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2010-09-09 18:47:39

New Agent Guide

Realtor's Motto
There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional; Integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marking savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of how I work.
That said, in my experience as a real estate professional, I have also found that providing the very best service is essential, I place my clients first. This means marking myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to all of my clients needs.
This “client first” philosophy has always been my approach and it requires me to continually improve my skills in all aspects of this business. In addition, I have found that the latest technologies are enabling me to do everything I have always done, only much quicker and efficiently. They’ve also helped me to extent the range of services I provide to my clients.
No matter what the situation, price, time of day, or person, the client always comes 1st!
Real estate agents are those who assist and guide individuals in purchasing, and selling a house. They must have the knowledge and experience to say approximately how much money a house is worth.
They need to have knowledge of the neighborhoods that they are representing. They need to know about neighborhood watches, and real estate laws.
They need to know where the potential customer can receive a loan for their house.
They need to be people friendly and oriented.
When a person wants to buy a house, they more than likely will need a real estate agent. The agent meets with the clients and discusses exactly what the client is looking for. The agent goes over the information and they both decide what will be the best move. The agent then takes the client out to see houses.
Along with helping people buy houses, agents also help clients sell houses. They will assist the client in deciding an appropriate price for the house. In order to do this efficiently, they must have good knowledge of the neighborhood the house is located in, and have a general idea of what past houses in the area that are similar have sold for )Via CMA), and what people will be willing to pay for the house.
An agent’s work is never done. After a person agrees to buy a house, the agent must have all the appropriate paperwork filled out by both parties.
Being an agent, you can expect to spend a lot of your time in the office, behind a computer. A lot of the information you will be accessing will be through the internet. If you are not in the office, you will most likely be out showing houses, doing customer relations work, or finding out as mush as you can about the local houses that you will one day hopefully sale.
Becoming a real estate agent:
You must first have a license from the state in which you work. In order to receive a license, you must have graduated from high school, be at least 18 years old, and pass a written test. In most states, a training agent must go to a school, and take special courses that will prepare them for the road ahead of them.
A good real estate agent has excellent people and communication skills. Your appearance is an important factor rather people will trust you. You must be well dressed, and well organized. You must jump at the opportunity to sell and show a house. Remember every time you show a house, that is a potential sell.
When it comes to the agent’s paycheck, they do not receive hourly wages. Instead, the agent gets paid a percentage of the money that the home buyer pays for the house. This would mean, the more houses you sell, the more money you make!
You will get out what you put into it. If you put hard hours and work, you will reap the benefits.
Work more, make more, work less make less, it’s as simple as that.
Code of Ethics For Real Estate Agents
You Will:

            *Promote, employ and maintain a high standard of integrity in the performance of all client representation obligations and services in the operation of real estate.

            * Maintain, manage, service and operate residential and commercial housing properties in accordance with fair and honorable standards of competition, ever mindful of the purposes of TREC, TAR, and NAR in compliance with the bylaws thereof.

            * Strive continually to promote the education and fraternity of the team members and to promote the progress and dignity of the real estate housing industry in creating a better image of itself in order that the public may be better served.

            * Seek to provide better values, so that an even greater share of the public may enjoy the many benefits of housing living in our area.

            * Establish high ethical standards of conduct with real estate agencies, suppliers and others doing business with the real estate industry.

            * Endeavor to expose all schemes to mislead or defraud the real estate housing residing public and to aid in the exposure of those responsible.

            * Refrain from attempting to obtain residents, through advertising or otherwise, by means of deceptive, misleading or fraudulent statements, misrepresentations or the use of implications, unwarranted by fact or reasonable probability.

                        * Abide by all national, state and local laws of every kind and nature.

Dress Code Pointers
We need to dress “professionally and appropriately” when meeting clients or when visible in the lobby. The question, of course, becomes what defines professional and appropriate.
Business attire is much more casual today than it used to be, and the 45 and under generation accepts a more casual look than the 45 and older group. It is important to keep some individuality and a comfort level for both agent and clients. Overdressing can be intimidating or even inappropriate when working with younger clients or clients in the lower end. Business casual is acceptable dress today for many corporations.
We want to maintain our long standing reputation of quality, integrity, exceptional service, professionalism and comprehensive knowledge of all facets of real estate. Each associate and employee of the company contributes to the image that the company must project in order to maintain our position as the leading upscale real estate firm. Therefore, all associates and employees are encouraged to always be sensitive to personal appearance and to the impressions we make on customers and clients.
The following guidelines have been established regarding appropriate dress and professional office decorum:
1.         Appropriate business attire shall be worn by all employees and associates while on duty or whenever meeting with clients or customers. This standard is to include previewing properties. As a minimum, one should always dress a level above his/her clients, and give consideration to the standards of other principals involved (example: the Seller, if your client is the buyer). Exceptions to this may be made when showing ranch, rural, resort or non-residential properties. In all situations, clothing should be cleaned and pressed.
When attending special functions, such as awards ceremonies or business luncheons, one should wear his/her best business attire. For men this would be at a minimum, a dress shirt and tie or a dress shirt and coat and for women it would be the equivalent of a suit or outfit with a blazer.
A.        Appropriate business attire for ladies includes:
1.         Modest length dresses or skirts or tailored pants
2.         Blouses or sweaters with modest necklines
3.         Dress t-shirts
4.         Blazers, jackets or vests
5.         Business suits
6.         Tailored pant suits
B.         A minimum standard for men is business casual:
1.         Dress slacks with belt
2.         High quality golf shirt, tucked in
3.         Dress leather shoes
C.        When appropriate, and when listing or showing high end properties, at a minimum, men’s attire should include:
1.         Long sleeved dress shirt, often with necktie and/or with sport coat
2.         Dress slacks with belt
3.         Dress leather shoes
D.        The following are not appropriate when working with clients:
1.         Denim jeans
2.         Denim or short Skirts
3.         Plunging or revealing necklines
4.         Shorts
5.         Any item of clothing that is too tight
6.         Slogan t-shirts
7.         Halter tops
8.         Sweat suits or warm-ups
9.         Thong sandals, flip flops
10.       Tennis shoes
            Our image is more than what we wear; it is how we present ourselves everyday in front of others - our dress and our behavior. We need to work together to maintain our image and help each other to maintain a high standard. Those that abuse the standard will be counseled or reported to the sales manager for further counseling and corrective action.
Buyers Information
When dealing with a buyer, or potential buyer, you have to be very excited, uplifting and motivated. Buyers are most likely going to be excited themselves, and need their agent to match their energy ten fold. Buyers need to be able to trust you, so your communication is important. Always be respectful and willing to do anything for them. You have to make them feel like you have just gone above and beyond in order to get them the best deal possible. You need to know as much as you can about the buyer. Here are some fun facts.
1.1999: 37% of buyers searched for a home online. 2009: 90% of buyers searched for a home online.
2.1999: median home value is $137,600. 2009: median home value is $172,600 (but not that some reports reflect that when accounting for inflation, the value hasn’t changed at all this decade).
3.1999: 82% of buyers purchased detached, single family homes. 2009: 78% of buyers purchased detached, single family homes.
4.1999: 46% of buyers choose suburban neighborhoods. 2009: 54% of buyers choose suburban neighborhoods.
5.1999: 68% of buyers were married couples. 2009: 60% of buyers are married couples.
6.1999 And 2009: the median age for buyers was 39.
7.1999 And 2009: “neighborhood quality, affordability, and convenience to work and school have consistently been top priorities.”
Sellers Information
When dealing with a seller, you must be precise and honest. We do not want to promise something that we can not follow through with. You need to know the current facts of the area that the house is in, and that the client would like to sell. You need to have a good idea about what people are going to be willing to pay. Make sure to have an appraiser involved, if your seller approves. But first and foremost, you must be polite, and willing to do whatever it takes to sell that house. You have to tell the client that, and make sure that they believe you.

Be sure they know what they need to do for their property.

* Maintain your lawn, garden, and shrubs. Keep the lawn watered and plant some flowers.

* If you have a beautiful perennial garden or an herb garden that keep coming back each spring, shoot up a roll of film and put the pictures in an album for prospective buyers to look at. In the winter, people may have a hard time visualizing what the yard and garden will look like during the growing season.

* Touch up the exterior paint if it's starting to flake or peel.

* Have the chimney for both the furnace and the fireplace checked and cleaned.

* Evaluate what your house looks like as you step in through the door. Does it look crowded or cluttered? Does it look like nobody lives there? Can people see past the "you" in the room and see the room itself?

* Clean every room in the house thoroughly and get rid of the clutter and excess furniture. Have the carpets and draperies professionally cleaned. Put things in a storage locker if you have a lot of stuff. You'll make the rooms look bigger and brighter.

* Make small fixes: touch up interior paint, or install new panels on the electrical switches. Fix drippy faucets, and update the knobs and handles on the kitchen cabinets. If a room really needs it, give it a new coat of paint in a neutral color. Have broken or cracked windows repaired or replaced. Wash the windows inside and out.

* Clean the mildew out of your shower and touch up the grout.

* Line up a professional cleaning service to come in while your house is on the market so you are always ready for short-notice calls seeking to set up viewings.

Standards of practice
*Realtors in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value
*Realtors shall submit offers and counter offers objectively and as quickly as possible.
*Realtors in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall with the seller’s approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors shall also disclose if asked whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.
*Realtors shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation.
*Realtors shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for their client, without the client’s knowledge and consent. When recommending real estate products or services (E.g., homeowner’s insurance, warranty programs, mortgage financing, title insurance, etc.) Realtors shall disclose to the client or customer to whom the recommendation is made any financial benefits or fees, other than real estate referral fees, the Realtor or Realtors firm may receive as a direct result of such recommendation.
*In a transaction Realtors shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the Realtors client or clients.
*Realtors when advertising unlisted real property for sale/lease in which they have an ownership interest, shall disclose their status as both owners/landlords and as realtors or real estate licensees.
*Realtors shall not be subject to disciplinary proceedings in more than one Board of Realtors or affiliated institute, society, or council in which they hold membership with respect to alleged violations of the Code of Ethics relating to the same transaction or event.
*Realtors shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. Realtors shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional.
*The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representations allows realtors to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled.
Privacy Policy
Information to give Clients
Realtors, like all service providers of personal financial services, are now required by law to inform their clients of their policies regarding privacy of client information. In the Realtor business we have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality that are even more stringent than those required by law. Therefore, we have always protected your right of privacy.
Types Of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect
We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is either provided to us by you or obtained by us with your authorization.
Parties To Whom We Disclose Information
For current and former clients, we do not disclose any public personal information obtained in the course of our practice except as required or permitted by law. Permitted disclosures include, for instance, providing information to our employees and, in limited situations, to unrelated third parties who need to know that information to assist us in providing services to you. In all such situations, we stress the confidential nature of the information being shared.
Protecting The Confidentiality And Security Of Current And Former Clients Information
We retain records relating to professional services that we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your professional needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards
Showing Properties the Safe Way
When you are showing an empty property, you can take these simple steps to empower yourself against attack or theft.
Be sure to use the lockbox property-key procedure that has been established to improve real estate agent safety. A reliable, secure lockbox system such as those made by REALTOR Benefits® Program partner SentriLock ( ensures that keys don't fall into the wrong hands.
Preview the property and don't go into a neighborhood that you perceive as unsafe. Be familiar with the area so you know the location of the nearest police station. Drive there immediately if you feel you are in danger.
Try and call the office once an hour to let people know where you are.
At the beginning of the showing, mention to the client that you have another appointment to show the house within a short time.
Prepare a scenario so that you can leave, or encourage someone who makes you uncomfortable to leave. Examples: Your cell phone or beeper went off and you have to call your office, you left some important information in your car, or another agent with buyers is on his way.
In showing a property, always leave the front door unlocked for a quick exit while you and the client are inside. As you enter each room, stand near the door.
It is better to not display purses while at a property. Lock your purse in the car trunk before you arrive. Carry only non-valuable business items (except for your cell phone), and do not wear expensive jewelry or watches, or appear to be carrying large sums of money.
Park at the curb in front of the property rather than in the driveway. You will attract much more attention running and screaming to the curb area. It is much easier to escape in your vehicle if you don't have to back out of a driveway. Besides, parked in a driveway, another vehicle could purposefully or accidentally trap you.
To be a successful a real estate agent will be a lot of work, and dedication. You will have to spend a lot of your time generating leads, and following up with them. Recording notes on all contacts, and keeping up with today’s market. It is a full time job that must be taken very seriously. Your reputation is everything!

If you would like more information on real estate agents, please see Killeen Real Estate 

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