March 2015

6 Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

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With Spring comes a lot of great things, warmer weather and outdoor activities to name a few. And, of course, the always-dreaded Spring-cleaning craze.

Of course, Spring-cleaning is a vital part of any healthy and orderly home. But sometimes, knowing where to begin is so overwhelming it can be difficult to find the motivation to get started.

Today, we’re going to discuss 6 tips to streamline and simplify your Spring-cleaning to ensure that when it comes down to it, you can spend more time outside and less time organizing and scrubbing your home.

  1. Organize Your Closets

Closet organization should be one of the first areas you tackle during Spring-cleaning. Rid yourself of unused clothes and accessories and organize the rest according to use or another system that works for you to streamline your daily routine as well.

  1. Clean the Furniture

Winter means messy stains on rugs and furniture alike. To clean your furniture, place a plastic bag or liner between the cushion and fabric to protect the cushion from the stain. Then, use cold water to blot the stain as best you can or use a spot cleaner to remove the stain more quickly.

  1. Clean Your Carpets

Typically, you’ll only have to clean your carpets twice a year, especially in high-traffic areas. However, there are preventative measures you can take to prevent visible dirt and odors on your carpet.

Removing shoes and wearing socks instead of bare feet prevents oils on your feet from attracting dirt on the carpet. And, when you use a top-load vacuum, you can pull the dirt inward and remove pollutants that would otherwise remain on your carpets.

  1. Clean Tiles Throughout Your Home

Whether in your bathroom or in the kitchen, cleaning tiles should always been done with a cleaner with a neutral pH. Or, you can simply mix baking soda and water to clean grout regularly and prevent deep, permanent staining.

  1. Clean Area Rugs

Unlike carpeting, area rugs must only be cleaned every four or five years, or possibly even every 10 years if located in an area of your home that isn’t frequented often. You can treat stains at home with club soda but if you have deep, set-in stains, it’s best to call in an expert.

  1. Clean the Rest

You already know that cleaning is vital, but deep cleaning is even more important. Clean everything from light bulbs to windows and even your silver, making sure that everything is spic and span! Then, kick back and enjoy the warm weather to come!

Spring-Cleaning Provides Regular, Vital Maintenance to Your Home

Spring-cleaning isn’t’ just for your family and your health, it’s for vital maintenance that will keep your home looking great for years to come! And, come time to sell your home, you’ll be glad you took such great care of it come every Spring!

Are you ready to sell the home you’ve loved and cleaned every year? Contact us today to get started!

What is EMS Express?

Our newest project coordinator, Kyle Yancik explains our newest offering:

United agents, are you looking for an easy and timely marketing service for your next listing? If you are, our new marketing service EMS Express is right for you. EMS Express is a low-cost, semi-automated option for simple and timely marketing services. EMS Express is for United Real Estate and United Country agents that already know what marketing materials they want to use for their project and don’t need a full marketing campaign. EMS Express is easy for you to use with template marketing materials ranging from postcards and brochures to media buying.

Meet the EMS team.

Meet the EMS team.

Developing marketing materials is streamlined – giving you better results, in a shorter amount of time. You receive professional looking marketing materials from
our in-house marketing firm, ultimately helping your client and you buy and sell properties faster. Take advantage of EMS Express today for your next project.
To see all the marketing materials EMS Express covers and to start your next marketing project visit http://www.enhancedmarketing.net/shop/.

Meanwhile, if you have needs that fall outside of EMS Express our full-service marketing campaigns encompass a variety of online and offline marketing media. Our dedicated team of marketers will customize a campaign to meet you and your clients’ needs.

To start your marketing project, complete our creative brief at enhancedmarketing.net/creativebrief/ and start working with your dedicated Project Manager today.  If you’re a United agent, it’s – Lauren Aleshire, if you’re with another sector of our company, we’ll assign you another project manager to help you through the process. From $30,000 full marketing campaigns to $200 postcards – we can handle us. Give us a call and we’ll help you achieve your marketing goals.

Translating CaptURE Success Into Personal Success in Your Real Estate Business

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All too often, it can be difficult to translate ongoing training into success in your business. Let’s face it: we attend a convention, network a little, and return to business as usual the following week.

Luckily, the United Real Estate CaptURE Success Convention breaks this archaic mold.

Known for its renowned speakers, extensive networking and training opportunities, and exceptional value for your personal real estate business, the CaptURE Success Convention offers you a comprehensive resource quickly approaching March 19-21 in Dallas, Texas. And if you want to boost your business in more ways than one, attendance is required.

Speakers in a Variety of Disciplines Offering Diverse Expertise

With speakers from within United Real Estate and outside of the company, this year’s speakers offer a diverse range of expertise in real estate coaching, speaking, social media, online marketing, and personal development.

As such, attending agents can expect to learn the information necessary to optimize their online presence, improve their interpersonal skills, and offer their business a unique boost upon returning home after the convention.

Helping You Adapt to a Changing Real Estate Environment

Like all fields, the real estate industry is constantly evolving with new technologies, tools, and resources you can use to succeed in your business. And, for simple access to everything you need to know, CaptURE Success is where you want to be.

Networking Never Before Possible

With attending agents from all over the country, the United Real Estate Convention is also a simple way to connect and network with agents you otherwise wouldn’t be able to meet.

Of course, networking is vital to success, particularly in today’s competitive environment. And as such, the connectivity offered by the Convention is simply another reason why the event draws increasing numbers of attendees on an annual basis.

Take Advantage of Everything the CaptURE Success Convention Has to Offer

Packed with keynote presentations, education breakout sessions, the expo, sponsor and exhibitor happy hour, awards recognition reception, banquet, and celebration and more, there is plenty to do the entire weekend!

Don’t worry, you still have time to register if you haven’t yet! Simply click here and enter your information for speakers, events, and networking that can take your business to the next level.

Don’t Miss These Three Speakers at the United Real Estate Convention

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If you’ve attended one United Real Estate’s Conventions, you might feel as if you’ve attended them all. But with speakers and topics changing every year, attending is a must for dedicated real estate agents around the country.

This year’s CaptURE Success Convention is no different and promises attendees two full days of information-packed sessions and resources that translate into success when you return home.

So, what are some of the highlighted speakers and presentations this year? Below, you’ll find just a small sampling of what you can look forward to when you join us in Dallas, Texas March 19-21, 2015.

Mike Merrill, Social Media Expert

As an Enterprise Account Executive and Digital Strategist at Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Mike Merrill is deeply involved in the world’s leading digital platform for marketers. With extensive expertise in both social media and marketing, Mike is an in-demand resource to help professionals translate their business into the social media realm.

Mike’s presentation, “Building a Local Personal Brand,” is set to take place from 1:30 to 2:20 p.m. on Friday March, 20. By attending, you can learn not only about personal branding, but how to expand your network and leverage social media to promote and differentiate both yourself and your business.

Also be sure to check out Mike’s presentation on “Taking Social media to the Next Level” also on March 20 from 2:30 to 3:20 p.m. where you can learn which content and platforms will work best in terms of social media for your business.

Joeann Fossland, MCC, e-Pro, GRI, MRE, SRS, Coach and Instructor

Known for her enthusiasm and energy, Joeann Fossland is a personal coach at Advantage Solutions Group determined to ignite passion within each member of her audience. Involved in real estate since 1983, Joann has been an award winning agent, instructor for GRI and PMN programs, and has even served as Regional Sales Manager and Assistant Publisher for a top homes magazine.

Her presentation, “Niches Mean Riches,” is set to take place on Friday March 20 from 2:3-3:20 p.m. and will teach agents how to identify their target niches based on their strengths and area. This allows you to target your approach to a specific clientele while developing a marketing strategy designed to give these clients what they want.

Pat Zaby, CRS, CRB, CCIM, National Speaker and Instructor

For over 25 years, Pat Zaby has been speaking at national, state, and franchise conventions sharing his knowledge of speaking, teaching, and writing in the real estate industry. With a deep knowledge of residential and commercial real estate as well as sales and management, Pat is a comprehensive resource for agents at this year’s convention.

His event, “Run the Numbers…Seal the Deal!” is set on March 21 from 2:00-2:50 p.m. It is designed to teach agents how to take advantage of new tools that convert buyers and convince them why they should purchase their dream home now and why the information is in favor of this decision.

Register for the Event Today to Access These Speakers and More

With renowned speakers and cutting-edge information, there’s no place better to be come March 19-21 than at the CaptURE Success Convention.

Register today to reserve your spot and unlock actionable information that will translate to success in your real estate career.

10 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

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When it comes to buying and selling homes, part of walking the walk is talking the talk. After all, it will be difficult to search for and land your dream home or sell your current home if you aren’t quite sure what all the terms mean.

Below, we’re going to detail 10 of the most important real estate terms you’ll encounter as you look to buy or sell your home. And by learning them all, you’ll have the tools you’ll need to go through either process with confidence.

  1. Buyer’s Agent vs. Listing Agent

In any home-related deal, there are two agents: the buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer, and the listing agent, who represents the seller. Both will get a percentage of the final sale price of the home as their commission, meaning that you don’t pay your realtor regardless of whether you’re buying or selling.

  1. Fixed Rate vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Many individuals, including you, might need a mortgage to purchase a home. Fixed rate mortgages have a fixed interest rate for the entire loan (which is generally about 30 years) whereas adjustable rate mortgages have variable rates (which are generally 5, 7, or 10 years).

  1. Pre-Approval Letter

If a buyer needs a mortgage, it’s important to seek pre-approval from the bank to determine how much they’ll lend. This will determine which properties buyers can consider and show sellers whether or not a buyer is qualified.

  1. Listings

Homes that are on the market are commonly known as “listings.” Listings will provide vital information about a property such as the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and other details.

  1. Inspections

After making an offer, it’s essential that a buyer gets an inspection on the home they’re interested in. An inspector will evaluate potential issues like plumbing, electric, heating, appliances, the foundation, and more.

  1. Appraisal

Lenders require property appraisals to determine the home’s value. Typically, appraisals are based on the sale prices of homes that have sold in the area as well as the current condition of the property.

  1. Contingencies

Contingencies are included in offers on a home and specify conditions that must be met in order for the deal to get through. Of course, there are other contingencies as well, including:

  • Financing Contingency – Demonstrates a buyer’s loan approval.
  • Inspection Contingency – Demonstrates inspection results.
  • Appraisal Contingency – Demonstrates the appraised value in comparison to what you’re willing to pay.
  1. Offers

Offers are often made by agents or attorneys to show sellers the potential offers being made by buyers on a property. It’s common for sellers to counter an offer as well.

  1. Closing Costs

There are several fees that come with purchasing a home, commonly known as closing costs. Often, closing costs total 2 to 5% of the purchase price of the home (not including a down payment).

  1. Title Insurance

Once a seller has accepted an offer, buyers should receive a home title report that shows whether or not the seller has rights to the title and there are no liens on a home.

Looking for Assistance in Buying or Selling Your Home?

An agent is an indispensable resource when it comes to buying and selling homes.

And, when you’re looking for more than just terms to negotiate on your dream home or obtain an offer on your current home, United Real Estate can help. Contact us today to get started!

First Time Home Buyer FAQs

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Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions most people will make in their lifetime.  Naturally, this means that potential homebuyers are going to have a lot of questions.

This list of FAQs will help prepare you for answering your customers’ most important queries.

Q: What are the most important things to consider when looking at the condition of a home?
A: There are several things to look at when determining whether or not to purchase a home. One is the age of the roof. A roof usually lasts between 15-50 years depending on its materials. Another area to look at is whether the foundation is raised or slab. Newer homes tend to have slab foundations, but a raised foundation makes it easier, and usually cheaper, to access underneath the home to address electrical and plumbing issues.

Q: Do I need an attorney to be involved?
A: It depends on the state. Some states require attorneys to draft a real estate transaction contract or purchase agreement, while others use an escrow company instead. Check with a real estate agent to find out the laws in a specific state.

Q: How do I decide what to offer the seller?
A: How much the seller paid for the home, how much the seller still owes on the home, and how long the home has been on the market are all things to consider when coming up with an offer. In addition to questions about the house, it is important that the buyer asks themselves how much they can feasibly afford and how valuable the house is to them when considering an amount to offer.

Q: Do I need to get a home inspection?
A: While it is typically an additional expense for the buyer, a home inspection will cover the entire house- inside and out- and can prevent costly surprises down the road. At the end of the inspection, a signed report of the findings will be given to the buyer. No other party is entitled to see the report unless the buyer allows them to.

Q: What is a house closing?
A: This refers to the final transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. This transaction usually takes place in the office of someone who is licensed in initiating the transaction and purchase agreement such as a real estate lawyer or title officer. The date for closing is set during the negotiation phase and usually takes places several weeks after the buyer’s offer is officially accepted by the seller. There are several fees involved in closing, which can be paid either by the buyer or the seller- depending what they established during negotiation.

Q: Do I need title insurance?
A: Title insurance covers you in case the title search missed something that would make the purchase of the home invalid. While a title search is conducted during the home buying process, there can be things that aren’t caught until after the buyer has moved in, meaning they could potentially lose their house. If this were to happen, the buyer is likely to receive damages if they purchased title insurance at closing. Two title insurance policies are needed- one for the buyer and one for the lender.

This post is provided by our mortgage partner, Supreme Lending, using the following sources: 

http://realestate.findlaw.com/buying-a-home/questions-to-ask-when-buying-a-home.html
http://www.homeclosing101.org/costs.cfm
http://www.zillow.com/home-buying-guide/what-is-title-insurance/