When someone buys or sells a home there are fees charged to both the buyer and seller. The buyer pays most of the fees in my area (Northern VA-Washington DC), with the seller paying commissions and some other smaller fees. One of those fees is the seller settlement fee. This charge sometimes gets lost in the shuffle as the buyer fees dominate conversation in the transaction. Just the other day, I had a crazy transaction where the listing agent through a huge fit because he thought our seller settlement fee was frivolous and as a Title Company, we represent the buyer, so the buyer should pay it. Far from the truth! I still find it interesting how many Realtors still don’t understand the charges on a settlement statement or where it says in a purchase contract, who pays for what. In this blog, I want to go over the seller settlement statement and explain the charges so anyone selling a home knows what that charge means at closing.
As a licensed Realtor, mortgage lender, or Title Company escrow officer, you see various real estate contract language that has you cringing. It also has you wondering WHY someone would structure a deal a certain way. Sometimes there is a direct intent, sometimes not. There are many ways to create transactions through language, but others that create not only confusion and stress for the parties involved. The other potential major issue is other “ramifications” down the road for the Realtor and/or clients.
I want to start off 2019 by dedicating a blog post to my people…the Title Insurance Sales reps. Having been in the business since 2005, and now managing a team of Title sales reps myself, I see the job from the angle of a newbie starting from scratch trying to find their way and develop their own value proposition. The view of this job is one of ease. All you need to do is wine and dine Realtors and viola--the business just comes over. WRONG! The realization is this job is hard, has lots of competition and most people have trouble standing out in a crowd of Title Companies. If you are struggling in Title Insurance Sales, don’t fret as you are not alone. The good news, help is available (read this site!) and if you do a handful of items and stop doing others, your business will start to take off. I want to share with you what I share with my team to assist in your growth for 2019. Here are the reasons you are struggling in Title Insurance sales, and how you can break through and start building success.
2019 is almost here, and now is the time when Realtors, lenders, and Title professionals start setting next year’s goals. Setting goals is important as they are short-term and long-term guides to personal and business growth. As a Realtor, I’m sure you have many goals for next year, but I want to focus on three important real estate goals in 2019 that will help you personally and professionally.
Working with Realtors throughout Northern Virginia over the past six years, I get asked a lot of questions about technology, blogging, websites and more. Having an online presence important, and there is no better way than an informative blog on your real estate website. It’s a huge tool, especially to those agents who understand why creating effective content results in online leads, clients, business, and commissions.
The real estate market correction is coming. In fact, in some markets we can see signs of it already, and not just because we are heading towards the holidays. There are many signs that correction is on the horizon, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Interest rates at 3.5% is not sustainable or good for the economy long-term. If it was, that’s where rates would always be, or maybe lower. There are many factors that go into a real estate market correction, and I’m not going to get too detailed. I will however talk about some of the major factors, and how a Realtor and Lender can leverage this an opportunity to win clients and business.
In this second half of the blog, I’m going to focus on how I overcame the struggles of Title Sales and emerge. Many of you reading this might be looking for answers to WHY you might be struggling in the business or that golden nugget that leads to big success. There is no golden nugget other than hard work and lots of innovation. In late August of 2005, I went for an interview at Capital Title in Phoenix Arizona. Not knowing at the time, but Capital was the largest Title Company in Phoenix with almost 30 offices and 20 Title Sales Reps. Realize that in 2005 the housing market was on fire and taking a chance on a kid with no Title Sales experience was a very low risk. The office in which I was assigned already had lots of clients and success. I honestly think back then, my main role was just to maintain all the business we had. When people can buy homes with 100% financing and no income/no asset loans, everyone was a potential buyer. Obviously, that wasn’t sustainable and the market headed south and with it the business.
If you are looking for another blog on real estate marketing or some tech secret to gain clients–this is not one of those posts. For over six years, I have spent hours and hours pumping content into this website to create an interested audience. If you are brand new to the site and reading for the first time, click around when you are done, you will find some good stuff to assist in your business needs. Now back to it–How I was able to create success in Title sales was not an easy one, in fact at one point I was completely unsure of my goals, and where my professional life would take me. I have received many questions over the years, about my background, how I built my business, and on and on. These people had no clue that someone who had smarts and talent was only an average student (at best). It started in middle school when my personal struggles with learning and development.
I recently had a top Realtor attend one of my classes. I followed up like a good Title Rep and she ignored my email, as she gets bombarded all the time (as any top producer does). I let it stir for a few days then gave her a phone call. During the conversation, she stated she liked my class and got a lot out of it…BUT she is loyal to another Title Company where there is a joint venture. I kept her on the phone asking her business questions about what she direction she was trying to go and how Stewart Title could assist. She agreed to meet. We met the next day and she was very happy with the services we offer and the relationship we bring. The JV Title Company didn’t help her with her business. As we spoke in a coffee shop about her business needs, she explained that in her third year in business, she had done 31 buyer deals and 8 listings (in the first 8 months of the year). Very impressive! Though she was happy with her business growth, she said that her largest fear in real estate was…
Let me guess…you are a Real Estate agent or Mortgage Lender in the Northern Virginia and you want to do more business? We all do right? What we really want are LEADS! We want people that reach out to us and say “hey I need to use your services…I got your marketing piece or found you online; can you help?” Yes you can!! But how do we get to this point? How do we change our traditional marketing into Real Estate Target Marketing?Let’s back up…