November 2014

Listing Your Home in the Winter

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    Winter home

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With less foot-traffic, weather and the holidays as barriers, many sellers think that the winter months aren’t ideal for selling a home. But if you’re looking to relocate – whether across the country or across town – don’t despair. Many buyers have been turned off by the competitive busy season. Younger buyers won’t be concerned about school districts or having their children change schools during the school year. The traditional buying seasons have been turned upside down in recent years, as markets recover and grow at different paces. Still thinking you need to wait before listing your home? Think again.

Motivated Buyers
Buyers are often highly motivated and willing to pay more to get their desired home. There are less homes on the market and sometimes job transfers or ailing family members can’t wait until the spring.

Less Competition
It’s likely that if you list your house in the fall or winter, you won’t experience the same completion you might find in May or June.  Without 15 similar houses on the market, homebuyers might not look at your home with the critical eye they would in summer months.

House Performance
The winter months give your home a chance to show off its durability. How has it withstood during freezing temperatures, snowfalls and ice? If it shows as cozy and warm, it will be easy for potential buyers to picture themselves living there.

This doesn’t mean that your process will be seamless; there might be snow to shovel and holiday interferences. But don’t despair, it’s likely that you can sell or find your dream home any time of the year.

United Real Estate Continues to Expand

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The team at United is proud to announce that we’ve got FIVE new offices joining the team. As we expand our franchise solution, we continue to bring new markets into our network. Dedicated to developing top-performing agents and providing them with the tools they need to grow their careers is what we do best.

The following markets will soon be joining our team:

United Real Estate – Fort Worth
Assal Al-Drei, a current agent with United Real Estate – Dallas, has purchased the rights to expand United Real Estate into Tarrant County Texas. Brenda Thompson, who opened the first United Real Estate office in Dallas, July 2011, will be the operating manager and broker of record for the new office.

United Real Estate – North Jersey
Founder of the successful Manhattan real estate firm, Elegran, Jeff Cappon has partnered with Franklin First Financial, to launch United Real Estate in Bergen, Passaic and Morris County, NJ. Jeff Bailey, co-owner of United Real Estate – North Jersey, will be the operating manager.

United Real Estate – Pacific
Leading an investment group with interests in community banking, commercial real estate development and management, Michael You will be serving as acting operating manager. Headquartered in Pomona California, the newly formed brokerage will be opening multiple offices in key areas of Orange and Los Angeles Counties, California.

United Real Estate – Premier
Steven Batitto, formerly a top-producing agent for Century 21, has purchased the rights to United Real Estate for the Virginia counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Carolina and Orange. With an in-depth knowledge of the local market, real estate success as a broker and a passion for helping agents, Batitto will serve as the operating manager and broker of record.

United Real Estate – Raleigh
A serial entrepreneur with successful businesses in insurance, financial planning, real estate education and as a real estate broker, Tristan Pan has purchased the rights to United Real Estate in Wake County, NC. Travis Everette, a highly regarded real estate broker in Raleigh, will be the operating manager and broker of record for the new office.

United Real Estate – Select Properties
Owning and operating successful national marketing firms and property/land management firms, investment group Gabriel Select Properties, LLC, has purchased the rights to open multiple United Real Estate offices in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties, MO.

Stay tuned for more information on our new offices. Or to learn more about our franchise solution, visit  www.UnitedRealEstateFranchise.com.

 

Tips for Buying a Foreclosed Home

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    foreclosures

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If you’re looking to find a great deal on a home (and who isn’t?), you’ve probably considered buying a foreclosure, as a primary residence or as an investment property. While you might get a good price, purchasing a foreclosure home doesn’t come without some extra work.

Here’s a few hints to get you started:

  1. Foreclosed homes are also called real estate owned (REO) property. An REO property is owned by a bank or lender as a result of the previous owner defaulting on the loan. Other names for these properties would be a foreclosure property or a bank-owned property.
  1. Finding a real estate agent who works directly with banks that own foreclosed homes will provide you the best access to area houses. A site like ForeclosuresUS.com will help home buyers narrow down their search. Simple searches for ‘REO properties’ or ‘foreclosures’ can also help refine the search.
  1. Distressed properties are for sale during many stages of the foreclosure process. You might find homes in any of these stages.
    1. Pre-foreclosure – the homeowner still has control of the property
    2. Auction sale – you may be bidding against others, including investors
    3. Real estate-owned (REO) – a lender-owned property
    4. Government-owned – potentially a slower process with more paperwork
  1. Since the bank has not maintained the home, there will not likely be any record of repairs or maintenance that would assess the true property condition. The home comes with little room for negotiations and improvements. Similar to buying something ‘as-is’ the buyer will be responsible for repairs and updates.

Ultimately, the goal of combing through foreclosure listings is not to find a house – it’s to find an agent. Banks usually have a few agents who handle their foreclosure properties and these agents will have the insight into newly available homes. The economy will determine how many bank-owned homes you’ll find in your area. During a recession, as many as one-third of homes are sold in foreclosure but in a growing economy you might not find anything worth investing in.

Need help combing through foreclosures in your area? Contact us and one of our real estate agents can help you refine your search.

Keynote Speaker Highlight: Michelle Gielan

We’re proud to announce that a nationally recognized speaker will be joining us at the 2015 National Convention – Michelle Gielan.

Founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, Michelle  is an expert on the science of positive communication and how to use it to fuel success. She works with Fortune 500 companies and schools to raise employee engagement, productivity and happiness at work. Michelle is a Partner at GoodThink, a positive psychology consulting firm,

aMichelleGielanHeadshotBlue_300dpind she holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michelle is an Executive Producer of “The Happiness Advantage” Special on PBS. She formerly served as the anchor of two national newscasts at CBS News, as well as a correspondent for “The Early Show.” In 2009, Michelle produced “Happy Week”, a series focusing on fostering happiness in the midst of the recession. In 2011, she appeared in her own weekly health and wellness segment, “Manic Monday” on FOX News Chicago.

Michelle graduated cum laude in Computer Engineering. Her research and advice have received attention from Forbes, USA Today, CNN, FOX and NPR.

We can’t wait to hear what Michelle has to say. Stay tuned for additional announcements on speakers for the United convention. Or visit www.UREConvention.com for more information.