Electronic signatures are the easiest, most conveneint and effective ways to process documents!

Take a look at the video!

http://youtu.be/KTZ71Ye5qqE

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI, MCNE
Legacy Team – Your Best Home Address
Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR
Keller Williams Houston Memorial
10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 120
Houston, TX  77024
281-558-8580 Direct
713-470-2082 Fax

pat@legacyteamhouston.com
www.patwelshproperties.com

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This seven minute video is intended to help real estate buyers in their efforts to find a mortgage lender. There are plenty of pitfalls but lots of easy steps to smooth out the process.

Here is the link to my Mortgage Lender Q & A:  http://youtu.be/zhSptyQfYWg

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI, CNE
Legacy Team – Your Best Home Address
Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR
Keller Williams Houston Memorial
10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 120           
Houston, TX  77024
281-558-8580 Direct
713-470-2082 Fax
                                                                   
pat@legacyteamhouston.com
www.patwelshproperties.com

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Here is a four minute video that explains the new rules and regulations concerning what documentation you need in order to apply for a Texas Homestead Exemption in 2012. It isn’t difficult, but you must be prepared.

Here is the story: http://youtu.be/A1bJdT8ZGf0

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI, CNE
Legacy Team – Your Best Home Address
Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR
Keller Williams Houston Memorial
10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 120           
Houston, TX  77024
281-558-8580 Direct
713-470-2082 Fax
                                                                   
pat@legacyteamhouston.com
www.patwelshproperties.com

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Here is an 8 minute video with questions and answer about real estate inspections. All the how, why, and how much.  Useful information for buyers and sellers concerning the important real estate inspection!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4X015y53go&feature=related

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI, CNE
Legacy Team – Your Best Home Address
Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR
Keller Williams Houston Memorial
10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 120            
Houston, TX  77024
281-558-8580 Direct
713-470-2082 Fax
                                                                   
pat@legacyteamhouston.com
http://www.houtexhomesforsale.com/

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Well, this comes up all the time. And as a Realtor it many people think I™m just trying to salvage a commission by recommending that a buyer retain my services for a purchase from a builder. All too often buyers think that they don™t need a Realtor to represent them since they can find the builder all by themselves, drive right up, negotiate the deal and move in! My job is to represent the buyer™s best interest and help them through the transaction with the least degree of hassle and frustration. And our goal is to get the buyer the most value for the least money. I™ve heard many a buyer say they don™t need an agent before a transaction, but I™ve never had a represented buyer say to me at the conclusion that they were sorry they had me at their side representing them. The least important part of our job is driving the buyers around to look at houses (although it is important); our real value comes later in negotiating and working through the process on behalf of our client.

Representation.   The builder representative at the model home may look and sound like a real estate agent there to help you. However, the builder rep is a salesperson for the builder, and as such represents the builder™s best interest. I love the analogy I heard recently that when a buyer deals directly with that rep (saving the builder the buyer™s agent commission) it™s like the buyer paying for the builder to not represent them. Real estate agents and Realtors are licensed professionals bound by law and professional ethics while builder reps are not constrained by those requirements.

Negotiation.  Sure the buyer can negotiate effectively. Buyer negotiations can be effective, as long as the buyer knows what incentives are typical and customary, how to compare alternative financing, who pays for what (title costs, appraisals, inspections, additional warranties, surveys, closing costs, etc.), what upgrades cost and how to apply builder concessions, and many other issues. Realtors make it look so easy by asking questions that the buyer doesn™t know to ask.

Inspections. This is a big one. As a buyer™s Realtor, I insist that my client always get a home inspection. The number and severity of new home defects often rival resale home problems. The builder rep is not likely to make any such demands of the buyer. This issue alone justifies our involvement in the transaction. Buyers will often think that the new home warranty will take care of all their problems. That is simply not the case. Here is a real world example. On new, high end property, my inspector flagged a number of items including the incorrect installation of the air conditioner systems located in the attic. The builder argued that everything was in order. After our insistence of a problem the HVAC contractor admitted the error and repaired the problem. Turns out the mounting brackets used to dampen the vibration were installed upside down, thereby focusing the vibration to the structure rather than reducing the vibration. That family might have lived in the home a lifetime with unnecessary noise and vibration were it not for the inspector.

Buyer Agent Cost. That typical 3% commission comes from somewhere right? Nobody charges the buyer the commission; the seller pays it. Reputable and honest builders absorb this cost as part of their expense base. There are occasional builders that skew prices to compensate, but this is considered to be both unfair and unethical. In fact today, many builders are paying bonuses and incentives to agents above the standard commission structure. As Realtors we are very often sought after components of the real estate transaction.

 The Sequence. This can become a bit tricky. Builders can become resistant to buyers who show up at the builder site and let them think they are unrepresented by a Realtor. The best process is to either shop with your Realtor or at least immediately inform the buyer™s rep that you are working with an agent and that you are represented. Maybe offer the agent™s card or at least name and company as you œregister with the builder. This insures that the agent is œin the loop. It is strongly recommended that you do not do the paperwork or contract without your agent being present to review and advise.

My comments here are not meant to encompass all of the benefits of having a Realtor represent a buyer, nor all the buyer issues that could arise. This is just a brief overview, and there is much more to it. However, I hope this serves as a short course for buyers to give them cause to consider what is in their best interest.

 

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI
Legacy Team – Your Best Home Address
Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR
Keller Williams Houston Memorial
10497 Town & Country Way, Ste 120                      
Houston, TX  77024
281-558-8580 Direct
713-470-2082 Fax                                                                                                                                      
pat@legacyteamhouston.com
http://www.patwelshproperties.com/                                                                                                                                                                                      
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Well, like all agents have experienced, I just lost a listing that I should have won. I know that I erred when I didn’t insist on being the last agent to present, but other demands limited my availability. I was certain that I would earn the listing because I was direct, frank and honest with the sellers.

 

Since they we on the market for 120 days without a decent offer for their home, my approach was to suggest the most cost effective preparation and get ready staging we could muster. The sellers needed to terminate the existing listing so I had to wait a couple of days. It the old story from there. The sellers listed with another agent who raised the price $10,000. None of my recommendations were evident in the poorer than before photos, limited listing information and altogether boring marketing approach.

 

Ignored was my approach of using technology to market the listing. My recommendation was to stay with the previous sales price and upgrade the look of the property to make it more appealing. New improved photos, a virtual tour and maybe a podcast could put a new face on the old listing. When the competing agent raised the price and left all else as it was, the client is ultimately mistreated. Not only is the near term sale of the property unlikely at an even higher price, but the seller has been less than honestly dissuaded by a higher list price. Sure I may get the listing in a few months, but the stale, downtrodden property will need more cash infusion, and a much lower price to move it. There is little chance of a satisfied client “ the client is going to have a severe dislike of our industry because he was drawn to a higher, but unattainable price.

 

In a sense we bring about our own self failing scenario. Clients don’t trust us because we fail to deliver. Our failures are often because we take the easier and less honest approach of dangling a high price to the client. The higher price leads to more failures and more distrust. What a cycle.

 

I am not as cynical as I may sound. My approach to this situation remains unchanged. I will continue to provide the honest and straight up counseling on pricing that I have been providing for years. And I will win most of the competitions because of my honesty. And the really funny part is that I really like helping people. I want to sell their properties so they can move on to the next stage of their lives. This is another case of the competition appealing to the sellers base instinct of more money. Too bad for these sellers. I wish they would have let me help them.

 

So, what is the penalty for honesty. I lose the listing. The real penalty is the seller who will have his listing for more months in the future. Maybe they will see the light and get the price down. I hope they get is sold somehow. But I kept the moral high ground and treated them honestly. The penalty to be paid is theirs, not mine. I wish them well.

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI

Using Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle!

Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR

Keller Williams Signature

14515 Briarhills Pkwy, Ste 100

Houston, TX  77077

281-558-8580 Direct

281-971-3570 Fax

pat@patwelshproperties.com

www.patwelshproperties.com

 

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I really thought I received a thoughtful and well conceived answer to the “What are rates going to do in 2010?” question from one of my go to lenders. Ben has been a reliable source for  mortgage assistance and has a reasonable opinion about the marketplace.  

For buyers, I can’t believe that anyone would wait for a better market environment to buy a home.   When we combine extraordinary  low interest rates and government incentives  with aggressive sellers and plenty of inventory, it is simple to encourage buyers to act now.   It simply can’t  get any better than it is right now.     Take a look at Ben’s letter that I’ve posted below.

______________________________________________________________________

Date:

02/11/2010 11:46 AM

From:

“Ben Sinclair” <ben.sinclair@hmgtexas.com>

Subject:

Rates in 2010 – Fed to stop purchasing Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS)

Good morning, I just wanted to touch base with all my business partners about rates this year. We have been enjoying rates between the low 4s and the low 5s, for 15 and 30 year Conventional and FHA fixed rate mortgages for most of 2009 and all of 2010 so far. During much of that time the Fed has been purchasing MBS at the rate of about 25 billion a week. The Fed is winding down this program, and it is scheduled to end the first quarter of 2010. There are never any guarantees with interest rates, and not just one factor is ever responsible for what the market does; but I do think their in an excellent chance that we will at least see a temporary spike in interest rates sometime around the end of the first quarter. Below is an article that you may want to pass on to your clients who are trying to make a decision about when to buy. Rates are as low as they have ever been, and I think they are going up, it is just a matter of when. The end of this program has the potential to be the beginning of that climb.

I hope you find this information useful. Good luck in 2010, and please call/email if you have any questions.

Regards,

Ben S. Sinclair

Houstonian Mortgage Group

713.412.3709 cell

713.278.0201 office

281.207.0436

fax ben.sinclair@hmgtexas.com

______________________________________________________________________
  

Thanks Ben. And let’s hope everyone that is searching for an answer can gain some confidence from your analysis.

Pat

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI
Using Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle!    

Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR    

Keller Williams Signature    

14515 Briarhills Pkwy, Ste 100    

Houston, TX   77077    

281-558-8580 Direct    

281-971-3570 Fax    

      

pat@patwelshproperties.com    

www.patwelshproperties.com
  
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From this point forward, I pledge to explain to all of my clients, both buyers and sellers, about the effects on our transactions brought about by leverage.   In this sense, leverage is simply the ability to nudge the other party to accept your terms, suggestions or acquiesce to your needs.

Certainly I don™t mean that we™re going to strong arm anyone.   But as we negotiate with so many parties in every transaction, our clients expect a great deal from us as their agents.   One must realize that our abilities and talents are inescapably linked to leverage.  

Here is the best example I can think of.   Here in Texas we have an option period, often 10 days, during which the buyer has the œunrestricted right to terminate the deal.   This is our due diligence timeframe.   Obviously, this is our period of greatest leverage for the buyer. Here we ask the seller for repairs or repair compensation. We have an enforceable contract, but we can terminate where the seller cannot (without being in default).   This termination option  is the ultimate leverage.

Another example  case came up the last month.   My buyer decided in mid-stream to switch lenders to save a few dollars.   Initially we were using one of my œpreferred lenders, meaning one that I know,  trust and with whom I have a working relationship.   I have some leverage with the preferred lender because of the ongoing business relationship.   The new lender, with whom I have no working relationship, returns my calls in 24 “ 36 hours. Why so long? No leverage.  

We must realize that we have leverage with title companies, inspectors, and a wide range of other vendors and service providers.   This leverage is crucial to our clients and as such, we need to make our clients aware of the benefit they gain in  working with agents that can provide business relationships that benefit their interests.

Of course we must be careful of not being too insistent regarding directing our clients to  different service providers.   However, I believe that when we explain leverage to buyers or sellers we can be more effective in showing the value of our experience, our contacts and our ability to effectively negotiate and navigate the real estate transaction.  

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI Using Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle!

Real Estate Consultant, REALTORKeller Williams Signature14515 Briarhills Pkwy, Ste 100

Houston, TX  77077

281-558-8580 Direct281-971-3570 Fax

 pat@patwelshproperties.com

www.patwelshproperties.com

 

Start writing here…

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Jun

6


Sell Your House!

 

 

If it™s broken, fix it.

If it needs paint, paint it.

If it™s dirty, clean it.

If it smells bad, fix it or get rid of it.

If you can polish it, make it sparkle.

If it™s worn out, replace it.

Mow, rake, trim, sweep.   Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

No clutter, anywhere.

Uncover cabinet tops.   Did I say no clutter?

Empty closets (almost).

Empty garage (almost).

 

Make the temperature comfortable.

Go away during showings.

Make your home available for all showings.

Make your home surgically clean for all showings.

Make your home smell nice for all showings.

I love pets.   Dogs and cats.   Want to sell your house?   Find a place for them.

Turn on all the lights.   Open the blinds.   More light is always better.

Nice low, soft music from a radio is a positive.

Make sales information available in an obvious place.

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Using Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle

When I entered the real estate business nearly ten years ago, I did so because I recognized a deficiency with agent™s ability to use state-of-the-art technology tools to improve their business.   Since that time many, but not all agents have embraced technology as part of their business.

If you are wondering how technology can affect your real estate challenge or puzzle, consider this.   In a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released at the 2008 REALTORS ® Conference & Expo., NAR stated that œBuyers used a variety of resources in searching for a home: 87 percent used the Internet ¦ Eighty-seven percent of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent

Many Houston agents would be quick to point out that our local board the Houston Association of Realtors provides an outstanding MLS feed for consumers.   That is undoubtedly true.   However there are a wide variety of additional web venues, tools and resources to make a wider range of buyers aware of today™s listings.   Among those tools are virtual tours, podcasts, social networking sites and blogs to push listings to a much wider range of buyers.   It™s interesting to note that our local board, as must boards do, force listing data submitted to belong to them, limiting downrange exposure.   Keller Williams has developed it own complementary listing service Keller Williams Listing Service (KWLS) to allow for the much wider distribution of listing information.   For my listings I use HAR, KWLS and third and forth level listing entities to allow feeds to be distributed many dozens of listing data distribution platforms.   By using podcasts and these secondary listing venues, my listings consistently rate very high among search engine optimization (SRO) analysis.

Somewhat less high tech, but still technologically critical is the simple digital photography.   My listings receive a full suite of professional grade, hi resolution, wide angle photographs.  The internet distribution effectiveness is absolutely reliant on the ability to deliver attractive images of properties of interest.

Buyers benefit from technology with the delivery of nearly real-time listing information.   My MLS based systems (I use three or more) scrub listing information daily and automatically deliver listings and updates via email to buyers within 24 hours of changes.   Using this approach, many buyers are better informed concerning their area of interest than the agents that represent them.

The effective use of technology does not end there.   Differences can be subtle but important.   Consider that I use Supra electronic lock boxes.   These boxes track every digital key that opens them, maintaining a log of every visitor for safety and security.   Some agents use combo mechanical lock boxes.   I consider combo boxes a hazard since there is no control over who has the combination, when the boxes are opened or by whom.   Using Centralized Showings as my appointment booking company insures online logging of all appointments and verifies agent credentials.   A digital log is maintained for all appointments, showing feedback and provides listing update announcement tools.   Some agents simply take the appointment by phone and give combo unlock codes “ there is little security, little feedback, little follow-up in that process.

That certainly is not the limit of technology use in real estate.   My real estate website, smart phone, sign rider information and lead capture systems, automated announcement and email systems, and electronically generated forms are a few more important components.

Patrick W. Welsh, GRI

Using Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle!

Real Estate Consultant, REALTOR

Keller Williams Signature

14515 Briarhills Pkwy, Ste 100

Houston, TX  77077

281-558-8580 Direct

281-971-3570 Fax

 

pat@patwelshproperties.com

www.patwelshproperties.com

 

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One response to “How I Use Technology to Solve Your Real Estate Puzzle”

  1. 87% using the Internet! That’s huge! Just goes to show how important it is to keep up with current technology to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market. Everything from photography to phones are going digital and as an industry, we’ve got to be more proactive in using the new tools being offered to us.

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