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BBVA Compass Announces Zero-Percent Down Mortgage Loans

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BBVA Compass brings no-money-down mortgages back for low-wage income earners. Is this a move in the right direction for the housing industry? Comment below.

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Blackstone Buying Homes in Chicagoland Area

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You may have noticed that homes in your neighborhood were being purchased at an increased rate.  If so, Blackstone Group may be moving into your neighborhood.  This investment firm has been buying distressed homes in neighborhoods throughout the Chicagoland area and then renting those homes.  More than 1,300 homes in Cook County were purchased by Blackstone last year.  Initially thought of as a great investment in the area, some are rethinking their initial views of Blackstone’s interest in our neighborhoods.

For more and a list of the neighborhoods that seem to be of interest to Blackstone read, “Is Blackstone buying homes in your neighborhood?”

Image credit:  Anne Rossley

 

 

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15 Real Estate Apps That Can Help You Reach Your 2015 Sales Goals

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For real estate agents who are always on-the-go, mobile apps and widgets make organizing life and business simpler. But, with more than a million apps available for both Apple and Android devices, it is increasingly difficult to shop them all and find the ones that add the most value. Luckily, Home.com has done the legwork for realtors. They presented the top 15 real estate apps for 2015 at this year’s National Association of Realtors Expo in New Orleans. One helpful app that was launched with realtors in mind is Slide Bureau. The easy interface allows real estate agents to create slick, multimedia listing presentations, property flyers, and other marketing materials on-the-go. They can then be shared from an iPad in a one-on-one meeting, via the web, or projected onto the big screen for more formal conference room presentations.

Learn about the other 14 apps on the list here

Image credit: Sean MacEntee

 

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4 Ways Realtors Can Boost Their Online Curb Appeal

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With the average homebuyer browsing home listings online for three weeks before they call a realtor, a strong online presence is the single most important tool real estate agents have to hook new clients. In a new article for Inman News, David Greenberg , chief revenue officer for HouseLens, the nation’s largest provider of full-motion walk-through video tours for real estate listings, shares four web marketing tips to help realtors make a good web impression. At the top of his tip list is catering to mobile devices. He cites a surprising statistics that 77 percent of buyers use their mobile devices to shop housing listings even when they are at home where a laptop or desktop is readily available.

Read the full article to learn more.

Image credit: Brandon Hunt

 

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4 Reasons Realtors Love Working with Fournier Law Firm

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Having a good real estate attorney on your team is one of the best ways to protect a client’s investment. Learn 4 reasons realtors love working with Fournier Law Firm, Ltd.

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5 Signs the Market is Right to Sell Your Home

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Timing is everything when it comes to putting your house on the market. But how do you know when the time is right to sell? According to Maria Patterson, Executive Editor at RISMedia, there are five lifestyle and financial indicators that help you know it’s time to list your home. Patterson says outgrowing your current living space is one of the biggest lifestyle signs that it may be time to list. If you are busting at the seams and you have equity in your home and you notice other homes selling in your neighborhood, you likely have the perfect scenario for selling. What may come as a surprise to many homeowners is that 94 percent of homes in the $200,000 and above range now have positive equity based on a recent Corelogic Equity Report. That, coupled with an inventory shortage in most markets, could make now the perfect time for many home-sellers.

To learn more, read the entire article.

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6 Steps Realtors Can Take to Protect Their Clients from Identity Theft

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With all the paperwork that changes hands between realtors and their clients, real estate offices are an attractive target for identity thieves. In a recent article for Inman News, identity theft expert Robert Siciliano, gives real estate agents a refresher course in best practices they should be following to help protect their clients’ confidential information. One seemingly obvious practice on the list is the importance of shredding all documents that include client information. While this may be standard in all real estate offices, Siciliano points out that realtors who have recycle bins in their offices need to be vigilant to ensure they are not inadvertently recycling documents that should be shredded.

Read the full article to see if you are doing everything you can to protect your clients’ financial security.

Image credit: Don Hankins

 

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7 Things to Consider When You Inherit a Home

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Do you know what steps to take when you inherit a home? These smart tips from the host of Strange Inheritance can help you navigate your options.

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8 Home Fixes That Help Seal the Deal for Buyers

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What is the #1 home fix you advise clients to make before listing their home? Comment below, then check out the top 8 fixes one broker says will help close the deal.

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6 Client Gift Ideas for Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

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The holidays are fast approaching and there is no better way to stay top-of-mind with your clients than with a strong holiday marketing campaign. How can you make your client gifts stand out this holiday season? Jennifer Snyder, a marketing consultant that works exclusively with realtors, shares her top six gift ideas for clients in a new article for Inman News. One of the ideas she shares is to think local with your gift card giving. For example, she suggests sending a newly relocated client a gift card to a popular local restaurant or giving family clients a gift card to a local bounce house.

Read the full article for more client gift ideas.

Image credit: senor_codo

 

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