Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 13-May 14)

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Happy Mother's Day! Perfect weekend to take out the important women in your life to fun events in Colorado Springs. Many things to do with Mom including a Victorian Tea, Pikes Peak discounts, and more! 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Victorian Tea and Ball -  Sat May 13, 4:00pm - 10:00pm, BeMore Event Center 3958 N. Academy Blvd

Admission: $35/person. Learn Victorian era history and enjoy dance and music. For more info, call: (719) 635-1773.

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Treat Yourself Mother's Day Fair -  Sat May 13, 10:00am - 1:00pm, PPLD - Briargate Library 9475 Briar Village Point

Admission: Free. Massages, chocolates, clothes, and crafts will spoil moms on Saturday. First 50 moms will receive goodie bags!  For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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Active Adults Club: Spring Birding Photography Workshop -  Sat May 13, 11:00am - 1:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $20/person. Mike Pach, award-winning local photographer, teaches how to take bird photography. Hobbyists and professionals welcome. For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Mother's Day on Pikes Peak -  Sun May 14, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Pikes Peak - America's Mountain 5089 Pikes Peak Highway

Admission: Mom free with paid admission. Treat Mom to free visit to Pikes Peak on Sunday. For more info, visit: City of Colorado Springs website.

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Pike’s Peak Antique Machinery Days -  Sun May 14, 10:00am, Western Museum of Mining and Industry 225 North Gate Blvd.

Admission: $5/person. Last day to attend the first annual Pike's Peak Antique Machinery Days featuring antique tractor pulls, silent auction, antique engines, and more! For more info, visit: WMMI.

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How Does a Realtor Get Paid, Anyway?

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Ever wonder HOW and HOW MUCH a Realtor gets paid?

Before I bought my first house, I was aware of HOW Realtors got paid. I had the chance to work in the industry earlier in my working career. However, it wasn’t until I started researching how to become a Realtor, and considered becoming a Realtor myself, that I learned more about HOW MUCH a real estate agent gets paid.


I was curious to find out if some of my friends {that had purchased a home} knew how a real estate agent got paid. Or if they knew how much a Realtor makes. So recently I asked some folks if they knew answers to these questions. A small handful knew exactly how and how much. But, most everyone said something like…

"I have no idea!"

"Now that I think about it, I still wonder how much our Realtor got paid."

"That’s a GREAT question. How does a real estate agent get paid?"


So, that boomeranged! The question came right back at me. Huh… Okay… Well, I’d love to answer that question.


Maybe you’ve wondered about this yourself. Maybe you feel uncomfortable asking. Maybe it never crossed your mind to ask. Either way, it’s okay and understandable. Generally speaking, we don’t ask our co-workers or friends what they make at their jobs. So it makes sense that we don’t think about these things. Or if we do, we're uncomfortable.


Asking a real estate agent how they get paid let alone how much money, exactly. Well.... that's awkward!


So, it’s a great question, and absolutely okay to ask!! AND it’s all part of, for most people, the largest transaction you will tackle in your lifetime. And no matter if you’re buying or selling, you are contributing to HOW and HOW MUCH the Realtor makes. I’ll cover this from a VERY high level, bird’s eye view.


Okay, so let’s start with HOW and that will lead us to HOW MUCH…


No Settlement, No Paycheck = 100% Commission


The vast majority of Realtors are only paid if your deal closes. In other words, they get paid via commission from the sale of the house. It’s not about finding a house or putting a sign in your yard, and then agreeing on a final price.


They have to sell a house either for a seller or to a buyer.


They have to get the entire transaction processed and to the “closing table” to complete the sale. And there are many hurdles and hoops to jump over and go through before you get to that closing table, my friend.


A house could not pass inspection... loans fall through... appraisals fall short of the agreed price... or any of the other hiccups that can occur in the process...


Soooooo...no closing table with everyone signed on the dotted line, then no pay day for that realtor. Bummer huh!?


Like the English language, there are exceptions to this general rule of thumb though. For example, depending on the negotiated contract, there still might be a commission due to the Realtor. And there are brokerage companies that pay their realtors on salary, with an extra commision, bonus structure. Like I said...this is a “typically speaking” overview that will not include all the exceptions. Otherwise, we’d be here all day.


Okay, moving on…


Who Pays the Real Estate Commission: Sellers And Buyers And Brokers, Oh My!


Typically speaking (you’re gonna get tired of me saying that!), the seller pays the commission for the Realtor fees. Which are always negotiated between the seller and their listing agent. And then if there is another agent involved in that transaction, then they share the commission with that Realtor. There are exceptions to this typical process. You may think that’s a bummer for sellers. Yet, when you think about it, usually the sales prices takes Realtor commission or the real estate fees into consideration. So the buyer is contributing through their agreement to that sales price.


As I mentioned above, I’m giving a broad overview. For more info on the HOW a Realtor gets paid, check out this article on Realtor.com.


Now this brings us to HOW MUCH…


Slice of the Pie: Negotiable Commission Rate of the Sale


If the sale of the house is the whole pie, then a Realtor gets a thin slice. Across the country and here in Colorado, the average commission rate agreed upon by sellers and listing agents is a variable percentage of the sales price of the house. This varies based on many factors - market area, market conditions, type of property, negotiated elements of the real estate contract, and the list goes on. Realtors cannot price fix! So, the commission percentage is always negotiable. If there is another agent involved in the transaction on the buying side, then it's shared. And even that is up for discussion.


Myth Buster: Not All Realtors Are Rich!


You have to consider that the majority of Realtors are NOT independent brokers. So what does this mean, you ask? Every state is different. In Colorado, real estate agents must work under the umbrella of a licensed broker for at least two years and are called associate brokers. Generally speaking, most remain with a broker rather than go independent or open their own brokerage. This choice affords them support with their marketing, legitimizes their business with clients, and gives them the opportunity to not carry the brokerage liabilities and responsibilities. And that means these real estate agents are splitting their commission with their employing broker.


After these splits of the commission, your average Colorado Realtor makes $51,240*, which is a bit above the national median salary for a Realtor of $44,090*. And that’s all before you take into consideration business expenses, taxes, and other overhead costs.


*Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

The Nuts and Bolts: A Basic Example


Due to a job change, a seller is moving out of state and needs a buyer for their house. Realtor A meets with them and signs a contract to be their Listing Agent. Due to the marketing required to sell their home, they agree to a reasonable and appropriate commission rate for the sale of the house. Realtor B brings a buyer to the house. They make an offer. Realtor A and B, on behalf of their seller and buyer, agree on a sales price. They go through all the inspection, appraisal, and loan process. So, let’s take a look at how this will all break down once they get to the closing table...


1. Total Commission (a percentage of the Sales Price of the Home) = $10,000
2. Negotiated agreement of Listing and Buyer Brokerages = 50/50 Split
3. Listing Broker = $5000 commission*, pays $3,000 to Listing Agent
(Broker/Listing Agent are sharing the commission 60/40)
4. Buyer Agent’s Broker = $5000 commission, pays $2500 to the Buyer Agent
(Broker/Buyer Agent are splitting the commission 50/50)

*Remember, no commission is paid to a listing or buyer agent directly. It’s paid to the broker, then distributed to the agent(s) based on the split with the brokerage company.


And don’t forget! This is all before expenses, marketing, taxes, and other costs to run an independent business are taken into consideration.


Sooooo...


I hope this brief overview has helped answers those questions. Bottom line, a Realtor is working for you! Until you get your house purchased or sold, they don’t see a paycheck. If you’d like to understand more or have further questions, . Part of my job is to answer these and any other question you have about real estate. Looking forward to hearing from you.


And remember a Realtor can be a Real Estate Agent, but a Real Estate Agent can’t always be a Realtor. And an Associate Broker can be a…. Well, keep your eye on our real estate blog for that upcoming answer… :)

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 6-May 7)

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Let the Cinco de Mayo festivities continue around Colorado Springs this weekend! Take advantage of this warm weather before some rain moves in next week. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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First & Main First Saturday Car Show - Rocky Mountain Mustangers -  Sat May 6, 8:00am - 10:00am, Parking lot in front of Dick's Sporting Goods @ First & Main Town Center

Admission: Free. First & Main First Saturday Car Shows are back for the season! For more info, visit: First & Main Town Center.

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'Sleeping Beauty' -  Sat May 6, 2:00pm - 4:15pm, Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus 2115 Afton Way

Admission: $15/adult, $10/12 & under. Enjoy this classical ballet performance by Rahcael's School of Dance. For more info, visit: Rachael's School of Dance.

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Fountain Creek Family Fun Day -  Sat May 6, 10:00am - 2:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $5/member, $6/non-member. 20 outdoor activities for the whole family including dino fossils, kite making, puppet shows, and more! For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles -  Sun May 7, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery 25 W Cimarron St

Admission: $30/person. Enjoy local jazz and swing tunes from Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles. For more info, visit: Friends of Colorado Springs Jazz.

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Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale -  Sun May 7, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Lewis-Palmer High School 1300 Higby Rd

Admission: $6/person, $1 off with canned good donation. Don't miss the home decor, antiques, garden exhibit, and Art Fest at this year's Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale. For more info, visit: Tri-Lakes Women's Club.

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Colorado Springs Bike Trails: Pikes Peak Greenway Trail

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With the warmer weather, I have been excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. With my bike, I have been exploring some of the great Colorado Springs Bike Trails and I stumbled upon another one. The Pikes Peak Greenway Trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Colorado Springs.  I like it because it's paved, located in the heart of town and is gently sloping.  It winds through the city, but you'd never know you were in one.  The trail parallels streams, rock formations and even crosses over some old, wooden bridges.  At certain points, you can even see a train which runs daily.

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The Greenway Trail is multi-use and runs north to south across the whole city of Colorado Springs. It connects to a number of other trails with multiple trailheads and is easily accessible. You can decide how far you want to go and how much time you want to spend on the trail. 

On the north side of Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Greenway is connected to the New Santa Fe Trail which runs through the Air Force Academy, through the town of Monument and ending up in Palmer Lake. Unlike the Greenway, the New Santa Fe Trail is a gravel surface.

On its southern end, the Pikes Peak Greenway continues on to the Fountain Creek Regional Trail at the El Pomar Youth Sports Park. The trail follows the Fountain Creek all the way to the city of Fountain and is mostly paved the entire way.

If you combine all three trails you can ride one way 40 miles from Palmer Lake to Fountain - mostly downhill!  How you get home is up to you. If you want some more tips on where to ride your bike, !

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Buying a Home with a Pikes Peak View

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People come to the Colorado Springs area from all over the country... the world for that matter. They move here primarily because of our military and technology companies, but also just for the sheer beauty and reasonable cost of living. The Pikes Peak region is a popular place. One of the first things people ask for (especially from the midwest or south) is for a Pikes Peak view! "America's mountain" sometimes feels like she's right on top of our beautiful city! Since the angle and view of Pikes Peak can vary so much, it can be a big factor in determining where you should buy a house. 

I frequently tell incoming clients that there is a trade-off between the view versus the feeling of living in the mountains. Once you get pretty far west, it's actually more difficult to see Pikes Peak because the other mountains stand in the way. So, I just wanted to give you a little perspective on our beautiful mountain from various angles. As you look through them, I'm sure you can hear "for purple mountain majesty, above the fruited plains.." playing in your head. Katherine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful lyrics, inspired by Pikes Peak, actually originally as a poem called "Pikes Peak"; later it was put to music with Samuel A. Ward of Grace Episcopal Church in NJ. 

This beauty was taken from eastern El Paso county in the Calhan/Peyton area as I headed back into town after showing houses. As you can see, Pikes Peak looks like a lone, towering peak from this distance, the rest of the mountain range hardly discernable. Note the cows and wide open spaces... if you're looking for this type of land and view, maybe this is the area for you!

Head just a bit further west into Colorado Springs. This shot it taken from the Briargate area. Obviously, a recent snow fall helps define the lines on the mountains, but it's also just a little more clear the closer you are. 

This one is on the way up Ute Pass. This might be the type of "peak-a-boo view" you might expect if you land in a home on the west side of town (west side is pretty much west of I-25, our major interstate... but the further west the better for most with this preference). 

Not sure I will call this saving the best for last, but I have a strong opinion on the beauty in Woodland Park... our mountain town, just 20-30 minutes "up the pass" west of Colorado Springs. The perspective on Pikes Peak is completely different. The mountain is far deeper that it seems from the Colorado Springs area. I've hiked the Crags from this back side and you can see to the west for miles. 

Needless to say , the weather, the friendliness, and so much more... but Pikes Peak is probably our most notable landmark, with Garden of the Gods, the United States Air Force Academy and the Broadmoor hotel as other major draws to the area. I'm not sure if this helps you make a decision about where you will end up buying a home, but in any case, I'm sure you'll love the area and our mountains almost as much as I do! 

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