Real estate apps and why you need a REALTOR

Listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Craigslist have become the go-to source for many buyers and sellers (particularly people attempting to buy or sell property on their own) to get information about the market, view properties, and connect with property owners.

But while most people believe these listing sites are a reliable source of information, there’s actually quite a bit of misinformation that can throw a wrench in your home search or sale.

Here are the three things real estate apps commonly get wrong (and how you can avoid them while selling or buying your home):

1. Not all postings are real

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One of the biggest problems on most real estate apps is that they don’t require any verification from the people placing listings. So essentially, anyone with an internet connection can post any listing they’d like — including listings that are completely falsified.

There are an immeasurable number of fake listings on these sites; posters either use the “bait and switch” method, posting photos of one property when they’re really selling another (one New York real estate company was caught red-handed using celebrities’ properties in a highly publicized bait and switch scam in 2015), or create a completely fake listing in hopes of gathering people’s personal information for marketing purposes or, in some extreme cases, identity theft.

For these reasons you may waste a lot of time and energy looking through and engaging with fake listings, which can keep you from finding real listings — the kind that could end up being your dream home.

2. Not all postings are up-to-date

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Another big issue with these sites is that often times, listings aren’t updated. So a listing you see for sale might have actually been sold the previous week or a listing that reads “sale pending” might actually be back on the market.

This failure to update is a bad situation for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, it means you might get excited about a home only to find out it’s already been sold or you might pass on an amazing home, thinking it’s already been sold… only to find out after the fact it actually was available. If your listing is out-of-date as a seller, it means you could miss out on potential buyers thanks to inaccurate information.

Without up-to-date information, it’s impossible to effectively manage either the search or the sale of your home. But unfortunately, when you work within these types of real estate listings sites, you’re pretty much guaranteed out-of-date information.

3. Property information is often incorrect

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On top of fake listings and out-of-date listings, many listings on these sites are just flat out incorrect. And this can be a big problem for both buyers and sellers.

As a buyer, you want to know what you’re getting into when you look at a property. But if the information is incorrect — for example, the listing states the property is 4 bedrooms when it’s really only three or that the home sits on 2 acres when it’s really only 1 — you’ll end up wasting a lot of time looking at properties that don’t actually fit within your parameters.

As a seller, not only will incorrect listing information waste time by connecting you with buyers who are looking for something different from what your property has to offer, but it can actually affect the price of your offers. Zillow, one of the top real estate apps, offers a popular feature called “Zestimate” which estimates how much a property is worth whether it’s on or off the market. Anyone can access this information, including potential buyers. And buyers use Zestimates as a way to come up with offer prices.

Unfortunately, Zestimates are often inaccurate. In fact, they’re off by an average of 8% nationally, which is a pretty shocking disparity.

Apps and listing sites readily admit their information might not be accurate; most all have a disclaimer page stating that information on their site may be inaccurate and encouraging potential buyers or sellers to verify all information independently. 

Moral of the story: when you deal with real estate apps, you’re also going to be dealing with a lot of misinformation, which can derail your home sale or search.

What to do instead

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As you can see, real estate apps aren’t your best bet when it comes to buying or selling a home. You’ll end up wasting time and energy on fake or out-of-date listings or inaccurate information. That’s why it’s always best to work with a real estate agent. Agents have access to the most up-to-date, accurate information through the MLS, which will ensure that as a buyer, every home you see is exactly what you expect it to be, and as a seller, every potential buyer that comes to tour your home will know exactly what they’re getting into.

Navarro Crossing

Things are still growing in Seguin. Below is the article Seguin Economic Development posted today…. Enjoy!!!!

Navarro-Crossing-to-bring-duplex-condominiums-to-Seguin–Texas.html?soid=1107990347452&aid=axwy10YJSds

87% of all homes qualify for some sort of down payment assistance program and over 90% of all DAP’s across the country are funded

Check out the link below to see if you qualify. Then give us a call. The market is active and moving out there!!!!!

Qualifying Programs

Expansion is a Good Thing

Stay Warm out there. Things are hot in the Real Estate business!!! Been thinking of Selling or Buying. Contact us! We are moving a lot of inventory. It going fast!!!
Congrats to the Granzin Family on their Expansion. Stop in one of the two current locations when you have your next protein need.

Granzin’s Meat Market adding third location in the San Antonio area
Dec 31, 2014 – San Antonio Business Journal

Granzin’s Meat Market is “beefing up” operations by adding its third full-sized location in the “Gateway To The Eagle Ford Shale.”

The New Braunfels-based chain is building a full-sized meat market at 393 Airport Road in Pleasanton.

Founded in 1981, the family-owned business currently has its original meat market in New Braunfels and another location in Seguin.

Co-owner Gary Granzin spoke to us about the new development in Pleasanton. Granzin said his family originally set up a simple “deer processing” center off Airport Road as a service to hunters. But Pleasanton is experiencing tremendous growth in the retail and housing sectors thanks to the oil boom targeting the Eagle Ford Shale.

Granzin said strong business at the deer processing center and rapid population growth in Pleasanton prompted its decision to open a full-sized meat market there.

The Pleasanton meat market is being built on the same piece of land as the deer processing center and should be open as early as March 2015.

Three great programs being supported!!!

Happy Tuesday!!!!
Below is a link that talks about a 100% Loan to Value Loan (LTV), Tax savings for short sales and Loan programs for first time home buyers!!!
Enjoy!

Posted from The National Real Estate Post 12/6/15
Awesome New Programs!!

Tax Extensions Passed

Polychron on passage of tax extensions
Posted in Legislative, by NAR on December 17, 2014

National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron has issued the following statement on key legislation passed by Congress:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

“Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

Scams to Avoid when Buying a home!

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and is ready for a New Year!!
While we are preparing we have to “keep our eye on the ball”.
Below is an article from Texas Association of Relators:

12/19/2014 | Author: Ward Lowe

A new family moved in next to us, and my wife and I stopped by to welcome them. They asked us when trash pickup is (Friday), if the city will fix the broken streetlight next to their driveway (yes), and if the guy who “walks” an imaginary dog through the neighborhood is dangerous (no).

Then they asked a strange question: They wanted to know how much we paid to file our homestead exemption.

A scam that’s been around for years
They received a letter in the mail containing lots of data about their property from a company offering to file their homestead-exemption paperwork—for the low, low price of $35. Being first-time homebuyers, they didn’t know that there is no fee for filing your homestead exemption in Texas. You download the form from the state and file it with your local appraisal district; it doesn’t cost anything.

But wait … there are more
I’d heard about that homestead-exemption scam; we received a similar letter when we bought our house. Lucky for us, our Texas REALTOR® had explained how to file the exemption. She also said to call her if we received any other official-looking letters asking for fees for anything related to the sale of our house. That came in handy when we got an invoice a few days after closing from a deed-retrieval service, charging us $87 for a copy of our deed. She told us to throw away the so-called invoice—we would be getting a copy from the title company.

As far as real estate scams go, these may be small potatoes, but when you’re buying a house, every dollar helps

Real Estate Loan Pre Approval

Pre-approval in Texas real estate market means a written commitment made by the lender to offer you a loan. It is subject to some conditions and an acceptable appraisal. It is based on a critical analysis of your economic conditions. If you want to buy property in Texas, having a letter of pre approval shows that you mean business. It appeals to the sellers and they value you more. So if you want to buy your dream house in Central Texas and you want to beat the competition, make sure you have a letter of pre approval. Having pre approval does not mean that it is mandatory for you to take a loan. Instead, it shows the sellers in Texas that you are capable to buy the house you’re interested in. Do not confuse it with the term pre qualification. While pre approval is reported by a lender, the pre qualification is self reported, and is far less weighted than pre approval. Though pre approval is important, it is not the only component of a real estate proposal. Other important components are contingency clauses and earnest money. Before you find your dream house, make sure you get a Texas Realtor and get to know more about the contract. This way, when you find the perfect house, you can make offer that the seller can’t resist.

Real Estate Investment with your IRA

I was speaking with a friend about IRA’s and the topic came up about investing in Real Estate and not just stocks. They didn’t believe me at first, and so I realized this was a perfect topic to blog about. A little know fact is that with a little help you can set up a self directed IRA and an LLC and you can take complete control of your IRA / 401k or other qualified retirement plan and invest in Real Estate!  (Consult with an attorney or the TX Sec of State’s Office regarding forming an LLC and consult with your accountant or CPA regarding an IRA.)

With a self directed IRA, you direct where your IRA invests. For example, with a self directed IRA you can buy a real estate investment property. However, although a self directed IRA expands the number of investment choices available to you, it still has several limitations that you need to know about, and you have a custodian that all transactions are passed through. However there is another lesser known process by which you create an LLC, fully managed by you and you can have complete check writing control of your own IRA. Now don’t get me wrong I am not anti-IRA custodians. It’s just if you In fact, even after you become truly self-directed; you will still have a competent IRA custodian for your IRA account.

There are several limitations related to a run-of-the-mill self directed IRA (An IRA that is NOT Truly Self Directed):

1st – You are have to go through the IRA custodian any time you need to make an investment. In other words, when you run across the deal of a lifetime, you have to ask the custodian’s permission and run the opportunity through their process and in the real world of buying investment property; this does not work too well. In fact many investors have lost opportunities over these types of delays.

With an LLC run IRA you can invest at the moment your ready to make your investment. No custodial process to slow down your investments.

2nd – There are custodial fees. With most custodians, you pay every time a transaction is made, and fees may be assessed on your profits thus lowering your rate of return. In fact custodians may even assess fees to your account just to hold your money.

With an LLC run IRA you will be able retain as much of your money as possible. To move forward with setting up your own LLC run self directed IRA I recommend you get with a professional but isn’t the idea of mixing some real estate into your retirement plans exciting?

Best of Luck!