Helping Your Agent Market Your Home

All because you have decided to employ the services of a real estate agent does not necessarily mean that you should sit down fiddling with your thumbs and whistling away in utter boredom. You can actually help to move the sale of your house a bit faster by helping your real estate agent market your home.

Hiring a real estate agent takes off most of the work off your hands. However, you need to remember that a real estate agent has other clients and may not give the marketing of your property the attention or priority that you may like.

Devising ways to also create awareness about the sale of property on your own part can help you achieve your goal of selling off your home fast. There are several ways that you can help your agent to market your home. They include;

o Fliers or post cards: Small scale advertising materials such as fliers or post cards can go a long way in helping you attain your goal of attracting home buyers to your home. You can make the fliers and post cards as detailed and attractive as possible. You never know how far they are going to go.

o Open houses: You can arrange open house sessions and invite your neighbors or the neighborhood for them. Even though they may not need a house, they may be aware of someone who wants to buy a house.

o A blog: You can create a blog where you can put information about your home on. A website containing pictures and details about your home can also go a long way in giving a home buyer a nudge in your direction.

o Banners: A huge colorful banner put up in front of your house announcing that it is for sale and for a certain price can attract home buyers to you faster. It’s really about how innovative you are that determines how fast you sell your home.

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Source by Robert Fenn

How to Sell A House Without a Realtor: FSBO

Not everybody has the luxury of placing their residence on the open market and patiently waiting months to execute the deal. The common process when posting your property on the open market will be:

  • Question/Interview many real estate professionals
  • Authorize a listing contract with a person to list your home for an exact time frame (usually a 6 month listing)
  • Handle a variety of open houses
  • Hold out for offers and then bargain with prospective buyers
  • Set up home inspections, reports and also other disclosures to be filled out
  • Sign contracts for close of escrow.

For anyone who is lucky, the process can take about six to eight weeks. If an offer falls through or maybe your home is just not getting many offers, you could end up waiting six months or even more. Alternatively, instead of all that inconvenience, having to pay five percent or more on commission fees and settlement costs, let us take a review of how to sell a house without a realtor.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

A basic strategy to market your property without a real estate professional is „For Sale by Owner“ or FSBO for short. The common way individuals attempt to market their property in this manner is to set up a few signs in the lawn or perhaps your neighborhood newspapers and then wait around for individuals to trickle in. Instead of this unaggressive, and frequently unsuccessful strategy, let’s take a quick look at various other methods to market your house to have it sold quickly. Everything starts off with better promoting. Instead of doing the minimum amount, you should do a great deal to get the house to stand apart within a crowded real estate market. A few things we’d recommend are:

  • Tell all your nearby neighbors that you are selling your home and inquire if they know of anybody looking. (Extra: You can easily offer referral fees to compel your neighbors)
  • 1st opinion can be everything, so fix up the front side of your property. It is commonly referred to as „curb appeal“. If it doesn’t look good when prospective buyers are driving around it, it’s likely they probably will not want to enter into the home.
  • Getting premium quality photos obtained can make a whole world of difference; hire or simply just take them by yourself, but be sure your property is staged beautifully. Meaning absolutely no wide open toilet seats, no trash, beds made, chairs pushed-in, etc.
  • Get out sandwich board signs along with balloons or some other eye-catchers advertising your property on active intersections in your community.

After a little bit of preparation, a few dollars plus some advertising your FSBO house has a significantly better chance of selling.

Craigslist

Craigslist happens to be a completely crucial resource for everyone who is going to be selling their house not using a realtor. Ensure that you use descriptions of your residence which makes it sound as nice as possible. Discuss the area – are there any parks, local community facilities, schools, places of worship or other facilities close by? What about your specific community/subdivision – are the roads tree-lined, are there any hills, any kind of views? Additionally, make use of those high-quality photos as a way to bring in buyers. A determination to see your residence or not will be made completely on your descriptions coupled with photographs of your residence.

Open Houses

Open houses are a good way to attract prospective buyers (just check with any real estate professional). You should help make potential buyers feel as at home as they possibly can. You should definitely clear any clutter, garbage or toys and games. A few other ideas could be to have the fireplace running when it is cold outside, making a lot of cookies to give the home a pleasurable aroma, setting the dinner table and possibly flip on the game should the local sports team be on. The secret is having people picture themselves living there therefore give consideration to getting rid of any sort of personal knick knacks and family photos. Be sure to promote your open house early and frequently with the use of signs near your neighborhood, Craigslist, sharing with your neighbors and whatever else that will get people in your home. One last suggestion: acquire booties that can go over people’s boots and shoes so they don’t track dirt and grime all the way through your immaculately cleaned property!

Investors

The final, but most certainly not last, spot to look is at investors. If you have to sell your house rapidly, have some problem areas which need to be remedied or maybe you don’t want to take care of any of the above issues give a nearby investor a phone call. These folks are dedicated to acquiring buildings without making use of a realtor.

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Source by Brandon L Foken

Top 5 Best (And Worst) REALTOR Slogans

Let’s get right down to it, shall we:

Best REALTOR Slogans

#5. „My job is your future“– Good. So you understand how big of a deal a home purchase is for me.

#4. „Purveyor of fine homes to fine people“ – Not bad; a little boring, but you have a good command of the language and demonstrate strong commitment to a targeted market.

#3. „Sold in 100 days, or I’ll buy it“– Does this belong in the top 5? Yes – because you stand out, commit, and I know I’ll have a guaranteed sale within 4 months.

#2. „I Never Forget You Have a Choice“– That’s what I like to hear – you’ll always have the right motivations while we’re working together.

#1. „Anyone can sell your home. I can sell it for more.“ – Strong, assertive and straight to the point. Let me put you to the test.

Worst REALTOR Slogans

#5. „A Realtor You Can Trust“– Sounds like something your parole officer told you to say.

#4. „No Fancy Punchlines – Just Great Service“– Does this constitute an oxymoron? (Definitely a moron)

#3. „It’s the Energy!“– What does that even mean? I think your doctor over-prescribes stimulants… Out of curiosity, what’s his name (my friend wants to know…)?

#2. „Everything I Touch Turns to Sold!“ – Ha ha! It’s funny, I’ll give you that. But now that the joke’s over can you introduce me to a real REALTOR?

#1. „Spouses Selling Houses“ – Do you include domestic disputes with showings?

Conclusion

This was a tough article to write because there are at least 20 terrible catch phrases for every good one. Some rules of thumb:

  • Use common sense – No one wants to hear you state the obvious – and no one is interested in self-indulgence. There’s also not much room for humor (there are exceptions of course), so keep it professional.
  • If you say something bold in your slogan, make sure you’re willing to eat, sleep, and breathe by it.
  • If you can’t come up with anything good, don’t worry: Clients won’t notice that you don’t have a catch phrase, but you might lose clients if you have a bad one.

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Source by Samuel Prochazka

How to Be a Short Sale Super Hero

Yes, You Can Be A Hero And Have Your Best Year Ever

„One out of 10 homeowners is not making their mortgage payment.“

„One out of six homeowners has an upside-down mortgage.“

„Seven out of 10 homeowners who lose their home to foreclosure didn’t contact a real estate agent or lender prior to foreclosure.“

These are just some of the statistics I heard at a Short Sale Summit in February in Carlsbad, California.

The guest speaker was Alex Charfen, co-founder of the Distressed Property Institute, who added that, with regards to today’s market, „What’s going on has just begun. If this were a baseball game, it’s inning number two or three.“

And while today’s market is no game, it is, says Charfen, a „once-in-a-lifetime gold rush“ if you become the short sale expert in your area. That doesn’t mean a reluctant „Yeah, OK, I’ll do that short sale,“ or a desperate „I’ll take that short sale – I’ll take anything!“ That doesn’t mean you just add „Short Sale Expert“ to your business cards and advertising.

It does mean you’ve spent serious time acquiring the knowledge to become an expert on helping people who are facing the worst (or close to it) financial crisis of their lives. It means you seek out prospects in a short sale situation. It means that you advertise for those prospects, you embrace those prospects, and you commit to helping them negotiate the best possible outcome.

It means you understand that you’re not doing this just for the commission check. You want to sell that home. You want to help that family avoid foreclosure and financial ruin. You want to help not just your client, but their entire community so it doesn’t turn into a ghost town of empty, neglected houses.

Why would I want to do that, you’re asking? Why not let some other agent deal with those people and their problems? Just give me a nice two-income family, 720+ FICO, steady jobs, big down payment, and I’ll find them the perfect home.

Of course you will. That is, if you can find that dream client.

There just aren’t that many of them out there. If they’re that dreamy, they’re generally already in a house and they’re not moving up or down or anywhere else until the economy is in better shape. It’s that lack of dream clients that’s driving record numbers of real estate agents out of the business every month.

So, who is out there to buy short sale properties? Plenty of first-time buyers, especially people who are renting. Relocating families who have to move. Investors looking to start or expand their portfolio. Short sales are an opportunity to acquire a property at below-market value. Read: A great deal for buyers. There are a lot of properties to choose from, and banks would rather sell the property than go through the time and expense of foreclosure (that is, „They’d rather remove a non-performing asset prior to acquisition,“ as Charfen puts it).

What’s truly a pity – it’s worse than a pity – is the number of people whose homes go into foreclosure when they might have had a successful short sale. There’s a wealth of misinformation out there, and there are many people who actually think, „Short sale or foreclosure – same thing.“ So they miss a mortgage payment, and then another and then another, and their lives go into a high-speed, downward spiral.

It doesn’t have to be that way, says Charfen. Once an agent is armed with training and a support network, „The agent lets people in his database and others know that he’s the short sale expert, he’s available, and he can help the seller sell and the buyer buy. He begins helping people, and his delighted clients enthusiastically refer him to their family members, friends and coworkers in similar situations. He becomes known as the short sale ‚Super Hero‘ who not only handles short sales professionally and effectively, but he saves people from foreclosure.“

That’s not to suggest short sales are easy – they’re not. They require significantly more, and different, paperwork than a traditional real estate sale, and one missing piece can delay the transactions for weeks or months – or kill it altogether. Being a short sale Super Hero requires exceptional negotiating skills as you represent the seller and interact with the buyer’s agent or offers from multiple buyers‘ agents. At various times you may be in contact with attorneys, title people, property tax people, contractors, tax advisors, accountants, and others. And then there’s the lender in the form of the loss mitigator, an overworked, underappreciated person who already has 300 files on his desk and why should he give yours priority? No, short sales are not easy. If they were, everyone would be doing them – right?

There are amazing opportunities right now for real estate agents who

o Are willing to spend the time to become educated about short sales.

o Are committed to putting the systems in place to help manage these complex transactions.

o Want more than a commission check – you want to help people get the best financial results possible and move on with their lives.

Those agents will prosper in this marketplace and make 2009 their best year ever.

Will you?

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Source by Joe Stumpf

Real Estate Agent in Viman Nagar Pune

We are a full-service real estate company offering the most comprehensive real estate services available in the market, and we go the extra mile to assist our clients on a daily basis. We work tirelessly on your behalf to make your next buying or selling experience a pleasant and successful one.

Our services include working with both buyers and sellers in a wide array of markets including residential, commercial, land, and other related property types.

Our company is dedicated to serving your every real estate needs. We are committed to providing a superior level of service in order to ensure a smooth and beneficial outcome to each and every transaction.

Buying

Selling

Renting

Financing

Investing

Our team maintain exceptional knowledge of the local markets, outstanding negotiating skills, and the experience necessary to give you the service you deserve. Professionalism, dedication, and knowledge make us the perfect choice when selecting a realtor.

We provide outstanding exposure to your property through both traditional means of advertising while maintaining a comprehensive approach using today’s modern techniques including web advertising.

We will work with you to find your ideal home by using a wide array of resources and we will make sure all your buying needs are met.

we will utilise our outstanding negotiating skills in order for you to receive the best possible price for your new property. We look forward to serving all your buying needs.

Buying or selling your home will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience when you work with Kargil Properties and their innovative and effective methods for generating successful results quickly and efficiently.

A Commitment to Excellence

Our Firm’s philosophy is simple – we understand and care about people who ask for our real estate service. We make a commitment to your entire family. We find homes for families – homes and neighbourhoods that meet our clients‘ dreams and desires. We sell homes for families at the highest fair market value possible. That’s the reason our clients return again and again.

If you would like to consider us to fulfil your real estate needs, please fill out the following form below. This will help us to understand your specific real estate needs.

Office Address:

Kargil Properties

Lane Number 5, New Airport Rd,

Viman Darshan, Pune,

Maharashtra 411014

Open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Owner And Director Of Kargil Properties:Mr. Sanat Thakur is an Ex- Army person, Motivational Speaker, NLP certified Trainer& Life coach, Successful Entrepreneur.

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Source by Megha Kadam

Is FSBO Safe?

Safety is often raised as an issue in FSBO (For Sale By Owner) real estate sales. Some real estate agents try to scare homeowners into listing with them by claiming that is unsafe. Some homeowners are unsure how to show their property safely.

By taking a few sensible precautions there is no reason why selling your home FSBO should be any less safe than selling through a real estate agent. In fact selling FSBO should be safer. There is nothing that a real estate agent does to vet buyers that FSBO homeowners cannot do for themselves.

What does a real estate agent do?

Real estate agents claim that they vet prospective buyers before they visit your property but what does this mean? Does the real estate agent check whether the buyer has a criminal record for violent crimes or theft? Of course they don’t. At best, the agent may get a name, address and contact number of the buyer before they visit.

Getting a contact number for buyers is easy, just ask when the buyer calls to enquire about viewing your property. Before the buyer visits call them back to confirm that they are still coming. This lets you confirm that the contact number is genuine and also reduces the likelihood of no-shows.

FSBO advert contact details

It is advisable to limit the amount of information that you make available through online FSBO advertising. Some homeowners include their full name, telephone numbers, e-mail address, street address of the property for sale and times when they are at home. Whilst including this information is not enough to forge documents such as a passport it is enough to gain unwanted attention from confidence tricksters.

A potential buyer only needs to know your first name to make polite initial contact. There is no need to include your surname and titles in your FSBO advert.

Choose an online advert that protects your email address. There are programs that trawl the web looking for published email addresses. If you post your email address in your FSBO advert you are asking to receive spam.

The better FSBO sites such as http://www.smartvendor.com.au have online messaging systems that allow buyers and sellers to communicate online while keeping email addresses private

When selling your own home a mobile (cell) phone is invaluable. Not only are homeowners less likely to miss a call from a potential buyer but also a potential thief cannot cold call the property to check whether anybody is home.

Open house inspections

We don’t recommend holding an open house viewing when selling your property. Open house inspections are hard to supervise and many buyers find viewing a property with lots of other buyers unproductive and frustrating.

Real estate agents use open houses as a way of getting leads about other properties that are for sale. Often the real estate agent will stand at the front of a house to make sure buyers receive details of their agency. But once inside the property buyers are allowed to roam around unsupervised.

Potential thieves can use open house inspections to check out security systems and case the properties if left to roam unsupervised. Don’t provide too much detail relating to your home’s security system to a buyer on their initial visit.

Common sense rules

When you are holding viewings of your property follow these common sense rules:

Remove all valuables from the property. Take them off site preferably in a safe deposit box. Don’t just put them in a drawer.

Make sure there are two people in the property at all times. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you. Only one of you need conduct the viewing.

Keep blinds and curtains open during viewings this allows people outside to see in to the property and will potentially deter somebody thinking of getting up to no good.

Showing your property after dark

Allowing buyers to drop in for viewings without a prior appointment is not recommend and especially not if the buyer is requesting an impromptu viewing after dark. Politely explain that you’re happy to show your home during daylight hours, when the buyer can fully appreciate your home’s wonderful features. Offer a flyer or information sheet to take away.

FSBO may not be for you

FSBO is not for everybody. In order to sell your own home you must be prepared to show potential buyers around the property. If you are uncomfortable doing this or feel that your circumstances would make you especially vulnerable it would be wise to consider using a traditional real estate agent.

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Source by Nicholas Butler

Top 4 Things You Need To Know Before Selling A Home

It goes without saying, that selling a house is a major financial transaction that will significantly impact your economic health for many years to come. This is the reason why it’s imperative to ensure you understand what needs to be done to make a quick and lucrative sale. Besides, home buyers are looking for the best, so a home for sale by owner can easily slip through the cracks if it is not in tip-top condition and is not advertised properly. Whether you are a seasoned home selling veteran or a first time home seller, the process of selling a home will inevitably be challenging and complex.

Nonetheless, with a little know-how, you will be able to sell your home in no time. Listed below are four important things you need to know before selling a home.

1. Set a reasonable asking price- Properly pricing a home for sale is one of the most, if not the most, important parts of selling a house. Besides, if you overprice your house it either won’t sell, or it will take much longer to sell than it should. Home buyers are streetwise and know immediately when a home for sale is overpriced. Consecutively, you should always ask for a price that’s realistic which can bring you buyers instead of overcharging and turning off many potential buyers.

2. Make your first impression count- In today’s highly competitive market, first impressions are everything if you want to sell your house fast and for the highest possible price. Furthermore, do your best to make sure your home looks as inviting as possible. Besides, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to tidy up the garden, cut the grass and plant a few flowers.

3. Advertise your property online- With the advent of the Internet, more and more people are searching for houses for sale online. It is therefore vitally important that you advertise your house on as many of the major property web portals as possible. Furthermore, while listing your house online, make sure you provide relevant photos of the interior as well as exterior of your home. Besides, attractive display pictures and detailed description makes your chances better for a higher volume of relevant responses.

4. De-clutter your home- Before showing your house to the buyers, make sure you thoroughly clean your house and de-clutter it of any unused or extra articles. Also, organize your wardrobes and other storage spaces and try to highlight more empty space. Any home buyer would notice available storage spaces in the home, as they are one of the important segments of the home.

While these were some of the things you need to know before selling your house, there are many others, such as clear your dues, depersonalize your space, inspect the house among many others.

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Source by Tushar Deep Singh

How to Prequalify a Buyer When You Sell Your Home "By Owner"

One questions many „for sale by owner“ sellers ask is „how can I determine if a potential buyer can afford to buy my house?“ In the real estate industry this is referred to as „pre-qualifying“ a buyer. You might think this is a complex process but in reality it is actually quite simple and only involves a little math. Before we get to the math there are a few terms you should understand. The first is PITI which is nothing more than an abbreviation for „principal, interest, taxes and insurance. This figure represents the MONTHLY cost of the mortgage payment of principal and interest plus the monthly cost of property taxes and homeowners insurance. The second term is „RATIO“. The ratio is a number that most banks use as an indicator of how much of a buyers monthly GROSS income they could afford to spend on PITI. Still with me? Most banks use a ratio of 28% without considering any other debts (credit cards, car payments etc.). This ratio is sometimes referred to as the „front end ratio“. When you take into consideration other monthly debt, a ratio of 36-40% is considered acceptable. This is referred to as the „back end ratio“.

Now for the formulas:

The front-end ratio is calculated simply by dividing PITI by the gross monthly income. Back end ratio is calculated by dividing PITI+DEBT by the gross monthly income.

Let see the formula in action:

Fred wants to buy your house. Fred earns $50,000.00 per year. We need to know Fred’s gross MONTHLY income so we divide $50,000.00 by 12 and we get $4,166.66. If we know that Fred can safely afford 28% of this figure we multiply $4,166.66 X .28 to get $1,166.66. That’s it! Now we know how much Fred can afford to pay per month for PITI.

At this point we have half of the information we need to determine whether or not Fred can buy our house. Next we need to know just how much the PITI payment is going to be for our house.

We need four pieces of information to determine PITI:

1) Sales Price (Our example is 100,000.00)

From the sales price we subtract the down payment to determine how much Fred needs to borrow. This result brings us to another term you might run across. Loan to Value Ratio or LTV. Eg: Sale price $100,000 and down payment of 5% = LTV ration of 95%. Said another way, the loan is 95% of the value of the property.

2) Mortgage amount (principal + interest).

The mortgage amount is generally the sales price less the down payment. There are three factors in determining how much the PI& interest) portion of the payment will be. You need to know 1) loan amount; 2) interest rate; 3) Term of the loan in years. With these three figures you can find a mortgage payment calculator just about anywhere on the internet to calculate the mortgage payment, but remember you still need to add in the monthly portion of annual property taxes and the monthly portion of hazard insurance (property insurance). For our example, with 5% down Fred would need to borrow $95,000.00. We will use an interest rate of 6% and a term of 30 years.

3) Annual taxes (Our example is $2,400.00)/12=$200.00 per month

Divide the annual taxes by 12 to come up with the monthly portion of the property taxes.

4) Annual hazard insurance (Our example is $600.00)/12=$50.00 per month

Divide the annual hazard insurance by 12 to come up with the monthly portion of the property insurance.

Now, let’s put it all together. A mortgage of $95,000 at 6% for 30 years would produce a monthly PI

Putting it all together

From our calculations above we know that our buyer Fred can afford PITI up to $1,166.66 per month. We know that the PITI needed to purchase our house is $819.57. With this information we now know that Fred DOES qualify to purchase our house!

Of course, there are other requirements to qualify for a loan including a good credit rating and a job with at least two years consecutive employment. More about that is our next issue.

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Source by Bruce Andrews

Home Seller Tips to Get Top Dollar For Your Home

When you sell a home would you prefer to get as much money as possible or less than what is possible? Some may consider this an absurd question because they certainly would want top dollar. However, while they may answer the question in the right manner, the steps they take to secure a high payment are lacking. In other words, they do not put forth the right effort to get top dollar on the home. For those looking to land a great deal, here is a look at five helpful tips to get top dollar on a home sale.

Have the home appraised and inspected. You cannot get top dollar for a home unless you absolutely for sure what it is worth. This may seem like an academic point but there are numerous people that will place a home for sale on the market without actually knowing what its value is. That is most definitely not a wise idea since you run the risk of underselling the home. Why would you want to do that?

Have any and all repairs that would boost the sales price of the home performed. If the roof is in poor condition and this poor condition is bringing down the home value, then fix it! Of course, you would not want to spend more on the repairs than the eventual increase in sales price would deliver. (Unless you selling the home as quickly as possible were your main priority) But, if you effectively budget the repairs you might find your sale price allow you to turn a profit on the repairs.

Work with an established real estate agent that can deliver results. Sometimes, you have to recognize your own limitations and turn over the responsibilities for making the sale over to a qualified professional. Real estate agents know how to get the best price on a home sale and their commission fee aids in giving them a motivation to do so. While some may have reservations about dealing with a realtor, the fact remains they can turn out to be a great help.  

Understand when a change is needed in your approach to selling the home. If you are not getting offers, you will have to make a change that aids in delivering the results you wish. Each individual scenario may require a different individual solution. Some sellers may have to drop their selling price while others may have to switch real estate agents. The bottom line is that you need to find a method for success and employ it.

Don’t be undersold. In many ways, this can be perceived as a sale cliche. It may be but it is also a very true sentiment. You do not want to be talked into selling your home for less than what it is worth. Always stick by your guns when you are absolutely sure a buyer can be found for the price you are asking. This will greatly aid in delivering solid purchase offers in time.

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Source by Joel D McDonald

Buying Real Estate In Nicaragua

The first step to shopping for real estate in Nicaragua is to forget everything you know about the process back home… no matter where home may be.

Let me make one thing clear from the start. There are incredible bargains to be had buying property in Nicaragua. In fact, there is no other market in the Americas where insisting upon a 40% return on investment or better is reasonable. However, there are few similarities between the rules and regulations governing the real estate industries in North America or Europe, and Nicaragua. It’s because of this lack of similarities that foreign investors often get into trouble. There is a preconceived notion on the part of foreigners that the Nicaragua real estate industry is as carefully regulated as it is elsewhere, and it is this incorrect assumption that sets foreign investors up to be cheated. The only universal real estate investing rule that applies as equally in Nicaragua as it does anyway else is Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

Real Estate Brokers

Basically there’s no such thing in Nicaragua as a real estate brokerage that a Canadian, American or European would assume the term represents. There are real estate brokerage offices. Some even have familiar franchise names, but that’s where the similarity ends.

There is no mandated, formal training of real estate sales people, nor are there specific licensing requirements. Anyone can become a „realtor“ by paying for a merchant license or incorporating a Nicaraguan company. I’m not suggesting this means „all“ real estate sales people are incompetent or untrained… many are. In fact, there are a number of retired realtors who relocated to Nicaragua and maintain successful, upstanding businesses. However, there are many more who are not at all competent, and operate on the razor edge between honest business and outright fraud. Caveat emptor again!

There are no district or federal regulatory boards governing the real estate industry in place. Real estate sales are no more regulated than a vehicle sale transacted by a street vendor. Outright criminality is not ignored by authorities, but having the perpetrator jailed is unlikely to result in recovery of any money lost. The revenge should make a fleeced buyer feel better though. Nicaraguan jails exist to punish criminals, not rehabilitate, and they are Hell on Earth. Unfortunately though, most issues that can arise in a real estate transaction are considered civil matters by law enforcement and have to be treated as such. In short, whatever money you think you were cheated out of… consider it lost. Even with a judgement in the plaintiff’s favor, collecting money owed in a judgement rarely happens. So again, caveat emptor.

A serious shortcoming in the Nicaragua real estate market is that there is nothing similar to a Multi Listing Service (MLS). The lack of any form of MLS means there is no central registry of properties for sale, nor any information as to what a property sold for. The result is that it’s very difficult to decide what a house or commercial building in a particular neighbourhood is worth since there are no comparable property transactions to use as a guide. Appraisers base their appraisals on replacement cost mostly, and whatever else they provide is pure guess work. Ironically, banks require appraisals created by licensed Nicaraguan appraisers if mortgage funding is being requested.

There’s no such thing in Nicaragua as a listing similar to what most foreigners would understand the term to mean. Real estate shoppers will hear a realtor say that he or she has a listing, but it’s common to see two or more real estate signs on a single property. Likewise, the same property may appear on multiple real estate company websites and be advertised online by numerous different people. More confusing, the prices advertised may vary for the same house, sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars. Nicaraguans selling their homes rarely lock themselves into an agreement with one party wanting to sell their land, house or commercial building. If you want to sell something, the assumption is the more people trying to sell it the better. And by more people that can be realtors, the owner themselves, their family and friends, a neighbor, or a horse drawn carriage driver. This seems chaotic to a foreigner shopping for a retirement or vacation home, but it makes perfect sense to Nicaraguans. Without an MLS service that allows numerous realtors to show prospective buyers a listed property, letting everyone try to sell a property seems to be the best way to get exposure.

Another misconception foreign purchasers have when buying real estate in Nicaragua is that the seller is paying the real estate agent. This is sometimes the case, but even when it is the buyer may be asked to pay the commission. Yes, this is legal in Nicaragua. In fact, not only could there be a commission paid by the seller and buyer, but the real estate agent may have added an amount to what the seller actually wants in his or her hand. This too is legal. The worst case scenario is that the seller wants US$50,000 for his or her home. The sellers offers anyone selling the home US$1000 or a percentage. The real estate selling agent advertises the home for US$59,900, allowing for negotiating room. A buyer settles on US$55,000 but is told that in Nicaraguan the buyer pays the commission. Not actually the truth, but common enough that people think it’s a rule. The requested commission can be anything up to as much as 10%, or it can be a flat fee. Once all is said and done and the buyer agrees to purchase the property for US$55,000. In a case such as this, the ‚agent‘ will insist on a nonrefundable US$5000 down payment. At closing the seller receives the US$50,000 that he or she wanted and the selling agent pockets the rest.

I know of a purchasers who handed a ‚realtor‘ US$65.000 to purchase a 3 acre farm with a small house on the property. The ‚realtor‘ then went to the owner of the property and paid him US$20,000 to buy the land. It gets worse… the ‚realtor‘ never bothered to make the title transfer until the buyer discovered he was not the owner when he tried to pay long overdue taxes. In the end the property was purchased by a developer for little more than the original US$65,000, but 8 years of appreciation later. In another case Europeans purchase a home and overpaid US$85,000. Of course basing their offer on the European real estate values they knew, it was assumed they were getting a bargain. The ‚realtor‘ pocketed the US$85,000 and a commission he charged the buy as well. Again, perfectly legal in Nicaragua… so caveat emptor.

The way to navigate through what foreigners view as market chaos is to use a knowledgeable real estate consultant to find a property you want, negotiate the price, terms and conditions, conduct the necessary due diligence, validate the title and survey, and so on. This is a fee based service but far less expensive than a percentage sales commission, and far, far less than a costly mistake would be. One such service is Nica Investments, a real estate consultancy that assists foreign investors purchasing real estate or businesses in Nicaragua.

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Source by Len Bowcott