How to Sell Your Product to Costco – 11 Crucial Steps!

Making the decision to do business with one of the countries most successful retailers is not one of those quick brainstorm ideas hatched over coffee and a bagel at your local Starbucks. I am sure you have lain awake at night dreaming of your product prominently displayed at Costco with thousands of members clamoring around to grab a hold of the last item before they are all gone. No doubt you have rehearsed your response to the frantic phone call from Costco begging for more product, offering anything to just get one more shipment. Cool and unbothered you pause before letting them know you will see what you can do, while at the same time, asking for better terms.

Fortunately this has happened and could happen to you. You may never find yourself invited over to Jim Sinegal’s house for holiday dinner, but that doesn’t mean you will never be successful selling your products to Costco if you are prepared.

Thousands of companies just like yours have made it into Costco and sold their products successfully for years. What makes the difference between companies that are in and the ones that are out? The successful companies had the following in common:

  • They were prepared: They did their homework and had a plan. They knew what they were getting themselves into and had already made the necessary adjustments for success.
  • They hired a company or individual who had expertise in selling Costco to fill in the gaps in their plan and advise them during the process.
  • They understood Costco’s business model and that Costco would not bend their rules even for them.
  • They were in the right place, at the right time with the right item.

Will your product be the next big item at Costco? Only time and preparation will tell. To get you started I have outlined the first 11 steps which are crucial to preparing for a meeting with Costco.

  1. Product selection: Determine if a single product or multiple products will be offered. At times, in order to create the value needed to meeting Costco’s standards you may have to bundle products together. Bundling products can also help with your distribution network as you have created a different and unique item number.
  2. Pricing: Research your distribution network to determine the lowest sell prices in the market on the products you would like to offer Costco. Ensure you have a handle on all prices and products being offered for sale. If you don’t you can be sure Costco will. They will do their research which means you need to as well. Create a possible pricing structure taking into account prices currently being offered.
  3. Distribution effect: Determine how selling product to Costco at reduced pricing or added value will affect your current distribution network. Distributors and dealers can sometimes become difficult if they believe you are undercutting them by offering the same products to Costco.
  4. Packaging: Determine what type of packaging you will be offering to Costco. Costco is very specific on their packaging requirements. Generally the require a single display pallet. Get quotes from a couple of different companies on the graphics and packaging.
  5. Logistics: Take a look at your current logistics capacity to determine if you are able to service a large client like Costco. Knowing your capacity will help you understand what your sell through expectations will be. Analyze Costco’s routing guide to ensure you are including all required aspects when looking at logistics.
  6. Other costs: Review and take into account these additional costs.
    1. Customer service support: Do you have the phone support required to handle the influx of customers or will you have to hire a company to handle this aspect?
    2. EDI Costco (Electronic data interchange): Price out EDI to include in your financials.
    3. Promotional costs: Will you want to participate in any promotions? The various promotions at Costco are where the sales really explode and should be planned for accordingly.
    4. Shipping: Costco will require a delivered cost to their depots. You must cost average this out and include it in your cost structure.
    5. Returns and defects: How will you manage the return and defect portion. This can get expensive and should be carefully evaluated.
  7. Potential sell through quantities: Based on what divisions of Costco you are going after create some scenarios that show potential quantity sales. Costco has 3 divisions in the US and an International division:
    a. Costco wholesale,
    b. Costco.com,
    c. Costco Road Show,
    d. Costco Canada,
    e. Costco.com Canada,
    f. Costco Mexico,
    g. Costco UK,
    h. Costco Taiwan,
    I. Costco Japan,
    j. Costco Korea.
  8. P&L: Create an item P&L using the above information to determine program viability. You never want to do this after the deal has been made. Entering into a program and finding out after you are having success that you are losing money will be devastating.
  9. Costco: Decide which division you should contact first. Make initial contact with the buyer and gauge interest. You will probably need help here as getting through to Costco buyers can be very difficult if not impossible. If enough interest exists set an initial meeting at Costco HQ in Seattle WA.
  10. Pre-Meeting: Final decision on at least two, no more than three packaging options. Nail down your options as you will only have approximately 30 minutes or less to pitch your idea to Costco and you want to have time left to discuss next steps. Make your final decision on cost pricing to include in the presentation. Create your presentation and print out more copies than you think you will need. Confirm your meeting one week prior to the date.
  11. Meeting: In your presentation be thorough, but not over the top. Keep your pitch smart and to the point. Be prepared for Costco to have some questions, not just about your product, but about you and your company as well. Know your competition and your market. They will test you. Make sure you nail down next steps and follow up before you leave the meeting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Timothy Bush

Moving – Organizing For A Stress-Free Day

To help organize things to run as smoothly as possible, read on for tips on how to organize the best possible moving day. So you have bought the house that will accommodate all your needs, now it is only a matter of relocating your family and all your stuff. Believe it or not, simply transporting the belongings you have had for years can be even more stressful than purchasing a brand new home.

When the idea of moving comes up, most people immediately think of a bunch of cardboard boxes. Something that may not come to mind right away is informing everyone from businesses, government utilities, your bank, and the post office of your imminent, new home address and contact information. It is a great idea to take care of all this a month ahead of time. You will definitely not want to deal with paying for your old property’s utility bills or not receiving your mail after you are ready to settle in your new home. With all the hustle and bustle of packing, labeling, loading and unloading, this step is easy to forget.

If you are leaving an apartment, be sure to contact your landlord in advance to collect your deposit and return your keys. Leases can contain all sorts of fees and penalties that are easy to forget about, so make sure this process is dealt with.

Get your realtor to collect the keys to your new house prior to packing everything up and moving. This tip may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised how sidetracked people can get with something as big as relocating their family. Imagine all of the trucks with your things pulling up, getting ready to unload everything and not being able to drop it off anywhere safe.

In the event that your move is a distant one, to another region of the country for example, be sure to schedule hotel reservations ahead of time.

Creating an overall inventory is a must when transporting every ounce of personal property you own. Getting every family member involved in this process gets it done a lot quicker than you would think. Also, specific family members will probably make more of an effort to organize and keep track of their things.

The stage of packing should begin at least two weeks before it is time to go. As long as it is a group effort and a good portion is done each day, it will progress smoothly and efficiently. Also, label all boxes as you see fit. This will come in handy later on, as you will not have to open up everything to locate specific items.

In terms of getting rid of things you do not need any longer, there is no greater opportunity than this one. Collect all the clothes and items you can live without and donate them. As for your perishables and other food items, empty your refrigerator about a week in advance and be sure to unplug it when you are done.

Moving day will undoubtedly be exciting for everyone, but it does not have to be hectic. Plan ahead and take your time and it will run as smoothly as it can. Do not forget about friends and family during all of this, either. Plenty of them are willing to help out. Lastly, household appliances may be cheaper to purchase later on rather than transport the ones you have presently. Take it all in steps and stick to a schedule and it will be a pleasant transition.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Alfred Ardis

Arlyn DeCicco Turns Tragedy Into Triumph

A Little About Arlyn

Arlyn DeCicco was born on May 2nd, 1954 to William D. and Toby B. Lampie. Despite the fact that she lost her dad from complications after surgery in 1984 and her mom to cancer in 1997, her parents left a strong imprint.

Arlyn learned her work ethic, determination and dedication from her parents and often refers to her mother’s favorite quote, „you can do anything you want to do as well as any man if not better.“

Horses entered Arlyn’s life when she was nine years old. „Hennie Bordwin, one of my mother’s friends, took me to Pepperell, MA where I got to ride a friend’s pony. I was hooked.“

„After I started riding, my brother Mark began to ride. Eventually, he discovered cars and marathon running. I kept riding.“

She grew up riding hunters and equitation in Massachusetts with Brian Flynn. She took clinics with Ronnie Mutch and George Morris. Later she trained with Dottie Morkis, Kathy Connelly, Ernst Bachinger and Belinda Nairn.

During the 1970s Arlyn added Eventing through the Preliminary level to her list of disciplines.

Arlyn’s teaching was transformed after she suffered two traumatic accidents. In 1972 Arlyn was thrown from a horse and suffered a back injury.

„One week after graduating high school I was bucked off in the morning while competing at a horse show. I continued to ride but later that day fell off again from the pain. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and x-rays showed I broke my back (L3 and L4). I spent the summer in bed staring at the ceiling, which is why I can’t ever sit still today. Every moment is important,“ explained Arlyn.

Through her strong determination she survived that ordeal and in 1979 she and her husband Alfred started their first business called Woodlock Farm based in Massachusetts.

In the early 90s dressage was added to her riding and in 1995 she had success on a horse name Sedona who she rode to third place in the NEDA High Score Award at Fourth Level. In 1996 she competed in Prix St. Georges.

The year 1997 was a turning point in Arlyn’s life. She mysteriously fell off a horse when no one was around and was found lying on the ground with what was later diagnosed as a head trauma.

„She was unconscious and was medi-flighted to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston,“ explained her husband. „The left side of her body was compromised as well as her vision – eyes not in sync as I looked at her – double vision. After undergoing a battery of tests the doctors could find no reason for the fall. Arlyn doesn’t remember the horse bucking and prints in the arena, which had just been dragged, suggested she must have passed out and fallen off.“

Being a strong and independent woman, Arlyn convinced the doctors to let her come home just three days later. „Unfortunately, I couldn’t get her up the next morning and had to take her back in for two more days of observation,“ continued Alfred. „They still could not find anything and the doctors said there was nothing they could do.

„She would sleep a lot, but would then wake up in the morning. She lacked taste, except for Starbuck’s Java Chip ice cream which was her staple. The head trauma had compromised her left leg and hand. Before she got back on a horse, which was about six weeks from the fall, she regained enough use of her left leg and arm to drive herself to cranial-sacral therapy and physical pool therapy. She wasn’t able to keep her left fingers closed to ride so she devised a system where she tied reins to our treadmill and performed her own physical therapy.“

While Alfred worried „my attitude was that she would get better. She had her mother’s determination.“

One Determined Lady Figures Out A Way to Go On

„My goal was to continue to ride,“ commented Arlyn emphatically. „Thus I began my quest to obtain knowledge about the body starting with my treating physicians.“

Arlyn already had some knowledge because her mom was a registered nurse who was always asking questions of trainers, vets and farriers. As a curious child, Arlyn would always be sure to glean every word that was said. Arlyn continued asking questions and has added horse muscle therapists and horse chiropractors in her quest for knowledge.

She also benefitted from courses she took just a few months prior to her accident in August 1996. Arlyn became certified as a Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The ACE training manual includes human anatomy and bio-mechanics. Little did she know then how valuable that education would become later when she intuitively transferred that over to horses.

As Arlyn assessed her situation with an attitude of not letting anything stand in her way she also realized that she could no longer ride at her previous level. She further realized that she could not MAKE a horse do what she wanted. „All of my organizational skills and talent were of no use to me. I needed a new approach and I had to figure out how to direct my horse’s movement.“

She looked for a way to naturally guide the horse’s energy. The answer came in bits and pieces until it evolved into the philosophy that Arlyn has coined Balanced Equine Training Stretch Supple Strengthen (BET-SSS). This philosophy likens the rider to a man in a dancing partnership and the horse to a woman. The rider needs to learn how to lead the horse’s movement, rather than force or demand it, creating a willing partnership. After having been stretched and suppled, the horse wants to dance.

The concept of BET is to ride the neck as the counter-balance for the body. The goal is to educate riders to have the tools they need to lead their horses without interfering with their movement. Arlyn’s philosophy is „less is more“ and her goal is to have the rider „guide“ the horse’s energy so that they are a dancing couple effortlessly maneuvering around the arena.

Alfred has always been impressed with Arlyn’s attitude and teaching. „For Arlyn it is always about the horse first. If the horse is properly developed then it will perform better because it is comfortable with itself. I have heard many students tell Arlyn that she has the ability to explain new exercises clearly.“

Understanding the Anatomy

Understanding the horse’s anatomy is crucial in training. A horse’s body is extremely complex, and a rider must understand the horse’s musculature in order to know how to supple, stretch, and strengthen each muscle group properly. By training a horse incorrectly, one muscle might unknowingly be developed to inhibit the use and movement of another muscle.

There are four phases of the musculature: anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral. In understanding these four different areas, a rider can understand how to develop a horse correctly and how the four phases interact with one another to create the whole horse.

The anterior and posterior phases of the musculature refer respectively to the muscles in front and back. These muscles include those along the top and bottom lines of the horse, muscles in the front and back of the legs, and any muscles that work in a swinging motion.

While many riders may have heard or used the expression „riding from back to front“ or allowing the horse to move forward from the hind end, few understand how this relates to the horse’s musculature. If a rider does not encourage a horse to work forward from the hind legs or refuses to stretch the anterior and posterior muscles correctly, the horse’s movement and performance will be inhibited and its performance and ability to flex will be limited. This will result in lack of adjustability and possible injury.

The medial and lateral phases of the musculature refer respectively to the middle and outside muscles of the horse. These muscles are located on the sides of the horse and are used when the horse is asked to bend or move laterally.

In order to optimize the medial and lateral muscles, a rider must supple them. This can be done through lateral and bending exercises where the horse is asked to open up and breathe. Once the horse’s muscles are supple and relaxed, the horse will be able to more easily complete the rider’s requests. If a rider begins strengthening prematurely, the horse’s range of motion will be severely restricted. This will result in stiffness, resistance to the rider’s aids, and inability to perform.

BET-SSS in Layman’s Terms

Arlyn’s Balanced Equine Training Stretch Supple Strengthen or BET-SSS revolves around creating well balanced horses and riders by combining aerobic range of motion exercises with a system that develops all four phases of the musculature.

Stretch is the beginning phase when the horse is asked to lengthen its stride in the walk and stretch its neck as long and low as possible making sure the head is not behind the vertical. Once the horse is comfortably swinging in the walk, they begin to breathe and function aerobically. This aerobic exercise puts less stress on the horse’s muscles, joints, and heart and allows the horse to use itself more completely in a relaxed manner. By allowing the neck and head to stretch down, the horse can lift its back and propel itself forward more correctly from the hind end. Once the horse has experienced the rewards of this phase, they will be asked to repeat these movements in every gait and stage of work. The Stretch phase of SSS helps to relax the horse and prepare for the upcoming phases of Supple and Strengthen.

In the Supple phase the horse is asked to move on a circle. The horse may then be asked to lengthen the outside muscles and shorten the inside muscles or, alternatively, to shorten the outside muscles and lengthen the inside muscles. Other, more complicated suppling exercises involve leg yields or asking the horse to move away from the inside leg and rein. By shaping the horse’s neck and body through these movements, the horse opens up its rib cage. This will allow the horse to breathe more easily. After using the suppling exercises, the horse will be free to stretch and use itself more properly.

Strengthen is the final phase and should only be attempted after the other two phases have been completed. Here the object is to build muscle and strength in the horse. This phase can involve riding on varied terrain and work with cavalletti and trot poles. For more advanced exercises, horse and rider can work with gymnastic grids and jumps or the collected, medium, and extended gaits. Each horse’s physical development and mental acuity must be taken into account when developing a Strengthen program.

On The Scene

Now that you are armed with the concept the question remains as to how Arlyn would proceed to use all of this knowledge.

When giving a clinic, she begins with a demonstration and follows that with individual sessions. She has found the best timing is to have a minimum of three days in a row.

Arlyn starts by assessing the situation. „She analyzes the horse and rider as a pair and bases each exercise on their physical and mental abilities,“ explains Brittany Bazeley. „Her understanding of anatomy and physical fitness is applied to both horse and rider to stretch, supple and strengthen and no matter what happens throughout the day, it ends on a positive note for everyone.

„She looks at everything from the ground up. She looks at the horse in the stall and the placement of the saddle on the horse’s back among other things,“ adds show jumper Holly Scapa.

While watching the horse in motion, Arlyn assesses the horse’s range of motion and rideability. She also takes into consideration the rider’s level. Armed with this information she then works with the rider to educate them on what they can do to help improve these aspects. The next step is to watch the combination. The rider’s imbalances are also corrected so that they do not interfere with the horse’s range of motion. Through various aerobic exercises and the philosophy of Stretch Supple Strengthen, the horse’s musculature can be developed to create a more balanced and adjustable horse.

Her Students Speak Her Praises

Few words speak louder than from those who are on the outside looking in and on the inside looking out. The success of Arlyn’s method is repeatedly echoed in the words of her students and clients.

„I observed how Arlyn’s recovery from her injury enhanced her ability to teach and ride horses,“ commented Martha Weckel. „After the injury, her ability to ‚feel‘ for what the horse needed was that much more amazing. She could no longer ‚make‘ the horses do their jobs; rather she had to guide them as their ‚dance partner.'“

Dr. Heather Mack added, „I have learned to be a solid dance partner with my horses whereas before I was mostly just trying to stay out of their way.“

„What I learned is that you have to ride both sides of the horse. What we tend to do is ride whatever direction we are going and you need to ride both sides going both directions,“ explained Holly Scapa.

„Arlyn’s extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the horse and rider along with her unique training methods has helped put many struggling horses and riders on the road to successful balanced riding. Aryln doesn’t just teach you how to sit on a horse; she takes the time to teach you how to really ride,“ commented Julie Weisz, winner of the 2003 Onondarka Medal Finals.

„Arlyn is deeply committed to improving the physical and mental state of the horse. Her method works,“ noted Sally Black, owner of Blackland Farm.

„When horse and rider are both balanced you have a willing partnership. The horse doesn’t need to be forced or manipulated. You have a happy horse,“ commented Diana Yeater, owner/trainer.

„Watching Arlyn ride is classical. She doesn’t force; she flows with the horse. She is able to get a horse to soften and collect. She’s like watching poetry. She teaches the horse how to use its body properly,“ noted Dino Fretterd, Equine Body Worker.

„You can already walk, trot and canter. You don’t need me to do that. I’m here to help you and your horse do it better,“ is how Sally Haddon explained what she heard when Arlyn helped her son, Gatlan.

Miniature Horse owner Susan Hopmans of LaVista Farm added, the fact that this program allows horses to be all they can be and never forces makes my heart soar. It has such a calming and centering effect on the horses. The end result is a relaxed horse that understands and enjoys what is being asked.“

Jumper rider Joie Gatlin’s former stable manager Darren „Dagwood“ Roberts is a fan as well. „She has an intuitive knowledge of how their minds and bodies work. She was a huge part of Sun Cal’s King’s many successes.“

Show Jumper Mandy Porter who competed at the 2009 Las Vegas World Cup remarked, „Arlyn considers the wellbeing of the whole horse and the reward is a whole horse.“

Amateur-Owner jumper rider Mia Beckham noted, „Arlyn was the first person that did not try to teach me how to win. She taught me how to ride.“

„She has given me the skills to tap into my horse’s physical and emotional potential. They are so content and confident in their bodies and my riding of them,“ concluded Dr. Heather Mack.

And there you have it. Aryln has turned tragedy into triumph and our horses thank her.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Diana De Rosa

The School of Interior Design For You

Unlike most education programs, the school of interior design allows students to cultivate their creativity and turn it into a profession where they can earn money. Who would have thought that designing rooms by means of changing their color scheme, furniture placement, and choosing the appropriate materials would become one of the more heralded jobs out there? Simply put, interior design has become a viable profession that most schools have devoted courses to help those with a genuine interest in design.

However, this is where the dilemma arises. With new interior design schools and programs springing up here and there, it has become difficult to determine what school is right for you. Run a search of design schools on the Internet and you will come across tons of programs from schools you probably may not have heard of. Although the choices of these courses have increased, it dilutes the program with unaccredited schools and scam artists who are simply interested in getting your money. As a student, you would want to get the safest and best school that has a great design program and will provide you with a great career in the future. In other words, know the right school of interior design for you.

First, locate interior design schools near your area and find out more information about them through their contact details. Some schools have websites that gives interested students a free copy of their course catalog. The purpose of gathering information about the schools in your area is two-fold: first, you minimize the time and effort spent, and second, you can easily verify the eligibility of the school with regard to the program. Attending a nearby school will not only help cut down your expenses from taking a dormitory while studying in a school far away, but also save travel time. Also, as mentioned earlier, determining the eligibility of a program is difficult at the onset when the school if far away from your place. By knowing the schools near your place, you immediately get acquainted with the interior design school and figure out the validity of the school, which helps you to decide which school to take.

Second, learn more about their online interior design courses. This is ideal for people who are simply unable to enroll in a brick and mortar school because they have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill. Online education is slowly making headway as a lot of courses have incorporated the choice for online classes to their students. Basically, the advantage of taking up classes through your computer is that you can study at your own pace and at the comforts of your home. This may be a lucrative way to study because it further helps save more time and money, attending classes in an actual room and interacting with students in the flesh is still the foundations of great education. Still, this is something to think about in order to choose the best school of interior design for you.

Lastly, determine what courses you will specialize on. The beauty of interior design is the vast choices of designs available to a particular room. Designers can go for an Asian motif or a French design, depending on what the client wants. As a student, you are advised to decide what type of design you wish to master. Schools offer various courses about certain designs, so if the school has classes for the specialty you want, then that is the school you should pursue. Once you graduate from the school of interior design, people with hire your services for where you are good at. Cultivating your specialty will help you garner clients looking for the design you are good at.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Benny Balneg

8 Ways Quality Real Estate Agents Prove Their Value!

Although, there are over 1.3 million, real estate agents, in the United States, only, a small – minority, of them, are responsible, for the vast majority of the transactions, which occur! Since, for most of us, the value of their house, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, wouldn’t it make sense, to very carefully, choose the individual, to hire, to represent you, and your best – interests? How should quality agents, demonstrate, and prove, their value? Doing so, demands a variety of skills, assets, attitude, persistence, discipline, integrity, etc, and, there is no such thing, as one – size – fits – all! Before, hiring the right person, to serve and represent, one’s interests, it is essential to, clearly, prove, he is worthy of their respect, etc! With, that, in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 8 ways, quality agents consistently, prove their worth/ value!

1. Effectively listen to prospective clients: Observe, when interviewing agents to represent you, whether, the individual, effectively, listens, to you, and your personal needs, concerns, priorities, etc. How can anyone, represent your best interests, unless/ until, he commits to doing so?

2. Thoroughly, discuss, and discover, what prospective client, seeks, and needs: While some proceed, by trying to, merely, tell someone, what he believes, they want to hear, I strongly believe, in my service – mark, I’ll always tell you what you need to know, not, just, what you want to hear! It is wise, for client and agent, to know, trust, and believe, in – each other, throughout the process!

3. Discuss/ explain suggested marketing plan: What makes one’s marketing plan, different, in a meaningful way, from others? Since, one’s house, is so financially (and, other ways) relevant, it’s essential/ important, for both sides, to work together, on the same – page!

4. Explain concept/ teamwork/ strategy: Real estate agents, owe it, to their clients, to thoroughly, explain their concept, strategy, reasoning, action plans, and, the importance of well – considered, teamwork!

5. Commitment/ discipline/ efforts: Agents can’t, and should never, go – through – the – motions, and proceed, forward, with the level of consistent, true commitment, and the discipline, to maximize their efforts, for the client’s best – interests!

6. Regular updates: Communication, and providing regular reviews, and updates, must be an obligation, for agents! An essential component of representing someone, during stressful times/ periods, is holding – their – hands, throughout the entire period/ process/ transaction! From the onset, it’s important to pre – plan, for, regular, periodic updates, to thorough discuss, all relevant components, and/ or, necessary adjustments, during the period!

7. Quality negotiating: It takes quality negotiating, and an understanding of market, and economic conditions, in terms of supply – and – demand, etc, to make a significant difference, for the better!

8. Close the best deal: Meaningful representatives listen to potential deals, and help, bring them, forward, and, then, have the skills, and self – confidence, etc, to close the deal, with the best combination of minimizing the amount of time needed, enhancing the price offered, and addressing, any, and all conditions, etc.

Hire an agent, who will strive, to clearly, demonstrate, and prove his value, consistently, by a combination of skills, efforts, and a positive, can – do, attitude. Before you, buy, or sell a house/ home, doesn’t it make sense, to hire, the right agent?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Richard Brody

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jennifer Wasilewski

First Time Homebuyers and Down Payment Assistance Programs

May 27, 2010 Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA’s) for First Time Home Buyers By: Michael A. Foote, CMB

There is money available for first time homebuyers today. In a much needed addition to financing products available today, down payment assistance programs are available once again. Down Payment Assistance Programs are generally a local, state or federal grant or bond program designed to assist certain persons with certain income levels in certain areas, with money that can be used for down payment and closing costs on many purchase loans.

These tax free grants or loans are generally forgivable provided the buyer stays in the home for a designated amount of time. And these dollars can dramatically change the amount of money required for closing when these first time homebuyers buy a home. For example, a typically FHA borrower may have to come up with over 4-7% total of the sales price whereas a borrower with a WISH down payment assistance program may only need to bring in 2-3% total. That’s a huge amount of money on a several hundred thousand dollar transaction. If you amortize out that difference the savings are literally tens of thousands of dollars since most closing costs are financed in the new mortgage.

So what does the process with „DPA“ look like when compared to the regular loan process. Quite frankly, it’s seem less to the user insofar that the lender will generally have to deal with the additional hoops during the process. For the borrower/buyer they probably wouldn’t know the difference. The only real difference is a potential for a slightly longer loan processing time. So is DPA a good idea? Well, lately it has been a challenge for Realtors to get clients using FHA let alone FHA WITH Down Payment Assistance so an argument could be made that using DPA on an Offer to Purchase could be a determining factor for the seller’s side when these choose the offer to open escrow with. The only cure for this pitfall will need to be more product on the market for properties up to the $400,000 range as DPA generally have no purpose and no qualifying borrowers as the sales price rises and/or in areas of high per capita income. Undoubtedly, DPA has a place in today’s financing landscape and those of in the industry are happy to have it, it is one more additional tool to increase homeownership for low to mid income families. And this product will help sell the forecasted shadow inventory rumored to be lurking around the corner.

Only time will tell if that come to fruition or not. These programs are not free from abuse, there have been in the past scams related to DPA and officials, lenders, and large institutions have really scaled back what is allowable as DPA. Also economics play into the availability of these from all the time. There are many DPA’s completely drained of funds.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Michael Foote

Advantages and Disadvantages to an MLS Search

MLS searches (or Multiple Listings Service) are based off the principle; „Help me sell my inventory and I’ll help you sell yours.“ It is a unique concept, though one not many other industries use. Real estate brokers acknowledge the advancements in technology once MLS searches became popular, and are willing to present the advantages and disadvantages of MLS queries to interested parties. The decision of utilizing this service is ultimately up to the potential buyer.

No For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Options

One of the big disadvantages to MLS searches is they do not include homes sold by the owner, unless the seller has negotiated a certain percentage of the commission to the realtors. If interested in FSBO’s, the buyer must search potential neighborhoods for FSBO signs and negotiate a price within their range. If the buyer does not know much about negotiating prices, or how much homes are worth, MLS queries still provide some contribution for comparison purposes. If excessive research is undesirable to the buyer, then MLS queries provide another benefit.

Less Research for the Buyer

Buying a home might already be considered a stressful process for some. MLS searches can cut down on some of that stress because it reduces the research the buyer must conduct. There are already so many other aspects a buyer must remember to look into, including the community, crime rate, demographics, school districts, job outlooks, among others. MLS queries place hundreds of homes from the participating brokers into one database, with hundreds of fields with which to search the properties. Knowledgeable brokers with years of experience determine these popular search fields; whereas if the buyer conducts the research by himself or herself, he or she may question whether the information they find is accurate.

The Internet Outdates MLS Queries

The younger generation might claim the Internet is called the „Information Highway“ for a reason. While it is true certain states have their MLS queries readily available on the Internet, not all states have this accessibility. It is also important to consider that information researched on one’s own time might not be as accurate as the MLS searches provided by real estate brokers.

A Trusting Community

As mentioned earlier, all MLS queries are based off the „You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours“ premise. In other words, there are no hidden agendas. All brokers participating in MLS queries are trying to provide the buyer with the greatest number of options. They keep the buyer’s requirements in mind and try to create satisfactory customers.

Ultimately, the decision to use MLS searches or to conduct the research on one’s own is up to the potential buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Keith Andrews

The Advantages of Services Like the RedX and LeadSenders For Real Estate Agents

Expired listing lead services such as the RedX and LeadSenders provide real estate professionals with a continual slow of leads from which to grow their business. The primary advantage of both services to REALTORS is that they enjoy a first-mover advantage over their competition. Agents that use these lead sending services get notified as soon as the prospective customer comes available. These services then provide users with the information that they will need to quickly make contact with the prospect, begin creating the relationship and finally convert the prospect into a listing or a sale.

Although similar, LeadSenders and the RedX (Real Estate Data Exchange) have some very significant differences. The most significant of which is the timeliness of the service. Where the RedX system provides expired mls listing leads in real time, the LeadSenders system provides information on a daily basis. In contrast, where the RedX software provides a prospect by prospect history, there is no way to easily create visibility on all of the listings that expired six months ago and have not re-listed.

In general, the services provided by the Real Estate Data Exchange are a little more comprehensive than those of LeadSenders. In addition to expired mls listings, the RedX also provides real time FSBO listings from multiple databases. The RedX also scours multiple databases to provide a comprehensive picture of both the expired and fsbo listings which allows the real estate agent to be much more informed when they first make contact.

In addition to those services, the RedX does provide an expanded menu of marketing resources that are not currently available through Lead Senders. These resources include tools to help REALTORS update their websites with the latest lead capture technology. For real estate agents that do not currently have a dedicated website, the RedX even offers a service to provide them with a turnkey solution.

Between the RedX and LeadSenders, both have their own unique benefits. As a result, it is ultimately up to the real estate agent to choose the system that will best fit his or her needs. When evaluating these types of lead generation systems, there are a lot of things to consider. Cost notwithstanding, the caliber of the leads as well as the technology used to identify prospects is one of the most important factors of consideration. If you are a REALTOR that is looking at these two systems, weigh the benefits of both and choose wisely.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Brian Learson

Condominiums for Sale: Choosing the Right One for You

People dream of owning the home of their dreams. When the time comes that you are financially capable of buying your own house, you might want to consider opting for one of the finest condominiums for sale in the market.

Certainly, if you are looking for a family home, it is advisable to look through lists of condos for sale. Seriously considering a condo for your residence is a better and more affordable option.

Needless to say, most condominiums nowadays offer modern amenities and features that make up housing convenience and comfort that you are looking for. You simply have to find the best sources of condominiums that will help you make a satisfactory buy.

Why Opt for a Condominium?

There are many reasons why you might want to consider condominiums for sale; instead of a bungalow, townhouse, or an apartment. One important factor is money. Most industry experts agree that the prices of condominium tend to move slower than most other dwelling types. This means that they are an excellent option in a real estate market where housing prices are steadily increasing.

If you opt for a condo instead of an apartment, this is certainly a move to your favor since you can actually own the condo. At the same time, you can take advantage of deductions in taxes and interest in mortgages.

Apart from the financial aspects, condominiums offer other essential benefits as well. For instance, condominiums present a wide range of lifestyle choices to any prospective buyer. If you are a yuppie, the condominium is an ideal choice to complement your busy and fast-faced lifestyle.

If you are a retiree, the condo is the ideal residence to choose is you want to take advantage of condominium services that focus of providing ample convenience to seniors.

Your decision to choose and purchase a condominium; in effect, frees you from the many responsibilities that usually come with owning a home property, such as tending the garden or maintaining HVAC, lighting and other utilities.

Looking for the Right Condominiums for Sale

Condominiums today are available in a wide variety of property sizes as well as numbers of rooms. Modern condominiums for sale likewise boast of luxurious amenities such as swimming pools, sport facilities, gyms, and spas. Even if you are the most meticulous property finder, you will never have a difficult time looking for a condo that perfectly matches your specific requirements.

Once you already have a concrete idea of the type of condo that you are interested in, you can decide to go to a licensed real estate agent and confer with him about your condo requirements. He is sure to provide you with a list of suitable condo properties from which you can choose from. More often than not, he will be able to help you land the right condo; one that you will not easily locate if you do it on your own.

However, if you decide that you want to do the search on your own, you can refer to real estate web sites that contain listings of condominiums for sale. You might be aware of on-site condominium sales offices around the area that you prefer; you can visit them to know first-hand about the condo units that they offer.

Needless to, people are enticed to consider buying condominiums for sale because of their numerous amenities, minimum maintenance required from the owner, security, and overall comfort.

However, buying a condo is much like purchasing a single-unit house; it requires due diligence on your part as a buyer. In such a case, your agent and condo inspector are helpful references to help you go through the proper condo purchasing process.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jeff Molenda

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