Real Estate Negotiation – 7 Best Strategies

An important part of our job as Realtors is to help our clients negotiate for the best deal on a house. Your confidence and professionalism in this area will make your service memorable to your clients. Here are some strategies to help you guide your clients through the negotiation process.

1. Constantly re-establish trust.

Establishing trust between the parties is the most important strategy in any negotiation. Buyers and sellers know that the other party has interests that are in conflict with theirs. They begin with a certain amount of wariness of each other. It is valuable to establish rapport quickly. Show them that you and your clients will be reasonable to work with. Here are some ways for your clients to establish common ground:

Communicate that they have a common hobby, the same type of job, moved here from the same area, went to the same college, have similar children’s needs, or other relatedness.

Present evidence that your clients are qualified to buy the property.

If your buyer works for a well-known company, this may increase the seller’s trust.

Never delay your counteroffers. Show respect for the seller’s time.

Communicate that the buyer appreciates the home.

Begin the negotiation by establishing rapport. Then continue to reinforce it throughout the closing process. I have noticed that buyers are often reluctant to show that they like the house. They believe that an aura of disinterest will help their negotiation. I recall a transaction in which the buyers met the seller, and expressed how much they liked the house. During the negotiation the seller had multiple offers to choose from. Their offer was selected. The buyers’ encounter with the seller, and openness about how they felt, gave them an edge. Also, they were real people to the seller, while the other offers were just paper. The seller trusted them to close the deal.

2. Don’t get negative feelings involved.

While trust is the single most important factor in a negotiation, ego is the most destructive. Many times I have seen buyers include notes with their offers. They point out faults and deficiencies, and explain why the home is not worth the price. I guarantee that these buyers paid a premium. The point is, never run down the sellers’ home. This will bring their feelings to the table. And negative feelings are an unnecessary hurdle to have to overcome. If you have the opportunity, compliment the sellers’ house, decorating and gardens. Don’t forget that their children are always above average, and their pets are practically human. During the negotiation, anchor your offer price to market data.

3. Play on the Same Team.

It is important that you stay on the same team as your clients. A united front is a strong negotiating position. This may not be the way things really are. The wife may love the house, but the husband wants to negotiate the price. You may not approve of some of the terms of the offer. If you reveal a break in your ranks, the sellers will consider your position weaker.

4. Keep a Grain of Salt.

A healthy skepticism is a good thing in negotiation. Not everything you are told is true. How many times have you heard that the contract has to be in this quarter, or the price is going up? Does the 1% bonus for contract this week mean that you have to rush your offer in? Is the price really firm? Proposals such as these show you what is important to the seller. The seller may want close quickly and for full price, but, on the other hand, the seller may want to close, period. I can think of many times when I thought the buyer’s offer would never work, and yet, they got their terms.

5. Understand Special Needs.

A big part of negotiation is subtle. Little things make a big difference. Sometimes good deals go off track because of a difference in the style or personality of the parties. A misperception of the required tone can lead to a decline in trust. Some examples:

Slower Pace – The sellers were a couple in their 90’s. Since they did not leave the house, the buyers met them several times. The buyers took extra time to sit down and talk, and formed a strong bond.

Holy Ground – The sellers had a small grave for their dog on the property, which they were very sensitive about. The buyers realized this, and sent word that they would leave it in place.

For the Birds – The sellers had numerous bird feeders on the property. The buyers keyed in on this, and offered to continue feeding the birds.

Get a Grip – The sellers’ agent tended to give wrong information, did not handle details well, and was untrustworthy. In order to preserve the buyer’s trust, it was necessary to double check everything, handle paperwork, and watch deadlines.

6. Keep private things private.

Buyers may have some issues that should be kept private. They may have just sold their house, and need to act fast. They may need to start kids in school. They may be in the middle of a divorce. They may have an interest rate that is about to expire. Not one of these pieces of information will get them a better deal on a house. In fact, they all indicate that they are under pressure. Your buyers should be perceived as folks who are well qualified, who truly appreciate this home, and who can be trusted to close.

7. Get good information.

Here are some questions to ask before you and your clients compose an offer:

How is the market in general? How are other actives and recent sales priced?

How long has the home been on the market? Have there been price changes?

Did the house sell recently? What was the price?

Is there a time deadline that must be met? Would a pre or post lease be desirable?

What is the appraisal district value? The taxes? The HOA dues?

Is a disclosure available? A property inspection? A survey?

Are there any offers expected, or on the table now?

Price is just one consideration in the negotiation for a home. Other terms, such as financing, close date, repairs, or possession date may be just as important. Negotiating for a house requires skill in giving and taking information, and in communicating to the seller that your clients are the best buyers for their property.

Wholesaling Real Estate – Is It Really That Easy and Profitable?

I have had countless people ask me why on earth I would waste my time making  real   estate  investing courses if I was doing so well as a  real   estate  investor. Believe me it has nothing to do with the money. I could make 10 times more money by just sticking to what I am good at, which is  real   estate  investing. The truth is that I have always truly enjoyed teaching other people about things that I know how to do. There are truly only a couple of things in the world that I am good at and they happen to be selling  real   estate , investing in  real   estate  and helping other people to get started as investors.

I would bet a vast majority of you would want to do the same thing if you saw just how awesome  real   estate  wholesaling truly is.  Real   estate  wholesaling has huge so many huge advantages over the traditional forms of  real   estate  investing. I had never heard of  real   estate  wholesaling up until a few years ago, after hearing about how easy it was I must admit I was a bit skeptical. You know the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, that is exactly what I thought of  real   estate  wholesaling at first.

How on earth could someone make that much money without the need for cash or credit? The main reasons that people are interested in  real   estate  investing is the large profit potential. This high profit is achieved because of the large numbers that investors deal with. Think for a minute, a 10% profit on a $200,000 home is $20,000. As a  real   estate  wholesaler you simply need to find a motivated seller who will sell at 70% of the fair market value. Then find an investor or retail buyer who will pay 80% of fair market value (which is still a great deal).

With traditional forms of investing you would have to buy the home for 70% of value, then sell the home for 80% of value. The problem with the traditional method is you need to have money to buy the the home in the first place. To get money to buy the home you need credit and usually a down payment. This leaves many people stuck dead in their tracks. Not  real   estate  wholesalers though.

A  real   estate  wholesaler knows that you don’t need to buy the home, you just need to put the home under contract. Once you have the home under contract (purchase agreement), you simply sell the contract to the end buyer. Instead of selling homes, wholesalers sell contracts. The great part is you do not need financing or credit to get a home under contract. Can you see how easy  real   estate  wholesaling is? You sell contracts instead of homes, it is as simple as that.

Real Estate Market In India

With property boom in India spreading across all directions,  real   estate  business is touching a new height every day. Additionally, the growth of this sector depends on the policies adopted by the government to make investments mainly in the economic and industrial sector easier. The new stand chosen by Indian government in regard to foreign direct investment (FDI) policies has inspired confidence an increasing number of countries to make investment in Indian properties.

India has displaced the United States as the second-most suitable destination for FDI in the world. As the investment scenario is changing, India has attracted more than four times foreign investment at US$ 8.96 billion during the first half of 2006-07 fiscal, as against US$ 3.38 billion during the corresponding period of 2005-06. And this achievement is making India amongst the “dominant host countries” for FDI in Asia and the Pacific (APAC).

The positive point of view of Indian government is the key factor behind the unexpected rise of the Indian  real   estate  market. The  real   estate  sector is the second largest employer after agriculture sector in India. Today, this growing sector is witnessing development in all areas, such as retail, residential and commercial in metro cities of India that include Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi & NCR. Easier access to bank loans and higher earnings are some of the primary basis behind the sudden jump in  real   estate  sector.

Why Invest In Indian  Real   Estate ?

Owing to vigorous boom in  real   estate  sector, property in India has become a dream for every potential investor who is looking forward to dig profits. All are eyeing for a share in Indian property market for a variety of reasons:

o The Indian growing economy is on a continuous rise with 8.1 per cent increase witnessed in the last financial year. The sudden boom in Indian economy increases purchasing power of its people and creates demand for  real   estate  sector.

o India is producing an estimated number of 2 million new graduates from various universities during this year, which is creating a demand for 100 million square feet of official and industrial space.

o Fortune 500 companies are in good presence and other reputed companies will attract more companies to initiate their operational bases in India thus arising more demand for corporate space.

o Investments in  real   estate  sector of India are paying huge dividends. More than 70 percent of investors belonging to foreign countries are making profits and another 12 percent are breaking even.

o Aside from IT, ITES and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), India has shown its expertise in sectors like pharmaceuticals, auto-components, apparels, chemicals and jewellery where it can match the best in the world. These positive inherent characteristics of India are definitely going to attract more foreign investors in the near future.

Real Estate Business In India

A crucial factor behind over all development of any country is considered to be mostly depending on the accelerated growth rate in  real   estate  sector. Dynamic patterns of using land and its multi diverse practices have enabled the economic growth more vibrant than the decade went past. Both commercial and residential properties are more in functional practice to make rapid economic growth of the country easier. Further the development of commercial properties has played a significant role in our GDP growth in recent times.

Commercial property is like any type of property that is commercially used to make profit. The central point of commercial property is targeted towards economic and business activities. Commercial property is always meant for business purposes and revenue generation. Commercial property is a  real   estate  specially designed for commercial, industrial and institutional activities.

A wide variety of  real   estates  included into commercial properties that are specially used for business and industrial activities. All types of apartments, office buildings, commercial centers, shopping malls, warehouses, institutional buildings and distribution facilities come under the category of commercial properties.  Real   estates  used for scientific research and development activities are also considered as commercial properties.

There are several major elements responsible for such mushrooming growth in commercial  real   estate  sector. Service sector with high growth rate and IT sector, increasing multi-level economic activities and higher public-private participation in industrial sectors are some of the basic reasons behind booming commercial properties in India.

Led by mushrooming information technology industry and organized retail, Growth in commercial office space requirement is increasing day by day. For example, Information technology (IT) and ITES alone is estimated to require 150 million square feet across urban India by 2010. In a similar way, the organized retail industry is likely to require an additional 220 million square feet of land by 2010.

Jamaica Real Estate is a Solid Investment Despite World Economic Crisis

“Uncertainty in global financial markets has created a surge for more solid investments” says Edwin Wint, President of the Realtors Association of Jamaica. Mr. Wint goes on to say in a recent press release that, “real estate is a stable and concrete investment, and the global economic fallout is increasing demand for property in Jamaica.” The Association recently staged its First Annual Expo under the theme, “Secure Your Future with Real Estate”. The publishers of the Jamaica Real Estate Guide were there providing their valuable resource for all homebuyers and investors of Jamaican Real Estate.

Over on the North Coast of the Island, developments are abound with Solis The Palmyra Resort & Spa offering 277 apartments and 11 villas at prices ranging from US$500,000 for a studio to US$3.5 million for a beachfront villa. There is also the Colony at Half Moon with plans for development of 30 private villas. Richmond Development in St. Ann offers a World Class Residential Community with units starting at US$195,000. These developments have been marketing heavily to overseas clients who are looking for a tropical getaway that is in close proximity to the U.S. There are more than 300 International flights coming into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay weekly and there are no restrictions to foreign ownership of Real Estate in Jamaica. In addition to easier access to beachfront property in Jamaica than in the U.S., Jamaica Real Estate is quite an attractive investment.

On the financial side of things, latest numbers from the Planning Institute of Jamaica in their report of Mortgages issued in Jamaica from NHT, NHDC, Building Societies, Life Insurance Companies and Credit Unions indicate that the volume and value of mortgages disbursed declined. The total number of mortgages disbursed fell by 8.2% to 8,553 during January -September 2008 compared with January – September 2007. This is a turnaround compared with the continued annual increases recorded in volume and value of mortgages disbursed. The number of mortgages disbursed went from 10, 556 year ending December 2006 to 12, 469 year ending December 2007 according to the report. The value of disbursed mortgages amounted to $31,595 million for the year ending December 2007, this compared with the $25,563.9 million disbursed for the year ending December 2006.

INFORMATION, INFORMATION, INFORMATION

In order to make an educated decision when investing in any commodity, you need information. It is no different for Jamaica Real Estate. The Jamaica Real Estate Guide aims to be a friendly and informative partner for prospective homebuyers and investors. The latest issue which was featured at the Realtors Association Expo 2008 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel on November 23rd has an article about Mortgage basics, a handy mortgage worksheet and a checklist of items for a loan application. Additionally, readers will find the usual delivery of full colour listings by Real Estate brokers and developers who promote their listings actively in this handy resource guide.

The Jamaica Real Estate Guide which was first published in 2006 started with the mandate of being a partner to the Jamaican Homebuyer, arming them with information about local real estate trends and the home buying process. With the demand increasing for Jamaica Real Estate from the local population and the Diaspora, so has the readership of the guide. The publishers of the Jamaica Real Estate Guide responded to demand by increasing the distribution of the magazine from 3,000 to 20,000 copies in print per issue. In addition, the website was redesigned to allow for free online viewing of the magazine. Response to the new website feature has been great with downloads coming from Countries like Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark and of course the USA, Canada, our very own Jamaica and other neighbouring islands.

Your Feng Shui Guide to Real Estate

Feng Shui doesn’t only guide you to harbor positive life force inside a home; it is also capable of helping you find that prospective parcel of land to build a house on. Having the right property is as important as building a house that promotes the optimal flow of Chi. However, it is best to start harboring positive Chi outside your own home.

In order to find the best property to build a house that can hold a bright future, Feng Shui experts say that it is crucial to look at the landscaping of the area you are interested in. It is important that the yard of your prospective property is big and open. This type of landscape welcomes and embraces the flow of Chi rather than closed yards. It is also helpful if there are healthy trees and there are creatures of nature that live on it such as squirrels and birds. This is a positive connotation and indicates that positive life forces are favored rather than negative energy.

However, when looking for a property it is important that the yard has to be as big in the back as it is in the front. It is also essential that the yard is not bigger than the house itself. This also applies for everything inside the house. Proportionality and moderation in Feng Shui is a good indication for fostering positive life forces.

When looking for a property, you have to look out for straight lines. Though straight lines are neat to look at, it is not good when it comes to the principles of Feng Shui. This is because straightened lines allow a rush of energy into one single direction and it can come crashing into your home which can be disastrous. A wide and winding path is a better option as it allows the steady flow of energy inside your house. But if there is no way around straight lines, you can put plants and other garden ornaments to break up the straight path.

The trees surrounding the house should not overshadow the structure itself. Trees that block the light from enveloping a house can also block the flow of necessary Chi. Though this situation can be corrected for a certain amount, a property should be naturally conducive to Chi.

Respectively, if you buy a property that already has your dream house on it, it is important that the house itself already be designed to naturally receive Chi. Such factors as the design of the house and the direction it faces is important. Each of the rooms of the house should also be situated in the correct places according to the family and this will help in the promotion of the flow of Chi.

Lastly, in Feng Shui, it is essential that the location of your property is optimal for receiving the flow of positive life forces. You can find all these in Tampa and more. Tampa itself is already a great location to start with, with all the natural resources that abound the area. There is sun, there is water, there are trees, there are healthy wildlife, and a refreshing breeze.

The landscapes in Tampa homes are vast and all houses face a majestic view of the city from all angles. Whatever the tips Feng Shui can give you to find that perfect place to foster success, happiness, and contentment can be found in one corner of the world, a great place called Tampa Bay, Florida.

Real Estate Investing the Easy Way

Real estate investing can take many forms.  If you work 50-plus hours a week, you likely don’t want to spend your spare time searching for, selecting, negotiating, financing and managing real estate properties.  Here’s a simple investment guide to real estate profits, how to invest without the hassles.  Or, you might say, how to speculate the easy way.

Picture April of 2009, and you are willing to bet that real estate prices are low and will not go much lower.  This basic investment guide will show you how to invest and get in on the action, with little time or effort required, whenever you think you see opportunity in real estate.

First, if you don’t have a brokerage account, open one with a major discount stock brokerage firm.  Then, after you have deposited some money, you are ready for action.  You will be buying shares of stock in real estate ETFs.  These are simply index funds whose stock price tracks the stocks of companies in the commercial real estate business.

One of the greatest advantages of real estate investing is financial leverage.  For example, some folks buy real estate properties putting very little money down.  They borrow heavily.  With ETFs you can get financial leverage without personally borrowing anything.

When you invest (or speculate) in these ETFs that trade like any other stock, you simply buy and sell on your computer or over the phone in your brokerage account.  A transaction can cost as little as $10.  That’s your total cost to buy or sell this real estate investment.

Here’s an example of how to invest, how it works.  If you want to be a bit cautious, you could buy shares in a real estate ETF with the stock symbol (IYR).  It does not employ financial leverage.  In late 2007-early 2008 it sold for $70 a share.  In March of 2009 it could be bought for $25.

If you want more action you could go with a real estate ETF with the symbol (URE), which employs leverage.  In late 2007-early 2008 it also sold for about $70 a share.  In March of 2009, a bit over a year later, it sold for $2.50.  Leverage works both ways, to magnify losses as well as gains.  Let’s talk about URE, which I personally bought at $4.25, $2.65, and $1.85.

URE gave investors plenty of action.  Those who paid $70 for it had lost their shirt a little over a year later.  The upside potential could be a rocket ride, if the markets and real estate prices turn around.  In terms of how to invest, it works like this…

If you buy 1000 shares at $2, it will cost about $10 in commissions to make the simple transaction.  You will have $2000 invested.  If URE were to go back to $70, you could sell at a cost of about $10, and you would then have $70,000.  Of course, you can sell anytime, at any price.

Are there any guarantees that you will make money?  This simple investor guide wants to make one thing crystal clear.  When you invest or speculate, forget about profit guarantees, unless the government backs up the investment.  

First Time Homebuyer’s Guide

Are you ready to purchase a new home? Do you have any idea where to find the best residential houses that your money could buy? Do you know all the process involved in home buying? Do you know how to go about the financing? Find out more…

Buying a new home can be very exciting. However, if it is your first time, you should know several things before taking the opportunity. You do not want to end up regretful, considering the fact that mistakes involved in home buying is preventable in the first place.

So if you are a first-time home buyer, fret not. Here’s your simple guide to home buying.

Know your financial standing

People do not buy their homes out of an impulse. Buying a house involves great deal of money. If you want to have one, you should have looked into your budget or considered your financing options ahead of time. Any person should be financially prepared when purchasing a new home to avoid payment problems in the future.

House selection

Primarily, you need to buy a house that fits your budget. One of the best practices you can try is getting yourself pre-qualified, especially if you are planning to get a loan. When you do this, lenders will try to analyze your information and give their opinion (whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan). They also include an estimated amount of the loan that could be possibly granted. This amount should help you determine the range of home prices that you could afford. At any rate, if loaning is not an option for you, your available funds are enough to determine the house that you should get

Learning the different costs involved in purchasing a home

As a buyer, you must know these things so that you can be prepared with the payment. Not all of the costs are amortized monthly. Some of them are actually paid outright like the down payment and inspection costs. You must also know them to determine if the price offered to you is reasonable. Knowing all this things will put you in a good position in case of negotiations.

Finding a reputable  real   estate  agent

There may be times when you cannot do house shopping on your own. Therefore, you can find a good  real   estate  agent to help you out on this area. In fact, they can help you understand the market conditions, guide you to learning house prices, process all the paperwork and assist you in finding the houses that meet your preference.

Remember, choose agents that are licensed. You as the client should also learn to select the best one out of the many licensed agents. Do not settle for the first  real   estate  agent who says they are willing to help. Always screen them and do background checks.

Consider your financing options

If you do not have enough cash to cover the whole amount, then it is time to shop around for mortgage plans. However, there are certain things that could help you determine how much money you need to borrow. Concurrently, determine how much you are willing to shell out for the down payment. The bigger it is, the lesser you need to loan. You also have to consider you income. Can you pay the loan back without sacrificing your other expenses? Are you comfortable paying it on a monthly basis? Therefore, start shopping now and visit various lending institutions to seek guidance about financing. Then, get pre-qualified or pre-approved.

An Investors Guide To Buying Real Estate in Greece

Greece has traditionally been a popular holiday destination but with relatively low interest in property investments. This situation is changing with recent interest from its European neighbors.The recent focus on Greece after the 2004 Olympics evoked worldwide interest thus pushing up tourism and demand for housing. With its serene coast line, affordable cost of living, an enviable history and culture, Greece is an enticing place to invest. The renewed interest in tourism has also brought with it a rising need for rental. The best part is that compared to its popular European neighbors like Spain, Portugal and France it is a better investment destination.

An overview of the property market

With an undervalued property market there could not be a better time to invest into Greece and it gets better depending on the choice of location which can give returns up to 20-25%. Wide arrays of properties are available but the ones on the main islands like Crete, Corfu and Rhodes are dearer. Choices are available between beautiful Greek traditional houses and modern suites though the location and condition of houses determine the price. Two bedroom apartments are priced from EUR89,000 to EUR355,000 and a three bed room house will cost between EUR148,000 and EUR503,000. Cheaper investments are possible if renovations can be undertaken.

Sellers Market

It is possible to drive a bargain and pick up older properties for cheaper rates but be prepared to spend a lot on repairs which can sometimes turn a nightmare. Depleted buildings with damages to sanitary lines and reconnecting electric supply could turn out more expensive than investing int a new apartment. When it comes to selling a property in Greece location is high on priority. Though it is difficult to get a property in the islands, it is easier to sell off.

Popular Locations in Greece

Mainland Greece is preferred by east Europeans and Scandinavians but the English favor investing in the islands. Crete with its rich history and tranquil landscape is most sought after location by holidaymakers but its calmness and scenic beauty is the reason why retired Europeans prefer it. The majority of property is owned by British investors and with rising rental potential, property rates have shot up by 6-10%. The mild and beautiful Peloponnese peninsula is ideal for investors a milder investment. A strong history and with a projected positive appreciation rate, prices have shot up by more than 20%. It is also attracting international interest.Greece has strong laws to protect and regulate their coastline which has resulted in kept them unexploited in spite of all the development.Air connectivity to the islands is good and getting better with flights from UK to all major islands like Crete, Rhodes and Corfu. There are direct flights from Manchester to Heraklion and also from Gatwick to Rhodes. GB airlines flights five flights from Gatwick to Heraklion.

The larger islands have well developed rental markets.The island of Peloponnese is cut off from the mainland by the canal of Corinth. This isolation is offset by other transportation channels like a motorway, railway link and the Kalamata airport. The island is dotted with sandy beaches and rugged mountains and offers warm winters and pleasant summers. Peloponnese is home to the famous Olympia, Epidaurus and Mycenae. The English are the largest group of investors as connectivity from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester to Kalmata is strong with the travel time less than 4 hrs. Older properties which can be purchased from Euro 45000, the range includes stone cottages, traditionally architected houses and villas.

Property Purchase

A lawyer with understanding and experience with Greek property procedures is recommended. Good English is an added benefit.

The purchase process

The process starts with agreeing on a price agreement and sealing it with a 10% advance followed by a pre-contract agreement signed by both parties. After all information gathering is completed the final deed of sale is signed in the front of a public notary. After paying the balance amount the owner can be transferred by registration.

Fees and Costs

Compared to other nations the tax for purchasing and registering in Greece is on the higher side. 13-15 percent of the cost of property would be paid as taxes which include transfer tax for resales, municipal tax to the local authorities, legal fees to lawyers and notaries and property registration. New buildings are charged 19 percent as Value Added Tax.

Financing

There are usually three options when it comes to financing a property. Cash, new Mortgages and re mortgaging an existing property are options for financing. Although cash is the easiest option, it is not always affordable. Mortgages for the property can be arranged by a Greek or UK lender. Giving up equity in a UK/Irish property can help purchase the Greek property in cash and thus make it an easy option. Greece has the highest interest rates as compared to its European neighbors. Lending is conservative and applicants have to furnish proof of income and rental projections are usually not considered.

Taxes in Greece

It is recommended that buyers get some taxation advice as Greek regulations are complex. Non residents may also fall into the bracket of income, wealth, inheritance and gift taxes. Since the UK/Ireland has a double taxation treaty with Greece you can be assured to escape paying tax in both countries. Acquiring a fiscal number, called the AFM is necessary to involve in any financial exchanges like property transactions, buying a vehicle or working in Greece. Holders of AFM have to file yearly tax returns irrespective of income.

Property Taxation Guidelines

To reduce speculation the Greek agencies have implemented Capital Gains tax which applies to property bought after 1st January 2006. The motive being to impose penalty on those looking for quick profit by levying it in inverse to the length of time the property is owned. The other tax for property holders is the wealth tax which is between 0.3 and 0.8 percent of the property value. Wealth tax is only levied on properties with valuation more than Euro 243,600.Apart from wealth and capital gains the others are local taxes. They take the form of direct and indirect taxes charged between .25 to .35 percent of the propertys official valuation.

Greek Economy

Greece trades chiefly with EU nations like Germany, Italy, France and also the USA in tourism, shipping, food, tobacco, textiles, mining and petroleum products. The sector growing rapidly is the service sector. Greek GDP annual growth was touching 4 percent during 2003-2005 periods which is above the European Union average and it has been performing uniformly. The introduction of reforms and funding from European Union are the top reasons for this consistent growth. The government has been working towards strengthening the labor and pension mechanism to arrest the growing unemployment, inflation and national debt.

Communications within Greece

Fixed and Mobile Telephone

The telephone market was controlled solely by the state through the Organismos Tilepikoinonion Ellados (OTE) until the markets opened up in 2002. Over the years OTE has lost market share but still controls a major chunk of the market. Though other players are coming in OTE still has a major in basic infrastructure like phone lines. Mobile phone use is substantial and pay-as-you-use cards are available at common stores but a contract phone card is only available by producing a Fiscal Number. Payphones are available in plenty.

Internet Usage

With the introduction of ADSL and Broadband, which are faster internet connections, internet use is quite popular. Larger towns and urban areas have access to high speed whereas dial-up and ISDN are readily available.

Postal

Letters, which are posted in mainland Greece, may take three days to a week to reach other European countries. The islands take longer or lesser based on their connectivity.

Investing into a property in a different country is a big decision and would require adequate research and many visits. Planning a budget and working by is advisable. It is smart to keep exit options available by studying the sellers market as property prices and situations dont remain constant. Professional opinion from a local lawyer or property consultant would be the best way to approach it. Factors like property valuation, rentals and growth potential are areas of expertise and it is best to hire the services of a proven consultant . A good understanding of the regulations for each country is also crucial before signing any purchase agreement. Be extra careful if it is a partnership or long term deal.

Moving Guide: Working with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is one of life’s most exciting and nerve wracking adventures–especially if you are a first time home buyer. There are so many things to think of, factors to consider and issues to remember. A good place to start is with your  real   estate  agent, and choosing the right agent can make all the difference in the world.

Sellers’ Agents

In most cases,  real   estate  agents are considered “seller’s agents”. In this capacity they have an agreement with the owner of the property you are interested in, and they receive a commission of the home’s final sale price.

A seller’s agent can help you find and purchase a property and may provide some of the same services as a buyer’s agent, but obviously their loyalty lies with the sellers and not with you. A seller’s agent has a duty to get the best possible deal for the seller, so always assume that any information you give a seller’s agent will be passed on to the seller.

Buyers’ Agents

A buyer’s agent’s primary objective is to get the buyer lowest price possible on the home they want. A buyer’s agent tries to find you the best possible house for the lowest possible price. Just like a seller’s agent is prohibited from giving away too much information to the buyer during the sales process, your buyer’s agent is prohibited from doing anything that will hurt your chances of getting a property for the lowest price possible.

A buyer’s agent often handles many of the tasks required to get to closing (such as inspections, helping you find a lender, tracking the progress of the loan, working with the closing attorney or agent).

Buyer’s agents are usually paid a portion of the seller’s commission fees at closing. However, a contract may state you will pay the agent a fee if you purchase a For Sale By Owner home.

Dual Agents

Sometimes you can end up with a dual agent. A dual agent is a realtor who is working as a seller’s agent for a particular property and, should you become interested in the property, serves as your buyer’s agent as well.