March 2014

Thinking of Listing Your House? Selling in the Spring 2014

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Spring tends to be the busiest time of year for sellers. If you’re debating whether or not to put your home on the market, there are some factors to consider.

Here are a few reasons for selling in spring 2014:

  • Beating the competition. Selling earlier in the year means you should have an easier time selling and getting more money for your home.
  • Upsizing or downsizing. Save yourself unnecessary stress by finding the right size home, whether you need a bigger family home or a smaller one.
  • Avoiding maintenance issues. If you’re in an older home, you can expect to shell out considerable money for repairs. If you can’t afford this, consider moving to a newer home.

These are a few reasons for staying put:

  • Boosting your home’s value. If you have enough for repairs, consider fixing up your home to increase its value.
  • Being in a good spot. If you’re happy with where your home is, you might want to think twice about selling now.
  • Getting higher equity. You’re better off not selling if your home’s equity will be rising.

Leaning toward selling your homeCall United Real Estate for help, and follow our Facebook page.

Insuring Your First Home? Three Important Things to Consider

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When calculating the cost of your first home, don’t forget to factor in home insurance. This insurance, which is required in order to purchase a home, provides financial coverage in case your home is damaged.

When insuring your first home, keep these tips in mind:

  • Get full coverage. Don’t attempt to save money now by skimping on coverage. Your insurance should be enough to cover the cost of having to rebuild your home. Ideally, you should get extended replacement coverage and an inflation guarantee.
  • Get liability insurance. This insurance pays for legal and medical costs that you might be faced with if someone is injured on your property. It also covers you in case someone in your family causes damage to your neighbor’s property.
  • Cover your valuables. These won’t be included on your homeowners insurance policy, so you’ll be out of luck if they’re damaged or stolen. Purchase additional coverage to make sure that you’ll have enough money to replace jewelry, antiques and other valuables in your home.

Need professional help finding and buying your first homeVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and follow us on Facebook.

Backyard Appeal: Considering the 360-Degree Look of Your Home

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Making sure your home has curb appeal is essential when selling it, but what about the rest of your home’s exterior? While you’re getting your home ready for the market, don’t forget about backyard appeal.

The way the sides and back of your home and property look are just as important as the way the front looks. Having an impressive front yard and entry way won’t go far if buyers are put off by the rest of your property’s appearance. In addition to keeping your backyard mowed and making sure all sides of your home’s exterior are in top condition, you can also make the following improvements:

  • Choose one type of siding: Instead of having brick or stone on the lower part of your home or just on the front, use it all the way up and on all sides.
  • Add windows: Have a couple more windows installed on the sides of your home, if possible, or have a row of windows or a large picture window installed on the back.
  • Build a covered porch: This extra porch will give your home’s backyard more appeal.

Need more help selling your homeContact United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

United Real Estate CEO Among ‘Most Powerful in Real Estate’

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Having a strong leader is a crucial part of any company’s success. Our residential real estate company has experienced unprecedented growth over the last few years, thanks to having that kind of leadership.

United Real Estate CEO Dan Duffy recently joined the list of 2013’s most powerful people in real estate. This list, known as the Swanepoel Power 200, analyzes members of the residential real estate industry for qualities such as personal influence, financial resources and tenure. It also looks at the company’s reputation and growth potential. Dan Duffy’s ability to acquire capital in order to help grow and expand United Real Estate’s business model contributed to his selection for this list. His vision and business model for the company have also been featured in Swanepoel Trends Report for 2014. Dan’s commitment to creating an innovative residential real estate model has resulted in a successful company that offers 100 percent commission, a national referral network for agents and protected territories for each franchise. His willingness to make changes to this model as needed also ensures that our company will enjoy continued success.

Interested in learning more about joining our team? Visit United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

URE Triples Transactions in 2013

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Being part of a fast-growing and highly successful real estate franchise can make a huge impact on your career.

In 2013, we proved just how successful we can be by tripling our total closed transactions. How did we accomplish this? We did so by expanding our franchise into 12 exclusive-area locations that helped us end the year at an amazing 187 percent above our expected franchise revenue. As United Real Estate President Peter Giese explains, part of this success was due to the fact that we were able to expand into larger metro areas and build a reputation as a solid franchise opportunity for real estate professionals. Giese also mentions that 2014 will see the company building partnerships with high quality business partners, which will make additional opportunities available to brokers and agents. Many agents have joined United Real Estate thanks to our 100 percent commission business model, and they’ve helped push us well above our revenue goals.

Interested in learning more about joining our franchise? Visit United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

Five Ways to Bring Spring into Your Home

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With spring right around the corner, it’s a great time to freshen up your home, especially if you’re putting it up for sale. From giving your home some extra color to doing a thorough cleaning, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season.

These easy home upgrades will have your house ready for the warmer weather and potential buyers:

  • Get rid of clutter: Go through one area of your home at a time, and cut down on clutter.  Toss out or sell things you don’t want anymore.
  • Use slipcovers: Give your living room a lighter look and feel by placing white or light-colored slipcovers on your furniture.
  • Buy bright accents: Buy a few brightly colored throw pillows to give your living room and bedroom some extra color.
  • Change your wallpaper: Cover an accent wall with wallpaper that has an eye-catching pattern or bright color. This adds visual interest without being overwhelming.
  • Update your table: Choose napkins, placemats and other table linens with a colorful spring pattern to give your dining room or kitchen table a fresh look.

Getting ready to sell your home? Contact United Real Estate, and visit us on Facebook for more selling tips.

How to Plan for Your 2014 Real Estate Goals

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Is buying a house on your list of real estate goals this year? If so, you’re probably aware that it takes a lot of planning to find the right home and be able to purchase it.

Keep the following Houston real estate tips in mind when searching for a home this year:

  • Clean up your credit: Having a solid credit history is essential in order to be approved for a mortgage. Fix up your credit by paying off credit card debt or at least keeping low balances on your cards and always making payments on time.
  • Be realistic: Don’t look for homes that you can’t afford. Your search should only include properties that are within your price range. Otherwise, you could get in over your head financially.
  • Think long-term: Only buy a house if you plan on living in it for a few years or more. Selling a home sooner means that you could actually lose money.
  • Hire a realtor: Find a realtor who can help you find the best homes to look at and walk you through the buying process.

Other questions? Feel free to contact us and one of our agents can give you advice for the future.

Sure Sale: Highest ROI Projects for Your Home

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Giving your home some upgrades is a necessary part of making sure it’s ready for the market. When deciding which projects to do, you should focus on which ones will give you a high return on investment (ROI). This will help you recoup a significant amount of the cost of each project.

These are a couple of the highest ROI projects for your home:

  • Getting a new front door. Replacing your current entry door and jams with one that’s made of 20-gauge steel is a moderately priced project with a very high ROI. You’ll spend a little over $1,000, but you’ll recoup about 96 percent of that cost.
  • Getting new siding. This will cost you more upfront, but you’ll get a lot of the money back. Replacing your siding with fiber-cement siding that’s factory primed and painted will cost more than $13,000, but you’ll get about 87 percent of the cost back.

What should you avoid? The project with the lowest ROI is home office remodeling. This costs about $28,000, and you’ll only get about 48 percent of that back.

Ready to start the selling process? Contact United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

The Future is Now: Join United Real Estate for Our National Convention, March 20-22, 2014

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United Real Estate has enjoyed an outstanding year and experienced tremendous growth. To help our company grow even more, we’ve started increasing our training offerings to support our new agents.

We’re pleased to announce that our inaugural convention will take place from March 20 – 22 at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre. This convention will be filled with special events, including informative talks by keynote speakers on the hottest real estate topics. We’ll also be holding educational breakout sessions to help our agents and brokers expand their knowledge and boost sales this year. Some of the topics we’ll be covering include using social media effectively, reaching new markets, working with foreclosures and short sales and boosting leads and sales. The convention kicks off with a charity golf tournament, which will be followed by a cocktail reception for managers and franchise owners. The convention will wrap up on Saturday afternoon after several educational breakout sessions. If you’d like to join us, you can register online or download the form and send or fax it in. We look forward to seeing you!

Want more info on the benefits of joining our real estate company? Visit United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.

Maintain Your Home: Start Spring Cleaning Now

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Making plans to put your home up for sale this spring or summer? Then it’s time to start working on making it as clean as possible for potential buyers.

Here are some easy cleaning tips and home upgrades you can do to get your home ready:

  • Bathrooms: Vacuum and wipe down the ceiling and walls to get rid of grime. Wipe down the mirrors and the insides of windows. Use a strong cleaner on the toilet, shower walls, tub, sink and floor, then it soak for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Bedrooms: Wipe down the walls and ceilings, then dust off the tops of dressers and other surfaces. Remove the covers from beds, and open the windows for a few hours to air the rooms out. Clean the windows, steam clean the carpets and wash all linens.
  • Kitchen: Give the fridge and freezer a thorough cleaning, then remove grease from all cooking appliances. Wipe down the cabinets and counters, then mop the floor.
  • Other rooms: Wipe down all walls and ceilings. Clean your upholstery, dust electronics and clean the windows.

Need more tips on selling your home? Visit United Real Estate, and follow us on Facebook.