Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Springs Real Estate and Tips’

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.

Search the Pikes Peak MLS

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

Advertisements

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!!

Search the Pikes Peak MLS

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

Colorado Springs Homebuyers, important items for your new home!

 You close on your home, clean the carpets and paint, move everything in, and then you are ready to finally begin settling in to your new home, but wait, did you remember everything? Here are a few items to look over just in case you forgot something and it is an easy thing to do, especially, if you are a first time homebuyer!

  1. Call the utility company before closing and make sure the utilities are moved to your name, you won’t be happy if there is no electricity!
  2. You are going to create garbage, so set up a trash service to come pick it up. Don’t forget to buy trash cans for different rooms in the house.
  3. Set up the internet, cable, and phone service. You can reference these important phone numbers if you live in the Colorado Springs area.
  4. Change your address with the post office so you keep getting your mail, unless you don’t want to see those bills anymore!
  5. Before purchasing new furniture, did you remember to measure the doorways, hallways, and the room the furniture will go in to make sure it will fit? After spending the time to pick out, order, and pay for the furniture and delivery only to find out it will not fit would be frustrating so avoid any possible hassle and make sure to measure!
  6. If you live in a city like Colorado Springs where it snows, don’t forget to buy a snow shovel and a de-icing product for your driveway. It is not helpful to remember you forgot to buy a snow shovel after a big snow storm. It’s happened to me!
  7. If you have large trees, you will need to buy a rake to clean all of those leaves up when they come down in the fall.
  8. If don’t already have some tools, you need to buy a few of the basics just in case you have a small repair that needs to be tended to in your home down the road. You can purchase many basic tools in one kit at a hardware store like Home Depot. A hammer, wrench, drill, nails, screws, level, screwdriver (Phillips and a flathead), paint brushes, scissors, and measuring tape are just a few of the things you want to make sure and have handy in your garage.
  9. You never know when a toilet in your home will get clogged or flood and your garbage disposal may act up after you put something down it that you were not supposed to, so make sure you have a plunger around.
  10. Whether you are mopping, have a leak, or are doing other types of work in your home, you will probably come in need of a bucket. Buy a couple buckets; you will be happy you did!
  11. You need to water the flowers or wash the car but where is the garden hose, the seller didn’t leave it with the house? Oops. Check the spickets around the house and check if you need to buy a garden hose.
  12. Shower curtains may not be left behind for you and if you don’t have one in your bathroom, you are going to have a lot of water that does not stay in the tub!
  13. Black trash bags are a must have whether you are doing yard work outside or have a big project you are working on inside; they come in handy so don’t forget to buy them.
  14. If you have a yard, you are going to need a lawn mower. Keep your yard looking nice, otherwise, you may have some neighbors complaining to your Home Owner’s Association
  15. Light bulbs, batteries, and furnace filters are never around when you need them so make sure and buy some in advance and store them in a place where they can be easily found.
  16. You never know when an emergency will arise, make sure and have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in your home.

 

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

Colorado Springs homeowners: Keep your home happy

If you don’t change the oil in your car you are going to run into some bigger problems than dark and dirty oil. A house is no different; you need to maintain it unless you want to incur costly expenses in the future. Listed below are a few tips for keeping your home up to par that will hopefully leave some extra change in your pocket to spend on other things!

  • Clean out your gutters once a year in order to avoid build up of leaves, branches, and other debris. When rain goes into a cluttered gutter it will pool and drain down into the soil around the foundation instead of being channeled away from the home and could eventually cause foundational problems. Go ahead, give a contractor a call and find out how much it is to repair a home’s foundation, it is not cheap!!
  • Change your furnace filter every other month in order to keep the air in your home cleaner and to keep your furnace working efficiently. If you are remodeling rooms in the home you should change the furnace filter more frequently. The filter is going to get pretty dirty when you are dry walling, sanding, and gutting rooms like the kitchen. Check your furnace filter, if it’s dirty, change it (don’t forget to make sure the arrow on the filter points towards the furnace, otherwise it will not filter properly).
  • Have your furnace cleaned and serviced once a year by a certified HVAC professional to make sure that the furnace is working properly. By maintaining it and keeping it clean, you can avoid huge problems and the furnace will work more efficiently and hopefully increase its life. Average life span for a furnace is approximately 15-30 years.
  • Get your chimney flue cleaned every couple of years to reduce the build-up of soot. An unclean chimney flue can be an enormous fire hazard and may also cause smoke to come back into your home instead of going out.
  • Look out for leaks before they cause a major problem and find out where they are coming from. Periodically look under all of your sinks, check areas around the windows, and look over the ceiling to find out if water is getting inside the home. If you do have a leak, tend to it quickly because mold is a much bigger problem and can be an expensive or even dangerous problem.
  • Inspect the exterior of the home. Are there any loose shingles, hail damage to the roof, or pieces of siding that need to be repainted? The average life span for a roof is around 15 years and the exterior of the home may need to be re-painted after 10 years depending on how weathered it is. If your siding is not protected by paint or stain it will absorb water, become weathered, and swell. Replacing siding is more expensive than maintaining it by making sure it is not exposed to the outdoor elements.
  • Stain your deck every few years if you want to keep the wood in good condition and protect it from the damaging effects of water and the sun. Paint or stain will protect your deck and if it is flaking or peeling you will need to sand or power-wash it first.
  • Keep an eye on your water heater. Average lifespan for a water heater is between 7-15 years. Some signs of your water heater nearing the end of its life include: water leaking on the floor around the tank and signs of corrosion (an orange color) around the outer shell (usually around the top or bottom of the tank). Make sure that your water heater sits in a pan which can be purchased at your local hardware store in order to contain any unexpected leaks

Search the Pikes Peak MLS

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

Colorado Springs homebuyers, check your credit

If you are going to buy a house the first thing you should do is take a look at your credit report about 3 months prior. By reviewing your report, you will be able to identify any errors that need to be corrected early on. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion; make sure to obtain a credit report from all three as the information may vary. If you meet with a lender, they will pull your credit to make sure you qualify and do not have any problems in your credit report that would prevent you from obtaining a loan.

For example, you may have an item on your credit report such as a bankruptcy and you never claimed bankruptcy. You find out there is another person with your exact same name whose items are listed on your credit report. These problems can be corrected but you have to be aware of it first, so review credit report! Some problems take longer to correct than others. If you believe an item on your credit report is inaccurate, you can dispute the item by notifying the credit bureau of the error. You can submit the dispute in writing, online, or contact the creditor and ask them to contact the credit bureau regarding their error.

So why is your credit score so important? A lender will look at your score to determine if your credit risk is too high for a home mortgage. If your credit score is below 600, you may not qualify to buy a home. Depending on your credit score, you may or may not qualify for 100% full financing. Your credit score is typically based on information from the three major credit bureaus and any time you make a large purchase such as a home or vehicle, your credit will be evaluated which in turn will give the lender an idea of how creditworthy you are; in other words, the likelihood of you paying your debts on time.

If you have less than perfect credit and cannot buy a home yet, there are many ways you can repair your credit. Although, some items such as bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for 7-10 years. Here are a few things you can do to improve your credit:

  1. If you have a hard time remembering to make payments, set up automatic withdrawal for your payments each month.
  2. Dispute any items that are incorrect on your report and follow-up to make sure the corrections have been made.
  3. Sign up for a credit monitoring service to receive alerts of any changes to your credit report.
  4. Stop using credit cards
  5. Look into debt consolidation
  6. Contact a nonprofit credit counseling organization that can assist you in understanding your credit report, help you set up a budget, and advise you on how to work towards improving your current financial situation.
  7. For more information and support please go to http://www.creditboards.com/

 

    Search the Pikes Peak MLSFor information on the buying process and available Colorado Springs Housing please go to http://www.patricia-beck.com.

Go Green with Bamboo!

Bamboo flooring is one of the new trends in flooring and because bamboo is a more sustainable material opposed to other traditional wood flooring it is great for the environment.  Bamboo can replenish quickly, trees take much longer to grow!!  It looks different from hardwood floors and it is so beautiful!  There are many options to choose from when picking out bamboo floors:

 

Horizontal or Vertical Bamboo Grain:  Horizontal bamboo and vertical bamboo look very different; I prefer the horizontal bamboo.  So what is the difference?  Horizontal bamboo is created by uniting strips of bamboo together that are laid flat; the surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings. Vertical bamboo is created by uniting strips of bamboo together that are laid sideways creating a very different look of vertical rows that are close together.

 

Natural or Carbonized Bamboo:  Natural bamboo is not stained or carbonized so it is much lighter than the other types of bamboo.  Carbonized bamboo is boiled to achieve a darker color (the picture to the right is carbonized horizontal bamboo flooring). 

Stained Bamboo:  This type of bamboo is actually stained and there area many stains to choose from.

Hand scraped Bamboo:  This type of bamboo is hand crafted and has more of a distressed appearance.  If you run your hand across one of these bamboo planks, it feels kind of wavy from the ridges in the bamboo and is not flat like the traditional bamboo styles.  For a textured look, this is a great choice! 

Strand Bamboo:  The entire bamboo stock is used for this type of flooring.  The bamboo strips are heated together with extreme pressure which not only gives it a slightly different look than other types of bamboo, but also makes it much stronger than traditional bamboo.

 

Bamboo looks beautiful in homes but there are a few disadvantages:

  1. It is said bamboo flooring is stronger than maple but I have also been told it is softer and more comparable to a birch or beech wood.  If you prefer the darker color carbonized bamboo has to offer instead of the natural bamboo, note that boiling the bamboo does make it about 30% softer than the natural bamboo. The hardest bamboo flooring is the strand bamboo. 
  2. From my experience, it scratches easily, if you have pets that run around the house, bamboo floors may not be the best option for you.  Depending on what type of bamboo you install, the scratch resistance may vary.
  3. Similar to wood floors, the color of the bamboo changes when hit directly by sunlight.  If this occurs, move your rugs and furniture around so the sun can hit all areas of the bamboo floor in the room.  Otherwise, you will see defined lines separating the different shades on your flooring.

 

Price of bamboo is surprisingly affordable when compared to wood flooring and can be purchased for $2.19/SFT through Lumber Liquidators!  Depending on the type of bamboo flooring you purchase, it may have a warranty as well.  As far as installation goes, bamboo is installed with the same techniques and tools as with any other wood floor installation.  The bamboo planks have a tongue and groove edge just as the normal hardwood planks do.  Don’t forget to let the bamboo acclimate for at least 1 week prior to installation.