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When it comes to Real Estate, Knowing Your Stuff is the Key to Success

Are you looking to buy or sell a home or other piece of property? The real estate market is a difficult one, and should not be entered casually. With the right information, you can make your venture a success, but all to often lack of foresight and failure to do the proper exploration leave consumers in unfortunate situations that are difficult to rectify. An educated consumer is a happy consumer, and in no market is this truer than the property market. Before you commit, learn as much as you can – whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll never regret doing a little extra research.

Real Estate Basics

To begin with the basics, let’s consider a few definitions. “Real Property” is legally defined as “land and improvements permanently attached to the land.” Improvements include everything from houses and garages to in-ground swimming pools, but exclude portable items like mobile homes and tool sheds. Also included in real property are substances beneath the land, such as gas, minerals and oil.

There are many types of real estate, but most consumers will encounter only two: single-family homes and commercial property. Commercial property may include spaces used for retail, office, shopping, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, apartment complexes, as well as vacant land zoned to be used for any of those purposes. Aside from specialty properties like farms and industrial sites, almost any property to be used for anything besides a single-family homes is considered commercial.

Different rules govern transactions involving each kind of property, and it’s important to know what you will encounter before you get started. The use of any property is limited by zoning laws, which govern the purpose – for example, housing, retail, or industrial – for which the real estate can be used. Zoning laws also restrict the size and height of buildings, the portion of property that may be used for parking, how far buildings must be set from the street and from each other, and whether and what kind of hazardous materials can be stored there. Public easement and right of way laws, which fall into the general category of zoning, outline whether and which parts of private property must be reserved for public use, usually in the form of sidewalks, electrical lines, sewer pipes, fire hydrants and similar public goods. Laws differ from town to town, so if you are looking at multiple locations, keep track of how each municipality’s rules will affect how you can use your property.

Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Although some people prefer to work on their own, it is usually good to hire a licensed real estate professional if you are looking to buy or sell a house. You may choose between a real estate broker, who is independently licensed to review the entire market and show any house that suits your needs, and a real estate agent who works for a specific company and is usually restricted to showing properties in that company’s listings. Which one you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and the number of real estate companies competing in your area. If there are a large number of companies, you may do better with a broker, but if there are only a few, you can save money by using an agent.

No matter what type of professional you choose, there are a few things you should consider before making your decision. How does the agent or broker intend to market your house? How successful has he been in the past, particularly with homes in your range and area? If he is an agent, what is his company’s track record? What is the time limit on the contract you will sign, and can you break it if you’re dissatisfied? Do you feel comfortable that he understands your needs and will work hard to meet them? Recall that, above all, real estate agents are salespeople, so be sure that you are confident that they are working with you as well as for their employers. A great way to narrow down choices is to check the Internet for websites that compare companies and agents in your area. You may also want to talk with friends who have recently moved about their experiences with local agents and brokers.

Buying and Selling: What You Need to Know

When you are in the market to buy, your individual situation will determine whether or not to hire a professional. You may find that you can do well enough finding suitable listings without the help of an agent. However, if you live in a city where good housing is scarce, you may want to engage someone to help you discern the good from the bad. Real estate agents can also be very helpful when it’s time to close the deal, sorting out what items are included with the house (for example, appliances and furnishings) and working with the seller to divide costs fairly.

Although it is possible to sell your home without professional help, but this should be attempted with great caution. A real estate professional will help sort through potential buyers to find people who are serious, work with to get a fair price for your property, and be indispensable at closing time when it comes to dividing up property taxes and other shared costs. In general, as a seller, you should expect to run up against a number of expenses when you close on your house. These may include excise tax (a tax levied on the seller of any property or item), attorney and professional fees, property taxes, real estate commission, and fees for survey, inspection, certification and other items, depending on the laws of the state in which the house is sold.

Commercial Property: Buying and Selling

If you are looking to buy or sell commercial property, your best bet is to engage a real estate attorney who can advise you on legal matters involving the transfer. As with home purchases, it’s important to have the property inspected thoroughly before committing to buy. You will also want to ensure that zoning laws permit you to renovated buildings to suit your needs – for example, buildings that are zoned as small retail outlets may not always be turned into restaurants; warehouses may not necessarily be converted to apartment complexes. Real estate lawyers will make sure that you know as much as possible about your property before you buy.

Do Your Homework – You’ll be Amazed at the Difference it Makes!

The best way to be successful in any real estate transaction is to come in with your eyes open. Listed below or some top real estate websites that can help you find what you're looking for today:

  • HomeGain: Selling Your Home? - Let local real estate agents know about the home you'd like to sell so they can address your specific needs. They will send you customized responses including their credentials, business experience, and commission rates to compete for your business.
  • HomeGain: Buying A Home? - Let local real estate agents know about the home you'd like to buy so they can address your specific needs. They will send you customized responses including their credentials, business experience, and local market knowledge to compete for your business.
  • Foreclosure Search: Simple Real Estate Secrets - Search foreclosures in the USA. Includes bank foreclosures, court foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, homeowners in bankruptcy, HUD homes, VA homes, government homes & more!
  • Real Estate: Winning In The Cash Flow Business - Offer your users a great new Business opportunity at no risk. Capitalize on the red hot real-estate market. Users get a great business course package available on VHS or DVD.


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