay in close contact with the buyer, the seller, the agents involved and the lenders. I know that is easier said than done. However, this is paramount to being able to close on the agreed upon date.
Make sure everyone is on the same page!
Imagine the scenario- each time one of these 3 day triggers happens you have to get all parties to sign extensions and addendums.
Imagine the buyers at the closing table with their belongings in a U-haul truck and suddenly something changes on their closing disclosure!
Imagine the sellers at the closing table all packed up and ready to maybe close on their next home and need the funds from this closing to pay for their next closing, but this closing is delayed because the interest rate changes and so now they have to wait another 3 days. You can see the chain reaction. The ripple effect.
We like to call this, the law of unintended consequences of passing laws without fully understanding all the consequences.
For now, Cash is still King and that is why sellers would rather have ALL CASH offers!
Here is a video of the NAR Legal Counsel explaining these changes:
Open House Success System to Get More Listings and Buyers
We are doing a BETA program with an Open House Success System from a very successful REALTOR® who closed over 600K last year in commissions using this system he has developed over the last few years.
This will be the first time anyone outside of his successful office will learn his system.
He reached out to me to help me put a course together for his system that we can teach online.
Because we need testers in this BETA system he has offered to offer this to my Listing Experts Academy members!
Listing Experts Academy members during this one time launch of the BETA system will not have to pay a DIME to go through this excellent program.
Once we launch the Open House Success System it will not be available for free to anyone including Listing Experts Academy members.
This is not for everyone.
There are prerequisites to make this a success:
1. Make sure you have an open mind about open houses and can see the potential.
2. Choose ONE gated community that allows open house signs.
3. The gated community needs to have homes $500,000 and above in sales and market values.
4. You must be able to follow scripts and instructions.
5. You must be willing to be accountable.
6. You will be required to provide feedback during the BETA testing of the course, webinars, materials, etc.
You can learn how to get up to 20% of the market share in one single neighborhood.
Join Listing Experts Academy before Wednesday in order to be a part of our BETA Open House Success System.
Joining Listing Experts Academy now gives you a Lifetime Membership in the academy. We have 9 core modules on SEO, branding, listing syndication, expired listings, listing presentations, websites and more. Then we have a ton of bonus trainings!
Bonus trainings include YouTube SEO, Image SEO, Advanced SEO techniques, branding techniques and so much more.
Now until next week Wednesday also included is the Open House Success System where you could very well do over 6 figures this year from open houses. No internet work required. No SEO required. No blogging required. Some Facebook ads maybe:).
The Open House Success System will be recorded for you in case you can’t make it to one of the 3 webinars where he will be teaching his system to us.
Here is part of my interview with Steven:
Steven has been a Realtor for 17 years.
Just like many of you he spent his first years chasing clients all over the GTA. He spent lots of money on ads and chased fsbos and at a drop of the hat and he would drive over one hour to try and take a listing. Steven who had learned sales from his father who was a top sales rep for Encyclopedia Britannica. Steven learned the importance of having a presentation book& scripts and always using them every time he made a presentation. Steven did relatively well, earning over $100,000 to $150,000 per year, but he felt he should be able to work less hours and make more.
“Soon I was closing one in 4 attendees for appointments to sign both a buyer agency agreement and a listing agreement for the sale of their current home.
My first year with a super team I earned over $400,000 in commissions (that is on a 50/50 split with the team leader)”
“I hired 12 agents, spent over 10,000 per month in ads, generated lots of leads, but the agents did not have a good closing ration and I found myself driving all over the city helping them close for contracts, and on the phone taking ad calls, at the end of 2 years I was burnt out and had not made millions like I had dreamed.
So about 2 years ago I decided to just be a local agent in my community where I live. If I earned 200 to 300k per year I would be happy.”
“But a funny thing happened. I modified my open house strategy slightly and very quickly I became one of the dominant listing agents in my area. Sellers were calling me in for a free evaluation along with 3 or 4 of the big boys & girls who had worked the area for 15 years or more and had large full page ads in the local paper and billboards and weekly postcards, etc.
I figured out a way to win against the more experienced and moneyed completion, without a large advertising budget. Within 18 months I had become one of the dominant listing agents in my community and earned over $600,000 in 2014 mostly by just working 4 hours per week at my opens and having sellers call me to list their home.”
Before I take on any project I do my due diligence about the viability of the project. I am very excited to put together and launch Steven’s’ Open House Success System.
Make sure you get signed up in Listing Experts Academy before next Wednesday so you can participate in the BETA Open House Success System.
Contact me by text at 561-502-1577 to get into Listing Experts Academy so you can be a part of the Open House Success System. Text your name and email address please. Thanks!
You can also email me: CoachKaterina ( at sign) Gmail.com.
Realbird: Using Realbird To Get More Listings!
When was the last time you were in your Realbird account?
What all do you do with your Realbird account?
We have found that most agents open up a Realbird account and then never go back into their account.
Those that have upgraded to the pro-accounts usually do as much as create their single property websites for their listings.
If you fit in either category you are really missing out on huge opportunities to get listing leads and buyer leads from your Realbird account.
Realbird is all about the agent. They don’t sell you the leads. You pay a measly $97 per year to have full benefits! You can collect all the leads you want to and Gabe and Zoltan will not ask you for a penny. They won’t ask you for a referral fee and they won’t sell you zipcodes and premier agent spots. It is what we call a white label product.
Realbird leads tend to be much better than z leads and t leads. Don’t ask me why but they are higher quality and most of the time they leave their phone number.
Realbird launched a SMS platform right inside of your single property websites. All you need to do is buy a phone number for $1 per month from Twillio and then connect it to the Realbird SMS API. It takes about 10 minutes to do this. Once it is finished, you don’t have to do it again. It is automatically added to each of your listings.
When the buyer texts to your text number, they immediately get back the details of the listing and a link to your listing. What happens on the back end is even better. Realbird captures the cell phone number the lead texted you from and it lands right into your leads inbox.
Here is a tutorial that I created for my virtual assistant team on how to set up SMS texting for us and our broker and agent clients. It is not a fancy tutorial because it is an in house training video- no bells or whistles. I still thought that you may find it useful:
Setting up a single property website for your listing is easy! I don’t know why more agents don’t do it. Maybe because it is too easy:).
Each listing you get you can input your listing details or have our virtual assistants do that for you. After you add all your photos and information you launch the page and it is then a single property website for your listing. It is that easy!
Send your seller an email with the link to their own single property website. Tell them to share it freely on their Facebook page, tweet it out and send it by email to their family and friends. They will want to show off this nice looking website. You can even get your own address domains but you don’t have to.
Here is a tutorial I created for our virtual assistant team to make sure we are covering all ways to optimize on our Realbird membership and utilizing these single property websites. Again, please excuse the simple video. It was designed for instruction not for glamour:
Realbird has a lot of other tools. If you don’t want to spend money on IDX any more- if you are tired of building your IDX company’s SEO and brand, think about using Realbird as a sort of replacement. Realbird is not IDX however, most consumers don’t like fancy IDX programs and are thrilled with the simplicity of Realbird listing maps and details.
You can embed maps on your websites and blogs with different search criteria and the best part- this also may be why consumers like Realbird search so much- is that they don’t have to leave your site to search. They can search right inside of your blog page or website page.
Here is another tutorial I created for our virtual assistant team to go over all of what Realbird has to offer and how we can best use all of these tools:
Realbird is a great solution if you are cutting back on expenses or just want to improve your SEO and consumer interaction.
My favorite part of Realbird is not even the product but the innovators of the product, Gabe and Zoltan. What amazing innovators and entrepreneurs they are. The customer service is outstanding.
With all the changes that Craigslist has made for posting your listings and real estate services real estate agents have pretty much abandoned Craigslist ads in many areas. Use that to your advantage.
Realbird auto generates your code for your to post your listing in Craigslist. You still have to upload your images. We have been able to use our SMS texting service from Realbird with our CL ads. Make sure you are not adding any links anywhere or else your ad will be denied.
Then after you are finished doing these tasks it is time to start tweeting your listings, sharing them to Facebook through your Realbird account and linking back to your single property websites to rank your listings instead of the big companies ranking for them.
See you at the top!
Shifting Your Focus In Order To Sell More Homes
There are some shifts in the real estate marketplace that have been taking place over the last year. One of the most important strategies you have as a real estate agent in order to be successful in selling homes is to be aware of shifts and changes in the marketplace.
When our market was super hot that the prices were going up thousands of dollars per hour- Nestor knew that the market was going to go bust so we got out of the residential marketplace and switched over to the parcel assemblage niche- putting properties and owners together for developers and builders to buy.
Then Nestor said a few years later that we would need to shift again since the signal that the land assemblage niche was not going to be lucrative any longer was when builders stopped going through with the sales and terms.
Nestor said that short sales were coming around the corner- this was in 2007 so we positioned ourselves to be there when the market crashed. At that time, there were no designations for short sales. There were no rules. We did very well during those years with having a high 98% success rate in closing our short sale listings and staying in the top 3% of closed sales for our MLS.
So what are the new shifts?
Developers are back in the marketplace. New construction is happening again. Those are 2 great niches.
Where are you focusing your marketing?
The Move-Up buyer pool is one of the markets that is shrinking. There are 18% less move up buyers. Move up buyers typically are between the ages 36-45 years old. These move up buyers were born in the 70’s.
Think about it. How can these people be move up buyers when they have negative equity in their properties in most cases, still. In most cases, these would be move up buyers bought their first homes about 10 years ago at the peak of the market and we are not anywhere near those prices again, at least not yet.
Some of these buyers are instead coming into the marketplace as boomerang buyers. They are starting over again and have been through short sales or foreclosures.
We have always said that if you want to make more money selling real estate you either have to sell more units or sell higher priced units. I would rather sell fewer homes at higher prices any day over selling more units.
The Luxury home buyer niche is growing and at a good rate.
Stock prices have been going up and the interest rates are still low, this fuels the luxury niche.
This niche are people between the ages of 46 to 60. These buyers are the tail end of the baby boomers. They are wealthier than any other generation before them. In many situations, their kids are grown and typically both spouses have successful careers or own their own businesses. They also have less debt.
This group is good with their money. They have success in business equity, they own financial securities, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. They also tend to have income producing real estate, trusts and life insurance.
The best part about this niche- is there are A LOT of them!
The best group if you love to help people is the older baby boomer generation, the ones who are turning 65. 55+ communities are popular with this age group but we also must consider multi-generational households who would not qualify for active adult communities.
8 million people will be turning 65 over the next 10 years. This group tends to be very loyal so if you develop the loyalty they will refer their friends to you. In this group- you will see a lot of them will move in social groups. One couple will move into a community, fall in love with the community and start telling their friends about it. Soon more and more within that social sphere move into the same community.
While Florida and Arizona have typically benefited from this group of buyers that is no longer the case. Yes, they will continue to flock to Arizona and Florida but many in this group will retire in places like Logan Utah, Boise Idaho and Fargo North Dakota. They also will move to places close to their grandchildren.
Be ready to shift in your marketplace. Embrace the different niches you can work within to be successful and sell more houses this year!
Discover How to Get Listings from Doing Open Houses!
We are looking for 3 more agents in neighborhoods that have homes priced starting at $500,000 +.
How many open houses do you do each week?
How many sellers to you get to sign a listing agreement from your open houses?
How many buyers are buying a home through you when they come to your open houses?
The catch is that you have to be a Listing Experts Academy member.
Steven is an agent in Canada who made over $650,000 in commissions last year by doing open houses following a system the has been perfecting over the years. He is in the top 1% of agents out of ALL the Royal LePage agents.
I am going to help him share that program with REALTORS® around the U.S. and Canada but before we can launch his program he has agreed to teach it to a select group of agents in my Listing Experts Academy at no charge to the agents as long as they are members of Listing Experts Academy.
Become a Listing Experts Academy member today so you can get on board with this training IF you are an aggressive agent who is not afraid to talk to people and does not have a negative attitude about doing open houses.
This is a one time offering… and it is not on the registration page because we are keeping this under wraps until the launch. Steven charges $12,000 for agents to shadow him on doing his techniques in person at open houses. But he is NOT charging us!!!
We will have access to him on webinars and he is providing us with all of his scripts and checklists, etc for no more than our membership in Listing Experts Academy!
How’s that for a Listing Experts Academy bonus???
Add on an additional 4 hours a week doing open houses to what you are doing in real estate- imagine what that can do to your income!
Here is a part of his story:
“I started doing opens the standard way trying to sell the home. But the reality is only one buyer will buy the home and it bothered me that I was not capturing all the other attendees to the opens. So I put my thinking cap on and tried to figure out how to create an open house strategy and presentation book/ scripts that would improve my closing ratio. After several months of trial and error, I finally came up with a strategy and supporting presentation book/scripts that worked like a charm.
Soon I was closing one in 4 attendees for apts to sign both a buyer agency listing agreement and a listing agreement for the sale of their current home.
My first year with the super team I earned over $400,000 in commissions.”
Don’t delay as I can only add 3 more agents to this system! We need to have a small group of agents to start with. Sign up for Listing Experts Academy today.