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Category Archives: Real Estate Tips

9 Tips on how to get along with roommates

When buying a room in an apartment, you may have many questions, which we have realtors to help us cope with. However, after signing a contract, a tenant should try to get along with other owners of an apartment and sometimes it is not that easy.

That is why we give you 9 useful tips on how to live in peace and harmony with your roommates. In addition, you can check out a great post to learn what type of roommate you can encounter.

Tip 1. Everyone should be equal. Do not be arrogant and do not brag to neighbors of the achievements in your career, personal life etc.

Tip 2. Both men and women should keep their mouths shut and avoid gossips. Here is one simple rule: “Do not talk about your neighbors if you do not want them to talk about you.”

Tip 3. Do not share the joys of your personal life with your neighbors, since every word you say can be used against you. If you shared a secret with your neighbors concerning how you spent the evening in the company of a young man/woman, and in the morning, you left dirty dishes in the sink, your whole story will come back to you like a boomerang in a negative sense.

Tip 4. People of different nationalities can live in your apartment, therefore this topic too should not be discussed in conversations with the roommates.

Tip 5. In addition, roommates do not like those who talk too loudly. For them, a loud voice or a loud conversation means that a person is very arrogant and thinks only about themselves and no one likes such people. In addition, those people who like watching TV at night or listening to loud music should be quieter since after a sleepless night, you might be woken up by a person who loves to wake up early.

Tip 6. Be patient to children and the noise they make. Making remarks to their parents is useless, because they already do their best to soothe their babies, and your comments or reproaches will be in vain.

Tip 7. Do not hurry to have pets in the apartment because there is probably not much space in it already. The smell of a cat is strong and soon it will spread throughout the apartment, where there is so little air. In general, it is better to consult with the neighbors first and find out whether they have allergies or something like that.

Tip 8. You should not play mean tricks with your roommates, as your endless mutual sabotage will bring you to insomnia, depression, and, eventually, to a nervous breakdown resulting in you not winning.

Tip 9. Do not keep big things like bicycles, disused furniture in places like kitchen, hallway, bathroom and bathroom so that you do not prevent people from walking freely in an apartment. Use storage rentals instead.

Try to live happily and peacefully, be kind to your roommates, and they will treat you the same way!

The factual benefits of windows replacement

A lot of homeowners wait to investigate windows replacement until there are clear indications of window breakdown. For some people, the upholding for older wood windows can become too much of an irritation. As a result, a lot of windows are stuck shut, whether from their age or manifold coats of paint. Take into account that lots of older windows are single-pane and are short of shades or coating. Consequently, they can increase energy bills by letting in heat throughout the summertime and permitting ambient heat to get away all through the winter. There is as well the cost of preservation for older window frames, particularly wood ones. Even though new windows can induce in energy and maintenance savings, it’s almost not possible to state the usual payback project for windows replacement in Red Deer or other cities might produce.

However there are other motives to think about replacement windows as well as problems that are visibly understandable. Take into account that homeowners need to examine window options to guarantee that your new replacement window purchase will put in more comfort and pleasure to your house. Benefits of Airdrie windows replacement include:

  • Lower energy costs: Well-insulated windows take your home apart from severe exterior temperatures, lessening changes obligatory by your heating and cooling system. This can frequently transform into lower energy costs.
  • Light: Natural light makes any chore more enjoyable. These days’ replacement windows have smaller frames and larger glass facade that permit more light come into your house in Red Deer.
  • Performance: Windows are the keystone of your house’s visual attention, both inside and from the curb. In addition, windows can add an outstanding attribute and crucial point to your home.
  • UV protection: Windows with UV protection safeguard in opposition to damage that can happen to inside walls, floors and furniture from solar heat and unsafe rays.
  • Air flow: Windows can boost airflow and ventilation, making better the comfort and health of your house in Red Deer.
  • Noise lessening: first-class, correctly fitting windows lessen outside noise and amplify privacy.
  • Easy preservation: Homeowners have benefit from developments made in window design, equipment and manufacturing. These days’ windows are well-constructed, simple to clean and long-lasting.

Keep in your mind that your windows may be showing revealing signs of breakdown such as fogging or wood putrefying, however there are extra benefits of replacing your windows as well as noise reduction and UV protection. In addition, a well-researched window purchase can even pay you back in more ways than expected.

The costs of new windows as well will be different with the method of window replacement selected. The most great is the whole tear-out, in which everything — window, frame and sash are removed. A less-insidious approach is to leave the frame in its place, however pick it up with a panning system or trim. It is up to you what method to choose for Airdrie windows replacement in your house. However, be sure that this is the most appropriate one for your budget and home.

Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents use diverse marketing plans to find their clients.

Real estate agents rely on a combination of word-of-mouth referrals and referrals gained from other marketing techniques. Keep in mind that a diversified marketing strategy is the best formula for successful sales. With various marketing techniques, you will be able to devote a specific amount of time each week to networking. Use most of your time for helping clients to complete their real estate transaction.

Community Publications

  • A traditional way to market your services involves publishing a business card in community publications. Contact local churches, schools and community organizations about their rates for advertising. They have regular newsletters and bulletins for their members. Target publications with members who live or work near your home base, such as in your section of a city or county. List your business card in publications with the highest number of readers for the business card fee. You can also sign up for listing your contact information on websites for these organizations. Sometimes web listings are free.

National Association of Realtors

  • Beef up your marketing campaign through membership in the National Association of REALTORS. With a REALTOR credential, you get access to marketing tools for new and established agents. For example, Realtor.org offers a startup kit for new professionals in its online library. You can also get a mentor inside the association to advise you on a personal marketing plan. REALTORS may use the trademarked designation in print and online media, which provides instant recognition among many consumers.

Social Networking

  • You can also use social networking as free online marketing. An article featured on the Chicago Association of REALTORS’ website cautions using social networking sites. Keep your own Facebook or other social networking account separate from your business account. Use each site’s privacy settings so no one can find your personal information without your knowledge. On a business profile, post helpful information for prospective clients, such as market trends and investment opportunities. When clients network with you online, they can exchange information using a site’s features. Diligently follow up on each customer contact in order to maximize the effects of social networking sites.

Doorhanging

  • For door-to-door campaigns, visit neighborhoods where you are likely to find clients. First, hire a printing company to produce door-hangers with your photo and contact information. You might choose a high-quality style with multi-color printing. You can quickly work your way through a neighborhood on foot or using a vehicle. Beware of dogs and no soliciting signs before approaching a home and hanging a door-hanger.

10 Top Real Estate Tips for 2015

The recovery has yet to arrive in many states, reinforcing the notion that real estate growth is regional. No one can accurately predict when this real estate uptick will end or how hard, or soft, a landing it will make. In the meantime, let proven fundamentals, applied with a few modern wrinkles, rule the day. Here are 10 tips for 2015 to help the real estate process.

1. Do sweat the small (cheap) stuff, sellers

Little touches go a long way in the buyer’s eye, starting logically with the entry. Trim bushes, wash walkways and change out trampled welcome mats. Inside, de-stink with candles and counter sprays, de-jam closets and de-clutter rooms, focusing keenly on kitchen counters. Hide scrub brushes and other fantasy-killing labor tools. Dust, wax, scrub toilets, wash windows, test and clean lights, put out fresh towels, winnow family mementos, harness or hide that avalanche of toys, remove prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and police the yard for “pet bombs.” It’s time well-spent.

2. Take note(s), buyers

In a whirlwind house-hunting tour of several properties, buyers benefit by keeping a pro-and-con checklist of each home they visit. Otherwise, the features of several homes tend to blend together in a tired brain by day’s end. Creating a rating scale of 1 to 10 also helps, as does carrying a checklist of specific features that you seek in an ideal home.

3. Sell by season

Though spring is optimal, home selling is a year-round sport. Use seasonal accents to make buyers linger longer.

Winter: Unfurl throw rugs and spotlight functional fireplaces. Near holidays, add touches like wreaths and pine-cone centerpieces. Display photos of your home a season ahead, particularly in winter, so buyers can see the house ensconced by greenery.

Spring: Fresh-cut flowers and candles bring spring scents indoors. For that new-start look, do extra spring cleaning and use brightly colored linens, spreads and pillows. Add little pops of color to the entry and landscape.

Summer: Highlight patios and other outdoor areas. Swap out dark towels and curtains for light colors. Put out a seasonal fruit basket or add hanging flowers. Keep the house cool but not cold.

Fall: Display pumpkins by the door and vases of fall foliage or tricolored corn inside. Use seasonal scents such as baked apple. Keep those leaves at bay.

4. Drill deeply

Buyers are regularly advised to scope out the block at varying hours, but why not drill down further to see if your potential new neighborhood is fading or flourishing?

  • Bad signs: A major local employer is struggling or moving away; adjacent neighborhoods are progressively turning into rentals; and a few too many for-sale homes are lingering on the market. Nearby commercial spaces remain persistently vacant.
  • Good signs: Schools are in high demand and well-rated. Young families and artsy types are moving in. Older couples are “aging in place” and nearby commercial properties are getting redeveloped and quickly leased. For-sale homes are generating multiple offers.

5. ‘Big data’ is everywhere, so tap in

While local knowledge and old-school networking will always be valuable, the latest technology lets agents offer much more. Some agencies offer “livability” ratings by ranking and contrasting neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors introduced its Predictive Analytics group. Banks already use “big data” to gauge the worth of foreclosures and short sales, and mobile apps now offer it for consumer and agent use. Ask agents if they offer this and other edgy technology such as high-definition aerial footage shot by drones. Should your grandiose home merit that, go big!

6. Transparency equals trust

Buyers will certainly enlist inspectors to twice-over your home, Mr. Seller. So instead of inviting disappointment, delay and distrust, be transparent with your own presale inspection. It’s far better to know now about issues with the plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), foundation, electrical systems and roof. If you haven’t gotten these repairs done, get a quote from a company like Wellesley roofers. If you have, provide the buyer a copy of the inspection along with repair receipts, and explain if or how you’ve adjusted your price accordingly. Buyers appreciate candor.

7. Math versus ego

Too often, buyers get caught up in win-at-all-costs negotiation. They’ll stubbornly let as little as a few grand lock them out of the right house. At an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the difference between paying $200,000 and $195,000 — assuming 1.25 percent property tax and 15 percent down — is only about $25 per month on a 30-year mortgage, or about the cost of lunch for two at a fast-casual eatery, before the tip. Don’t let that ruin your chances at your dream home.

8. Retain mineral rights

With so many giant natural-gas fields (shales) in play across the U.S. and new ones pending, homeowners should exercise “seller’s market” clout to retain mineral rights. While that intent needn’t even be mentioned in the sales contract in some states, it’s always safest to note it, provided the buyer doesn’t protest. Avoid that scenario by conveying those rights to a trustworthy relative or to an energy company buying them before putting the house on the block. “Mineral rights? Oh, so sorry, I no longer own them.”

9. Buying? Then cool it for a while

Refrain from making big capital purchases like a new car, opening new credit cards or amassing big chunks of other new debt before buying a home. These raise your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders examine to determine the mortgage amount you can afford. Also avoid moving large sums of money around, changing banks, changing jobs and becoming self-employed before buying a home.

10. The price is right

Trite, you say? Perhaps. But accurate home pricing from the outset never goes out of style because it sells homes. Some agents advise sellers to overprice because inventory is low. Others say go below market to spur a bidding war. Don’t get caught up in pricing games.

Activity in the first month of a listing is always the best, so don’t risk wasting it. Price too high, and scare off many buyers and agents. Price too low, and risk leaving dollars on the table. Hiring the right agent based on recommendations, response time, in-person interviews, track record and data support will yield that pricing expert you need.

Study Tips for Passing a Real Estate Exam

Real estate agents often make their own schedules and work off commission.
Studying for the real estate exam and getting ready for the days building up to the test can require a significant amount of preparation. However, most agents pass the test in the first try, and if you do not pass, you can always take it again. The key to this is learning proper study skills prior to taking the test and being in top shape on test day. Get ahead of the pack by being proactive, expressing discipline and relaxing rather than stressing out about it and cramming the night before.

Use the Right Resources

  • Focusing on resources designed to pass the real estate test will set a solid study foundation. It is also important to note that test questions vary from state to state, and tests change; therefore, training books and resources change as well, so make sure you have the most current study materials. Always check training book dates, and look for current study guides. If you come across confusing material, it is also a good idea to ask questions of an agent who has passed the test in recent months.

Complete School Work

  • As soon as the real estate course or program begins, start studying the material. Purchase current books and study them from cover to cover. Learn to take shorthand notes; listen to the instructor if you take classes in person and take class notes on every lecture or lesson. Read over all of these notes as you begin to prepare for the test. Also, do all homework or assignments listed in the book on your own, as most instructors will often not cover all book exercises. In addition to self study, join a study group with fellow classmates to help reinforce classroom material. If possible, take a test preparatory course, especially if a real estate course is not an option.

Avoid Cramming

  • It is advisable to not cram the night before the real estate test. It is important to relax the day before to avoid an overload of facts and stress. Getting a good night’s sleep is also recommended. Even if you have been studying for weeks, sleep deprivation will sabotage the brain’s functionality, potentially affecting clarity and efficiency during the exam. It is also important to get a well balanced and healthy meal prior to taking the test.

Test Taking Tips

  • Be prepared with all the required test taking materials, which vary according to state test regulations. In most cases, blank paper, pencils and a basic calculator are allowed in the testing room. Be sure to have a sharp pencil and a properly functioning calculator. Read each question thoroughly, as misunderstanding questions is one of the most common causes of incorrect answers. Test question are commonly convoluted, so read the questions multiple times until you know what is being asked. Unclear questions can be left for later; lingering on one question can hinder completing the test. Once the end of the test is reached, do a second pass over to check your work and answer questions you got stuck on the first time through. Trust the material that you have studied, and have confidence in your answer. It is a good general rule to not change a test question unless you are absolutely sure it is incorrect.

How to Pass the Real Estate PSI Exam

Close-up of pencil over multiple choice answer sheet

PSI, which designs and develops examinations for professional associations, government regulatory agencies and corporations, offers a real estate exam that’s recognized in many states. These states require brokers and agents to pass the PSI exam before they’re licensed and legally able to practice real estate. Some states, such as Tennessee and Colorado, require candidates to complete pre-licensing programs before applying to take the PSI.

Understand the Format

  • The PSI exam includes national and state portions, and requirements vary for salespersons and brokers. Those applying for a salesperson license must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the national portion and 75 percent on the state portion, while brokers need to score at least 75 percent on the national component and 80 percent on the state. The exams are timed and typically taken on a computer.

Know the Material

  • Study candidate information bulletins, which are available on the PSI website, to prepare for the test. Each bulletin outlines the content covered on the test, identifies tips and provides sample questions. The topics covered in real estate PSI exams are generally the same, and include finance, property law and real estate fundamentals. Exams for sales agents may inquire about the terms of certain agreements, such as mortgage clauses, while those for brokers may require math calculations. For example, candidates may be given a value of a property and asked to calculate the monthly to earn 12 percent on total investment.

Hit the Books

  • When key concepts or ideas aren’t totally clear, discuss complex details with colleagues who may have more experience in these situations and take notes. Take practice exams through psiexams.com to get used to recalling details while being timed. The PSI Learning Academy offers full courses to prepare candidates for exams in some states, such as Florida, Georgia and Texas. It also provides pre-exam preparation courses in 14 states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, as of 2014.

Use the Tutorial

  • PSI doesn’t allow the use of notes during the test. Before the test begins, candidates are offered the opportunity to follow a tutorial of sample questions. Take advantage of the tutorial to get comfortable with the computer and the testing format. For example, instead of leaving questions blank during the test, you can select “mark” and the system will bring the question back later for review. Unanswered questions are marked incorrect.

How to Pass the Florida Real Estate Test

You must pass the real estate exam before you can work as a real estate agent in Florida.

To conduct legal real estate transactions in Florida, you must possess a Florida real estate license. The licensing process is relatively succinct, but it includes one major obstacle: the state real estate exam. All applicants for a state real estate license must achieve a passing score on the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam. The test is administered by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Real Estate. A passing score is a score of at least 75. Almost anyone can pass the test by taking a few key steps prior to the test date.

Instructions

  1. Pick a good school. By selecting a good college real estate program, you can ensure that you will learn all you will need to know to pass the test. Research the components of different real estate courses and ask around. Inquire with area real estate professionals, and they are likely to tell you which programs are recommended most. In fact, some of these professionals might teach courses at an area school. Many consider the University of Florida’s real estate program to be the state’s best. The school offers an undergraduate and graduate minor in real estate, an MBA with a concentration in real estate and Master of Science in real estate. In Orlando, Valencia Community College offers a less time-consuming option with a Real Estate Specialist certificate course. The course is offered through the school’s Business Administration department. In South Florida, Miami-Dade College offers real estate courses through the School of Community Education. The 30-hour non-credit course can be taken online.
  2. Complete the schooling. Nothing will prepare you more for the test than the classes in which you enroll. Be sure to focus during the classes and do all of your homework. The courses are designed to help you pass the test. Therefore, you are doing a disservice to yourself if you fail to pay close attention in class.
  3. Buy an exam study guide. “The Real Estate License Exam for Dummies” provides basic information and study tips for taking real estate exams. “How to Prepare for the Real Estate Licensing Exams” is another good resource. This book includes nine full practice exams, and it features answers and explanations for all answers. For more Florida-specific information, a good source is the “Florida Real Estate Manual,” a paperback book written by Linda L. Crawford. The book features information on Florida laws and more than 600 questions and answers. “Barron’s Florida Real Estate Exams” and “CliffsTestPrep Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam” are also good sources. The “CliffsTestPrep” guide includes five practice tests. The books can be purchased from sites such as Amazon.com, and some might be available from your local library or through personal loan from a real estate agent in your area.
  4. Use the study guide to practice and focus on Florida state laws on real estate. The state test is written with an emphasis on ensuring that real estate agents in the state know the unique laws that affect the profession in Florida. Review the Florida-specific parts of the study guides and check the Florida Statutes for information on real estate laws. Remember that the study guides are sometimes dated, and they might not reflect new laws. Think of potential questions and come up with the answers. Study for several days before the test. Avoid cramming the night before the test. This can cut into sleep time and cause you to be groggy during the test.
  5. Talk to Florida real estate agents in your city about their own experiences with the test. They likely recall the parts that were the trickiest, and they probably know dozens of others who have taken the test. They can advise you on potential pitfalls and areas that you should not overlook.
  6. Visit the FloridaRealtors website (see Resouces). The website features a wealth of information for hopeful real estate professionals. Its resources include information on a real estate course program and audio CDs and DVDs that can help you prepare. The site’s educational materials are often more updated than anything else you will find.
  7. Read questions completely before answering, and skip questions when you are not sure of the answer. It could be costly for you to spend too much time on one question. The Florida state real estate exam is timed, and the state-appointed test administrators will require that you stop when your time expires. If you have spare time, you can use it to go back to the questions that you skipped and to check for obvious mistakes.

How to Get Real Estate Leads by Door Knocking

You can generate real estate leads through door knocking

Going door knocking is often a scary concept for real estate agents. The misconception is that your presence will be unwelcomed. On the contrary, this can be more effective than direct mailing or calling. There are a few rules to follow that will make even the people who don’t like solicitors enjoy your visits. All you really need to know is how to do it right.

Instructions

  1. Visit an area where you or your office has a listing or just sold a home. Don’t just find a house and start knocking. Start with homes close to the listed home, then fan out.
  2. Create an address log containing a list of every house you intend to visit.Your log should have each address listed one after another. Leave a little space for notes, such as: “Never answers the door,” or, “Growing family may be ready to buy a another house in June.”
  3. Ring the door bell and then take a step or two back. People sometimes feel a little scared when there is a stranger standing too close to the door. This is especially true if you are male. Put a soft smile on your face and enjoy the uniqueness of their porch and yard instead of waiting anxiously for the home owner to answer.
  4. Ring the door bell and knock on the door, then wait 30 seconds.There may be an elderly or disabled person inside who can’t make it to the door in less than 30 seconds. If no one answers, knock again and wait another 30 seconds before moving on.
  5. Come bearing gifts. You can buy calendars, refrigerator magnates, pens, notepads and other convenient goodies for a nominal cost with your name, phone number and address on them. Something useful with your name on it is less likely than a business card to be thrown away.
  6. Introduce yourself. Let the homeowner know who you are and what you do, but don’t jump in and ask if she wants to sell her home or knows anyone who does. Instead, start by explaining that you just listed/sold a house down the street and want to get to know the area. Give the homeowner your card and the gift and let her know if she ever needs your services, or knows anyone who does, feel free to contact you anytime.
  7. Find out a little bit about the homeowner if she seems receptive and keep track of it in your log. Some people will be glad to tell you what neighbors might need your services, how happy they are living in the area or if there’s a certain house you might want to avoid.
  8. Continue visiting houses for three months. Then start back at the first house again. Bring your handy log and return bearing gifts. By then you’ll get an idea who is happy to see you and what leads are going nowhere. After they’ve seen you four times in the past year, some will know and trust you. So when they want to buy or sell a property, or know someone who does, they’re going to call you.

How to Pass the Virginia Real Estate PSI Exam

How to Pass the Virginia Real Estate PSI Exam

To be a real estate salesperson or broker in Virginia, you have to pass a licensing exam administered by PSI Examination Services. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, or DPOR, has contracted with PSI to provide testing locations. The PSI exam tests a candidate’s broad knowledge of local and national real estate principles and laws. Because the exam is closed book, you must effectively study to pass. If you have a high school diploma or equivalent and have completed the required prelicense education, you can take the PSI exam.

Instructions

  1. Obtain the number of hours of prelicense education that DPOR requires. You should not register for the exam until you have completed all coursework. Some larger real estate brokerage firms offer prelicense courses. You can also search online for real estate schools offering self-study and classroom courses. Be sure to choose a DPOR-approved school.
  2. Download the Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin from the PSI website. The bulletin provides examination information and license qualifications for salespersons and brokers.
  3. Complete the examination registration form. If you mail the form, you must send the examination registration fee in the form of a money order, certified check, cashier’s check or company check. PSI does not accept personal checks. You can use a credit card to pay the registration fee online or by telephone. After you receive notice of PSI’s acceptance of your registration, call PSI to schedule an exam date and choose a testing location.
  4. Read the Bulletin’s “Tips for Preparing For Your License Examination.”
  5. Purchase additional study materials. Although prelicense classes provide a good foundation for understanding real estate principles, you might choose to supplement those materials with books on real estate fundamentals. You can check the PSI website for available books.
  6. Make a list of the topics covered on the exam outlined in the bulletin’s “Description of Examination.” As you study, write down questions you have about each topic and look for the answers in your books.
  7. Take the sample test in the bulletin and score your answers. Read each question again and study the correct answer. Look in your study materials at the sections that cover the questions you missed.
  8. Review the practice tests you took in your prelicense courses. If you studied in a classroom, talk with your fellow students about examination content. Verbalizing principles can help you remember them.
  9. Get plenty of rest the night before the examination. If you live farther than an hour from your test site, consider spending the night in a nearby hotel. Eat a healthy breakfast before the exam.
  10. Bring two forms of identification to the examination center; one must be a government agency-issued photo ID. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the examination start time. You are not allowed to bring a cell phone into the center; you may bring a calculator.
  11. Follow the computer tutorial before starting the exam, if you are taking the examination by computer. You can spend up to 15 minutes on the tutorial as long as you finish before the scheduled examination start time.
  12. Read each exam question carefully and pick the best answer. Pace yourself and save enough time to review each of your answers before submitting the test. Verify that you have chosen one answer for each question. Even if you don’t know the answer, it’s better to guess than leave it blank. If you’re taking the paper-and-pencil examination, completely mark the circle of each answer.

Tips on Investing in Real Estate

Real estate can be a good investment.
Investing in real estate can be a smart move, but only if you make the right choices. Real estate investments can be real winners, or real losers, depending on the properties you pick and how you manage your holdings. Knowing what to look for and examining your financial situation carefully can help you maximize your profits while minimizing any hassles.

Use an Attorney

  • No matter what type of investment property you buy, always use an attorney when making the deal. A good real estate attorney can help you with everything from determining a fair offer price to writing up the rental contracts. An attorney will also be able to ferret out any liens, back taxes or other encumbrances, items you might miss if you try to perform the transaction on your own.

Run the Numbers

  • One mistake many real estate investors make is assuming that the property will always have a tenant. While in a perfect world the apartment building you buy will always contain paying tenants, the reality is rarely this simple. When evaluating a rental property, you need to run the numbers both with and without tenants. If you find that you will be unable to make the mortgage payment if the property sits empty for even a month or two, you might be stretching yourself too thin.

    Before you buy a piece of investment property, it is also a good idea to look at vacancy rates in the area. If you are buying in an area with high vacancy rates, it will be more difficult to rent the property, and you stand a greater chance of having the property sit empty. If the vacancy rates are low, there is a greater likelihood that you will be able to find new tenants quickly.

Consider the Neighborhood

  • One of the most important things for real estate investors to look at is the nature of the neighborhood. The type of neighborhood where the property is located will play a role in everything from the amount of rent that can be charged to the potential for appreciation and resale value. If the neighborhood has been changing for the better, investing there can be a smart move, but if the neighborhood is in decline, the potential for appreciation might be very small. If you choose a bad neighborhood, you might be able to eke out a positive cash flow, but chances are you will not be able to count on a higher resale price down the road.

What Is on a Real Estate Exam?

A real estate exam is mandatory for all licensed agents and brokers.

Real estate exams cover several competencies and key concepts. Licenses are issued at the state level, so each state has the authority to create and administer its own test. Each real estate exam has a general section and a state-specific section. Exam questions are multiple choice. A state’s real estate commission may change the exam questions and layout periodically to deter test-takers from cheating.

Property

  • The real estate exam covers a variety of concepts related to property. The exam covers property classes, types of property ownership and property transfer rules. The exam covers land use regulations, including government rights as well as private and public controls. Candidates must know land characteristics and the various legal descriptions of property.

Real Estate Regulations

  • A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to federal laws that govern real estate practices. Candidates must have knowledge of fair housing and fair credit laws as well as landlord-tenant laws. This portion also covers ethical issues related to brokers, agents and other real estate professionals.

Math

  • The real estate exam covers real estate calculations and various mathematics concepts. License candidates must understand how to calculate property taxes as well as how to make general lending calculations. Other real estate calculations include calculations for mortgages and property values.

Financing

  • Licensed agents must possess a general knowledge of real estate finance concepts. The exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of different types of real estate loans and the different sources of loans. The exam also covers various government programs, mortgages and credit laws.

Real Estate Valuation

  • License candidates must understand real estate valuation and the different methods of estimating real estate value. The exam covers competitive market analysis as well as which transactions require property appraisals.

Contracts and Disclosures

  • The real estate exam covers contractual relationships between buyers and sellers. Candidates must have knowledge of general contract law. Candidates must possess property-specific contract knowledge including purchase agreements, lease agreements, counteroffers and rescissions. Further, the exam covers numerous real estate disclosures such as material facts and property condition disclosures.

State Specific

  • A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to state-specific statutes and regulations. The state-specific portion covers licensing requirements as well as continuing education, license renewal and transfer rules as required by the state department of real estate. This portion also covers state laws governing licensee activities and state-specific real estate laws such as property ownership and transfer rules, landlord-tenant laws, fair housing rules and other state-specific disclosures.

How to Pass the Real Estate Broker’s Exam

Real estate brokers must gain experience as sales agents before taking the license exam.
Real estate brokers act somewhat behind the scenes in the field of real estate. The job of a broker is to locate sellers ready to sell property and buyers looking to purchase. Many real estate brokers are self-employed and own their own businesses. Individuals interested in a career as a real estate broker typically start in real estate sales and work their way up. All 50 states require brokers to be licensed — and to become licensed, you will need to pass an exam.

Instructions

  1. Ensure that you meet the requirements before taking the test. All states require one to three years of experience in real estate sales before an individual may take the exam to earn a license. Some states also require evidence of a set number of hours of professional real estate coursework.
  2. Check which test you need to take before you begin studying. This depends on which state you wish to be licensed in. If you want to be licensed in multiple states, you may need to take more than one test.
  3. Study for the real estate broker’s exam. The best way to do this is to purchase a study book for the test. Familiarize yourself with all the information that will be on the exam, such as federal and state real estate laws and ethical conduct guidelines. Work on sample questions and take full-length practice tests. Grade yourself based on the rubrics of the actual exam and keep studying until you feel prepared to take the test.
  4. Register for and take the exam. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep followed by a healthy breakfast before sitting the exam. Try not to cram for the exam the night before, though some last-minute review may help in your preparations.