Choosing the Best Agent in a Fast Paced Marketplace

Denver is in a snooze-you-lose real estate situation, with homes selling sometimes in hours instead of days and weeks. A fast paced market like this requires an experienced Realtor up to the task of helping you move at lightning speed to snag the right home for you. When seeking the right agent for your home search, look for the following qualifications:

race car

Speedy

When interviewing agents, pay attention to how quickly he/she responds to your questions. Ask, “How long do you spend searching with a typical buyer? How many homes do most of your buyers see before making an offer? What kinds of stumbling blocks do you see for buyer clients, and how are you working through them?”

Tech Savvy

Technology has changed how business is done in the world of real estate, and you need an agent comfortable and confident with the latest technology including eContracts, mobile search and client communication on the fly. Lightning speed real estate requires more than a laptop. Ask potential agents what types of technology they use in their business. A part time or hobby agent may not have the tech experience you need to succeed.

Available

Don’t be afraid to get very specific about your potential agent’s availability. You will need a focused search experience, and you’ll need someone who can help you pre-search well so the on-the-ground home search process is maximized. Since homes are moving quickly, you need to be prepared to see only the best-fit homes and to move quickly when a home matching your specs enters the market. If your agent is not available on the fly, they may not be the agent for you.

Responsive

Ask a potential agent, “How long does it take you to respond to email? Do you respond to email on evenings and weekends? Does a text receive the fastest response?” If a home meeting your must-have list pops up, you need to know your agent will help you get in the door and answer your calls or emails quickly.

Knowledgeable

How long has your potential agent worked in this area? Which suburbs does he consider himself an expert in? Does he have a wide network of experienced pros in areas like inspection, mortgage, landscaping or other contracting? Ask, “How many of your deals fell through over the past year?” If the answer is, “None,” run the other direction. Active, knowledgeable agents in this market have deals falling apart now and then due to the speed and competition of the Denver market; an agent in the mix will have several failed deals to tell you about, and they can also share what happened next and how they helped their client find the next great house after losing a deal.

I have over 21 years of experience in the Metro Denver real estate market and it would be my pleasure to help you navigate this fast paced, sometimes tricky marketplace. Get in touch to let me know what I can do to support your success across this beautiful city, or to help you find a qualified professional to meet your needs across Colorado or out of state.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Tiny Budget // Big Ideas

So you are all moved into your new-to-you Metro Denver home and brimming with ideas on how to make this house (or townhome or condo) into a home that speaks your language and will impress your new neighbors, your friends and the in-laws. There’s just one teensy little problem: your budget. The Denver market is booming, and a lot of your available cash went into making a deal on the house of your dreams. Now you’ve got the house and a list of big ideas, but you may not have the budget to match.

Here are 5 affordable ideas to maximize the impact of a limited renovation and decorating budget for your home:

Hanging Curtains.png

“Increase” the size of your windows and the amount of natural light by hanging curtains properly. Drapes should hang at or near the ceiling and the fabric should break at the floor. When open, the inside edge of the curtain should overlap the window by just a few inches, which means you’ll need a curtain rod long enough to extend 6-12″ or even a bit more, depending the width of the window and how much extra fabric you want to include. Skimpy curtains can make your windows and the entire room feel skimpy – max out the visual impact of your windows by going high and wide and if necessary, add an extra band of fabric to the bottom to ensure the drapery reaches the floor.

Focal Wall

Create a feature wall for big budget impact with minimal investment. When you enter your living room, great room, kitchen, master bedroom or any space you are considering for a focal wall, which wall does your eye naturally go to? A wall with a large window, a fireplace or the wall your bed rests against likely tells you which wall to highlight. You can go super cheap with a can of paint (or two – horizontal stripes are fun!), clad the wall in wood or go bold with amazing wallpaper. Since you are only covering a single wall, you can make a lot of impact for a little dough.

Spray Paint Knobs

Jazz up outdated door knobs, hinges and handles for a fraction of the cost of replacement. If your house is sporting brassy accents that haven’t been en vogue since the mid-90’s, pick up a couple of cans of specialized spray paint and in less than a day you can update the feel of your entire home by upgrading the hardware. Don’t forget ceiling fans and lights. This article on Young House Love is insightful.

Gel Stained Banisters

Modernize oak banisters or other dated woodwork with gel stain. Builders love oak for kitchen cabinets, baseboard molding, closet doors and of course – banisters. If you love mid-tone oak, congratulations! Chances are this material is featured somewhere in your home. If it’s not a fave, consider upgrading bland oak finishes with glossy white paint or a deeper, more modern gel stain. Either of these projects require time and effort, but a project of this nature is a super affordable DIY. Read this article from Make It & Love It for more info on the process.

Striped Ceiling

When considering which features of your home will make a significant design impact for just a few bucks, don’t forget the fifth wall: your ceiling. Whether you choose the palest pink, cool blue or a clean bright white, if the ceilings in your home haven’t been painted in awhile, consider giving them a couple of fresh coats. The entire room will feel sparkling and new when ceilings updated. Learn how to paint like a girl here. If you are the adventurous type, think outside the box with a wallpapered or paint-patterned ceiling.

Are you wondering what your Denver-area home would list for in our busy marketplace, or which neighborhoods offer the best deals for your home buying dollar? Call me or drop a line. I’ve been helping people like you buy and sell homes across Denver for more than 21 years, and I’d be happy to serve your personal home buying, selling or investment needs.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

The 5 Year Plan

When shopping for your next home, it’s important to know what really matters to you and to look beyond the surface of a listing. As a seller, your home will appeal to more buyers and likely net a higher price now (or for a down-the-road listing under different market conditions) if you know how to best highlight the features that make your home shine. Whether you are buying or selling, think beyond square footage and the number of bedrooms in a home. Here is a list of features to point out to buyers if your home is for sale, and this is a great start on your “shopping list” as a buyer.

couple home shops

Floor Plan

Savvy homeowners know a thoughtful floor plan can easily trump square footage. An open floor plan offering 1800 square feet lives larger than a 2200 square foot home with a choppy floor plan. A home’s specs on paper do not always play out the way you expect in reality. Resist the urge to buy the most square footage and shop for a home with the best square footage instead. 

open floor plan

Master Suite

Depending on your family portrait and how often you host visitors, you may want to look beyond the total number of bedrooms to consider whether homes on your list have a master suite. A master suite is a bedroom with a bathroom attached; not just “a bathroom nearby and down the hall,” but a bathroom en suite as part of the master bedroom. This level of privacy is a luxury for many, and in a seller’s market you may have to forego this option in favor of getting the location or number of bedrooms you require. If you can snag a home with a master suite, do it; you’ll enjoy the benefits of higher resale value and you’ll love having a bathroom you don’t have to share with company. 

Master Bath

Landscaped Yard

For gardening hobbyists, a yard that is a blank slate offers fun future projects. If, however, you have a brown thumb or lack the time or know-how to create a beautiful outdoor space, it is worth spending a little more on a house with professional landscaping in place. When you choose a home with curb appeal, you will be thrilled with your choice every time you pull into the driveway. 

Home Landscaping

Updated/Upgraded Appliances

If you are selling a home with dated or dingy appliances in a seller’s market, the buyer will simply have to live with these castoffs. In a buyer’s market, new or upgraded appliances can help any home shine. As a buyer, you don’t want to be stuck in a house with a fridge that goes south 3 months in, or an oven circa 1973 that kicks kicks in on alternate Thursdays. If you are maxing out your finances to purchase a home, make sure you are investing in a home with appliances that will last and are in good working order. 

Upgraded Appliances

Spacious Garage

Consider your long term parking and storage needs when purchasing a home. Many newer homes feature two or even three car garages, but older homes may have a single car, a carport or no covered vehicle storage to speak of. If you actively anticipate needing a garage or additional storage in the next 3-5 years, hold out for a home with this amenity in place. 

Car in Garage

“What will we need in our home in the next 3-5 years?” is a great question to ask before and during your house hunt. Most people won’t live in the same home for a lifetime; you may move for a relationship, a job, for more space or for fun. It is wise, though, to invest in a home likely to suit your needs for more than a year or two. Other features to consider in your 3-5 year home needs plan are: home office, storage space, finished basement, flooring (floors can be replaced, but if you loathe carpet or have kids or pets, replacing flooring in an entirely carpeted home can be costly), location, proximity to good schools.

If you need an expert guide to help you buy or sell your home in Metro Denver, drop me a line. I’ve been working with individuals and families across Denver for 22 years, and I’d be happy to help you with all your residential real estate needs.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

Where Do They All Come From?

We know Denver is a magnet for people, and I’ve known friends to utter during mid-winter traffic jams, “It’s those Californians! They don’t know how to drive in snow, and they slow the rest of us up.”

Do you ever stop to wonder where Metro Denver’s population growth comes from? As a Realtor helping people buy and sell one of their largest financial purchases in life, I’m a fan of people in general: native Coloradans (I’m one of those myself), transplants from other counties, out of state or from all over the world. I’m excited to welcome them all to our beautiful community.

So where do all of these Denver-area newbies actually come from?

According to IRS tax return records from 2014, Colorado experienced more residents-on-the-move than any other state in the nation. Over half (54%) moved from other Colorado counties to the Denver Metro area (including Boulder.) Forty six percent of Denver area transplants came from outside the state with the largest number reporting from California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Arizona. Interestingly, when you subtract the number of Colorado residents who moved to a particular state from the number of residents from that state moving to Colorado, statistics show that Illinois gave up the most people to a Colorado move.

When people pack up and leave the state, they are popping up in greatest number in Texas, California, Florida, Arizona and Washington state. Sounds like we’re making a lot of state-to-state household trades.

Moving Day BW

So next time you don’t love how a fellow driver handles the snow (or any other road conditions), consider they are just as likely from another part of the state as they are from out of state, smile, wave and think about how lucky you are to live in the beautiful Denver area. There now – doesn’t sharing the road feel good!

Contact me for help planning your move to the Denver Metro area or a home listing to make a move across town, across the state or across the globe. I’m here to help.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

What Second Time Buyers Know Now

Home Dreaming

Buying your first home is an exciting adventure! It can also be a lesson in hard knocks as real estate newbies figure out how it all works on the journey toward buying the right home in the right neighborhood at the right price. In hindsight, there are typically a few things first time buyers would do differently if they had a handy dandy time machine to take them back to the beginning of the home buying process.

Learn from these common mistakes and wish-I-wouldas of first time buyers before you sign on the dotted line. 

  • I wish we would have gotten to know the neighborhood better before we bought the house. Without actually living in the home and neighborhood, you can’t know every single nuance of life in that location. But you can do a little side research to increase the odds of landing in a place you’ll love to call home. Take your dog on a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. Drive by in the morning, afternoon and evening. Stop by a few neighbor’s homes to introduce yourself and ask them about pet peeves and favorite aspects of the neighborhood. Beyond crime statistics, school districts and nearby amenities, a little detective work can go a long way in helping you get to know a potential neighborhood before you buy.
  • I wish we would have paid more attention to the other costs associated with home ownership. Beyond PITI (principle, interest, taxes and property insurance), there are additional costs to home ownership you need to include in budgetary planning. These may include home owner’s association (HOA) dues, private mortgage insurance, utility expenses, home repairs and maintenance, and other potential costs like a home security system.
  • We made several offers on homes we liked before we landed our house. I wish we had been better prepared for disappointment along the way. The Metro Denver real estate market is fast paced and seller-oriented right now, and not every accepted offer makes it to the closing table. It is tempting to fall in love with a house and begin to envision your life there, but with as many as 1 in 5 deals falling through, don’t mentally “move in” until the ink is dry on the closing docs. It’s okay to be optimistic, but that bright-eyed optimism should be tempered with reality, too.
  • Our house was perfect for two years. Five years in and this is tight quarters for our growing family! There is nothing wrong with settling into a cozy starter home, and buying is almost always a financially savvier choice than renting. If possible, it makes good fiscal sense to buy for long term livability, not just the now. Don’t overbuy – if you and your partner have a cat, you may not need a five bedroom McMansion in the suburbs. If you know you’ll have a family or maybe host your aging parents as roomies in the next five or ten years, think past a one or two bedroom place and consider how your needs may change in the future.
  • Our Realtor wasn’t as experienced as we thought. We wish we would have asked more questions. Read more about finding the best professional to represent you in a real estate transaction here. It’s important to ask thoughtful questions. Not all Realtors have the same level of experience, neighborhood knowledge or negotiating skill. Choosing an experienced Realtor is up to you, and there is more than likability to consider. I’ve learned a lot in my 22 years in the Denver real estate market. As a home buyer in this marketplace, you need savvy representation – not a newbie still figuring things out or a part time Realtor who closes a deal or two a year.

If you are seeking a knowledgeable guide in the hot Metro Denver real estate market, I’d be happy to lend a hand. I’ve been helping people buy and sell homes in the greater Denver area for 22 years, and it would be my pleasure to put my experience to work for you.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate