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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Info and Wishes

In celebration of the upcoming Holidays, PRI's schedule is as follows:

CLOSING at 1:00 PM: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
CLOSED: Thursday, December 24 & Friday, December 25, 2009

CLOSED: Friday, January 1, 2010

To enroll online and view all current schedules, visit www.eDesignations.com. Please do not leave messages on the days the PRI office will be closed, as there will be no one available to return your call.

"We wish you a happy and healthy Holiday Season to you and your families!"

From all your friends at PRI

Monday, December 21, 2009

Plan Now For a Great New Year!

Michael Soon Lee by GRI Instructor Michael Soon Lee, MBA, CSP, CRS, GRI

Author: "111 Ways to Justify Your Commission" and "Black Belt Negotiating"

If you want to have a successful 2010 it's time to start planning NOW! Leave your fate up to the whims of the market and you're more likely than not to miss your goal.

In a nutshell, here are the steps to planning for a successful new year:

1. Decide how much income you want to make in 2010. Don't forget to include taxes in your earnings projection. As a self-employed worker your income tax bracket is likely to be 50% or higher so check with your tax accountant. In a 50% tax bracket you must gross $180,000 to have $90,000 to spend after taxes.

2. Look at your goal and decide if it's realistic. While it's perfectly fine to be optimistic, if you set $180,000 as your target and you've never made half that it might not be realistic.

3. Calculate the average net commission you are paid from a real estate transaction after deducting your broker's fee and other expenses.

4. Divide your earnings goal by your average net commission which determines how many transactions you must do in 2010. For example, if you want to earn $180,000 and net $6,000 per transaction you must do 30 transactions next year. At this point you may want to reevaluate how realistic you goal is because if you've never even closed 20 deals in a year you may need to scale back your target.

5. Divide the number of transactions for 2010 by 12 to get the number of transactions you must close per month. In the above example you must close 2.5 transactions a month to reach your goal.

6. Put together a marketing plan with your office manager that brings you enough buyers and listings to reach your per-month transaction target. So if half of the clients you work with actually end-up buying or selling a home through you it will take 5 clients a month to hit your target income.

7. Monitor your success rate on a monthly basis and adjust as necessary.

In my next blog I'll explain why most business goals fail...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Give Yourself the Gift of Knowledge - Get Your GRI!

GRI Holiday Special
GRI is currently offering a great Holiday deal to REALTORS® who enroll in the GRI series before the end of the year. Throughout the year, pre-paying for the GRI series will save you $163. If you act NOW and enroll in the series before December 31, 2009, you can SAVE AN ADDITIONAL $100! That means you pay ONLY $1525 and save a total of $263!

It's that time of the year – treat yourself to something that will give you a lifetime of knowledge! Elevate your professional career and reach your full potential as a REALTOR®. Give yourself the gift of a GRI!

To enroll or for more details, please call PRI at (888) 785-4800. You may also enroll online.

Friday, December 11, 2009

California GRI classes for the week of Dec. 14

GRI Schedule

Visalia - Dec 16 (Wed) - GRI #100 Agency Relations...
Visalia - Dec 16 (Wed) - GRI #101 Ethics, Professi...
Thousand Oaks - Dec 17 (Thu) - GRI #102 Trust Fund Manag...
Thousand Oaks - Dec 17 (Thu) - GRI #104 Fair Housing...
Fresno - Dec 17 (Thu) - GRI #111 Investment Prope...
Antioch - Dec 18 (Fri) - GRI #112 Environmental Co...
San Diego - Dec 18 (Fri) - GRI #108 GRI Risk Managem...
San Gabriel - Dec 18 (Fri) - GRI #107 Technology Appli...

More information: All GRI schedules | How to Register | (888) 785-4800

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Negative Amortizing Loans Getting a Bad Rap?

Dean C. Piller by GRI Instructor Dean C. Piller
Teaches GRI Course 109 - Residential Real Estate Finance, West Los Angeles College Instructor, Mortgage Broker
View future classes taught by Dean C. Piller

I have a few neg-am loans in my portfolio and they have performed very well for me. In fact, our current interest rate is in the 3.8% range, so I am not complaining. That is because I know what I am doing and was fully informed about how the Neg-Am loan works. Several borrowers took neg am loans who did not understand, and in several cases, these loans were done on a stated income basis. As a reminder, stated income loans are where the borrower or their lender "Lie" about their income. Lets restate the facts. If a borrower really makes the income, then they should be able to document it.

As we have become accustomed to, here is more evidence of an overreaction by a government bureaucracy.

Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said regulators worldwide should prohibit lenders from making payment-option adjustable-rate loans and other negative amortizing products. "We should generally prohibit the decreasing of payments through so-called negative amortization loans, which have performed terribly," Mr. Dugan told an international banking conference in Tokyo. The U.S. national bank supervisor urged regulators to adopt minimum standards that require verification of borrowers' income and assets, meaningful down payments and underwriting that takes into account the fully indexed rate. The comptroller noted that real estate markets around the world are heating up due to low rates and they should be careful. "We in America fundamentally lost our way" and the consequences have been "disastrous," Mr. Dugan said. He went further, "It's simply hard to believe how far and how fast originators strayed from basic, fundamental, common-sense principles of sound underwriting. And perhaps it's even more astounding that lenders, investors and yes, regulators, allowed this to happen," he added. In the U.S., few, if any, are still originating these types of loans. Source: National Mortgage News

In summary, it is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The Neg-Am loan can be a great cash flow tool if used correctly. But big brother does not think any of us are smart enough and they prefer to regulate us to death

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting the Highest Appraisal Possible – Part I

Michael Soon Lee by GRI Instructor Michael Soon Lee, MBA, CSP, CRS, GRI

Author: "111 Ways to Justify Your Commission" and "Black Belt Negotiating"

Whether you are the listing or selling agent on a property it behooves you to make sure that the lender's appraisal comes in at the highest price that can be legally justified. However, Fannie Mae's new appraisal guidelines that require lenders to select appraisers impartially can result in low property valuations.

There are a number of actions you can take to prevent this problem from occurring. First make sure that the buyer requests an appraiser from the local area. It's not uncommon that one would be selected from several counties away. Next, provide a list of comparable sales that the appraiser may not be aware of. For instance, there may be homes with similar floor plans in a nearby development but because they were constructed by a another builder have a different plan name.

In my next post I'll give you a couple more ways to get the highest appraisal.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What happens if I do not pass a course exam?

GRI Questions
Question: What happens if I do not pass a course exam?

Answer: Don’t panic! A failed class does not prevent you from taking your next GRI class. If you do not pass a course exam with a score of 70% or higher, the GRI program offers a one-time re-exam option.

If you fail your exam, you will be notified by the PRI office and will have the following two options: You can choose to retake the exam at your local Association under the supervision of a monitor, or, if you would prefer, you may retake the class, including the exam, at a different location. Whichever you decide, please keep in mind that the retake exam must be successfully completed within one year from the date of the original failed course.

Friday, December 4, 2009

California GRI classes for the week of Dec. 7

GRI Schedule

Laguna Hills - Dec 8 (Tue) - GRI #112 Environmental Co...
San Luis Obispo - Dec 9 (Wed) - GRI #105 Legal Issues...
Pleasanton - Dec 9 (Wed) - GRI #111 Investment Prope...
Sacramento - Dec 10 (Thu) - GRI #113 Real Property, T...
San Mateo - Dec 10 (Thu) - GRI #108 GRI Risk Managem...
Vista - Dec 10 (Thu) - GRI #102 Trust Fund Manag...
Vista - Dec 10 (Thu) - GRI #104 Fair Housing...
Bakersfield - Dec 11 (Fri) - GRI #112 Environmental Co...

More information: All GRI schedules | How to Register | (888) 785-4800

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Homebuyer Credit - Do You Know All the Facts?

The first home-buyer tax credit ended November 30. To the joy of the real estate industry, in early November, President Obama extended the credit. The new law is not exactly the same as the old one. We will look at what changed and what stayed the same.

What Changed?
1. The maximum price of a qualifying home is $800,000. No credit is given for homes costing more.
2. The contract must be in place before May 1, 2010 and the transaction must close by July 1, 2010.
3. Repeat home-buyers now qualify for a 10% credit as well with a maximum credit of $6,500.
4. Income limits have been increased. The income limit has been raised from $75,000 to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 to $225,000 for married taxpayers.

What Stayed the Same?
1. The taxpayer must use the home as principal residence for the next three years.
2. Must not buy the home from a relative including parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren.
3. First-time still means anyone who has not owned a residence for the previous three years.
4. The tax credit remains at 10% of the purchase price with a maximum of $8,000.