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September
12

Benefits of Utilizing a Rental Program

Rental Program

Renting out a home, condo, or other housing can be a great source of additional income, whether you're dealing in short-term vacation rentals or properties that are leased annually. But with the potential for profit also comes a great deal of work, from finding the right tenants to collecting rent and maintaining your property. The tasks associated with renting out your property are not only time-consuming, but it's also easy for something to go wrong.

That's why our company - through our real estate agents and a team of rental experts - offers a property management program to make things easier for you if you're renting out your property. In fact, our team currently manages more than 1,200 properties, including annuals, short/long term, and vacation rentals in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. The following are some of the benefits of utilizing a rental program.

  • Expertise
    Our company has over 8 decades of rental experience, and we offer full-service property management services. Even if you're an experienced landlord, our experience, expertise, and convenient services can help you get the most out of your rental property.

  • Competitive Pricing
    We'll use our market data and rental rate data, as well as our professional knowledge of the current real estate rental market, to help you set the optimal rental price. Correct pricing will help you maximize your profits while also making it more likely that your home is rented quickly.

  • Marketing
    You'll need effective marketing that reaches the best potential tenants for your property. We provide this in a variety of ways, starting with utilizing our property management software to syndicate your property's listing out to multiple websites, including online booking sites. If it's needed, we can also purchase additional advertising.

  • Tenant Screening
    Taking the proper steps to research a prospective tenant can go a long way toward avoiding problems. We'll require them to fill out a fee-based rental application and will then conduct a background check on criminal, credit, eviction, and sexual predator records. In addition, we'll require proof of income and will contact previous landlords and employers.

  • Pre-Rental and Post-Rental Inspections
    Before a tenant moves into your home, we'll take detailed date-stamped photos to provide evidence of your home's condition. We'll do the same when the tenant moves out, and if they've damaged your home, we'll let them know and will adjust their security deposit accordingly.

  • Coordination of Repairs
    At some point, your property will need a repair of some sort. We have relationships with qualified service people and will work with them to assure that you receive the best quality of work at a good price. And since some repair emergencies happen after hours, we're available for these types of calls 24/7.

  • Consistent Payment Processing and Disbursement
    We'll monitor and process all your rent money, and you'll have the security of knowing you'll receive your payments when expected.

  • Communication
    Our property managers will frequently communicate with you, so you're kept up-to-date on everything and will have the chance to express any concerns or ask any questions.

  • Help to Comply with Applicable Laws
    Depending on where it's located, you may need a permit in order to operate your property as a rental unit. In addition, we'll make sure you understand the legalities of consent forms, lease agreements, and Fair Housing laws.

Contact us to see Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale or learn more about how our rental program can help you maximize your profits and minimize your problems. 

November
29

Real Estate Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Real Estate MythsWhen you're buying a home, you're subjected to a variety of tips and recommendations from your friends and family. Unfortunately, our real estate agents know that much of the real estate tidbits floating around are myths.

Prospective homeowners believe these myths, potentially interfering with their dreams of homeownership. Here are a few common real estate myths we want to debunk.

  • Myth 1: You Can't Buy a Home Unless You Have a Ton of Cash
    This myth is usually offered by well-intentioned individuals, but it simply isn't true. It can also delay your dreams of homeownership because you mistakenly believe you need to spend as little money as possible so that you can save a lot of cash. With an FHA mortgage, you can purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the home's purchase price. Even conventional mortgages offer a down payment as low as 5 percent of the home's price, also, if you are a veteran, you may be eligible for a 100% home mortgage!
  • Myth 2: Your First Move is to Find a Home You Love
    Before you start browsing Bradenton homes for sale, work with a lender to get pre-approved for a home mortgage. Your lender will request information about your income and assets, along with your credit history, to determine how much you can borrow. You don't want to find a home that checks off everything on your wishlist, only to learn that it costs more than your lender will approve you for. Most sellers also prefer homebuyers who have proof that they're pre-approved for a mortgage (especially in a competitive market). 
  • Myth 3: You Can't Buy a Home Unless Your Credit is Perfect
    It's possible to purchase a home even if your credit is less than perfect. There are mortgages specifically designed for individuals who have some deficiencies in their credit histories. While you can still buy a home with mediocre credit, it's best to improve your credit as much as possible before applying for a mortgage. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate. This can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. 
  • Myth 4: A Lender Won't Approve a Mortgage That You Can't Afford
    When deciding how much to potentially loan you, your lender uses lending guidelines concerning how much debt a borrower should have. For example, conventional wisdom states that your home expenses (including your mortgage, taxes, and insurance) shouldn't exceed 36 percent of your gross income. All your debt payments, including your mortgage, shouldn't be more than 43 percent of your gross income. However, this guideline doesn't consider your other expenses and your individual goals. If you spend a lot on travel, school tuition, daycare, or an expensive hobby, this will impact the mortgage amount that you can comfortably pay. Don't assume that a lender understands your entire financial situation. Instead, look at your budget and spending habits to get a more accurate idea of an affordable mortgage payment. 
  • Myth 5: You Really Don't Need a Real Estate Agent
    Before you start looking at Sarasota homes for sale, find a real estate agent to help you find your ideal home. Real estate agents have access to more available homes than the general public. They also have extensive knowledge of the buying process and can help salvage a deal if problems arise. A great real estate agent can save you a lot of time and money when you're buying a home. 

Ready to start searching for your next home? Contact us today!

August
23

Tips for Picking A Real Estate Agent During a Hot Market

Real Estate Market

It's a hot market, and you're looking to buy or sell a home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. While an agent can help you in any type of real estate market, their help is especially critical during a hot market. Here's why.

Why Hire an Agent?

Yes, your home might just fly off the market with a Craigslist ad or the like, but what if it doesn't? With an agent, your home will get considerably more exposure in MLS (multiple listing service) databases created and maintained by real estate professionals to help homeowners like you sell their property. It just makes sense that the more potential buyers see your property, the greater the chance that the selling price could go much higher than your expectations. You could have buyers competing with one another, and that could only benefit you.

Your agent will be there throughout the whole process and able to offer advice for any aspect of the sale, from determining a price to staging your home to determining the scope of repairs you want to do before you put the home on the market. 

But an even better reason to hire a real estate agent is that many potential buyers are not comfortable talking to the owner of a property and prefer to deal with an agent. Not only can you -- and should you -- make yourself scarce while the agent shows your home, but you'll boost the comfort level of potential buyers, who may feel they are visiting you, as the owner of the home, rather than seriously looking at a home they want to live in.

What to Look for in an Agent

As you begin to look for a real estate agent, you will likely focus on an individual's experience in selling houses like yours in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors for recommendations. Get at least three referrals. And remember, while experience is important, so is personality. Can you relate to this person? Does he or she seem real to you? Look for an agent you can build a rapport with, in addition to their sales and successes.

Pay attention to the agent's marketing tools, including website, business card, brochures, signage, social media efforts, and more. Does the agent's personal appearance give you confidence in them, or is something lacking? 

When you discuss the sale of your home with a real estate agent, you want someone who can guide you through what can be a precarious journey. Can your agent answer questions reliably and with real data about investment analysis, neighborhood-level market performance, and possibly even the impact of your decision to sell? You don't want an agent who honey coats their answers; you need real information about possible pitfalls, so listen carefully to how your agent replies to your questions and make sure the agent is really hearing you.

Our real estate agents can give you solid advice on how to hire the right professional to help you sell your home. Contact us today. 

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