Blog – Page 2 – Lab Tested Real Estate

Don’t Let An Early Home Closing Sideline the Sale

Is your home purchase transaction going to close earlier than expected? If so, it’s vitally important to make sure the insurance company knows about it.  If not, you might find that on the closing day the lender’s underwriter red-flags the final review of signed documents because the closing date falls before the insurance coverage starts.

Here’s a recent real-life example:  The contract closing date language was appropriate (written as “on or before” a specific date, which in Washington state gives escrow the option to close early), but the loan processor didn’t catch the fact that the insurance policy was set to begin only on that specific date.  The buyer signed all of his loan documents, and it wasn’t until the lender was doing its final review – on the morning of the closing day – that an underwriter caught the oversight, triggering a flurry of calls to the insurance company.

Continue Reading
2

Don’t Lose the Listing Over the Home Staging Consultation

 

I talked with a real estate agent friend the other day and basically heard the story of how – for the second time now – she had lost a listing because of what happened when the home stager went to the property. (Different home stager each time, so I’m just saying – this is not the stuff of urban legend, it happens more than people might think.)  How ironic is it that an earnest attempt to provide more value to a real estate client ends up alienating them instead?

Here are some thoughts on how to prevent this from happening.

Continue Reading

Let Zig Ziglar Help You Achieve Your Goals

Have you set your real estate business goals the year?  Whether you already have or they’re still in the works, I highly recommend taking a few moments to watch this video of Zig Ziglar explaining how to set goals in a way that helps you successfully achieve them.  I’ve seen it a few times before, but I always find his advice really insightful – it falls into the category of things that intuitively make sense when you hear them but that are quite easy to forget when you’re bouncing around in the day-to-day world.

Some great Zig Ziglar quotes from the video:

Continue Reading

Is Your Real Estate Blog Breaking Copyright Law?

Please forgive the question.  (And if your first reaction is “Of course not, what is she thinking!” I totally understand.)

However, you would not believe the number of times I’ve seen real estate agents copy and paste entire news articles into their blog posts, mistakenly believing that they’re complying with copyright law by including the source and the author byline.

But… according to the law, they are not.

Continue Reading

What Are the Requirements for General Contractors In Your State?

For years when I saw that someone was a bonded General Contractor, I assumed that they had passed a set of construction-related professional standards set by the state  I think many consumers make the same assumption, but did you know that depending on where you live, this could be completely untrue?

In Washington state, for example, there are NO professional expertise-related requirements for someone to register as a General Contractor.  They do have to meet certain business and residency requirements, have liability insurance, and post a bond of $12,000 (as of December 2012), but here’s what the state of Washington says about the professional qualification part:

Links to pdf pamphlet for WA state general contractor application info.

Washington state General Contractor professional requirements as of December 2012.

Requirements vary widely from state to state.  California, for example, requires four years of experience, or some equivalent combination of technical education and work history.

Since being able to recommend trustworthy service providers is a valuable part of what a real estate agent brings to the table, it makes sense to be aware of contractor requirements in your state.  Here’s a link to a Contractor’s License Reference Site – you can click on the map to go to the database with information about contractor requirements in your state.

For Real Estate Magnets, Try House of Magnets

Looking to ramp up your real estate marketing? You might want to check out the House of Magnets website for ideas to complement your other projects.  They offer a good selection of magnets in the form of calendars, sport schedules, business card holders, and more – and their prices and order quantities are very reasonable.  Their turnaround time appears to be pretty fast, and you can even have something created with your own custom design if you’re feeling artsy.

I always advise agents to use more than one marketing mode in order to reach all of their clients, and those different tools can build upon each other as well.  Here at Tools For Real Estate we find that the agents using our real estate email newsletter service who have the best email open rates are often the ones who touch base with their clients in other ways as well, whether it’s through an occasional phone call or by supplementing with a gift like the magnets we’re mentioning here.

By the way, we’re not an affiliate of House of Magnets, just a fan based on what we know about them so far.  We’d love to hear your feedback if you end up using them.