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Department of Defense Housing Assistance Program for Military Personnel

If you are selling real estate in a military market, it’s important for you to know all of the options out there for your seller clients.  We’ve recently worked with several Realtors who were completely unaware of the Housing Assistance Program (HAP) that is offered by the Department of Defense. This program can help a military member avoid a short sale, or reduce the loss they have to contribute to help cover their mortgage after being forced to relocate. american_flag

We communicated with one military client who had short sold the home a few months prior to contacting us from a blog post – and had zero idea about this program.  The program essentially provides loss assistance to those in the milltary that are relocated or moved to another part of the country and are “in the red” on their home.

To apply for the program click here.

Here is an excerpt from the HAP DOD website:
Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on June 14th, 2010 under Realtor, Short Sales and Foreclosures

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Ho Ho Ho Holiday Listing Objections!

All real estate agents hear the objections to putting a home on the market this time of year.  And, for good reason, the holidays are a very busy time and some people psychologically want to think about and do other things.  Real estate isn’t always on their mind and they are thinking about buying Christmas gifts, vacation, taking a break and closing out the year.dogs

“I want to wait until after the holidays because I don’t want to have my tree up and have people tripping over presents.” Or, “Nobody is out looking at real estate this time of year — they are out shopping.” Or even, “I don’t want to disturb my family during the holidays.”

These are objections we all hear when talking to clients about selling their homes.  Well, courtesy of various training I’ve gone to, including some information provided by a broker I work with that has attended Floyd Wickman –

I’ve developed a list below of 11 reasons sellers should get their home on the market right now!

1.  It’s a Happy mess… Buyers buy homes, and holiday decor is key!  Holiday decorations tap into the “happy” of the holidays.  Buying a home is very emotional for many and this happy feeling can help you sell!

2. Preliminaries: Be one of the most ready homes on the market when the
spring market returns and have all of the marketing full force ahead for
when Jan 1 hits.

3. Speculation: We can speculate a little on price right now, and correct
it in the first week of January if we don’t get an offer.

4. Less Competition: Everyone else is waiting to list their home, jump in
ahead and there’s less inventory for the motivated buyers to choose from!
There is a heavy inventory of foreclosures being held into the next fiscal year.
You need to beat them to the market!

5. Best Realtors: The best Realtors are working right now!!!

6. Positioned to Buy: You sell now, so that you can be in the best position
to buy when there is more to pick from in spring Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on December 19th, 2009 under Buying or Selling a Home

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9 Tell Tale Signs You Should Hire an Assistant

I mastermind with agents from my area on a regular basis and a question came up in discussions with this mastermind group of top agents in Tampa, Florida, that I thought would be a great blog topic.

So, when do you know it’s time to add a full-time assistant to your business?

teamwork-hire-real-estate-assistantI was asked this question and the first response I could think of was: “When you can afford it”. I’ve learned in the last year, as our business has more than doubled, that if I hadn’t taken the plunge to hire my assistant, I’d still be in the same place I was last year.

Looking back a year ago when we decided to build a team, hire staff and add agents, I realize there were some tell tale signs it was time for us to get “people leverage” and help to take our business to the level we wanted to.

We were very productive and profitable (I sold $7 million that year and was “lean” on expenses) but we had lofty goals and knew there is no way I could keep up with it all myself.

Ultimately, I knew if I wanted to sell more real estate, I would need someone to handle the paperwork, admin tasks, transaction management, appointment setting, photo taking, lock box hanging, and all of the other tasks that can take us away from our lofty sales goals.

However, you have to have enough income or savings to be able to afford it for a few months. It’s always a risk because you could hire the wrong person, lose money, disappoint clients, etc. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on June 18th, 2009 under Realtor

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Wake Up Call To Selling Foreclosures

It’s no common secret that the real estate market over the past year has continued to dramatically change towards a market concentrated in short sales, foreclosures and REO’s.  

For those of you that don’t know what REO means — it means Real Estate Owned.  It’s a term used to identify a property is owned by a bank.  Banks actually consider REO’s a liability instead of an asset because they are in the MONEY business not real estate business. 

As a Top Selling Team in Tampa and St Pete, we have modified our business to help service these “niche” markets.  In the first quarter of 2009, nearly half of our business was selling (either listings or homebuyers) distressed properties.  We have learned through much education, courses, certifications, and trial and error the best ways to represent buyers and sellers in these specific situations.

If you are a Realtor and haven’t started working these markets — WAKE UP!  If you are in a market that has not been hit as hard with foreclosures, don’t worry its coming.  It’s time to prepare now.  

If you are a new real estate agent, read up!  I had a new agent join our team this week and just like I’d send this information to a prospective home buyer, I wanted to review it and tailor it to him so he understands the urgency needed to work buyers on bank owned houses.

Below are tips for Realtors representing buyers on bank owned homes. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Andrew Duncan on May 8th, 2009 under Buying or Selling a Home, Short Sales and Foreclosures

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