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Colorado Springs Real Estate – 10 Tips to take the hassle out of moving!

It is so exciting when you sell or buy a home in Colorado Springs but moving is one thing most people do not look forward to.  Many buyers and sellers dread moving especially if they have a lot of stuff.  One option that may save time is hiring a moving company.  If you decide to hire movers, one way to save money is by reducing the amount of work the movers have to do once they get to your home.   It will reduce the amount of your bill significantly.

 

  1. Move ALL of the furniture from the rooms in the upper level and basement level to the garage and main level living area. When we recently moved, we brought a pair of sofas upstairs from the basement and it was tricky due to the narrow hallways! We had to take the stair railing off and remove the couch legs. It saved us 30 min. on moving day because we already moved them.
  2. Take apart furniture. Many movers will take apart kitchen tables and remove mirrors off of dressers. Save time and do it before moving day.
  3. Pack your own boxes. Save money and pack well in advance. The movers will gladly help you box items but it will not be free!
  4. Wrap, wrap, wrap! Movers spend SO much time wrapping dressers, couches, and televisions with plastic. You can purchase large rolls of plastic wrap from your local hardware store and do it yourself. We wrapped some of our own furniture and fragile items which in turn saved the movers’ time and money for us.
  5. Get a good estimate! We had someone come out for an estimate and the salesman said we would only need on 27ft truck. Everything fit but it took a lot of time on moving day for the movers to plan on how to organize the furniture on the truck, too much time!! If the estimator had planned on two trucks, we would have paid more for an additional truck but saved on the hour or so total time the movers spent just talking amongst each other on the best plan of action…our stuff barely fit!!
  6. If given the choice, order 2 movers instead of 3 for loading and hire 3 for unloadingIn my situation, I noticed only 2 movers would be working when loading the truck and the other would just be standing there doing nada, nothing, zilch! It wasn’t worth having a 3rd mover to load the truck. Two movers could easily have gotten the job done without the third helper. Unloading is a different story, the more movers you have to unload the truck, the better. Unloading always goes much, much faster!
  7. Unhook your washer and dryer. Your washer will have some water that will need to be drained and that takes time, so save time and do it yourself before moving day. Unhook the plumbing for the washer and the dryer vent from the dryer.
  8. Have a garage sale! If you do not use it, get rid of it! The less you have to move the better. Have two bags to help you sort items when going through your closets: one for charity or a garage sale and one for throw away. Don’t lug things you do not wear or use around from one house to another.
  9. Get three estimates. Any time you hire a mover, make the time to get a few estimates. What type of insurance does the mover offer? Do the movers undergo background checks? Are there any hidden fees you don’t know about or does the estimate include all charges? Some movers charge by the hour, some charge by the weight amount on the truck, etc…
  10. Schedule movers well in advance. The busiest time for moving is between June and September. If you are going to move during busy season, try moving in the middle of the month and the middle of the week instead of the end of the month and the end of the week like everyone else.

For further information on available Real Estate in Colorado Springs contact your Colorado Springs Realtor, Patricia Beck.

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Sellers: Update your Colorado Springs home by changing the hardware!

Updating a home does not have to consist of a major overhaul or remodel. Homes can look SO much nicer by doing one simple thing: changing the hardware.

If your kitchen cabinets look a little dated, try adding updated handles or knobs. Cabinets can look really bare and boring when they do not have any hardware. Change the hardware if the existing knobs on your cabinet are unappealing and dated.

It is fairly inexpensive to purchase cabinet hardware for your kitchen and bathroom cabinets at Home Depot or Lowe’s but it can make the world of a difference!! Don’t go too crazy with the style you choose, keep it simple so it will appeal to most buyers (i.e. brushed nickel).

Brushed nickel sink faucet

Take a look at your bathroom sinks and kitchen sink, does the hardware look dated? If so, changing out the sink faucets can really change the look of your sink and bathroom! If you have the plastic knobs in all of your bathrooms, I would change them. They look very dated and are difficult to keep clean, grime always gets trapped in them and really shows!

Sink faucets are a little pricier than cabinet hardware but well worth the investment!Lever Door Handle

Are your door knobs dated? I have seen many homes in Colorado Springs with door knobs straight out of the 80’s and it isn’t pretty! Changing the door knobs or handles will make the whole house look different since there are doors everywhere. Remember to change the hinges; gold hinges with Venetian bronze door handles will look tacky! Prices for door knobs will vary depending on the type of hardware you purchase.

Keep track of the total price for hardware because purchasing door knobs and hinges for the entire house can add up if you do not have a set budget.

Don’t forget about the hardware on your front door; updating it can make your front door look more flattering. What is one of the first things buyers notice first when walking up to a house? That’s right, the front door!

Changing out the hardware in your home will give your home a newer feel and will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

 

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For more information on Colorado Springs Real Estate or the Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

5 things sellers can do to make a deal go sour fast!

  1. Talking to or meeting with the buyers without the knowledge of your realtor- If you are speaking with the other party and no one else knows about it, promises can be made verbally that are not reflected in the written contract and this is a big no, no! The reason you hire a real estate agent is so they can communicate with the buyers’ agent to ensure the transaction goes smoothly. Do not talk to the other realtor without your agent present either.
  2. Not disclosing material defects of the property- If you are aware that the roof leaks or about the black mold in the bathroom upstairs, it is wise to disclose the information to your Colorado Springs Realtor and on the seller’s property disclosure form you fill out. Think you’re off the hook after you walk away from the closing table? Wrong! The buyer can take you to small claims court. Disclose all material defects with the home, it’s the right thing to do and the buyer deserves to know!
  3. Refuse to repair a big problem in the home- Sure it’s your right to refuse repairing items requested by the buyer after an inspection and I am not saying you should agree to repair everything but think twice before saying “no” to a large or serious repair. If the roof has hail damage and needs replacement and you refuse to repair it for the first buyer, the next buyer who comes along will more than likely request the roof be replaced also. If the item is serious enough to come up in the future with another buyer again, you should probably fix it.
  4. Not being honest with your realtor- You and your realtor work as a team during the transaction so if you withhold certain information from them that could affect the transaction, you may have a big problem. Keep it simple and be honest with your agent.
  5. Not having permits for work completed in the home- You didn’t get a permit from Pikes Peak Regional for the basement, bathroom, or deck you built and now you are under contract with a buyer for your home. If you try to acquire permits for work completed after you finished a project while you are under contract you may have to make corrections in order to bring the work completed in the home up to building code. Not only can that become costly, but also very time consuming. In some circumstances, the buyer may have issues with their lender or homeowner’s insurance due to the absence of permits. The buyer also knows when they go to sell the home in the future, they have to obtain permits (which may involve making corrections at their expense) and that just may be enough to steer them away from the deal. It is wise to obtain permits for work completed before you list your home for sale.

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Factors to consider when selecting an agent to sell your home in Colorado Springs

There are many good real estate agents in Colorado Springs and if you are planning on selling your home, take the time to interview a handful of agents first. Here are a few questions to add to your list when interviewing a realtor in Colorado Springs.

1. How well does the agent know the area your home is located in?

Some agents specialize in specific areas of the city and may know your area better. Has the agent lived in the area long or did he/she just move here?

2. Is the agent you are interviewing a Realtor®?

A Realtor® subscribes to the Code of Ethics and is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

3. How is the real estate agent going to market your home?

Will they advertise on television, the radio, newspapers, internet, or Open Houses? Some real estate agents may not be willing to hold an Open House for your home, is that a problem for you? Approximately 75%-85% of buyers go online to search for a home in Colorado Springs, is your agent internet savvy?

4. How many years has the real estate agent been in the field and have they obtained any additional designations in addition to their real estate license?

It is important for realtors to continuously stay educated since real estate trends and laws are always changing. Your agent must be knowledgeable and educated in real estate and it is important they have experience.

5. What commission is the agent going to charge and what will that entail?

Make sure and negotiate a commission you are comfortable with and keep in mind that a lower commission may include limited services by some real estate agents.

6. How is the agent going to price your home?

What kind of research does the agent have to back up the price they are recommending? If your home is overpriced it will not sell, it needs to be priced accurately to the current market value.

7. Is the individual an honest and ethical agent? Can you trust him or her?

You may have heard something about the agent from a friend or you may have not heard anything about the agent and are meeting for the first time. Do you feel comfortable with the agent? Do they seem trustworthy, sneaky, transparent…? Do they tell you the honest truth about the market value of your home or just what you want to hear?

8. Does the agent listen to you?

Make sure the Realtor takes the time to listen to you and to the information you have about your home that may be important to know. If the agent does not take the time to listen to you and just talks over you about what they know it may not be a good fit.

9. Is the Realtor working as a full-time or part-time real estate agent?

This is a very important question to ask. Is your agent going to be too busy at his/her other job to answer your phone calls or concerns? How flexible are they? If he/she is working as a part-time real estate agent, is that going to be an issue for you? Will your listing get the adequate attention required to sell?

10. How do your personalities mix?

 If you and your agent clash or have different expectations, that can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you and your Realtor get along and connect because selling your home is going to be a team effort! You need to get along with everyone on your team and have the same game plan. Make sure you feel comfortable communicating with your Realtor; good communication is essential!!

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Sellers: Do not stay home during showings if you want your home to sell!

When taking buyers through homes in Colorado Springs, they often have something to say about the property while walking through it: “The paint on the walls is repulsive!”, “I love the kitchen.”, “What is that smell?”, “I can see the neighbor’s junk pile from this backyard!”

Of course, the buyers can freely communicate about the property when the seller is not there but what about when the seller stays inside the home during the showing? Well, let’s just say, it is uncomfortable for many buyers. So if you are a seller reading this, please do not stay home during showings! Buyers always cruise through the house quickly when the homeowner is there and feel like they cannot ask questions or say much because the seller is present. Some even buyers even tell me “let’s just go on to the next house.”

Often times, I am not even told by the real estate office that the seller will be present and that makes it even more awkward for everyone. I recently had a seller say: “Come on in, feel free to take a look around the house, I didn’t have anywhere to go so decided to stay here.” What?! Please, go anywhere else except staying at the house! Did your realtor not tell you that important little detail? I took another pair of clients into a home they were interested in looking at a second time and the whole family just sat on the couch staring at the walls during the entire showing…my buyers did not feel comfortable taking a look in the living room since they were all sitting in there.

If you absolutely have to be home, it might be a good idea to at least step outside during the showing if the buyers are with a realtor. One little piece of advice: Please do not walk around with the realtor and the buyers giving them a lengthy tour of your home. Some of the details you have about the home may be important for the buyer to know so relay the information to your realtor to pass along to the buyer’s agent instead of bombarding the buyer while they are there. I have had many buyers get aggravated when the seller starts giving “the tour” down to the last little detail that the buyer could care less about. As a result, the realtor is placed in a little predicament while trying to show the home to their clients as you, the seller follow them around.

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website

Colorado Springs Sellers, overprice and you will not sell

 The housing market in Colorado Springs has been impacted as other areas in the nation but homes are still selling in our city if they are priced correctly. Many sellers do not understand how market values affect how much they can ask for their home. Sure, you can ignore what the market values are in your area and list your home for much more, but it probably will not sell and that does not do any good. If your home is has been actively for sale and you have had many showings with no offers or have had few showings, your list price is probably too high for the market in your area. It is not wise to overprice your home and then drop it a few thousand here and a few thousand there every few of months, that does not work very well in today’s market. You will lose marketing time if you do not price your home correctly from the beginning.

There are many factors that go into your asking price including the home’s condition, recent upgrades, and the sellers’ personal motivations and how quickly they need to sell. If you have another home being built and it will be ready in a couple months, you may want to list your home’s asking price in the lower range of the market value in your neighborhood in order to sell more quickly and hopefully, avoid having to pay two mortgage payments. If you are not in a huge rush you may be able to list your home in the higher range of the market value for your area.

So what is the difference between cost, price, value, and market value? The cost of the home is the amount you actually paid for the home at the time you purchased it. The price of the home is essentially what you are asking for the home (i.e. listing your home for 250K). If your home has green carpet, bright orange paint, and very expensive and gaudy hardware throughout, the home would probably not appeal to many buyers in your area. On the other hand, there may be a specific buyer who has very similar taste to yours whom your home would appeal to and this would be what your home is worth to someone. What your home is worth to a specific buyer defines your home’s value. Many sellers are hearing their agent mention what the market value is for their home and sometimes the market value is shockingly less than what the seller paid for the home or maybe the sellers spent a considerable amount of money on upgrades and remodels that do not significantly change the market value of their home. Many sellers want to list their home in relation to the amount or cost they paid for the home 2 years ago when the market value may be less.

The market value of a home appeals to many buyers, which in turn, produces a sale in a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time is not 200 days, I would say closer to 90 days or less is a more reasonable amount of time in the current market here in Colorado Springs. If you are serious about selling, listen to your Realtor and work together to price your home correctly within the range of the market value for a home similar to your own in the area. Otherwise, don’t waste your time; you may just want to wait a while; if you price your home any more than 3% above market value, it just will not sell. I think appraisals are so important, especially in certain markets. If you have many updates in your home, if your home is unique compared to others in the area, or if there are not many comparable properties that have sold in the past 6 months, obtain an appraisal. A Realtor’s Comparative Market Analysis is not an appraisal. More and more Realtors are encouraging their sellers to obtain an appraisal with the changing market.

Search the Pikes Peak MLS

For more information on Colorado Springs Real Estate or the Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.