A Little Do-It-Yourself Update For Anyone

My family recently completed a remodel of most of our main level (living, kitchen, dining)... Floor demo + new, cabinets, removed structural wall, added beam, counters...it was a gut job and we love the new. But it took a lot of work, mostly by contractors.

We did a couple tile floor & backsplash projects ourselves, and fortunately my husband and I work well together! Tile isn't for the faint of heart, and you have to have the right tools! I wanted to share another little project we did ourselves. Anyone can do this. We were putting in gorgeous new dark floors and frankly I couldn't stand to bear the thought of looking at our nasty vent covers! I wanted to buy all new. However, I'd seen the idea somewhere (not sure where, because I'm not on Pinterest). I thought we'd try it, and if it turned out ugly, we could still buy new vent covers. If you look at the pictures I post below, the brass ones were seriously disgusting. Now I love them!

 

1) Take out the old vents...

2) scrape them down with steel wool... 

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3) prime with a spray can (maybe twice)....

4) spray paint with your color of choice (definitely twice! with drying time in between). 

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They look SOOOOOO much better!!! The large one on the right I didn't get a before photo, but it was white and obviosuly wouldn't work for this cold-air return built into the cabinet here. In many cases, with carpet or wall/ceiling vents, the black might look really weird. You could freshen them up with white or pewter color. he black looks good in dark floors and cabinets.  

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Buyer Feedback Can Help Sell Your Colorado Springs Home

One of the most important things we, as listing agents, can do is obtain feedback about the properties we list for sale. We know and understand that It’s hard for homeowners to see their homes from an unbiased perspective. Homes hold many memories and stir up emotions that may be hard to relinquish, especially when it’s time to price a home for sale.

As experienced listing agents, our job is to help set a realistic price for the current market; but if homeowners are clinging to an unrealistic expectation, buyer feedback can often help. When an agent shows a home that we have listed for sale, we send that agent a form asking for feedback: what did the buyer think? Were there any issues the buyer pointed out? If you are not bringing us an offer on the property, what could we have done to spark an offer? Homeowners are often surprised to hear the answers to these questions.

Pet odors are a common issue that many homeowners overlook but are often noticed by potential buyers. Maybe the kitchen and/or bathrooms are dated and, consequently, bringing down the value of the home. Sometimes the fixes are easy: fresh coats of paint and deep cleaning carpets can boost a home’s appeal. However, many times, it’s the listing price of the home that deters potential buyers. Setting the right price for the most efficient and profitable sale requires extensive knowledge of what’s happening in the Colorado Springs real estate market, as well as the latest information about mortgage rates and availability. Internet-savvy buyers look at comparable homes for sale in the area and certainly have a good sense as to whether the home is priced accurately for the neighborhood. Although some homeowners want to price their homes based on Zillow and Trulia estimates, these are not always reliable sources as markets can change rapidly and sales data takes time to find its way into those systems.

So, the take-away lesson when listing your home is work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who is familiar with the community and will help set a realistic selling price. And always listen to the feedback.

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How Important are First Impressions?

firstimpressions

The saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression” has never been truer, especially when it comes to marketing Real Estate.

In the 2013 National Association of Realtors Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers, Home Buyers were asked, “What actions they took as a result of an Internet Home Search?" 75% responded that they drove by or viewed the home while 63% scheduled a walk through. This reinforces our philosophy that the Internet is the new first showing.

This survey also supports our belief that professional photographs, video and virtual tours are essential tools used to drive traffic to our listings.

Here is the complete list of results from the survey.

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ACTIONS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF INTERNET HOME SEARCH
Drove by or viewed home 75%  
Walked through home viewed online 63%  
Found the agent used to search for or buy home 30%  
Requested more information 24%  
Looked for more info on mortgage and home buyers tips 13%  
Pre-qualified for a mortgage online 13%  
Contacted builder/developer 8%  
Applied for a mortgage online 8%  
Found a mortgage lender online 7%  

 

If you would like to learn more about our listing process and what we do to get Colorado Springs Home Buyer traffic to our listings, please visit our Colorado Springs Home Seller Section.

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Do I Need an Appraisal to Sell My House?

Sellers often ask me if they should get their home appraised before putting it on the market.  Here is my answer to that:

An appraisal is an expert estimation of the quality and price of the property. It is more detailed than the market analysis, which your Realtor will do. Typically, appraisals cost around $400.  They are a good idea if you live in an unusual market, one where home values fluctuate a lot.  Let's say you live in a neighborhood where homes range from $200,000 to $650,000.  Then an up-front appraisal is a good idea.  It will help Buyers to see the value in your home without questioning the overall market in your area. 

On the other hand, if you live in a neighborhood where most of the homes are alike, similar in age and size, then an appraisal might not be necessary for you to have done up-front.   Here, it's pretty safe to conclude that your home's value will be consistent with those around you.

Either way, once you have a contract on your home your Buyer will most likely be getting an appraisal done for the purpose of satisfying his loan.  His mortgage lender will order an appraisal prior to closing, to make sure the contract price and condition are satisfactory for the new mortgage.

Ask your Realtor what they think you should do.  A good agent will shoot straight with you and not spend your money unnecessarily!

 

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