Shaquille O’Neal Leads The Pack with a whopping $32 million dollar estate.

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Not too recently I posted an article 14 Ways to Fail at Real Estate Investing as a New Investor and thought it covered most of the basics. As I talked with more and more investors entering foreclosure and failing to sell their properties, it dawned on me that the article needed to be updated. Here are few updates and revision that are a must read.

15. Not Understanding The Current Market. Every market is different is in some small way. In my particular market you may not be able buy at 70% minus repair costs. Does it mean 75% or 80% isnt’ a good deal? No. You could always Buy & Hold. Yes, I know it™s a foreign concept to many of us in the new Flip This House / Property Ladder era but you still create great wealth using the old Buy & Hold method.

16. Forcing The Number. As a previous ActiveRainer mentioned, “Don’t Force The Number”. If you’re buying right, i.e. 70 cents on the dollar or less… Minus Repair Costs, you should be OK in most cases. Forcing the numbers to work will lead you down the road of despair. Trust me, I’ve done it.

17. Copy. This ties in with number 8 but many fail to understand it. The copy portion is so important that I could write forever. Please note I™m not a copywriter but I do understand the importance of good selling copy vs. words on paper. Outsourcing your copywriting for your ads, business, etc can be one of the costliest expenses. Learn to do it yourself and you save a ton of cash. Stop by your local library or Borders and pick up a good book on copywriting. Email me for a recommendation.

18. Marketing. Goes hand and hand with copy. How do you market your market? How about a nice package deal. Offer a gas card, or something that™s outside of the normal œclosing assistance available. Almost every property has closing assistance in this market, spend the few extra money to get the property sold, make you money, and move on to the next. When the market changes again your marketing can change with it.

19. Selling Too High. Pricing the home too high will cost you big in carrying cost. For quick turnarounds price your property 1% to 2% below the market and you should yield higher traffic than your competition. Also because you did a great rehab and staged it the properly, it™s going to show much better than others on the market.

20. Staging. It’s a tough market out there. You need to pull out all the best weapons first. Factor in staging costs in at the beginning of you project and don’t have worry about it at the end.

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2 Responses to “Investors Going Into Foreclosure”

  1. anon says:

    Pricing 1-2% below "market value" is too high in the current environment. I think it is recognized that – at least in most markets – initial sellers’ asking prices are about 30% too high.

    If somebody purchased their property for $250k in 2004, there’s no way the property is worth $350k today unless at least $100k in improvements were made. This is the reality of today’s market.

  2. LaMont Price says:

    Sorry should have clarified that is 1 – 2% below what the market value should be. Depending on where you live, yes some homes are considerably overpriced; however, an investor buying a property at 30% below market value in an area where prices are 30% above what the market value should be is probably heading down the run of despair.


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1. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae merge forming the mega-government agency Mac Fannie.

2. Minimum down payment requirements for homebuyers is 10% (average US home price is $849,000).

3. Halliburton wins contract to develop all new homes on Mars.

4.   Radiation (mainly from cell phones, Bluetooth, WiFi, refrigerators with TV’s, etc.) is the new Mold.        

5.    Realtors rank #1  in highest and lowest paid professions.    

6.   Brick Front Homes are now illegal in 49 states except Texas.    

7.   Styrofoam Front Homes are the new fad.    

8.   1100 sq. ft  condos on the planet Mars are now selling   for $577M, air fare not included.    

9.   Wal-Mart is the largest mortgage lending company in the Milky Way.  

10.   Casey Kasem doesn’t look at day over 45.    

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Here are five programs that I give a big thumbs up.   Please post any software tools that you feel are essential.

  1. Google Desktop Search – Great tool for quickly searching your emails and/or computer files. Results are  displayed very quickly. Freeware.
  2. HandyFind – Find words or text as you type in programs that don’t allow you to use the Ctrl + F function. This  has been extremely useful for me in MS Outlook. Freeware.
  3. Snagit - Screen capture software. Snagit allows you select just the area that you need to capture. Shareware / Trail demo.
  4. Foxit PDF Editor – Great tool for editing PDF files. You can add annotations, text, markups, etc. Shareware or use Demo with small watermark
  5. PrimoPDF - Free software that allows you to quickly convert almost any file to PDF.
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Here are two  link to different formats of the Maryland Foreclosure Law SB-761 from the Maryland General Assembly website.

Fiscal Note (Displayed in PDF Format) –

Enrolled Bill Text (Displayed in PDF Format) -

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The EXIT Realty formula is pretty simple. I™ve tried to make it difficult when explaining it in the past but it™s as simple as pie. Here™s the 10/7/5 concept in plain ole English.

1. Receive a 70/30 split on commission, you get the 70%. NO DESK FEES and yes they have training. To be honest they have so much I feel like I™m always behind the eight ball.

2. Receive 10% of the revenue of any agent you sponsor into EXIT, any office. (that agent still receives their full commission)

3. Receive 7% of the revenue, when you retire, from any agent you sponsored into EXIT, yes, any EXIT office.

4. Your Beneficiary (sorry that means you™ve passed away) receives 5% of the revenue of any agent you sponsored into EXIT; yep you got it, any office.

For more information email me at

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We’ve all seen articles and TV shows show us how to succeed  in real estate investing; however, sometimes it’s more important to know what’s NOT being said.  Here are few points taken from from first hand experience.

1.   Buying a home on speculation. Many new investors buy homes based on speculation that the market will increase in value quickly. Never buy an investment property hoping the market will change; make your money when the property is purchased.

 2.   Using a Realtor or Agent that does not understand investing. Also known as the blind leading the blind. Make   sure your agent has some experience in real estate investing. More importantly, make sure they can provide accurate comparables for your local market.

 3.   Buying an investment property at 90% – 100% of the Full Market Value. Buying an investment property at or close to FMV is not sound real estate investing. Remember, closing costs could run up to 4%. Purchasing a property near 100% FMV could have you  upside down on your mortgage.

 4.   Not having a system for buying properties. If you can™t determine if it™s a good investment, is it a good investment? You must have a system or formula in place to determine if it™s a good deal. Most investors we work with use the MAO formula or something similar. Although you may not use it 100% of the time it™s a great formula for new investors to use as a reference point.

 5.   Not getting a home inspection. This one has personally cost me a ton of money when I started investing. The $150 or so you invest on a home inspection will pay for itself tens times over.

 6.   Not knowing the local or state laws. Real estate laws are constantly changing.  Let’s take  Maryland for example; it is now illegal for an investor to directly negotiate purchasing a home from a homeowner in pre-foreclosure. Many states are adapting similar practices and new laws are in the works everyday. Keeping abreast of local and state laws could save you a lot of money and save you from wearing an orange jumpsuit everyday.

 7.   Not understanding the local market. One key to real estate investing is understanding your local real estate market. A great example is Baltimore, MD. Baltimore’s a rare city where comps are block by block and sometimes only on one side of the street. Make sure you have an agent or Realtor that understands the uniqueness of your local market when looking for comparables in your area.

8.   Trying to be cheap, cheap, cheap. It’s OK to watch your budget closely but trying to cut corners will only lead to more money be forked over in the end. This one also taken from experience.  

9.   Not knowing when to use an Architect. As a new investor I would never recommend doing a full gut rehab; however, if you must, spend the extra $3000 or so, and have a qualified architect design the plans. You™ll save yourself time, money, and a trip to the county courthouse.

10.   Taking on a big job as a new investor.  As mentioned previously I personally don™t recommend doing a full gut rehab or any big real estate investing project as a newbie. Why? The bigger the job, the bigger the headache. You™ll always run into obstacles even on the smallest project. Don™t bite off more than you can chew as a new investor. Start small and work with a mentor or experienced real estate investor.

11.   Using second rate contractors. O how we love The Hook Up! Unlicensed and uninsured contractors are always ingredients for trouble. Family members are even bigger red flags, IMO. Be sure to check your contractor(s) have insurance and check the better business bureau on the company you selected.

12.   Not getting references on your contractors. Another sure fire way to drop your money in the toilet. Make sure to get references and ask to see previous work.

13.   Not managing your contractors or GC. Depending on your roll you must absolutely keep abreast of the project status and budget. If using a GC, have them report to you daily of the progress and ask for an itemized list of materials purchased. A great way to manage material cost is buy your own materials or set up an account with the local or large hardware stores.

14.   Not having any real estate investing knowledge. You should at least know the basics of real estate investing, i.e. wholesaling, short sales, pre-foreclosures / foreclosures, subject-to, lease-options, deed-in-lieu, etc. You don™t have to be an expert, just make sure you understand the concepts.

Questions? Feel free to email me at

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What was once a booming residential real estate market across the country has slowed to a trickle.

Rising mortgage rates are lowering the affordability of homes and an increase of sellers looking to cash in on the rapid price appreciation over the past few years has led to a dramatic reduction in buyers and a rapid increase in the number of homes for sale. These factors have led to too few buyers looking at too many houses, putting buyers back into the driver™s seat.

It™s a whole new world for home sellers. So, how do you make your house stand out so it will sell when sales are slow?

1. Price your home aggressively. When mortgage rates are low and buyers are chasing too few houses for sale, sellers can ask high prices and get them. Even when houses are overpriced for the market, sellers are likely to receive some offers, as buyers are often desperate to find a home that meets their needs. When things are slow, pricing is absolutely critical. But instead of pricing your home aggressively high, you should consider pricing your home no higher than the middle of the range for homes comparable to yours. And if you need to sell your home quickly, you should consider pricing your home among in the bottom 25 percent of comparable homes. Why? With few buyers chasing many homes, you need to quickly get the attention of those who are serious about buying, If your home is priced too high, you many never get buyers to even consider looking at your home.
2. Quickly cut the price if you don™t get action. Everyone wants to sell their home for as much money as possible. Nobody wants to œgive their home away. But homes that languish on the market in a slow market often are forced to make one price reduction after another, as buyers and real estate agents may begin to question why the home has been on the market for so long. In a slow market with few buyers you may want to cut the price to make the sale more quickly.
3. Finding the right agent is critical. Any agent can list your house. But when buyers are few you need a first-class real estate professional on your side. They™ll help with everything from pricing to advising you on the other 6 points in this article. Finding leading agents who outsell other agents in your home town are the type of professionals you™ll need on your side. Talk with your family, friends, and neighbors to identify the best agents in your area. Interview several “ hire the one who you believe will do the best job for you.
4. Curb appeal. After pricing, nothing will bring more potential buyers into your home than a house with outstanding curb appeal. Take a walk down your street with a critical eye. How does your home stack up from the outside? If it doesn™t stand out from the rest then it™s time to get to work.
5. Consider home staging. The quickest way to add home value to a home for sale is a fresh coat of paint. But after you do that, you may want to consider home staging. Either do it yourself or hire an outside firm to do so. A home staging professional will come in and take away some furnishings and rearrange others to make your home show better. When home sales were going gangbusters this was a technique used mostly by those selling high-end homes. When things get slow and homeowners need to sell, more people find home staging professionals to help them prepare their home to make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
6. Fix stuff. The loose railing. The broken pane of glass. The closet door off of its track. The leaky faucet. They all need fixing. If you don™t have the time or skill, find a handyman to go through your home and make repairs. Also, consider replacing the old roof that looks like it might leak, the antique furnace, and the stained rug. When there are few homes on the market, sellers sometimes offer cash at closing to repair the roof or for the stained rug. With so many homes on the market, buyers can afford to only bid on those that are in move-in condition. Fix what needs repair before listing your house.
7. Offer flexible terms. Flexibility is the key now. You™d like to close in two months, but the buyers might be in a hurry and need to close sooner. Find a way to make it happen. You were planning to take the appliances to your new home, but the buyers make a bid near the asking price “ including the appliances. Leave the washer and dryer behind (and then go find a store that offers no payments on appliance purchases for a year). And for those items that have deep sentimental value, make sure they are removed prior to any showings. Competition between home sellers is high “ you don™t want to lose the only buyer who has looked at your home in a month.

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Are you looking for preforeclosures but scared of the new  Maryland SB761 law? Use a Realtor and kiss your worries goodbye. Just fill in the information on the link below to receive your Free list of Baltimore and Prince Georges County preforeclosures free for one month. Most of our leads  are received  within a 24 – 72 hours of being filed with the courthouse. Get the jump on the competition before they’re released to major sites like

 Click here to receive your free preforeclosure list.

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