Careers     Rental Application     Tenant Login     Call Us:   702-376-7379

Month: June 2009

Finding The Right Las Vegas Property Manager

Finding the right Las Vegas Property Manager could mean the difference in your property being rented and maintained or sitting vacant and costing you money.  Even though most property management companies in Las Vegas offer the same services, not all companies follow through with their services.  I get several calls a week from real estate investors stating their property managers aren’t providing monthly accounting statements, rent money isn’t arriving on time or at all and there is no communication.  This is why our clients have access to their account via a link to our property management software, we automatically deposit all rent monies by the 10th of the month and we always keep our clients updated on the status of their property.

Another key aspect in property management is properly screening tenants.  Unfortunately, most property managers never even meet the tenant until they are signing the lease or picking up the keys.  They choose the tenants based on the information they receive on the credit reports, criminal background check, employment check, rental history and reference checks.  An area that is commonly over looked in the screening process by property managers is interviewing potential tenants.  Sitting down for 15-20 minutes can tell you alot about someone and is just another factor in screening a potential tenant.  Being a former City of Henderson Police Officer, I have years of experience interviewing subjects and I rely on my experience when I sit down and interview potential tenants.  I feel my experience makes me the ideal Property Manager to find the best tenant for your investment property.

So if you just purchased an investment property in Las Vegas and need a Property Manager or looking to replace your current Property Manager, give us a call at 702.376.7379 and I will be happy to go over our services.  We are available 7 days a week for all your Property Management needs.

Las Vegas Short Sale Problems: Sellers, Help Your Agent

Recently, I was very pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Countrywide (now known as Bank of America since the acquisition) regarding one of my Las Vegas Short Sale files. Usually, the communications goes in one direction, with me doing all the calling. The bank negotiator needed some updated information on the file, namely, a 2008 tax return and an updated worksheet detailing the monthly financial obligations of the sellers.  The negotiator gave me a deadline of 6 days to get her the information.

I left a voicemail and emailed my sellers about the information the bank needed and if they could fax it to me as soon as possible. It so happens that my sellers have moved out of State, so communication is anything but immediate. Knowing this might be a problem, I emailed the negotiator that I would do my best to get the info but we might need a couple more days to get them everything as a weekend was going to fall within the 6 day period.  As a show of good faith, I emailed all the information I had on hand to the bank and explained I was working on the balance.

On the following Monday, my assistant received an email from the negotiator stating she was missing some items. It was obvious that she did not read my previous email, so we fired off another message stating we were working on getting the info and would need a couple of more days. We also sought clarification of one item in particular, and asked her to explain it, and of course, help gain a delay in the deadline.

The next day, we get an email stating she cancelled the file and we would now have to start all over. Luckily, I complained to a supervisor that is was ridiculous to cancel the file when we were actively working to get the requested info. Sure, that negotiator gets a file off her desk, but now it goes on to someone else’s, only this time, a lot of work which was previously done will have to be needlessly repeated.

I could rant all day about this bank and person (the negotiator) who should have employed some common sense when evaluating a deadline, but this simply illustrates the challenges Las Vegas short sale agents have to overcome on a daily basis. I will not let this setback stop me, but it is a very stark reminder that we cannot get these deals closed without the cooperation of our sellers. The banks make us wait around for weeks and than out of the blue we have gather time sensitive information. Failure to do say may have significant consequences. As this situation demonstrated, sellers must stay in contact with us at all times and be ready to produce information as needed.

Las Vegas Agents: Why Are You Paying Franchise Fees?

Is it necessary to hang your Las Vegas Real Estate License with a franchise company like a Century 21?  I thought so.  When I got into the business back in 2001, I hung my license with a Century 21 franchise in Henderson, Nevada.  I really didn’t realize the cost of doing business at a franchise like Century 21 until I received my first closing check.  Being a new agent, I was on a 50/50 split but I didn’t realize I lost an additional 6% for the franchise fee.  How is that a 50/50 split?  After a few more closings, I sat down and looked at my options.  Was I really receiving a benefit hanging my license at a franchise like Century 21?  Was it really worth 6% on every transaction I closed just to hang my license at a brand name real estate company?

Maybe a few years ago it did make sense to hang your real estate license with a franchise like Century 21 but in today’s real estate market, it makes no sense.  The shift to the Internet has leveled the playing field in the real estate industry.  Buyers are using the Internet to search for homes and sellers are using it to find a real estate agent who can sell their home.  This is why I don’t understand why a Las Vegas Real Estate Agent would hang their license at a franchise that charges 6% for every transaction they close like a Century 21.

Let’s look at another example of why it doesn’t make sense.  Las Vegas home prices peaked in June 2006 with a median price of $315K and currently the median home price is $141K.  The average real estate commission in today’s real estate market is $4,230 compared to $9,450 in 2006.  Anyone that loses that kind of income is going to notice a serious hit to their pocket book.  With that kind of loss of income, why would you keep paying the same fees you were paying in 2006?  Your fees are still the same but your income isn’t.

In today’s Las Vegas Real Estate Market, if you are going to hang your real estate license at a real estate brokerage, you better be receiving something of value.  Whether it be low monthly licensing fee, real estate leads or a generous split, it needs to make financial sense.  The cost of doing business has not decreased, so every dime you can cut from your expenses is very important.

Every dollar you make from your real estate business is very important and to give away a few hundred dollars per closing just to be associated with a brand name company is not worth it.  Like I said earlier, I hung my license for over 4 years with a Century 21 Franchise that charged me a franchise fee on every transaction I closed.  I must have given away over $10K dollars during that 4 year period and for what.  Since I started my real estate brokerage, Shelter Realty, Inc., I never had a client tell me they wouldn’t work with me because I wasn’t associated with a brand name real estate company.

So back to my original question, why are you giving away a few hundred dollars in franchise fees on every transaction just to be associated with a brand name brokerage?

If you are a Las Vegas real estate agent whose interested in joining our real estate team, we have opportunities for you.  For more information, fill out the form on our Las Vegas Real Estate Career page or call us at 702.376.7379.

New Law to Protect Las Vegas Rental Tenants When Home is in Foreclosure

New Law to Protect Las Vegas Rental Tenants When Home is in Foreclosure

Renting a Las Vegas Home can be very scary in today’s real estate market.  With so many homes going into foreclosure, it’s hard to know if the home you are renting could be next. Many times, renters find out the home they are renting foreclosed after the fact which doesn’t give them much time to find a new home to rent, pack and move.  Well now there is good news for renters in Las Vegas. The US Government just passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

The “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009” became law on May 20, 2009.  It included provisions to protect tenants from eviction as a consequence of a foreclosure affecting the property being rented.  The new law requires tenants be given 90-days notice prior to having to vacate, and allows them to stay through the remainder of their lease, if the home will continue to be a rental property.  The protections of this law apply only to “bona fide” tenants – who have a written contract, the lease was the result of an arms-length transaction, and the rent is not substantially less than the fair market rent for the property. Under any conditions, tenants may still be evicted if they violate the lease terms.  These provisions expire on December 31, 2012.

With the passing of the “Helping Families Ave Their Homes Act of 2009” renters can feel a little more at ease if they get the bad news that the home they are renting has foreclosed. They will have ample time to get their affairs in order and locate a new Las Vegas home to rent.

If you are looking for a home to rent in Las Vegas, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 and we can assist you in finding a home for rent.

Why Aren’t There Loan Programs for Foreign Investors?

Call me crazy but I don’t understand why there aren’t any lending programs for Foreign Investors.  Right now in Las Vegas, home prices are at historic lows and it’s drawing the interest of real estate investors from all over the world.  I get numerous emails and phone calls every day from people outside the United States inquiring about Las Vegas Home prices and the process of buying a home in Las Vegas.  Unfortunately, I have to inform them that if they don’t have cash for the entire purchase, they won’t be buying an investment property in Las Vegas.

Doesn’t real estate play an important role in the economy?  I think we all know the answer to that question is an emphatic “Yes”!  So why aren’t there Loan Programs for Foreign Investors?  Many of these large Banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America could easily create Loan Programs for Foreign Investors that required Foreign Investors to put down at least 30%, open a bank account in the US and anything else they would need to lower their risk.  In most real estate markets like Las Vegas, home prices have pretty much bottomed out thus minimizing the risk for the Banks if the Foreign Investor defaulted, especially if they required 30% down.

Creating loan programs for Foreign Investors will benefit local real estate markets and the economy in several ways.

  1. More buyers will enter the local real estate markets absorbing many of the foreclosures that are plaguing neighborhoods.
  2. Requiring a minimum of 30% down will generate a large cash infusion for banks, increasing their ability to lend money.
  3. It will generate much needed tax revenues for local and state governments.

I am sure we could list numerous reasons as to why there should be loan programs for Foreign Investors but what I want to know is “why aren’t there any loan programs for Foreign Investors.”  What am I missing?

Las Vegas Real Estate Market is an Investor’s Dream

Anyone that is following the Las Vegas Real Estate Market is aware that home prices are at historic lows. Due to the fact that Las Vegas has been leading the nation in foreclosures, Banks and Lenders have been placing homes on the market far below market value which is driving down home prices. Even though many Las Vegas Homes are selling above list price, the fact they are priced so low is still causing home values to fall.  This trend could continue as foreclosures are still prevalent in the Las Vegas Valley.

With such great deals to be had, Investors are flocking to Las Vegas just like they did in 2004 and 2005 but the big difference is the price of the homes.  If an Investor purchased a home in 2005 and rented it, chances are their mortgage payment was higher than the amount of rent they collected.  In today’s real estate market, you can find great deals on homes that will net you positive cash flow.  We currently have several Property Management accounts where our Landlords are cash flowing over $400 a month.  That just wasn’t possible in 2005 unless you had put down a size-able down payment which really defeats the purpose of investing.

Even with the amount of rental homes hitting the Las Vegas Real Estate Market, rental rates have not fallen as demand is so high.  So many Las Vegas Homeowners have lost their homes and have no choice but to rent.  It will take years before they can buy a home again due to changes in lending guidelines and many won’t buy a home again due to the traumatic experience of losing their previous home.

If you are thinking about buying a Las Vegas Investment Property and want to know rental rates for a particular area, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Las Vegas Short Sale Specialist

I am sure you hear many Las Vegas Real Estate Agents calling themselves a Short Sale Specialist.  Short Sales have become very prevalent in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market as many homeowners now owe more than their home is worth.  With the rapid decrease in home values, Las Vegas Real Estate Agents are trying to capitalize on this niche by calling themselves a Short Sale Specialist.  So what makes a real estate agent a short sale specialist?  Is it a few successful short sale transactions or maybe listing a few short sales?

Unfortunately that’s not the case.  Short Sales require a real estate agent that is experienced in marketing the home, obtaining an offer at or near market value, negotiating with the lender or lenders on the sellers behalf, coordinating with other lien holders and at the same time, keeping the buyer’s agent informed so their buyer doesn’t walk away due to the length of the transaction.  Some might say it isn’t necessary to obtain an offer at market value but if you are representing the seller, it is definitely in their best interest to get the highest offer possible.  This could be the difference in the Lender requiring the seller to hold an unsecured note or not.

Knowing the intricacy of the short sale process, Paul Rowe with Team Sena can be definitely called a Las Vegas Short Sale Specialist.  Paul’s entire responsibility is to represent our clients on the sale of their homes even though they owe more on the home than it’s worth.  He explains the entire short sale process and the importance of consulting with an Accountant and/or Real Estate Attorney in regards to the legal and tax implications of a short sale transaction.  He has been handling short sales for Team Sena for over a year now and has had great success.

If you are thinking of selling your Las Vegas Home and you owe more than it is worth, give Paul Rowe with Team Sena a call at 702.376.0088 or complete the contact form to the right.  If you have questions about the short sale process, check out our “Frequently Asked Questions on Short Sales”. Don’t wait till it’s too late, call us today!