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How to Sell a Home to an International Buyer

As the economy of the United States continues to change, more and more international real estate investors have laid their eyes on buying up investment properties in America. With this trend continuing to increase you may want to consider marketing your home not only to those within your city or state or even nation, but to the world at large. Opening your property up to national as well as international buyers will give you the advantage you need to sell your home quickly and for a good price.

Instructions

  1. Advertise your property in a foreign newspaper. You can easily do a quick search for a newspaper in the countries you wish to advertise to, and through their website either place and ad directly, or, be able to locate the contact information for their classifieds department. Remember to keep in mind foreign currency rates when getting prices.
  2. Make your own website. One of the quickest and least expensive ways is to create your own website for the property. You can easily find a cheap or free website hosting service and can even hire a web designer to help you post the site if you feel like you are not technologically prepared to build a website on your own. Also, keep in mind that many hosting companies now offer very simple website building software that just about anyone can use, and on top of that most of these companies offer the software for free.
  3. Place an ad in a foreign magazine. If you truly have a great piece of luxury property, you may want to consider taking out an ad in a foreign magazine. Look for aspects of your home that are unique and look for magazines that match that uniqueness. So for example, if you have a gourmet kitchen, you may want to put and ad out in an international cooking magazine. Or if you have lakefront property with water access, you may want to take out an ad in an international boating or fishing magazine. Just be creative.
  4. Post an ad on Craigslist or other international classifieds sites. Cragislist has made it as simple as possible to advertise your property to an international audience. Posting an ad on Craigslist and similar sites is also quite simple as well as free. You will not only be able to post a large amount of text regarding your property but you will also be able to post photos, and even a link to your website featuring the property if you have one.
  5. Make your home stand out. The best way to sell your home to any buyer, including an international buyer, is to find its selling points. Find what makes your home stand out among the many luxury properties and lofts and really sell that point. Whether it’s the view, the square footage, the location or the amenities, highlight them as much as you can in your ad to get your potential buyers hooked on learning more and potentially buying your property.

How to Become a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Virtual positions have become increasingly popular, especially in real estate. Realtors and brokers have busy schedules and are often unable to keep up with the high demand on their own. You can become a real estate virtual assistant using the following suggestions.

Instructions

  1. Take a real estate assistant’s course and become certified. Visit the International Real Estate Assistants Association website for information on the certification process. This course teaches potential assistants how to use the tools and technologies used by real estate professionals.
  2. Determine whether you want to work as a contractor or an employee. If you want to work independently, you need to come up with a name for your business.
  3. Look for ads for virtual assistants. Work-at-home forums are good places to start. You’ll often find a folder specifically for virtual real estate assistants. Online employment sites, such as Craigslist and Careerbuilder, allow you to look for jobs by category and geographic location.
  4. Build a website for your services to give you a place to direct your prospective clients to and to create a more professional appearance.
  5. Create flyers and a brief letter explaining your services. Outline the benefits of having a virtual real estate assistant. Include your contact information, so prospective clients can contact you.
  6. Mail a flyer and a copy of the letter to real estate offices, brokers and individual realtors in your area. Remain positive. There’s a great demand for virtual real estate assistants. If you don’t receive positive results at first, continue applying.

Tax Deductions for Investment Property

Window displaying a for rent sign.
Buying and maintaining investment properties is an expensive business. Real estate investors, namely landlords, can increase their profits from rental property by taking advantage of the many tax breaks available. Owners can deduct all or part of the cost of owning single-family or multi-family rentals. Investors should consult with a tax professional to determine how exactly each tax deduction applies to them.

Deducting Mortgage Interest

  • Mortgage interest is one of the largest and most consistent tax deductions for rental property owners. Loans for non-owner occupied homes tend to have higher interest rates than mortgages for primary residences. Because more of your monthly payment goes toward interest in the first several years of a mortgage, your deduction will shrink as you pay off the loan. You can also deduct interest on second mortgages used to improve or repair rental real estate.

Depreciating Rentals

  • You can’t simply write off the purchase price of a rental property in the year you buy it. Instead, you deduct a portion of the expense of buying an investment property over several years. You recover the cost of acquiring a rental home through a method known as depreciation. Depreciation, or the decrease in your rental home’s value which occurs over its useful life due to wear and tear, only applies to the structure itself because the land it sits on doesn’t depreciate.

Repairs to Your Rental

  • Tenants turn to their landlords when a rental needs repairs. You can deduct the cost of ordinary, necessary and reasonable repairs you made to restore the home’s condition. However, components that you replace, rather than fix, usually aren’t deductible. Replacing or upgrading items in your rental property usually constitutes an “improvement,” which makes the home better, instead of simply restoring it.

Costs to Travel

  • Depending on how involved you are in your rental’s day-to-day management activities, you likely spend money going to and from your property. You can deduct the cost of travel for your landlord activities. Amounts you spend to repair, fuel and maintain the vehicle you use to perform your landlord tasks, and hotel, airfare and meal expenses when traveling overnight, are deductible. You can use a standard mileage rate if you choose not to deduct actual vehicle expenses and meet certain other requirements. As of 2014, landlords could deduct 56 cents per mile driven.

Payment for Professional Services

  • You can deduct wages for property managers and independent contractors who provide services for your rental property. The deduction applies to employee wages, labor costs and commissions or fees for professionals such as real estate brokers, attorneys and accountants.

Deducting Due to Loss

  • You can deduct losses if your investment property is damaged or destroyed. You can also deduct insurance premiums, such as homeowners or landlord insurance. You usually can’t deduct the entire cost of property damage, although you can deduct a portion based on the extent of your losses and the amount covered by insurance. Homeowners insurance covers fires, theft, vandalism and other perils to your rental property’s structure. Landlord coverage can also reimburse losses to personal property and provide certain liability coverage.

How to Become a Luxury Realtor

uxury Realtors are real estate agents who sell multimillion-dollar properties, as well as those who focus on the second home, or vacation property, market. While these types of Realtors must have the same licenses and certifications as other real estate agents, they often have different marketing strategies and work with more high-maintenance clients. If you already are in the real estate business and want to pursue the luxury market, there are many things you can do to break into the career and start earning high-dollar commissions.

Instructions

  1. Obtain your state-issue real estate license if you don’t already have it. This process typically includes taking mandated coursework, as well as passing an examination if you’re trying to get a broker’s license.
  2. Research the luxury lifestyle. To impress future luxury buyers, you’ll need to know the differences between mainstream and luxury brands. For example, you need to know about top-of-the-line light fixture manufacturers, the best plumbing fixtures, the most expensive appliances and world-class building materials, such as slate flooring.
  3. Make connections with local interior designers, landscape company owners and builders that already cater to luxury clientele. They’ll want referrals from you, and you’ll need their connections to prove to your clients you have ties to the best in the business.
  4. Assess your own appearance. You’ll need to exude the luxury lifestyle if you want your clients to take you seriously. This means you need an expensive, high-quality wardrobe, the right jewelry, the right hairstyle and a luxury vehicle.
  5. Join elite clubs in your area, such as polo clubs or country clubs. This will allow you to mingle with future clients, as well as become a part of their social scene. If you can’t afford a membership, look for volunteer opportunities to get you in the door.
  6. Choose a luxury niche and target market. Research the past few years’ sales to assess the current market. Plan to target a specific area of town or ZIP code, as well as the type of dwelling. For example, you might focus on lakefront homes or target high-rise condos.
  7. Apply at an already-established luxury real estate agency in your chosen niche. This will help you enter the luxury-market scene and make a name for yourself. After you become successful and have loyal customers, you can branch out on your own.

The Difference Between Warrant & Convertible Securities

Warrants and convertible securities offer low-risk investment opportunities.

Companies offer warrants and convertible securities to spur investments. Investors gain opportunities for low-risk investment as a result. Warrants and convertibles, though similar in objective, differ in several regards.
Time Frame
Warrants are a fixed price on company stock, for a predetermined period of time. For example, a stockholder could be offered a warrant of $2 per share for one year. Even if the stock rises to $5 per share, an investor can still purchase at the $2 rate, making an immediate profit. Convertible bonds do not have a fixed price term.
Conversion
Convertible bonds mature and are able to be cashed in and treated as a regular bond would; however, they can also be converted into shares of company stock. Should the convertibles be issued as preferred stock, investors have the option of converting shares to common stock as well. Warrants deal with stock prices, and shares cannot be converted to other securities.
Further Investment
Convertible securities are one-time investments. Investors purchase more stock at a later date to maximize the profitability of a warrant.
Investment Period
Investors typically view convertible securities as long-term options. Warrants carry an expiration date and, therefore, are considered short-term in comparison.

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How to Become a Real Estate Assistant

The world of real estate is an inviting field. In order to get your foot in the door, why not become a Real Estate Professional Assistant? An administrative assistant with coursework behind them can easily get a clerical job in a real estate office. Once you are an employee in a real estate office or brokerage firm, you will benefit from the Real Estate Assistant (REPA) course. Taking this course for certification, on top of the administrative assistant degree, you will become invaluable to your agents.

Instructions

  1. Get your certificate or associate’s degree as an administrative assistant. Courses taken through your local community college will give you this degree and pave the way for the REPA certification. All of the courses you take to obtain your administrative assistant degree will give you the foundation you need to become a real estate professional assistant.
  2. Learn in-depth knowledge of real estate licensing, transactions, listing types and contract regulations as you study the material. They will instruct you on how to become a licensed REPA. The course also gives you information on what is a “must have” in a listing agreement and fair housing laws. Testing will include all of the above topics.
  3. Take the Real Estate Professional Assistant certification course from the National Association of Realtors in a classroom setting or online. Learn everything you need to get started as a REPA in this well rounded two-day class. Take the virtual course from the International Real Estate Assistant Association as another option.
  4. Absorb the legal and day-to-day information you are gaining in class. You have already been exposed to much of it in your day-to-day duties if you are a real estate office worker. This knowledge will help to make you an invaluable part of the firm, particularly once you finish your REPA training.
  5. Use your customer service skills to their maximum potential. If you are the best at what you do in dealing with the public and your coworkers, the management in your division will notice that and help you to achieve your education. After all, it will benefit them as well.
  6. Get ready for change. Apply to all of the real estate firms within driving distance of you. You have the skills they are looking for and they don’t have to put in any time training you. Get all of the information you can on the real estate industry, and you may decide to get your license and become a full broker.

How to Create an Investment Plan

Developing an investment plan is an important part of financial planning. Many individuals, particularly young people, fail to spend the time and effort required to develop an investment plan that will meet their financial goals. There is a wide array of investment products to choose from, and creating an investment plan will help you prioritize and sort through a broad range of investment options.

Instructions

  1. Prioritize your financial goals according to their respective timeframes. If you have a child who is two years away from going to college, you should rely on cash or ultra-safe fixed-income investments to pay for that expense. By contrast, if you are in your twenties and are simply saving for retirement, you should place your retirement funds in riskier stock investments since you will not be retiring for many years.
  2. Select your asset allocation based on the prioritization of your financial goals. Assets generally fall into three classes: stocks, which are riskier in the short-term but may generate higher long-term returns; bonds, which are less risky than stocks but have lower potential long-term returns; and cash, which is extremely safe but generates very little financial return. If most of your financial goals are more than five years out, you should invest most of your money in stocks. By contrast, if most of your financial goals fall within the next two years, you should keep most of your money in cash. Regardless of your goals, it is generally a good idea to have some portion of your money in all three of these asset classes.
  3. Diversify all of your investments within each asset class. Regardless of which asset class you focus on, you should never put all of your money in one or two securities. If you want to own stocks, you should invest in a diversified basket of stocks rather than in one or two stocks.
  4. Choose whether you want to invest directly in stocks and bonds or whether you prefer mutual funds. Mutual funds are diversified pools of securities. The main advantage of mutual funds is the level of diversification they provide while the main drawback is the management fees they charge, which erode your returns. If you have limited cash to invest, you should consider investing in low-cost mutual funds (that is, mutual funds with very low management fees).
  5. Open an online brokerage account with a company such as E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, or Scottrade. Online brokerage accounts are cheaper and easier to use than traditional brokers, and they provide you with the resources you need to research different stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

How to Find Foreign Investors

Turn trade shows into opportunities to meet foreign investors.
There may be plenty of reasons to expand beyond the comfort zone of home when starting a new company or seeking investors to help fund your project. For starters, your country may not offer the kinds of investors you are looking for, necessitating the need for a more widespread international search. Additionally, going global helps you tap into the capital, technology and talent that at one time only large companies could access.

Multinational Companies

  • Approaching existing foreign or multinational companies with a view to forming joint ventures, subsidiaries or strategic alliances may be one way to reach into the foreign investor pool. Any quest to find investors this way involves finding the right contact person by researching who is in charge of business growth or strategic partnerships. You also should take care to address the potential gains and pitfalls of investing through the foreign investor’s eyes. In this vein, the business plan you present to foreign stakeholders should discuss capital budgeting decisions adjusted for political and economic risk; cross-border cash flow optimization; and tax and transaction cost reduction policies.

Trade Fairs and Conferences

  • Instead of taking a scattershot approach to finding a foreign investor, go where the prospects are. Major international trade fairs in your field bring potential foreign investors to a centralized location. International trade show directories such as Expo Database help you zoom in on specific industries, countries and cities. For example, the commercial real estate company Stewart Title Guaranty Company suggests Expo Real and Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier as venues for real estate professionals interested in meeting foreign investors.

Investor Databases

  • Foreign investors come in all forms, from private equity and venture capital firms to angel investors. Narrowing down a set of foreign investors that are appropriate for you can be challenging without some sort of information management system to crunch the numbers. On the venture capital website VCGate, you can specify potential investors not only by country of origin, but by investor type, stage of investment funded, amount of funding sought and preferred sectors. Another database connecting startups to investors worldwide is Gust.com, which lists investors by industry, location and investor type.

Visa Programs

  • Just when some start-ups throw in the towel on finding a foreign investor because the latter have too strenuous criteria, others are learning about the benefits of programs that are tied to the investor acquiring a visa. For example, with the EB-5 program sponsored by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, entrepreneurs get to access foreign investors in exchange for the latter obtaining a green card. Entrepreneurs work with third-party intermediaries in securing EB-5 funding. However, entrepreneurs should be prepared to put up a lot of money upfront in administrative and travel expenses, and endure long wait times.

How to Pass the Real Estate Broker’s Exam

Real estate brokers must gain experience as sales agents before taking the license exam.
Real estate brokers act somewhat behind the scenes in the field of real estate. The job of a broker is to locate sellers ready to sell property and buyers looking to purchase. Many real estate brokers are self-employed and own their own businesses. Individuals interested in a career as a real estate broker typically start in real estate sales and work their way up. All 50 states require brokers to be licensed — and to become licensed, you will need to pass an exam.

Instructions

  1. Ensure that you meet the requirements before taking the test. All states require one to three years of experience in real estate sales before an individual may take the exam to earn a license. Some states also require evidence of a set number of hours of professional real estate coursework.
  2. Check which test you need to take before you begin studying. This depends on which state you wish to be licensed in. If you want to be licensed in multiple states, you may need to take more than one test.
  3. Study for the real estate broker’s exam. The best way to do this is to purchase a study book for the test. Familiarize yourself with all the information that will be on the exam, such as federal and state real estate laws and ethical conduct guidelines. Work on sample questions and take full-length practice tests. Grade yourself based on the rubrics of the actual exam and keep studying until you feel prepared to take the test.
  4. Register for and take the exam. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep followed by a healthy breakfast before sitting the exam. Try not to cram for the exam the night before, though some last-minute review may help in your preparations.

How to Buy Investment Property

Buying an investment property can be a very profitable decision. But don’t be fooled by the success stories that are prevalent in the media. There are many factors to be aware of before taking that risk. Here is your guide to buying an investment property with confidence.

Instructions

  1. Choose your location wisely. Lower priced homes near expressways, railroad tracks or busy intersections may seem like a great idea now, but will not appreciate as quickly as those located in desirable areas. Even if it means spending a little more, pick a location that is conveniently located near many amenities or at least part of a reputable school system.
  2. Work with a seasoned real estate agent, attorney and lender. To be successful at real estate investing, you will need to do business with people that are familiar with this niche industry. Check the credentials of everyone involved in your transaction and be honest about your expectations.
  3. Do your homework. Some investment properties could be part of a “too good to be true” real estate scam. Research the title history on the property in question and make sure that there are no outstanding liens.
  4. Calculate how much you can spend on your investment property. Your mortgage payment should be in line with what other properties in the area are renting for, or else you might have difficulty filling vacancies. You also need to keep enough money in the bank to cover everything for at least a couple months in case your renter defaults on their payments.
  5. Hire reputable contractors to handle renovations. Your investment property may need some serious remodeling before it starts turning a profit. To save money in the long run, retain licensed, bonded and insured contractors who have successfully completed projects like this before.
  6. Review any and all contracts with an attorney before signing them. Investment properties are subject to different laws than residential properties, particularly when it comes to reporting the income you are receiving. Ask your friends or family to recommend someone they trust.
  7. Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to devote to your investment property. Your tenants will need you around to handle maintenance issues, collect rent and keep up the exterior. If you can’t handle this on your own, keep enough money in your monthly budget for a property manager.

Different Services Offered by Real Estate Agents Sunshine Coast Firms

Deals in properties have become a cumbersome task which needs professional help for most of the time. Although, land trades can be made on own but it gives a tough time for a long period. Queensland of Australia is one of the most populous states where most of the inhabitants live near the coastal area. Sunshine coast is such a metropolitan area which features best real estate locations. Moreover, this area houses some of the best tourist spots that make it a center of attraction.

People seeking Sunshine coast real estate agents feel perplexed when it comes to pick the right one. However, it’s not extremely difficult to find a reliable one either. For credentials, an agent must have a license and minimum required exposure in real estate businesses. A popular myth which circulates that only a highly experienced person must be sought for the job is untrue. Agents with proper familiarity of those businesses are better than those who have spent years without having any competent knowledge.

Services offered by Real Estate Agents

The following describes about some of the services provided by real estate agents Sunshine coast firms:-

Guide: Their primary task is to guide the clients regarding different properties for sale within the location for buyers or investors. Similarly, they help sellers with strategies to sell their property on satisfactory deals. Other than that, their role also includes suggesting tenants regarding rental homes and developers for lands.

Advise: Agents keep track on the different properties within the aforesaid areas and keep their listings. They conduct comparative market analysis so as to provide with effective recommendations regarding those deals. It may include price estimation, current trends and several other factors.

Calculate: Job responsibilities of a real estate agents Sunshine coast include calculation of mortgage, finances and credit capacities. Their evaluation with respect to different aspects of the deals makes it helpful for the client. Further, they also give ideas on loan values.

Alert: Since they are well informed about the recent updates of properties and frequently keep a tab on them, it is useful to the clients who like to invest early. In the same way, they offer current market advice and subsequently the future status of those properties.

Market: Sellers may sometime find it difficult in marketing their land or property assets. Thus, the Sunshine coast real estate agents give out advertisements and listings along with attempts via different mediums to reach out for most people who need to buy them.

Maintain: Some firms also provide services regarding the repair and maintenance of building assets. They also keep visiting them at regular intervals to check the status in case of tenancy.

Inspect: They are knowledgeable enough to assess the properties by visiting those sites personally. Also, studying about the entire area, they help find a conclusive decision regarding them.

Other than the above, those agents also offer services of appraisals, financial references, selling tips and so on. They negotiate for deals, prepare the agreements and overlook at fund disbursements too.