Magento – The Best eCommerce Shopping Cart

Magento has come a long way since 2007 – the year of its initial release. Magento has proven to be the best eCommerce Shopping Cart and there’s quite a few reasons for such. For starters, Magento is an open source platform and it offers users – such as Web Designers a free, downloadable version called Magento Open Source and was previously known as – Magento Community.To better understand the many benefits of Magento, you will first need to understand what an open source is. Try to picture all types of softwares made for computers and offered to users. Ever noticed all the specifications different softwares have regarding what programs can and cannot be used with certain softwares, as well as what computers they are compatible with? Open source softwares and/or programs are nothing like these fastidious softwares.Open source softwares, such as – Magento were founded on the idea and belief that you shouldn’t be locked down to so many specifications and in many ways to limitations. Open source stands for softwares, that can be operated on the majority of platforms in conjunction with other programs and/or softwares. Furthermore, it can be repositioned quite easily.

When you choose to work with open source softwares like Magento you will have an enormous amount of liberties in regards to the way you use the software, which is not the case for any other software.The free version of Magento is perfect for small businesses, that are looking to expand into eCommerce of other existing, small eCommerce shops that operate while running other programs and/or platforms – such as, WooCommerce and Shopify. Magento will grant you the flexibility to acquire an online shop with a grand array of custom options, which will make your online shop stand out in the very cramped marketplace.Some of the many great features, which Magento Open Source offers to users (for FREE) include the following:- Freight & Shipping Integrations.
- Customer & Order Management system.
- (CMS) Content Management System.
- Marketing Tools for Promotions & Landing Pages
- Integrated Compliant Payment (PCI) Solutions.To start using Magento Open Source, all you will need is web hosting and you might also, consider using a Magento Developer if you don’t have experience using this software, as you will need to customize Magento to your specific needs and preferences.Moreover, before going with Magento’s Free Open Source Version, you may want to look over other versions, that might cater to your business needs, as they offer even a wider range of features. Moreover, looking over all Magento versions, you’ll be able to determine if Magento is the type of software you want and need. We are pretty confident that the majority of people will be impressed with the many features and freedom, which Magento offers its users.For instance, Magento’s eCommerce Shopping Cart is a platform, which was specifically designed to pander to businesses with owners, who rather sell their products and/or services online. Magento eCommerce Shopping Cart was created to offer lots of flexibility in many, many different ways.Some of the amazing features, which Magento eCommerce Shopping Cart offers are:1. Open Source Platform. No need to be tied done to any specific operating system or company to be able to utilize Magento’s eCommerce Shopping Cart.2. User Control. You’ll be in full control of your website and other online store fronts. You’re the boss!3. Created for eCommerce Businesses. Magento’s eCommerce Shopping Cart caters to medium businesses to large businesses.

4. Magento Offers Tools for Marketing Promotions.5. Simple Search Engine Optimization (SEO).6. An Array of Image Product Pages with Zoom.7. International Options. Different languages and currencies can be accepted.8. Variety and Flexible Shipping Controls.9. Simple Order Management Tools/Options.10. Analytics on Dashboard.11.Magento Supports Multiple Store Fronts.12. User Friendly Navigation for Better customer Experiences.Magento’s eCommerce Shopping Cart is Optimized for Mobile Commerce Browsers.13. Check Out Systems are Integrated.14. Support on a Variety of Payment Methods.15. Supports for Customer Accounts. Easy order histories and reorders.And there’s more!Magento’s eCommerce Shopping Cart has variety of products and features, so that all online businesses can utilize the software in a fashion that caters to unique online needs and expectations. Magento Open Source offers so much to users, that there’s no way you can go wrong. Best of all, you will never feel trapped or limited by software specifications again!

5 Ways to Sell My House Quickly and for Top Dollar

As a Realtor who helps people wade through options for selling their home, I talk with a lot of folks trying to sell their home. Each person who calls me about selling has a very different reason for wanting to sell, a different motivation. What they all have in common that they want to sell fast and for as much money as they can. I would like to address some selling options so they can decide the best way to sell to meet the time frame they want and to net the most money when all costs are taken into consideration.

So I always ask my sellers to take a look at their options and pick the option that works the best for them. I hope to outline the Fiver Options most sellers have as I see them.

  1. Do nothing, keep the house and maintain the status quo.
  2. List the home with a Realtor, and pay a commission on the sale.
  3. List the home with a for sale by owner type company, do some of the work and pay a marketing fee and possibly a ½ commission on the sale.
  4. Sell for sale by owner and do everything on your own.
  5. Call a local real estate investor and sell to them with no commission.

I am going to start by looking at selling a home to a real estate investor and how that process works.

With a Real Estate Investor the home owner may receive a letter, a flyer, a postcard, or see a billboard on the side of the road, a sign in their neighborhood, or maybe find them after searching online. The Real Estate Investor is out there spending money up front to find people who want to sell their house. The investor is spending that money up front to attract home sellers to call or email that have a motivation for selling their home that is much higher than their need to get a specific sale price.

There are several types of real estate investors who buy homes and you will find that their price they will offer will vary from the rock bottom cash price where a home owner gets all the entire sale price a closing to the creative investor who might offer a little bit higher price if the seller will carry all or part of the sale in some way, meaning they get the sale price over time.

Either way the real estate investor is buying the home to make a profit. They may be selling it immediately without doing anything to it, called wholesaling. They may be making repairs and selling it in a few months. They may be keeping it and renting it out. But no matter what they do, they are buying it to make money.

The Real Estate Investor, especially the one offering all cash can usually close in a few days or on the seller’s time schedule, which can be a very big plus for someone on a time crunch. And usually when working with a real estate investor you are not going to have a lot in costly fees, they usually buy as is meaning they are not worried about you telling them all the issues with the house and will not be asking you to do any repairs. The trade off is going to be that the sales price will be the lowest payout of all the selling methods.

The fourth option was to plant a sign in the yard and go it alone. This option on average is going to put more money in the seller’s pocket than selling to a real estate investor, if the home owner does the work it takes to get the home sold. But it could take longer than working with a Realtor. I personally might advise this option for a home seller who has time to deal with all the issues of selling a home – putting out the signs, advertising it on all the home selling web sites, making flyers, holding open houses, and showing the house. Or for a homeowner who is on a busy street in a highly desirable neighborhood. But if the home is on a quiet dead end street where few if any are going to accidentally come by, this may not be the best option.

The drawbacks to “going it alone” need to be considered:

  1. Do you know how much to price it. We recently talked with a home seller who told us that houses in his neighborhood were going for about $175,000. Yet when we pulled the data from the Realtor’s MLS it showed us that the new houses in the area were asking $175,000 and had been for sale for over 1800 days (that’s 5 years by the way.) The houses that had recently sold how ever had been selling between $106,000 and $120,000. Going it alone and asking $175,000 and he would have never sold his house.
  2. Marketing it. Most FSBO companies and Realtors are going to be able to help on the marketing side of the deal, by putting it in mls and using a marketing service that puts the house on all the top home buying websites. If a seller is going it alone they will not be able to manually put it on all sites because some like are only for Realtors. Plus the time it takes to manually put it on all the top sites could take 3 or 4 eight hour days of hard work needs to be considered, and does the average home seller even know what all those top sites are.
  3. Showing the home is also timeconsuming. As a home seller do you want to hold open houses and do you have time to drive over to the home every time someone wants to see it. Is showing a home to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet even safe. Realtors learn how to pre-qualify home buyers over the phone, then usually meet with them in a public place or their real estate office where there are other people to get to know their buyers and get them pre-qualified with a lender before going out and meeting them in houses alone. Whereas going it alone, you may not be able to do that.
  4. Contracts and Negotiation need to be considered as well. Take a look at the ask Edith Column in the paper where people going it alone ask questions and she is there every week telling them to get advice from a Realtor or Attorney. Most sellers have no idea how to negotiate, do not have the right forms and contracts that consider many legal ramifications, and could run into trouble. Of course you could pay an Attorney for help, but that may end up costing more than the 6 to 8 percent commissions charged by a Realtor.

So while “going it alone” can save a seller a six to eight percent commission, it could blow the sale by charging too much, take a lot more of the seller’s time as well as take a lot longer to sell, and is it really safe to be showing to unqualified buyers. And the seller could end up spending as much in Attorney Fees or more than they would have paid to use a Realtor in the First Place.

The third option was going with a “for sale by owner” company. Here the home seller takes on selling the home “by owner” with a bit of help. These “for sale by owner” companies can usually offer a bit of help in pricing the home right, marketing online, and the contracts in the form of the company attorney.

All of this comes with a fee, depending on the package you purchase. Packages can range from $500 to $1500 up front fees for advice on pricing, signs and flyers, and online marketing. You still take calls, you still need to show the house and qualify buyers. And if the house does not sell, that upfront fee is gone.

If the package includes putting the house in the Realtor MLS, the agent helping the buyer will also need to be paid by the seller. So on top of the $500 to $1500, tack on another 3%. As a Realtor myself I can’t really see these for sale by owner companies for a home priced under $250,000, I would probably say if a home owner needs the help these companies offer, go ahead and pay the Realtor commission. A good quality agent in the Kansas City area is going to charge six percent and if they don’t sell it, there is no fee. With the “FSBO” company you are out $500 to $1500 if it does not sell, and the “FSBO” company does not follow up with every Realtor who shows it, they do not watch the market and advise the seller that they should do this or that, they do not have personal relationships with other Realtors in the area where they can make a phone call and have people looking at your house tomorrow.

Which brings me to the second option, of listing the house with the Realtor.

Selling with a Realtor will probably net the highest sale price over all the other options, but will have the highest selling costs with commissions. And Selling with a Realtor is going to take a lot longer than selling to an Investor although it will probably be faster than selling through a FSBO Company or selling FSBO.

So let’s put some numbers to it. Let’s assume a house for its given condition is worth $100,000. Meaning if the homeowner were to list it with a competent Realtor it would sell for $100,000.

Selling to an Investor the seller would probably receive a $70,000 sale price and close the house next week and be done with it. End of Story, net $70,000.

If selling For Sale by Owner, it quite possibly will be listed too high and take a while to sell and end up selling for $90,000. It could take 3 or 4 months or more because of the lack of marketing and scheduling times to see the property between the buyer and seller. Take into consideration the holding costs of real estate taxes adding up each month, lawn mowing or snow removal fees, utilities, and insurance. Keeping in mind that insuring a vacant house can be double what a regular insurance might be. So depending on the size of the house, the seller could average $500 a month in holding costs till it sells, plus interest on any mortgage payments.

Also keep in mind that when selling FSBO, who knows who is walking through a house without being screened to some extent. It could be the local crooks casing the house to determine if it’s worth their time to break in one night and steal things in the house, or rip and strip the copper plumbing, electrical wiring, furnace, ac, and hot water heater, costing $1000′s in damage. So while the seller received $90,000 on the sale, if it takes 4 months, they have lost $2,000 in holding costs, plus their time spent in all the work, and quite possibly, costs due to theft and vandalism.

When we add up the same sale using a For Sale By Owner Company, I am still going to say the home will probably sell for the same $90,000 as above, these companies do have a stigma in other Realtors eyes and their listings do get shown less than a traditional listing. It may take the 3 or 4 months to sell with the same $500 a month in holding costs. Plus there is still the $500 to $1500 up front marketing fee plus the 3% Realtor commission of $2700. When all is said and done if sold in the time frame we have estimated, that $90,000 sale goes down to a net of about $84,000. And if it does not sell the home owner is still out their holding costs and the marketing fee.

Which brings us to the Realtor Sale: Here we are looking at the $100,000 sale price with a 6 percent commission and $2000 in holding costs, the net of $92,000.

Our last option is to do nothing, which is fine if the home owner lives in the house and can keep living in the house. But what if it is a vacant house, no one lives in. Can it be rented to cover costs or is the homeowner going to be shelling out $500 a month in holding costs every month, plus gas to drive over and check on the house on a regular basis. And with the vacant house, things happen; they get vandalized as well as things break or just stop working when not being used.

So when preparing to sell a house, take a look at your options, do some research and weigh the pros and cons: of the price of the sale, the fees of the sale, the time involved in the sale. And if you want to at least see what the houses in the area are selling from the Realtor sales data vs what you could get with an all-cash offer from a Real Estate Investor, call a few realtors and look up “Sell My House Fast” and your city on the internet and give those Investor buyers a call.