Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sell your house fast - Investor

Selling your house fast as an investor is done really in two ways: 1) Price or 2) Terms. Everything else I tell you here will be based on these two ideas and in this market you may need both to sell really fast.

Of course marketing is the key. Here is a list of the following things we do to attract a buyer:
1. Sign in yard (obviously, let the neighbors know you are selling)
2. Fliers to 500 houses in the neighborhood (stats say your buy will live in same neighborhood)
3. List on (hey it's free)
4. Have a buy/sell website (a must if you are going to stay in business)
5. Newspaper AD
6. Keep all contacts from other ads to create a buyer's list for future properties

You must stand out from the crowd with your price or terms to sell a property. You have to get a buyer, who has a lot of choices, to look at your property to buy it. We try to sell at 85 - 90% of market value to get a retail buyer when we need to sell quickly and need all our money. If we can wait we can sell at 100% of market with terms to help the buyer buy the house. Our "Owner financing with 5% down and no bank qualify" program is a very popular. We have a lot of people who can not qualify for a bank loan but can make the payment. We change this formula a little bit depending on the shape of the house. The prettier the house the more you can get for it. So we balance how much we spend on the rehab of the property against the price the property will bring.

By far the best way to sell a house in today's environment is to be flexible in the price and terms. That will leave you the most options you can provide to the buyer. Good Luck.

See Ya,

Monday, November 24, 2008

What is the best way to sell my house? Homeowner

Sorry, I was so wrapped up in our latest closing that I totally forgot about finishing my posts from Thursday. The closing occurred on Friday as planned and we have another property for sale ( But now I will continue my post from Thursday (11/20/08).

What is the best way to sell house from the homeowners perspective. If you are a homeowner and need to sell your house the very best way is through a Realtor. They have the access to buyers and the marketing muscle to get it sold. Now just like in all things, there are good Realtors and bad. You need to do research and talk to them about how they are going to sell your house. Talk to people you know who have sold a house. Ask them how long it took? What was the listing price and the sale price? What marketing did the Realtor do? The days of sticking a sign in the yard and selling the house in a few days are over. We are back to a more normal process that take 60 to 90 days. So interview your prospective Realtor. Get their references and talk to other people they have worked with. Ask them what marketing they are going to use; and what price they would list the property. Ask for the data (homes sales) that backs up that listing price. Go look at the compable properties that have sold in the last 60 days. See how these properties compare to your property. The price the Realtor suggests will be lower than you have in mind. The price will be lower because they have up to date information on what has sold. Research before you decide to go it alone.

Homeowners decide to sell their home on their own for a number of reasons but the by far the largest pick that route because they want to save on the commission (4 - 6%). Now this can be a lot of money but a good Realtor will earn every penny by bringing you qualified buyers. But just because you decide to sell your house yourself does not mean you will not spend any money on Marketing. You need to let people know you are selling your house. A sign in front is just the start. I would also make up fliers that you paper your neighborhood letting everyone know you are going to sell your house and schedule an open house. You can also publish it on for your area. Give a detailed description and upload a picture of the house. Check back with every other day and repost your property so it stays on top. You could also pay a flat fee for a MLS listing. There are a number of services that will for about $300 post your property on the MLS. You will agree to pay 3% to the realtor who brings a buyer. Another service that you might try is or or any other of a dozen services. These are companies that have packaged sells kits that will get you on the MLS or home staging, appraisers & inspectors. Again do your research before signing with one of these companies. Talk to people who have sold their house with the services. And last but certainly not least, look at your competition. What are the properties that are for sale in your neighborhood and how they compare with your property. Your competition will limit what you can sell your hosue for. You need to stand out from the competition to attract buyer to you either by price, terms (providing owner financing) or amenities.

Well that was a very quick summary of some of the ways to sell your house. The key to anything is know what you are selling, Good Luck.

See Ya,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Escrow Closings

We are closing on a property in Livermore today. I love closing day because we get money from the closing. Whether we are buying or selling. But it can make for a stressful time. This particular property we are closing on had its signing on Wednesday; not much time between signing and closing and that is a problem we are working to solve. We are responding to the seller needs for a fast closing so the money (from private lender) and the documents are signed and gather in the same week. There is a lot of papers to sign and invariably one or two documents gets missed and calls go out on Thursday from the title company to get the documents signed NOW or it won't close on the day we want to close on; so you have people running all over the county to get the signature required so you can close. It does get done. But boy it makes for some interesting times.

We have been involved in many closings and we still have not gotten our system in place to reduce the stressful situation to systematic approach that is calm and peaceful. What am I talking about?! I do not think that is possible. It will always come down to the wire because humans are involved. That is the nature of the business. Closing requires so many documents to cover all the legal aspects of the deal that it takes time. The title company has to make sure everything is documented and sign off before they can record the documents. That is if it is a standard bank loan, 20% down and 80% loan. It really gets interesting when you add our private money deals and owner financing, etc....

So we will continue to improve our procedures for closing on properties until we have it done to a science. Until then I will focus on the joys of closing escrows.

See Ya,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Real Estate Question: What is the best way to sell my house?

We get asked a lot of questions about real estate. That is one thing that surprised me about working in the real estate field. Everyone wants to talk about it. Everyone will want your opinion. That along should excite you to learn more about real estate because so many people need your help. One question we get asked the most; is What is the best way to sell my house?

The answer to your question depends on who you are and the time you have dedicated to the goal of selling your house. Who you are refers to the person asking that question. Is it a homeowner or an investor. Believe me, investors are always asking other investors how they sell their houses. We do not want to miss out on any new idea or an old one that was over looked. Investors can have just as much problem selling their properties as homeowners. Which leads to the second part: how much time have you to dedicated to selling your property. Because selling a home takes planning and money, sometimes, to do it quickly. I will attack the answer to this question in two parts over the next two posts.

See Ya,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Real Estate is a business

I believe that Real Estate is a business. Can you have fun doing it? - Yes you can and we do everyday. But the more you approach it as a business the more successful you will be. What that means is you create an image for your business. It will build credibility for your company and yourself. Invest in a logo; one designed by a graphic designer. It is the first impression that begins to build rapport with the public.

Remember you need to overcome the negative impress that people have about investors. I know I have read in our local paper how an investor got 12 homes under contract from sellers and then he resold them without recording anything and walked away (or tried to) with hundreds of thousand of dollars. People remember that a long time and it may come up while you are talking them about buying their home. So start to turn this negative into a positive from your very first contact with the seller.

We strive on every contract to treat the seller with respect and always present options for them to choose from. They need the help we can provide. Always do what you say you are going to do. Under commit and over achieve are words to live by when dealing with your sellers.

So look at the impression you are sending or communicating when you talk to sellers; is it positive or negative. Maybe that is why you are having trouble closing on purchase contracts.

See Ya,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday meeting

Monday brings the Monday Meeting. We gather everyone on our team together to review what action items we completed from last week and review what we are going to do this week. In this environment you need an open mind to opportunities that are out there. Everything is on the table. We are doing direct marketing, calling sellers, driving our neighborhood farm area and putting up bandit signs. We also use House Finders.

House Finders are people who are out in the community looking for properties that the owner is in distress. It is difficult to sell houses in the current lending environment. We offer the seller options to sell their houses. But we can not be everywhere so we ask people to help us and they can earn some extra money for helping us.

To learn how you can join our team go to

If you would like to have your own House Finder program to go

See Ya,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When a signed contract is not

Yesterday I talked about the roller coaster ride real estate can and will give you. Today I want to tell you about a deal that was not a deal.

In our business we spend a lot of time and money on marketing to get sellers to call us. We got one such seller - actually a husband and wife team. They were selling an office building that we were looking at to move our office to. It looked perfect. We made our initial offer and they accepted it after much negotiating. We started on the closing process when I got a call from the husband and he wanted to talk about the offer. We went that morning and met with them. They said that after thinking about it they wanted to change the offer. They wanted more money down and more monthly payment (they were providing seller financing). Again after more negotiating we came to terms again and we modified the offer. We increased the monthly payment by did not provide more money down. Again the contract was signed and we continued with the closing process.

We were two days away from closing on the property when the seller called again and wanted to cancel the deal. They had talked to a number of people and they all told the seller that they should have gotten more money down and more monthly payment. So because of that they wanted to cancel unless we increased our down payment. I had a signed contract and I could have forced the sale. But I took it to mean that we were not meant to have that property and we canceled the deal and I was off the roller coaster ride. I was up when we signed the deal and down when they called to change the terms and up again when we resigned the deal and down when they canceled. We gave them a great price and they did not take it. I believe they will call us back in the months ahead and on that day it will be my terms and price and no roller coaster ride.

See Ya,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The roller coaster ride of real estate

One of the things no one tells you is the roller coaster ride you will have. Sure everyone goes through the process on how to buy a property - you make the offer, the seller accepts it, you bring the money to the title office and you close the deal. How easy can that be? The stress and and anxiety that simple statement brings can be enormous. So many things can go wrong or deal the the process and there is nothing you can do about it. All you can do is plan and when things to go off the tracks you implement the plans to try to correct it or let it go.

A go team is absolutely critical. You can not do this business without a team. That team may be staff, Realtor, and title officers but it is your back-up for when problems happen. Problems happen because humans are involved; you can't help it. The seller backs out or wants to change the terms of the deal. The closing is delayed because your private money person did not have the check ready. Reviewing the documents from the title company you discover the name of the company or the lending is wrong or the address or the martial status. All these things happen and more and you have to look above them at the end results or they will suck you down for the ride of your life.

I am still trying to look beyond the day to day to fous on our goals for the month and the year. We have a great staff that back us up and handles alot of the problems that occur. We close properties becuase of them. So while you are working on your business and closing deals begin to build your team. Tell them what you expect and provide feedback on how they are doing.

Good Luck,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our story

We are Two Average Joes buying real estate in this market. We property and offer with owner financing or rent to own. We want to share our ups and downs as we work each day on want we love. We are based in the California Central Valley. We love the challenge this market presents us. We can make money and help people at the same time. But it is not for the weak of heart. There are days that we are higher than a kite because we closed on a deal and other days we are lower than low because a property did not close when we needed it to and cash flow is tight. I want to share are experiences to help you learn from them.

Hey we would love your comments on how we are are doing and how we can do better. See ya later.