Saturday, December 21, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Moving Tips Agents Should Give Their Clients
If you’re a real estate professional, you know how stressed clients who are moving can get, especially if they’re moving for the first time or haven’t moved in a long while. But as an industry professional, you can offer them more guidance than you think. They already trust you to sell their home or find them a new one – why not also help them weather the other parts of moving, too? Here are some ways you can assist your clients in the moving process.
- Give them advice for finding a reliable moving company. When clients don’t desire to do the packing and/or moving themselves, they’ll need to hire a moving company. However, many clients don’t know the first thing about comparing companies and choosing the best fit for them. Since you know their situation, give them some tips for finding a company that will offer a good deal. If you know of a reputable company, let your clients in on your secret. Furthermore, refer them to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s brochures, Moving Fraud Prevention Checklist and Red Flags of Moving Fraud, on www.protectyourmove.gov.
- Create a moving checklist. Many clients are unsure of what type of timeline is required for their move. Make a checklist that breaks down tasks that should be performed each week, starting several months before moving day. This will help your clients stay organized – and they will love you for it!
- Help them understand the difference between basic released value liability and full value protection. Clients often believe that moving companies will pay them the full amount for their property if lost or damaged en route to their new home, however this is not always correct. As a seasoned professional, educate your client on the difference, and perhaps recommend they move certain items themselves, especially items moving companies don’t transport.
- Share budget suggestions. Since you are better equipped to estimate how much various parts of a move might cost, you can provide your clients with this information. If their budget is tight, assist them with whittling it down to the essentials. Also, refer them to the Internal Revenue Service site’s section on moving expenses so they can check for tax deductions they might be eligible for.
- Offer a list of recommended service people. It can be exhausting to spend hours and hours researching service people needed before and after a move. Provide your clients with a list of people you recommend, including a cleaner, exterminator, interior decorator, handyman, contractor, and anyone else you find necessary or helpful to clients during the moving process.
Provide extra value to your clients by going above and beyond the call of duty. Not only will your clients be grateful for the assistance, but they’ll probably be even more likely to refer your services to their friends, family, and coworkers. Click here for the article on Keeping Current Matters.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Keeping Current Matters: Harvard: 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home
Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. This year he released a new paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.
Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:
1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.
“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”
2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.
“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”
3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”
4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.
“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income...On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”
5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.
“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”
We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for many social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.
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