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Sometimes you have to search through the fog to find the best real estate agent you can. Here are seven key points you can look at to make sure you stand the best chance of finding that quality agent to help you sell your home. 


  • Look at Reputation – Ask your potential agent to provide evidence of previous listings sold in the past year with contact information. Find out what the asking prices were and what the final selling price was.
  • Check the licensing – all states will issue real estate agents with a license and it is these licenses which can reveal if there were any complaints or problems with sales in the past year.
  • Go for a winning team – Awards issued by peers are worth taking a look at: if the local or state branch of the NAR has awarded your potential real estate agent with “Realtor of the Year” then it’s worth possibly considering this agent
  • Make sure an agent has the right credentials – just as doctors have specialist fields they study in, real estate agents may specialize in certain products. A doctor may be an expert in glaucoma, chiropractic or cancer but there are real estate agents that specialize in selling (or buying) condos, expensive million dollar-plus homes or luxury tower condo properties.
  • Check the experience of your agent – Finding out how long a real estate agent has been in business is important. There are two places where you can find this information online – one is the agent’s own website and the other is It should say the year in which the agency was established. Be very wary of those agents that don’t reveal this information.
  • Check out the current listings – This is one sure-fire way of checking that the agent is selling the type of property you are wanting to sell (or buy). If you are selling a small one-bedroom apartment and the agent is listing million dollar plus homes then he or she may not be the agent for you.
  • Check their local Listings – By finding out the local listings, you will get a good feel of the homes the agent is selling in your district. If there are no local listings, you may have the wrong agent for you.

On a personal not, I have always found that just as important as the list above, is the potential agents personalities, professionalism and upfront honesty...even if it’s not something you want to hear. So don’t forget to see if you “click” with your new agent. - Real Estate REO and BPO Virtual Assistants

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If you are selling a home, your real estate agent may often tell you the something like – “we have to sell it fast, it’s in your best interests”, “get rid of this chapter of your life and start anew”. “make sure you clean your home thoroughly and give it a fresh coat of paint on the inside and out, and watch it sell like a hot cake.”

Real estate agents often recommend that you make use of a professional home stager, a person who will evaluate your home and tell you what it takes to make it appealing to potential buyers.

A recent survey has found that more than 50% of agents who work with buyers say that staging has an effect on the buyer's view of the home. It does tell us that staging is one sure-fire method to get buyers interested in at least looking at your home.

There is little doubt that decorating a home before putting it out there on the market, really does attract more buyers. Especially if the home is vacant or out dated. So the million dollar question has to be: “what if I have decorated my home but not necessarily in a way that will please a potential buyer?”


A bad paint job is as bad as not bothering to clean or decorate your home at all. If you really want to make that sale then you should be looking at spending a bit of money. Depending on the size of your home, If you look at a home staging budget of say around $700, spent wisely, then you may very well get an extra few thousand in sales price.

If you have a larger home – say a house with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, then expect that home staging budget to be higher but you can also expect a much higher return on the sale of your property when it closes and more immediate interest when it hits the market. The fact is you should be able to recoup costs associated with the decorating and paint work you do around the home, and most times, even more.

So make sure you at least consider your Realtor’s recommendation of home staging. It may shorten your time on the market and put more money in your pocket at closing. - Real Estate Virtual Assistants

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Moving out of a huge house and into a property that is considerably smaller is taking off in the U.S. (as well as in many other countries) in an ever-increasing way. So why do people do it? The average floor space of the typical American home is approximately 2600 square feet, but compare that to a tiny house where the floor space can measure just 100 square feet and no more than 400 square feet, and suddenly you really are looking at a huge downsizing operation.

Put simply, the Tiny House Movement is a social networking group whose aim is to downsize the area they are living in and then broadcast their experiences in the transformation. Advantages include lower mortgage payments, less cleaning and maintenance, lower utility bills, lower taxes, environmentally friendly and simplified living.

So what is the main reason why so many people are flocking to join this new revolution in downsizing the amount of living space in their new homes? The main reason is definitely financial and the effect of the 2007 Housing Crisis still has a huge impact on the way we are all managing our money now.


Indeed, the real estate down turn has changed the way most people live – which is hardly surprising when you consider that an average of around 50% of the income a person earns, is set aside for that roof over our head. Downsizing, even just a little, can reduce the portion of income dedicated to housing to as little as 30 per cent, thus freeing up some 20 per cent of our salary to spend on other luxury items or necessities.

Just calculate how much 20% of your take home pay is and think what you could do with that money: take an exotic vacation overseas, buy a new car, pay for your child’s university fees or just invest in a small swimming pool to go in your much smaller back yard. It’s a shocking statistic that some 76% of all Americans are living from one pay check to the next.

Another appealing statistic is that 55% of all tiny house dwelling people have more money in their saving accounts than the average American has (average savings is currently $10,800), so you can really bank on having more disposal income than the people trying to get by in their huge homes.

A Tiny House may not be for you and your family, but many people are learning to adapt, especially with all the advantages of a Tiny House.

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Over the past few years, REO supply has fluctuated almost constantly. The REO Brokers/agents and suppliers who work with agencies like HomeSteps, see this everyday and understand the seasonal and demographical reasons behind these fluctuations. These REO Brokers know how to adapt and change with the low supplies of inventory.


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Man vs. Machine – It is the age-old question. Can a machine replace a person? People and computers have worked together to make most tasks simpler and faster. People have invented brilliant machines and programs to boost our productivity, and in return raise our profits. Machines can process information faster. They can solve problems and provide specific and up-to-date solutions. So is it safe to say that machines have replaced the real estate agent? Does it mean that we don't need real live agents anymore being that technology can do a lot of the job?

Absolutely not! These machines still need human input. Any computer savvy real estate agent or his assistant can manage all of his properties online, freeing the agents’ time for meetings with prospective clients, showing properties, etc. It is also  a great way to ‘weed out’ the serious buyers over the ‘browsers’. While the ‘browsers’ are content to stay at home viewing all of the wonderful information you have on the internet, the serious buyer is already hooked on his dream home and is making an appointment.

There are many ways to advertise your property online, detailed descriptions, photos, virtual tours, videos and the like. The serious buyer will still want to see the property in person while the ‘browser’ will be satisfied with the online information and browse to their hearts content. Finding a home has never been as easy as it is today. Everything is right at the tip of our fingers. With just a few clicks, we can browse different price ranges, styles, square footage, room counts, lot sizes, and neighborhoods; we can even narrow our search to minute details in seconds. We can submit pre-approval applications and even estimate what our payments might be.

There are many areas where a realtor humbles technology. One of those areas that a machine cannot compete with is that the realtor knows all of the intricate details of a property. The computer can only pull all related key words that you put into the search. The realtor is physically acquainted with the property. They can also explain all of your possible mortgage options, property taxes, and any repairs that the home may need. These things are usually not disclosed online. A realtor can also orchestrate negotiations for the price which technology, even as advanced as it is cannot do.

Lastly, a realtor is there to help you with the entire home buying process. Testimonials tell us that there are a lot of challenges in home buying. A realtor is there to understand, encourage, and support us with all of the paper work, legal terms, financing, closing, etc. They are essential in making our dream home a reality. In short, with a realtor we can prepare, save, and complete our home purchase.

So even with the rise of technology, a real estate agent is still more effective than a computer. Of course, the use of both is most effective. Realtors should partner with technology to manage their listings and time so that they can serve homebuyers in the most time and cost efficient way. This would definitely boost the agents’ success.

It is vital for realtors in this day and age to be fully armed with the latest in technology. The problem is that most realtors do not have the time to educate themselves in the ever-changing ways of technology. The realtor has to manage his time effectively and be "out there" showing homes, talking to clients, building relationships and selling homes!

This is where a virtual office assistant can be a major help. Virtual assistants have many areas of expertise in the real estate field. They can take the stress out of your time management by taking your calls, managing your online portfolio, social media marketing, preparing BPO reports, managing your bills and reimbursements, home repairs, preparing spreadsheets, presentations, reports and many other tasks that you just do not have time for.

A virtual assistant can do just about any task that you need done, with less overhead cost than an in office assistant. To find out more about what a virtual assistant can do to help you achieve your goals, please feel free to contact us.

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