Two Tips for Agents Working with Sellers with Homes that Need Renovation

Home renovation concept. Shape of a house from construction tools.

Not every buyer will want to put hours of labor into their home before placing it on the market. This can be a challenge for the real estate professionals who are tasked with selling it as their seller wants to gain top dollar, but without making the necessary changes that buyers expect.

Work with what you have. Keep in mind, you are not attempting to hide or make the imperfections look perfect to the buyer. Instead, positioning it as an easy DIY project can attract the homeowners that do not mind a project in return for a little hard work. Depending on the amount of work that is required, it may also be a great property to market to flippers.

Manage the easy tasks. You can take some of the burden off of the buyer by managing the easier tasks. Cleaning up debris and leaves on the outside of the house and hiring someone to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls can make the task seem less daunting. Consider the resale value of each project and what it is worth to the overall cost of the house.

Just a couple of tips. If you have others, we’d love to hear them. 

Buying a Home this Spring? Make Sure You Get the Details Right.

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Spring marks the beginning of the selling season and is often considered the busiest and best time to purchase a home. As more people look to purchase a home in the coming months, it’s important to understand the buying process. Here are some tips from DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) and the Division of Real Estate.

Talk to your lender early in the process. Meet with your lender before contacting a real estate agent to simplify the home buying process. Getting prequalified for a mortgage gives you a solid price range for homes to consider.

Determine your working relationship with your broker. Many homebuyers don’t know that Colorado has two options when it comes to your relationship with your broker – a Single Agency broker (an agent for the buyer OR seller) or a Transaction Broker (for the buyer or seller OR both). A single agency broker will advocate for and work solely on a single client’s behalf. A transaction broker facilitates the sale by fully informing the parties, presenting all offers and assisting the parties with any contracts, including the closing of the transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties.

Understand the real estate contract. An offer for the purchase of real estate must be in writing to be valid. The Colorado Real Estate Commission requires every real estate broker licensee use a contract form approved by the Real Estate Commission, unless the contract is drawn by either the seller or buyer or the attorney for the buyer or seller.

Recognize contingencies in the contract. The contract approved by the Real Estate Commission allows for the buyer and their licensed broker to make the contract contingent on certain items. Contingencies can be items such as the property appraising for the purchase price, approval of financing, a satisfactory home inspection, or the sale of their current residence. It is critical for a buyer to include those contingency items in the contract to eliminate misunderstandings about what circumstances will allow for a successful execution of the transaction.

Meet all deadlines and put down your earnest money. Once your offer has been accepted by the seller, you will put down a good faith deposit, often called earnest money. Both the buyer and seller will need to meet specific deadlines before you close on your home. As a buyer, if you miss a deadline, you might not be able to cancel or withdraw your offer unless you are willing to forfeit your earnest money. Your offer allows you to make decisions regarding when to close on your new property, when you can take possession of that property, and what remedies are available if the contract dates are not met.

This is a lot of information. If you’re ready to get started on the homebuying process, contact us to start with step one and get you pre-qualified today.

Keeping Kids Entertained at Open Houses

Family Opening Door And Walking In Empty Lounge Of New Home

If you’ve ever had children tag along with open house visitors, you know it can sometimes be difficult to keep them entertained while touring a house. Here are a few ways to conquer kid-size boredom, keep the parents’ attention, and extend time to engage with the family.

Give kids something to do. Scope out a low-traffic station for snacks, coloring or play dough. Hold a contest for the best drawing of the home and offer a prize that winners can pick up at your office. This gets kids involved in the spirit of house hunting and creates additional contacts with prospects.

Give kids something to take home. Inexpensive coloring books and a pack of crayons, a pick-a-prize toy box, or a small goody bag handed off at the end of the visit can add a little extra patience to kids’ reserves. Your level of understanding in the situation will also translate well with parents.

Create a digital playground with a few iPads or a dedicated “kids only” laptop loaded with simple and fun-to-play games, like “My PlayHome” or “Make a House.” Gearing media toward real estate reinforces interest in the parents’ activity and helps them explain the process to little ones.

Ask kids’ opinions. While older kids may not be as finicky, they can distract parents and push to speed things up. Be ready with clipboards and opinion checklists that ask to list their top three likes and dislikes about the home. Send a branded house hunting checklist home with parents.

Kids can be an opportunity to develop a relationship with real-estate-minded parents. Don’t miss out!

Source: Inman

Agents Can Work Faster and Smarter, and Stay Safer, with a Few Great Apps

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Real estate agents have a lot going on so anything that can make their job a little easier is always welcome. Here are some great apps for agents. Check these out and see if they help you work faster and smarter, and stay a little safer.

Bmonitored: This app provides a way to have safe meetings with strangers. Enter a meeting start time and safety alert times. Bmonitored will then ask you for confirmation that you are safe at the interval you have selected. Once you respond with your one-digit personal PIN, the system clock resets until your next safety alert interval. If you do not respond, your emergency contacts and the authorities are notified with your last GPS coordinates.

Magic Plan: Magic Plan will make you feel like a real magician when you create accurate floor plans quickly and easily on your iPad or your iPhone. Use the camera of your device and while turning around, mark the corners of your space. When you are finished, Magic Plan aggregates a floorplan!

With just a little practice you’ll be capturing a room using Magic Plan within a minute. That’s saving you a lot of time – plus the cost of employing someone else to measure it!

Homesnap: This app lets you snap a photo of any home to reveal home value estimates, interior photos, bedrooms, bathrooms, taxes, lot boundaries, public school information and more. In addition, consumers use Homesnap to search for homes every month, and each time they have a question about your listing, real estate agents using Homesnap Pro get the lead instantly for free.

Homesnap also comes with a safety timer or sends distress alerts if an agent is in danger.

Open Home Pro: Open house visitors sign in with a name, email address and other relevant information online rather than on a sheet of paper that you may or may not be able to read. After each open house, visitors receive a professional follow up email with the agent’s contact information. Agents receive a list of leads who don’t have an agent or a home to sell so they can act quickly to capture potential home buyers.

Postagram: This app is just plain fun and good business. Use your photos from Instagram, Facebook and your camera roll to design postcards. Customize the colors to match your style and choose your designs. These are great ways to easily stay in touch with a personal message with your homebuyers. And wouldn’t it be fun to send a photo message after a closing with your homebuyers in front of their new home or at the closing? Postagram helps keep business personal.

These are just a few of the great apps agents can use for business (and for fun!). Check these out today for the boost your business needs now.