Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May 8th 2007, Tampa, Fl.
Remember a few years ago when everywhere you went you would hear people talking about all the Real Estate deals they were making money on and about how excited they are about their next deal? Well, today if you listen you hear people talking about what on earth am I going to do with all this Real Estate. As a Realtor and Real Estate investor myself, I'm facing the same questions. Realtor's should step up to the plate and give solid advice to thier clients thinking about walking away from deposits or how to manage being stuck in a property with either negative or no cash flow. Sure, we stand to lose some immediate commissions if the right thing to do is to walk away from the deposit and not close but if handled correctly we could also gain the loyality of a life long client.
One of the best ways to help investors stay afloat in this market is to generate income from vacant properties. Vacant Properties don't sell as fast and usually sell for a lower price. So, I suggest investors put a little money in painting the house with warm colors and furnishing the property. Then offer the home on a short term rental basis. The home will show better with furniture and furnished short term rentals are in demand right now. Also, when the home is decorated and furnished it makes it an easier tenant transition because they can move right in and out without having to move alot of furniture. How do you decide if you should spend the money to decorate and furnish the home? Just calculate the average days on market in your area and times that by your monthly carrying cost to arrive at an amount that you would spend if the home doesn't sell. Then take that money and furnish the home. This will allow you to weather the slow market and ease the negative cash flow if the home goes unsold after six months and beyond. The bonus is that you can also use the property when it is vacant for a vacation home or barter it to business cleints and or friends. Went it comes time to sell the home you can also recapture some of your furniture investment with a higher price by selling the home fully furnished and move in ready. This might not be the best fit for every investment property but it is definitely something one should look at, especially if the investment home is located in or near a vacation destination or is a condo.

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