5 First Time Homebuyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We’ve all seen it before: a client who’s so excited about buying his or her first home that they’re making classic mistakes. As a Realtor®, it’s your job to help them do the right thing. The good news? You can do that while building their loyalty and earning their respect – and it’s probably easier than you think.   First, let’s cover the newbie mistakes: First Time Homebuyer Mistakes Buying too much house. Actually, it’s not really too much house; it’s buying more than they can afford afford (just because they’re approved for a certain loan amount doesn’t mean they can really afford it). Your clients need a serious budget before they can start serious house shopping. Forgetting about additional fees. Many first-time homebuyers don’t think about HOA fees, utility costs that go up over time (especially when appliances get old) and maintenance costs. Ignoring the need for a home inspection. We all know that big things that go unchecked will seriously affect the value of a home—like mold in the crawl space—but many first-time homebuyers might assume everything is as it seems. Unless your buyer is a licensed contractor, insist they hire a licensed home inspector to look at the [...]

By |2015-09-02T11:59:07-05:00September 25th, 2014|Agent Blog, Agent Education, Agent Productivity, Consumer Blog, Personal Finance, Real Estate Ethics, Selling Real Estate|Comments Off on 5 First Time Homebuyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

8 Safety Tips for Realtors®

As a Realtor®, you’re probably a “people-person.” You’re probably friendly, positive and pleasant to be around (at least after a cup or two of coffee, that is), so it might not cross your mind to take safety precautions when you’re out and about – but security experts say that real estate is a high-risk job. Why? Because we’re exposed to danger every day. September is National Realtor® Safety Month, so let’s dive right in.   8 Safety Tips for Realtors® As Realtors®, we meet a lot of strangers. We drive people we don’t know to empty houses. We put our phone numbers and pictures everywhere. If we weren’t selling houses, everybody would think we’re crazy. We’ve put together a list of 13 safety tips for Realtors®. Are you missing any of these essential protection strategies while you’re doing your job? 1. Meet new clients in your office and ask for identification before you head out. You can get a Prospect Identification Form from Realtor.org, which also asks for a photocopy of the client’s ID. Most people won’t bat an eye at a minor security procedure like this. 2. Show smart. Don’t show properties after dark, and while you’re inside, stay [...]

By |2015-09-02T11:57:18-05:00September 10th, 2014|Agent Blog, Agent Education, Benchmark Agent Tools, Real Estate Ethics, Selling Real Estate|Comments Off on 8 Safety Tips for Realtors®

Real Estate Code of Ethics- Violations Going Public (Almost)

Have you ever heard the phrase, “A few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch?” If you’ve ever had interactions with another agent who didn’t follow the Code of Ethics, violated TREC rules, or just didn’t keep up their end of a transaction, than you know exactly what we mean. At Benchmark, we focus on QUALITY of agent, over Quantity of agents.  We even have a formal Agent Behavior Policy that requires our agents to operate morally, ethically, and legally – or they cannot stay. Combine that with a proprietary check and balance system to ensure our document compliance and you will see that we believe in always doing the right thing.  It’s just who we are. Does that mean we are perfect?  Nope.  We don’t claim to be. When humans are involved in the process, sometimes humans make bad decisions.  But we try hard.  Towards that aim, we have established a proprietary “brain trust” that is available to our agents 24/7 to provide input on any sticky situation that they might find themselves in and in need of advice.  More importantly, one thing you will never hear about Benchmark is that our brokers are not accessible.  With multiple points [...]

By |2015-02-11T14:56:31-06:00July 16th, 2014|Agent Blog, Agent Education, Agent Productivity, Benchmark Agent Tools, Real Estate Ethics|Comments Off on Real Estate Code of Ethics- Violations Going Public (Almost)
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