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"Before I would even call a real-estate agent, I'd have my home inspected..."
"Having an inspection (report) right on the counter during the open house...shows the buyers that the seller's got nothing to hide..."
"Sellers are strongly advised to consider getting a pre-sale home inspection..."
"Hire an inspector. Buyers often make the purchase offer contingent on the home passing an inspection to their satisfaction..."
"Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective buyers itemizing all of the repairs that have been made and the associated cost for each..."

Ever thought about Pre-listing Inspections as a marketing tool? It is one of the BEST to increase the sales price, and decrease sales time. Check out this short slide show and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

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Benefits for Realtors who refer their clients to NBHI: - back to top

  1. Our Inspectors follow a very detailed set of policies, developed over 10 years of inspecting to deliver all findings in an unbiased, non-scary manner.
  2. We meet weekly to talk about the Home Inspector’s role in the buying process.
  3. Realtors who refer their clients to NBHI for a home inspection are covered under our E & O insurance.
  4. We understand that your referrals to us are YOUR clients, and we always treat them with the utmost courtesy and respect.
  5. We won’t kill your deal. ( by being negative or positive – we understand both angles and simply stay neutral and focused on our thorough work and customer service).
  6. You’ll have access to our professionally prepared marketing tips newsletter (sent monthly).
  7. We make it a point to present everything about ourselves in a way that will reflect a very professional and clean image to the agent who referred us, from our personal appearance to our tools and vehicles.
  8. We will always continue to earn your referrals through our hard work, and consistently high standard of work.
  9. Because of our Team of Inspectors, each inspector is accountable for how they represent NBHI and serve their customers. This produces unmatched results.

Why have Thousands of Professional Real Estate Agents Refer Their Clients To NBHI’s Inspection Team Since 1999?

Our Inspectors Convey Their Inspection Findings In A Way That Doesn't Kill Your Deal!

You Know Your Client Doesn't Want An "Inferior" Home Inspection From Some New Home Inspector That's Trying To Burn His Way Into The Market By Slashing His Price.

Because You're A Professional, You Know Your Client Wants "Peace Of Mind" That They're Making The Right Decision About Buying The Home Being Inspected.

We send out a newsletter once a month detailed the most up to date real estate marketing strategies available. We would love to include you, all we need is your name, email, and the company you work with.

NBHI will never abuse your personal information. We hate spam as much as you do! Privacy Policy

6% of Nothing is Nothing - back to top

by Mildred Wilkins

"And that ain't nothing, believe you me" is a refrain of a popular song from my youth. Who knew they were talking about real estate commissions?
In today's tight market it behooves you to start with the end in mind. Literally.  It would seem obvious that licensees would always do that since they're self-employed and paid only via commissions.
Unfortunately, keen observation signals that far too often REALTORS focus on the accumulation of listings without focusing on the realistic possibility of a completed closing.  They bought into the myth that whoever has the most listings is the winner of the trophy and therefore is most productive.
Something is Wrong With This Picture . . . 
Can you imagine an agent who regularly carries an inventory of 25+ listings (average price $125,000) but is seriously struggling.
Obviously, the agent has no problem convincing folks he can sell their home.  The problem lies in failing at some other very basic issues which are likely to prevent someone from converting a listing into a "closed" transaction. Let's consider the most likely culprits.
Silly Details
This will surely not be stepping on your toes to mention "silly" reasons why a listing is unlikely to result in a sale.
The owner filed bankruptcy, two weeks ago
The spouse never signed the listing contract
The lender will be "short" and no one mentioned it
The house is already scheduled for a sheriff's sale
The paperwork for a deed-in-lieu was mailed the day you had your listing appointment
The "summons" was received two (2) days before they called you

Shame on YOU
In today's market it is not intrusive to conduct a thorough analysis of the reasons why a potential seller chooses to sell at this junction--that just reflects market savvy.  Further, it is a disservice to the potential client and to your agency/yourself to list property without addressing the most common reasons why real estate becomes "unavailable" for the completion of the transaction in today's market.
What a shame to have unearthed the proverbial needle in a haystack (a qualified, ready and able buyer) only to discover you don't have anything to sell.  If you are lucky--really lucky--this qualified buyer will be too busy to sue your client for "failure to perform," with yours truly as a co-conspirator.
Price 'em RIGHT…from the beginning
The operative word is RIGHT. The correct view is from a buyer's prospective.   Must I tell you I mean for today's market, not the market THAT WAS--which is no more.  If you're not able to convince a potential seller of the appropriate listing price based on your BPO/CMA and supporting documents, are you a good enough salesperson to convince someone to buy it at the inflated price you listed it for?  Think about it.
Is the owner committed?
I'm sorry, I didn't mean "should the owner be committed" or perhaps, "the owner plans to get committed."  I mean, IS THE OWNER, TODAY committed to selling their home? Well, how can you tell?  That's easy.  An owner who is committed to selling has some basic awareness of the market and will be receptive to your education/documentation of current value.  They will already be working on getting their home ready for showings and quite willing to set a definite date when those preparations will be complete. A committed seller is not "testing the water." They have concrete plans for moving. In other words, they're an active participant in their real estate process, not your reluctant sidekick.
Ready for the debut?
Not you, the house.  Too often, in their anxiety to seal the deal and tally another listing, agents list homes which are not only not ready for showings (clutter, minor cosmetic issues which need to be addressed, lack of curb appeal, etc) but whose owner has demonstrated a lack of commitment to making them ready. It's such a simple practice to ask "How long will it take to get your home ready for showings?" (Notice, I did not say for listing). Then clearly say, "Call me when it is ready for showings. We can then do the paperwork needed for the listing agreement and I will take photos for marketing."  There, wasn't that simple? Don't list a home you are ashamed to have viewed.  Day One.  Dot.  Period.
The Four Rules for Listing
The "rules" I encourage you to implement assume your relationship with your client is strong enough to have resolved any issues related to:
Appropriate market-based pricing
Acceptable condition
Provisions for showings
Possible impact of "undisclosed pertinent information
Any "other" current realities

Rule #2--List at no more than 3-5% above the current market (short sale is an exception to this rule
Rule #3--List only when the home is "camera ready"
Rule #4--List only AFTER the seller has demonstrated they are committed to selling
Closing = Commission Paid
Now for the first and most important rule. The FIRST rule for listing should be: Don't list anything you don't REALISTICALLY believe you can close. It was a good rule to live by when I started my real estate career in the early 90's. This was not a company rule, but my personal standard in order to become a successful REALTOR.
My logic was that if I closed everything I listed then folks would believe that I was a good REALTOR. Such a novel idea.  But it worked. My fall-thru rate with buyers was less than 5%, almost always because of inspections issues.  My expired listings--less than 1%. Time on market--well below the average for the market then. I appreciate that times have changed. Nonetheless, it was an excellent idea then.
I encourage you to consider adopting it as your personal mandate today. You'll accept fewer listings, but if you close 90-95% of what you list, will you be better off in 2009 than you were in 2008?  You do the assessment.  It's a business decision. 
Marketing listings which are not likely to sell is costly.

6% of Nothing is Nothing
One of the prime reasons I teach and write is because I recognized that the strategies which are being used by many agents are counterproductive and therefore, very frustrating. Handling foreclosed properties for Fannie Mae, after some well-meaning agent had tried to sell them--the traditional way--predictably resulting in foreclosure--I decided to teach agents how to better understand the lender/insurer's position, and how to successfully structure a short sale.  It works, IF YOU WORK IT.

10 Tips from 10 Experts - back to top

by Julie Escobar

Ten experts share their smartest survival strategies for today's market 
"The smart ones ask when they don't know. And sometimes when they do." Consider these wise words from Malcolm Forbes, a man who clearly knows a thing or two about surviving financial storms.
Isn't that what we're supposed to do when we don't know, are facing adversity or are in over our heads? Heck, isn't that even what we're supposed to do to get ahead of the curve during tough times and be positioned for greatness when the tide starts to turn?
I think so, so I did. I asked: "What's the SMARTEST thing agents can do to build their business in today's market?" Fortunately for all of us, 10 of the top minds in the industry answered.
Here is what our special guests--Floyd Wickman, Bill Barrett, Darryl Davis, Carol Johnson, Mr. Internet®-Michael Russer, Matthew Ferry, Walter Sanford, Dave Beson, Claudia Wicks and Judy LaDeur--had to say about the smartest thing you can do to build your business now.
1.     Industry icon Floyd Wickman: Well, I believe that's a three-part formula. First, work each week (we could stop there and increase production by 38%)… on bringing in saleable listings. That means getting face to face with a seller for a listing or price reduction. Next, get all buyers and lookers into the office to be qualified, and sell them on the benefits of the office like you never have before. Last, sell in-house inventory first!
2.     Industry icon Dave Beson: Focus on filling the prospect pipeline and improving your presentation so that when you get in front of a "live one," you will win! If you aren't pre-planning your day and including an hour or more of prospecting by phone, in person, by letter, by email, by postcard and follow up, then you're missing the boat. I tell my audiences, "You have to be a missionary for real estate."
The easiest thing to do is to tell a success story--just one--about a couple who kept their house or a family that WAS ABLE TO BUY because of your help. If you need to share a story with someone in the office, that's okay. I have a letter that I suggest agents send out to everyone they know. It's cool to follow up by phone, too, even if it's just to leave a voice mail! Here it is:
Dear Bob and Mary,
I just reviewed my business for the year and found an amazing surprise: More than 61% of my business was past customers, referrals and repeat business.
Sure, it's been a challenging time in real estate, but where would I be without the support of important people like you and your friends? Many thanks for telling your friends about me, and me about them.
Be sure to let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or a friend.
    All the best,
    Your Name
Get in touch, and stay in touch--consistently. That's key.
3.     Real estate and trends expert Bill Barrett: DO NOT CUT BACK ON YOUR BUDGET! Keep in touch with your past customers--meaning ALL of your past buyers and sellers--on a monthly basis. Superstars get 80% to 90% of their business from past customers through continuous prospecting and marketing. Consider that we're still on track to sell four million re-sales nationwide this year. Who's going to sell them? Certainly not the ones who "give up." Stay in the game.
4.     Noted speaker Darryl Davis: I believe the best thing about this market is that we will see a flood of buyers coming out. Sellers who were waiting in the wings to sell their houses and buyers who were sitting in the wings waiting for rock bottom all will start to move as we see our market start to inch up. Remember: The agent with the most listings WINS! If I were to gamble, I would say things will be on the upswing starting this spring. So prepare for the surge of buyers by building your listing inventory NOW!
5.     Recruiting pioneer Carol Johnson: Stay in constant communication with your book of business, customer base and centers of influence. There is a market--people are buying and selling! This is a good time to make a change. It's also a great time to develop new niche markets. Property condition is paramount right now--properties need to be in good condition, and prices have to be right. Make your listings the most compelling properties on the market!
6.     Mr. Internet®, Michael Russer: I would have to say, launch your e-team. E-team members specialize and differentiate themselves by targeting a niche. 90% of agents don't do this, which forces them to compete with everyone. Specialists know that they must always effectively answer the question, "What's in it for me?" for every client.
7.     Industry coach Matthew Ferry: For agents, I would say that they need to find that faith they had in themselves before. I'm doing a webinar for all of my clients that includes a six-point action plan to help them find the courage and strength to make 2009 their best year yet. It takes honesty--about finances, about whether this industry is the right industry, and about resentment and anger. These mindsets and energies have a very damaging effect on productivity. People know what to do, they just don't do it. They don't do it because of hidden negativity in their mindsets. This must be discovered and removed.
For brokers, I would have to tell them to get to the heart of each agent's passion and purpose. Most people are focused on what doesn't work about life right now and, consequently, draw from that energy to make decisions. This is very detrimental and will pull you further into a mental breakdown. The key is to discover the future you are committed to and get focused on that. Everyone is operating in relation to the future they are present to. If you are in despair, then you are present to a bleak future. If you are empowered, then you are present to a future that you are looking forward to. Today's action is a function of the future.
8.     Real estate expert Walter Sanford: Short and simple: "Triple (at least) your current listing inventory." This positions you to win when the market turns.
9.Speaker and trainer Claudia Wicks: Learn online marketing and how to use the technology tools consumers are using. You need to have an online presence and, of course, develop a database of prospects. Establish relationships with more prospects than ever before. Collect email addresses; use tech tools to stay in touch automatically until they are ready to buy and/or sell, and stay in touch with past clients.
According to NAR, many agents have been in the business seven years or less. They have never known this type of market. They do not know what to do to generate business. Agents who have developed a large database of prospects, however, are not struggling. They have a steady stream of business. In this market, you need to get down to basics and build your business. That means generating prospects. You can do it by talking to everyone you know and asking for business by networking and letting everyone know it is a great time to buy. You also can do it by creating an online presence and branding yourself by marketing your own web site, blogging, joining social networks, and responding immediately to online requests for info.
Show up every day, and start working. Stay motivated by doing something nice for someone else, by talking to past clients, and by watching how you talk to yourself and not listening or "buying into" all of the negative talk. You can do it by believing in yourself
Brokers and managers, the smartest thing YOU can do is provide training and encourage new skill building for your agents. Keep them engaged in productive activities such as networking opportunities, open houses involving the entire office or office tour of homes, or showing them how to market their listings online. I'd also suggest having "call nights" where they call past clients to stay in touch. Also provide them with valuable information such as:
which price ranges are selling, list price to sales price, days on market 
 how to handle issues that arise at closing 
how to work with appraisers to help ascertain value 
what type of financing is available 
good news at the office such as new listings, sales and price reductions 
short sale help 
foreclosure information 
 how to get a price reduction 
how to help get a listing in good condition or staged 
10. Recruiting guru Judy LaDeur: Agents, DO NOT read the newspapers, and please turn the TV off! Agents are glued to TVs and reading papers like never before, just looking for the gloom and doom. I say, "Ignore the press!" There are opportunities in every market, and the agents who are finding them are having a great year in real estate! This is a great time for apartment renters to buy homes. It also is a great time for sellers in a starter price range to move up to their dream home. Price homes correctly, and stage them well. Homes are still selling! If you have listings that are not priced and staged correctly, get rid of them!
Brokers and managers, I'd tell you to first trim the fat! That means look at your costs, and see where you can cut back. You also should look at your agents, and trim a few of those as well. Most brokers right now are carrying agents who need to be out of the business. Those agents drain your office resources and staff.
I'd also tell you that there has never been a better time to recruit! Many agents are unhappy and looking for options. The brokers and recruiters we're coaching right now are having record-breaking recruiting years because they pick up the phone every day and talk to agents. In this market, if you are not recruiting, you will not survive!
And the last bit of advice is the same advice that I gave the agents. DO NOT read the newspapers, and turn the TV off! We are coaching several brokers who have doubled the size of their office this year by ignoring the press. If anything really bad happens, you will know about it soon enough. All of your friends who are glued to the TV will call and tell you what is going on! So stay focused, and keep moving forward!
Thanks to all of our extraordinary panelists for their extraordinary answers! When it comes to "asking" for help, you'll find this "dream team" of experts to be a resource you can turn to and rely on every time.

Capitalizing on the New Housing Stimulus - back to top

by Bob Corcoran

"Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it is only time we have." 
              ---- Art Buchwald
You had to love Art. He had some great quotes. And this one really puts things into perspective, especially for those of us in real estate.
Yes, I'll grant you that you can look at our economy and the real estate market and proclaim it the worst of times. Totally your prerogative. But please, don't call me. I avoid those who whine and complain and see the worst in everything.
The fact is -- no matter what you think of today's market -- it is just as Art said, the only time we have. And as a real estate coach and consultant, my job is to help agents and brokers see how to make the most of the time they have whether it's a buyer's market, a seller's market or an alien's market. (I don't care what kind of market it is; you can still make a living if you adopt the right attitude.)
Now a couple of big events have happened in the past month that are going to cause consumers to look to real estate professionals for answers and help. Namely the Homeowner Stability Initiative and the $8,000 tax deduction for home buyers.
The stability initiative is President Obama's $75 billion, three-part plan that will give low-cost refinancing for about five million Americans, provide financial incentives to lenders and create a new insurance program to promote more mortgage modifications.
And the tax deduction, now signed into law, lets first-time buyers claim a credit worth $8,000, or 10 percent of the home's value, whichever is less - on their 2008 or 2009 taxes. A big plus is the credit is refundable, meaning tax filers see a refund of the full $8,000 even if their total tax bill - the amount of withholding they paid during the year plus anything extra they had to pony up when they filed their returns - was less than that amount.
So how do you capitalize on the Homeowner Stability Initiative? Let me share a sentence I tell all my clients: Your whole life changes the day you make a commitment.
You capitalize on this or any other time by making a commitment to being the best agent or broker you can be. Right now. Today. In other words, become the expert and market yourself as that expert.
This is a time when consumers desperately need answers, guidance and counsel. So my advice is to develop summaries of these events and how they can help consumers, and then put them on your website, your advertising, your letters -- everywhere you can.

Doing this positions you as the pro in the field. And create a question and answer document -- get the word out about what this all means for the consumer. Maybe even do a short seminar at your local library.

Making Prospecting Fun With LinkedIn - back to top

by Randy Eagar, CRS

Build contacts with business executives you don't know by linking with people you do using the tool LinkedIn. How? Let me provide some background first. LinkedIn is a Web 2.0 social marketing tool that fits into the neat nomenclature of "social network". It is primarily created for business professionals. For our purposes, we will focus on discovering sales leads.
There has been a massive popularity of social networking sites such as LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook. In recent years. In August 2007 alone, MySpace had more than 60 million unique visitors and Facebook attracted 19 million, a growth rate of 23 percent and 117 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
If you are wondering what a "social network" is, think of them as websites where users create personal profiles, search for "friends" or "contacts," and create extensive networks of connections.
So why might this tool be good for you for sales leads? Because it is big! I mean it is really BIG! It had more than 15 million members as of October 2007. It is one of the fastest-growing online social networks in the world. Traffic rose 323 percent from July 2006 to July 2007, making the site the No. 1 online destination for professional networking.
LinkedIn Contacts
After you register and create a profile page, you are ready to create your contacts. LinkedIn will automatically find all of your e-mail contacts who are already members of the site. You can also use LinkedIn's "Find Contacts Wizard" to upload contacts from Microsoft Outlook or any other address book software.
Once you've uploaded your contacts, you then can select which of those LinkedIn users you'd like to invite to become members of your network. You can also use this opportunity to invite all of your non-LinkedIn contacts to join the site. The more you invite, the more connections you will be establishing.
LinkedIn Connections
On LinkedIn, the people who are part of your network are called your "connections". Connections imply that you know the person well or that they're a trusted business contact. LinkedIn warns against adding complete strangers to your network, or accepting an invitation from someone you don't have a trusted relationship with.
Now what you want to do is to turn a contact into a connection. You will need to invite that person to join your network and they need to accept. Likewise, for another person to add you to their network they need to invite you and you need to accept. Regardless of who invites who, when an invitation is accepted, both parties are automatically added to each other's list of connections.
How Do Sales Leads Work?
This is where the program gets fun. Think of the game "6 Degrees of Separation" (Usually associated with Kevin Bacon). The game is to find actors that have acted with another actor who has finally acted with Kevin Bacon (or whomever). Because of the mathematical odds, it can almost always be proven that we are all within 3 to 4 degrees (connections) of knowing or being related to each other.
So how does all this lead up to sales leads? Okay, let's start out this way. Let's say that you would love to find an in to the new medical supply plant that is moving hundreds of people in next year. Make a call to the receptionist of the personnel manager and ask for a meeting. If you get turned down, no problem. Get her business card. She'll probably have her email address on it.
Now the fun begins. Add her to your list of connections. This will send her an email saying that you have added her to your list and would she mind if she added you to hers. This is very non-threatening and most people just accept. After all, she's met you. The next step is to ask for an "introduction" to her boss (the personnel manager). Remember that this is not an appointment, but access to them as a "friend".
If you get this, you are in. Now the two of you have a common friend (in the receptionist) who is common to each of you. Now it is much easier to invite him/her to lunch. The beautiful part of all this is that it can be done by the dozens and dozens to as many people as you care to prospect . . . the easy way.

Stop pulling your hair out over prospecting. Make it fun.

Marketing to First-Time Buyers The Perfect Storm - back to top

by Karen Deis

"It was the best of times--it was the worst of times."
The opening sentence in The Tale of Two Cities pretty much sums up what is happening in the real estate and mortgage industry today…EXCEPT when it comes to working with first-time homebuyers.
It IS the best of times! Every "weather condition" in the real estate universe has lined up in perfect symmetry to create the perfect storm for FTHB. Here's what's happened and why you need to get the word out to your client database, the press, apartment dwellers and includes content for your FTHB seminars.
Why is it the perfect storm?
FHA & VA lending has increased 400 percent over previous years. More and more lenders are offering government loans. It's easier to get approved and loan limits for FHA have increased.
(Check with your lender for the new loan limits in your area.) FHA limits are $217,050 on the low end and $729,750 in high-cost areas. On January 1, 2009, the high-cost FHA loan limit will decrease to $625,500…still a decent loan amount in most parts of the country.
The $7500 Tax Credit for first-time home buyers and applies to all types of loans (FHA, VA and Fannie/Freddie). 
Here are some of the highlights:

Maximum "tax credit" of $7500 or 10% of the sales price if lower than $75,000.Tax Credit is paid back over a 15-year time period ($500 per year) and FTHB can skip a year before payments start. It's basically an interest-free loan to stimulate home sales.

 Qualifies if adjusted gross income is $95,000 for Individual tax return and $170,000 for Joint tax return.

First-time homebuyer is defined as not owned a home within the last 3 years.

Tax returns must be filed to get the cash tax credit--the entire amount is refunded the 1st year.

If the buyers received a refund each year from the IRS, the $500 tax credit pay back will be deducted from the refund.
My suggestion would be to hold a FTHB seminar with a tax advisor, and JUST cover this topic ONLY. Since the tax credit covers homes purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009, review your database of closed loans to first-time homebuyers and invite them to the seminar too. Ask them to bring a friend, who has not owned a home within the last 3 years along with them to learn about this huge benefit.
Fixed mortgage rates are the lowest in years and you can demonstrate the tax benefits of homeownership by giving your prospects a Net-Effective Interest Rate/Payment.
What does "net effective interest rate mean? It's the effective interest rate your client will pay if they complete a 1040A Tax Return, factoring in the tax-write offs for mortgage interest paid.
Consider a loan amount of $150,000 and an actual interest rate of 6%. Based on current tax charts, a couple, filing jointly and making $90,000 per year, the "net-effective interest rate" would be 4.95%. The P&I payment based on 6% is $899.33 but the "net-effective payment" would be $800.65.
Decrease in property values (worst of times for sellers) has made it more affordable than ever. 
Consider yourself the "weatherperson". The best way to let prospects know that their timing is perfect is by offering seminars and free info on your website.
In addition to contacting prospects in your database, sending post cards to apartment complexes (the NAR reports that over 75% of FTHB have rented before buying their first home) is the next best way to let everyone know that there is a home buying storm brewing--and that lightning very rarely strikes twice!

Beware of the Blind Home Inspector! - back to top

Home Inspectors in Utah are unlicensed and unregulated and the quality of the work inspectors produce varies greatly.

We think no licensing and regulation of home inspectors is a bad thing. And we regularly hear horror stories about some of the poor work being produced by Utah inspectors.

We also want you to know that there are some wonderful Home Inspectors out there as well. The good home inspectors are generating quality information that you can rely on. They're providing true Peace Of Mind for their clients.

But how are You, as a Home Buyer going to be able to know the difference between a good Home Inspector and a bad home inspector.

Well, we can help.

Sign up for our free report, “7 ways to avoid the blind home inspector”.

NBHI will never abuse your personal information. We hate spam as much as you do! Privacy Policy