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How to Sell a Larger Home
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 09:45:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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In the past, potential home buyers were interested in buying larger homes to provide room for families with numerous children. When the economy was better and utility prices were lower, singles and couples were willing in invest in a home with a lot of square footage to showcase their antique furniture and collectibles. Today, with a poor economy and increased costs for electricity and natural gas, people are opting to buy smaller homes. In addition, families typically have fewer children than 50 years ago and numerous bedrooms are no longer required. This means that selling a large property is more of a challenge because there is a smaller customer base looking for spacious homes.†

Renovate a Large Home into Multiple Units
To sell a large home with a lot of land, you will need to make some adjustments to reach a wider customer base that is willing to invest in a property that they can divide into multiple units or share with roommates. First, a homeowner must determine if the home they are living in is in a city that permits sharing with roommates or renovating a property into multiple units. If it is permissible to renovate into multiple units or share a home’s amenities with roommates, then a homeowner should hire a remodeling expert to determine the best way to optimize the space. The expert will need access to detailed blueprints and schematicshome to determine how to renovate the home.†

Sell a Large Home as an Investment†
When a home has multiple levels, it is frequently possible to add interior or exterior staircases to permit entry into an upper or lower floor level. With this method, a homeowner might also need to add doorways, a kitchen or bathrooms to make the space rentable to tenants. An individual who buys this type of property can choose to live on one level and rent the other or rent both levels and live elsewhere. The company that is renovating a large home into multiple units must obtain building permits, and homeowners must cope with inspections from government officials who verify that the remodeling is completed according to safety codes.†

Change the Interior and Exterior†
In addition to making renovations to the inside of the home, a homeowner might need to make changes to the exterior such as providing more parking areas for tenants. It is likely that a homeowner will not be able to live in a home during this type of extensive remodeling project, but if a home has been on the market for a long time, then changing it to a multiple unit property is a good plan. A homeowner can also leave the property as it is but suggest to a real estate agent that they market it as a home that can be renovated to earn an income in addition to providing a place to live.†

Adjusting a Home for Roommates
Alternatively, when a home is on the market for several months and renovators cannot change the building to multiple units, consider making the home more attractive to a single person who is willing to have roommates. To make living with several roommates’ easier, adding full bathrooms to a home is an excellent idea. If the bathrooms are located inside or next to each bedroom, then it is possible to rent out rooms faster. In a kitchen, a homeowner might need to make space for an additional refrigerator or add cabinets for more dishes and glassware. For privacy, a homeowner may want to add doors with key entry locks to each bedroom.†

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It's A Wise Investment To Hire A Certified Home Inspector
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 09:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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It’s a wise idea to have a professional home inspector conduct a home inspection before you sign the contract at closing. The inspector will examine the house for structural damage, non-functioning electrical and plumbing components, repairs that were made and the potential for future damage.†

A comprehensive report discussing their findings is a critical element in deciding whether to go ahead with a scheduled closing. If repairs to the house are necessary, the sale price can be renegotiated. Should the report show major damage, the contract can be declared null and void. A home inspection is suggested for all home purchases, be it new construction or an existing home.

A certified home inspector will thoroughly check the roof from the exterior and underside, looking for water infiltration, wood deck rot, and damaged shingles. In regions that are prone to high-velocity winds, tornadoes and hurricanes, the roof beams and trusses are checked for integrity and are properly fastened to meet local and provincial codes. The proximity of trees to the roof can lead to rotting branches damaging shingles. Gutters can become clogged with falling leaves, which can lead to interior water damage. interior. Skylights and chimney chutes are checked for properly adhered and watertight flashings.

The foundation or concrete pad is checked for cracks, flaking and pitting along with evidence of water infiltration stains. Issues with the foundation can intensify insopectand affect components of the home's interior. Floor cracks and baseboard separation are indicators of possible structural movement. Structural movement can impact sheetrock walls, separating at electrical outlets and lighting fixtures.

Doors and Windows
The inspection will show the integrity of window caulking and if it's contributing to air and water infiltration, can prove to be expensive. Windows are opened to see if they rattle within their frames. If the window rattles or shakes, cold air will come into the home during the winter and hot air during the summer. This will contribute to increased cooling and heating costs and applies to entry and sliding-glass doors. They are opened and shut to see if there is a tight and aligned fit, which reduces air entry.

Inspection of the plumbing system includes checking that all facets and toilets function and all sink basins drain. Water pressure is checked and pipe joints are checked for evidence of leaking. If the property has a septic system, it should be cleaned every 3-5 years. The homeowner should have maintenance records. A neglected septic system can be an expensive ordeal with costs ranging up to $50,000 to excavate and replace. Inspectors will the test tap water for bacteria and contaminants such as ph, lead, iron, feces and toxic pesticides. The hot water system will be tested for accuracy in temperature and proper functioning.

Electrical fixtures, components and panels are tested for compliance with local and provincial codes and preventing a potential fire hazard. The inspector will note smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed.

Heating and Cooling
The heating and cooling systems are checked for proper annual maintenance, pipe corrosion, unit age and efficiency. An aging unit can be an expensive ordeal to replace.

These are just a sample of the many items that a certified, professional home inspector must check before you move ahead and buy a home.

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7 Benefits of Buying a Small House
Posted on Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 04:35:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Many people think "bigger is better" when it comes to houses. Although bigger is indeed better when it comes to bank account balances, it's not necessarily so with houses. Often, smaller houses actually provide many benefits. Here are seven reasons why smaller is often better - much better.

1. Lower utility bills
When you have a smaller total area in your home than you would in a large home to heat and cool, you can save big on your utility bills. This includes costs for air conditioning, fans, heating, and electricity. If you have a small home that's also designed with energy-saving features in place, you can save that much more. These savings on utilities in a small house can add up quickly into huge amounts of money that you can allocate in other ways.

2. Lower repair and maintenance costs
Smaller homes come with lower expenses to keep them in tip-top shape. Think about common-sense factors like having fewer bathrooms and therefore less plumbing equipment that might eventually need to be repaired. There are fewer lighting fixtures and floors and many other items that will ever need to be smallhomeerepaired or replaced.

3. Less investment in cleaning
With a smaller home, you may have to spend a fraction of the time, money, and energy on cleaning and upkeep compared to what you'd invest in a larger home. You will feel like you have loads more freedom to get together with loved ones, relax, travel, garden, or whatever way you choose to spend all your extra time and energy.

4. Minimal decorating and shopping
With fewer rooms to furnish, anyone who buys a smaller home doesn't have to spend as much time coming up with decorating ideas and then spending time, money, and energy shopping around for all the home furnishings.

5. Less stuff
There aren't as many closets, drawers, cabinets, and storage spaces in smaller homes. There is also, of course, a whole lot less space and fewer rooms. Some view this as a negative, but others view this as a way to prevent the accumulation of excess belongings. This really keeps clutter under control, which is a major plus if you're seeking a simpler, more carefree life.

6. Quicker home payoff
Depending on a home's location and purchase price, it can be possible to pay off a small home much more quickly than a larger one, especially if the original purchase price was low to begin with and if the home is in an economical location. In addition, with a lower purchase price on a small home, it's possible to have much lower monthly home payments on the smaller home versus a larger one. That significantly eases financial stress and can be great if you're on a tight budget.

7. Close relationships
It's true that people living together in a home of any size can cultivate wonderfully close relationships, but many people who have lived in small homes have said that their family bonds are tighter as a result of being in more limited spaces together. Mileage may vary on this issue from one homeowner to another, but it's worth considering this often-overlooked benefit of living in small homes. With some creativity, even families with several people living under one roof find ways to thrive while living in small homes.

Downsizing has become more common in recent years as people discover the many benefits of this lifestyle shift. A simpler, scaled-down way of life isn't for everyone, but it is the perfect thing for many people. Consider whether it might be a great move for you and your family.

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Storage Solutions For Your New Kitchen
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 09:10:00 AM  in My services
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Part of moving into your new home is creating different storage solutions for every room. Everything should have a place so you can find a specific item when you need it. Consider your move as a chance to create a kitchen that is neat, tidy and organized. Here are several tips to help you create storage solutions for your new kitchen.

Create an Organizational System: The first thing you want to do is create an organizational system that works for you. You may decide to store everything by use, such as pots and pans, baking essentials and snacks. It may also be a good idea to store the items you use frequently where you can easily access them.

Hide Items In Plain Sight: Your first instinct may be to hide your utensils, appliances and ingredients. There is nothing wrong with hiding these items in plain sight. It looks attractive and makes it easy to access these items when you are cooking. You can use see-through containers, hooks and a butcher block with built-in slots to hide your items in plain sight.

Hanging Storage: Invest in self-adhesive hooks for hanging your utensils, oven mitts, pot holders and dish towels. You can also use self-adhesive strips to hangstoage a long magnetic strip on the wall. Use the magnetic strip to store metal utensils or spices in metal containers. It will be easy to grab these items when you need them, and you are creating additional counter or shelf space for other items.

Store The Spices In a Drawer: There is nothing wrong with using a rack, lazy Susan or cabinet to store your spices. Have you ever thought of storing your spices in a drawer? It will be easy to grab the spices you need for your cooking. The drawer will also protect the spices from heat, moisture and sunlight.

Take Advantage of Containers: Use glass or plastic containers to store flour, sugar, pasta, cereal and candy. You can use wire baskets for non-perishable snacks such as crackers and pretzels, and you can use woven baskets for tea and coffee condiments. Metal tins are perfect for storing your cooking supplies and utensils.

Store Your Cookbooks: A small bookcase, empty drawer or cabinet can be used to store your cookbooks. Do you have a box full of recipe cards? Keep your recipes in one spot by storing the box next to your cookbooks. You can also use a binder with pocket page protectors to organize the recipe cards.

Use a Lazy Susan: A lazy Susan is great for organizing and accessing various items. All you have to is give it a spin and grab the item you need. Place the lazy Susan in your cabinet or on the counter, and use it store spices, non-perishable food or quick snacks.

Divide and Conquer: You can avoid a messy drawer by investing in drawer dividers. The dividers are designed for organizing items such as spoons, forks, knives, measuring cups and other utensils. You can also use shelf organizers for your cookware and dinnerware.

Organize The Pantry: Your pantry is the home of your non-perishable food, snacks, baking essentials and appliances. Whether you have a small pantry or a spacious walk-in pantry, it is important to create an organizational system for this spot alone. One idea is to group the items by canned and boxed goods, similar items or your weekly menu.

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Benefits of Making a Larger Down Payment
Posted on Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Anyone who is planning on purchasing their first home often takes the time to save for a down payment to ensure that they can obtain a mortgage loan from banks or financial institutions. Many people make the mistake of only putting a minimal amount of money down on a property just to purchase it quicker. Although it can take patience and time, there are several benefits to making a larger down payment upfront.

Lower Interest Rate
Lenders are more likely to offer lower interest rates to home buyers who have a larger down payment when you have a lower loan-to-value ratio, which lower's the risk for the lender. This can allow you to save thousands of dollars over the term of your home loan just by waiting longer to save. Your interest rate will ultimately increase with the number of risks that the loan contains for the lender. Not only will you obtain a lower interest rate, but having a larger down payment means that you're closer to paying off the property in full. The sooner you pay off the mortgage, the less interest you'll pay and the more flexibility you'll have with your retirement.†

Quicker Approval
Those who have a larger down payment are more likely to be approved quicker than the average person when applying for a loan. Having a larger down paymentpayment of at least 20 percent is a sign of borrower strength to lenders and makes it easier for them to trust that you'll make your mortgage payments on time. This can make it easier to begin shopping around for your new home without waiting several weeks or months to hear back from the lender. Although most borrowers have at least one or two risks when applying for a loan, a down payment of at least 20 percent eliminates any risks that may be present.†

Avoid Mortgage Insurance
Lenders often require private mortgage insurance from borrowers who have smaller down payments that are less than 20 percent of the loan. Private mortgage insurance is used to protect the lender if the borrower is unable to make their payments on time during the duration of the loan. You can save even more money by avoiding the mortgage insurance completely with a larger down payment for one less expense.

Protect Yourself from Negative Equity
Many people are unaware that they can develop negative equity quickly when the value of their home decreases due to the state of the economy. This can make it easy to owe more on the property than it's actually worth, which can lead to foreclosure on the home. By putting down a larger payment, you can minimize the risk of having negative equity if the value drops in future years.

Improve Your Odds in Winning a Multiple-Offer Situation
It can be easy to fall in love with a property that other buyers quickly take notice of and also make an offer on. This can easily put you in the middle of a multiple-offer situation as you begin to try to outbid other people for the home, which can reduce your risk of obtaining the property. The seller is much more likely to favor the buyer who has the larger down payment and is already approved by a lender for a home loan due to less risk of the transaction falling through. You'll have more power when it comes to finding the home of your dreams and beating out other buyers to ensure that you get the home of your dreams.

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Why You Need To Declutter Before Moving
Posted on Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have purchased your packing supplies and you are ready to start packing for the big move. There is one important step you should not skip over when moving, and that step is clearing out the clutter. Set aside some time every day to go through your belongings and decide what should be donated, sold and discarded.

You may groan at the thought of clearing out the clutter, but it is an important part of the moving process. Here are several reasons why you need to declutter before moving into your new home.

It Lightens The Load: Are you planning to donate items such as clothing, books and coffee mugs after you move into your new home? Why pack up the items you do not plan to keep? You can make packing and unpacking a breeze by decluttering before you even order the supplies. You can save money on packing supplies when there is less to pack, and you can save time by unpacking less items.

It Helps You Depersonalize Your Current Home: Depersonalizing your current home is another part of the moving process. Your potential buyers are going to movingimagine what their own belongings would look like in this space. You can kill two birds with one stone by decluttering while you are depersonalizing. Pack up anything you plan to use or display in your new home, and get rid of anything you do not wish to take with you.

It Makes It Easier To Decorate: Have you accumulated a large amount of decorative pieces over the years? Maybe you have items you purchased on impulse, used for a little while and packed up several years ago. Now you have to decide what pieces to use when decorating your new home. This can become an overwhelming task when you have a large collection. It may be time to donate or sell the pieces that rarely cross your mind. It will make it easier to decorate your new home when you can narrow it down to the pieces you actually want to use. Plus, someone else may enjoy those decorative pieces you did not want to keep.

Saves Space In Your New Home: Your clutter is probably taking up a lot of space in your current home. Do you want history to repeat itself when you move into your new home? You may have more space in your new home, but the clutter will eventually add up. It is best to nip this in the bud before you even start packing your belongings. You will have more space in your new home for the furniture, accessories and the decorative pieces you plan to keep. It also reduces that crammed feeling in both your current home and new home.

It Is Therapeutic: Getting rid of your unwanted items can actually be therapeutic. It allows you to clear your space of anything that is not important to you. Consider getting rid of anything that is not useful or creates a negative atmosphere. Clearing out the clutter also gives you more space to organize the items you do plan to keep. Imagine how good it will feel to look around your new home and only see the items that have a place in your life. You are also helping out the community by donating or selling the items that are in good condition.

Waiting until after your move to declutter will only create more work for yourself. You still need to settle into your new home, and you do not want to worry about clearing out the clutter while you are trying to unpack and decorate. It is easy to depersonalize, pack and unpack your belongings when you get rid of the unwanted items in advance. You can even ask your real estate agent for tips and ideas on decluttering.†

Clearing out the clutter may seem like an overwhelming task, but you are sure to feel good about your new space when you finally get rid of those unwanted items.

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Quick Staging Tips
Posted on Wed, 09 Dec 2015, 09:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  My services

So you have decided to sell your home and the market is hot! You need to stage your home quickly because buyers may already be interested in the property. Styling your home in the right way can help you get the quick results you seek. We have compiled a list of five quick staging tips that will improve the appearance and enhance the curb appeal of just about any home.†

1. Spruce Up the Front Yard

The front yard of your property will be the first impression potential buyers will get of the home. Many people will drive by to check out the house before stopping by, so be sure that the front of the house and the yard are inviting and attractive. In addition to making sure the lawn is mowed and the shrubbery is trimmed, try a few of these inexpensive ways to give your home more curb appeal.†

- Power wash the sidewalks and driveway.†

A good power washing can remove stains and spots that have been around for years.†

- Power wash or paint the porch and front of the house.†

If your house has vinyl siding, power washing the siding will make it look new again. If your home is painted, a quick coat of paint for the porch and front of the staginghouse will do wonders for first impressions. Re stain or paint the porch floor to make it even more spectacular.†

- Wash windows in the front of the house.†

Dingy windows can make the entire front of your home look worn and haggard.†

- Plants and Sod

Re sod bare places in the lawn and plant a few flowers and blooming plants around the front yard. Fresh greenery and plants makes the yard look alive and thriving.†

- Porch Furniture

A few key pieces of furniture can pull the porch together for a unified style.†

2. Thoroughly Clean the Home’s Interior

A clean house is one of the most important things you can offer potential buyers. Whether you do the work yourself or hire some help, you should make sure every inch of your home is sparkling clean. Pick up and put away all the clutter from the living room and other common areas, including nicknacks, family photos and all personal items. Potential buyers want to envision how the home would be with them living in it. Your personal items can detract from this vision. You can rent a temporary storage space or just store everything in the garage, but make sure the interior of your home is clean and clutter-free when you show the place.†

3. Consider the Floors

Be sure to vacuum and steam clean all of your hard surface floors and carpets. If you have hard wood floors that are worn, you can refinish the floors to make them look brand new. If you do not have the time or inclination to refinish or re carpet problem floors, area rugs can camouflage spots and problem areas.†

4. Remember Extra Rooms

Do you have extra rooms, such as a spare bedroom, where you and your family store old toys, furniture or junk? Clean out everything that you have stored in this room and rethink how you can stage it to appeal to buyers. For example, if the extra room is a bedroom, stage the room to look like a child’s room or guest bedroom.†

5. Bathroom Walls

Grimy bathroom walls are sure to turn potential buyers off so thoroughly scrub the bathroom walls. Surface mold tends to form a dingy sheet over these walls. Mix one part bleach with one part water in a spray bottle to quickly and easily clean the walls in the powder room. Consider re grouting the bathtub area, if needed.†

There is no secret formula for staging your home for quick sale. Just keep in mind that buyers are looking for a home they can see themselves living in. Make that vision happen for them and you will improve your chances of a quick sale.†

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Picking a Commercial Real Estate Broker
Posted on Thu, 01 Oct 2015, 03:02:40 PM  in My services

BrokerFrom acquiring land to leasing office space, the commercial real estate terrain can be quite tricky for one to navigate alone. One is required to consider many factors in the course of a transaction involving commercial real estate. This necessitates the expert guidance of a reputable and well versed broker.

With the growth of the real estate market, an equally growing pool of commercial real estate advisors has also emerged offering to broker that perfect deal for you. Picking the right commercial investment advisor to assist in the handling of your transaction plays a very important role. Foremost, it has huge implications on your bottom line.

Below are several characteristics to focus on as you look for a good commercial real estate broker:

The Broker’s Experience

As you interview potential real estate brokers, ensure you find out what percentage of the overall real estate transactions they have handled is represented by commercial deals. Search for a broker who works and specializes exclusively with real estate of a commercial nature. This is significant as it makes them very familiar with the intricacies of selling, leasing and marketing commercial properties.

When assessing if the broker is a true professional, find out if they got access to local area information, commercial property databases as well as the latest comparable date on leasing and sales transactions. This is pertinent information not only for the deal negotiations, but also for expediting that entire process.

Brokers who work with firms that are well established will in all likelihood possess proficiency in the commercial real estate arena. Besides, they will also be very adept in the kind of financial stability necessary to ensure your interests always remain at the fore of the transaction.

Innovative Marketing Plan

Does the investment broker have an innovative marketing plan that is specifically geared towards real estate of a commercial nature? The following guide questions could aid in establishing just how effective the broker’s marketing efforts are likely to be if you engage their services:

  • Do they subscribe to several different commercial real estate marketing platforms and real estate databases?
  • If you are selling property, on how many platforms or websites will your commercial property be published or exposed to?
  • Do they possess a cohesive, professional and brochure program?

Another important aspect is to find out if they share commissions and work with other agents. Do they seek to horde their listing in efforts at collecting bigger commissions from both sides? By adopting a collaborative and co-brokerage strategy, each of their listing receives greater exposure to potential buyers quickly. Naturally, this translates to better deals for you because of more competition.

Broker’s Training and Experience

In smaller markets, it is common for real estate commercial brokers to be dealing with all types of real estate transactions simply to survive and make a living. In several larger brokerages, however, each broker agent usually has a market area or speciality that they are better versed than anybody else in that industry.

As you interview your prospective brokers, ensure you pick a specialist to deal with your case. It may not actually cost you any more to engage a specialist (for they are also numerous), but it will for sure cost your bottom line if you don’t do it. You cannot compare a general practitioner with a specialist.

Final Verdict

It will be to your best interest to pick a firm or somebody who not only possesses local area information and expertise, but also one that can expose you to a national pool of investors, buyers and business owners. With growing popularity of commercial real estate among investors, ensure that you optimize on the full and expanding market. The greater demand will translate into better offers and guarantee a better bottom line.

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An Analysis of the Londonís Real Estate Sector in 2015
Posted on Tue, 15 Sep 2015, 03:21:06 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services
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In recent years, the real estate sector has come under close scrutiny following the recent crises in the global mortgage sector and current international economic events. The real estate industry has a tendency of being particularly cyclical. It goes up or down based on existing economic trends in the country. However, this huge industry continues to generate revenue that runs into billions of dollars.†

The real estate industry is typically divided into two: commercial and residential services. However, it is not uncommon to find lots of management companies and brokerages engaging in both types of service. Additionally, the residential real estate component is quite fragmented.

Property management is a service sector that has been witnessing fast growth and this expansion is bound to continue. This because properties which were over constructed during the previous real estate boom are going to continue being in need of management for some time until they are totally sold.

Contributing Factors

The old and long held adage of “Location, location, location,” continues to hold sway in the London’s real estate industry. Of prime importance towards determining the value of property and its marketplace is location. There are several factors that control the quality and associated value of a location such as access by public transportation, availability of social amenities, the access roads and their quality. Other factors are security, income levels, and state of the surrounding economy.

The Real Estate Industry Key Playersforsale

This industry is basically made up of 3 primary fields: leasing, brokerages and management. It is the brokers who bring the buyers and the sellers together. They are the ones who assist in the negotiations about price and make the necessary arrangements from when a buyer initially shows interest in any property and the final closing. They also play diverse roles in property inspections and appraisals.

Industry Potential Obstacles

The real estate sector in London faces several potential obstacles. Some of the factors are at times beyond the business owner’s control. Such obstacles include local or national economic downturns and changes in the neighbourhood demographics where the property or agency is located. Another factor not within the control of the property or real estate agency is the build-up of houses and properties in the location, what they are used for, and what other properties are available in the same area.

Use of Technology in Real Estate Transactions

For many years to come, the use of modern and emerging technology will continue transforming the real estate field. This is because it is now enabling buyers to carry out online research for both location and properties as well as other local area information. A buyer can now gather all the needed information before making the first move. Such include viewing pictures of the property, getting information about facilities in the area, crime rates, and all manner of statistics.

Online marketing using property pictures and virtual tours are assuming greater significance for real estate brokers. It is estimated that in excess of 90% of buyers employ the internet before they decide to buy real estate.

Growth of Workforce

Industry experts project that the global industry workforce will continue expanding. They however note that the internet could arguably bring down the numbers and ultimately do away with the need for real estate brokers altogether sometime in the foreseeable future.

It’s worth noting that banks are also now representing a formidable potential competitor. Many economies are now allowing commercial banks to actively engage in the real estate sector, especially the commercial component of real estate.

Bottom Line

Despite turbulent and trying economic conditions being witnessed globally, real estate analysts remain confident about the future industry growth. This is one industry that always bounces back after every economic upheaval. People will always need offices, factories and residences. Apart from situations of total war, this one industry you can bank on as we head to 2016 and beyond.

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