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How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent and What to Expect from Them

Are you a beginner in real estate business? Do you want to make your first property purchase however you’re not sure how to get a good agent and you don’t know what to expect from them? If you find yourself in this kind of situations, read on and you’ll definitely find the right real estate agent for you.

If you have been thinking about real estate investment, today would be a great time. The interest rates are adjusted at historic lows and the process all around the country have already fallen at 2002 levels in numerous places. The question however is, how to find a good real estate agent and what should you expect from them.

First and foremost, you should consider finding an agent through referrals. You can have it from your friends, your colleagues and other professionals whom had worked with that agent in the past that can vouch their responsiveness and integrity. After all, the one you will hire will represent you in one of the biggest decision and investment you’ll make in your life so make sure that they are very trustworthy and they consider your interest as their first priority. Another thing to consider is to visit the local open houses within your area and speak with the present agents that are working with them. This will make you feel how really busy they are based from the number of homes in their list for sale. Also, you are able to get a chance to speak in a very informal setting with an agent to find out how personable and knowledgeable they are.

Once you have already identified your potential candidate in real estate agent, you should interview them first either in person or through the phone. You should consider asking them some things like their term in the business, the products and areas they specialize most, and 2-3 names of their satisfied clients. Remember that the first impressions go a long way. Ensure that they have a strong follow up and they are always right on time. After all, if they cannot get it right for you, you investment will surely go to nothing but waste.

Now that you have selected your real estate agent, you should give him clear parameters of what you are really looking for in order to give them the idea and choose the best. Consider answering this questions and these are things you should tell to your agent:

Is this your first real estate investment?

How much money you are willing to invest in this kind of business?

How much distance from your home you’re willing to consider?

What is the most comfortable and best price range you want for you?

Remember that a real estate business is just like most of the other service businesses. Only 20% of the agents will do 80% of the business. Take your time before getting started in finding the best agent from you to ensure that you’ll get the best deals in real estate business.

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What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

With St. Patrick’s Day this month, I got to thinking about “luck” and what it means in real estate. Does luck have a place in real estate?
For decades, probably even before the turn of the century, real estate has always been jokingly about location, location, location but is there more to it than that? Is it luck? Did you just happen to find your dream home? Did your house just happen to go under contract in one day with multiple offers? I say no. I believe, and even practice, that real estate is a calculated game of insight, wit, and intelligence.

imagesThat is not to say that the brand new agent who is selling the overpriced listing down the street doesn’t get “lucky” once in a while but for the most part, luck has no place in real estate. The time honored practices in real estate have never been more important. Technology is great, and I utilize all the new stuff as it comes out, but it does not take the place of putting the work into the job. We can’t just rely on throwing a sign in the yard and hoping to get “lucky”. That is an amateur’s mistake.

Why would you hire an agent that relies on luck? Most of the time, the commission on the sale of a house is a substantial amount of money, and true professional Realtors earn every penny; but it never ceases to amaze me the Buyers and Sellers who don’t educate themselves and just hire agents that rely on “luck” rather than those who have insight, wit and intelligence.

So, what does all this mean to you? Well, you are lucky you are reading this blog because we at The Joe Reed Team do not rely on luck. We rely on technology, wit, intelligence, and time honored practices to make sure that your real estate transaction is the best possible experience for you.
Call us today 970-270-7505 or email us at info@thejoereedteam.com

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5 Things Your Realtor Won’t Tell You, But I Will

Whenever I go to a listing appointment, I always ask the question, “Why am I here?” I feel like it sets the tone and it makes the seller(s) more comfortable. I think most people have this preconceived idea that I am going to come into their house and tell them it is a dump and they have to put a free sign on the corner for it.

I am a black and white kind of guy. Let’s be honest. There are no secrets in real estate any longer. Everything, and I do mean everything, is public knowledge. If people actually don’t know, they will just make something up. So I am going to share with you the top 5 things I will tell you that the “other” agents won’t.

LOST

1) You have to clean up.

Look, I don’t care how you live when your house is not on the market. No judgements from me. However, if you want your house to sell and not just be “on the market,” you have to do what I say, and the first thing is – make it look like it could appear in a magazine. Paint, clean, and I do mean C L E A N, de clutter, pack everything that isn’t used on a day to day basis, stage, and most importantly — fix anything that is wrong with the house.

2) You have to be priced right.

There is nothing wrong with being a tad over the market if you are in a high demand market; but if not, you need to be priced right. If the buyers have a good agent, they will know what your house is worth before they even step foot inside it. Remember, all sales are public knowledge. And if that isn’t enough, our good friends over at Zillow think you should be giving it away, so be smart and price with the market. It will save you frustration in the end!

3) You have to be ready for showings.

Look, I get it, having your house on the market is right up there with having dental work done. It is awful. The one day that you don’t make your bed is when someone wants to come see it; and having kids, just amplifies the horror of having your house on the market, but if you are serious about selling, you have to be ready for anything, anytime, and from anyone.

4) Don’t take offense!

Buyers can be brutal; but most of the time, they are just saying how they feel your house stacks up to the other houses they have seen, which leads me back to points 1 and 2.

5) Be honest

Be honest with yourself, be honest with me, and be honest with buyers. You can’t hide anything they or I won’t find out about. Trust me! There are a bunch of Sherlock Holmes walking in and out of your house, and people sue for dumb things, so disclose disclose, disclose!

 

I hope all of this doesn’t scare you away from selling because they are very simple rules; but if you follow them and hire us at The Joe Reed Team, we can help you navigate the waters of the real estate market and better yet, we have partners in place to help you do all of these things! As always, leave a comment, call, text, email, or find us on social media.

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What makes a tech savvy agent?

Are all agents the same? What makes a tech savvy agent?  Don’t they just put your home into the MLS and then sit back, golf, and wait for their check to come in?  That is the most common statement that we hear when a Seller has listed with another agent, their home doesn’t sell and we are sitting in their dining room as we ask what happened with their first agent.

 

As uncomfortable as it is for me sometimes, I like the honesty from the Seller even as inaccurate it is most of the time. However, it gives us an opportunity to really tell the Seller what we do that is different from other agents.

So what exactly is it?

Technology is the single most important thing in selling a home in today’s market in my opinion. Yes, face to face interaction, proper contract writing skills and knowing the legal details are important, but if you don’t have the best, latest technology and truly understand how the consumer utilizes it, then your agent isn’t reaching the most amount of Buyers for you; therefore, not doing the best possible job.

 

The largest generation of Buyers, in the history of real estate, is just now entering the buying field; the Millennials. They are smart, savvy, and quick. If they can’t navigate your business while mobile, they will move past you and never give you another shot. If you don’t text, blog, have an online and interactive way for them to view homes, network with them through social media, or simply move as fast as they do, then you lose them! GAME OVER!

The steps a tech savvy agent should take for YOU.

So, that is why back in 2007 when I joined RE/MAX 4000, I made a commitment to my Sellers and Buyers that I would always have the latest technology for my clients. We were the first to have a lot of the technology in Grand Junction that is now standard in our area.  We are more than just a tech savvy agent, we are tech savvy people who embrace it and love every aspect of it.

 

I can confidently say, there is not another agent in the greater Grand Junction area that has the amount of technology The Joe Reed Team has. Call us today for your personal appointment, custom tailored to your needs to help you achieve your real estate goals.

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Qualities of a Good Real Estate Agent

All the real estate agents are having their own different qualities, however, there are several common traits that are being considered as a positive for anyone headed into the property market. These qualities will be able to help you in buying or selling you home a lot more quickly while you can also ensure that you will get the best deal possible based on the market at the point in time that you are making the transaction. Thus, if you are finding to head into the property market, you can try finding a real estate agent that is embodying the following qualities:

Honesty

As unlucky as it may be, the real estate industry are having something of a reputation to host people who are selling snake oil to their customers instead of looking out for their best interests. By no means, this describes each agent in the industry, but there are some bad apple who are making it a lot harder to develop that all significant trust than it should really be.

As such, you need to hire a real estate agent who will always be honest with you about your property, and many different facet going into the transaction. Even the best real estate agent are not having all the answers and it will be much more encouraging if you would hear that they do not know but they will try to find out, as opposed to a marketing speak slew being designed to take your focus off the topic.

Hard working

A work ethic will go a long way in the business of the real estate so you would want to be sure that your real estate agent will do everything they can with the goals you have in mind. They must be willing to be carrying out any research that is needed to be done, making full use of the their contacts as well as the marketing facilities at their disposal in getting your property out there or finding you something that you would want to buy.

A good real estate agent will be providing you with regular updates in relation to your potential transaction making the effort in order to keep you at the forefronts of their minds. They will as well be present for viewing, leaving as a little of work as possible at your hands. If your real estate agents would insist you to handle viewings on your own and will be doing all the legwork, it might be the time to find a new one.

Engaging personality

At the end of the day, a real estate agent will have to be able to express themselves, drawing your interest. If they are not able to do that for you, what would be the chances that they can be able to do it for anyone else? Your real estate agent should be personable, friendly and engaging, without a need to come across as dishonest or false. Some may need to develop this through time, whereas there are others who naturally simply charming. However, in order to find success in the real estate industry, they need to be able to talk about the things’ business side without having to lose the interest of the client and ensure that they understand everything that have been said.

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When to Hire a Pro vs. Doing it Yourself

Much like choosing a good real estate broker or home inspector, the decision to hire help when fixing up a house can save you a lot of time and frustration then by doing the work yourself. Some people are very hands-on and prefer to fix things themselves, while most are either too inexperienced or too overwhelmed to attempt DIY-jobs.

 

If you’re facing an upcoming item on the old “honey-do” list but aren’t sure whether you want to tackle it yourself or hire a professional, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself.

 

First of all, what is the scope of the project? Is it something as simple as painting a room or a more daunting task like replacing a water heater? If it’s something easy that doesn’t require a whole lot of technical know-how, you could probably do it yourself, save some money, and learn a new skill.

 

Are you comfortable enough to do it yourself? How familiar are you with the problem/solution? A great way to figure out if you’ll be comfortable on your own is to search the internet for YouTube videos, technical writings, and how-to guides for the specific issue you’re facing. Once you’ve seen what it takes to do it yourself, you’ll have a much better idea about whether you want to hit it head-on or hire a pro.

 

What are the cost savings if you do it yourself? Don’t overlook any tools or materials you’ll have to purchase to get the job done, as well as time. Time is the most valuable commodity because it’s something you don’t get back, so if it’s worth it to you to spend a few more bucks to have someone else do it, use the time you’ll save on something a lot more fun.

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What is an HOA and Where is My Money Actually Going?

When you purchase a property in Grand Junction that is governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA) you are paying a mandatory fee monthly, quarterly, or annually. Depending on how upscale (i.e. expensive) the properties in the community are, fees can range anywhere from $100-400/month.

 

HOA fees typically get funneled into maintaining communal areas like parks, greenbelts, pools, landscaping, and sidewalks. One of the major positives to living in an HOA-controlled community is that homeowners’ property values and quality of life are protected.

 

However, there are certainly negatives to living in an HOA community. For instance, if you consider yourself a big fan of the color pink and decide you want to paint your house that color, you have to ask permission from the HOA before you paint and if pink isn’t an approved color, tough luck. Many residents dislike HOAs because they feel that they are being patrolled and harassed constantly about maintaining their yards and home exteriors.

 

In addition to funding communal projects and upkeep, HOA’s also have a set of rules, or covenants, that residents must abide. These rules can include what colors you are allowed to paint your front door, house exterior, what types of basketball hoops you are allowed to display, what kind of trees you can plant, and the list goes on. If you consider yourself a lone ranger type that doesn’t like to be told what to do, perhaps an HOA community is not for you.

 

Before purchasing a home in this type of community, make sure you know the HOA’s rules and that they home(s) you want to purchase are not already breaking any of those rules. Consider how you will feel when the HOA tells you to tear down that beautiful new shed you built because it isn’t allowed per the covenant. Asking questions now will save you from potential headaches in the future.

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The Best Home Improvements For Fall

What are the best home improvements for fall?

Fall is the season for posting apple-picking photos on Instagram, enjoying pumpkin spice–flavored everything, and spending weekends enjoying the autumn scenery. Just peek out your window —whether you live in Boston, MA, or own a piece of Atlanta, GA, real estate — the cooler temps and changing leaves are hard to resist. While beautiful, fall is also the perfect time for rolling up our sleeves and tackling those home improvement projects we put off during the summer.

Fall Home Tips“Enjoying the weather can put you in a great state of mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand — and do it well. Beyond that, most building materials are at their best when they are installed at moderate temps,” says Phil Eby of Eby Exteriors in Akron, PA. Plus, contractors typically have fewer projects during the fall, so you’re more likely to find help quickly if you don’t want to go the DIY route. Especially if you plan on listing your home in the spring (or anytime within the next year), you’ll want to prioritize the best home improvements for resale.

 

To figure out what’s worth your time and budget, we asked real estate agents and other professionals for their expert opinions. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Paint the front door ROI: 80% to 140%
Hands down, the easiest exterior project is also the one that reaps the biggest rewards. A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Fall is usually the perfect time for this activity; just pick that afternoon wisely. “Normally, exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50 degrees or so and aren’t dipping below the 40s at night. This allows the paint to adhere properly and prevents it from freezing before it is fully dry,” Eby says.
2. Refresh (or repair) the deck ROI: 80% to 120%
A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the rails shaky, call in the experts. “A buyer who sees a dirty deck that’s in disrepair may sour their feelings about your house, and even if they still want to buy your home, they will certainly use it as a negotiating point,” says Eby. Even if you have to outright replace the deck, it’s worth the expense. (Just remember to get a permit!)
3. Enhance the exterior ROI: 60% to 100%
If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. “The last thing you want is to scare buyers away before they even get inside,” says Than Merrill, former host of A&E’s Flip This House and CEO of FortuneBuilders. On average, you’ll spend $1,000 to $3,000 (for a 500- to 1,500-square-foot single-story home), but he estimates that the investment in curb appeal can help properties sell for up to 10% more than others on the block. Just stick to neutrals: This isn’t the time to try out a statement color.
4. Replace or repair your roof ROI: 50% to 110%
“The peace of mind offered by a functionally sound roof is invaluable to its respective occupants and is weighed heavily by those intent on making a purchase,” Merrill says. A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence in a prospective buyer. This holds true for repairing leaks and for cosmetic damage, which buyers often use to negotiate a lower price.
5. Power-wash the exterior ROI: 40% to 110%
The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. “The ROI could be 100% or more, even if done by a pro for $1,000 or more,” Eby says. If you decide to go DIY, Eby cautions to take care to avoid spraying water in a direction that’ll force it behind siding or under shingles.
6. Window replacement ROI: 50% to 80%
Windows can be hit-or-miss investments, mainly because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to buyers. “It’s been my experience that unless the windows are damaged or so poorly insulated that your utility bills are sky-high, most buyers don’t consider windows to be a major deciding factor,” says Wingfield.
7. Update your HVAC ROI: 20% to 50%
This project ranks as one with the lowest payoff, simply because current buyers have come to expect all homes have central air. An upgrade isn’t a selling point unless the system was old to begin with. “If your existing system has been in place for more than 10 to 15 years, it’s likely that you’ll soon need a new one. It becomes an area that a potential buyer will most likely use to negotiate a lower price,” Eby says. Even then, you might have to show proof of gains in efficiency to recoup your costs.
8. Clean the gutters ROI: Priceless
Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “While you may need to wait for inclement weather to realize your return on investment, a mere 30 minutes of routine rain gutter maintenance could prevent thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of a home,” Merrill says. If you outsource this chore, expect to pay $3 to $9 per foot.

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Leading the Pack or Left in the Dust?

Technology

What does technology mean to you? Do you stay up with it? Or try? I believe many of us try to stay up with “The Jones” with the newest iPhone or TV but have you ever thought about if your Realtor stays up with technology? Do you even know what that could mean to you as the Buyer or Seller?

Leading the pack

We at The Joe Reed Team consistently stay up with the latest trends in technology. When I started in real estate back in 2004, I like all Realtors back then, took their own photos with a point and shoot camera. Disappointed in my photography skills, I met my now friend Leah and started taking more professional pictures with a much more expensive camera. I didn’t stop there, I wanted more!! Leah then introduced me to my now photographer Jim Adams, Leah’s husband. Since 2006 I have had professional photos done on all of my listings, regardless of price. Back in those days only million dollar homes had this courtesy. I essentially raised the bar of real estate photography in Grand Junction. Can you believe that there are some agents that still, in 2016, taking photos with their iPhones or point and shoot cameras? 

There is a similar story to Virtual Tours. In 2010, I wanted to raise the bar again with how virtual tours were done. I had a client in New York and he wanted to see the house thru video because the listing photos were so terrible. I had a dilemma; then I had an idea.  I had met Erika, Matt, and Joe Jones a year prior and they together ran with my vision of how virtual tours should be done. I was tired of the fish bowl look and wanted something more. I wanted a virtual tour that if you were a Buyer who was looking at the house online, you could feel yourself walking through the home. So we started the HD walking tours we now have. They have evolved with the ever changing technology. I went back and looked at the first one we did and I think to myself, “THIS was revolutionary back then!?”

The Joe Reed Team is always on the leading edge of technology whether you are buying or selling. If you are in the market or know someone who is, let us help.

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Keep Cool While Looking for Homes

This title means two separate things, as you’ll soon see, and both are important when you want to have a good time house shopping and when you want to get a great deal.

 

Keep a Cool Body

 

First, let’s talk about literally keeping cool. It’s nice weather in Grand Junction right now, but temperatures can soar into the mid to high 90s. When you are out shopping for real estate, this can actually take a lot out of you. Going in and out of hot and cold, air-conditioned environments can take its toll. Make sure that you dress for the hot weather, and always be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are going to look at several homes, or even if you are just out driving and looking to look for real estate for sale signs, make sure you have plenty of water with you. It might even be a good idea to keep a cooler in the car.

 

If you can, try to schedule viewings earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon, after the heat of the sun goes away. You might even want to carry a small hand fan with you.

 

Keep a Cool Head

 

In addition, you have to make sure you keep a cool head when you are looking for a property. Just because the property looks nice, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump on the offer right away. You want to make sure that you are actually getting a good deal, and that the home is right for you. Take the time to look up more about the neighborhood, the schools, and everything else that is important to you. Doing this, rather than making a rush decision to buy (or to skip a house for that matter), ensures you will get a property you like.

 

Take these tips and stay cool while looking for your new property!

 

Resource: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/hot-weather-house-hunting-survival-guide/