How to Select a Realtor

All the tips you need to help you choose a good real estate agent that will work diligently in selling your house if they are your listing agent, or as a buyer’s agent if you are buying a house. We even have tips on how to make your relationship with your real estate agent go as smoothly as possible, and scams to avoid.
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One of the biggest mistakes many home buyers make is assuming that their “buyers agent” is working for them. They could not be more wrong. Also, never let a real estate agent choose your attorney. You must choose your own attorney, not one with a cushy relationship to the salesperson who is trying to sell you a home.
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“Real Estate Agent” Is Just Another Name For “Salesperson”
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Don’t ever lose sight of that fact. Their only mission is to sell, sell, sell to YOU. Don’t ever let on that you are in a desperate situation, or that you need to sell a house fast to pay for emergency bills, or that you are in a desperate crunch to buy this house now, because you are being transferred into town this week. It’s simply none of their business and as far as they are concerned, you are not in a rush to buy a house.
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You cannot guarantee impartiality
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If your real estate agent’s commission is based on the selling price of a house you are about to buy, you cannot guarantee that the agent has your best interest at heart. The only way to guarantee that is to actually pay a large fee to a real buyer’s agent who does not get a percentage of the selling price. But the fee almost removes the benefit of bypassing the commissioned real estate agent in the first place. To play it safe, never tell anyone but yourself how high you are willing to go. By law the seller’s real estate agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller, and they WILL tell the seller everything you say, so pretend you are under police interrogation. The first thing the agent will do is ask you how high you are willing to go on the house. Don’t fall for this trick. Just give them the price you want to pay for the house and if they ask how high you are willing to go, tell them that’s it. If the seller does not agree there is no deal and you’re taking your money elsewhere. If you are a home buyer, don’t think your real estate agent is “going in to do battle on your behalf” with the seller’s agent. That’s just like your car salesman “going to get his manager’s approval” on your offer for a new car.
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Choosing A Good Real Estate Agent
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If you are buying a house instead of selling a house, you really don’t need a real estate agent. For many savvy home buyers, the only purpose a real estate agent serves is to get the buyer past the guard at a gated community, or to unlock the key to the seller’s empty house from the lock box on the front door. They also handle the closing and escrow, which can be done instead by your property attorney. But if you know you have a great Real Estate Agent who will tenaciously hunt down houses matching your criteria, it can save you a lot of time. But you do still need a good property attorney, and no matter what you do, don’t let your real estate agent choose your property attorney. You choose your own property attorney on your own.
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Web sites To Help You Find A Real Estate Agent
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Try HomeGain. Their free site with over 1.7 million consumers and 42,000 real estate agents registered, matches informed, confident homeowners and buyers like you and I with the most productive, highly qualified real estate agents in your area. You remain anonymous as agents submit detailed marketing proposals online. You can compare real estate agent qualifications and marketing plans before choosing the agent you want to work with. Other features give you the facts on prospective agents’ backgrounds, experience, local sales, commission rates, and more. You can use these reports to find agents who will list your house at a lower rate. Be sure to use their “What’s My Home Worth?” feature. Whether you are buying or selling your home, everyone should at least start on HomeGain.
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There are good and bad real estate agents, as in other businesses. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate emails from paranoid real estate people for this, but I’m going to point out some specific examples that I have come across that testify to the degree of greed there is in the real estate industry. We are not trying to portray all agents as bad.
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A real estate agent we know went to lunch and left a few “real hot leads” on her desk of sellers who were interested in bidding on a property. When she returned she discovered another agent in the office had grabbed the leads, contacted one of the buyers, and closed the deal, stealing the commission.
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A real estate agent we know told us that she knows a few real estate agents that spend all their time looking through the MLS listings for the houses that pay higher overall commissions or higher commissions to the buyer’s agent. These agents then shove these high commissioned homes down the throats of unsuspecting buyers looking for a “good deal”. Greed is good.
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One real estate agent would get really antsy and complain if you did not buy the first house they take you to. It seems they only cared about getting that commissions and everything else was secondary.
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Some real estate agents make home buyers pay a fee up front that does not even guarantee them a real buyer’s agent. The fee is just a guarantee for the agent that the buyer is now committed to buying a house through them.
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There are also some very good real estate agents
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We had an agent who sold a condo and she was a true professional who sold it within 8 weeks of listing, even though the president of the condo homeowners association did everything humanly possible to withhold required paperwork and thwart the sale. This agent on her own initiative brought in a broom and swept up some dead bugs in the house because she knew that would be a turnoff to prospective buyers. She even arranged for a repairman to fix the AC unit before the empty unit was shown to buyers.
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Our neighbor across the street had a real good agent who sold her house in 9 days. Her daughter up the street sold her house in 2 weeks.
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Choose a successful Real Estate Agent
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The better agents have success selling homes in the neighborhood you are looking in. Often you’ll find the same 2 or 3 agents closing deals like crazy in a neighborhood. Real estate agents often have a full page ad in the local home classified magazines listing houses grouped in one area. Successful agents have lots of houses listed. Part timers and unsuccessful agents may have few if any homes listed. I really have a hard time recommending someone who does this as a part time second job. I just do not see how you can get the attention you deserve from a part timer.
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Where to look for Real estate agents
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Probably the best source is people you know. They will tell you if they liked or hated their real estate agent. You want a real estate agent who is professional, aggressive, and maybe wins the monthly sales awards in their office. Certainly the large well funded real estate companies have certain minimum standards for business practices, ethics, and customer satisfaction. You’ll still find bad apples at the larger firms, but maybe not as many as you would in small unaffiliated brokerage offices with no published standards or ethics practices. Ask the real estate agent to show you all the state required disclosure forms so you know ahead of time all your rights. You don’t want any surprises later on. As I mentioned before, make good use of online sites such as HomeGain or AgentConnect to help you locate a real estate agent based on their background, experience, local sales, commission rates, and more.
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Choose a Real Estate Agent that has the right personality
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Your relationship with your Real Estate Agent can turn sour from bad communication. The Real Estate Agent may grow impatient that you are not making any offers on homes that match your list of criteria. They might start to complain that you are not serious about buying and that you are just wasting your time. You might start to complain that all they care about is selling the first house they take you to. These are communications problems that can be avoided if proper communication is disclosed up front. If you know you are an impatient shopper, or that you have to look at a dozen homes before you make your mind up, let the real estate agent know. Some are more patient than others. Make sure they have an accurate list house criteria you are looking for, and don’t spring any surprises on them after you have seen 10 houses. Give them a written list of all your house buying criteria. Make sure your real estate agent knows every last detail of what type of house you are looking for.
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Many Real estate agents will not show you new construction homes
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A lot of builders refuse to deal with real estate agents because they don’t want to pay them a commission. The builder feels their homes will sell themselves and they don’t need to pay any Real Estate Agent commissions. Because of this, many Real estate agents won’t tell you about new construction homes, even if they fit your criteria list and price range.
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Stupid Real Estate Agent Tricks
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I could swear some Real estate agents are the most unimaginable people and use the same useless banter to get you to buy or sell. Here’s some common phrases they’ll pull on you either in the ads, during house shopping, or in negotiations.
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Tacky, real tacky!
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I see too many real estate agent ads with cars in the driveway! I’ll bet half those cars belong to the idiot who took the picture. That’s the best way to cheapen the look of your house, and any decent real estate agent would not allow this.
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Advertisements : “Boca’s Best Kept Secret”
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If it’s such a good secret, why do I know about it? Why has it been in the grocery store real estate listings for 6 months?
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Advertisements :”Hurry, won’t last at this price!”
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Yeah, you mean it won’t sell at this price.
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Other common annoying phrases you’ll see: “Too good to be true!”
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Give us a break. The only houses that are too good to be true are Bill Gates, and Donald Trump’s houses.
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“Now this one’s a steal.”
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If it’s such a steal, why hasn’t anyone “stolen” it yet? They say that about every house you visit. The seller wants $15,000 too much, but gee what a steal.
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“Oh, this house is so beautiful!”
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They usually combine this trick with the one above, and use them on every house. The truth is they see so many houses they are probably numb to it all.
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“Better than new!!!!”
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OK….Whatever that means. Expect it to be used with “Too good to be true”.
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“A buyer looked at this house today and is interested in making an offer”.
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Yeah, right. If they were really interested, the Real Estate Agent would have a deposit check already. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
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“You’ll never get that high of an asking price for your house”.
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This is one of the top complaints I hear from sellers about their agent. You would think the agent knows more about property values, but often the appraisal sides with the seller. Agents who pull this trick seem to want you to list your house for less to get a quick sale.
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This looked cool maybe 20 years ago
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Many agents used to pose with a cell phone in their ad for that look of prestige. I always thought it looked stupid. Now everyone has cell phones, even kids walking around in middle schools, so this picture just makes the agent look like a goofball. Everyone we show this picture to just laughs, and I’m sure they are not laughing with him.
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Hey buddy, if you really want to make a statement, you would be much better off posing next to a “For Sale” sign with happy sellers that says “SOLD”. Then people might take you seriously.
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Just an observation on Real Estate Agent ads
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I’ve noticed that some agents are really good about content in their ads, while others need some real coaching. Some ads have the top 30% of the page taken up by the agent’s oversized photo of their whole family and kids and large type contact information. Are they selling themselves or your house? The better ones manage to get it all to fit into a one inch stripe across the top or bottom, including their portrait.
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Common complaints we get about real estate agents
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Hopefully none of these issues will happen to you, but you should be aware that they are common. These are the most common complaints we receive about real estate agents from our visitors:
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The buyer’s real estate agent continuously tries to get them to buy houses for much more than they told the agents that they wanted to pay. One person we know specifically told his agents $160k was the top limit. But the agents kept dragging them to homes priced at $180k. The agent might tell you “Come on, just take a look anyway, it will give you ideas for other houses”. Translation: Once I get you into this house to look around, I can get you to buy and I’ll get a bigger commission. Any agent that rushes you is just looking for a quick commission. Unfortunately, selling real estate takes a lot of patience, and if they don’t have patience, they need to choose another profession, and let the Real estate agents who do have patience take over.
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The real estate agent tells the buyer there are no houses in the area in their price range. But gee, there some for only $15,000 more. The savvy buyer then fires the agent and finds plenty of houses in the area in his price range by searching for homes on the Internet real estate classifieds.
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If you’re selling the house yourself, real estate agents start calling you stating they have a client waiting to buy the house, the agent just needs to come take a quick look before they bring them over. This is a scam, there is no buyer. The agent shows up and tries to get you to sign an exclusive contract naming them as your listing agent. For more details on this scam, read How To Sell You House.
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The buyer calls a Real Estate Agent to hire them for buying a house. But the agent never calls back after several calls. Ever since the recession of the early 1990’s I have been repeating my brilliant observation that businesses might sell something once in a while if they would just return a phone call. I could swear that the reason we have recessions is because people don’t return phone calls.
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A potential buyer emails an agent about hiring them, but the agent never responds back, even after several emails.
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The listing Real Estate Agent used too much poetic license and embellished the description of the house. In one case one of our visitors reported the listing described “hardwood floors”, but it was cheap plastic imitation wood, only in one room.
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Agents didn’t show disclosure forms buyers stating who they were working for.
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The buyer’s real estate agent starts to grow impatient and complains if the buyer has not made an offer by the 3rd house. Most experts recommend that you visit at least 10 houses before you make a decision.
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Questions to ask a prospective real estate agent
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Ask if they are licensed and if it’s up to date. I actually thought this one up on my own! A no-brainer.
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First of all, ask if they are part time or full time, because you want a full time agent to assure you get the most attention. Look at it this way: if they only work part time, your house is only marketed part time.
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Ask them what type of training they take to stay current, and ask them how good are they at using the Internet, and what type of training they have for marketing homes on the web. Since many consumers now use the Internet to locate homes, you better have an Internet savvy real estate agent. In many cases, people reported back to us that they were more savvy at finding homes to look at than their agent. There are several highly trafficked home classifieds web sites. They better know how to get your house listed on them.
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Ask them if they’ll take a lower commission. If you’re selling a $150,000 home, every percent point less that you can negotiate down on their commission saves you $1500. Not bad for a few minutes worth of work.
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Ask them if they are a broker or an agent. Brokers are more experienced, and it’s more difficult to become a broker, so they are more resourceful.
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Home buyers and home sellers should both ask their agent if they will get them a printout of all the recent selling prices AND the original listing prices of homes in their area, showing what the owners paid for them, how much they sold for, and full details on the homes. Selling price is useful, but knowing what they listed for and how much the sellers dropped in price is a great gauge of the real estate market in your area.
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For sellers, ask the agent how they plan to market and sell your house. Get it all in writing, absolutely no verbal promises. You want them to blitz the market and get your house into the premium listings and the free listings, and all the online web sites. You want your house to be found. You want no surprises or excuses later on. Pin them down and get their battle plan in writing now. This is a major source of miscommunication and resentment when the seller is expecting several things to be done, and all the agent does is list it in the MLS.
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Ask if they are willing to offer more commission to the buyer’s agent. There are many savvy buyers agents just looking for houses whose selling agent pays that extra 1/2% or more. This incentive can help sell the house quickly if needed.
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Ask if they will accept a contract for 90 days or less. Many agents will force you into exclusive contracts for 6 months to a year or more. But what if your agent sucks? Then your house sits there for a year not being marketed, while you keep paying mortgage payments. A lease is a contract, if you get a bad car, you’re stuck. The same strategy applies to real estate agents. A 60 day contract is the max that you want, and ask for all their disclosure forms to study first, BEFORE YOU SIGN! Just tell the agent that they won’t need more than 60-90 days if they are really as good as their flapping gums are making them appear.
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Watch out for the exclusivity clause time limit!
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Many real estate agents will hand you a contract to sign that has their 6 months or longer exclusivity clause permanently printed on the contract. Many people foolishly sign this, not knowing the potential for pain that they are signing up to. Because the contract was permanently printed, many people also incorrectly think that the terms are not negotiable. Everything is negotiable in life! You can add addendum’s to it, or cross it out. Negotiate out long term clauses, or any other undesirables.
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Do NOT sign a long term contract, and DO NOT pay money up front.
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Real estate agents get paid by commission when they sell the house. If they do not sell the house, they don’t deserve any commission, so there’s no need whatsoever to pay in advance or any other time for a job not done. No commission when there is a deposit, only when there is a closing, no exceptions! No Excuses!
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Read off my common complaint list about real estate agents mentioned earlier on this page, and ask the agent if any of that applies to them.
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Make sure s/he is familiar with the neighborhood.
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Find out how successful s/he has been in the past.
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Ask for references from the realtor’s past few transactions.
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Gauge the agent’s honesty. Is s/he willing to tell you the value of your home compared to others in the neighborhood, or is s/he just trying to “buy” the listing?
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Consider the size of the brokerage. What kind of networking can you expect? Is it a one-man show or many colleagues to draw upon?
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Find out if the agent has a marketing plan, and what it is.
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Specifically, ask the following questions about the Realtor’s marketing plan to help you identify the top-quality realtors: “Who do you think is the right target audience to buy my home?” “How do you plan on reaching that target market?” (Note: the average newspaper reader is 55 years old and over 75% of home buyers start their search online – if your realtor doesn’t have an online marketing plan, consider a different realtor). “What are the steps in your marketing plan.” “When Do you think that we’ll be able to get a) calls of interest, b) showings, c) offers?”
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Think about communication. What is the agent’s preferred method? Email? Phone Calls? And how often — Weekly? Daily?
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Ensure that the agent specializes in your type of home, i.e. condo, waterfront property, land.
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Is the agent internet savvy?
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Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing?
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Ask for references and look at the successes of their past listings.
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Ask “will you represent me exclusively or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?”
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Find a way to choose a good Realtor that will work diligently in selling or buying a home for you. Avoid scams done by those unlicensed Realtor. In short, be sure to hire a trusted and licensed real estate agent.
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Take a peek on their websites and check out their listings, real estate articles, homes for sale and other stuff related to real estate industry. A trusted real estate agent would always make sure to update his or her blog and website to generate good feedback from potential clients.
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Before you hire an agent to help you out sell or buy any real estate properties, make sure you know ahead of time your rights as a buyer or seller to avoid headaches later on. You may ask an expert regarding this matter, it can be your friends or a trusted person who knows so well about the industry.

How to Buy a House

For many people, it’s the biggest financial transaction they’ll ever make. That’s why doing it right the first time is so important. Sometimes, buying a house can feel like a dizzying set of rules and regulations. Luckily, armed with the right knowledge and know-how, you can start realizing your homeowner dreams — the fast, easy, effective way.

Part 1 of 4: Getting Your Financials in Order

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    Strengthen your credit. The higher your FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850, the better interest rate you’ll qualify for. This is extremely important. The difference between a 4.5% interest mortgage and a 5% interest mortgage can mean tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

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    1. Get pre-approved to get the actual amount you can pay. Apply to several lenders within a two week period so that the inquiries do not damage your credit report. Do this before contacting a real estate agent so you have a firm idea of what you can afford, and you don’t accidentally fall in love with a house that you cannot afford.
      • Seller love buyers who get pre-approved. Pre-approved buyers are almost always given the green light by lenders, meaning there’s less risk for the deal to get scuttled in the end.
      • Don’t accidentally get pre-qualified instead of pre-approved. There’s a difference. Pre-approval means that the lender is usually prepared to give you a loan after seeing your financial vitals. Pre-qualified only means that the lender is estimating what you could borrow. It doesn’t mean you’ll get a loan.[1]
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      Shop for your mortgage. Wait — why would I shop for a mortgage before deciding on a house? Isn’t that totally backward?[2] Not necessarily. Shopping for a mortgage before you decide on a house can be beneficial for one overriding reason:

      • You’ll know exactly how much you can borrow before you buy your home. Too many people fall in love with a home that they — well — can’t afford. They struggle finding a mortgage that covers the cost of the home. Finding a mortgage first and a home second is decidedly less sexy, but it’s twice as smart. You’ll immediately be able to tell whether a home is in your price range or out of it.
      • Think about the sort of down-payment you’ll be able to afford. This should be part of your mortgage calculations, although you don’t need to know for sure when shopping for a mortgage. Have a general idea in mind. More on this later in the article.
      • Find out what ratios lenders are using to determine if you qualify for a loan. “28 and 36” is a commonly used ratio.[3] It means that 28% of your gross income (before you pay taxes) must cover your intended housing expenses (including principal and interest on the mortgage, as well as real estate taxes and insurance). Monthly payments on your outstanding debts, when combined with your housing expenses, must not exceed 36% of your gross income. Find each percentage for your monthly gross income (28% and 36% of $3750 = $1050 and $1350, respectively). Your monthly payments on outstanding debts cannot exceed the difference between the ($300) or else you will not be approved.
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      If you qualify, check out first-time buyers’ programs. These often have much lower down payment requirements. These are offered by various states and local governments. You may also be able to access up to $10,000 from your 401(k) or Roth IRA without penalty. Ask your broker or employer’s human resources department for specifics regarding borrowing against those assets.

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      Talk to and retain a lawyer (optional). If you expect the buying of the house to be a simple, straightforward affair, then you’ll probably only need a realtor, the escrow company, and perhaps a mortgage broker. But then again, when do things ever go as expected. Hire an honest, reputable, (relatively) cheap lawyer if:

      • The cost of the lawyer is a drop in the bucket compared to the total you are likely to spend for the home.
      • The home you are buying is either in foreclosure or in probate, which means that the home is being distributed as part of a deceased person’s estate.
      • You suspect the seller might try to quickly back out of the deal or you don’t trust them.
      • Your state requires a lawyer at closing. Six states currently require a lawyer present.[4] Talk to your state commission of real estate to find out if it’s common practice in your state.

    Part 2 of 4: Shopping for a Home

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      Find a good real estate agent to represent you in the search and negotiation process. The real estate agent should be: amiable, open, interested, relaxed, confident, and qualified. Learn the agent’s rates, methods, experience, and training. Look for a realtor who lives local, works full time, closes at least several properties per year, and has a reputation for being busy. Read more in How to Select a Realtor.

      • Realtors generally work for sellers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A realtor’s job is to connect people who want to buy and sell a particular home. For this reason, a realtor has an interest in selling homes. A very good realtor will use her experience to sell the right home to the right buyer — you.
      • When you do find your realtor, go into exhaustive detail when describing what you want in a home — number of bathrooms and bedrooms, attached garage, land and anything else that may be important, such good lighting or yard space for the kids.
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      Sign up for an MLS alert service to search on properties in your area. A Multiple Listing Service will give you a feeling for what is on the market in your price range. Your agent can do this for you.

      • If you sign up through a real estate agent, it is poor form to call the listing agent directly to see a house. Don’t ask an agent to do things for you unless you’re planning to have them represent you — they don’t get paid until a client buys a house and it’s not fair to ask them to work for free, knowing that you’re not going to use them to buy your home!
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      Start looking for houses within your range. Allow your realtor to start working for you, but know what’s within your budget and what’s not. The general rule of thumb here is that you can afford a house that’s 2.5 times your yearly household salary.[5] For example, if your annual combined salary is $85k, you should be able to afford at least a $210k mortgage and very possibly more.

      • Make use of online mortgage calculators to start crunching numbers, and remember the mortgage shopping you did earlier on. Keep these numbers in mind as you prepare to find your new dream home.
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      Start to think about what you’re really looking for in a home. You probably already have a vague idea, but the angel’s in the details. There are a couple things in particular that you and your family should give good thought to:

      • What will you and your family need in several years?[6] Maybe you’re just a couple right now, but are there are plans for kids in the future? A home that snugly fit two people could be torturous for three or four.
      • What tradeoffs are you willing to make? In other words, what are your priorities? Although we like to believe that buying a house can be straightforward, it’s often a complex ordeal in which we’re forced to compromise. Do you care more about a safe neighborhood and good schools over a big backyard? Do you need a big, workable kitchen more than a big luxurious bedroom? What are you willing to sacrifice when it’s crunch time?
      • Do you expect your income to increase over the next couple years? If your income has increased by 3% for several years in a row and you hold a secure job in a safe industry, you can probably rest assured that buying an expensive but still reasonable mortgage is possible. Many homebuyers buy relatively expensive and then grow into their mortgage after a year or two.
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      Define the area you’d like to live in. Scout out what’s available in the vicinity. Look at prices, home design, proximity to shopping, schools and other amenities. Read the town paper, if there is one, and chat with the locals. Look beyond the home to the neighborhood and the condition of nearby homes to make sure you aren’t buying the only gem in sight.

      • The area in which your home is located is sometimes a bigger consideration than the home itself, since it has a major impact on your home’s resale value. Buying a fixer-upper in the right neighborhood can be a great investment, and being able to identify up-and-coming communities — where more people want to live — can lead you to a bargain property that will only appreciate in value.
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      Visit a few open houses to gauge what’s on the market and see firsthand what you want. Pay attention to overall layout, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen amenities, and storage. Visit properties you’re seriously interested in at various times of the day to check traffic and congestion, available parking, noise levels and general activities. What may seem like a peaceful neighborhood at lunch can become a loud shortcut during rush hour, and you’d never know it if you drove by only once.

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      Look at comparable houses in the neighborhood. If you are unsure about the price, have the home appraised by a local appraiser, who also look at comparables. When appraising a home, appraisers will look for comparables or “comps”, homes in the area which have similar features, size, etc. If your home is more expensive than the comps, or the appraiser has to find comps in a different subdivision or more than 1/2 mile away, beware! Never buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood. Your bank may balk at financing the home, and you probably won’t see your home appreciate in value very much. If you can, buy the least expensive home in a neighborhood — as homes around you sell for more money than you paid, your home’s value increases.

    Part 3 of 4: Making an Offer

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      If possible, tailor your bid to the seller’s circumstances. This is not easy, and often impossible, but it doesn’t hurt to try when making one of the biggest purchases in your life. Here are some things to keep in mind as you think about your offer:

      • What is the seller’s financial prospects? Are they in desperate need of money or are they sitting on a pile of cash? Cash-strapped sellers will be more likely to take an offer that undercuts their asking price.
      • How long has the home been on the market? Homes that have been on the market for longer periods of time can usually be bid down.
      • Have they already bought another house? If the sellers aren’t currently living in the house they’re trying to sell, it may be easier to bid less than you otherwise might.
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      Look at comparables when you make your bid. What did other homes in the neighborhood start off as (“asking price”), and what did they sell at? If homes in the area routinely sold for 5% below asking price, think about making an offer that’s anywhere from 8% to 10% lower than the asking price.[7]

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      Calculate your expected housing expenses. Estimate the annual real estate taxes and insurance costs in your area and add that to the average price of the home you’re trying to buy. Also add how much you can expect to pay in closing costs. (These take in various charges that generally run between 3 to 6 percent of the money you’re borrowing. Credit unions often offer lower closing costs to their members.) Put the total into a mortgage calculator (you can find them online or make your own in a spreadsheet. If the figure is above 28% of your gross income (or whatever the lower percentage used by lenders in your situation) then you will have a hard time getting a mortgage.

      • Determine whether you need to sell your current home in order to afford a new one. If so, any offer to buy that you make will be contingent on that sale. Contingent offers are more risky and less desirable for the seller, since the sale can’t be completed until the buyer’s house is sold. You may want to put your current house on the market first.
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      4

      If you absolutely fall in love with a home, be prepared to make an offer that’s above the asking price. Economics of supply and demand will sometimes force your hand. If many people are competing for few homes, be prepared to lead with your highest possible offer. Some homebuyers don’t believe that you should lead with your highest offer, but you could easily find yourself being outbid and never get the chance to bid on your house. If you want to give yourself the best shot on a home that you really, really like, lead with a high bid.

    5. 10852 17.jpg
      5

      Talk to your realtor when you’re ready to formally present your offer. Although the guidelines for submitting offers may differ from state to state, this is usually how it goes: You submit your offer to your realtor, who then forwards it to the seller’s representative. The seller then decides to accept, reject, or make a counter-offer.

      • Include earnest money with your offer. Once you sign an offer, you are officially in escrow, which means you are committed to buy the house or lose your deposit, unless you do not get final mortgage approval. During escrow (typically 30 to 90 days), your lender arranges for purchase financing and finalizes your mortgage.

    Part 4 of 4: Finalizing the Deal

    1. 10852 18.jpg
      1

      Determine how much of a down payment you’ll need to offer up front. A down payment establishes equity, or ownership, in a home. That’s also money that you don’t have to pay interest on. The more of a down payment you’re able to make on your home, the less money you’ll ultimately pay on your home.

      • You will be expected to put down 10-20% of the appraised value of a home.[8]Note that the appraised value may be higher or lower than the selling price of the house. If you have $30,000 saved for a down payment, for example, you can use it as a down payment for a home between $300k (10% down payment) or $150k (20% down payment). Putting less down often, but not always, requires you to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), which increases your monthly housing cost but is tax deductible.
      • If you can’t afford a 10%-20% down payment on your home, but have good credit and steady income, a mortgage broker may assist you with a combination or FHA mortgage. In that, you’re taking out a first mortgage up to 80% of the value of the home, and a second mortgage for the remaining amount. While the rate on the second mortgage will be slightly higher, the interest on it is tax-deductible and combined payments should still be lower than a first mortgage with PMI. If you’re buying new, consider the Nehemiah Program to get assistance with your down-payment.
    2. 10852 19.jpg
      2

      Make sure final acceptance is predicated on a suitable home inspection. Request the following surveys and reports: inspection, pests, dry rot, radon, hazardous materials, landslides, flood plains, earthquake faults and crime statistics. (You will generally have 7-10 days to complete inspections — be sure that your agent explains this fully to you when signing the purchase and sales contract.)

      • A home inspection costs between $150 and $500, depending on the area, but it can prevent a $100,000 mistake. This is especially true with older homes, as you want to avoid financial landmines such as lead-paint, asbestos insulation and mold.
      • If you use the inspection results to negotiate down the price of your purchase, do not refer to the inspection or bids for work in your contract. The lending institution may request to see a copy of your inspection, which will supersede their appraiser’s evaluation.
    3. 10852 20.jpg
      3

      Have a home energy audit completed on the house and ensure that the contract is contingent on the outcome. Getting a home energy audit is an essential part of the home buying experience. Not knowing what it really costs to heat and cool a home is a potential financial disaster waiting to happen. Home buyers make “guesstimates” when figuring out a new home budget. These estimates can be significantly incorrect and place families into dire financial circumstances.

    4. 10852 21.jpg
      4

      Close escrow. This is usually conducted in an escrow office and involves signing documents related to the property and your mortgage arrangements. The packet of papers includes the deed, proving you now own the house, and the title, which shows that no one else has any claim to it or lien against it. If any issues remain, money may be set aside in escrow until they are resolved, which acts as an incentive for the seller to quickly remedy any problem areas in order to receive all that is owed.

      • Consider using your real-estate lawyer to review closing documents and represent you at closing. Again, realtors are unable to give you legal advice. Lawyers may charge $200-$400 for the few minutes they’re actually there, but they’re paid to look out for you.

    Tips

    • Make sure you have money saved up before you start looking to buy!
    • Try not to fall in love with one particular property. It’s great to find exactly what you need, but if you get your heart set on one home, you may end up paying more than it’s worth because you’re emotionally invested. The deal may also fall apart. Be willing to walk away from any home; no home is so perfect that the seller can charge what he or she desires.

    Warnings

    • A seller who won’t allow a home-inspection has something to hide — walk away!
    • The economy is in quite a bad shape right now, some people say this is a good time to buy a house (prices are low) but others say it’s a bad time to enter the housing market. It’s recommended to discuss and take into account all advice before buying at this time.
    • Be wary of a real estate agent who is on a rush to sell a property. They might know of an ominous event like a market crash. Try to look for any unusual offers agents provide.

     

Buying costs are very low in Malaysia How high are realtors’ and lawyers’ fees in Malaysia? What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Stamp Duty 1% – 3% buyer
Lawyer/Solicitor´s Fees 0.4% – 1% buyer
Other Fees MYR180 (US$55) buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fees 2% – 2.75% seller
Costs paid by buyer 1.40% – 4.00%
Costs paid by seller 2.00% – 2.75%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 3.40% – 6.75%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Malaysia?

Foreigners can purchase any kind of property with a minimum value of MYR250,000 (US$76,453). They are allowed to purchase up to two residential properties – two condominiums (max. 50% foreign ownership within a block) OR one condominium and one of the following:

  • Terrace or linked houses above two storeys, but limited to 10% of the total number of units built of this type
  • Lands/bungalows and semi-detached houses, but limited to 10% of units built of these types

Malaysia luxury townhousesThe first step to purchasing property in Malaysia is to hire a real estate lawyer to assist in the transaction. Once property is selected, a Letter of Offer/Acceptance is signed, and a 3% deposit is expected from the buyer.

Within 14 days, the Sale and Purchase Agreement is signed. The buyer must pay another 7% deposit. From the date of the signing, the buyer has a maximum of three months to accomplish full payment.

The Sale and Purchase Agreement must be stamped at the Stamp Office. After the examination on the property of the valuation department, Stamp Duty is paid to the Stamp Office. The transfer must be registered at the Land Office Registry.

Be cautious when buying new property in unfinished condominium projects. Buyers may not be fully protected against default, an issue vigorously raised by the Malaysian House Buyers’ Association, which has pointed to flaws in The Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 2002, and the Strata Titles Act. Those buying unfinished property from developers should ensure that the developer has a valid Developer’s License and a valid Sales & Advertising permit.

 


Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.

Currency:
Malaysia uses Malaysian Ringgit. Exchange rate is at US$1=MYR3.6777 as of 26th October 2006.

Stamp Duty:

STAMP DUTY

PROPERRTY VALUE, MYR (US$) RATE
Up to 100,000 (US$30,581) 1%
100,000 – 500,000 (US$152,905) 2%
Over 500,000 (US$152,905) 3%

Legal Fee
Legal fee is based on the property value.

LEGAL FEE

VALUE OF PROPERTY, MYR RATE
Up to 150,000 (US$45,872) 1%
150,000 – 1 million (US$305,810) 0.70%
1 million – 3 million (US$917,431) 0.60%
3 million – 5 million (US$1,529,052) 0.50%
5 million – 7,500,000 (US$2,293,578) 0.40%
Over 7,500,000 (US$2,293,578) negotiable on property value exceeding threshold but shall not exceed 0.40%

Other Fees:

OTHER FEES

FEES MYR
Stamping fee (per document) 10
Adjudication fee 10
Search fee 60
Registration fee 100
Total 180

Other Fees
Other fees are around MYR180 (US$58). Other fees include stamping fee (MYR10 or US$3per document), adjudication fee (MYR10 or US$3), search fee (MYR60 or US$18), and registration fee (MYR100 or US$31).

Real Estate Agent´s Fee:
Real estate agent’s fees are regulated by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (LLPEH). Commission is paid either by buyer or seller, subject to a maximum discount of 30% but a minimum fee of MYR1,000(US$306) per case. The scale is not applicable to sale of foreign properties in Malaysia.

AGENT´S FEE

VALUE OF PROPERTY, MYR RATE
Up to 500,000 (US$152,905) 2.75%
Over 500,000 (US$152,905) 2%

 

What Is a Property Negotiator?

A property negotiator is a person who is responsible for registering and qualifying applicants, conducting viewings on properties, extracting offers and closing deals on properties. To be a property negotiator you must be available to handle visits and phone calls from people who want to buy or rent a property and the person selling the property or the landlord of a rental property.

1 Additional Answer
A property negotiator is a person, usually a lawyer, with great knowledge of laws and regulations of the real estate, who drafts expertise to change agreed terms to a written document that has the legal effect to the terms of agreement reached by the parties.

Q&A Related to “What Is a Property Negotiator”

How to Negotiate a Property Easement.

1. Explain the need for the easement to the property owner. If an owner knows that the easement is for the municipality to work on infrastructure, they may donate the easement to
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What are suggestions to negotiate lendor interest rate offers on NNN properties?

Prepare your best presentation on the tenant, (have sales numbers?) the borrower and the real estate (third party reports if available). Ask your net lease broker to research lenders
http://www.quora.com/Commercial-Real-Estate/What-a…

What properties are easier to negotiate on?

You shouldn’t feel weird or guilty offering $15K or $30K lower than the asking price or more if you like. An offer should be made based on what you are willing to pay. Of course
http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-propertie…

When a property is for rent is that month amount negotiable?

Many owners list a unit with the expectation that a prospective tenant will negotiate. If i have only one qualified application in hand I am usually willing to negotiate down. If

 
As a property salesperson or negotiator, you will be working for an estate agent and using a mixture of negotiation, marketing and sales skills.
As well as finding new clients and convincing them that your agency is the right one to handle their sale, this specialist sales role also involves helping to advertise properties.

So, what will I actually be doing?
Your duties will depend on the sector you work in, but generally you will be:
• Convincing prospective clients that your agency is the right one to handle their sale and agree the terms
• Arranging advertising to promote the property
• Sending out details of new properties on the market to people on your database
• Making appointments and showing buyers around a property
• Finding buyers in a position to proceed with purchase and willing to pay an acceptable price
• Refering buyers to mortgage arrangers for quotations and advice

You may specialise in residential houses and flats, in commercial property and businesses or in letting and managing properties.
The nitty gritty
You will usually work from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday. However, many agencies also open for part of Sunday and may have some late evenings. You may also need to meet clients and buyers outside of normal working hours.
You could work part time in some agencies.
You’ll be based in an office, but are likely to spend a lot of time visiting properties and showing prospective buyers around. In view of this, a driving licence may be useful.
You’ll find jobs advertised in local newspapers and in publications such as The Estate Agent, The Negotiator and Estate Agency News. There are also recruitment agencies that specialise in estate agency jobs.
With experience, you could become a senior negotiator or manage a department. You’re likely to find more opportunities for promotion in larger agencies, particularly if you’re prepared to change location. It’s also possible to become a partner, or to set up your own agency.

Money, money, money
These figures are a guide only:
• A trainee could earn about £13,000 a year
• With experience this may increase to £20,000 or more
• A partner in an estate agency may earn £35,000 or more

See what people are earning in this job

The good points…
As well as a basic salary, many agents are paid on a commission basis. This is often a percentage of the profit they have made for the agency.

…and the bad
There are estate agencies throughout the country and job vacancies are common. However, opportunities tend to fluctuate with the state of the housing market, and this can be volatile.

Is there study involved?
There are no set entry requirements for trainee agents, although GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), or higher level qualifications, can be an advantage. A good personal attitude and communication skills are generally more valuabale than formal qualifications.
Usually, you’ll join an estate agent straight from school or college as a trainee negotiator. You could also start as a receptionist or clerical assistant and move up.
TTC Training offers an Apprenticeship for young people, leading to an NVQ Level 2 or 3 in the Sale of Residential Property. The Apprenticeship also includes The National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) Technical Award, and Apprentices gain student membership of the NAEA after three months.
The scheme is open to people of all ages, but only those between 16 and 24 years can receive government funding. There are no formal entry requirements.
Apprenticeships which may be available in England are Young Apprenticeships, Pre-Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships. To find out which one is most appropriate log onto http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk or contact your local Connexions Partnership.
There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For further information contact Careers Scotland http://www.careers-scotland.org.uk, Careers Wales http://www.careerswales.com; and for Northern Ireland contact COIU http://www.delni.gov.uk.
You could also study for a degree in subjects such as property studies management and real estate management. Entry is normally with two or three A levels/three or four H grades, or equivalent qualifications.

There are also opportunities for more mature adults, particularly if you have relevant business experience.
As a trainee, you’ll usually work alongside a more experienced negotiator or agent, and may be encouraged to attend external training courses. The NAEA runs a wide range of half-day and one-day courses.
The NAEA offers Diplomas in Residential Estate Agency, Residential Letting and Property Management, and Commercial Property Agency. These are aimed at people with previous experience in agency work and are at HNC/HND and degree pass level.
The NAEA also runs a Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management and the examination-based Certificate in Residential Lettings and Management. Both are open to practising letting agents and people just starting in the business.
You could also become a member, associate or fellow of the NAEA, depending on your qualifications and experience.

OK, I’m interested… But is it really the job for me?
In property sales you should be:
• An excellent communicator
• A good negotiator
• Able to inspire trust and confidence in clients and buyers
• Knowledgeable about property sales and lettings law
• Able to work under pressure
• Smart and business-like

Marketing, advertising and PR job descriptions

For the more creative out there, a career in marketing, advertising or PR allows you to help companies push their message out there to potential customers. From event mangement to PR, from brand management to overseeing campaign accounts, there are loads of opportunities out there.

Marketing, advertising and PR job descriptions
Mad Men has made advertising cool again; after all, who doesn’t want to be as cool as Don Draper (ladies, that goes for you, too!). However, the world of PR, marketing and advertising is a huge one with lots of different opportunities.
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Account manager job description
If you’re looking for a job that shows off your creative mindset while still embracing your talkative personality, then a career as an account manager could be just what you’ve been looking for.
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Brand manager job description
They say that first impressions last a lifetime. If you value the importance of making a good impression, you’re sure to be a success as a brand manager.
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Direct marketing job description
In a direct marketing role, you’ll be promoting products, services and brands to an audience of both existing and potential customers.
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Event manager job description
Marketing is all about getting face to face with your audience instead. Once left to the bosses

secretary to sort out, event management is now an important marketing skill.
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Marketing assistant job description
If you’re itching get to ahead in marketing then there’s no better way to learn the ropes than working as a marketing assistant.
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Marketing communications job description
Most, if not all, companies use marketing as a vital tool to promote products, services and brands to different audiences. If you’re interested in media jobs and you want a varied career, this industry covers every sector.
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Marketing executive job description
The all important middleman, as a marketing executive you would manage and control the relationship between products and your target audience. It is down to you to perfectly match the client’s business with customer needs.
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Marketing manager job description
Every stage of the marketing plan is put in your capable hands as the marketing manager. You would be responsible for market research, product development, promotions and much more to make sure the campaign is as successful as it can be.
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Market researcher job description
A role in market research is all about data. As the name suggests, you’ll plan, implement, control, analyse and report on market research information you gather.
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You don’t need to act like you’re in an episode of Ab Fab to thrive in a PR job, although you may need to get your air kissing skills up to scratch. So are you tenacious enough not to take no for an answer?
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Product manager job description
Before people can want a product, they must know about it. Once they know about the product, they must want it and that, as a product manager, would be your job – to create awareness and demand.
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Trainee marketing executive job description
Graduate/trainee marketing executive are involved in all aspects of a marketing campaign. There are many opportunities available to you to enter a trainee level role too.
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If you’re confident and persuasive, a career in sales is ideal for you. Offering bonuses to talented workers who can convince people to part with their cash, sales jobs offer great chances at entry level and also give you fantastic opportunities for career progression.

10 reasons to get a sales job
Want a reason to work in sales? We’ve got 10 of them…
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Sales industry job descriptions
Sell, sell, sell! Yes sales is a money-driven job where you work hard to earn a lot – IF you are good. If you’re confident and persuasive, a sales job can really take you places…
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Account executive job description
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As an advertising or media sales representative, you’ll be working for an employer in the media industry, such as a newspaper or magazine publisher, or a radio or TV station.
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Area sales manager job description
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Automotive sales job description
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Field sales job description
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FMCG sales job description
‘FMCG’ – fast moving consumer goods – covers everything from toiletries and cosmetics to TV’s and hi-fi’s. Therefore, the choice and variety of FMCG sales jobs is also very wide.
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If you’ve got a good eye for skill, we’ve got the job for you. Your head hunter role would involve finding talented people that would be the best to work for your clients.
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the work of account executives and be a key person in charge of budgets and administration.
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The world of sales can be a tricky place behind closed doors. Rather than blagging it on the day or relying on luck, the best salespeople know to successfully clinch a sale, strategy and planning is key.
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As a sales engineer, you’ll combine technical knowledge with sales skills. The balance depends on the level of technical knowledge and understanding you’ll need to sell the product you’re offering and to respond to clients’ queries.
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If you enjoy the buzz closing a sale can bring and want more, then a career as a sales executive could be calling you. Think you want to answer the call? Find out what to expect.
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Sales trainee job description
As a trainee sales professional, you’ll find many opportunities to gain professional training, recognised qualifications and skills you can readily transfer from one industry to another.
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Team leader job description
Anyone who has worked in a company, big or small, will know that management and staff won’t always get on. So who helps the relationship between the two? Team leaders of course.
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Marketing, advertising and PR job descriptions

Mad Men has made advertising cool again; after all, who doesn’t want to be Don Draper (ladies, that goes for you, too!). However, the world of PR, marketing and advertising is a huge one with lots of different opportunities.
Each of the roles below may be part of the same large industry but the day-to-day workload is actually very different…

So, what marketing, advertising and PR job can I do?
Depending on your interests, qualifications, experiences and skills there is a huge selection of jobs to choose from.
We take a look at some marketing, advertising and PR industry job descriptions…

Account manager
Working in the exciting world of advertising, digital or a direct marketing, an account manager is the vital link between a company and its clients. You’ll be in charge of overseeing the smooth

running of campaigns AND you’ll be paid well… Think £45K for more senior positions…
Account manager job description

Brand manager
They say that first impressions can last a lifetime. If you live your life by that motto, and value the importance of making a good impression, you’re sure to be a success as a brand manager.
And a £50K BONUS is nothing to be sniffed at!!
Brand manager job description

Event manager
In the past few years marketing has shifted its focus. No longer just about shouting messages at people in the hope they’ll buy your product, now it’s all about getting face-to-face with your audience instead. Once left to the bosses secretary to sort out, event management is now an important marketing skill.
It comes with a salary to match… up to £70K for senior roles!
Event manager job description

Marketing assistant
Supporting the marketing manager, you’ll be at the heart of driving marketing campaigns for a product or service. This is a junior position but many starting salaries are in the region of £18K and the perks can be fantastic, especially if you work for a great brand.
Marketing assistant job description

PR
You don’t need to act like you’re in an episode of Ab Fab to thrive in a PR job, although you may need to get your air kissing skills up to scratch. You’ll be promoting your company, a brand or a product to the world and trying to drum up as much publicity as possible. Best of all, starting salaries can be as high as £24K!
PR job description

10 reasons to get a sales job

Over here at Totaljobs we have thousands of sales jobs listed but the question remains, why choose a job in sales in the first place?
Here are 10 reasons why you should choose a job in sales, according to Miriam George, an executive coach and managing director of PDC Healthcare.

Excellent career prospects
Sales can be found in any industry. Most businesses rely heavily on revenue generated by sales. Given this, a successful salesperson can rise high within a company and, more easily than other industry, change company … or even switch to another industry.

Continual personal development
There is no shortage of training workshops available for salespeople. There are also sections in bookstores dedicated to becoming a sales person. While some training programmes out there are less than great, there are many resources available to improve your sales skills.

Variety
One thing that can definitely be said about sales is that it’s not boring. It’s a career filled with excitement, often generated from opportunities you found and seized upon.

Opportunity/freedom to work on own initiative

for those who do have it, it means great freedom when working because you select your own plan of action. Your company sets goals for you, but you’re the one who figures out how to achieve them.

Rewards for success
As an integral part of the main source of money for companies, it is right that you reap financial rewards. You will come across excellent salary packages that include base salaries, benefits and generous commission schemes. And unlike with most jobs, the harder you work, the more you make.

Stability
Companies are always in need of a sales department. In fact, in times of trouble, companies put a bigger push on sales.

You get to dress nice for work
As a sales person, you need to present a confident image, which means that spending a money on nice clothes is practically a business expense.

Work for companies you believe in
Because sales can be found in virtually all companies, it means you can go after companies and brands you believe in.

Great career prospects
With a strong sales career, not only can you continue up the ladder to sales manager but often you can go into business administration. Sales gives you several transferable skills, such as learning how to be an entrepreneur, manage budgets, improve time managment and speak in public.

You’re great at it
While you can learn sales techniques, certain people are natural at persuading others. Be proud of your gift and use it to create a great career for yourself.
Want to work in sales now? Apply for sales jobs here.

Five tips to make you a better negotiator – Property …

propertyupdate.com.au › Michael Yardney’s Commentary
by Michael Yardney – in 2,825 Google+ circles
Dec 27, 2013 – One of the skills of being a good negotiator is knowing when not to talk but to listen. I have found that many inexperienced negotiators are too …
1. Real Estate Negotiators Are Not Worth The Money
http://www.livingspace.com.my/…/real-estate-negotiators-are-not-worth-the-m…
Sep 9, 2012 – Everyone’s time is best spent focusing on what they are good at. Leaving the sale of your property to a good negotiator so you can focus on …
1. How to become a super-successful real estate negotiator …
http://www.inman.com/…/how-become-super-successful-real-estate-negotiator/
Jan 27, 2005 – Having bought and sold dozens of properties over the last 37 years, I’ve probably encountered almost every type of real estate negotiator from …
1. How to… become an expert negotiator
http://www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au/…property/how-to—-become…
When advertised properties receive multiple offers within just a few days, it’s a … The location of the property. …. Available from all good booksellers RRP$32.95.
1. Real estate negotiator | iProperty.com Malaysia Blog
blog.iproperty.com.my/tag/real-estate-negotiator/
Nov 18, 2010 – Property or the Real Estate industry is an extremely competitive industry. … In Real Estate agencies, the team will be the Real Estate Negotiator (REN). … However, the best or shall we say successful salespeople share at least …
1. Real Estate Negotiator: The Perks – eHomemakers – Helping …
http://www.ehomemakers.net/en/article.php?id=108
Work hard and you get a good sum, slacken your pace and you get nothing. There’s no … It’s not only the English speaking who need property, you know.
1. Frequently Asked Questions | MegaHarta Real Estate Agency
http://www.megaharta.com/faq
Furthermore, the success rate in real estate sales for a part-timer is close to zero. … The important roles of a negotiator are finding property listings, sales and …
1. Real Estate Negotiator Jobs in Malaysia – Job Vacancy …
job-search.jobstreet.com.my/malaysia/real-estate-negotiator-jobs/
Your job scope as committed Property Negotiator is to assist seller / landlord … Built and maintain good relationship with existing and potential customers.
1. Top 10 tips for becoming a successful negotiator – Century 21
http://www.century21.com.au/…/top-10-tips-for-becoming-a-successful-negoti…
Oct 12, 2012 – Top 10 tips for becoming a successful negotiator … almost invariably be the most

significant factor in determining the selling price of a property, …
1. Be a Property Negotiator – Lowyat.NET
forum.lowyat.net › Roundtable Discussions › Property Talk
Oct 19, 2007 – 19 posts – ‎11 authors
Does anyone in this forum is a property negotiator in Penang? …. it? haha, that’s good lerr coz i’m also one of the man in this field…u may take …
A Very Good Income Jobs – Real Estate Industry
6 May 2011
Property Agent earn 15k above a month?serious!

Five tips to make you a better negotiator
December 27, 2013 by Michael Yardney Leave a Comment
About Michael Yardney
Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He has been voted Australia’s leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au
One of the skills of being a good negotiator is knowing when not to talk but to listen.
I have found that many inexperienced negotiators are too eager to show off just what they know.This can work against them as they often reveal too much too soon, in particular about what they are willing to give up to get the deal.
Of course this is just as important whether you are a property investor negotiating a multi-million dollar deal, or whether you are an employee negotiating with your boos.
A good negotiator recognizes that they must let go of their ego satisfying position of “know it all” and instead assume the profit making position of innocence. They realize that you can gain a lot from being silent and listening and at time using facial expressions, not your voice, to make a point.
Here are five tips on how perfecting the art of silence can make you a better negotiator:
1. Listen more.
Listening is not passive. You can control the negotiation process by simply listening well.
When you listen well, you can gain the trust and confidence of others and build rapport. This makes the next stages of negotiation easier as people like dealing with people they fell comfortable with.
When people are encouraged to talk, they tell us their needs, their wants, their desires. In short, they give us information.
When we truly listen to people, we make them feel important, particularly if we are making good eye contact while listening.
The problem is that most of us don’t truly listen when others talk. We just can’t remain silent long enough to really hear them. Chances are we are just marking time until we can jump in and start talking again.
As a negotiator you should be aware that every time you talk, you are potentially open yourself up to being vulnerable.
2. The 10 seconds of silence strategy.
Silence makes most of us feel uncomfortable. In today’s world we are conditioned to noise, not being silent.
Next time you are negotiating try this little trick….
When the other party says something like “well, that’s my offer” don’t say a word for ten seconds. To inexperienced negotiators ten seconds will seem like an eternity.
It’s practically guaranteed they will jump in with another offer or more information, anything to break the silence.
3. Ask more questions.
One of the secret weapons of good negotiators is to ask questions – and then remain silent.
The person asking the questions controls the conversation.
And you’re not always asking just to find out information, because if you have done your homework before commencing the negotiation, you should already know the answers.
You’ve probably read that lawyers are taught to never ask a question without already knowing the answer. That’s also good advice for negotiators.

What you are really doing is getting the other person to talk, perhaps to verify your information, but really to feel more comfortable working with you, and to build rapport.
O.K. let’s put the shoe on the other foot – when you are asked a question as part of a negotiation, there is no rule that says you have to answer. Try remaining silent.
What usually happens is that the questioner will start talking again.
Another trick is to throw the question back by say something like “before I answer that, please tell me why you asked that question.”
4. Pause between sentences.
A good trick is to learn topause for a second or two between sentences – especially if you are a fast talker.
It helps the other party take in what you’ve just said and analyze it.
Just like a good comedian understands the importance of timing and pauses, a good negotiator understands the art of pausing between sentences for more emphasis.
5. The flinch, the shrug, the smile.
It is well recognised that a large part of communication is non verbal. Often what you do is more

important than what you say.
Let’s look at three actions that carry a powerful message, as you remain totally silent!
Why not try the flinch. Thisis a quick, jerky movement of your shoulders while you have a suffering pained look on your face. It will send the message that you didn’t like what you just heard.
Then remain silent and wait for the other party to speak. And they usually will, trying to break the silence and hopefully sweetening the deal.
Or you could try the shrug. Shrugging your shoulders sends the message that you just don’t care. You’re not interested. Then, once again remain silent.
And of course there is the smile. A silent smile is enigmatic leaving the other party trying to guess what you are thinking. And of course, don’t be the first person who speaks.
Learn to listen
Nature gave us two eyes, two ears but only one mouth. During negotiations use them in the right proportions.
Power negotiators know that what you don’t say is sometimes more powerful than what you do say.

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Nadayu 92, Kajang★★★★
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Posted by michael lim on 09-May 2014
Fully furnished house for sale # 3,100 sf

RM 1,180,000(RM 381 psf)
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Precinct 8, Putrajaya★★★★
[524 views]
Posted by KH Chow on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished house for sale # 5,470 sf

RM 2,080,000(RM 380 psf)
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Platinum Lake PV12, Setapak★★★★
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Posted by Jason koh on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished condominium for sale # 1,207 sf
RM 480,000(RM 398 psf)
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Casa Tropika, Puchong★★★★
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Posted by vincent teoh M-Group on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished condominium for sale # 1,006 sf

RM 450,000(RM 447 psf)
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Denai Alam, Shah Alam★★★★
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Posted by Alex_Lee on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished house for sale # 2,734 sf

RM 980,000(RM 358 psf)
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Taipan 1, Ara Damansara★★★★
[35 views]
Posted by JEFF LEE on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished factory for sale # 7,500 sf
RM 2,400,000(RM 320 psf)
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Taming Jaya Industrial Park, Balakong★★★★
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Posted by JEFF LEE on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished factory for sale # 18,500 sf
RM 5,500,000(RM 297 psf)
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Taman Bukit Rawang Jaya, Rawang★★★★
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Posted by JEFF LEE on 09-May 2014
Land for sale # 283,140 sf
RM 24,066,900(RM 85 psf)
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Selangor, Malaysia★★★★
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Posted by JEFF LEE on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished factory for sale # 87,000 sf
RM 4,900,000(RM 56 psf)
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Panorama, KLCC★★★★
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Posted by Chew on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,184 sf

RM 1,600,000(RM 1,351 psf)
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Saville, Melawati★★★★
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Posted by KC Cheah on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished condominium for sale # 1,253 sf

RM 600,000(RM 479 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
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Posted by Kenny chia on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,050 sf

RM 550,000(RM 524 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
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Posted by Kenny chia on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,050 sf

RM 590,000(RM 562 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
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Posted by Kenny chia on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,050 sf

RM 600,000(RM 571 psf)
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Kota Kemuning, Kemuning★★★★
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Posted by Chanson on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,500 sf

RM 700,000(RM 467 psf)
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Pusat Bandar Puchong Industrial Park, Pusat Bandar Puchong★★★★
[27 views]
Posted by Elaiza Tan on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished factory for sale # 29,000 sf
RM 16,800,000(RM 579 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
[15 views]
Posted by Christopher Tay M-Group on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,050 sf

RM 550,000(RM 524 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
[7 views]
Posted by Christopher Tay M-Group on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,293 sf

RM 620,000(RM 480 psf)
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Kiara Residence, Bukit Jalil★★★★
[7 views]
Posted by Christopher Tay M-Group on 09-May 2014
Semi-furnished condominium for sale # 1,454 sf

RM 720,000(RM 495 psf)
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Serin Residency, Cyberjaya★★★★
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Posted by Andy Tsai on 09-May 2014
Unfurnished condominium for sale # 1,151 sf
RM 508,000(RM 441 psf)
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Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Negotiator in Malaysia
Posted on January 10, 2013 by
Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Negotiator in Malaysia
Most people in Malaysia tend to terms both of them as estate agent since they both seems to be doing the same job. In actual fact, there is a different between both of them.
In laymen’s terms, estate agents are more experienced than the regular real estate negotiator and they need to obtain a certain level of experience, knowledge and education level.
In Malaysia, all practicing real estate agent need to have a license issued by the Board of Valuers , Appraisers and Estate agents. It is an offense to act as a property agent without a license.
All registered estate agents are required to have passed the written and oral exam set by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents of Malaysia.
To maintain their estate agent license, all licensed real estate agent must take additional continuing education courses yearly above and beyond that which is already required. This is one of the reasons why licensed real estate agents are expected to maintain not only a higher level of work ethic, but also a strict code to maintain a level of honesty between all of the parties involved in the transaction, but they also possess also a greater wealth of knowledge and expertise of the real estate business.
A real estate agent may then employ up to 20 real estate negotiators to assist them in their day to day work. Estate agents are also required to monitor their negotiators to ensure that the negotiators are also adhered to the a strict code of ethics and standard of business dealing set by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents of Malaysia.
What’s Hot in the Real Estate Market?
Posted on January 11, 2013 by
What’s Hot in the Real Estate Market?
Just like cars, clothing, and anything else that people buy with their hard-earned money, real estate goes through many a trend.
The answer to what’s hot in today’s real estate market can be found by looking at new houses being built as well as popular renovations being done to older properties.
If you consider the lifestyle of today’s families, it’s not difficult to see why these trends are becoming so big- and why they’re likely to stay around for awhile.
Most house buyers in the market are looking for modern concept lifestyle in a reputable location. A house which is near to school, shops and other amenities is most sought of.
So if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, or if you’re hoping to build or renovate a house for profit, take a good look at these current trends. Regardless of the size of your particular property, adjusting it to match what homeowners want most in today’s market can result in big payoffs.

Working with Your Home Builder – Part 1
Posted on January 12, 2013 by
Working with Your Home Builder – Part 1
If you decided to build your dream home from scratch instead of buying a ready made unit from developer or sub-sale, you may get a home builder (contractor) to assist you.
The process of building a new home is exciting, demanding, and can be a real challenge. Signing the contract is only the beginning, and it should never be the end of your involvement in the process. Staying informed and involved in the building of your new home is essential.
While you’re leaving the construction itself up to the builders, the decisions should be in your hands. Read your contract and all the paperwork carefully, and if changes come up along the way, make sure to document everything. If you decide you want an extra window in the living room, that change needs to be reflected on a signed contract. Trust us, this will save you lots of headaches later! It’s also important to keep up with what is happening on the house as often as possible. Please note this doesn’t mean breathing down anyone’s neck!
Builders are busy people, and not everyone on the crew is going to be as up to speed on the plans as you are. Take care to note the progress, and speak up if things seem to be going awry. If you didn’t remember a closet in the upstairs hallway, bring it to someone’s attention. You may feel as though you’re being a pain, but it’s a legal issue. You may be paying for what they build. Make sure it’s what you wanted.

Do you need an real estate agent to market your property?
Posted on January 14, 2013 by
Do you need an real estate agent to market your property
Let’s face it: selling or buying your home is probably one of the biggest, most daunting projects you will ever take on in your life.
It’s a monumental event that could impact a large part of at least the next few years of your life, and it’s for that reason that a lot of homeowners looking to buy or sell homes or commercial property will turn to a real estate agent or Realtor for help.
Having the assistance of a Realtor by your side can be very reassuring, especially for a homeowner in their first round of dealings. If you have never sold a home before, the legality of it all can be quite overwhelming and that’s what the agent does for you.
The position of real estate agent is designed to alleviate as much stress off of your shoulders as possible when it comes to legal and business matters relating to the sale, potential or otherwise, of your home or property.
They do most of the footwork for you if you pay them, from advertising to showing the property to closing the sale. They can have as little or as much participation in the matter as possible.

Getting into real estate business
Posted on January 15, 2013 by
Getting into real estate business
The first is that when you are just getting into the real estate business, you don’t know if you want to do this for sure or not.
Sure, you think you do and that was why you decided do go for it.
So, get ready and go for interview with one of the local real estate agency. Do bear in mind that not all real estate agencies are willing to hire someone new in the market as the turnover rate in that line of work is extremely high for new comers.
Like most other sales jobs–the real estate business is NOT for everyone.
The best advice is to start out and learn the dos and don’ts of the business, basic rules, and sales tips. If you are good and you enjoy what you do, then work up from there.
Have fun, and if you devote yourself to the business and you are good at it, your efforts will most definitely pay off.

The roles of real estate agent.
Posted on January 16, 2013 by
The Role of Real Estate Agents
Real Estate Agents are well versed on the demographics of each of the particular neighborhoods in their local area. They have all of the latest up-to-date information either stored in their heads or readily available regarding the quality of and distance to the local schools, parks, and even churches, temples, and such.
Agents normally possess a wealth of information about their properties and their locations, so they are qualified to place people in properties that best suit their needs. The also have stored in their database the transaction price and various important aspect of the property in the neighborhood.
Most estate agents have been trained in a lot of different areas and they hold a vast array of certifications to serve your particular needs.
After examining your budget, your requirements and your preference, they may be able to help you to source for the best property that fits into your criteria.
If required, agents may also refer you to bankers and lawyers to assist you in according to your particular needs.

How much home loan to apply ?
Posted on January 16, 2013 by
How much home loan to apply?
First time home buyers are faced with a maze of financial decisions.
It’s a daunting task to sort through mortgage rates, credit scores, and monthly payments to determine exactly what your price range will be for your future home.
Although bankers and real estate agents are there to assist you, it helps to start with a general idea of your bracket. Consider the following things when trying to make sense of your own cents.
First of all, how much of a down payment will you be able to make?
Down payments are the reason why first time home buyers are well advised to sack away cash for at least a year before they purchase. The more you can put down up front, the less you have to borrow… and the less interest you’ll accumulate.
Once you figure out your down payment, do your research. This is where banks and real estate agents can be particularly helpful.

Real Estate Profession
Posted on January 17, 2013 by
Real Estate Profession
Getting into the real estate business can be one of the most rewarding, yet tiresome occupations out there.
Whether the rewards outweigh the downfalls of the position really does depend on the person looking into the career.
If you are a family-oriented person or someone who likes to spend a lot of time to themselves or enjoying the more leisurely things in life and you are really not looking to give these things up (at least for a while), real estate may not be the right gig for you.
Generally, getting settled into the real estate business can take up to six months, or even a year! Of course, a year does sound like an extremely long time to get into an occupation, but if you think about it and take into consideration all of the steps that are involved, that time frame is fairly reasonable.

Factors to consider when engaging a real estate agent
Posted on June 13, 2013 by
Factors to consider when engaging a real estate agent
When you are selecting an agent, be sure that they are willing to provide you with a detailed blue print on how they intend things to go from that point on out.
Ensure that you and your prospective agent discuss how they plan to inform others that your property is on the market.
Are they going to post an ad on the Internet? Are they including your particular property in a flyer or circular? Be sure to ask them how much time they plan to devote to your particular account.
If you are looking to sell your property on a schedule or if you are in a time crunch, a part time real estate agent just will not do.
Be sure that details regarding fees and commissions are disclosed properly prior to any type of agreement, especially a contractual agreement.

Fixed up your property before selling it
Posted on June 14, 2013 by
Fixing Up Your Home to Sell
Fixing up your home to sell is a big responsibility. The way you go about decorating your home can be a big factor in the selling power of the house, adding up the selling value of your home, although you may not see that much yourself. A lot of newbie to the home selling business can be under the common misconception that making your home as “homey” as possible will make people want to buy your property. Supposedly, seeing a home the way you have it should cause them to wish that they lived in such an environment and this is not the case.
It is strongly recommended that you keep your decorating prowess to a bare minimum when fixing up your home to sell. One’s natural impulse is to clean up the entire house, rearranging things and making everything look nice, and that is all well and good. When fixing up your property to sell, put yourself in the shoes of your prospective home buyers, who will be walking around your house and sizing it up for themselves.
Most people are looking to purchase a home for own stay, to raise a family in and all that jazz. In that respect, while they may like you and your family just fine, they are not going to want to see your son’s cement hand print hanging over the doorway, or your daughter’s kindergarten art project framed over the mantel. It is to your benefit, as the seller, to remove as many visible personal items from the home as possible, especially the living room and dining room, or other areas where the prospective buyers, agents, or others may congregate to discuss your property. .
Arrange sofa pillows, ottomans, and other objects neatly. Having too much clutter in the home when you are showing it to prospective buyers can hurt your chances of selling the property quickly. When your personal items are in the way, prospective home buyers may sometimes find it hard to envision their own belongings and their own family in the house.

Furniture placement can mean a lot as well. Less is more! Once again, give your prospective home buyers the opportunity to envision their own belongings in the home. A small sofa, love seat, and table are more than enough in this case. Of course, if you are still living in the home you must be able to continue doing so, but grandpa’s easy chair, the old out-of-tune piano, and the bean bag chair can all be temporarily stored in the basement or attic. Yes, parting with belongings like that, especially if you are a pack rat, can be such sweet sorrow, but it will pay off in the end when you sell your home for your asking price.

Real estate as a supplement to your retirement income
Posted on June 15, 2013 by
Real estate as a supplement to your retirement income
An investment property is a fantastic way to supplement your retirement income, and a well-maintained property will continue to support you for many years to come. Many people have learned how to make smart investments through investing in real estate. It is our hope that we can build a solid financial foundation through real estate as well.
Real estate investing is fun, but it is also a risky proposition the first time purchaser. Thus, lots of information and fact finding may help.

Because there are so many different options available, the combination of properties that you can hold are practically endless. Take some time to review this information carefully, and think about how we can apply these ideas to your investment strategy.
Read some information from the experts about what you need to consider if you are interested in becoming a real estate investor, you are well on your way. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and those with whom you work, and you are certain to find real estate investing a very rewarding experience.
Hopefully, the information presented by them has given you new insight into the world of real estate investing and put you into play in your own investment plan.

Do you need a real eatate agent to market your property ?
Posted on June 16, 2013 by
Do you need an real estate agent to market your property
Let’s face it: selling or buying your home is probably one of the biggest, most daunting projects you will ever take on in your life.
It’s a monumental event that could impact a large part of at least the next few years of your life, and it’s for that reason that a lot of homeowners looking to buy or sell homes or commercial property will turn to a real estate agent or Realtor for help.
Having the assistance of a Realtor by your side can be very reassuring, especially for a homeowner in their first round of dealings. If you have never sold a home before, the legality of it all can be quite overwhelming and that’s what the agent does for you.
The position of real estate agent is designed to alleviate as much stress off of your shoulders as possible when it comes to legal and business matters relating to the sale, potential or otherwise, of your home or property.
They do most of the footwork for you if you pay them, from advertising to showing the property to closing the sale. They can have as little or as much participation in the matter as possible.

Road to financial freedom through property investment
Posted on June 17, 2013 by
Road to financial freedom through property investment
Are you tired of your day job? Do you love to travel? Do you sometimes wish that you could find a way to scrap your nine to five in favor of a trip to Europe? Well if so, you are definitely not alone!
Many people just like you have set out to find a new way to invest their money so they can have the freedom to live the life they want to. And a good number of them have found the answer is investing in real estate.
Real estate investors are typically people who want a way to develop financial security and a comfortable retirement income. To do this they’ve chosen a method of investing that is fairly low risk and requires a minimal investment up-front.
Ways to increase your property value and appearance
Posted on June 18, 2013 by
Ways to increase your property value and appearance
First impressions make a big difference, and selling your home is no exception. Sometimes big repairs and major renovations just aren’t in the budget, but when it comes time to sell your home, you naturally want to get the best price possible. There are a few quick, affordable things you can do around your house to kick up your property value and leave potential buyers with a good feeling. And that good feeling might just lead to a good sale.
The first thing you should do is the first thing potential buyers will see. Paint your front door. Even if the door is in good shape, it’s worthwhile to add a splash of color to make your home stand out- both on the street and in the buyer’s memories. A great shade of barn red or forest green will add some interest and draw the eye towards the door, which is, after all, the center of your home. Make sure to choose a warm, inviting color, and paint neatly, wiping up any spills. A gallon of good outdoor paint is cheap, and the effect will be worth it.
Wash your windows. So many sellers don’t think of this one, but it can possibly make the biggest impact out of anything you will do to prepare your home for the market. Everyone loves natural light, and the build-up on windows occurs so gradually that most people don’t even realize they are losing much of the light they could be getting. Getting them clean can be a bit of a pain if you have a house with multiple stories, but trust us, it’s worth it. Call a professional if necessary. Just get the windows clean, inside and out, and remove and wash any curtains or blinds. If you haven’t done this in awhile, you might feel as though you’ve knocked out a wall when you see the amount of light that comes pouring in. And potential buyers will see it too.
Finally (and this one is easy), put up some house numbers. This is a tiny trick that helps stamp your house into the buyers’ minds, and creates a lasting impression. Go to the hardware store, and buy some brass or iron numbers that match your house’s decor. Attach them to the porch, the front door, or wherever seems appropriate. Just make sure they’re bright, tasteful, and noticeable. Potential buyers will see the numbers and imagine it as their address, which opens the door to them feeling at home in your house. Making your house numbers noticeable will, at the very least, keep your property from fading into a generic list of houses that the buyers might have seen already.
Of course, property value is determined by much larger factors than we’ve discussed here. But if you’re hovering on the edge of receiving a certain price, a few extra steps to help nudge you up further can’t hurt.
Have fun and happy investing
Posted on June 19, 2013 by
Have fun and happy investing
Real estate investing is more than just rewarding financially. It is rewarding because it’s fun! Many people are learning the value of real estate through investing every day. And the information above is just some of the crucial information that every investor needs to know. Stay focused on your goals, and you will arrive at your destination faster than you ever thought possible.
Getting started in real estate investing is not nearly as difficult as most people anticipate. Certainly, there are many things to consider and regulations to follow. However, a well-educated investor will be prepared to make smart choices and wise investments.
The number one reason that investors fail with real estate is that they do not plan adequately. Don’t make that mistake! Use tips from the experts to formulate and execute a plan and you’re sure to find success investing in real estate.
There is no right way to invest in real estate. You need to find an approach that works for you and stick with it. Learn everything possible about real estate, because it will help you tremendously in the end. When financial freedom is what you are after, there is no easier way to get there than with real estate.
Remember to talk to the professionals, and to form a relationship with them whenever possible. Perhaps you might even want to consider a mentor. Take this information with you to see what options might be available to you.
Have fund and happy investing.
Good luck !

Making money investing in property
Posted on June 20, 2013 by
Making Money Investing in Real Estate
Making money in real estate is often perceived as a get rich quick scheme, and it’s really not that way. Just like any other investment, real estate is an investment that must not be entered into lightly. No matter the amount of money you sink into your real estate endeavors, never forget that you could lose it just as easily as you invested it, just as with any other investment.
The most common means of investing in real estate is through rental properties. Many people will buy properties, fix them up (or not, lots of times) and then turn around and lease them to others in exchange for a monthly rent. It is important to keep in mind when leasing properties that in order for the rental market to continue, rental rates must be reasonably priced. You can base a fair rent off of the value of the properties in the surrounding neighborhood.

Real estate is not a predictable market. Most inventors who have attained recent successes say that they invested in the real estate market when it was hot. The stock market was at an all time high and they took advantage of that, making lots of money along the way. While riding the real estate wave a lot of people gain a great deal of success in the business and think it is always going to be that way, but that is not so.
The most important thing to remember when you are thinking of getting into real estate is that the face value of the property itself is not going to be enough to hold you over. A reserve of cash, an emergency fund if you will, is necessary to a successful real estate investment experience. You must have the ready cash or credit to cover insurance deductibles, fix repairs, and cover emergencies. Otherwise you risk losing the property through several means, up to and including lawsuit.

When signing a loan to get into the real estate business initially, bear in mind that your payments are not always going to equal the payments being made on the property if it is being leased to another. That may be why it is in your best interest to have full or at least near full ownership of a property before renting it out. This is because not only would you be responsible for making up the difference between the rent and your payment, but you also have the responsibility of paying any insurance payments, quit rent and assessment and maintenance fee of the property.
Real estate is one of the best businesses out there for people who don’t have a lot of opportunities available to them. It has successfully turned many a dreamer into a businessman, but it is not to be regarded as a get rich quick scheme. The business of real estate takes a large amount of cash reserves saved up, a good investing mind, and a good knowledge of the stock market and its conditions.

Buying a water leaking house
Posted on June 21, 2013 by
Buying a house with water leaking
Check this one out- thoroughly.
Is the house located in a high-flood area? Is something important (like the roof or basement) leaking? If water damage occurred once it’s not likely to stop unless the problem- aka the flow of water- is corrected.
This could lead to expensive irrigation systems and internal repairs. I heard a horror story of a house that began with a water spot on a wall, and led to removing the floor to do major ratification work.
Water damage is often a sign of a bigger problem. Unless you can trace it to its source and identify how to stop it, it might be best to steer away from water-damaged property altogether. Why sign up for trouble?
Property Investment – Having reserve cash as emergency fund
Posted on June 22, 2013 by
Having reserve cash as emergency fund
Real estate is not a predictable market. Most inventors who have attained recent successes say that they invested in the real estate market when it was hot.
The stock market was at an all time high and they took advantage of that, making lots of money along the way. While riding the real estate wave a lot of people gain a great deal of success in the business and think it is always going to be that way, but that is not so.
The most important thing to remember when you are thinking of getting into real estate is that the face value of the property itself is not going to be enough to hold you over.
A reserve of cash, an emergency fund if you will, is necessary to a successful real estate investment experience.
You must have the ready cash or credit to cover insurance deductibles, fix repairs, and cover emergencies. Otherwise you risk losing the property through several means, up to and including lawsuit.

Making Money Investing in Real Estate
Posted on June 23, 2013 by
Making Money Investing in Real Estate
Making money in real estate is often perceived as a get rich quick scheme, and it’s really not that way. Just like any other investment, real estate is an investment that must not be entered into lightly.
No matter the amount of money you sink into your real estate endeavors, never forget that you could lose it just as easily as you invested it, just as with any other investment.
The most common means of investing in real estate is through rental properties. Many people will buy properties, fix them up (or not, lots of times) and then turn around and lease them to others in exchange for a monthly rent.
It is important to keep in mind when leasing properties that if people could afford to pay $1100 or $1200 a month for their housing expenses can take out a mortgage, decreasing the need for rental properties.
In order for the rental market to continue, rental rates must be reasonably priced. You can base a fair rent off of the value of the properties in the surrounding neighborhood.
Refinancing Your Loan
Posted on June 24, 2013 by
Refinancing Your Loan
Refinancing your home or property is a big decision that could drastically affect your financial future, for the good or the bad, depending on how smart you go about the process. Take the time to explore all of the different refinancing options you have available to you.
Many loan agents offer you refinancing deals that seem too good to be true, and while most of them seem to have your best interests at heart, do try to keep in mind that they are not paid unless they approve you for a loan–and you take it.
Refinancing your mortgage can lower your monthly payments, lower the amount of interest you pay on your loan, or even shorten the term of your mortgage without having to pay a penalty for early mortgage pay off.
Refinancing a mortgage usually involves allowing a loan company to pay off your original home loan in return for you signing a loan contract with them. Most times, the second loan is more beneficial to the mortgagee, especially for that present time.
Of course, when thinking of refinancing, you are going to want to make sure that it will be in your benefit! The penalty costs of paying off your loan or mortgage early, the cost of appraising your home, related legal fees, misc fees, and stamping fee are all amounts that should be taken into consideration when one is refinancing.
As far as your current loan is concerned, these are all costs that, more often than not, have already been taken care of and you could be making things worse for yourself by taking these things on again, especially if your reason for refinancing is a rather tight financial situation.
Talk to your mortgage bankers and they might be helpful in helping you in your decision.
Malaysia House Buyer’s Guide
Posted on June 25, 2013 by

Some Important Aspects for House Buyers
1. Before you decide to buy a house, ensure that:-
* The housing developer has a license and it is still valid.
* The housing developer has an advertisement and sales permit and it is still valid.

2. Determine the house type
For landed property such as bungalows, semi-detached houses and terrace houses, the expected date of completion is 24 months from the date of signing of the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
For subdivided building such as condominiums, flats, apartments and townhouses, the expected date of completion is 36 months.
Buyers are advised to obtain from the housing developer the complimentary brochures with all the pertinent information about the project such the development’s license number, and advertisement and sales permit.
3. Land status
Please ensure whether it is:-
Freehold land – it is in perpetuity
Leasehold land – check the number of years left
Malay Reserve
* The status of the land can be checked at the Land Office or the State Land Registrar.
4. Brochure Information
Brochures are given free by the developers. Please ensure the brochure has the following information:-
1.) The Housing Development’s License number and the expiry date;
2.) The advertisement and sales permit number and the expiry date;
3.) Name and address of:
• the licensed housing developer
• authorized agents (if any)
• those holding power of attorney (if any)
• the project management company (if any)
4.) Land Status
• Freehold
• Leasehold – number of years left
• Encumbrances – whether the land has been mortgaged to the bank for a loan
5.) Location description
• building material specification
• size of building
• amenities/services
6.) Name of housing project (if any);
7.) Expected date of completion;
8.) Price of each type of house;
9.) Number of units for each type;
10.) Reference number of the approved building plan and name of the local authority.
::: The rights of buyers must be understood as contained in the Sales and Purchase
Agreement as per schedules G and H of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulation 1989.
5. First Payment
The first payment of 10 per cent must be made upon signing of the Sales and Purchase Agreement. Please ensure the date of signing of the SPA and the date of first payment are the same.
Be aware that the housing developer is not allowed to collect any form of payment without a Sales and Purchase Agreement being signed.
6. Architect Certification
Make sure any demand by the developer for installment payment is supported by a certificate duly signed by an architect or a certified engineer.
7. Interest on Late Payment
If the buyer or end financier for the buyer fails to pay the developer the progressive payment/installment within 21 working days from the date of the written notice of payment from the developer, the buyer will be charged an interest of 10 per cent per annum on the installment not paid.
8. Termination of the Sales and Purchase Agreement
Be aware that failure to make the progressive payment or interest charged on late payment for a period of more than 28 days will give the developer the right to terminate the Sales and Purchase Agreement. The developer must serve the notice in writing by AR registered post of its intention to terminate the SPA.
9. Infrastructural Maintenance Fee
Buyers must pay the cost of maintaining the infrastructure from the date of vacant possession till the date the responsibility is taken over by the local authority or management corporation (in the case of a subdivided building).
Infrastructure is defined as:
a.) For land and building
Road, driveway, drains, sewerage, pipelines and sewerage tank for the housing development
b.) For subdivided building
Road, driveway, drains, sewerage, pipelines and sewerage tank for the building

 

10. Maintenance and Management Fee
From the date of vacant possession the buyer shall be responsible for paying for services such as:-
Landed properties
• Refuse removal, upkeep of drains and grass-cutting on the road reserves
• The buyer is responsible for such payment until such responsibility is taken over by the proper authority.
• The buyer must pay a six months’ deposit upon being handed vacant possession for the services to be rendered. After six months, if the services are still not taken over by the relevant authority, any subsequent payment shall be payable on a monthly advance.
Subdivided building
• Payment is for the cost of maintaining and managing the common area and payment starts when vacant possession is handed over.
• The buyer shall pay one (1) month’s deposit and three (3) months’ advance in respect of the maintenance service charges and any payment thereafter shall be payable on a monthly advance.
• Maintenance fee must be paid to the developer from the date of vacant possession up until the formation of a management corporation under the Strata Title Act 1985.
• Once the management corporation is formed under the Strata Title Act 1985, maintenance services will be handled by the management corporation and the buyer must pay the maintenance fee to the management corporation and not to the developer.
Reminder:-
Maintenance fee must be paid as long as the buyer owns a parcel in the said maintained building.
11. Sinking fund – For subdivided building only
The buyer shall upon the date he takes vacant possession of the said parcel contribute to the sinking fund an amount equivalent to 10 per cent of the service charges.
The buyer shall pay one (1) month’s deposit and three (3) months’ advance in respect of the service charges to the sinking fund and any payment thereafter shall be payable on a monthly advance.
12. Payment of Quit Rent, Rate Assessment, etc
From the date of vacant possession or date of assignment, whichever is earlier, the buyer is responsible for the quit rent, assessment, rate payment and other charges relating to the property bought.
15. Vacant Possession
Vacant possession on the building complete with water and electricity connection must be handed over within 24 calendar months from the date of signing of the SPA for landed property and 36 calendar months for subdivided building.
Regulation and Rights of House Buyers during the Handing over of Vacant Possession
Ensure the property is free from any encumbrances before accepting notice of vacant possession.
If the developer leases the land or the property, the developer must settle the balance payment before handing over vacant possession.
Conditions that must be followed by housing developers:-
I.) Certificate from the developer’s architect stating that
a.) the building is completed
b.) water and electricity are ready for connection
2.) The developer has applied for:
a.) the issue of the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) through Form E *
b.) the local authority has issued a notice stating that Form E has been checked and accepted by the relevant authority.
* Form E is an application from the developer’s architect to the relevant authority for the issue of the CFO.
The buyer is entitled to enter into occupation of the property only upon issue of the CFO by the relevant authority and renovation may be carried out only upon issue of the CFO and approval of the plan by the relevant authority.
While inspecting the building, any defect is recorded and handed over to the developer to be rectified. Make sure you obtain a copy of the report.
The buyer is entitled to claim for late delivery from the developer.
13. Damages
If the developer fails to deliver vacant possession of the building as stipulated by the SPA, it must pay damages calculated on a daily rest, 10 per cent per year of the purchase price.
14. Defect liability period
The defect liability period is 18 months after the date of vacant possession.
Creation of Management Corporation for Subdivided Building
A management corporation will be created once the strata title of each individual parcel is issued to the owners.
Other functions of the management corporation include insuring and maintaining the building.
15. Inquiries and complaints
You may contact:
Monitoring and Enforcement Division Ministry of Housing and Local Government
Level 3, Block B North, Pusat Bandar Damansara
50782 KUALA LUMPUR
Tel : 03-2094 7033
Fax: 03- 2092 5049
This is a division under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and it is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act (Act 118).
Getting into real estate business.
Posted on June 26, 2013 by
Getting into real estate business
The first is that when you are just getting into the real estate business, you don’t know if you want to do this for sure or not.
Sure, you think you do and that was why you decided do go for it.
So, get ready and go for interview with one of the local real estate agency. Do bear in mind that not all real estate agencies are willing to hire someone new in the market as the turnover rate in that line of work is extremely high for new comers.
Like most other sales jobs–the real estate business is NOT for everyone.
The best advice is to start out and learn the dos and don’ts of the business, basic rules, and sales tips. If you are good and you enjoy what you do, then work up from there.
Have fun, and if you devote yourself to the business and you are good at it, your efforts will most definitely pay off.
Real Estate Profession
Posted on June 27, 2013 by
Real Estate Profession
Getting into the real estate business can be one of the most rewarding, yet tiresome occupations out there.
Whether the rewards outweigh the downfalls of the position really does depend on the person looking into the career.
If you are a family-oriented person or someone who likes to spend a lot of time to themselves or enjoying the more leisurely things in life and you are really not looking to give these things up (at least for a while), real estate may not be the right gig for you.
Generally, getting settled into the real estate business can take up to six months, or even a year! Of course, a year does sound like an extremely long time to get into an occupation, but if you think about it and take into consideration all of the steps that are involved, that time frame is fairly reasonable.

How much housing loan to apply ?
Posted on June 28, 2013 by
How much home loan to apply?
First time home buyers are faced with a maze of financial decisions.
It’s a daunting task to sort through mortgage rates, credit scores, and monthly payments to determine exactly what your price range will be for your future home.
Although bankers and real estate agents are there to assist you, it helps to start with a general idea of your bracket. Consider the following things when trying to make sense of your own cents.
First of all, how much of a down payment will you be able to make?
Down payments are the reason why first time home buyers are well advised to sack away cash for at least a year before they purchase. The more you can put down up front, the less you have to borrow… and the less interest you’ll accumulate.
Once you figure out your down payment, do your research. This is where banks and real estate agents can be particularly helpful.

Start cleaning up your credit and save for down payments
Posted on June 28, 2013 by
If you’re considering purchasing a home in the future, start cleaning up your credit now.
Work out payment plans on any outstanding debts, and get a copy of your report so that you can contest any errors.
It’s also a good idea to start saving for your down payment well in advance.
Down payments are the reason why first time home buyers are well advised to sack away cash for at least a year before they purchase. The more you can put down up front, the less you have to borrow.
Having a good credit score and cash in the bank are the two most effective ways to get a good loan with a decent rate.
If you don’t have those two things yet, you should consider putting off your home purchase until you do.

Choosing a good real estate agent
Posted on June 29, 2013 by
Selecting the Best Real Estate Agent for You
In a sense, you are going to have to interview people for the position as your real estate agent, just as the hiring position hiring for some other type of position.
When selecting an agent, think back on how well known the agency that they represented before this? Do they have a name that you have heard or seen before, perhaps on flyers, yard signs, billboards, or even local television?
The more well known an agent is, the more reputable they tend to be, and the more reputable they are, the more negotiating power they are going to carry with them when it comes to selling your home for the highest possible price, or purchasing it for yourself at the lowest possible cost; that, of course means a higher rate of commission for them, as well as profiting your pocket as the homeowner and prime beneficiary of the sale.

Investing in property to collect rental
Posted on June 30, 2013 by
Investing in property to collect rental
Many people today are intrigued with the idea of owning investment real estate. It sound like an awfully simple way to make money: Owning property, renting it out to tenants, and collecting rent payments. The truth is, it can be an extremely profitable venture, or it can be a train wreck.
An individual who is purchasing rental property for the purposes of income has a long road ahead of him, and he should be involved every step of the way to ensure that his investment turns out in the end.
The first step in figuring out if you’re ready to own investment property is to ask yourself how much money you have to pay up front. Buying your own home can require costly down payments, but investment properties generally require that plus much more. You may very well have to come up with not only the down payment on the property, but also the cash needed to bring the place up to code and rental standards.
Keep in mind, there are loans available for those buying rental properties. But rates and terms for investment real estate loans are harsher than those for private homes, since lenders believe there is not as much emotional investment for the borrower, and so their loan is more at risk. Explore your options and check into a few different lenders, trying to get the best loan rates you can. It may not be easy, but if you are not planning to back down from the task, you will not be wasting your time.

Once you manage to get your property renovated and you’re ready to go, you’ll face the issue of finding good tenants through the screening process. You can certainly hire a property manager to help you out here, as well as to deal with repairs that come up later, but most small landlords are much better off doing this process themselves. Screen tenants carefully and don’t let emotional involvement get in the way. Set some standards regarding credit reports and income, and stick to them regardless of who walks in your door.
Don’t expect to make a profit at first. Your rate of return is going to be small, even if you have done the math and figured out your rent cost as carefully as possible.
Also prepare yourself for unexpected repairs which are going to bring down your profit margin and require some work on your part. The first three years of a rental property are, typically, the shakiest. If you’re committed to being a landlord, you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves, and if you’re planning to stick with it, you can reasonably expect a decent profit at some point in the future.

Owning rental properties
Posted on July 1, 2013 by
Owning Rental Property
Many people today are intrigued with the idea of owning investment real estate. It sound like an awfully simple way to make money: Owning property, renting it out to tenants, and collecting rent payments. The truth is, it can be an extremely profitable venture, or it can be a train wreck.
An individual who is purchasing rental property for the purposes of income has a long road ahead of him, and he should be involved every step of the way to ensure that his investment turns out in the end.
The first step in figuring out if you’re ready to own investment property is to ask yourself how much money you have to pay up front. Buying your own home can require costly down payments, but investment properties generally require that plus much more. You may very well have to come up with not only the down payment on the property, but also the cash needed to bring the place up to code and rental standards. There are different standards for a rental property than for a private home. Unless the place you purchase has been a rental before, expect to be shelling out quite a bit of cash upfront.

Keep in mind, there are loans available for those buying rental properties. But rates and terms for investment real estate loans are harsher than those for private homes, since lenders believe there is not as much emotional investment for the borrower, and so their loan is more at risk. Explore your options and check into a few different lenders, trying to get the best loan rates you can. It may not be easy, but if you are not planning to back down from the task, you will not be wasting your time.
Once you manage to get your property renovated and you’re ready to go, you’ll face the issue of finding good tenants through the screening process. You can certainly hire a property agent to help you out here.. Screen tenants carefully and don’t let emotional involvement get in the way.
Don’t expect to make a profit at first. Your rate of return is going to be small, even if you have done the math and figured out your rent cost as carefully as possible. Also prepare yourself for unexpected repairs which are going to bring down your profit margin and require some work on your part. The first three years of a rental property are, typically, the shakiest. If you’re committed to being a landlord, you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves, and if you’re planning to stick with it, you can reasonably expect a decent profit at some point in the future.
Working with Your Home Builder – Part 2
Posted on July 2, 2013 by
Working with Your Home Builder – Part 2
It’s also important to remember that, while getting what you want out of your newly-built house is the main priority, the builders (contractor) have priorities, too. And you have every right to receive a house built to safe, sturdy specifications, with a properly set foundation, even flooring, and everything else up to code. If you’ve hired reputable builders (contractor) you should be in luck- it’s their job to get this stuff right. It’s also their job to fix it if any of the basic requirements fall short of what they should be.
Even while you’re watching the progress, noting changes, and verifying the big stuff, try giving everyone a little slack when it comes to the small details. What a horror for builders to deal with a home owner who is screeching about the wrong doorknobs when they are trying to finish a house by deadline. Keep in mind that human errors happen. If they’re big ones, then you have every right to have them corrected.
If they are not what you paid for, then you have every right to speak up and have things set to rights. But if the inconsistencies are small enough to live with, won’t affect your happiness with the house overall, and will be easy to change out later, than give the builders a break. Ask for a discount if you didn’t get the shower door you ordered, but the one that’s there works just fine. During the building process of your house, it’s best to keep one eye on your contract- and the other eye on the big picture.

What makes you an unique real estate agent
Posted on July 3, 2013 by
What makes you an unique real estate agent
If you really want to know what makes a great real estate agent, think about when you bought your first house. If you have never bought your own home, you probably will some day (especially if you are reading this) and in that respect, think about what you way you would want things to be when you decide to take that leap.
Homes are a big investment, they can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Most people have to save up for the better part of their lives to afford their “dream homes,” and it is important that your behavior as the agent understand how important of an investment buying a home is, and relating that understanding to your clients.
If you were the one making such a large investment, you would want to assure that your real estate agent could be trusted, and that they had your own best interests at heart, right? In that same respect, you as the real estate must take into consideration that in a way, your clients look up to you.
Cash flows and property investment
Posted on July 4, 2013 by
Cash flows and property investment
When signing a loan to get into the real estate business initially, bear in mind that your payments are not always going to equal the payments being made on the property if it is being leased to another.
That may be why it is in your best interest to have full or at least near full ownership of a property before renting it out.
This is because not only would you be responsible for making up the difference between the rent and your payment, but you also have the responsibility of paying any insurance payments or property taxes that ownership of the property may incur.
Real estate is one of the best businesses out there for people who don’t have a lot of opportunities available to them. It has successfully turned many a dreamer into a businessman, but it is not to be regarded as a get rich quick scheme.
he Unique Qualities of a Great Real Estate Agent
Posted on July 5, 2013 by

The Unique Qualities of a Great Real Estate Agent
In laymen’s terms, Real Estate is the business of helping people buy and sell property. As a real estate agent, your job is not always that simple, though.
It is important for a real estate agent to be very well versed in their trade; this involves knowing the laws of the real estate business in and out.
They have to be able to successfully appraise the value of a home or a piece of land (to some extent, there are professional appraisers that can be hired to do a more exact estimation of the value).
They must be good with people, amiable, and honest. Never underestimate the power of people and their ability to read others, especially since most times when people are in the process of selecting a real estate agent they are usually in an intentional, purposeful state of judgment.
It is important to establish a relationship built on trust between the prospective buyer or seller and the real estate agent.

Apply for a housing loan
Posted on July 6, 2013 by
Apply for a housing loan

Keep in mind that when you do apply for a mortgage, the amount you’re able to borrow will be influenced by more than just your credit score or rating.
Lenders will also investigate your wages, your expected earnings in the near future, and any outstanding debts. Lender will also take into consideration of your other source of income, if any.
All of this will factor into the calculation of how much you’re able to borrow, and what kind of rates you will receive.
If the loan for which you’re approved turns out to be less than what you’ll need for the home you’re considering, you must find a different lender or try to recalculate your terms, or find a less expensive property.
Having a good credit score and cash in the bank are the two most effective ways to get a good loan with a decent rate.

Buying a house with water leaking
Posted on July 7, 2013 by
Buying a house with water leaking
Check this one out- thoroughly.
Is the house located in a high-flood area? Is something important (like the roof or basement) leaking? If water damage occurred once it’s not likely to stop unless the problem- aka the flow of water- is corrected.
This could lead to expensive irrigation systems and internal repairs. I heard a horror story of a house that began with a water spot on a wall, and led to removing the floor to do major ratification work.
Water damage is often a sign of a bigger problem. Unless you can trace it to its source and identify how to stop it, it might be best to steer away from water-damaged property altogether. Why sign up for trouble?
Real Estate Negotiators Are Not Worth The Money
September 9, 2012 By Md Ikhram Leave a Comment
Frankly, that’s what many property owners think of us. There may be some truth in this but more often than not, the relationship between negotiator and property owner is a symbiotic one; not parasitic. In other words, it is mutually beneficial. So why do some property owners think that we don’t deserve a fair commission? For the uninitiated, here’s what a fair commission means:
• A maximum of 3% of the sale value for land and buildings
• 1.25 months gross rental for tenancies up to 3 years
• 1.50 months gross rental for tenancies exceeding 3 years up to 4 years
• 1.75 months gross rental for tenancies exceeding 4 years up to 5 years
Try charging these rates to property owners and many will say it is too much. Tell them about the 6% GST and they’ll scream. Some owners have told me that they will pay nothing more than 0.5 months gross rental for a tenancy and very often I’m told by owners that I should absorb the GST. I’ve refused to engage with property owners who are not willing to pay me a fair commission. The GST is still an uphill battle.
Real estate negotiators are largely to be blamed for this unfortunate circumstance. Many negotiators are willing to charge less and absorb tax costs in order to obtain a property listing. As I will explain shortly, this habit of cutting prices is a double-edged sword for both the negotiator and the owner. Price cutting is very often the number 1 marketing strategy for unsuccessful businesses. Yes, it may get the negotiator a listing today but in the game of low prices, there is ALWAYS someone willing to go lower than you. The result? An unprofitable industry where you work hard and get paid very little in return for it.
But this should not affect owners right? You can bet every last dollar that it will. Squeezing pennies will affect the industry’s quality, service, and accountability. Vendors in some markets have learned this the hard way. As service providers make less money, the industry loses its appeal. Desperate service providers will try to stay relevant by reducing their prices even further. Others, the smart ones (they’re usually the best service providers), will diversify or move up the supply chain. The vacuum left by the good service providers will be filled up by less than good companies / people. This perpetuates until a market correction takes place. As far removed as this may seem, it DOES happen and it is happening to the real estate agency market.
Why do property owners need good real estate negotiators?
Time and cash flow. Property owners can leverage real estate negotiators’ network and marketing. In an ideal scenario, the real estate negotiator solicits leads, picks up your property keys, shows your property to prospects, returns your keys, and sells your property. In short, you, the property owner, do not have to get involved in this time consuming process. You do not have worry about writing ads, taking pictures, managing multiple advertising channels, handling calls and inquiries, and a host of other issues. Everyone’s time is best spent focusing on what they are good at. Leaving the sale of your property to a good negotiator so you can focus on what you are good at is sensible delegation of work. The art of delegation is highly prized by the best managers. They’re usually very successful too.
How is your cash flow improved? In many cases a good real estate negotiator should be able to get you a tenant or buyer faster than you would on your own. In the case of a property for rent, the negotiator can also reduce your vacancy rate. Improving your cash flow is an important aspect that is often overlooked. I highly recommend Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad for a basic lesson on cash flow. For the purposes of this article, suffice to say that a good cash flow puts money into your hands faster and which in turn opens opportunities for you sooner.
What You Get Is In Direct Proportion To What You Are Willing To Give
This is a universal law that applies to everything. A student’s performance depends on how much he is willing to invest in time, books and past exam questions. The quality of our relationships depend on how much we are willing to put into it. An olympian wins a gold medal because of the passion he puts into his sport. Examples of this abound but I’m sure you get the picture.
If you are willing to invest in a good real estate negotiator, you will have a strong ally in the long run. One who can save you tons of time and help you optimize your cash flow. If you are not prepared to pay your real estate negotiator a fair fee (set by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, and Estate Agents), you may eventually find that real estate negotiators are not worth the money. This becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.
Real estate negotiators play a pivotal role in the property market. They keep it vibrant and help lubricate transactions. It is important that the industry maintains high levels of professionalism and accountability. It is important that property owners and buyers can expect excellent customer service and integrity. Forcing or encouraging lower commissions will have an inverse effect on all this.

How to become a super-successful real estate negotiator
Whether you are a home buyer or seller, a “rookie” real estate agent dreaming of your first sale closing, or an “old pro” real estate investor or sales agent, we always need to learn more about real estate negotiation tactics to become super-successful. That’s what makes negotiation, especially real estate negotiation, so challenging – there is always more to learn!
Having bought and sold dozens of properties over the last 37 years, I’ve probably encountered almost every type of real estate negotiator from bad – no, horrible – to super-successful. Fortunately, that horrible real estate negotiator who once represented me as a buyer’s agent has become a super-successful real estate broker. But I still recall my first encounter with him. Yes, we’re still friends.
NEGOTIATE WITH PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO NEGOTIATE. If a property seller is just “testing the water” to see how high a sales price can be obtained, there won’t be much serious negotiation because the seller isn’t motivated. Or, if the buyer is just making a “low ball” purchase offer to see if the seller will accept, it’s often a waste of time if the buyer isn’t highly motivated to buy.
This negotiation principle of motivation applies to all fields. If you are a property seller, you want to deal with buyers who need to buy. However, this principle also applies to motivated buyers who must buy from sellers who aren’t highly motivated. In such situations, it is important to become “creative” with your negotiation strategies.
Sometimes it is even prudent to use a third-party negotiator when the situation stalls. This situation often occurs in real estate brokerage offices when a sales agent is unable to negotiate a transaction. A third-party negotiator, usually the office manager, is then brought in to join the negotiations to help move the situation along.
Let’s emphasize (1) whenever possible, deal with highly-motivated buyers and sellers, and (2) if the other party isn’t motivated, maybe they are just “distracted” and really want to negotiate a good deal if you are persistent. Sometimes, the seller obviously wants to make the sale, and the buyer wants to buy, but (who knows why) the seller doesn’t bother to submit his/her bid promptly to a waiting eager buyer (although I try not to act eager because then I know the price will go up).
My friendly but creative fax motivated him to negotiate by offering a substantial trade-in allowance. The supplier didn’t have to give us any trade-in allowance so we were very happy to save a little and get rid of the old product (which the supplier will probably resell at a handsome profit). Yes, I probably could have negotiated a lower price in face-to-face discussion with the other party, but I know there is still plenty of profit margin for the supplier just in case there are any unexpected installation problems.
I’ve learned, especially when negotiating with contractors, if their first bid is acceptable, it doesn’t pay to negotiate further because they will then usually cut the quality of their service. However, this rule doesn’t apply if the negotiation topic is a standard product or service – such as a new automobile. That’s a situation when negotiation strategies can pay off with big savings if the quality won’t be reduced when the price is cut.
Negotiation persistence pays off! I know real estate buyers who have “hounded” prospective sellers for years before they decided to sell that property to that buyer. It is amazing how, if you repeatedly express an interest in buying a specific property, the owner will eventually, someday, become a motivated seller.
For this reason, it pays to “keep in touch” as a negotiation strategy to buy without competition from other buyers. Real estate agents also use this strategy to get listings by keeping in touch with homeowners persistently, month after month, often for many years until the homeowner is eventually ready to sell.

 

The Official Top 10 Chinese Noodles

noodle - master

 

The first nominated list of “China’s Top 10 Famous Noodles” was released recently by the Ministry of Commerce and China Hotel Association. The 10 noodle dishes on the list are: 武汉热干面 (rè gān miànWuhan‘s Hot Dry Noodles), 北京炸酱面 (zhá jiàng miàn, Beijing’s Zhajiangmian), 山西刀削面 (Dāoxiāomiàn, Shanxi’s knife-cut noodles),  河南萧记烩面 (xiāo jì huì miàn, Henan’s Xiaoji Stewed Noodles), 兰州拉面 (lánzhōu lāmiàn, Lanzhou’s hand pulled noodles), 杭州片儿川 (piàn ér chuān, Hangzhou’s Pian’er Chuan), 昆山奥灶面 (ào zào miàn, Kunshan’s Aozao noodles), 镇江锅盖面 (zhènjiāng guō gài miàn, Chinkiang pot cover noodles), 四川担担面 (dàndàn miàn, Sichuan’s dandanmian), and 吉林延吉冷面 (yánjí lěng miàn, Jilin’s cold noodles).

top 10 noodles

In the past, people have always hailed 热干面, 炸酱面, 刀削面, 兰州拉面, and 担担面 as “China’s Five Famous Noodles”. This is the first time that an official organization has ranked a Top 10 list. After the news came out, many netizens were surprised that Shaanxi, a province with over a hundred ways to make noodles, didn’t make it into the top 10. Many find it hard to believe that 臊子面 (sàozi miàn, noodles with minced meat) and Biangbiang noodles aren’t recognized, and joked that it was because the Chinese characters for “biangbiang” cannot be typed out on a computer.

Other netizens whose provinces were not mentioned on the list exclaimed that they were 惊呆了 (jīng dāile, so surprised that they are stupefied) that their local famous noodles were dismissed.

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Choosing Wok

2005-08-20-wok-1

You might not know it but cooking the wrong dish in the wrong wok can lead to murky sludge and bitter disaster. One Chinese netizen posts her frustrations, “Rust keeps appearing on the bottom of my iron wok, but I’m afraid the chemicals in non-stick or carbon woks will poison my food. Plus I hear the iron in iron woks is good for the blood. What kind of woks are you all using?” Clearly, choosing a wok isn’t as simple as picking the cheapest shiniest one off the store shelf. Follow this guide and know how to choose the one that’s right for you.

Handles

When looking at woks the first thing you might notice is all the different handles they come with. Some have two small metal loop handles on each side. Some have a long stick handle on one side and a loop handle on the opposite side. Others simply have a single long metal or wooden handle. All handles serve the same purpose—to lift the wok off the burner—so choose based on your own techniques and preference. Skilled chefs prefer the long handle as it allows them to toss easily. Always remember to test the weight of a wok before you buy. If it’s too heavy for you to handle, then choose a smaller one or one made from a lighter material, you certainly don’t want to sprain your wrist frying an egg!

Size

A typical family-size wok is 14 inches in diameter (suitable for a family of three or four). But woks can be found as small as 8 inches and as large as 79 inches. Smaller woks are usually used for quick stir-frying at a high heat. Large woks, over a meter wide, are mainly used by restaurants for cooking rice or soup, or for boiling water.

Bottoms

Depending on what type of stove you have, you’ll need either a flat bottom wok or a round bottom wok. Flat bottom woks are best for cooking with an electric range. But if you cook on a gas range, the round bottom wok is a better choice. The flames can wrap around the bottom and sides allowing for even heat distribution.

Material

Woks come in cast iron, aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel and non-stick coatings. Each have their own advantages and purposes.

Traditional Chinese woks are made of cast iron. Thick and heavy, the iron wok (铁锅 tiěguō) takes more time to heat up, but it conducts heat evenly and retains heat longer, which makes it perfect for stir-frying vegetables. For a healthy fry, wait until the oil is hot; drop the vegetable in and stir-fry quickly at high heat for a short time to minimize the loss of nutrients. Chinese netizens claim that an iron wok is a good choice as traces of iron dissolve into the food and help boost your blood cells.

Ideal as an iron wok seems, it has several drawbacks. Iron rusts easily so remember to dry the wok thoroughly before and after use. It is also recommended to avoid cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes in an iron wok. Chinese foodies claim the acid can react with the iron and generate a harmful byproduct. And, if you don’t want to see your green bean soup to turn nasty black, don’t boil green beans in an iron wok

A good alternative to the iron wok is the stainless steel wok (不锈钢 búxiùgāng) which is rustproof and doesn’t have chemical reactions with acidic foods.

Aluminum woks (铝锅 lǚguō) are a thinner and lighter choice. Although an excellent heat conductor, aluminum does not retain heat as well as cast iron or carbon steel. Aluminum is also soft and not as durable. If you are looking for something light, a better choice is carbon steel (碳钢锅  tàn’gāngguō) which is thin and durable and can endure high temperatures.

Coated with Teflon, the non-stick wok (不粘锅 bùzhānguō) is ideal for steaming, stewing or boiling, but avoid deep frying, pan frying or stir frying dishes with it. At those temperatures the non-stick coating will break down into the food. Use this type of wok for making things like rice porridge. Fill the wok with ten cups of water and add one cup of rice. Bring to boil, reduce temperature and let simmer for an hour until the rice is thick and gooey. Great if you have the flu, upset stomach or relieving those inevitable Chinese banquet hangovers.

Coconut Sago Desserts

coconut-sago-master

Adventures with Coconuts

Friday, June 15, 2012 | By:

Don’t be deceived by coconut sago’s pure white broth or playful pearls of chewy goodness—behind its innocent appearance lurks a history both ancient and dark, one that tells an epic tale of daring explorations, court intrigues and mercantile migrations.

Coconut sago (椰汁西米露  yēzhī ximǐlù) is a sweet, silky white porridge made from coconut milk and sago, a kind of palm starch shaped into pearls that resemble tapioca balls. Served hot or cold, it’s a refreshingly light way to end a meal. The dessert can be found all over the country—but the origins aren’t Chinese.

In the early 1400’s Zheng He (郑和), the revered fleet admiral, diplomat and explorer (not to mention eunuch) began leading his landmark voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. (We’ve further covered his exploits in our Adventure Issue, which you can buy in our store.)

Spearheaded by the Yongle Emperor, these expeditions would prove instrumental in spreading the influence of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to remote corners of the globe. The voyages also helped bolster a vast network of cultural and commercial routes to southeastern Asia and beyond, all the way to the eastern shores of Africa.

As a result of Zheng He’s voyages, more and more Chinese began settling in the Malacca peninsula (now part of Malaysia). Some Malay texts even claim that in 1459 the emperor sent Ming princess Han Libao to be the wife of a Malay sultan as a token of appreciation for the sultan’s previous tribute to the Ming court.

Most of the settlers were young men who began intermarrying with the local women. Chinese and Malay traditions began to fuse, sowing the seeds of what would eventually become the unique Peranakan (土生华人 tǔshēng huárén, also known as Baba-Nyonya or Straits Chinese) culture.

Now an established part of Malaysian culinary traditions, Peranakan cuisine makes heavy use of coconut milk and sago, two of the main food staples of Borneo, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the most popular Peranakan desserts is called gula melaka sago, a pudding made from coconut milk, sago pearls and palm sugar. Sound familiar?

Coconut sago began spreading throughout the land. These days, the dessert is popular in Southern China, where in the winter, people chow down on a Cantonese version served hot with hearty extras like taro root. For a cooler variety, closer to its Malaysian roots, coconut sago is served cool or tepid, with chunks of mango and other tropical fruit.Now that summer is upon us, there are more reasons to eat coconut sago than its illustrious past or mellow-sweet flavor. As a Malaysian friend recently told me, coconut milk is great for cooling down because its sugar-rich composition makes it extremely hydrating, while the refreshing taste is great for fighting the heat. “Summer is the best time to eat it,” agrees cook Zhou Su E. “It’s creamy, sweet, and silky, and you can add whatever fruit you want to adjust it to your own taste.” Best of all for the ladies, Zhou says, is papaya. “Papaya is a good fruit for women,” she says. “It’s full of special vitamins for them, and they say it’s good for beauty.”

Coconut is also packed with healthy oils that are great for moisturizing skin and hair. So the next time summer heat’s got you down, whip up a bowl of coconut sago for a refreshing and nourishing treat, with a little history on the side.

Recipe
100g of small or big sago grains
西米 ximǐ

1 can of coconut cream
椰浆 yējiāng

100g of fresh milk
鲜牛奶 xiān niúnǎi

150g of crystallized or refined white sugar
冰糖 bīngtáng/白砂糖 báishātáng

900ml of water
水 shuǐ

Instructions

1. Bring the water to boil in pot, reduce heat and add sago grains

2.Boil sago for approximately five minutes, stir to prevent sticking

3. Remove sago and put in cool water

4. Add more water to the pot, bring back to boil and return the cooled sago grains. Boil, continuing to stir, until the sago turns translucent (or pale white). Turn off the heat, cover and simmer for five minutes.

5. Return boiled sago to cold water. The grains should look like little pearls.

6. Pour coconut cream and milk into a pot and bring to boil. Add sugar according to taste.

7. Put sago pearls in two bowls and add boiled coconut milk. Let cool and refrigerate for one hour, or to desired temperature.

8. Add fruit as preferred

 

For another sweet Chinese treat that’ll keep you cool too? Try Bao Bing-a-ling. 

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Braised Bamboo Shoots and Mushroom

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With swimsuit season in full swing, many will be keen to keep the greasy meat out of their recipes and turn to lighter ingredients that will freshen their day. Bamboo shoots and mushrooms have long been a part of the traditional Chinese diet, usually in a more supporting role, but if you turn them into the stars of the dish, the texture and aroma they offer will exceed all your expectations. Since braised mushroom and bamboo shoots are considered a classic dish in Shandong cuisine, we chose Chef Yu Peng from Qingyunlou restaurant, a Beijing restaurant brand famous for its Shandong style that dates back over a hundred years ago.

“Its flavor is better than camel hump or civet cat meat!” Hey, don’t jump to conclusions. It’s not a rare wild animal on the menu, just a quote from poet Lu You (陆游, 1125-1210) on a treasured forest vegetable—bamboo shoots (竹笋 zhúsǔn). Inside layers of brown husks covered in harp hairs, the conical, creamy-colored tender delicacy is one of nature’s greatest gifts. Three thousand years ago Chinese people believed it to be one of the tastiest things on earth. Pickled bamboo shoots were actually listed as offerings to the gods according to Rites of Zhou (《周礼》Zhōulǐ), an ancient ritual text.

Qingyunlou庆云楼No. 22 Qianhai Lake East Bank, Dongcheng District, Beijing010-6401958

Bamboo shoots are delicious and rich in nutrients such as protein, amino acids, and potassium. According to the TMC bible Compendium of Materia Medica (《本草纲目》Běncǎo Gāngmù), the bamboo shoot “quenches thirst, benefits the liquid circulatory system, supplements qi, and can be served as a daily dish.” Modern medical science has also found a number of benefits from bamboo shoots, from cancer prevention to weight loss and improved digestion. Low in calories and fat, bamboo shoots can certainly help to build a healthy and balanced diet, as suggested in the saying: 吃一餐笋能刮三天油 (chī yī cān sǔn néng guā sān tiān yóu), meaning, “a meal of bamboo shoots can scrape off three days worth of grease from your body”.

As one the largest bamboo producing countries in the world, China has over 200 different types of bamboo, mainly found in the south part of the country along major rivers. Fresh bamboo shoots are available all year-round, but timing is still essential; only winter and spring bamboo shoots (冬笋 dōngsǔn, 春笋 chūnsǔn) yield the best texture and taste. Winter bamboo shoots are collected in early winter when they are still underground. An expert collector only needs to look at the color of the bamboo leaves to decide where to dig. Collectors know not to take all the shoots and to leave some in order for them to grow into spring bamboo shoots. Around Tomb-Sweeping Day next year, collectors will set out to get the shoots again. When they start to emerge from the soil, there are only 10 days left to harvest them before they lose their tender nature and mature into actual bamboo. Rain fall at this time stimulates more bamboo shoots to break the ground, thus the phrase 雨后春笋 (yǔ hòu chūnsǔn), meaning “(new things) spring up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain.”

Though pricy in the national market, for the bamboo collectors, spring bamboo shoots are a common seasonal treat. Take some of the freshest bamboo shoots, cut them into small strips, add in bacon slices and cook with low heat for an hour or so. You will have a widespread Zhejiang folk dish 腌笃鲜 (yāndǔxiān) on your table. Unseasoned bamboo shoots taste plain, even with traces of bitterness, but when cooked with other ingredients, it will absorb their flavors and add crunchiness to the overall experience.

Braised mushroom and bamboo shoots traditionally contain winter bamboo shoots and dried winter mushrooms, thus the name “Braised Two Winters” (烧二冬 shāo’èrdōng). With the spring bamboo shoots on the market, the dish will have to make do with one winter: the dried mushrooms. Follow Chef Yu Peng and enjoy the combination of ivory white spring bamboo and chocolate brown mushroom in no time.

bamboozled_illustration

Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots
春笋烧冬菇
(Serves 2)

100 g Winter Mushrooms 冬菇 dōnggū

100 g Bamboo Shoots 竹笋 zhúsǔn

200 g Chicken Broth 鸡汤 jītāng

1000 g Water 水 shuǐ

30 g Scallion Oil 葱油 cōngyóu

2 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce 蚝油 háoyóu

10 g Cornstarch 玉米淀粉 yùmǐ diànfěn

1/2 tablespoon of Pepper 胡椒 hújiāo

1 teaspoon of Sugar 糖 táng

2 teaspoons of Soy Sauce 酱油 jiàngyóu

1/4 teaspoon of Salt 盐 yán

1/2 tablespoon of Cooking Wine 料酒 liàojiǔ

Immerse the dried mushrooms in water overnight to soften them. Drain and cut off their roots. Peel the bamboo shoots, cut it open and wash thoroughly.

Lay the knife horizontally and slice the bamboo shoots and mushrooms: choose the top part of the bamboo shoots, which is tender. Remove its skin and proceed into inner part. With one hand holding the material in place, slowly work your way to achieve equal slices.

Heat 1,000g water in a wok until boiled. Add the bamboo shoots and mushroom slices. Boil for 30 seconds in order to get rid of the bitterness and remove to drain.

In a dry wok, heat scallion oil (fry scallion slices in cooking oil) to 150℃ and add soy sauce (Don't get splashed!) Then add slices, stir for 20 seconds and add chicken broth.

Add other seasonings: oyster sauce, sugar, cooking wine, salt and pepper. Stir constantly and braise for another 2 to 3 minutes. Take cornstarch and add water to make starch sauce. Stir well to prevent lumping.

Pour the sauce around the ingredients in the wok, stir until even. The sauce of the dish should now be thicker. Heat for a few more seconds and the dish should be ready to serve.

Zhi Ma Hu

zhi ma hu

An impenetrable steak and 芝麻湖 (zhīmahú, sesame paste).   These are the two legacies of my host mother’s cooking that remain with me from studying abroad in Nanjing three years ago.  Whereas the petrified steak was a single tragic attempt at cooking Western style food, the black sesame porridge became a daily morning staple while I lived in this southern Chinese home.

“This is very good for your health,” my āyí(阿姨, “aunty,” host mom) introduced 芝麻湖 to me during our first breakfast together.

Healthy indeed.  If you suffer from an incorrigible rasp, a bum kidney, a buildup of gallstones, pre-mature graying and balding, constipation, fatty blood streams or a pock-marked face, a daily bowl of 芝麻湖 just might come to your rescue, according to Chinese medicine (中医, zhōngyī) tradition.

By itself, I’ll admit, sesame paste is a rather dull treat.  Moreover, it can look like tar and gravel slop mixed with baby food.  However, the real glory of 芝麻糊 comes in its experimental value. The paste, which is sold in powder form, acts like a soup broth in that it forms the base for mixing other various ingredients together.  That’s when the taste of 芝麻糊 really shines.

My host mom’s recipe for black sesame porridge shifted from time to time, but it usually came prepared mixed with a little soy milk, oatmeal, beans and sugar.  In truth, many recipes exist for whipping up a steaming bowl of 芝麻糊 without a definitive original recipe.  As for me, now left to my own devices, I usually concoct my daily porridge using soy milk powder, oatmeal, nuts and raisins.  Recently, my mom sent me a massive package of trail mix—M&M’s chocolate candies, raisins, cashews, almonds and peanuts—which I used for the porridge until I quickly blew through it all.  Definitely my favorite style of 芝麻糊 to date.

How to make a healthy bowl of 芝麻糊:

Ingredients:

-One individual package of black sesame paste powder (芝麻糊 is sold by the bag and found in any major Chinese supermarket)

-One individual package of soy milk powder (豆浆粉, dòujiāng fěn, is sold similarly in bags and also found in any Chinese supermarket)

-Oatmeal (燕麦片, yànmàipiàn)

-Peanuts (花生米, huāshēngmǐ)

-Raisins (葡萄干, pútaogān)

-Boiled water (开水, kāishuǐ)

Directions:

1.  Boil water

2.  Assemble other dry ingredients in a bowl

3.  Mix bowled water with ingredients and stir thoroughly until all the powder dissolves into a liquid

4.  吃!(chī, eat!)

Buddha’s Delight

buddah-master

A delicate recipe filled with crisp vegetables and tangy sauce, Buddha’s Delight (Luóhàn zhāi, 罗汉斋) is a scrumptious and long-standing tradition of Chinese and Buddhist cuisine. For those looking for a simple “Zen” meal to revitalize, without being bogged down with heavy, meaty ingredients, Buddha’s Delight offers a special treat.

Traditionally enjoyed by vegetarian Buddhist monks, Buddha’s Delight combines a mix-match of vegetarian and vegan ingredients.  Common ingredients include baby corn, snow peas, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, fried tofu, and noodles. If you are making the dish at home, one of the great aspects of the recipe is the ability to customize the dish to one’s personal taste: Buddha’s Delight tastes delicious with nearly any combination of fresh veggies.

buddha-pic1

 

Generally, Buddha’s Delight is made with at least 10 ingredients, but the king of Buddha’s Delight can be made with 18 ingredients. If Buddha’s Delight is made with 18 ingredients, the dish is often called Luóhàn quánzhāi, (罗汉全斋).

A couple of trademark and more unusual ingredients include dried lily buds (干黄花菜) and ginkgo nuts (白果). Preparing the ingredients is simply a matter of stir-frying and steaming. For a quick and convenient experience, pop the dish into the microwave.

huanghuacai

baiguo

Although you may not be on a monk’s spiritual quest for self-purification, the protein and vitamin rich recipe will at least be equivalent to knocking off a few laps at the gym.

Via Noobcook.com.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 15g (‘nam yee’/red fermented bean curd (豆腐乳)
  • 100g napa cabbage (大白菜) cut to small pieces
  • small piece of fat choy (fa cai/发菜)
  • 35g bean curd sticks (腐竹) soaked in water until softened, drained
  • 50g bamboo shoots (笋) sliced thinly
  • 100g dried/braised gluten (面筋) (note: you can also use mock vegetarian abalone which is made of fried gluten)
  • 100g baby corn sliced diagonally (玉米笋)
  • 1 carrot peeled and slice thinly (胡萝卜)
  • 50g snow peas (荷兰豆) gently break off the ends and pull off the “strings”
  • 3 bean curd puffs/‘tau pok’ sliced to strips (豆腐卜)
  • 15 vacuum-packed or canned ginkgo nuts (白果)
  • 15 vacuum-packed or canned lotus seeds (蓮子)
  • 30g cellophane noodles/‘tang hoon’ (粉絲) soaked in water until softened, drained

Soak the following in individual bowls of hot water for 30 mins, drain & cut to smaller pieces:

  • 10 dried Chinese mushrooms (干香菇) after soaking, discard stems before cutting
  • 10g dried black (wood ear) fungus (木耳) after soaking, trim and discard the hard portion on the centre underside of the fungus
  • 15g dried lily buds (金针 or 干黄花菜) after soaking, tie each lily bud with a knot

Sauce (mix well in a small bowl)

  • 2 tbsp vegetarian oyster flavored sauce
  • a small pinch of sugar
  • a dash of white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Directions

Directions (Stove-Top Recipe) 

  1. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry chopped garlic & ginger until fragrant. Then add nam yee and mash it to smaller pieces with the spatula.
  2. Add cabbage and stir fry till softened (a few minutes).
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the tang hoon) together with Sauce (A) and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil then cover with lid and let the vegetables simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Anytime the water runs dry, you can top up with hot water or stock.
  4. When the vegetables are cooked and the water is reduced, add tang hoon and stir briefly to allow the tang hoon to absorb the sauce.

Directions (Microwave Recipe)

  1. Add cabbage in the casserole with 50ml water. Cover with lid and microwave on high (900 watts) for 5 minutes, or until the cabbage withers. Set aside the cooked cabbage in a plate.
  2. When the casserole has cooled, discard water and wipe it dry with paper towel. Add cooking oil, garlic, ginger and nam yee. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 2  minutes. Use a spatula to mash the nam yee.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and 50ml water. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir to coat the ingredients evenly with the sauce.
  4. Prepare the sauce by mixing the ingredients listed in (A) with 2 tbsp water in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the ingredients and stir thoroughly to coat the ingredients evenly with the sauce. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until all the ingredients are cooked.

For more information about the recipe for this dish, go to Noobcook.com.