Is Your Real Estate Agent on Social Media?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on February 1, 2016

Is Your Real Estate Agent on Social MediaMany real estate agents are using social media to try and get the attention of younger millennial homebuyers. However, with the age of the average real estate agent hovering around 57, they are more poised to connect with the parents of millennials.

Realtors are discovering that they can connect with clients using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and other forms of social media. Some real estate companies also have their own apps to attract clients as well. However, agents are finding that a sell-heavy approach can alienate people on social media and that to be successful, you have to hit the right mix of sales messaging and relationship building.

So what does this mean for a buyer? Check out prominent real estate social media when you’re shopping for a home in a new area. It might help you learn more about the neighborhoods and connect with a real estate agent who has similar taste.

Home sellers can simply take notes here. It doesn’t take a genius to use social media, and if you take the time to learn a little about hashtags and other ways to connect eyes with your content, you can handle the marketing end yourself.

Using a real estate attorney can also be helpful—especially if you’re already adept at social media and don’t want to pay a real estate agent a hefty portion of your purchase price to mess around on Facebook all day. Real estate attorneys work on a flat fee basis, which means they have no conflict of interest in the sales price and can truly help you get the best purchase price possible.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Is an Open House Worth it?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 29, 2016

Is an Open House Worth itThe open house. Every home seller dreads the open house. It’s a pain, it can take over your weekend, and most of the time it’s just the neighbors wanting to check out the place next door. So is that all true or are open houses a valuable tool for home selling?

Real estate agents are split as to the usefulness of the open house. It ‘s great for instant gratification, but are the people who are pulling across three lanes to turn onto your street qualified buyers?

That’s the downside. These days, 90 percent of buyers start their home searching process online. They let photos and video guide their decision to go schedule a showing. Once upon a time, you weren’t able to see anything of a home before scheduling a showing, so open houses were essential and time saving. But people don’t do their home buying with a Sunday drive anymore. In 2014, only 9 percent of buyers said they found their home from yard signs or open houses, down from 15 percent in 2001.

Today’s buyers are researching homes, neighborhoods and school districts online. Instead of the showing being an initial step of home buying, it’s become one of the last steps before making an offer.

If you do think an open house is important, you need to do it in the first few weeks that it goes on the market, while the listing is fresh and new and there’s a sense of urgency.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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How to Sell an Ugly House

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 28, 2016

How to Sell an Ugly HouseIt can be easy to get down on yourself if you want or need to sell your home and it needs repairs or some fixing up. But never fear. There’s always a way to sell an ugly house, you just need to have the right approach.

First, focus on the positives. You’ve probably been to look at a home that sounded great on paper or online and turned out to be a dump. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of the property and focus on the good parts, both with your visuals and your description. Be sure to research the words in home descriptions that drive people off and those that pique buyers’ interest.

Second, don’t assume the worst. Problems that seem major to you may be no big deal to the right buyer. If your home is outdated, cluttered, has a major system that needs replacing, you have minor mold issues or have other replacements that are needed, you can still get a good price for your home, it just may not be competitive.

Lastly, the right price fixes just about any issue, so make sure you are either prepared to make some repairs or can knock the price down to accommodate the repairs the new owners will need to make.

To make the best of your home, do these simple things:

  • Paint or clean all surfaces—windows, walls, and countertops.
  • Shampoo the carpets.
  • Remove as much of your stuff as possible.
  • Clean up the yard.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Five Things You Should know about the New Closing Documents

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 27, 2016

Five Things You Should know about the New Closing DocumentsThe closing process recently underwent a facelift as part of an effort to reform the mortgage industry after the housing crash of the mid-2000s.

These new disclosure documents simplify the closing process, help make the fees and costs more transparent, and prevent lenders from adding too many extra fees prior to closing.

  • Fewer forms. If you bought a home prior to October 2015, you would have gotten 4 forms: a Good Faith Estimate, the Truth-in-Lending Act statement, the HUD-1 Settlement statement, and a final Truth in Lending Act statement.
  • The Loan Estimate will help you compare offers. Your three-page loan estimate will help you compare offers from different companies by clearly stating the details of your interest rate, loan payment amount, and what your loan will cost you the first five years of your home.
  • Lender fees. Lender fees are clearly outlines on the second page of the Loan estimate. Check the origination fees and application fees to make sure you are getting the best deal.
  • Closing is clear. The estimated cash-to-close lists all the items that make up the total you’ll need at closing, so there’s no question. And, some can’t change prior to closing. Lenders cannot increase their fees before closing, although homeowners insurance can vary. But if yours goes up too much, you’ll have time to shop around more. Third-party fees are limited to increases of 10 percent or less.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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What to Expect When You Buy an Older Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 26, 2016

What to Expect When You Buy an Older HomeMiami is home to many historic districts where the homes are older than their residents. Older homes are unique and have a charm not found in new neighborhoods. But when you’re new to older homes, some of the expenses may take you by surprise.

Here’s what to expect when you buy an older home.

  • Landscaping. Mature trees are lovely to look at, but if they haven’t been properly maintained, you could be looking at damage from wayward tree branches or roots.
  • Old wiring. Homes that are 50 to 100 years old may have had the wiring replaced by now, but in some cases they may still have the original wiring, which is a system of porcelain knobs and tube traversed by exposed wiring. Some insurers won’t cover homes with K&T wiring, so be aware of references you may hear or see when discussing the home with agents.
  • Plumbing issues. Homes that have been vacant for long periods of time over the years will have corroded pipes. If no one has gotten around to replacing the plumbing by the time you are looking at the home, you’re likely the party that will have to foot the bill. And don’t look to insurance cover it, either. Insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions or problems caused by preventable. Slow damage, like aging pipes.
  • Limited bathrooms. Older homes typically only had one bathroom. Today’s homes often have two or three at the least. If that’s a problem for your family, you’ll need to include the cost of renovating with your purchase or get ready to get cozy.
  • Sagging Floors. Even new homes aren’t completely squared up from every angle. But older homes have had much more time to settle, and previous renovations can also affect how it does that. If you’re planning to redo floors or doors, be prepared for some custom costs.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate, Civil Litigation, and Personal Injury cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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