• Nine Dishonest Sales Practices

    Here are some of the practices avoided by reliable sales operations. Watch out for them and exercise sales resistance if you suspect they are occurring:

    1. concealing or misrepresenting facts about current and resale value. Sales agents may present general facts about the area’s population growth, industrial or residential development, and real estate price levels as if they apply to your specific lot. You may be encouraged to believe that your piece of land represents an investment which will increase in value as regional development occurs. A sales agent may tell you that the developer will re-sell the lot, if you request. This promise may not be kept. Future resale is difficult or impossible in many promotional developments because much of your purchase price — sometimes as much as 40% — has gone for an intensive advertising campaign and commissions for sales agents. You are already paying a top price and it is unlikely that anyone else would pay you more than you are paying the developer. You may even have to sell for less than the price you originally paid for the lot. Sales promotions often are conducted in a high-pressure atmosphere. Furthermore, when you attempt to sell your lot, you are in competition with the developer, who probably holds extensive, unsold acreage in the same subdivision. In most areas, real estate brokers find it impractical to undertake the sale of lots in subdivisions and will not accept such listings. It is unlikely that the lot you purchase through interstate land sales represents an investment, in the view of professional land investors. Remember, the elements of value of a piece of land are its usefulness, the supply, the demand, and the buyer’s ability to re-sell it. The Urban Land Institute estimates that land must double in value every five years to justify holding it as an investment. In some areas, the cost of holding the land, such as taxes and other assessments, can run as high as 11% a year.

    2. failure to honor refund promises or agreements. Some sales promotions conducted by mail, email or long-distance telephone include the offer of a refund if the property has been misrepresented, or if the customer inspects the land within a certain period of time and decides not to buy. When the customers request the refund, s/he may encounter arguments about the terms of the agreement. The company may even accuse its own agent of having made a money-back guarantee without the consent or knowledge of the developer. Sometimes, the promised refund is made, but only after a long delay.

    3. misrepresentation of facts about the subdivision. This is where the property report offers an added measure of protection. A sales agent may offer false or incomplete information relating to either a distant subdivision or one which you visit. Misrepresentations often relate to matters such as the legal title, claims against it, latent dangers (such as swamps or cliffs), unusual physical features (such as poor drainage), restrictions on use, or lack of necessary facilities and utilities. Read the property report carefully with an eye to omissions, generalizations, or unproved statements that may tend to mislead you. If you are concerned about overlooking something important, discuss the report and the contract with a lawyer who understands real estate matters. The developer also may use advertisements that imply that certain facilities and amenities are currently available when they are not. Read the property report to determine whether these facilities and amenities are actually completed, or proposed to be completed in the future. If the company advertises sales on credit terms, the Truth in Lending Act requires the sales contract to fully set forth all terms of financing. This information must include total cost, simple annual interest, and total finance charges.

    4. failure to develop the subdivision as planned. Many buyers rely upon the developer’s contractual agreement or a verbal promise to develop the subdivision in a certain way. The promised attractions that influenced your purchase (golf course, marina, swimming pool, etc.) may never materialize after you become an owner. If they are provided, it may be only after a long delay. If you are planning on immediate vacation use of the property, or are working toward a specific retirement date, you may find that the special features promised of the development are not available when you need them.

    5. failure to deliver deeds and/or title insurance policies. Documents relating to the sales transaction may not be delivered as promised. Some sales in the promotional land development industry are made by contract for a deed to be delivered when the purchaser makes the last payment under the terms of the contract. A dishonest developer may fail to deliver the deed, or deliver it only after a long delay. A sales agent may offer false or incomplete information.

    6. abusive treatment and high-pressure sales tactics. Some sales agents drive prospective customers around a subdivision in automobiles equipped with citizen band radios which provide a running commentary on lot sales in progress. The customer may be misled by this and other sales techniques to believe that desirable lots are selling rapidly and that a hurried choice must be made. Hurrying the buyers into a purchase they may later regret is only one ploy of high-pressure sales agents. More offensive is abusive language used to embarrass customers who delay an immediate decision to buy. In some instances, hesitant buyers have been isolated in remote or unfamiliar places where transportation is controlled by the sales agent or the agent’s organization.

    7. failure to make good on sales inducements. Free vacations, gifts, savings bonds, trading stamps, and other promised inducements are used to lure people to sales presentations or to development sites. These promised treats may never materialize. Sometimes, special conditions are attached to the lure, or a customer is advised that gifts go only to lot purchasers. A “free vacation” may be the means of delivering the prospective buyer to a battery of high-pressure sales agents in a distant place. The promised attractions may never materialize.

    8. “bait and switch” tactics. Lots are frequently advertised at extremely low prices. When prospective buyers appear, they are told that the low-priced lots are all sold and then are pressured to buy one that is much more expensive. If the cheaper lot is available, it may be located on the side of a cliff or in another inaccessible location. If accessible, it may be much too small for a building or have other undesirable features. The buyers may be lured to the property with a certificate entitling them to a “free” lot. Often, the certificate bears a face value of $500 to $1,000. If the buyers attempt to cash it in, the amount is simply included in the regular price (often inflated) of the lot they choose. Often, this so-called “bait and switch” technique has a delayed fuse. Buyers who purchase an unseen lot for later retirement may be unpleasantly surprised when they visit the development. The lot they have paid for may be remote from other homes, shopping and medical facilities. It may be insufficiently developed for use. When the buyers complain, sales personnel attempt to switch them to a more expensive lot, applying the money paid for the original lot to an inflated price for the new one, and tacking on additional financing charges. If the unhappy purchasers lack sufficient funds to accept this alternative, they are left with an unusable, unmarketable first choice.

    9. failure to grant rights under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. Purchasers may not be given copies of the property report before they sign a sales contract. Some sales agents withhold this detailed statement until customers choose a specific lot. Sometimes, the buyers receive the report in a mass of promotional materials and legal documents. Unaware that the report is in their possession, they fail to read and understand it before signing a sales contract.

    Dave Park
    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    Davepark@advantageinspection.com

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 20 years, Advantage Home Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.

    This month I want to let you know about a great serive in Triangle area.  Leaf and Limb Tree Service.  A professional service that helps you get rid of dead trees and keeps your home safe and property values up.  They offer free estimates and scheduling is easy.  For all your Raleigh Tree Removal needs, call Leaf and Limb Tree Service.

    The above article was reprinted with the permission from the National Association of Cerfitied Home Inspectors.

     

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  • Are you Ready? 

    We all wonder.  And that wonder can lead to arguments.  Lead to disagreements.  Lead to questions.

    We all wonder about the value of our homes.  The American Dream.  The economic impact on one of our nest eggs, our safety net and our investment. . .  OK enough wondering!

    Let’s move forward.  You are selling or refinancing.  You have to have your home appraised.  Now it is time to get ready for the appraiser.  What do you do?

    Paige Tepping of RISMEDIA gives us a list.  And we all love lists!

    Advantage Home Inspection•  The appraiser will need approximately 30 minutes to one hour to complete the inspection phase of the appraisal process, which includes: exterior photos of the front and rear of the home and a photo of the street in front of the property; measurements of the exterior of the home, garage and any outbuildings; a walk-through inspection of all rooms and levels of the interior of the home including the basement.

    •  Get organized. Put together a checklist that will help you get ready for your appraisal and get the results you’re looking for.

    •  Be flexible when scheduling the appointment.

    •  Have a copy of your home’s blueprint to help verify measurements and lot size.

    •  Provide a list of improvements made to the property since the purchase. Improvements that should be noted include adding a pool, patio, updating your kitchen or bathroom and any room additions, etc.

    •  Allow your appraiser access to the entire property, including access to any crawl space or attic areas.

    •  Keep in mind that a clean home makes a good impression. Be sure to trim the lawn, clean the pool and garage, repair cracked windows or torn screens, check for leaky faucets and secure gutters and down spouts before your appraisal.

    •  Point out any amenities that may not be obvious to the appraiser: sprinkler systems, patios, pools, security systems, built in vacuum, etc.

    •  Provide a copy of last year’s tax assessment information.

    •  Know what year the house was built and when improvements were made.Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    •  The first thing appraisers look for is comparables, so be prepared and have a list of recent sales of similar properties in the immediate neighborhood.

    Remember the Scouts modo “Be Prepared”.  You are allowed to participate in your homes appraisal.  Information is king and that is what the appraiser is looking for.  Just make sure you have the back up!

    Now take your  list and click you heels together 3 times and repeat . . . There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home!!

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

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  • 123topprioritiesnow.jpg

    It appears that “Green” is making builders “Blue” these days. 

    A new poll shows that people who once put a huge emphasis on the government’s green efforts now have other issues they care about more.The latest Pew Research Center poll shows that the economy and job market have jumped to the top of the priority list for most people. Last January, 75 percent of Americans polled said that the economy should be a top priority, and in a year’s time, that has jumped to 85 percent.On the other hand, however, protecting the environment has fallen from 56 percent a year ago to just 41 percent today. Of the 20 issues raised, the least important issue raised was global warming.

    As a buyer you want to buy “Green”.  As a builder you want to build “Green”.  The problem for builders is being prepared to show the economic benefits of buying “Green.”

    Buyers now appear to be less likely to spend their hard earned greenbacks on anything in today’s declining economy.  Green must present a personal benefit for the buyer.  Not 20 years from now, but in the average ownership time frame.  (Currently 6 to 7 years).

    Is the demand there?  I believe so, but reality and times have changed for America.

    America is worried about economic prosperity, health care and social security.  With this focus home buyers are cutting their budgets and green is the first to go.  Unless you can show the immediate benefits and long term savings, selling green will probably go nowhere fast.

    People generally want to save money on utilities, protect mother earth and her resources.  It is the right thing to do and people will warm up to it.  Products must be developed to meet immediate needs of the home buyer.

    When it comes right down to it, people are looking for “Green” to not add “Red” to their bottom line!

     Maverick Rules!

     

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. 

     For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area. 

     Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    more than just an inspection company!”

    www.adrdu.com

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  • Advantage Companies Announces Program Relationship with Nationwide Insurance.

    AdvantageInspection.com and AdvantageHomeWarranty.com, providers of home inspections and home warranties respectively, announce a program relationship to offer home physicals and home warranty protection to the insurance customers at Nationwide Insurance beginning June 15, 2009.

    Greenville, SC (PRWEB) June 8, 2009 – AdvantageInspection.com, a home inspection provider and AdvantageHomeWarranty.com, a home warranty provider announce their partnership program with Nationwide Insurance beginning June 15, 2009.  This program will offer home physicals and home warranty protection to insurance customers of Nationwide.

    Nationwide Insurance selected The Advantage Companies because Advantage  logo-nationwidehas separated themselves from their competitors by offering the first and only home warranty in America to be underwritten by the home inspection.  The inspection underwriting allows Advantage Home Warranty to cover more of the major systems and individual components in the home. 

    Advantage’s “no denied claims” coverage exclusive guarantee is that claims will not be turned down as a result of any pre-existing condition not documented in the inspection report.  This coverage addresses a major complaint in the home warranty industry.

    The Advantage Home Physical and the Advantage Home Warranty will provide their clients “piece of mind” by providing detailed information about the home and giving the nation’s best coverage of the primary structure, major systems, and appliances.  Advantage further offers complimentary Safety Evaluations with every inspection. Homes meeting safety requirements set forth by Nationwide can save on their homeowners insurance. (terms and conditions apply)

     

    “By combining Nationwide’s On Your Side promise and Advantage Companies Total Protection, customers can achieve a greater sense of security and peace of mind as a homeowner – a great feeling to have in these uncertain economic times” said Ronald Wehner, Sr. Business Consultant with Nationwide’s Strategic Partnerships.

    For additional information on Advantage Inspection or Advantage Home Warranty please visit www.advantagehomewarranty.com  or www.advantageinspection.com.  For additional information on Nationwide Insurance please visit www.nationwide.com.

    AHW is available in SC, NC, KY, AL, TN, & GA. 

     

    Contact:                                                                                     

    Dave Park

    Advantage Companies
    Phone: 919-850-2526

    www.adrdu.com

    davepark@advantageinspection.com

     

    Advantage Inspection & Advantage Home Warranty are registered trademarks.

     

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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh Receives 2009 Best of Raleigh Award

    WASHINGTON D.C., May 20, 2009 — For the second consecutive year, Advantage Inspection Raleigh has been selected for the 2009 Best of Raleigh Award in the Real Estate Inspection category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

    The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

    Nationwide, only 1 in 70 (1.4%) 2008 Award recipients qualified as 2009 Award Winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

    About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)

    U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

    The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

    SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association
    CONTACT: U.S. Local Business Association
    Email: PublicRelations@USLocalBusinessAssociation.com
    URL: http://www.USLocalBusinessAssociation.com

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh
    E-mail: davepark@adrdu.com
    Website: http://www.adrdu.com

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  •  

    Well, what does Leigh Carson know?

     

    Leigh Carson is a St. Louis based Family Law Attorney who writes about the Real Estate Industry.  She sees it everyday and how families and their emotions swing through the Home Buying/Selling experience.   

     

    In her article, “What a Home Inspector Can Do for You When You Are Selling Your House“,  she writes, “A home inspector is trained to identify items in a home that need either replacement or repair. A certified inspector will carefully examine the structural components of the home, including roof, windows, insulation, siding and tuck pointing, as well as the heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems. The home inspector’s report will give far more information than an appraisal or an analysis by a real estate agent.”

     

    Ms. Carson continues with the process, “Most buyers make an offer to purchase property that is contingent upon the inspection revealing no significant issues; and even though the buyer will have their own inspection done, it is important to talk with your real estate agent about the benefit of having an inspection done yourself before you put your home on the market.

     

    She also points to one advantage of having your home inspected is that the report can be attached to the seller’s disclosure, assisting the buyer and reinforcing the idea that you are being forthright and straightforward in your disclosures about the property. It also puts you in a good position to maximize the listing price and ultimately the selling price.”

     

    The Sellers inspection is not intended to replace the buyer’s inspection; it is there to inform the Seller as to what items are in need of repair.  Decisions can then be made by the Seller as to what repair direction to take before the property is put on the market.  The direction also can move to what concessions on price need to be considered before the home is on the market and offers are being made to the Seller.

     

    A Prelisting Inspection allows the Buyer to purchase your home with confidence


    Closings are not delayed due to unknown conditions. Adverse negotiations are minimized since all parties involved know the condition of the home before an offer to purchase is made

     

    A Prelisting Inspection is proven to Sell your home faster


    Make your home stand out in the marketplace as one that can be purchased with confidence. A documented Home Inspection and Home Warranty increase the odds of selling your home. It is a proven fact that homes with warranties sell faster and at a higher average price.

    graph-warranty1

     

    Ms. Carson concludes that “the right inspector will be experienced, meticulous, plainspoken and ideally have a proven track record in your area.” Ask your agent for a recommendation or check for local members of the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association (www.NCLHIA.org) or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (www.nachi.org).

     

    Maverick Rules!

     

     

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh perform the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. 

     

     

    For the last 17 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area. 

     

     

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    more than just an inspection company!”

    www.adrdu.com

     

     

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  • I’ll bet you can’t say it three times real fast!

    And I’ll bet you can’t stand pushy salespeople.

    How often do people try to sell us something before we have expressed an interest, have a desire, or are in the market for what they have? It seems the standard for many salespeople is to try to sell to anyone and everyone regardless of the interest level.

    When someone attempts to sell us something before we have expressed an interest, the initial thought may be, “Why would I buy from you? You haven’t earned the right to sell to me!”

    The fact of the matter is that selling, both online and off, is about determining if there is a need before ever attempting to match a buyer with a product or service. It is about providing enough information for the buyer to make the best decision based on their needs. And it is about gaining trust.

    The most successful Sales Professionals are those who are a resource before they are a vendor.

    Having been in both brick-and-mortar and online sales and marketing for many years, it never ceases to amaze me how many people try to sell without determining the customer’s needs. They don’t seem to realize that the better the match, the more likelihood for return business.

    The better the match, the more trust gained.

    If you depend on repeat business or referrals, trust is absolutely a factor in your customer’s decision to come back to you when they need your product or service.

    Anyone who has been in business for an extended period of time (or plans to be) would be hard pressed to believe otherwise. Whatever you are selling, the buyer’s experience from the initial visit and/or purchase will likely determine whether or not they will ever purchase from you again.

    When a customer has a great experience from the beginning the chances of them turning into a repeat buyer is more likely.

    It is a proven fact: it is more cost effective to have repeat buyers than it is to constantly seek out new customers. That is not to say you shouldn’t be adding new clients as part of your business model. Building trust with existing clients will add to your conversion rate more consistently.

    What is often missed in the equation of sales and marketing is the lifetime value of a customer. Once the initial sale is made they are forgotten. With proper care, a one-time or occasional buyer can turn into a loyal buyer.

    And loyalty is based on trust.

    We live in a “try before you buy” society. Because of this many buyers use what is referred to as the buying ladder. The buying ladder is very applicable to brick-and-mortar sales.

    Before buying a high ticket item, buyers will “test the waters”. This can be done in a number of ways: by test driving a car, taking a tour of a home, asking friends and associates for a recommendation.

    When purchasing on the Internet it can be downloading a free information item or buying an inexpensive product from a website to test out the level of service, quality of product, delivery time, quality of information (in the case of an information product), and response time.

    It may even depend on the buyer’s “gut feeling.” What are your own buying habits? What process do you go through before making the decision to buy?

    When you gain trust, people want to do business with you. And they want to tell others about the experience. Have you heard the expression that if someone has a bad experience they will tell more people about that experience than they do a good one? I can’t say that I necessarily agree with this statement. There are occasions when I have heard people rave about a great experience over and over again.

    Buying decisions are made for a number of reasons, but they ultimately depend upon whether or not the buyer trusts the process. And if they trust you.

    It is through the process of building trust that we have earned the right to sell, not the right to PUSH!

    Maverick Rules! Maverick Rules! Maverick Rules!

    Dave Park
    The Maverick Builder

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