Protect Your Real Estate Transaction from Hacker Wire Scam

Computer Hacker Wire ScamRecently in the last few months we have seen a ramp up of hacking attempts to steal money from homeowners trying to close on their real estate transaction. This hacker wire scam is fairly savvy and has worked on a few occasions. Most notably, last week in the Washington DC area, a family wired $1.5 Million to whom they thought was the Title Company closing their transaction. Turns out, it was hackers trying to steal their money, and they were successful. The Title Company and FBI are working together to get the people their money back. The case is ongoing.

With this serious issue happening more and more, I wanted to make our audience aware of how the hacker wire scam works, how to spot it, and how to protect yourself.

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Ratified Purchase Contract-The Role of the Title Company

Signing Ratified Purchase ContractWhen a Realtor tells me they have a ratified purchase contract, it always make me smile. That means a Realtor has entrusted Stewart Title to handle their transaction and get their clients to closing. There are many things that happen between the day of contract ratification to closing. The lender has their job, the home inspector, appraiser, and the many items asked of the “soon to be” home buyer. The one role where many people are unsure of what happens behind the scenes is the Title Company. Ask most homeowners where they signed their closing documents and many don’t remember, let alone understand what this Title Insurance policy is all about.

When a there is a ratified purchase contract sent to Stewart Title, what happens next? What is the role of the Title Company, that ends with a homeowner signing documents?

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What If Real Estate Joint Ventures No Longer Existed?

Real Estate Joint Ventures EndingI want to begin by saying Realtors are not “forced” to use the joint venture Title Company.  With full access to the brokerage’s agents, office meetings, events, and a push from the Broker, the business capture rate on the real estate joint ventures is fairly high. Joint ventures between Title Companies and Realtor brokerages have existed for quite some time and are fairly prevalent today in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area. Perhaps they exist in your market as well and maybe you currently participate in one. BUT…what if real estate joint ventures were told to disband and can no longer exist–effective tomorrow?

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Title Insurance Policies-Major Items Buyers Need to Know

Avoiding Risk with Title InsuranceIn the last few months, we have had some transactions in which the buyer has waved purchasing the Owners Title Insurance Policy. That is their right to do so as “technically” it is optional. What many buyers don’t take the time to learn are the many upsides and protections Title Insurance Policies provide. Not purchasing a policy on your largest asset can have lasting affects even after you sell the home.

We ran into a specific situation last week where the buyer didn’t purchase the Owners Title Insurance Policy, AND they also forgot to order their survey. The Realtor wanted to order a survey after closing, then inquired what would happen if there was a survey issue after the fact? I told her that the “Survey Exception” is part of the protections laid out in the Owners Policy…which her clients declined. She freaked out. Here are 3 major items that are helpful to buyers regarding Title Insurance Polices.

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If I Started Over Today in Title Insurance Sales

Title Insurance Sales Rep showing his valueOver the last few years, I have received many emails and calls from Title Companies and Title Insurance Sales reps. Washington State to Florida, most of their questions and work struggles have a similar tone. This shows that no matter how business is done in your area, the concepts of sales and marketing strategies to gain Realtor, Lender, or Attorney clients is the same. When I moved to the Washington DC area in 2012, I did “start over” in the Title Insurance sales business. I moved to a brand new area, 2000 miles away from my former market (Phoenix, AZ) and I had zero clients. The positive thing is that I had seven years of Title Sales experience and had a proven track record building a book of business. With that said, what if I had to start over in Title Sales…right now? Would I do things the exact same or differently? Hmm…if I started over today.

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I’m a New Real Estate Agent-How Do I Get Noticed?

I met with two different Realtors last week who were new to the business. They both asked how they can create a value proposition and “get noticed” as a new real estate agent. This is what I call the “rub” as a new real estate agent.  It’s fairly easy to obtain a real estate license, but things become far more challenging after your license comes in the mail. Every new real estate agent gets excited for their venture and has grand ideas about dominating the market and making a lot of money. Then comes the reality of learning the other side of the business. Marketing strategies, advertisement, building a business, SOI, and learning online and social media tactics to get noticed. Getting noticed in a field of many can be difficult without hard work and a strong value proposition. Let’s talk about first steps to success.

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Is Your Real Estate YouTube Channel Set Up Correctly?

Helping Realtors get into using video for their business is fun. Seeing their face light up when they realize they are doing something that their competitors don’t implement. This starts by taking the first step and actually “shooting videos” and uploading them to YouTube for people to discover and watch. This is where the rubber meets the road because I quickly discover that their real estate YouTube channel isn’t set up correctly. Their channels are missing key items and features that add to the discover-ability of the channel and their videos. In this blog post, I would like to cover some of the basic features of a real estate YouTube channel that will ensure that it’s set up correctly. In the end, it is about having qualified eyes to you videos that lead to a subscriber, an email, or phone call…that leads to a client. Here are 5 things that are MUSTS when configuring a setting up your real estate YouTube channel.

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Steps to a Successful First Time Home Buyer Seminar

Successful First Time Homebuyer SeminarDoes this sound familiar? “I want to do a successful first time home buyer seminar!” Then no one shows up, or you get two people. What happened? Marketing happened…better yet, the lack of it. Your intentions were great, the presentation was full proof. You just need to get butts in seats. That is where you fell short. It’s not easy to set up and execute a successful first time home buyer seminar…but it can be done. When I talk to my clients about doing the important steps below they sometimes have push back or think they can get a good result doing just part of it. Yes, that can happen but I have seen too many upset agents and lenders when the event day came and very little showed up. Here are what I feel are the key steps to getting qualified sign ups and attendees.

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How Realtors Can Get Started with Video On the Cheap

Integrating something new into your real estate business can sometimes be hard. It is especially challenging for some if related to technology or seeing yourself on camera. Scary, I know! With that said, the upside of using video in your real estate business is huge. First, take a look at the other agents in your office. How many have a practical video marketing strategy or use YouTube as a medium to post videos and gain subscribers? My guess is you can count them on one hand or none at all. That is the exact reason as to WHY you should start shooting educational videos. One of the main questions I get from agents, is how Realtors can get started with video…but inexpensively? There are many ways to make this happen. I want to not only walk you through HOW to do this, but what cheap equipment you can use.

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Real Estate Transaction Issues-75 Things That Can Go Wrong

When it comes to real estate transaction issues, there is a lot that can happen. We have all been there, whether you are a Realtor, Lender, Title, Buyer/Seller. One of my lender clients sent me this amazing list and I felt that it could help my readership as well. I hope this is helpful regardless of who you are in the home buying/selling process. The goal of all parties is to reduce any real estate transaction issues and get to closing smoothly and on time! Enjoy!

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