Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Fast Paced Market Tips for Buyers

When prices and interest rates fall, new buyers are itching to take advantage of them and get into a new home.  But what happens when buyers find there is little available to them?  That's right: bidding wars and multiple offers.

When real estate is moving fast, it can pay off big to understand how to move quickly, and take advantage of opportunities that others miss out on.  In real estate, the early bird doesn't get the worm, the early bird gets the home. 

Making a big decision in a fast paced market doesn't have to be high pressure.  If you go into your purchase prepared, you'll be in great shape to make that offer when the right home comes available.  Here are the best techniques to make sure you're able to beat out everyone else.

1)  Get a Savvy Realtor
In a quick market where you need to move fast, you also need an agent that can move quickly and give you all the tools and advice necessary to make an informed decision.  Technology is huge when it comes to moving quickly.  Gone are the days of running around town getting signatures; digital docusign technology is the way to go.  A savvy agent will understand that you're looking to move fast and will treat you with a sense of urgency.  They will typically be young, energetic and have strong tech background.  With most multiple listing systems, your agent (if they know how) should be able to create saved searches that notify them of new listings as soon as they hit the market.

2)  Know the Contract
When you've got to get a contract in, you can't waste a few hours having your agent explain the terms and conditions.  Before you search, before you put an offer in, have your agent explain the entire contract from beginning to end, so you know exactly what it contains.  After a thorough explanation, ask questions!  Most real estate contracts are very standard, and only a few sections need to be changed per home.  Trust your Realtor to expertly write the contract to your benefit and be ready.  Those few hours could make the difference!

3)  Pre-Approval and Proof of Funds
To back up a strong contract, make sure your lender has provided you with a pre-qualification letter, or even better, a pre-approval letter.  This letter will let the seller know that you are financially stable enough to afford their home, which increases the likelihood of the deal closing.  Proof of funds can come in the form of an earnest money check, showing the seller that you "earnestly" want to purchase their home.  These two items are becoming more and more commonplace as standard attachments to any contract.

4)  Be Time Flexible
A lot of real estate transactions get done over weekends, which is typically when people are able to be out home-shopping.  But, what if a perfect listing comes available on a Tuesday?  Are you going to wait three or four days to go see it?  I like to tell my clients to be time flexible as much as possible.  Heck, it could either save you a lot of money, or get you into the right home in at the right price.  Set up showings for the late afternoon after work (4-6pm) and get into those houses if you can.  Better yet,  if you're comfortable doing so, tell your employer that you're in the middle of an epic house hunt and that you may need to dip out for an hour or so to see a home.  In the grand scheme of things, how important is an hour of work when you're making probably the biggest investment of your life?  Put it into perspective. 

5)  Put Your Best Foot Forward
You could move as fast as possible, but if you throw in a low-ball offer, you'll get laughed out of a contract.  If the comparable properties in the neighborhood support the list price, come in at or near a full price offer.  Sometimes, the time required to negotiate back and forth can open opportunities for other buyers to come in and submit a higher offer.  A reasonable offer will get a reasonable response from the seller and will prevent animosity during the next phase.  Make the decison whether you want to get a "killer deal" or whether you want to find the best house. 

With these tools in mind, you'll be the one hearing "we accept".  Good luck!

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at or email him at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6 Awesome Real Estate Websites

In a land dominated by technology, where can one reach out to find exactly what they're looking for?  There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to real estate searches, design, and information.  The problem is hunters are most likely getting bogged down in different choices of websites rather than getting the pertinent information they need to make an informed decision.  Over abundance of real estate websites can often cause "analysis paralysis" which doesn't get anyone anywhere.  Rather than pulling your hair out sifting through the mess, I'll show you some hot websites perfect for anyone in the with real estate on their mind. (
Not all real estate agents are created alike!  Realtors are real estate agents that abide by a binding code of ethics that guide our practice in every transaction.  Realtors are professionals who are typically better trained, higher quality and more knowledgeable than your standard agent. is your one stop shop to find quality Realtors. Beyond that, begin your search, seeing any listing in any part of the country. pulls listings directly from local MLS systems so you can be assured it is the most updated, accurate site to search. also has great organized information to help you get finance quotes, insurance quotes, moving advice and remodel/redesign ideas.  Download their mobile app to be compatible with your smartphone or tablet device.

Trulia (
If you need information, Trulia has it.  Begin your search with homes for sale or rentals.  Need to find some comparable properties?  Search past sold homes to get an idea of the market.  Need advice?  Trulia has it!  Search through advice from Realtors, get neighborhood and market information with ease.  Trulia is also packed full of suggestions for realtors and mortgage lenders.  Download their mobile app to be compatible with your smartphone or tablet device.  ***See comments in for shortcomings of Trulia.

Houzz (
Houzz is a relative newcomer to the scene and not too many people know about it.  Think of it like Pinterest just for homes.  Within, you can search and find ideas for any design feature in or out of your home.  Browse by style, room, or even see what's hot in your locale.  When touring that run down, beat up bungalow, pull up the Houzz app on your tablet and imagine the possibilities!  Learn about new products, styles, and techniques.  Connect with remodel professionals such as contractors, architects, interior designers, and suppliers.

Zillow (
Zillow has one of the most comprehensive real estate search functions going.  Set up filters for your search parameters, and see homes for rent, sale, or search recent sold homes graphically.  Like Trulia you can also search for real estate and mortgage professionals, get local advice and neighborhood information.  When I need a quick search, it's much easier for me to pull up Zillow and see everything graphically.  Where Trulia might be more text heavy, Zillow comes through with charts, graphs, maps and more.  ***CAUTION***  Both Zillow and Trulia provide "estimates" of home value.  Please keep in mind these are not as accurate, nor are they set in stone values of homes.  These programs use algorithms to try and value homes, but only a real estate professional can correctly compare your home to others, mainly because we have real eyes and real brains.  Also, some homes listed as for sale might not be for sale anymore.  Zillow does not show homes under contract and is less accurate, and therefore, is often frustrating.  (
Do you want up to date property data in real time?  Do you want to use the same tools the pros use?  Well this is the site for you. is the public side of the Realtor's private MLS system.  When a Realtor lists a home, within 2 minutes, it's available to your on ColoProperty.  It is by far the best when sifting out properties with contracts on them as well.  No other site gives you more accurate data in a very user friendly workspace.  The site is heavily weighted on the search function, but give a look to some of the options under the resources tab...

Reimer Real Estate (
Okay, okay...I can't list my favorite sites without a little shameless promotion. combines the search capability of with the advice and idea function of all the other sites.  Follow the blog for weekly updates from the real estate world, or see what you can gain from working with me as your real estate professional.  Check mortgage rates, dive into current regional news, or learn about short sales and foreclosures.  It's all in this well managed, constantly updated site.

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at or email him at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Critical Elements of Resale Value

None of us have a crystal ball to predict the future, if we did, this entire housing mess could have been avoided, nobody would have been foreclosed on, and people would have bought within their means.  That being said, there is much to be said about controlling your own housing destiny by purchasing a home with tremendous resale value.

Resale value is often misunderstood and rarely on the "checklist" of new home buyers.  It's misunderstood because most buyers think that if they can buy low, that they'll be able to sell high.  If they get a smokin' deal on a property, they're bound to be able to get a reasonable return on their investment right?  Well, that's wrong in several cases which I'll go into.  Every home buyer should have an understanding of what "resale value" is, how to maintain it and what to look for in each and every home they're considering. 

If you're thinking of buying a home with consideration to resale value, you're going down the right path.  Typically, a home at or just below market value will be a good prospect for resale value because you won't be overpaying for a home.  Secondly, you need to understand why the home is priced at or below market value.  Most likely it will be one of three scenarios:  seller distress, curable defects, or incurable defects.  Seller distress and curable defects are good reasons to buy a home at or below market value because these are situational challenges you can overcome.  Incurable defects need to be looked at and scrutinized much more severely.  What are incurable defects?  Well, with real estate, typically incurable defects are locational issues such as being located near a busy street, an undesirable commercial or industrial property or worse yet, a commercial feedlot.  You'll never be able to change these locational defects and in the end, that assumed resale value will need to be discounted to lure a buyer in when it comes time to sell.

Ok, now we've gone through what to avoid in assumed resale value, now, let's understand what you need to be looking for.  Still, you need to be savvy understanding home values within your geographical search.  Still buying at or below market value will give you your best return, but beyond that, you need to understand what kind of "upward mobility" your home has compared to the remainder of the neighborhood.  Upward mobility is the difference between the highest valued home in the neighborhood and where your home is currently valued.  If the difference is high, i.e. you're living in one of the cheapest homes in the most expensive neighborhoods, you're in great shape because you have to ability to add value to your home to get it in line with higher valued properties.  Even without doing much work to your home, if the neighborhood remains desirable and prices continue to edge upwards, your home will rise in value at a greater clip then those in less desirable neighborhoods.  Remember, rising waters float all boats.  It's better to buy a $200,000 home where average home prices are at $300,000, than it is to buy that $300,000 home in the same neighborhood.

Resale value is all about appealing to the largest cross section of buyers.  If you can appeal to 80% of home buyers with a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2000 square foot home, then why would you purchase that 2 bedroom 1 bath home because it was a sweet deal?  If you're thinking about resale, you need to think about who will be most likely to purchase the home.  If you could see most average families living there, then you're on the right track.  Make sure the home you're considering has enough space, but isn't so large that it's unmaintainable.  Same goes for lawn and landscaping as well.  If you're the only lot on the block with a pool, it may appeal to some buyers, but others might see it as a maintenance nightmare.  Keep that in mind.  Functional obsolescense is a real estate term used to describe unique features that appeal only to a few buyers.  The fancier and more unique you get, the less an average homebuyer will be attracted.  Keep your upgrades simple and just above average, no need for built in marble statues, bidets, and backyard waterslides. 

When it comes down to it, remember real estate is all about location.  If you're in a desirable area, maybe close to schools, shops, churches, recreation, etc., chances are you're in a good spot to set up shop and watch your resale value climb.  Pride of ownership is another key trait for the best resale neighborhoods.  Check out the entire neighborhood to really see if everyone is on the same page.  Price of ownership doesn't happen overnight.  Lastly,  one of the biggest mistakes I see buyers make with consideration to resale value is buying a home that doesn't fit their long term needs.  If it doesn't fit your family and your needs, don't buy it just to see if you can make a quick buck.  Consider quality of life while you're watching that resale value climb.  If you're miserable, chances are you won't last long enough to really capitalize on your resale value.

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at or email him at