Archive for real-estate

Virtual Technology Camp for Realtors

Posted in Debbie Kirkland, Realtor, Technology with tags , , on November 4, 2009 by realtordebbie

Do Not Miss VREBC A VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR!

DETAILS – CLICK HERE!

If you are new to real estate, or simply a consumer wanting to know more about what the latest trends and technology is in Real Estate, the Virtual RE Bar Camp is an event you will not want to miss!  I attended my first RE Bar camp in Miami in October. I can’t even tell you how much I learned and how it helped me develop content for my blogs.  Adding technology to  my business as a Realtor gives me the ability to reach to the corners of the world with my message and to those who are using technology in their lives as well.

Learning to niche market, attract buyers and sellers using technology is a part of gaining a competitive edge and communicating with the 86% of people who begin their search on the Internet.  Let’s face it, computers are more and more a part of every facet of our lives, if you’re going to remain a competitor, learn what you need to know and grow!

This will be a fun event,.. gather up your friends and participate, you will be amazed at what you walk away with!

If you miss this, there is always RETech South in Atlanta on March 25, 26th, 2010.  For more information see: http://www.retechsouth.com/

 

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Make Mine a Double!

Posted in For Buyers, Market Trends, Real Estate Advice with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by realtordebbie

It’s great when a plan comes together,..but when it comes together twice in one family, that is even more exciting! Great Financing terms and loan programs are making home ownership affordable and possible!

Case #1. Sweet young couple, hoping to be engaged, but committed to purchase a home together begin their search for their “first home”.  In this case, as with many first time home buyers, both of these young professionals are working and contributing to a household income. They are not making a killing, but are able to afford car payments, nights out, vacations and a few of the simple pleasures in life. Their goal however is to be married soon, and to acquire a home. Enter, Realtor Debbie.

The first step was qualifying,.. the second was finding a home with land.. a little piece of the American dream! Looking for land is easy, as we are surrounded by plantations, unrecorded rural subdivisions and estate properties. A small subdivision just outside the city limits fit their needs. Paved roads, half to one acre lots, only 25 home-sites and a new construction home, Sycamore Ridge was the answer! The best news.. this home qualifies for the US Rural Housing Home Loan… 100% financing with NO Mortgage insurance! With a builder willing to pay closing costs, the couple ended up bringing $28.07 to closing! What would be their down payment became money for a fence and some needed furnishings! Even more good news.. now construction like this is hard to find in Tallahassee..ergo..their value just escalated! 

Affordable NEW Homes with 100% Financing

Affordable NEW Homes with 100% Financing

Within days of closing,.. I was given the best post-closing gift ever.. a referral. The homeowner has a brother, with a wife and twin toddlers.. and they want to move up as well.  Same process..same loan product.. and a successful closing on a home with immediate equity!

Today I had dinner with these kids.. all 4 and the twins..their treat! It seems they both received their first time home-buyer credit money.. and took me to dinner! What a complete and utter surprise! This makes it all worthwhile!

To find out if you qualify for a rural housing 100% financing loan e-mail me at Debbie Kirkland. To read more about the First time home buyer credit for 2009 Click Here.

p.s. If you are wondering about Realtors getting customers in over their heads with 100% loan products..don’t forget:  REALTORS are bound by a code of ethics…I take that seriously. Counseling home buyers and working with customers for AFFORDABLE homes and SMART purchases is  both my business and my obligation. My buyers are well prepared and represented!

Will Customers Hire Me from an Open House?

Posted in Debbie Kirkland, For Realtors, Real Estate Advice, Realtor, Tallahassee with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by realtordebbie
 

200187506-001 Nearly every Sunday I sit open houses for my sellers here in Tallahassee, FL.  While the goals of open houses are to expose a home to potential buyers, often times it is an opportunity for buyers to meet hardworking, professional and educated Realtors. It’s the perfect time to engage perfect strangers.  It’s also a time to let your personality shine through. When I am working with newer agents I try to remind them, not only must you be the most educated “kid” in the industry, but the most animated, exuberant and genuine Realtor they will see during their open house tour day.  It’s often your one shot to shine above the rest of your competition.

 Buyers have more homes to look at today than ever before. They are also going to meet more Realtors than ever. How are you going to stand out? Do you need a wiener-mobile, (although I have asked my kids for years to submit me for “Pimp My Ride” – I wouldn’t refuse!), a musical business card, or top hat and tap shoes? It’s really not that hard. Being prepared, and being able to recognize 3 simple kinds of open house visitors are all you really need. (That and a good breakfast!)

 

 I pretty much think you can classify open house buyers in three categories:

 

 First, Buyer’s who are just looking, we know them as the “tire-kickers”, not to be insulting, but basically, they are just “kicking” around thoughts in their heads. TireKickerPerhaps they are looking for ideas from new construction on how to fix up their homes, perhaps they are weighing their options of up-sizing or down-sizing. I love these folks! They are the ones that often enter with closed minds. not intentionally of course, but hopefully leave with something of value. In this instance, I provide a simple service whether a summation of industry news, market conditions, or at the very least a free valuation of their home. I believe in “remembrances, some call them freebies. I want these folks to remember me for taking the time to provide them with a service. A list of your services is a necessity for these folks. A perfect Brochure: “My Full-Time Realtor Service Portfolio.”

 

 Secondly, I see telmer-bugsstandoffhe standoffs. They rush in, pull back at “hello,” and rush out.  These will be the hardest customers for someone to deal with.  They do not understand Realtors, they are misinformed and often have pre-conceived notions whether from a bad experience or a predatory salesperson from the past, or they simply know it all anyway. Best to let these folks pass through and continue to call on every sign, they do not value your services or your time. A perfect flyer for these customers on the fly: “Why Use a Realtor and on the back, “How Realtors Get Paid.”  

 

 Thirdly, there are the wide-eyed wonders. Generally, these folks are excited, easily enamored and also easily disappointed. They want a new home, but perhaps bungee-jumper1have not been introduced to Realtors properly. They don’t have a clue how to begin a transaction or how to work with a Realtor. These folks are also your Easter eggs. These brightly shining, colorful folks are the ones you want to collect in your basket and watch over. With proper guidance, they will hatch into to happy, grateful customers who will produce more happy, grateful customers. For these folks, it is all about subtlety and education.  Have the tools they need on hand. The perfect package for these folks: An appointment card (for your Buyer Orientation), Why use a Realtor and how a Realtor Get’s Paid, A Buyer’s guide to FLORIDA Real estate (what to know about your state’s insurance, how your State Association is working to protect homeowner’s real estate interests), a first time home-owners package, and give them as much information as possible on a frequent basis. Register them to your website, your blogs; put them in an automated listing notification system. Call them when they get these notifications, review the listing that was sent and give them feedback before your ever show it. Let them know you know about this property even if you have to call the other agent to discuss it ahead of time. These are the customers that will eagerly research on their own, weed out the listings that are not of interest, and take your cards to other Realtors when they visit open houses, because… you will have trained them to do so! After all, it is great for customers to hear from other agents that their Realtor is a great Realtor! (I hope you reciprocate this!)

 

So, organize your thoughts and materials prior to your open house. Put your game face on for the kickers, bring the shield for the darts flying around the standoffs, and be ready to dance with the wide-eyed wonders! Ask yourself, “Would I pick me?” If not, well, that’s another article.

 

 

 

 

 

Picking Up Speed in The Real Estate Market

Posted in Market Trends with tags , , , , on November 7, 2008 by realtordebbie

Picking Up Speed in the Real Estate Market

sailboat

Despite media protrayed doom and gloom, the real estate market is surviving. Lessons learned from the Great Depression keep Realtors moving forward and creating new business.

Yes! There is still a movement of real estate across the country. With job changes, life changes, and the quest for the uncharted path in life comes the need for housing.  During the Great Depression, homes were bought and sold, land traded, and building continued on some scale.

Historically, there are eerie similarities that seem to have been repeated. So much from learning from history! The failing interest only loans issued preceeding and during the Great Depression were replaced with fixed rate mortgages which became the norm until the early 2000’s. Sound familiar?  Economists warned government officials in years preceeding 1921 of the impending issues that failing capitalism would bring. The educators and intellectuals of that era leaned toward socialism and ignored the warnings of the economists. Sound familiar?

Those who made money during the depression of 1921 were those who continued to build their wealth, to provide goods and services that people depended on such as household goods and housing.  Investment groups were born as people pooled their hard earned savings to acquire housing and income producing properties. Landlords became popular, seller financing increased, and yes, in some cases was abused, but in most cases it created win-win scenarios for home-owners and property owners. The need for housing was, and always will be one of the essential elements of survival. We are getting back to the basics, we are getting creative, and we are selling homes and real estate.

Today, we are getting back to the conventional mortgage. We are encouraged to save our money, to save for the dream of homeownership, to earn the right to own a home. The government is restructuring their loans, FHA guidelines are changing and being re-designed as we speak! One thing is certain, gone are the days of free money… but as my dad always said, “There ain’t no free lunch.”  There never has been free money.  We all share in the expenses of “free down-payment” money and “down-payment assistance” money.   These funds come from government, from non-profit organizations who receive funds from government, etc. Very few programs offer monies from private investors.  In almost all cases, there is a form of re-payment, and that comes with a price. There is always a responsibility that comes with home-ownership, the first being you have to pay for it!

The good news is, there is still affordable housing. There are homes for sale what are NOT short sales or foreclosures, that can be bought for reasonable prices. Can you expect a homeowner who has cared for their home, maintained their home and responsibly acquired equity in their home to give this home away for prices comparable to those who have not – the short sales and foreclosures? No, you can not. This is not true comparison shopping. If you are shopping for bargain basement properties, go to that market, if you are shopping for quality and value shop in that market. Be specific with you Realtor, be realistic in your expectations of time involved to acquire your properties. There is a huge difference in the distressed sale and non-distressed sale expected closing times.

The nuts and bolts of the market are this… it’s a great time to buy, it’s still a good time to sell and acquire a reasonable profit if you are not over-extended or credit-challenged and have gained steady equity during your period of ownership.  If you have not, that is where a Realtor can help you get creative, can explore your options for selling and purchasing.