Everyone wants to spend the least for the best property when it comes to purchasing a home. There are things that can be done to get the best deal possible. Making yourself knowledgeable about the current market and planning carefully.
It is important to know if the property you want is one that you can afford. Find out if you are pre-approved to get a mortgage. The paperwork takes time so make sure that it is in order early in the process. This will make it easier for you to make an offer on the house you want when you find it.
Fix It Up
The first home does not have to be ready to move in. A house that needs superficial things done can save you money. Little things like paint can make it more presentable. Any remodeling that you do to a fixer upper will increase the resale value.
Considerations for Buying a Fixer-Upper
The home that no one wants now, but everyone will eventually want is the one you want to buy. Out of date fixtures, worn-out carpet and peeling paint are turnoffs that are easily fixable. There is the potential for making a profit should you decide to resale after some cosmetic work. Avoid buying near a school, close to a landfill or on a busy intersection.
The location must be desirable as well as the home itself. Examine the appearance of the neighbor where you are considering buying to ensure that it is desirable to other buyers. It is important to remember not all homes have already had the listing price adjusted to take in any work that needs to be done.
There are some things are easy to fix including:
- Wallpaper, painting and patching walls
- Laying carpet, laying tile or refinishing the floors
- Replacing light fixtures
- Addition of ceiling fans
- Fix broken windows
- Replace subfloors under leaks
- New doors
- Refinishing or replacing cabinets
- Addition of a deck
- Paint the exterior
- Change light switches and receptacles
- Roofing, the old roof might need tearing off
- Updating electrical, sewer lines and plumbing
- Pouring concrete for various aspects of the home
- Replacing windows
- Remodeling bathrooms or kitchens
- Adding onto the home
- Adding a central air unit or replacing the HVAC system
- Shoring up the foundation
Inspections for Fixer-Uppers
The home should be inspected by a licensed home inspector for all real estate transactions before making a full commitment to the sale. There are several inspections you want to become familiar with before buying a home and consider the cost of them when making an offer on a home that you have to fix up.
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Types of Inspections
- Roof certifications at the expense of the seller if they have not given you evidence of the roof’s age and condition.
- There are sellers that will not pay for a home warranty, but some see it as insurance against getting calls about things going wrong after the closing.
- Inspections for pest. Ask for an inspection for damage for pests common in the area. Make the purchase depend on the approval of an inspection and the seller paying for any related repairs.
- Sewer lines age with the property. It is important to have both septic tanks and sewer lines inspected.
- A report from an engineer will make you aware of geological or natural hazards. Take not of nearby landfills, and other hazards that could be detrimental to the resale like contamination reports.
It is important to take finances, expertise and how much effort you want to put into a home to make it fully inhabitable before buying one.
Average Property Values
Work with your real estate agent to get the average prices of properties in the area and the actual values. Look at pictures of the homes, the materials it was built with and home’s finishes. The size of the lot should also be taken into consideration. Everything should be considered because everything will have an impact on the home’s price. Research is beneficial to price negotiations.
Have the Offer Explained
There will be a reason that you make the offer you do, have your real estate agent explain it. The seller needs a clear understanding of the offer. Adding a personal touch helps to start a dialogue.
Time on Market
Property that has been on the market from six months to a year should cause a caution flag, people like to sell homes quickly. Get your agent to call to find out more about the house. You can still make an offer. You have a chance of getting the home below asking price when it has been on the market that long.
Buy When It’s Colder
Late fall and winter are the best times to buy because sellers are trying to get everything in order before the holidays. There is less competition because most people do not want to move during the winter.
Credit Rating is Important
People who have better credit are favored by mortgage companies. Shopping around will ensure the best packages and rates for your current situation. Credit scores should be 680 or higher. Organize the history of employment and income so that they are in good standing to avoid paying a higher rate. Ensure that you are paying your bills on time and check your credit history for any adverse reports. Negative items on your credit report should be corrected prior to applying for a mortgage.
How well you succeed in the Fort Lauderdale real estate business will be determined by your ability and aptitude to do the right thing at the right time almost all the time. Whether you are about to get a real estate license or you have already begun your career as a Realtor in Fort Lauderdale, you still need an action plan.
You will need a realistic budget and a strong work ethic, especially in the short term. At the same time, you will need a contact management system and a computer, as well as a vehicle you can rely on to ferry clients around town.
Real estate is not a fast, easy-money career as most people think. However, it can be a profitable venture with an exciting lifestyle and a potential for high income. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that you are an independent contractor and that you are the person who determines whether your business fails or grows.
Understand FL Licensing Requirements
If you do not have a real estate license, then know that you will not be doing any business. While you might already be licensed, it is still advisable that you follow up on what your state requires if you do not have one. Prior knowledge will help avoid issues down the line.
Do not assume that the rules that apply to one state will apply to another. For instance, if you are licensed in the state of Florida but are moving, and planning to work in California, follow up on Californian real estate rules and requirements. The requirements of the two states will vary considerably. As such, it is essential that you get in touch with Florida real estate commission to get an idea of where you stand and what you need to do.
Also, remember that some real estate agencies have their requirements that are beyond state requirements. There is also a chance that you will be required to pass through a criminal background check.
The great thing is that most rules are universal. For instance, to become a registered Fort Lauderdale Realtor, you will have to take a couple of classes and pass the licensing exam. Also, you must be a U.S. resident.
Get a Grip on Your Business and Personal Expenses
If you are venturing into Fort Lauderdale real estate, it is essential that you go in thinking of it as a business and not a job. Any successful business budgets and has a handle on its expenses and projected revenues.
You will probably need a minimum of about $2,500 to get started. You will also have to pay for the licensing course and the associated exam fees before you can buy and start to distribute your business cards.
Now add the cost you need put to your personal budget for the next couple of months plus how much you will need to inject into ongoing expenses and needs during the time to the estimated total start-up cost. Before making any moves, it is essential to ensure that you have the money or can lay your hands on the amount when it is needed since chances are you will not be collecting any commissions for some time.
Have a Realistic Income Expectations Plan
For this, consider using a funnel approach. You can estimate what to expect out of the funnel’s bottom be considering the number and type of expected prospects that fall into the top of your funnel. This can also help as it’ll ensure that you avoid failure due to a lack of income – which is the number one reason why most newbie agents fail within the first two years.
Come Up with a Marketing Plan
Having an idea of the types of results each marketing type will most likely reel in will make it easier for you to allocate funds to your marketing expenses more wisely. Doing these calculations is the only way to make informed decisions about where you are going to spend your marketing money.
Do not overlook the relatively inexpensive influence of a great website. Do everything you can to ensure that you have the best created for your business, even if the brokerage already offers you one. While you might need to get brokerage approval, chances are you will get it if your site is a quality one.
Build a Sphere of Influence
The more people there are in your circle of influence, the more referrals and business you will see. Hand out your business cards to everyone you know – friends, family, close associates, neighbors, etc. As someone venturing into real estate, it is also advisable that you join social clubs, forums or anywhere you can meet new people and hand out your cards.
Take Your Time When Choosing a Sponsoring Broker
Weigh your support needs with your potential broker’s ability to provide it, then consider the commission split. When starting, the split should be the last thing you think about.
Another thing to think about is the size of the brokerage. It is advisable that you also inquire about its goals. Contemplate the brokerage’s average number of listings and do not forget to look into the quality of the listings. Is their marketing budget in line with yours? Do they offer top-notch technology and quality training?
You will also want to determine whether the company is affiliated with NAR (the National Association of Realtors.) This is essential if you are thinking of joining the Association and add the ‘realtor’ title to your name.
And do not forget about their location. How far is the agency from your home? If they are a distance away from where you live, you will be wasting precious hours every day commuting.
Find a Mentor
It is a dog eat dog world out there, and you should expect as much. It can be beneficial to know that there is someone by your side, giving you advice earned from years of experience, comfortingly nodding as you vent, or to suggest options. As someone venturing into the real estate world, you will need a mentor. And this, to some extent, goes hand in hand with picking a brokerage. When it comes to it, your best option is finding an in-house mentor.
Remember that not every experienced Fort Lauderdale real estate agent is willing to take up this role. While it does not have to be more like an official title, it often is. When looking for a mentor, it can be useful to be persistent. However, always approach potential mentors bearing gifts as it could help you win some favor with the person you are considering.
Kill Time-Wasting Habits
Do not let procrastination and bad habits keep you from behaviors that you need to follow through with your plans. Set a system in place that will help accomplish your tasks in order of priority and importance. Set aside time every day to check your email and other important messages.
Find a Good Contact System and Make Use of It Immediately
Setting up MS Outlook on your computer is one of the best ways to start managing your contacts. Alternatively, you could use Gmail and a variety of other Google tools. The great thing about this option is that Gmail is free. Settlement Room is another reliable management system; however, you might have to pinch a few pennies when starting, and it can be a bit costly.
Never stray away from your plan; well, unless it is not working despite implementing it well. In such an instance, consider changing the plan and stick to the new one.
Personality is key. However, it is worth noting that the real estate business is all about numbers. If you are continually working on building your prospects and contact, your business will grow.
Do not spend a lot of time searching for the ‘magic bullet.’ It is all about having a plan, sticking to it, and working very hard.
In most instances, your money will be better spent on promoting yourself than buying leads from a third-party leads seller.
While some people think that their name is their business, consider giving your business a name that is separate from yours. Well, unless you never want to sell or retire it. When you start building a career in Fort Lauderdale real estate, try and do it separate from the brokerage you started with.
It Is Possible
There is not a limit to how big a business you can establish. You could start your own brokerage or joining a team and growing before venturing out on your own. All in all, the real estate business can be a very lucrative venture. However, it is worth noting that a lot of new agents never make it past the initial stage.