Weichert Brochure (About Us)


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This color brochure illustrates the Weichert Realtors system in depth, and discusses why we are one of the top rated real estate companies in the country.


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Weichert Brochure (About Us)

  1. 1. Weichert ® One Source. Many Solutions. Buying Selling Mortgage & Closing Services Living Offices Across America Invite us in. We’ll bring results.®
  2. 2. The Weichert Difference ® “ How is Weichert, Realtors® different from other Realtors? ” Our answer can be summed up in a single word, “service.” Deceptively simple, but true: delivering better service to our customers is “The Weichert Difference.” The desire to make your real estate experience as easy and as hassle-free as we possibly can motivates every single Weichert program and service. As a company, we take the words “One Source. Many Solutions” on the cover of this booklet very seriously. They represent our service commitment to you: We will work as a unified team to make everything you need available to you in one place – your local Weichert office. Not only will your Weichert Sales Associate take genuine pride in guiding you through the intricacies of buying or selling a home, but your Gold Services Manager will be your personal link to all the one-stop shopping services that will save you needless “running around” time and stress. Because even after success in finding you a great home or getting you a great price fades, your memory of a trust-based relationship Jim Weichert, president and the caring and responsive personal service you consistently received will remain with you. As you’re reading this, you’re embarking on a journey. Whether buying your first home or selling one to find a new home better suited to your life now, the road ahead will lead to many new experiences along with many important decisions. This booklet is designed as a guidebook to help demystify the journey so that you can set out with confidence. It’s brimming with helpful information and advice gained over many years on the trail. We hope it will convince you to depend on our help all along the way. If you find that this guidebook makes you more knowledgeable and better prepared for your very important journey, we would certainly appreciate the opportunity to help you reach your ultimate home buying and/or selling destination. 1
  3. 3. One source for all your real estate related needs. 2
  4. 4. Weichert Gold Services ® “ We take care of everything! ” We created Weichert Gold Services* to provide a Title insurance. reliable, one-stop source for just about every need To clear title without delaying your closing/ related to your sale or purchase. From getting a settlement, Weichert Gold Services can put this mortgage to changing door locks, the Weichert essential insurance into place. Gold Services Manager in your local office will gladly answer your questions and personally assist Guaranteed closing date. you. How’s that for convenience? Obtain the “core services” of mortgage financing, homeowners’ insurance, and title insurance from Since these services are always available to you, us and our Performance Guarantee – backed by Weichert Gold® Services we suggest you keep this booklet handy for a $5,000**credit – will assure your closing date. future reference. You can also enjoy the Performance Guarantee just by selling your home to someone who uses Financial consultation. those 3 Weichert services. Before you begin your home search, a Gold Services Manager can give you a clearer financial perspective A Weichert Home Protection Plan. and a better picture of what you can afford. This one-year, renewable protection covers specified major appliances and systems in your home (e.g., Mortgage credit pre-approvals. heating, plumbing, electrical) not typically covered It’s advisable to get a mortgage credit approval in by a homeowners’ insurance policy. Purchased as a advance. Your Gold Services Manager can give you a buyer incentive, it will cover your home free of decision in minutes in most cases, so you can charge until your buyer takes ownership and for a house shop with confidence. Weichert sellers may full 12 months after settlement. enjoy complimentary pre-approvals both for themselves and their buyers. Weichert Home Connections. Just about every service you could need, including Financing of all types. moving services and locksmith service, can be Comparison shop for mortgages all in one place with arranged for you or facilitated. Weichert the 360 mortgage products offered by Weichert UtilitiesPlus will let you change, connect, or Financial Services. Want to purchase a home before disconnect your utilities online at your convenience. yours sells? Interim or bridge loan financing is Among the other services available, usually with available. We also provide home improvement loans, special savings, are: home security, cable or mortgage refinancing, debt consolidation loans, you satellite TV, heating/air conditioning systems and name it. home remodeling. If you need a service not listed here, just ask your Gold Services Manager. Or visit Insurance services. www.weichertgold.com to view the complete list. Weichert Insurance will help deliver a hassle-free closing for you. We’ll work with multiple carriers to match a homeowners’ insurance policy to your particular needs. What’s more, we offer a full range of insurance coverage, so we can help you protect your automobile, watercraft and valuable articles. We even offer personal excess liability insurance and a vacant home program, too. *Not available in all states; services vary by location. **Subject to change and to certain terms and conditions; $1,000 in participating Weichert franchised offices. 3
  5. 5. One source for all it takes to sell your house. 4
  6. 6. Getting started “ When should you sell your house - after you buy your next one? ” If you already own a home, it’s a basic question and the answer is as individual as you are. Generally speaking, under most market conditions, real In that case, if you have very specific criteria – like estate professionals advise listing your present home and location, size, views, age, etc. which could lead to a shopping for your new home simultaneously. To time-consuming home search – you should consider consider your own individual needs and circumstances, finding and buying a home first before you sell your though, you should talk to your agent about how fast existing home. If necessary, you can make an offer to Information for Sellers you need to sell and how long you should expect it to buy that home contingent on selling yours. On the take in current market conditions. other hand, if you sell first, you can make your sale dependent on finding a home to buy. In a robust real estate market, for example, you can assume your home would be more likely to sell quickly. While seasonality, too, can play a role in deciding when to sell – with spring and fall the most popular seasons to put a home on the market – your agent can help you consider factors like interest rates and consumer confidence in the economy. Low interest rates will send you buyers year round. Some may be deterred by unpleasant weather conditions, of course, but it’s been our experience that potential buyers who brave inclement weather tend to be very motivated. Your Weichert Sales Associate will help you find the solution that’s right for you. anytime 5
  7. 7. Good looks sell “ What does your home look like to a potential buyer? ” Preparing your home for sale requires an unbiased look at its appeal. Your Weichert Sales Associate will offer suggestions that add to its value without spending a lot of money. First impressions are vitally important. Make arrangements for pet care. People are always making snap judgments. So create that You may want to keep any dogs or cats in a separate room great first impression with a well-cared-for lawn, a or fenced area outside, or request advance notice when plowed driveway in winter, even just a seasonal door your house is to be shown. (If noted in your listing, real decoration. Any sprucing up at all, including necessary estate agents act with due caution.) repairs, can really help. And, to encourage visits, a lock box. Remove all clutter. A lock box key storage system on an entrance is a secure Neat closets, basements, and clutter-free rooms all way to provide access to active, licensed real estate agents increase your home’s value by making it more spacious when you’re not there. Not having to go to the listing sales agent’s office to obtain and return your key makes it and appealing. So toss out, give away, and hold that more convenient to show your home to a greater number garage sale before your house goes on the market. of buyers. Keep things light and bright. Fresh paint makes a room seem new. Whether you use vibrant colors or safer, neutral ones, nothing you can do, aside from de-cluttering, delivers a greater return than painting. Keep lights on and drapes open, because sunny, well-lit rooms look larger and give visitors a more positive feeling. Clean windows also help. Highlight best features. If the jewel of your home is a beautiful view or a charming fireplace, consider arranging your furnishings or using colors to spotlight that feature. Create special touches. When someone walks through your home, they picture enhance what it would be like to live there. An inviting atmosphere, with fresh flowers or scented candles for example, can fuel their imagination. 6
  8. 8. Pricing “ How do you set the right price? ” A pricing strategy that is sensitive to market trends is most likely to achieve the best end result. Pricing a home for an optimal result is both science and As a starting point, your Weichert Sales Associate will art, and Weichert Sales Associates apply considerable study thoroughly research comparable homes in your and skill to this critical professional task. Determining an neighborhood and town. He or she will advise you of attractive initial listing price is especially important, recent sale prices and how similar homes are priced now, Information for Sellers because homes almost always gain the most attention in as well as review homes that didn’t sell and were taken off their first two weeks on the market. As you can see from the market. Location, property size/features, style, age, the chart below, pricing greatly affects the number of physical condition, special features, and recent buyers you will attract. enhancements will all be considered in assessing your home’s value. The closer to Fair Market Value, To analyze the data, Weichert has developed a unique tool the larger the pool of interested buyers. called a Price Trend Analysis*. It goes beyond the capabilities of a typical Comparative Market Analysis Homes priced at Fair Market Value (CMA) by projecting local price trends. With our method, your Sales Associate can use the many market influences that impact price – including supply of homes versus demand, how the local economy is faring, and home appreciation rates – to help you determine the best asking price for your home. priced 5% over priced 10% over priced 15% over 95% 50% 30% 20% % of buyers who will be interested *The Price Trend Analysis is not an appraisal and should not be considered the equivalent of an appraisal. 7
  9. 9. Bringing you buyers “ How does Weichert, Realtors bring results? ” You’ve probably heard that one of the golden rules of real A Weichert company assists more than 27,000 estate is “location, location, location.” Here’s one of our relocating employees a year. golden rules, “marketing, marketing, marketing.” You can’t sell a home, or anything for that matter, if people don’t know Weichert Relocation Resources Inc., our full-service global that it exists. And spreading the word that your home is relocation and assignment management firm, is one of the available and a great buy is what we do best. world’s leading relocation companies. Its ever-expanding client roster includes some of the largest employers in When you sign on with Weichert, Realtors, you the world. As a result, Weichert represents the are tapping into a powerful marketing net- transferring employees of more than 500 work that produces countless calls to our major corporations. These transferees offices every day and solid results for are a highly sought after segment of our clients. Not to mention the prospective buyers – not only many buyers who come to us because they need to buy a new through referrals or reputation, home quickly, but because they or because they’ve used a typically qualify for company Weichert Sales Associate before benefits that make it easier for and trust our know-how. them to purchase their new home. In addition, thousands of Weichert marketing and adver- “out-of-area” buyers are referred tising is everywhere and takes a to us through our membership in variety of forms – from our highly the world’s largest network of inde- visible and recognizable yellow For pendent real estate brokers*. All of Sale and Open House signs… to our which enables us to bring you qualified, extensive advertising in local media, major eager buyers from across the country and newspapers, and through direct mail and neigh- around the world. borhood calling…to our leading Web site at weichert.com. Your Weichert, Realtors office will make sure your When you list with us, you are also teaming with a family of home gets the high level of exposure consistent with companies that reaches into every area of real estate. That producing results. scope gives us even more opportunities for securing buyers for your home. *Leading Real Estate Companies of the WorldTM 8
  10. 10. Bringing you buyers “ Do browsers on the Internet ever become buyers? ” Since 77% of home searches start online*, it’s surprising how often Web-based house-hunters are kept waiting up to 24 hours. Weichert, Realtors, has a unique strategy to respond in minutes. Our program dedicated to converting Internet shoppers to actual buyers starts with a very aggressive search engine strategy that sends millions of online shoppers Information for Sellers to our Web site for listings. Whatever buyers type in to start their search, weichert.com will typically be among their top results. Once on our site, they find all the detail they’re looking for. In fact, research shows that weichert.com is consistently first or second among all real estate companies for length of time people spend on our site**. And we prominently feature the quick searches and maps that will lead them directly to your listing. No other real estate company wins over online shoppers by speaking to them directly. That’s the purpose of our truly unique Weichert Contact Center. It’s staffed by real estate specialists who strategy identify serious potential buyers 7 days a week and keep them from getting lost in the shuffle. Whether someone clicks for more information on your home or calls our toll-free number, that buyer receives immediate, personal attention. That is, the Contact Center quickly connects them by phone to talk with a local Weichert Sales Associate who can answer their questions and arrange a visit to your home. Many online buyers already looking for a home like yours on weichert.com will receive automatic e-mail notification as soon as your home becomes available. Scheduled follow-up e-mails will occasionally remind them that your home fits their search criteria. *2005 National Association of Realtors’ buyer survey. **Based on Hitwise Internet user study data. 9
  11. 11. Bringing you buyers “ Does an Open House really work? ” 3 of every 10 Weichert Open Houses lead directly to a sale.* Our proven results provide strong support for our belief in the effectiveness of Open Houses. Our commitment to the industry-leading Weichert Open House Program has turned it into an especially powerful marketing technique. To be effective, an Open House Program needs to be a 3-step process. That’s because what’s done beforehand and after are just as important to selling a home as the Open House itself. At Weichert, our first step is to use every means to drive customers to attend. That includes online and traditional advertising, direct mail and phone calling and, of course, our familiar signs with their yellow balloons.** During step two of each Open House, our Sales Associates don’t just “show” the home; they conduct tours, explain its benefits using detailed highlight sheets, and emphasize its affordability by presenting several mortgage options. Step three? We commit to following up with the visitors who sign our guest registry, usually with a phone call within 24 hours. attraction Weichert holds more Open Houses than anyone else, because we know that almost 3 of every 4 homebuyers visits at least one open house*** and because we understand how to make them work so well for our clients. *Private Survey conducted by Weichert, Realtors. **Where allowed by municipality. ***2005 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. 10
  12. 12. Deciding on an agent “ What’s my agent going to do for me? ” At Weichert, Realtors®, we do our homework in order to effectively sell your home. Long before a “For Sale” sign is placed out front, your Weichert Sales Associate will put his or her neighborhood knowledge to work, devising a complete well-thought-out marketing plan that will bring results right to Information for Sellers your doorstep. • In an initial meeting, your Weichert Sales Associate will measure rooms, take photos, and assess key features of your home. The Associate will also ask about any improvements you have made, discuss how to make your home more valuable, and encourage you to ask questions and express your worries or reservations. • Your Sales Associate will then do the research to devise a customized marketing plan that will help sell your house for the best price. That presentation may include: – A Price Trend Analysis, Weichert’s uniquely thorough method for projecting local market trends in order to help you set the smartest Throughout the marketing and sale of your home, your asking price Weichert Sales Associate will make your best interests his or her own. He or she will report to you whenever there’s – Ad copy and a full schedule of marketing activities progress and remain available to respond to your questions and concerns. We’re very proud that so many sellers call us – A sample of how your home will be promoted online, back years later when they’re ready to move again, because it on our leading Web site at weichert.com and other demonstrates the lasting trust engendered by our Sales prominent sites Associates’ responsiveness, drive, and clear-cut ability to achieve a timely sale at the best possible price. – Promotional materials with photos of your home and its special features – prepared as handouts to prospective buyers or for distribution to a custom mailing list – A discussion of the specific tasks your Associate will perform to keep the process on track from the time you receive an offer until your successful closing 11
  13. 13. Ensuring serious buyers ” “ How can we determine who is a “ What is a Seller’s Disclosure? ” qualified buyer? At the time of listing, you will be asked to fill out a Seller’s Disclosure. A Seller’s Disclosure is an important consumer protection tool that benefits buyers and sellers alike. It is essentially a written statement listing any known defects as well as any past problems that have been remedied. The intention is to give the buyer a sense of the condition of the house. A Seller Disclosure minimizes misunderstandings that could come up later and jeopardize your sale and also gives you some protection from legal liability, with respect to disclosure items. It is as important to us as it is to you that buyers are “ready and able” to purchase. In addition to utilizing their professional training to ensure that potential buyers are serious and qualified, our Associates urge buyers to obtain an actual mortgage credit approval before they start looking for a home. To make that easy for them to do, a Weichert Gold Services Manager is on hand.* professional *Not available in all states. 12
  14. 14. Reaching an agreement “ What happens after I receive an offer? ” When you receive an offer, you’ll get an excited rush. If the price can be a winner for you. For instance, your Weichert offer is a little low, however, you may want to counter, and Sales Associate may suggest to the buyer that while your price that’s where the negotiating skills of your Weichert Sales is firm, you will agree to leave behind major appliances that Associate will come in. Rest assured that Weichert Sales the buyer would otherwise have to purchase out-of-pocket. Associates are extensively schooled in the techniques and complex psychology of negotiation and can negotiate on Your Weichert Sales Associate can help you get favorable your behalf with your best interests in mind. terms as well. A flexible or delayed closing date, for example, can give you the time you need to purchase another home. Information for Sellers If the buyer counters your counteroffer, your Weichert Sales Conversely, an early closing date can have real financial Associate can help you set aside the emotions involved and benefit if you’ve already purchased another home and need to frame your next move. Often introducing an issue other than close quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages. When you receive an offer, or if more than one offer comes in, you also want to look at how “solid” the offer(s) is. Your Weichert Sales Associate can help you weigh the offer(s) by pointing out such crucial factors as whether the buyer has a mortgage pre-approval, how much they’re putting down, whether they have a home to sell, and so on. Sometimes the most emotionally charged negotiating follows the various home inspections that come after the contract is signed. “Who pays for what” is strictly a matter of negotiation, and your Weichert Sales Associate will help you take a balanced stance that’s 1) tough enough to protect the home equity you want to walk away with, yet 2) has enough cushioning to avoid alienating the buyer and jeopardizing the sale itself. 13
  15. 15. Glossary “ Real Estate has a language all its own. Here’s some of the terminology you’ll be hearing. ” Adjustable Mortgage Loans: Mortgage loans under which the interest rate is periodically Graduated Payment Mortgage: A mortgage initially offering low monthly payments that adjusted to more closely coincide with current rates. The amounts and times of adjustment increase at fixed intervals and at a predetermined rate. are agreed to at the inception of the loan. Also called: Adjustable Rate Loans, Adjustable Rate Hazard Insurance: Otherwise known as homeowners’ insurance. This is a usual Mortgages (ARMs), Flexible Rate Loans, Variable Rate Loans. requirement of a mortgage lender and an advisable safeguard for any homeowner to Amortization: Repayment of a debt through monthly installments of principal and interest. protect against loss to the home and its contents. The monthly payment is based on a schedule that will allow you to own your home at the Index or Rate Index: A measure of interest rate changes used to adjust the interest end of a specific period (e.g., 15 or 30 years). rate of an Adjustable Mortgage Loan. Example: the change in U.S. Treasury securities Annual Percentage Rate (A.P.R.): The A.P.R. shows the cost of the loan expressed as a yearly (T-bills) with a 1-year maturity, based upon their weekly average yield. interest rate. It includes the interest, points, mortgage insurance, and other fees associated Lien: A legal claim or charge on property as security for payment of a debt or for the with the loan. The A.P.R. is disclosed as a requirement of the federal Truth in Lending discharge of an obligation. statutes. Loan-to-Value Ratio: The ratio – expressed as a percentage – of the amount of a mortgage Buyer’s Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson who represents the interests of, and loan to the appraised value or selling price of the property. negotiates on behalf of, the buyer of a home or property. Lock box: A key storage system placed on a home entrance that is accessible only by Buydown: A payment to the lender from the seller, buyer, or third party, or some combination active, licensed real estate agents who must abide by a strict set of guidelines when showing of these, that causes the lender to reduce the interest rate during the early years of the loan. a seller’s home. Cap: In adjustable rate mortgages, the limit on how much the interest rate or monthly Margin: In Adjustable Mortgage Loans, the number of percentage points the lender adds to payment can change. the index rate to determine the new interest rate at each adjustment. Closing: The final procedure in which documents are executed and/or recorded, and the sale MLS: MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, by which member brokers cooperate in the (or loan) is completed. sale of each other’s listings. Sellers may choose not to allow their property into multiple Closing Statement: The statement which lists the financial settlement between buyer and listing, if they wish. seller, and also the costs each must pay. PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance): Used to indicate the four major items CMA: CMA, or Competitive Market Analysis, is a comparison of homes similar to a seller’s included in a monthly mortgage payment. home in terms of size, style, features, and location that have sold recently or are on the market. Points: A fee charged by a lender as a service charge or as an amount needed to make the A CMA is prepared by a real estate agent to help set a home’s listing price; it is not an yield on a mortgage competitive with other types of investments. Each point represents 1% appraisal. of the loan amount. Contingency: Commonly, a stated event which must occur before a contract is binding. For Price Trend Analysis: A tool developed and used exclusively by Weichert, Realtors to help example, a home sale may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing. set a home’s listing price by projecting local trends. Used in conjunction with a CMA, or Deposit: A portion of the down payment given by the buyer to the seller or escrow agent with Competitive Market Analysis. It is not an appraisal. a written offer to purchase. Shows good faith. Principal: Amount of debt, not including interest; the original amount of a loan. Down payment: Cash portion of the purchase price paid by a buyer from his own funds as Private Mortgage Insurance: Insurance issued by a private company that limits the potential opposed to that portion which is financed. loss by a lender in the event of default. Private mortgage insurance is generally required for Dual Agent: A licensed real estate salesperson who represents both the buyer and the seller in conventional financing whenever less than 20% is put down. a transaction at the same time. Also applies to a buyer’s agent (see above) when the seller’s Second Mortgage: A mortgage which ranks after the first mortgage lien in priority. agent works for the same company. In either case, both parties must provide written informed consent to Dual Agency. Seller’s Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson who helps homeowners list and sell their homes. This usually includes help in determining an asking price, attracting buyers, Escrow: A procedure in which a third (neutral) party holds all funds, documents, negotiating and closing. etc. necessary to the sale, with instructions from both buyer and seller as to their use and disposition. Settlement: Same definition as closing. FHA Loan: A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a part of the Title Insurance: Insurance that protects against claims that arise from arguments about Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA insurance enables lenders to make ownership of the property. loans to borrowers who might not qualify for conventional mortgages. VA Loans: Loans partially guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration, enabling veterans to Gold Services: Weichert, Realtors’ expanding array of one-stop shopping services buy a home with little or no downpayment. for real estate-related needs, from pre- to post-move. See full overview in the Gold Services section of this brochure. 24