760-434-6161
Zoom in Regular Zoom out

Author: mclain_properties

Basic Guide to Flipping Houses

Posted By Mclain

 

The concept of house flipping is fairly simple; buy an outdated house at a low cost, give it a makeover, and sell it at a higher price. Sounds easy, right? But there are actually a lot of factors that one must consider before starting with flipping houses in order to be successful.

Although the market for house flipping has been growing in recent years, there are still a number of projects that fail to yield income. More often than not, this is due to the underestimation of the cost of the project as well as the time it needs to be accomplished, and the overestimation of the capabilities of the project manager. Just like in any industry, the more you know, the better which is why we’ve come up with a basic guideline to flipping houses. 

 

Financing

The first thing you need to consider is your finances. Understand home finances and decide how you’re going to pay for the house. Will you be paying for the house in cash or will you be getting a loan to finance this house? These are the basic questions you must answer first before starting a project.

 

Finding the Right Property

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to finance the project, start planning by conducting research. Research on the current state of the real estate market and the current trends in real estate. This is also the part where you begin to identify the type of property that you are looking for in order to serve the correct market, all while sticking to the budget you have set out. 

 

The 70% Rule

This is the general rule in house flipping. The 70% rule indicates how much a buyer is willing to spend on a project. This means that a buyer should never buy a property for more than 70% of the after repair value less the cost of repairs. 

So for example, the estimated after repair value of a property is $300,000 and the cost of repairs is $50,000 then the 70% rule states that the investor should spend a maximum of $160,000 to buy the property.

$300,000 x 0.70 = $210,000 – $50,000 = $160,000

 

Set a Timeline

Once you have mapped out your budget, start with planning the actual timeline for the renovations needed in the property. Consider all renovations and try to plan the best way to attack and complete the renovations so that you may dispose of the property as soon as possible.

 

Build a Great Team

In house flipping, time is of the essence. The longer one holds onto the property, the higher the costs and risk there is which is why one should find a great team to work and collaborate with flipping houses. 

The main component of this is to find contractors you actually trust and understands your vision as well as your needs. Of course, you can handle the repairs on your own, but as mentioned earlier, one of the rookie mistakes people make is overestimating their own capabilities and knowledge in flipping houses. On top of that, although you may save money by not hiring contractors, the time spent on flipping the house will only cost you the same. Be sure to check your contractors’ licenses and remind them of your budget and timeline.

 

Sell the property

The best tip for selling the property is to hire a real estate agent. Real estate agents are more knowledgeable of the current trends in the market and are well connected to potential buyers as well. On top of all this, they can post the listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database which makes it more probable for you to sell the house faster and at a better price. 

On the other hand, you can sell the house yourself. This will save you money but be aware of the risk of not being able to sell the property as quickly as a real estate agent would. This will all depend on your priority. 

Fun Facts About San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Also known as Califonia’s beach city, San Diego is an impressive city that has a lot to offer for people of all ages. From its great weather all year-round to its rich history, there are a number of fun facts about San Diego City that you may not be aware of. Here are some fun facts that we think might just interest you:

  1. San Diego Airport is considered as having the third busiest single runway in the world. The San Diego Airport comes next to the Gatwick Airport in London and the Mumbai Airport which makes it the busiest single runway in the United States. 
  2. San Diego is widely considered as the Avocado Capital of the World. Located in the north of San Diego County, Fallbrook hosts an annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival every April which attracts over 70,000 people. The festival includes all sorts of fun and games such as the biggest avocado contest, avocado car racing, and even a Little Miss and Mr. Avocado pageant.
  3. The average year-round temperature in San Diego is around 70 degrees which makes it an ideal destination for surfers. If you don’t know how to surf, there are a lot of surf schools as well as places that offer surfing lessons for beginners in the area.
  4. The world’s oldest active sailing ship is housed in San Diego. Known as The Star of India, this sailing ship was built in 1863 at the Ramsey Shipyard and has spent its years sailing from Great Britain to New Zealand and India. It was then restored in 1962 in San Diego and is now considered as both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark.
  5. Jack in the Box was founded in San Diego back in February 1951 by Robert O. Peterson. This major fast-food chain now has over 2,200 locations spread across the country but its headquarters still remains in San Diego.
  6. Comic-con International is held in San Diego. The first Comic-con, which dates back to 1970, was only attended by 100 people whereas over 130,000 participants have attended in recent years. Comic-con hosts a wide array of events ranging from programming events to the Comic-con Independent Film Festival.
  7. The country’s most haunted house can be found in San Diego. The Whaley House Museum was named as the most haunted house in the country by The Travel Channel and has now been converted into a museum.
  8. San Diego has the highest number of dog-friendly restaurants per capita in the entire country. There are currently over 500 dog-friendly restaurants in San Diego where you can enjoy outdoor dining with your furry friend.
  9. The first baby panda born in the Western Hemisphere was born in the San Diego Zoo. There is a cafe in the San Diego Zoo named after the baby panda, Hua Mei.
  10. Popular songs such as “Balboa Park” by Bruce Springsteen, “The Road to Escondido” by Eric Clapton, and “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys were all written about San Diego.

7 Backyard Improvement Ideas

Posted By Mclain

 

One of the benefits of living in California is having great weather throughout the year and the best way to take advantage of this is to have a beautiful and functional backyard.

 

Chances are, you’ve overlooked your backyard during your last home renovations so why not try and improve your backyard? With simple renovations, most of which you can do on your own or as a family activity, you can definitely spice things up a little bit and even improve the value of your home.

 

We’ve come up with 7 ideas to help you improve your backyard:

 

  • Grow a Garden

Take advantage of the time that you have and try different landscaping ideas for your backyard. You can add plants, flowers, fruits, and even vegetables to your garden. Not only will this make your backyard aesthetically pleasing to look at, but this may also be a new hobby and skill that you can add to your arsenal. 

 

  • Set up an Outdoor Living Room

Transform your boring backyard into an inviting destination at home by setting up an outdoor living area. Be sure to cement or to lay bricks in the area where you’re setting up so that your space will be more functional. The last step to this improvement is to add cozy furniture to complete the look.

 

  • Build a Firepit

A firepit will be a great addition to your outdoor living space. A firepit will allow you to maximize your outdoor living area as you will be able to stay outdoor for longer hours, even at night. Imagine a cozy night, sitting outside in your backyard, roasting marshmallows, and having great conversations with family. 

 

  • Build a Playground

In these trying times, having a playground at home is beneficial to the kids. From a simple sandbox to an over-the-top playhouse, there are a lot of options available online. Think of it as an at-home park for your kids wherein you don’t have to worry about their safety. On top of this, this may encourage your kids to spend less time on their phones or gadgets and more time outside in the sun.

 

  • Install a Grill

Installing a grill in your backyard gives you an alternative for dining out. Decide on whether a charcoal or gas grill would be best suited for your home and change things up a bit by having regular barbecues at home. Cooking is a great activity to be shared with the family and further maximizes the utility of your backyard.

 

  • Invest in Good Lighting

Good lighting is crucial as lighting affects the overall ambiance of your backyard. If your backyard is too dim, then it may come off as uninviting to some. String lights are a great way to add lighting to your backyard and are highly available online as well. 

 

  • Install Fences

Fences are not only for setting up boundaries to your property, but it also serves as protection for you, your family, and your pets. On top of this, it also provides you with some privacy. Given that you would be spending more time in your backyard, it’s crucial that you and your family feel safe and comfortable. 

 

Whether you choose to follow all these seven ideas or just one of the ideas, be sure that you choose what is appropriate for your backyard. Not all backyards are the same but the purpose of these ideas is just the same, and that is to maximize and improve your backyard. 

6 Helpful Tips in Finding the Right Property

Posted By Mclain

Looking for a property may be overwhelming for a lot of people. All of the time spent working hard to save up money to buy a property has built up to this moment and the pressure of being able to invest in the right property can be a bit tricky. There are countless things to consider when it comes to choosing a property, but we’ve come up with a few tips to help you decide:

 

Find the Right Realtor

Finding the right realtor is a critical step in being able to find the right property. Find a realtor who understands you and what your needs and wants are. As you’ll be spending a lot of time communicating and meeting with your realtor, your realtor must be someone who you have good chemistry with. 

 

Remember that a realtor may be experienced but that does not necessarily correlate to him being the right realtor for you. Another useful tip in finding the right realtor is for you to ask around. Ask your families, friends, and even colleagues about their experiences with realtors in your neighborhood.

 

Think About Your Finances

Always consider your finances. It is helpful to look for an independent financial adviser to walk you through the process of getting a loan and to help evaluate a suitable budget for you. Furthermore, you should also be mindful of having sufficient funding for the deposit. A sale will usually require 5% to 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. On top of this, there are other associated costs as well that you need to consider such as taxes, moving costs, improvement costs, and the likes. 

 

Write Down Your Wants and Needs

Writing down a list of your wants and needs is another critical part of being able to choose the right property. Once you start going to viewings and open houses it can be easy to get carried away by what you see, but as long as you have a list of your wants and needs, it’ll be easier to stay on track.

 

In trying to make a list of your wants and needs, consider your priorities in buying a property. Is the location of the property important? Do you want a property with a big backyard? Should the property be near a school or a mall? How many rooms do you need? Or how many slots does your garage need? These are some of the things which you might need to list down.

 

Decide on Your Non-negotiables

Having a list of your wants and needs is a good thing and there might be occasions wherein you might need to compromise on that list, but you also need to decide on your deal-breakers. You should be aware of the things that you are not comfortable with letting go. Inform your realtor of these deal-breakers and be patient in looking for the right property. 

 

Think Long-term

Always think long-term when trying to look for the right property. Buying a property is a huge investment and if you don’t see yourself living in the property for a long time, then it is probably not the right property for you. 

 

If you’re planning to start a family, then consider buying a property with more rooms. If you already have a family, then consider a property that’s near a school or a playground. 

 

Do Your Own Research

On top of everything your realtor has shown you, it is also beneficial to do your research. You may research on the neighborhood or just simply do a Google search on the events, activities, and local hangout spots in the community to help ease your mind in deciding on a property.

 

We hope that this article has helped you be more prepared and informed in looking for the right property for you. Feel free to reach out to us today should you have any questions. 

What to Expect During Real Estate Closing

Posted By Mclain

 

After all your open houses, shortlisting, lender talks, and budget discussions, you’ve finally set your sights on a dream home that you’re prepared to invest in. If you’re interested in purchasing a property any time soon, you may have heard of the term “closing” before. For those who have never been through a closing process, understanding what it entails can be tricky. After all, there are plenty of moving parts involved and any real estate transaction is chock full of trick jargon. But once your offer is finally accepted and money is provided to secure the contract, the real estate closing process officially begins and you move into the final phase of homeownership. Here’s what you should know:

 

The Closing Timeline

On average, a property closing takes between 30 to 45 days. On the closing date itself—which is agreed upon between the buyer and seller—all the final paperwork is signed and reviewed, and this process can take up to an hour. However, it should be noted that the actual closing date can be changed based on various factors (which we’ll discuss later).

 

Understanding Closing Contingencies

There are several closing contingencies listed in your contract, and it’s important for you to meet these conditions before the home sale is considered legally binding. The main contingencies include a home inspection, an appraisal, several loan documents, homeowners’ insurance, and a final walkthrough.

 

The home inspection protects you from a bad deal, ensuring that there are no hidden faults that could cost you after the sale of the property is finalized. The appraisal fee is required by the mortgage lender to ensure you’re borrowing the right amount of money, and that in the event the buyer defaults, the cost is covered by the sale of the home. Lastly, you’ll need to gather several supporting loan documents to get the final approval on your financing needs.

 

Closing Paperwork & Closing Day

As previously mentioned, the closing day typically takes about an hour, but it helps to know what you’re getting into beforehand. Closing paperwork includes the promissory note, the escrow disclosure, the mortgage, the right to cancel form, and several other government-mandated documents, disclaimers, and disclosures.

 

During the closing day, you’ll also pay the lender origination fee, prorated property taxes, any interest that has accrued prior to your first mortgage payment, your title insurance premium, and a portion of HOA fees if applicable. The average closing costs in the United States hovers around $3,400, but depending on your state, this number could be higher or lower. However, your lender will give you an estimated amount of closing costs early on in the loan process.

 

Getting a Mortgage Pre-approval

A mortgage pre-approval can help you shorten the closing process because most of the information required will already be in your lender’s database. A pre-approval shows the seller that the lender has already reviewed, approved, and determined how much they can lend you for a home purchase.

 

Furthermore, the pre-approval doesn’t just aid your closing process, but it also provides you with a sense of ease as you go about your home search because you’ll be able to search for homes within your budget. And lastly, it gives you more credibility as a potential buyer, which could put you ahead of the competition.

 

Potential Closing Delays

There are several reasons why the closing process might be delayed. These issues can occur at any time during the process, including up until the closing day. When you understand these potential road bumps ahead of time, you can help prevent them.

 

For instance, an official appraisal might be much lower than you expected, which is often a sign that you’re paying much more for a property than what it’s worth. This could end up putting you in a compromising situation because a lender won’t give you more money than you need for the cost of the house. Although there are several ways to remediate this situation, it could still throw a curveball into your timeline.

 

Loan complications are another common cause of closing delays. For instance, even if you were prequalified for a certain loan amount, that offer could change when the bank takes a deeper look into your financial history, especially if you’ve made some big purchases recently or your credit score has changed in the meantime.

 

Lastly, a home inspection can reveal issues that may encourage you to re-think the terms of your agreement. All homes, including newer homes, will have some sort of issue—no property is perfect out-the-box. Some issues will be minor and readily fixable, while others will require some negotiation. For instance, serious plumbing, foundation, and electrical problems can result in costly complications, and it’s important for you to understand what you’re getting into.

Why FSBO Homes End Up Failing for Sellers

Posted By Mclain

“For sale by owner” (FSBO) homes are homes that are sold directly from the property owner. However, there are many ways and reasons that this type of selling strategy might not work out for the seller. As a general disclaimer, it’s important to note that some FSBO sales end up working great for buyers and/or sellers, but these cases are often the exception and not the rule.

 

If you have experience in real estate and are confident about your expertise, an FSBO transaction might work for you. However, if you’re buying or selling and don’t understand legal jargon, the real estate market, and other important areas in the industry, you’re much better off with an agent. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why FSBO sales don’t always work well for homeowners:

 

Pricing the Property Wrong

Pricing your home is one of the first and most important steps. Unfortunately, many sellers don’t realize that pricing a home is something of an art; it’s possible to price your home too high, or even too low. If you’re selling on your own, it’s very possible for you to make a make-or-break pricing mistake.

 

Perhaps you’re checking out what homes in the neighborhood have sold for analyzing the average property values in the area. And while these are great initial steps, the truth is, pricing a home involves so much more work than simply looking at what other homes are going for. You’ve got to know how to price competitively and accurately, and there are certainly cases where your home will be worth more than comparable properties.

 

One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is overpricing their home to make more or take negotiations into account. If you do so, your home could end up on the market far longer than you want it to. According to the National Association of Realtors’, 22% of people who listed their homes in 2017 reduced their price at least once. The longer your home stays on the market, the less desirable it may appear to potential buyers; don’t wait to find out that the market isn’t in favor of your price.

 

No Marketing Skills

There’s so much that goes into selling property, and real estate agents understanding the marketing prowess that goes into making any property more desirable to buyers. You wouldn’t just want to list your home for sale on Craigslist or Facebook, particularly when you’re trying to attract the type of buyer that’s taking their purchase seriously and working with an agent as well. Agents are accustomed to using the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS used to siphon listings onto popular sites like Zillow and Trulia) and know how to create a listing that sells.

 

Experienced agents know how to put your property in front of your target market—the people that are most likely to purchase your home. They know how to stage your home so that it appeals to different styles, how to advertise your property in the best light across social channels, and have access to a pool of potential buyers.

 

Losing Money

One of the biggest reasons sellers choose to work without an agent is because they want to retain the agent’s commission fee, but the truth is, not working with an agent can end up being even more costly than the agent commission fee in the long-run. Furthermore, in some cases, you can bake the commission fee into the price of the home.

 

More importantly, contrary to popular belief, working with an agent to sell your home can often save you money. Studies have shown that, on average, homes sold with the help of an agent close with a price of $230,000, compared to the $170,000 average price for an FSBO home. Rather than put too much mental stock into the 3% commission you might save, think about the bigger picture—with an agent, you could see a net profit in the 10% to 30% more.

 

Lack of Legal Protection

When you decide to sell your home alone, you open yourself up to some legal liabilities. For starters, chances are you don’t understand real estate jargon or how to navigate complex real estate contracts. Any mistakes you make in the contract could cost you big time in the long-run. While agents have clauses that protect them from errors or mistakes in their contracts, FSBO sellers are much more vulnerable in the transaction.

 

Too Much Up Front Money

Selling a home costs money. And of course, it takes a lot of time—and time is more money. Real estate agents earn their commission by handling all the time and money-consuming tasks associated with selling your property, allowing you to focus on the actual move. If an agent loses the money they’ve put into marketing your home, it’s their loss.

 

In short, inexperience could really cost you—and it’s not worth the time and effort. If you don’t have extensive personal or professional experience selling properties, leave it to the experts.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a FSBO

Posted By Mclain

Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a FSBO

For sale by owner homes are homes that are sold without the representation of a licensed real estate agent. One of the main reasons that some homeowners prefer to sell without an agent is because they hope to make money. Another reason that homeowners choose to sell their homes independently is that they believe their property will be on high demand because of favorable market conditions. Their selling process is therefore much more different than if they’d gone through an agent. Similarly, the process becomes different for the buyer as well. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

Finding FSBO Homes
When you begin your home search, chances are the first thing you’ll do is head or over to a real estate platform like Zillow or Trulia. Or perhaps you already have an agent in mind, and head over directly to their site. Whatever the case, finding for sale by owner homes is a little more difficult because they cannot utilize multiple listing services (MLS) used on platforms like the aforementioned companies. This is because only real estate agents can create and publish MLS listings. Therefore, FSBO homeowners have to be a little more creative. You might notice them on forum sites like Craigslist, in local newspapers, and on signs in your neighborhood. However, it’s important to understand that even when you find a solid FSBO home for sale, you exercise caution.

Understand the Risks
Buying a FSBO does come with a few risks. This doesn’t mean you should rule it out entirely, but understanding the potential downsides will help you protect your investment. For example, even when a home price seems like a good deal to you, there’s a possibility that the homeowner has priced the property above market value, which could end up hurting you later down the line. You’ll also need help understanding the fine print and contract details, and real estate jargon can be highly complex and if neither buyer nor seller has representation, you could end up making some critical mistakes.

You Should Use an Agent
It would be in your best interest to walk into a real estate transaction with a real estate agent on your side—especially if this is your first time buying a home and the homeowner doesn’t have a representation of their own. For starters, an agent will help protect you and ensure you don’t get swindled in a deal. Your agent understands the market and whether you’re getting a fair price, and will negotiate on your behalf. Even more importantly, they’ll walk you through the inspection process and help you analyze and address any potential issues before you reach the closing stages.

Paying the Agent
In a typical real estate transaction, the commission for an agent is around 6% of the home price, which is split between the listing agent and buying agent. If you have an agent and the home seller does not, the 6% is still expected to be paid. There are various ways you can handle this.

In some cases, a hybrid approach would allow the seller to pay a 2% or 3% commission to the buyer’s agent in exchange for basic, helpful services and a much smoother real estate transaction. This could be seen as a win for the seller, who ends up paying about half the commission they would if they used a dedicated listing agent. If the seller doesn’t want to get involved with the buyer’s agent commission at all, you can work with your agent to build that fee into the off on the home.

What’s the Difference Between a Real Estate Broker, a Realtor & a Real Estate Agent?

Posted By Mclain

The real estate industry is vast and complex, particularly for new homeowners and investors. Real estate jargon is complex, and there’s plenty of moving parts to consider. One of the most common questions people ask is what is a real estate broker and what’s the difference between a real estate broker and an agent?

With so many different positions in real estate—and with some having overlapping responsibilities—the lines between different positions can be blurred. Understanding how different real estate roles are used within the industry can help save time during your search. So here’s what you need to know:

What is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is an individual who has passed all required real estate classes and passed the real estate licensing exam in their state. A real estate agent can work with buyers and sellers. Real estate agents are responsible for listing and marketing properties, acquiring their own leads, and working with the best interest of the client in mind.

They help buyers by analyzing their needs and wants and working within their budget to come up with a viable list of properties that align with what they’re looking for. And they help sellers by marketing their property, pricing accurately, streamlining the selling process. Furthermore, they help negotiate to price for both sellers and buyers. Among the primary three real estate roles, real estate agents have the most diverse set of skills and responsibilities.

What is a real estate broker?
A real estate broker is a real estate professional that continues their professional career development beyond real estate level exams. From here, they can become an independent agent under another broker (called a real estate associate broker) or have other agents work under them.

What is a realtor?
You may hear the terms real estate agent and realtor used interchangeably. This is because they share many of the same qualities. A realtor is merely a real estate professional who has become a member of the National Association of Realtors (a real estate trade organization) by abiding by its code of conduct and ethics.

There are several professions under the real estate agent that can hold the title of a realtor, including appraisers and brokers. Because they have committed themselves to go above and beyond for their call of duty, realtors are considered the best in their field. Members of NAR also have access to transaction management services and valuable real estate market data.

 

Key Differences

Working arrangement. Brokers can work for themselves, but an agent is required to work under a licensed broker. Real estate agents are required to work for a brokerage firm, acting merely as a representative of that firm when they provide service. This doesn’t affect the buyer or seller in terms of service.

Brokers are more highly trained. Because they take additional courses, they learn about topics like contracts, taxes, insurance, and ethics at a more in-depth level than real estate agents. They also have a thorough understanding of how real estate laws affect the industry from a local and national level.

Real estate brokers are, on average, paid more than real estate agents. Typically, the agent/broker commission doesn’t change for the client, even if the broker takes a higher piece of the commission pie. However, in some states, broker fees apply to rental agreements.

Three Types of Brokers

There are three types of brokers. Here’s how it breaks down:

Designated Real Estate Broker
A designated broker, or a principal broker, oversees everyone at the firm—brokers and agents—to ensure the office is run in complete compliance from a state and national level.

Managing Real Estate Brokers
A managing broker is hired by the designated broker to manage a team of real estate agents. They handle the daily operations of the brokerage and play an active role in hiring and training agents. They’re also tasked with minimizing legal risk to the firm by overseeing transactions, documentations, and listings.

Associate Real Estate Brokers
Associate real estate brokers are brokers who have met the qualifications to become a broker but act as a real estate agent. Broker agents don’t oversee other agents and work under the managing broker.

 

Types of Real Estate Agents
There are five primary types of real estate agents.

Buyer’s Agent
A buyer’s agent is what you might typically think of when you hear the term “real estate agent.” They represent the buyer in the transaction and help them find a property that meets their needs. They negotiate the best price for the buyer and put the buyer priorities first.

Listing Agent
A listing agent represents the seller during the sale of their home. They analyze the market to determine the most competitive price and work in the best interest of the seller.

Realtor
As previously mentioned, a realtor is someone who has become a member of the National Association of Realtors. They pay annual dues and have access to career development resources and other educational materials.

Transaction Agent
A transaction agent assists a buyer who isn’t represented by an agent of their own. This is typically only necessary in states where a dual agent isn’t allowed.

Dual Agent
A dual agent represents the buyer and the seller in a transaction. Because it can create a conflict of interest, these arrangements are usually very carefully planned out. A dual agent has to maintain full disclosure across both parties and is limited in the financial advice they can provide as a result. In some states, dual agency isn’t allowed.

We hope these terms and definitions help you better navigate the real estate arena as you work to achieve your goals. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

How Virtual Reality is Changing Real Estate

Posted By Mclain

Real estate is a very adaptive industry. Even when the industry is hit with tough factors that influence its direction, it adjusts to those changing factors. Already, we’ve seen how real estate has adapted to modern times. For instance, today, the home searching process is very much in the hands of the buyer, and there are several platforms that users can go to when starting the home buying process.

Furthermore, there are numerous real estate startups that were created to improve many facets of the real estate industry, from escrow transactions to subletting. However, although real estate adopts to changes that occur in the world, it’s been slow to integrate technology into its traditional structure. However, since the spread of COVID-19, the ability to create digital experiences for buyers and sellers has proved more important than ever.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a moment to discuss a growing trend in real estate: virtual reality. Earlier this year, Forbes published an article detailing how virtual reality is poised to revolutionize the real estate industry. Indeed, it has plenty of benefits. Here’s what you need to know:

Benefits of Virtual Reality in Real Estate

Maintain Safety

During these trying times, the real estate industry has to adjust to the coronavirus, and virtual reality would allow prospective buyers to virtually view a home before they ever visit in person. It maintains safe distancing, thereby helping reduce the spread of bacteria.

Serious Inquiries

Virtual reality would help bring in more serious potential buyers. A common issue for buyers and agents alike is that they show up at a property and find that it doesn’t look like it did in the photos. With virtual reality, potential buyers can eliminate homes they aren’t interested in before they visit. This means that they are only visiting properties whose virtual tours attracted them.

Global Reach

Virtual reality can be a game-changing tool for international buyers. For instance, between 2019 and 2019, Chinese buyers spent around $13 billion on real estate in the United States. Virtual reality would allow the local real estate economy to benefit, as remote buyers can get a better glimpse of their potential properties.

Save Agents Time

Clients typically visit several homes before they decide on the final property. This is a time-consuming effort that can cost time and money. Furthermore, prospective buyers are also able to visit many more homes within a shorter time frame.

Types of Virtual Reality

There are numerous types of virtual reality experiences that cater to real estate. Having different types of virtual reality allows agents and buyers to work together on unique marketing experiences that cater to potential buyers. Here are a few examples:

Guided Visits

Guided real estate visits typically consist of 360-degree videos. In some cases, they could be made with a combination of 360-degree photos, videos, and 3D renderings.The point is to create a story and highlight the home’s features. Today, creating 360-degree videos is relatively simple, which makes it easy for real estate agents to take advantage of. Ideally, the prospective buyer will have a VR headset for an immersive experience, but it isn’t necessary.

Interactive Visits

Interactive visits allows the user to touch points in the photo or video to steer them in that direction. Interactive virtual home tours are a little more difficult to create, but worth the added effort. Because they’re more interactive, real estate agents can more efficiently show a property.

Virtual Staging

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to sell a property without great staging, and not everyone can afford to stage a property well and appeal to different types of buyers. Staging plays a huge role in real estate, and studies have shown that a staged property can improve value perception and get a home off the market quicker. With this tool, prospective buyers will be able to better visualize what a property could look like. For instance, with the platform Rooomy, anyone can make spearhead virtual staging on their own.

Virtual Reality in Ecommerce

Virtual reality is a great tool for both consumers and businesses. Already, the world of ecommerce has embraced virtual reality in creative ways that could lend a hand to real estate. Virtual reality in ecommerce is very much like real estate staging. It works by allowing prospective buyers and homeowners to see what an object or feature would like in their home.

For example, with the platform Houzz, you can easily see what a coffee table would look like in your living room, giving you a feel for its aesthetic appearance as well as its size placement in the area. This can be a great way for prospective buyers to see whether a particular property is right for them, especially if the buyer has had difficulty envisioning what the property could look like with some design and interior adjustments.

 

 

Tips for Hosting Open Houses Amidst COVID-19

Posted By Mclain

A few weeks ago, we published a blog post on how COVID-19 is impacting the real estate industry. We discussed current trends and changes in the market, and what buyers and sellers might expect moving forward. Despite what’s going on in the world around us, some people have made the decision to continue moving forward with their plans to buy or sell a home.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and this decision may be beneficial for you despite the health awareness and current economic slowdowns. Real estate agents most likely aren’t making law-breaking decisions; they are getting permission from their brokers, staying up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 laws, and keeping those guidelines in mind as they work with buyers and sellers. However, keeping best practices in mind will ensure you know what to expect and will allow you to make smarter decisions. If you’re hosting an open house, here’s what you can do:

Small Groups

Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, open house gatherings should have no more than 10 people combined. Spread out visits from potential buyers as best as possible, and sanitize between visits. Pay particular attention to common surface areas, such as cabinets, door knobs, countertops, and faucets. It might be beneficial for your real estate agent to arrange open house “segments” that potential buyers can sign up for to ensure a minimum number of people in the house at any specific point in time.

 

Communicate your cleansing efforts. Every visitor that comes to your home is well aware of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. As a host, do your best to put their minds at ease by letting them know how you’re maintaining your property and keeping it sanitized throughout visits. This shows that you’re taking the situation seriously.

You can choose to do this when they come in, and you may even hand out postcards or short flyers that detail your sanitization efforts as well. This added effort and care can go a long way with buyers who are making important decisions. Remember, purchasing a home isn’t just a financial decision; it’s also an emotional one. A good connection with the seller can help a buyer make a decision between two properties they’re struggling to choose between.

 

Turn on all the lights in the house. This prevents visitors from having to touch light switches as they navigate from room to room. It’s a simple gesture that allows you to minimize touching walls in the household, and keeps other visitors from touching common points in the home again and again.

 

Create mini disinfectant stations. This will go a long way with your visitors, who will appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into making sure your home and visitors are safe and healthy. Have soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels ready available. These small disinfectant stations can also create a “watercooler” effect, bringing visitors together for candid conversations.

 

Offer gloves (and booties if you can). This way, visitors can protect their hands and feet, and your home can remain as germ-free as possible. Some researchers noted that shoes made with synthetic or plastic materials can carry the virus for days, although more research is needed. Although there is currently no conclusive proof that protective footwear can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it can’t hurt.

 

Consider alternative or supplemental marketing tactics. Hosting an open house isn’t the only option for sellers. Instead of hosting an open house, you can guide potential buyers through the buyer journey. For example, you might create a detailed virtual tour for YouTube, with a new video exploring each room. Or, you might add more 3D photos to your listing.

Talk to your agent about these in-depth marketing experiences that can help potential buyers in their decision-making and can help cut down on open houses and one-on-one showings.

We hope these open house tips were useful for you, and that you remain healthy and optimistic during these uncertain times.