Crossroads Real Estate LLC

Ez1 Realty is proud to announce a new and exciting move. Ez1 Realty has now joined Crossroads Real Estate. This move came about through considerable thought and planning. Key ingredients in the decision included:

  • A market base concentrating on small town living and values
  • A commitment to service
  • The Highest Standard of Ethics
  • Networking within the community
  • Networking with top professionals in Real Estate
  • Experience

Too often the term, “independent contractor,” is taken to the extreme. Although Real Estate Agents and Brokers are structured under the concept of an independent contractor relationship as defined by the State of Wisconsin, that does not mean every man and woman for themselves. Some offices operate on a rather strange view of the term, “independent contractor.” Here is your license. There is your car. Now go out and sell.

When we look at the concept of new home construction, we see a team of independent contractors coming together at the right time to fulfill their part of the job. When one contractor fails, the project fails, and the homeowner suffers. Not many people possess all the skills required to construct a house from the ground up. Then why do some Real Estate offices assume their Agents can take on every role in Real Estate sales from beginning to end and still provide the quality service the public deserves? If sales only involved existing single family homes, independent agents could excel. But Real Estate consists of a wide variety of properties from single to multifamily units, investments, commercial property, business property, land, and of course, new home construction.

Success requires teamwork in every facet of the Real Estate business. Real Estate Agents are of course individuals. Each has his or her own skills and areas they excel in. What makes a good team and a great office? Cooperation consideration, dedication, the willingness to share skills, training, experience, time, and above all things, placing the customer first in every transaction.

Leave the term, “independent contractor,” where it belongs. With the dictionary, law makers, and tax collectors. When it comes to providing the public with the very best level of professional service, the term independent has to check itself at the door. Every Real Estate transaction requires dedication, communication, a confident and informed group of team players, and perfect timing. Individual Real Estate Agents can and will get the job done. But the right people working on the right team can and will take the Real Estate Sales business to the next level.

Before you begin the home buying or selling process, you owe it to yourself to see what Home Town Realty offers. Don’t forget the investment level, new home construction, commercial property, business property, and land purchases, as well as sales. Real Estate is all about making the community grow.

Contact Crossroads Real Estate to discuss your Real Estate needs.

Dennis Herman 414-426-1784

Ez1 Variable Commission Rate

What is a Variable Commission Rate? Your Real Estate property is as unique as you are. Do you buy clothes, shoes, or gloves in One Size Fits All? Of course you don’t. What you pay for, you expect to find that perfect fit and style. Ez1 Variable Real Estate Commission Rate is tailored to fit Home Sellers with a basic understanding of what it takes to sell a home. You spend time and money to prepare your house for sale and you should be rewarded. Why demand to full price or overpriced commission on the sale of a house that has been well cared for, exceptional, in demand, and shall we call it, “an Ez Sale”?

In the Real World Home Sale Commissions should be based on a number of factors.

  • Current Market
  • Location
  • Condition
  • Features
  • Inclusions
  • Incentives

Factors should determine the commission you pay to sell your house.

Ez1 Variable Commission Rate takes those factors into consideration to determine the best rate to benefit both you, and me, the Real Estate Agent of your choice.

Let’s talk. Call or E-mail me from the CONTACT LINK.

Email Spam How to Avoid It

One of the worst aspects about the Internet is all that spam email. In Real Estate it seems we are targets for spam emails, especially those containing viruses. Major viruses usually hit major banks for some reason. Since real estate agents deal with banks on a day to day basis, that may be one of the reasons. Let’s talk about Internet and email security.

I use Thunderbird as an email server program. They are very good at identifying spam email and viruses attached to emails. Thunderbird has an option I use. I take the spam email address and have everything from that address dumped into the junk folder. I must have 300 addresses in that system.

I found out a few years ago how I was loosing customers. I used gmail as an email account for some time. But as soon as I buyers were getting close to writing an offer, some other agent would jump in, knowing how much the buyer was qualified to borrow and a few details about what they were looking for. Put 2 and 2 together and what do you come up with? Internet thieves.

Some Real Estate Agents advertise on websites with search engines for people to search for homes. I’ve paid for advertising on those sites. They send agents leads, information on buyers looking for homes. Sounds good on the surface, but where do those websites get their information from?

Every lead I ever received from those websites was a customer I was already working with. How did those companies get the buyer’s information? From the emails we exchanged. I sent them out using gmail at the time, which is like sending out emails for anyone to read. Gmail sells your emails off to anyone with a nickle.

Once I noticed the patterns, looked at some information on the Internet, and asked the company exactly where they got their leads from, the answer was shocking. Leads are collected from unidentified overseas sources. What is that? I envisioned a guy in Russia sitting around in his underwear with a program that intercepts, and scrubs emails looking for information to sell. Then I thought, what about ISIS? They use the Internet to recruit people. They are so advanced in computer software, no government can trace their location, and neither can anyone else. The government went to Google, the experts on tracing computers. The best minds in the world can’t find where ISIS is operating from.

Whose to say ISIS is not selling information to real estate advertising companies. That threat was enough for me to drop all the Internet advertising and lead generation services.

Back to emails. I can communicate with most businesses in the real estate industry with no problems. Some title companies are very advanced in security as are most banks. I only use my secured server email address, which is very difficult to intercept. Everything is safe until we get close to the closing. Most customers use gmail, yahoo, and other free email services. The moment I sent them closing statements for review, my email is flooded with all kinds of spam emails containing some of the worst viruses in the world. I get emails from all over the world. You have to know how to identify where the email was sent from. I know the local offices I work with do not have information sent from overseas. I have to know what is legitimate and what is spam, and what is a virus. These days I have to explain to people, bring the check to the closing. Do not send any money to anyone without first checking with me. Free email services may sound great, but they are public information and have to be treated as such. You have to be extra careful these days. Explaining Internet security has become a part of the services Real Estate Agents should be discussing with their clients.

Another security flaw I’ve seen is texting. Read the agreement in you texting app on your phone. They can collect and sell all the information in your texts and on your phone, That’s why I do not use my phone for email. Some agents want me to text them the lock box number for a house I am listing. NEVER! I will never take that risk. I talked to some people about making a law forbidding agents from sending lock box information using text messages. All I get back is, everyone does it. Well not me. I take my clients security and confidentiality seriously.

Craigslist Scam 2017

It seems that Craigslist scam is alive and well. It is simple. Someone overseas looks through Craigslist ads for homes. They pick a few for sale, copy everything, and place it in the rental section. Um, sounds like copyright infringement. The person overseas, and at time in the US, sets a drop dead rental price. Rent an entire house with a garage for only $400 a month. Well someone is going to answer that ad. And the scammer will find people to wire him money.

They want a few months rent and a security deposit. Usually about $2000. I used to put my listings on Craigslist. All I got was headaches, and threats.

A few years ago someone copied an ad I had on houses for sale and set up a rental ad on Craigslist. Well someone wired the scammer $2000. The scammer told the guy to call the number on the sign to get the keys. So I get a call asking for the keys. I explained how the scam worked. But the guy tells me he is coming after me for either the keys or his money. Well low and behold, this is not a victim-less crime when someone is threatening to shoot you.

I called the police. They wouldn’t do anything. I called the Realty Association attorney. It took a long time to explain that one to them. I also called the FBI. We tried to get Craigslist to take the ad off the Internet. We went on a 4-way conversation via phone, myself, the attorney, the FBI agent, and the owner of Craigslist. After telling Craigslist the problem, and asking him to remove the ad, his comment was, “freedom of speech. Sue me.” And hung up. Well the attorney and FBI agreed, there was nothing anyone could do.

I no longer advertise on Craigslist. There is no need to place a listing on Craigslist, and endanger yourself, expose people to scams, and also endanger the seller’s family. Today the MLS listing service sends all listings to dozens of websites. Craigslist is not included for obvious reasons. As soon as I add a listing to the local MLS, that listing goes all over the world. It is part of marketing today.

Then there is a problem with some of those sites. I looked at a listing on one of those sites today. They were using outdated pictures. They added the listing, but not the updates. I guess you have to check those websites. But there may be a hundred of them, and their sites are not what I would consider user friendly. It is difficult to find out how to change your own listing, and I had to change pictures one at a time.

Well the Internet has come a long way. A simple program would tell Craigslist when information is being copied and placed in other ads. That would help protect a lot of people. But that takes a bit of know how, planning, and money.

 Internet Funny Stuff 

Well I wrote a few articles about Internet security, and it is nice to see the Real Estate Association get involved. Although for years, their attitude was, everyone does it. This month the Real Estate Association send out warnings about closing scams that have been going out. Maybe it was my article that convinced them, the problem stems from people using unsecured email accounts. I can email back and forth between lenders, and title companies for days and nothing happens. Banks, title companies, and I use secure email accounts. If you want to get one, just get a domain from GoDaddy.com and you get 1 free secure email account. You can buy more. And it will be a personalized account. You can do that for as little as $10 a year. Sounds like cheap insurance.

The problem comes when I send out paperwork about a closing to clients who use popular, free email accounts like hotmail, yahoo, and others. Read the fine print. Some of those companies have an agreement that they can read, and share your personal emails with the world. And they do. They make a rather tidy profit from it. The scammer buys that information and sends you an email with instructions to wire the money for closing to some overseas account. And those email companies should be held responsible. But they are so big, try to sue them.

The video on the bottom tells about one way of protecting your passwords, and email account. But that does not cover the fact, the email company may be sharing your account with the world. No one may be able to log into your account, but let’s fact reality, information is for sale.

Do this little test. Email someone about buying a new car. Mention a specific car. Then go on the Internet to any site. Now how did they get up ads about that car on all those sites? They aren’t psychic. They purchased the information in your private email. Now try another product like a washer, dryer, freezer, or something really strange. Get the picture?

Well stay safe on the Internet and think about buying that secure email service.

 

A Little About Ez1 Realty

I’ve been a licensed Real Estate Agent since 2005 and a licensed Real Estate Broker since 2012. When I began my carrier in Real Estate, I joined First Weber based on the exceptional training offered. First Weber was one of the few local Brokers offering extended training courses in a formal setting. In 2005 their training program was rated number 4 in the nation. During months of training, I worked out of their office located on west Capital drive. Instead of working in the suburbs where sale prices and commissions are much higher, I decided to work within the city to gain experience thorough a greater number of sales. The plan worked out well as I was continually faced with new challenges and learning experiences.

 

After three years at First Weber I decided to make a move to Realty Executives. Working with one of their Agents on a number of transactions was one of the determining factors. The Agent and his office displayed the expertise and professionalism I thought was important to a successful carrier in Real Estate. Another important factor was their commitment to growth and use of the Internet. In 2008 the Internet was a rather new marketing tool. Finding a Broker committed to cutting edge technology was an important factor of my next move.

 

Over the years I successfully closed well over 100 sales ranging from $15,000 to $625,000. I’ve worked with Sellers and their properties all over southeast Wisconsin. I only work in areas I’m familiar with prices, neighborhoods, market trends, city rules, regulations and other important matters that have to be considered when buying and selling Real Estate. When I meet a Buyer or Seller outside my market area, I find them a qualified local Agent to work with. I grew up on the south side of Milwaukee, built a home in Muskego and another in Menomonee Falls. I’ve sold property in every corner of Milwaukee county and most every suburb in Waukesha and Washington counties. I have extensive experience with residential homes. I have also sold condominiums, retail, commercial, and industrial properties. Over the years I’ve worked with and counseled first time home buyers, worked with buyers to get qualified for loans, and helped buyers get the right loan. I’ve worked with conventional FHA, 203K loans, private funds, and cash buyers. I’ve worked on the purchase of homes from private buyers and all types of foreclosed properties. I’ve written offers on HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac websites. I’ve also looked into online auctions only to find most do not comply with Wisconsin State laws regarding auctions. I feel purchasing properties without proper disclosure is too risky. Most buyers agree after I explain how standard state forms protect their interests. A form of protection most auction sites want buyers to give up.

 

Before pursuing a carrier in Real Estate I worked as a design engineering for over 25 years, 15 years as a project engineer designing and installing industrial finishing systems. During that time I had the pleasure of working for one of the best mangers in the business. Together we developed procedures to investigate and initiate measures using the latest technology to offer superior products at the lowest cost. We perfected the concept of identifying individual areas, investigating options, introducing new ideas on a controlled basis, and analyzing results. Using this simple system we took the least profitable department in the company, turning it around to the most profitable in a short amount of time. One of the key features of our system was to enlist the expertise of employees from all the departments and every supplier engaged in the manufacture and installation of the systems involved. Attention to detail was the key to success. No idea was too small to investigate or too large to adopt to the products we offered.

 

I’ve been able to integrate a number of my engineering skills into my Real Estate business. Cost savings has always been a key consideration. My concept and goal is to reduce costs and pass the savings onto customers in the form of lower Listing fees. Using the computer as a tool is an understatement. Having a background in programming and system development is essential. I enjoy developing and refining systems to streamline operations, save time, and reduce the chance of errors. I am a little surprised to see a lack of competition in the Real Estate industry to reduce costs and increase the quality of service, which is my passion.

 

My spare time passion is Bible study and writing Christian books which include a series on the prophecies Jesus fulfilled, stories and detailed studies on the Gospels, an engineers view on the construction of the Tabernacles, and more. Many of my studies are posted on my Internet site, Advent Bible Study on WordPress. I have a number of books published on Lulu.com. Here are the Internet links.

Rent to Own

What is a rent to own? The actual paperwork is called an Option to Purchase. That is a written offer on a house or duplex to purchase the property in a given time, at a specific price. The Option to Purchase is normally used for buyers who do not have the down payment to complete the purchase. So the buyer moves into the house, pays rent, and many times a portion of that rent is applied to the down payment.

The Option to Purchase is good for a buyer who finds a house but has a low credit score. In that scenario the buyer needs to find a lender who is great at credit score couching and credit repair. The buyer’s credit score has to be raised as quickly as possible. It is very important to choose the right lender in this situation. The wrong lender could lead to a tragic and costly loss for the buyer.

The key is to work with a local lender as well as a local Real Estate Agent. I have no idea how many fake lenders and Real Estate sites are lurking in the dark world of the Internet. Based on experience, Internet lenders may or may not really exist. There are a few large companies that actually lend money. Remember there are a number of fees involved in the lending process. Do you feel safer putting your charge card number into a web page and pressing a button? Or do you feel more secure walking into a local bank, sitting down face to face with a lender in their office and handing over a check?

The key to credit repair is to preform a specific set of steps. At the very least you have to give you Social Security number to the lender so they can check your credit score and print a report. There may be a list of loans on that report you never heard of. There are companies who file fake reports, and for a few hundred dollars will remove that negative information from your credit report. How do you think they got your Social Security number? From the Internet. Be careful with whom you share your information. Real Lenders are required to use extra layers of Internet security.

The key to a successful Real Estate transaction is to choose a local, experienced team. At the very least that team will begin with a Real Estate Agent, a Lender, and Home Inspector. Each person will be state licensed and know their particular fields. The Real Estate Agent will know how to conduct specialized searches to save time, establish marker value, and find the home you want at the best market price. The Lender will guide you to the right loan for your situation and needs to work with the Real Estate Agent to see certain events and plan for them before they arise. The Inspector will know the local codes, and features of a home that may be a concern, and explain basic home maintenance and financial planning to achieve that goal. The team will also need a good Title Company to ensure all the paperwork is signed and funds are collected and properly distributed. Each member of the team has to be a local expert in their field to avoid costly mistakes. The Internet offers a broad range of opinions that may or may not apply to your local circumstances. You need the right experts in the right fields, in your local market to complete a purchase. Don’t be fooled by Internet parties claiming to know every local law, code, and Real Estate Market.

Allstar Performance ALL18220 Cleco Plier

These piers are great when you want to hold a piece of sheet metal to a surface to either rivet or weld in place. They are used in the aircraft industry to hold metal sheets in place for pop rivets. Of course you need the Cleco clamps also. Those are in another article. You can also use Clecos to hold sheet metal panels to a car body to weld, line up, check fit, and many other uses. Let your imagination soar with these handy little clamps.


 

The Allstar Cleco pliers are top quality and well made. They will last for years. Yes, these Allstar Cleco pliers get 2 thumbs up. You will need a spare Allstar Cleco pliers when working with large panels and 2 people are fitting up a panel. An extra set of Allstar Cleco pliers is a must.

How to List a Home for Sale

I do a lot of Buyer counseling, telling Buyers the step by step process to purchase their first home. Not many people ask me what to do when they want to sell a home. After conducting a number of searches I found a number of active listings with no pictures, some with no description and a few with the same copied and pasted description. I don’t know why people don’t ask what it takes to List a home for sale. Maybe they think they already know. Maybe people think it’s an easy process. Maybe people think it doesn’t matter who they List their home with — they may think all Real Estate Agents know what to do and are all the same. Well not all Agents are as dedicated or professional as others when it comes to Listing a house for sale. Here is a list of a few qualifications to consider.

 

Experience:

Experience can be a factor, but it doesn’t take 1000 listings to figure out how to do a great job of Listing a home for sale. It takes imagination, dedication, and communication. Figure it out yourself. An Agent with 100 active listings has a greater chance of letting details fall through the cracks than an Agent with 10 active listings.

Pictures:

This is the one that really irritates me. I see so many Listings with few, no, or poor pictures. Photography is an art. Pictures not only show pride of ownership, but pride in the work of the Agent.

Write UP:

Let’s face it, many Real Estate Agents are poor writers. Here again, the description should be designed to capture the attention of Buyers, as well as inform them of the outstanding features they are buying.

Communication:

It happens – call to set an appointment – wait – call back – leave another message – check the data sheet to find out – this Agent only replies to text messages or email. Is this really the image you want to place on your house when its for sale – dealing with an Agent whose too busy to be bothered with a phone call to schedule a showing appointment? It doesn’t happen often but it does. A good Agent will communicate with you by letting you know how many views your house had on major websites, call you when a showing is set, keep you updated on what the market is doing, and other major details.

Open Houses:

Are they really worth the time or effort? It all depends on timing and available buyers in the price range. Then you, the seller has to determine if it’s worth the extra time and cleaning to prepare a house for an open showing. Few houses actually sell from open houses. Buyers like to have a sense of control – show me the house at my convenience.

Listing a home for sale is as easy as locating a qualified, licensed Real Estate Agent and making sure they understand the importance of providing the following services.

  • Great Communication

  • Great Pictures

  • Great Write Up

  • Market Reports

  • Showing Set Up

  • Showing Reports

  • Explaining the details of an Offer to Purchase

  • Explain closing costs and estimated proceeds

  • Follow up with scheduled tasks

  • Communicate with the Selling Agent

  • Schedule the closing

  • Final Closing

Foreclosure Fees in the Current Real Estate Market

In today’s Real Estate market there is an ever increasing amount of web sites displaying foreclosed homes for sale. The most popular sites are: http://www.hudhomestore.com/Home/Index.aspx , the official HUD web site offering government owned foreclosures, and http://www.homepath.com/ , offering Fannie Mae foreclosures.

A special note: NEVER PAY FOR A LIST OF FORECLOSED PROPERTIES.

Many independent, unauthorized web sites use the HUD and Homepath names to lure unsuspecting Buyers. Once on these sites potential Buyers are bombarded with high pressure sales pitches. Eventually these sites ask for money in the form of fees or monthly membership plans. They do not supply any information you cannot get for free on any of the free sites available. EZ1REALTY SEARCH offers one of the most comprehensive search pages available. You also have the option to request automatic E-mail updates targeting properties with the features, price, and location you are looking for. This service not only saves you time, it is free. You can sign up from this site.

EZ SEARCH FOR FORECLOSURED AND BANK OWNED PROPERTIES

https://ez1realty.net/search-for-properties/

In addition to the official web sites and knock off sites, a third type of site is beginning to appear and compete in today’s Real Estate Online Market. This new type of site offers online auctions. Care should be taken whenever bidding at any auction. The most important factor to remember is an auction does not provide the protection included in state approved Real Estate contracts. In other words, BUYER BEWARE! For information on auctions and risks involved, see the official Waukesha County Sheriff web site: https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/Foreclosures/

Pay attention to conditions of the sale which provides a list of factors to consider before getting involved in the auction process.

The successful bidder, upon full payment of the bid, will receive a Sheriff’s Deed. This deed may not give clear title to the property. In order to obtain a clear title one must satisfy all superior liens and encumbrances. If a purchaser does not complete the sale, he can be held liable for his deposit, and for all losses and expenses.”

Some of these on line auction sites do not use Wisconsin licensed Auctioneers. Therefore, they do not follow Wisconsin law regarding auctions, which means they do not provide disclosures required by Wisconsin law. For more information see a qualified Real Estate Attorney. Risks are involved.

HUD and Homepath continue to shift costs to Buyers. HUD will pay minimal amounts in Title and transfer fees which normally cost $800 or more. There may be additional costs and fees disclosed at closing. HUD and Homepath will require Buyers to pay these fees before transferring title. These fees may include, special transfer fees, technology fees, closing fees, re key fees, and other miscellaneous fees. Buyers should expect to pay between $1000 and $2000 of additional fees and costs at closing above and beyond the contracted price. Based on current trends, future fees may apply.