Take a Break from the Freezing Cold!

This February, most of the Eastern United States has been experiencing record lows, long freezes and epic snowstorms. Cold temperatures and snow can be fun occasionally (think snowball fights, days off school and work, snow angels, etc) However, prolonged cold temperatures can leave your body drained, your car battery drained and your wallet drained from the heating bills.

Yes, keeping your home warm during weeks of below-freezing temperatures can be quite difficult. If you have a large home, or a tall but narrow townhome, maintaining a comfortable temperature is next to impossible. In tall, narrow townhomes, it seems that regardless of what temperature you set on the thermostat, it is perpetually 90°F on the top floor and 30°F on the bottom. In large homes, thermostat settings seem more as an inspirational, vague, utopian numbers rather than a temperature the inside of the house actually needs to be. Keeping your house warm is a tall order when a comfortable indoor temperature of 70°F to 75°F is 40 to 60 degrees higher than the bone-chilling winter air. Heating a house is a constant battle against heat loss via cracks, open windows, doors, worn-out seals and typical, inevitable static heat loss through windows and walls.

The Better Way To Keep Your House Warm

Rather than cranking up the heat and paying the monthly energy bill of a Walmart Superstore, open your shades or curtains, and let sunlight in during the day. It surely doesn’t feel like it, but the sun is still very strong in the winter. Letting in sunlight creates a mini greenhouse in your home, retaining most of that radiant heat, and raising the temperature inside. Be sure to draw the curtains at night. Darkness and low temperatures will zap all that daylight heat gain. To keep the bill low, install a programmable thermostat. Chances are, there are many hours throughout the day where your house is empty. Programming a lower temperature for those hours may save you money in the long run.

The Best Way To Keep Your House Warm

Although the aforementioned methods are great for keeping your house warm in the Winter months, without a doubt, the best way to keep your house from freezing solid with frigid winter temperatures is… (you will hate us for this one…) to buy a house somewhere where there aren’t any freezing temperatures! RealEstateAgent.com can give you access to thousands of listings in warm, tropical Florida, so you can spend next February in flip flops and sunglasses rather than knee-deep in snow!

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Fifty Shades of Cleanup – Tips for Cleaning Up Your Valentine’s Day Mess

Fifty Shades of CleanupIf you celebrated Valentine’s Day the way it was meant to, your house should look like a rose-petal covered, candle wax, chocolate and wine paradise, or a set of Valentine’s Day, depending on how thorough you were.

Now that Valentine’s Day 2015 is over, and all the red, heart-shaped candy boxes and stuffed animals with cupid arrows are sitting in a clearance bin at your local pharmacy, it may be time to clean up the mess and get your house back into “normal” mode.

Candle Wax

The amount of candles required for a properly romantic Valentine’s Day home setting is enough to make any Fire Marshal toss and turn at night. However, all those candles mean a lot of dripping wax, and a LOT of mess to clean up. We are kind of hoping you did not try to clean up hot wax the night of… going to the emergency room on Valentine’s Day with a non-romantic medical emergency is disappointing and probably humiliating. No, the best way to clean up wax is to let it set — let it solidify into the waxy solid that it is on the candle. Once solid, most of the wax can be broken off and lifted in big chunks. For whatever is left over, lay a cloth over the leftover wax, and apply gentle heat. The wax should lift right off.

Another cool home tip for Valentine’s Day candles is to put them in the refrigerator or freezer prior to setting them out. The cool wax will burn slower, and cause less mess.

Heart-Shaped Chocolates

Granted, this will work for any chocolate, but really, we are mostly talking about the heart-shaped ones. Let’s just say that Valentine’s Day is a day in which chocolate is consumed in more places than just the dinner table. If chocolate found its way onto surfaces throughout your home, use much of the same principles as wax. Dried, solid chocolate can be flaked off in chunks. For everything that does not come off that way, use a mix of dish soap, or a household fabric or carpet cleaner.

Red Wine

If you JUST spilled red wine on your clothes, furniture or carpet, there are about a million and a half methods to get the stain out: club soda, milk and salt are all good ideas for lifting the stain before it sets. However, let’s face it… who is going to stop their Valentine’s Day fun to battle a stain? Come on! Most likely, the discovery of a wine stain happens a week or so after Valentine’s Day, when you finally notice a spot during cleanup on the clothing you wore that night. No worries, your clothes are not yet ruined. Grab some shaving cream, (yes, shaving cream!) and work the lather into the stain. Let it set for a few hours, and wash as usual. The shaving cream should be able to lift the stain!

Good luck, and happy cleanup! Just one more way for RealEstateAgent.com to help homeowners… after all, wax and chocolate on the floor, and a wine stain on your shirt is certain to detract potential buyers! All of us at RealEstateAgent.com hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend!

 

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RealEstateAgent.com — Like, Share, Follow, Connect… We Love Social Media!

Social Media Marketing for Real Estate AgentsTo be an effective business nowadays, slapping a quarter-page ad in the local Newspaper is simply not enough to attract the business a company is looking for. For most businesses, having a top-notch business website is not enough either.

Today’s world is more transparent than ever. With the advent of Social Media, millions of people are communicating across various Social Media platforms, stating their preferences, keeping up with news, trends and their favorite businesses. This “business transparency” is achieved through on-going direct-to-consumer communication through Social Media by businesses. This is a new, revolutionary concept in Public Relations, and Customer Relations that allows any business from the corner bakery to a worldwide corporation to interact with fans, manage a brand image and engage new customers.

RealEstateAgent.com took a head-on approach to this emerging world of Social Media for businesses by taking control of our presence across multiple platforms. Choosing to do so places us in a powerful position to drive new leads to the agents listed in our online real estate directory. Monthly we receive calls from homeowners who have found us on social media, asking for help finding an agent. Just one more way RealEstateAgent.com provides value for their clients.

RealEstateAgent.com’s Commitment to Clients via Social Media:

Facebook: we manage a highly-successful business page with an interactive network of homeowners and an Ad budget that helps us reach homeowners nationwide. Periodically we run and promote contests and giveaways to engage our followers, and reward customers for their brand loyalty. Realestateagent.com’s Facebook community is made up of homeowners who want to stay up on the latest trends and receive advice on the market. We also utilize Facebook Ads advanced targeting engines, to engage new homeowners to “Like” our page as well as to visit our website and browse our directory of dedicated agents.

Twitter: we use this sharing-oriented platform to engage prospective homeowners with interactive content and tips on staging, decor and home improvement. We also engage existing homeowners who are looking to sell or trade up with relevant financial and real estate information. Ultimately our Twitter network is guided to the website where reputable real esate agents listed in our directory can be found.

Pinterest: the perfect tool to share beautiful photos of homes, decor and renovations. Pinterest is also the platform on which we ran a fun, zany contest called the “Ugly House Sweepstakes.” We asked participants to submit photos of the messiest, scariest and most dilapidated rooms and homes they had — the awarded winner got a chance to improve their surroundings with a $500 gift card. Our interactive Pinterest platform promotes a community of sharing ideas with each other, while positioning us as a credible resource for fun and engaging content among homeowners.

Google Plus: To engage both homeowners and real estate agents, we utilize Google’s own Social Media platform, Google+. By sharing videos, blogs and other content from RealEstateAgent.com that is highly optimized with specific keywords, we increase our search engine ranking on Google, making us visible to more people. When homeowners find the realestateagent.com Google Plus page through search engines, they are more likely to click to our website, browsing the directory for the agent who is the right fit to find the home of their dreams.

LinkedIn: the platform for engaging business-to-business partnerships. We utilize LinkedIn to provide helpful information for our agents, while simultaneously attracting new agents and industry related topics through group conversations and articles on our company LinkedIn page. Utilizing LinkedIn’s new Pulse feature, you can find our blogs and helpful agent articles there to guide you along your real estate journey. We welcome all of our agents to get involved on our company page and encourage everyone to share articles and information that is helpful to fellow agents.

Blogs: Last but not least in our engagement strategy is what you are currently reading: our blogs! Here we mix it up with topics for both homeowners and real estate agents. Homeowners can find helpful industry tips, mixed with fun , zany topics like Real Estate on Mars, and odd ways to sell your home like making doors purposefully squeaky or dressing in yoga outfits… If it’s fun, interactive and enjoyable to read, it’s up our alley! Agents find helpful Marketing information via our blogs to help them land more clients and understand how to improve their customer experience.

Through all of our Social Media efforts, one goal and result remains the same: increasing our network, widening our directory and exposing you, your Real Estate search and your listing to a perpetually growing network. This separates us from the competition that only focuses on search engines like Google, leaving a wide open “social space” to attract new buyers and sellers for our real estate agents.

 

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Real Estate… IN SPACE!

Real Estate In Space, Real Estate On MarsLet’s face it… the future is here. Widespread space exploration and colonization, the stuff of science fiction, is slowly becoming reality. We’ve walked on the moon, landed on an asteroid, flew the whole length of our solar system, and are finding new planets in other solar systems almost daily.

It wouldn’t be long before humanity starts legitimately exploring, and colonizing other planets and moons. The real estate community needs to be ready!

As far as real estate in our cosmic neighborhood, Venus may be a tough sell — sulfuric acid rain and 200 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth may really put a damper on profitable real estate values. After all, every probe we sent there either imploded, exploded, or disintegrated due to the 700+ degree temperatures.

Mars, our other next-door neighbor, seems to be a much more viable candidate. Between all the missions we’ve sent there over the years, there is more hardware on Mars than some Radio Shack stores. Several state and private space agencies are currently planning manned missions, and one even planning putting permanent citizens on Mars by the 2030s.

Getting in on the interplanetary real estate action is easy: there are websites out there selling land on Mars for $40 an acre, a steal compared to Earthly land. Considering all the future planned exploration, mining and colonization, owning a piece of land on the Red Planet may actually be a worthwhile investment.

But don’t break out the checkbook just yet… unfortunately, there is no way to actually own land on Mars. A 1967 accord called the Outer Space Treaty basically prohibits private, or national ownership of any part of space, moon or territory of other planets, treating them as “benefits for all mankind.” Of course, that does not stop many savvy entrepreneurs from claiming to be the “official owners” of space land, and selling it accordingly.

As of today, $40 will get you a shiny, official-looking certificate, and perhaps some sci-fi toys, none of which make you the legal owner of any land. However, if the Outer Space Treaty was to be abolished in the future, where on Mars would make the best real estate investment?

Mars has no surface water, so beachside property is out of the question. At an average temperature of  -80°F, and barely any atmosphere, being around the equator is pretty much useless. The best land to grab on Mars would probably be around Olympus Mons, Mars’ giant, dormant volcano. Why land around a volcano? Most likely, Olympus Mons is extinct, however, the old underground lava tubes round the volcano may serve as perfect living quarters, protecting inhabitants from radiation and planet-wide dust storms.

If you have no luck with Olympus Mons’ highly-competitive seller’s market, your next best bet may be on the poles of Mars. Mars’ polar regions are covered in ice, and possibly water ice under the surface, making the polar region ideal for habitation. The areas are also suspected to have tremendous amounts of minable minerals and other natural resources. Staking your claim to pieces of land ideal for building refineries as part of a profitable future mining operation may prove to be an excellent investment.

For now, this is all just speculation. The Outer Space Treaty prevents us from owning any extraterrestrial piece of land. Colonization of Mars has not even begun, however, once it does, we imagine territorial disputes are soon to follow, with it, the necessity to amend or abolish the Outer Space Treaty. Rest assured, that if the space Real Estate race was to start soon, RealEstateAgent.com would be right there with you, helping Earthlings and Martians alike find the best piece of property on any planet.

 

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Crazy Home Selling Tips You’ve Never Heard Of

Home selling tips have come a long way from just making sure there was a roof overhead and an outhouse in the back. Although in years past, those may have been some of the bigger selling points when home buying, most homes now have a built-in bathroom and a roof with shingles that keeps the rain out. However, there are still some tips that should be adhered to when selling your home, and if they are followed, you can be assured of top dollar when the “sold” sign is placed in the front yard.

Size Up Your Potential Buyers

If you are going to be showing a home to young hipsters or liberal free spirits, make sure you aren’t wearing any shoes and that you are wearing a clean pair of yoga pants. In every room you enter, say, “Yes, I feel the warmth and love here.” Be sure to stress how unique and one-of-a-kind your house is.

For those conservatives on the list ask not what the potential buyers can do for you, but what you can do for the potential buyers. Nothing speaks better than a suit and a tie, no matter what gender you are, and make sure to have several Ronald Reagan buttons attached to your chest. When you enter every room and begin describing it, always end the selling points with, “Read my lips.”

Squeaky Doors

There’s an old saying in the realty business, and it goes like this: “Quiet doors sell houses, squeaky doors sell homes.” Virtually everyone who was growing up always remembers the squeaky doors in their home from when they were young. Before breaking out the WD40, consider giving the prospective customer a warm and fuzzy feeling from their youth and leave a few doors in their natural state. If no doors are currently squeaking, a towel and a hair dryer pointed at the hinges should do the job nicely.

The Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose Initiative

Make sure that any potential customer knows that Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose have already looked at the house and are ready to buy. You know the type. Bertha and Tenoose are loud, overbearing and obnoxious. If they were to buy the house, the neighborhood would never be the same. You can use the Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose Initiative and tell the prospective buyers that it is up to them to save the neighborhood, buy the house, keep Bertha and Tenoose away and everyone will be happy. It works every time.

Every realtor sometimes need the proverbial “ace in the hole” to sell a home. Using these tips will close the deal when other methods won’t, and can give you an edge over any other selling method. Best of all, they’ll keep Aunt Bertha and Uncle Tenoose from causing havoc in virtually any neighborhood they might want to buy a house in. And that’s the best reason to incorporate these tips every time you are selling a house.

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Where Agents and Realtors Failed in 2014

Real Estate FailThe year 2014 saw some of the best housing interest rates coupled with some of the lowest prices on the realty market. Although many realtors and agents were able to take advantage of these factors, many more failed in a market place that was exceptionally profitable for others. So let’s take a look at some of the major failings of agents and realtors in 2014.

Going At It Alone

Many agents and realtors have a bit of success in a company or a partnership and decide to go at it alone. However, a substantial portion of realty failures in 2014 were by people trying to be independent. Certainly, it was a buyers’ market and there were plenty of buyers, but the information and exposure by working with a partner or a company cannot be understated. Partnering with directories like RealEstateAgent.com exposes your listings to a wider local, and national audience, significantly increasing your chances of getting more interest, and eventually, getting a better price. Granted, you may gain more profit by selling one property by yourself, but statistics show that partnerships sold more properties than independents, and selling more properties, even if you have to give up a piece of the earnings pie, inevitably means more sales, more profit and more experience in the long run.

Learn the Business First

In 2014, start-ups, branches and independents had the biggest failures in 2014. The major realty companies raked in the profits, while everyone else got the leftovers. Now, that doesn’t mean that “everyone else” wasn’t doing their jobs, and in some cases, branches, independents and start-ups flourished. But the main reason that the others failed was lack of understanding the business end.

Every agent and realtor needs to master the business end of the realty business before they strike out on their own. Know the basics and implement them for a successful business. Realty is based on tried and true basic techniques that have worked since selling real estate began. The nuts and bolts of the real estate business will never change, and these principles work for the big companies as well as they would work for independents. Master the basics, learn what a successful business model is, and use it. Those that tried to reinvent the realty world in 2014, payed a big price in limited sales and profits.

Quality Over All

Agents and realtors that offered quality listings had a higher rate of success in 2014. Professional looking pictures and compelling property descriptions sell more than sloppy looking presentations, no matter how nice the property really is.

In many cases, realtors just want to “get something up” and put in as little time as needed to showcase a property. The reality is that, by taking a little extra time to make the presentation as appealing as possible, it will go a long way towards selling the property. A thoughtful description that is grammatically correct, coupled with pictures that attempt to fully capture the area and the uniqueness of the property, went far to sell real estate. Sloppy pictures and dull descriptions all played a part in why agents and realtors failed in 2014.

2015 may become a banner year for real estate as a whole, but learn the basics, offer quality listings and don’t go at it alone until you master the business, or you may end up failing while everyone else profits.

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Real Estate Agent Vs. Realtor – Is There Even a Difference?

Real Estate AgentReal Estate is everywhere and we just can’t get away from it anymore…  every house, apartment, condo, office, one-story strip mall store or skyscraper — just about any, immovable structure on a piece of land is considered real property. Since we do not live in a country where all real property is owned by the government, real property in the United States is constantly built, improved, bought, sold, traded, leased, borrowed against, or foreclosed on.

Although some real property is owned by the US Government, such as that prime piece of real estate at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW in Washington DC which is unlikely to be up for resale anytime soon, most real property in the United States is privately owned, therefore it will come up for sale and trade hands at least once in its existence.

With all of that buying and selling of real property, those who help buyers and sellers find the right piece of property, sell a piece of property or just help people through the process of sale are, of course, in high demand. In the US, those “helpers” are members of the real estate industry. Many names could refer to the same job description, but in fact Realtors and Real Estate Agents are not the same person. Many people do not know the difference between a realtor or real estate agent.

Real estate agent is the most known term in this profession when it comes to customers looking to buy or sell a home. Perhaps that’s why they love to join realestateagent.com.

5 Reasons to Work with a Real Estate Agent vs a Realtor:

  1. A real estate agent is a licensed agent who has attended 30 to 90 hours of classroom instruction in real estate fundamentals from an accredited college.
  2. A real estate agent must pass an official exam that covers real estate standards and common, updated practices.
  3. A real estate agent pays an annual fee to obtain and maintain their license.
  4. A real estate agent reports to a broker – a broker is highly trained to manage money and various scenarios that may arise during the purchase or sale of a home.
  5. A real estate agent typically has more resources to provide to homeowners and business owners

What about a realtor, you ask? Many people don’t even know how to spell realtor correctly. The difference in a realtor is the fact that they belong to the National Realtor Association. Home appraisers, brokers, licensed agents and even real estate counselors can join this network, positioning them as a realtor too.

To find a remarkable real estate agent who will work with you to find the home of your dreams, or that prime property for your business it’s best to find directories such as realestateagent.com, who vets licensed real estate agents in specific markets not people who are just members of an organization.

An agent that comes recommended, has good reviews, and/or belongs to a directory such as RealEstateAgent.com has a much higher chance of being exposed to a larger network of buyers and sellers, therefore is more likely to get you a competitive price for your property, or get you into a home of your dreams.

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Wayne County, Michigan Real Estate Agent

People who are looking for qualified real estate agents in Wayne County, Michigan, will discover a wide variety of specialists who are dedicated to providing exactly when their clients need. Real estate agents look out for the best interests of their clients and are ready to be of assistance. When in need, these are the individuals to visit.

Keep in mind that a real estate agent in Michigan is more than wiling to sit down and talk about what a family, business or individual wants to do. They can meet with a client before the whole process begins in order to talk about the real estate process. Wayne County professionals are upfront and honest about where expectations and will keep in touch about any developments that occur. Many clients are delighted to learn that agents have convenient hours that work with many different schedules. In addition to this, they are on call if a client has any questions or wants to add new information concerning a particular piece of property.

The fact of the matter is that buying or selling real estate is a big deal. There are details in paperwork that need to be answered. There are local, state and federal codes that need to be followed in order for a property to sell. There can be questions about how much a property or home is truly worth. All of these things are quite important. It takes an experienced real estate agent from the area to ask the right ones and take care of the details of the process.

People can find the right Michigan real estate agent. Qualified professionals are up to the job and make sure their clients get a deal that is beneficial to them. Therefore, go to the excellent real estate agents in Wayne County.

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Buy a Home with a Clark County, Nevada Real Estate Agent

Hiring a Nevada real estate agent offers home buyers in Nevada a lot of great benefits. Real estate agents have knowledge of local schools, neighborhoods, grocery stores, and restaurants. They also know the crime statistics, populations, and traffic concerns for different Nevada cities. Real estate agents in Clark County, for example, can help new homeowners find the fastest ways to work or school, the best school districts for children to attend, and great places to visit for fun. Real estate agents have current knowledge about local listings and homes for sale. They are a treasure trove of knowledge that home buyers can use for finding out about anything local.

Local knowledge

A Clark County real estate agent is very skilled at knowing what homes are family-friendly, pet-friendly, or handicapped accessible. They can help pick out listings that fit the needs of the home buyer perfectly, so the search is easier and faster. Having an agent with local knowledge means that home buyers have less research and stress overall. You can find out which schools have the best ratings, what neighborhoods are safest, and homes close to dog parks and pet supply stores.

Current listings

Using a local real estate agent helps homeowners find the most current listings, so you have less chance coming across homes with multiple bids. Current information helps real estate agents show you homes that are new on the market. Recent listings keep you from seeing the perfect home just to find out that it has already been sold.

Using a local real estate agent offers home buyers a lot of potential benefits. It helps you save time, money, hassle, and stress. A local agent can help you find the home of your dreams in just the right neighborhood that fits your needs perfectly.

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Find a Real Estate Agent in Miami Dade County, Florida

Finding the right home to purchase can take careful effort. Many people will need to take the time to investigate their options and figure out what is right for their needs. When looking for a house, it important to have as many resources as possible at your disposal during the entire process.

One of the most important resources anyone can tap into is a local real estate agent. This is especially true in regions where buying a home can be a complex process such as Florida. The state of Florida has many complex rules and regulations governing the home buying process. Even those who have lived in the Miami-Dade county region of the area or other parts of the state for many years may need precise help when navigating the region’s complex housing laws.

A Florida real estate agent, one who knows about local area ordinances, can be of great help during this process. In many instances, real estate agents in Miami-Dade county will have access to properties before they even hit the market. A real estate agent will often know that a specific property is about to come up for sale. The agent can show the prospective buyers the property even before it hits on the Multiple Listing Service.

The agent can also help the buyer figure out the kind of home they want to purchase. A home buyer may be unsure if a condo, traditional apartment, freestanding house or home in a retirement or other planned community is right for their needs. The home buyer can work with the agent to explore all possible potential properties that are for sale in their target area. This can help them decide which one is right for their needs. The agent can also work with them during the entire buying process.

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