How New Real Estate Agents Can Get Ahead of the Game

Real estate agents know the business is all about creating and cultivating personal relationships with their clients. It’s meeting someone new and forming relationships with them that last through purchasing this home, selling it later, buying a new one, and working with their friends and family. When you have a relationship, you’re the first realtor people recommend. New Realtors don’t have that advantage, and it sometimes takes many months or even years to build a clientele like this. The business is competitive, and people want to know how they can get ahead in the game as a new realtor. Good business is easy to create, but a great reputation takes time. It’ll happen organically, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself grow.   Let People Know What You’re Doing You won’t find business if you don’t make sure people know where you are and what you’re doing. There is a fine line, however, between being pushy about it and being excited about your new role. Be excited. Put it on social media, offer help to anyone who needs it, and be present when people are discussing new homes and selling. If people don’t know what you’re doing, they’re not going to ask you to help.   Know Your Stuff If you want to get ahead in the real estate market, understand you must always learn more than you know. You will never know everything about the real estate market, and you must never allow yourself to become complacent. Trends, homes, locations, neighborhoods, wants, and desires change often, and it’s your job to know what’s changed, how it’s changing, and what is in right now versus what’s in yesterday. When you allow yourself time each day to catch up on what’s new and learn a few things, you’ll always be ahead.   Learn to Network It’s time to get out of your shell and meet new people. Join the local Chamber of Commerce, the local YMCA, and attend local events. Network with other business owners, share your knowledge and advice with people who ask for it, and try to meet at least three new business contacts each week. One important piece of advice to remember is not everyone can help you directly, but everyone can help you indirectly.   As a new real estate agent, you should get to know and become friends with a local repair service company so you can offer their repair service plan to buyers when they move into a new home. Get to know the local landscapers so you can recommend them to buyers or sellers. Get to know the local painters so you can recommend them to clients. You might think it sounds a little one-sided, but forming these relationships and recommending these companies provides you with an edge. They’ll do the same for you when they meet new people. That house the landscaper takes care of on the lake might be owned by a family looking to downsize now that the kids are gone. When they mention to the landscaper they’re looking to spruce up the yard because they want to sell, he can recommend you for all the favors you’ve done for him.   Becoming a new real estate agent is starting from the bottom and working your way up. It’s imperative you learn that you will make mistakes, but that each one is a unique learning experience you can use to grow. When you’re willing to learn from others as well as your own mistakes, you’re going to grow faster and more organically. At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your clients is be yourself and utilize your strengths. Knowledge is power in the real estate industry and entering the game as a new agent.

Lessons most real estate investors learn the hard way

Investing in real estate can be one of the most exhilarating things an investor does. There is a thrill that comes with finding a good deal, improving a home and, making a killing off of the sale. Most real estate investors don’t start out that way, however. In fact, many, if not most, real estate investors will tell you that they have made many mistakes and lost quite a bit of money as well. They will also tell you it was worth it because of the lessons learned that could be utilized later down the line.

Here are a few mistakes real estate investors typically make in the beginning. Avoiding them can save a lot of heartache.

Hard money

Hard money loans can be an incredible tool. If you have not heard of hard money loans, they are quick loans that are based on the value of the asset (the home, or piece of real estate) instead of the person getting the loan. This means someone with bad credit good get a hard money loan, as long as it is a good deal and the house is worth a lot more, or has a lot of potential.

Hard money loans are usually less than a year, and are just used to snag a quick deal, maybe fix things up, then sell or convert to a regular loan. They have incredibly high interest rates – often as high as fifteen percent.

Because of the high interest rates, investors usually hold hard money loans for as little time as possible. If a mistake is made and they end up holding the loan significantly longer than expected, the interest expenses can rack up and put them in a miserable place. If they hold past the original time of the loan, things can get really ugly.

Simply put, if you are going to use a hard money lender, be careful, have exit strategies and backup exit strategies to be sure you are not stuck holding the bag.


Most good investors are able to use signals and see when the signs point to selling and when they point to buying. If you are able to recognize these signals then you are able to capitalize much quicker and make money much faster.


If you think you are getting a good deal on a piece of property then it is time to be careful. There is often a reason a piece of property is priced the way it is. While good deals do exist, bad deals disguised as good deals also exist.

Research the neighborhood, the history of the home, the future of the area, rental prices, the real estate market as a whole, and everything else you can think of. If everything checks out, you can feel confident in the deal you are getting.

Understand expenses

Your mortgage will absolutely not be your only expense. There will be random expense all along the way. Try to have an emergency fund for when something big comes up. New investors are often surprised to realize how much some home repairs can cost. One recommendation that some investors will give is a home warranty. A home warranty is a warranty that gives you the ability to insure almost everything in your home that can break. From water heaters, stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, and more. While these are not killer expenses if broken, it may be a good idea to have a warranty in place until you have a large enough savings that you can replace and repair these items yourself.

This list is not comprehensive in the least. New real estate investors make mistakes every day. It will happen no matter how big the list. Find a mentor who has done what you are looking to do. Get advice and confirm your first few deals with them. Someday you may be that very mentor.

5 Tips to Buying a New Home

Purchasing a new home is usually a complicated and stressing experience. One wrong move can kill the deal in minutes. You have to play it safe to get what you want. Here are some key tips you need to consider.


Know What You Want

A real estate agent can only help if you know exactly what you want. Be specific about your requirements so that the agent can identify the right house for you. This may include the number of bedrooms, type of exterior, floor plan, security of the neighborhood, noise level and desired footage. You might also consider the distance of the house from the grocery stores, schools, restaurants, highways, hospitals and places of worship. Knowing exactly what you want will minimize surprises and enhance the quality of search. You will also save a lot of time spent in evaluating various homes you come across.


Get Your Loan Pre-approved

You can apply for a mortgage to finance your house in a cheaper and more convenient way. However, you need to make sure it is pre-approved before you proceed with the buying process. Make sure your credit score is within the acceptable limits to get pre-approved with the best interests possible. Avoid a new debt, as this will complicate the process and reduce the amount you qualify for. You should also consider paying down your consumer debt since most banks factor in your debt-income-ratio when approving your application. It is wise to get pre-approved for the mortgage before bidding on a house to avoid major disappointments associated with failed applications.


Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

Choose a real estate agent who can communicate and listen to your demands. A good real estate agent should also be in a position to adjust well to your needs and work within the set timeline. There are about two million active real estate agents out there, so you need to employ effective strategies when selecting the most suited person for the job. Choose a real estate agent by looking at his track record. Let him provide you with at least 20 past clients. Ask the clients about their overall experience with the agent and whether he worked up to their expectations. You can also do some research online or ask friends and family members who have had a previous experience with a real estate agent for recommendations. Above all, ensure the agent is fully certified and licensed by the relevant state agencies.


Consider Location

You surely don’t want a home that is located in a place with no good highways, grocery shops or schools. For instance, a place with poor roads will only damage your vehicle and increase the premiums in your auto insurance coverage. Convenient access to popular places, restaurants and shops will make your life easier and enjoyable. Be aware of things associated with a bad location. A home in a busy intersection or near a fire station will make the environment very uncomfortable. Same applies to homes located in open neighborhoods with no security provisions.


Save Enough Cash

There are a lot of things that come with buying a new home. You need to have enough money to sort them out quickly when they come up. Some of the related expenses you will have to deal with include earnest money deposits, home appraisal and home inspection. Running out of money when the deal is in the middle will force you to pull out. You don’t want to find yourself in this situation, especially if the house has all the things you always wanted. You should also expect your mortgage financier to ask for a down payment ranging from 3.5 to 5 percent.

About one million Americans buy new homes every year. You could be among them, but only if you employ effective strategies when purchasing your new home. The tips discussed above could help you make prudent choices when selecting the home you want for your entire life.


The Reverse Mortgage Process: An Interview with Houtan Hormozian of CRESTICO Funding

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

At CRESTICO, we pride ourselves on being the company that is changing the face of the real estate industry with our top notch service philosophy which focuses on meeting your needs as a consumer. Our Home Ownership Services Strategy includes affiliations with mortgage, title and closing services, home warranty and other services that are essential in the real estate transactions that are made available to customers like you. It’s our attempt at making the home buying or selling experience less stressful to you, presented as a one-stop shopping experience. CRESTICO is your one-stop shop for all your real estate and mortgage lending needs. We were created for the purpose of serving a homeowner with the highest quality service and providing all the services you could possibly need in connection with the purchase and/or sale of your home.

We will work for you to get you everything you need. We have great relationships and ties in the community and real estate professionals, and can get you the best pricing possible on loans as well! Sometimes the details of buying and selling real estate can be confusing, scary, emotional and nerve racking. We believe in researching the details and presenting them in common terms in order to put your mind at ease and take you through the process with no stress and frustration.

Can you briefly explain what a reverse mortgage is?

A reverse mortgage is loan available to homeowners who are over 62 years of age. It enables them to convert some of their home equity into cash. Generally, it is a means to help retirees with limited income use the accumulated wealth in their homes to cover basic monthly living expenses and pay for health care. The loan is called a reverse mortgage because the traditional mortgage payback stream is reversed. Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a traditional mortgage, the lender makes payments to the borrower.

What are the most common circumstances when a homeowner would qualify for a reverse mortgage and want to consider applying for one?

There are several factors required for a reverse mortgage, first the age qualification, meaning that borrowers listed on title must be 62 years old. Next, there must be a primary lien, meaning that a reverse mortgage must be the primary lien on the home. Any existing mortgage must be paid off using the proceeds from the reverse mortgage. (Reverse mortgage proceeds can be used.) Third, there are occupancy requirements, which means that the property used as collateral for the reverse mortgage must be the primary residence. Vacation homes and investor properties do not qualify. Fourth, there are the taxes and insurance which must be kept in current status along with other mandatory obligations, including condominium fees, or the borrower may be susceptible to default. Finally, the property condition must be kept up and the borrower is responsible for completing mandatory repairs and maintaining the condition of the property.

How long does the process typically take?

From application to closing, it generally takes 20 to 30 days, as in most typical real estate transactions.

What are some of the biggest issues you’ve seen homeowners in Southern California face when it comes to a reverse mortgage?

Unfortunately, California was one of the hardest hit markets in the recent economic crisis. Many seniors bore the brunt of the misfortune. Sadly, some lenders tended to aggressively pitch loans to seniors who cannot afford the fees associated with them, not to mention the property taxes and maintenance. Others wooed seniors with promises that the loans are free money that can be used to finance long-coveted cruises, without clearly explaining the risks. Some widows faced eviction after they were pressured to keep their name off the deed without being told that they could be left facing foreclosure after their husbands died. Now, as baby boomer generation heads for retirement and more seniors grapple with dwindling savings, the newly minted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working on new rules that could mean better disclosure for consumers and stricter supervision of lenders. More than 775,000 of such loans are outstanding, according to the federal government.

What advice would you give to people in the Southern California area who need help with a home loan?

I would encourage them to educate themselves on the options that they have when it comes to loan products and mortgage programs. At CRESTICO, we believe that the educated consumer always makes the best decision for himself and his family which ultimately results in a better society and economic environment for everyone.

What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

You can visit us on the web at or contact me directly via email at[email protected] or by telephone at (310) 933-4748.

Cash Back Offers for your Home Loan


With real estate market again getting heated, the mortgage marketing campaigns in the financial institutions may also be heating up. Just about the most common in the offers tempting consumers will be the offer to get cashback for your mortgage business. This often is accessible for new purchases and also the refinancing of existing mortgages. 

It was only a couple of years ago once this was the hottest new offer in the industry. In today&rsquos market it appears that every other lender in the country is offering this cash return option.

An example of the standard cash return offer out there is 3% cash return whenever you subscribe to a condition of five years. Now here’s the place that the catch also comes in. Typically if you accept this offer you’re taking the amount of money back option in the place of a rate discount.

Just what exactly does this mean to consumers? Keep in mind I would recommend that you crunch the numbers when you jump at the offers available on the market. In today&rsquos market it’s not unreasonable for consumers with a good credit rating and verifiable income to command a single% discount on closed term mortgages. Some consumers are even able to get 1.05% off posted rates about the closed term of the choice.

To find out how a numbers figure out, let&rsquos check out a comparison between what you get coming from a cash return offer versus what you save having a 1% rate discount. Let&rsquos assume that you require a whole new $150,000 mortgage that you intend to amortize over two-and-a-half decades (the common). Lets also assume that the posted rate on a 5-year term is 8.35%. With the cash return provide you with will get $4,500 at the time the mortgage is advanced and as a consequence pay a rate of 8.35%. Assuming that all you do is make your minimum payment per month then in the term with the mortgage your total payments will amount to $70,710. After the phrase the main balance outstanding is going to be $138,736.90

If you successfully negotiate 7.35% with a 5-year term (with a 25-year amortization) then your total payments over the term are $64,994.40. After your term the complete principal balance outstanding is $137,158.98.

Which means not only do you think you’re making $5,715.60 less in whole payments in the term, but you need to $1,577.92 less principal balance outstanding at the end. Suddenly $4,500 money back doesn&rsquot seem so appealing?

I still believe today&rsquos real estate prices and low mortgage rates represent an excellent opportunity for owning a home. If getting 3% cash return helps to make the difference between you being able to afford your house and renting i quickly say do it now. Still, no financial decision must be made without weighing out each of the alternatives.

Remember: when the offer seems too good really was &ndash it’s always.