Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flood Plain Considerations

Consideration ought to be paid to a seller's disclosure requirements as well as the potential need for flood insurance.

In the last half a dozen years the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has redrawn almost all of the flood plain maps across the country.  Properties that previously were not in a flood plain have now been reclassified to be located within the flood plain.

Realtors have a responsibility to disclose flood plain status.  Their first step should be to identify if the property is located near a lake, river, or stream.  They should ask their sellers if they have received updated information from FEMA or from their local county governement.  Realtors should encourage all parties (buyers and sellers) to contact their local zoning administrator or building inspector to verify the flood plain status of a property.

Of course, Realtors should apply common sense when inspecting a property for sale.  If there is standing water nearby, then the property may be subject to flooding.

The best course is to address flood insurance issues prior to a binding accepted offer.  When in doubt, you should check it out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obtaining a Real Estate License

Each state has its own regulations as it relates to obtaining a license to sell real estate.  Typically there is an education requirement and a testing requirement to demonstrate basic knowledge of the laws, both federal and state, related to real estate sales.

It is important to find a school that is accredited to teach the required material.  It is best to find a school that has a history of success in teaching its students the material.  One indication is the length of time that the school has been operating.  Another indication of success is the pass rate of its students – the percentage of its students pass the test.

Often real estate companies have their own real estate school.  It is a good way for the company to have the first opportunity to hire you as a real estate agent when you complete the course and obtain your license.  It is also a good way for the prospective agent to learn more about a company before commit to a broker.

The best way to find a real estate school is to contact a few local real estate companies and ask them to refer you to several options for obtaining the required training.

There are options besides formal classroom training as well.  A student can take the course material through an online study program or through a DVD program.  There may even be self-study options.  The best course to follow will depend on the individual’s study habits and preferences as well as their ability to be disciplined in their study.  Many home-study student end up taking much longer to complete the course work because they don’t have the “classroom” to be accountable to.

If you are looking for options in the Milwaukee area to complete the course requirements, send me an email, and I would be happy to let you know about your options.  You can contact me at

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Success Guide for Real Estate Sales Thriving in Tough Times

My new book, Success Guide for Real Estate Sales Thriving in Tough Times, is published and available for purchase.  Follow this link to purchase a copy:  Buy Now.

Success Guide for Real Estate Sales Thriving in Tough Times gives new perspectives on classic approaches to real estate sales.  Written from the vantage point of the end of the Great Recession this manual provides practical advice to get real estate agents productive and profitable even in a difficult market.
If you are considering a career in real estate sales, just starting your career, or, if you are veteran looking to rejuvenate your career, this guide is the first resource you will want to read.  You will learn:
·        How the right attitude will take you farther
·        The essential elements of a winning business plan
·        Practical tips on using technology and systems to manage your business
·        Effective customer service strategies
·        How to price properties to sell
·        Making the open house effective
·        Common transaction problems and how to deal with them
·        How to work on short sales and foreclosure properties
·        How to generate referrals for long term success