How Real Estate Agents Can Protect Themselves

Many real estate agents have wonderful careers that have brought them tremendous success for years. However, the line of work that they do leaves them far more accessible to the public than most other lines of work. This in part is why there are far more news stories out there today regarding crimes that have taken place against real estate agents. Several murder cases such as Beverly Carter’s made national news back in 2014. Carter who was a real estate agent was showing a property to a client when she vanished and was found murdered. While this may be enough to scare some off from a career in real estate, there are certain things that can be done to help agents protect themselves.

For a majority of these crimes against the real estate agents, they have been alone when the attack takes place against them. Showing a property through the means of an open house is the safest approach to have clients view the property. This allows the agent to have other people around them and not be alone. If there is no way for the client to make it to the open house, make a point to have someone else there when showing the property to the potential home buyer. If there is no way to have someone else there when showing the property, be sure to download safety apps to your devices such as a 911 Pendant or the BSafe app which can record and have voice activation.

Carrying a self-defense weapon is highly encouraged in the instance that something should take place and you must defend yourself. While it is always important to take the flight method if you are attacked, sometimes there is no chance of getting away. These weapons have the potential to save your life when in danger. Some of the most common defense weapons that real estate agents keep on themselves include pepper spray, pocket knives, noisemakers, and firearms. Take the time to research each of these weapons and know-how to properly use them. Many agents also make a point to take self-defense courses that teach various pressure points and pain spots to use if the case were to arise.


How To Invest In Real Estate Without Much Money

One of the very best ways to grow your amount of wealth is by investing in real estate. Real estate investing is something that appeals to many people, however, it can go grow frustrating when the realization sets in of just how much money is needed to get started. Depending upon the property you wish to invest in, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes even millions. For most investors, this is nowhere near possible if it were to come straight out of their pocket. Thankfully, there are options that can help with this journey into real estate investing.

Real estate investment trusts are one way to go about gaining assistance with investing. A real estate investment trust otherwise known as REIT is a collection of real estate companies or property notes. This will work similarly to a fund and you can even find REITs on stock exchanges. This is an excellent option because you have the opportunity to get started for as little as $100 possibly. Though you may not actually own the real estate this is still a terrific way to gain exposure to real estate investing.

Crowdfunding has become more and more popular in recent years and has found its way in real estate investing. This provides you the opportunity to invest in whatever projects you may wish. This allows people to link up with other investors and make a profit based on what they decide to contribute to the project. For investors interested in crowdfunding, they typically can get started for around $500.

Government loans are another open for those short on money who are ready to invest in real estate. While the government themselves is not actually providing the investor with the loan, they do guarantee the loans so that others will be more willing to take the chance on you. With an FHA loan, you can put down as little as 3.5% which makes purchasing a property more affordable for investors. If you live in a more rural area and meet specific income requirements you can possibly put 0 down through the USDA. Veterans and their family members may also qualify to purchase property without a down payment as well.

How To Invest In Multi-Family Housing

Multifamily housing investments provide an ongoing revenue stream that can offer a number of advantages to many investors. Unlike single-family investment properties, multifamily housing provides less uncertainty: in general, some units are rented out at any given time, which makes it easier for many investors to maintain their overall income stream. For investors considering taking the jump to multifamily housing, there are several key steps to consider.

1. Start By Determining Your Available Funds

When you invest in a multifamily dwelling, you have several options for funding. Some investors choose to purchase those properties directly, which leaves them responsible for owning and operating those facilities–and the tax burdens and expenses associated with them. Others prefer crowdfunding opportunities. You may need to take out a loan to afford the property, so make sure you know what you can afford.

2. Take a Look at the Income the Building Generates

Before investing in your first multifamily dwelling, make sure you understand how much income the building has the potential to generate. Keep in mind that most buildings will not have 100% occupancy throughout the year. While you would love to have every unit rented all the time, that’s not always possible. In general, assume 80% occupancy of your units in a good market, and lower if your area has recently become saturated with housing. Check the current rent, any agreements with the current landlords, and rent throughout the area to determine how much you have the potential to make over time.

3. Don’t Forget Operating Expenses

As a landlord, you will have a number of expenses associated with your new property. You’ll need to pay for repairs to the building, especially common areas. You will need to take care of regular building maintenance and pay the electric bill for common areas of the building. Before buying a property, you should get full disclosure of those expenses from the previous owner. However, if you struggle to calculate it, assume that it will be at least 50% of the profits that can be made from the building.

Investing in multifamily dwellings is a great way to increase your investment portfolio, but it can also come along with unexpected expenses. Make sure that you’re fully prepared before jumping in with your investment.

What To Know About Pricing Your House

Many different factors are taken into consideration when pricing a home to go on the real estate market. Going about pricing the house the proper way helps to get the maximum value when it finally hits the market. Before listing the house take the time to go over some of the factors that play a role in how to properly price the home. Not having the correct listing price can sometimes deter potential home buyers away from even taking a look at the property. Making sure the property is listed for the correct price is extremely important. The following are some of the major factors to know before ever pricing a house.

Appealing to the herd, or to a majority of potential home buyers is important when pricing the property. Real estate is a high stakes game, and a lot is on the line when purchasing a home. Buyers do not want to feel as if they are the only ones interested in the property. This has the potential to scare them off and make them feel that there is a valid reason as to why they should not be interested in the house. Pricing the house on the lower end of the assessed value of the property can help to stimulate traffic among many buyers and create a herd mentality.

Knowing the comparable properties in the neighborhood or area in which the house is located plays an important role as well. Real estate websites such as Zillow state that a home should be within 10 percent of the average sold price in your particular area. Taking the time and to review houses that have sold within the neighborhood in the previous three months can help indicate the price at which the house should be listed.

Square footage is a huge factor in pricing the property as well. Appraisers must always take the size of the home into consideration when determining the value of the house. When taking the time to look back at homes that have sold in the area, take notice of the square footage for each property. If there is a property with similar square footage then the listing price will be similar for your property.