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Key Questions to Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents

by Jason Daniels

How can you make sure to hire the best real estate agent for your needs? I have a few tips for you today.
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Not all real estate agents are created equal. Most agents that just graduated real estate school tend to charge the same fee as a 30-year veteran. So, what sets them apart?

You must choose wisely when hiring an agent. After all, your home has a lot of equity, especially in this market, and a house is usually most people’s largest purchase.

Here is a list of questions you should ask when interviewing agents:

1. Does the agent offer a cancelation guarantee at any time? We do.

2. Can the agent show their results through statistics? There are a number of important statistics to consider. What is their listings-to-sales ratio? In other words, how many homes do they fail to sell? What is the average days on market for their listing? What’s the list-to-sales price ratio? In other words, how does the final sales price compare to the price the agent set for the home? You should also ask how many homes they have sold in the past year and in their entire career.

3. Does the agent have a specific online marketing plan and overall pricing plan? 

"Professional photography is crucial since 94% of buyers start their search online. "

4. Does the agent have a team of specialists working with them to help you get the home sold? Or is the agent a solo agent?

5. Is the agent full-time or part-time? We are a team of full-time professionals.

6. Do they use professional photography? Professional photography may be expensive but it’s absolutely critical to have it in a market where 94% of buyers begin their search online.

7. Do they know the proper price for your home?

9. Do they know the neighborhood?

10. Do they have the skills, experience, and strategy in place to negotiate successfully on your behalf?

11. Do they have client testimonials?

Please refer to this list when you interview agents because these items are absolutely critical to the success of your real estate transaction.

If you have any other questions about hiring agents or if you would like to interview us, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

What You Can Do if Your Appraisal Comes Back Low

by Jason Daniels

If the home you’re selling doesn’t appraise, is the deal dead? Today I’d like to break down the options you have as a seller in the event of a low appraisal.

Selling your Colorado home? Get a free home value report

Buying a Colorado home? Search all homes for sale

What should you do if the appraisal on the home you’re selling comes back low? Don’t panic; your deal isn’t dead. You’ve got four basic options:

1. Ask the buyer to pay the difference in the sale price and the appraisal price in cash, or lower any concessions previously negotiated in the offer to make up that difference.


2. Meet the buyer somewhere in the middle to try and keep the deal alive, depending on the gap in the difference.

3. Reduce the price to the appraised value. This course of action is most commonly taken by inexperienced agents, and is usually my least favorite option. Unless the buyer is absolutely refusing to negotiate with you, this should be a last resort.

4. Challenge the appraisal. This is my favorite option, and one that only experienced agents will be familiar with. A Realtor or real estate attorney can actually reach out to the appraiser to find out from the appraiser’s perspective why the number came in low. In order to challenge an appraisal, we’ll first have to find out whether the appraisal was done properly and determine if the appraiser missed any features or details of the home.

"An experienced Realtor can help you challenge an appraisal."

In order to minimize your chances of receiving a low appraisal, you’ll want to take some steps to prepare your home before the appraiser comes out to look at it.

You’ll first want to make a list of all of the upgrades, improvements, and renovations on the home, as well as the cost of each. Give that list to your Realtor so that they can point these out to the appraiser.

Secondly, you’ll want your Realtor to meet the appraiser at the property or, at minimum, send the appraiser comparable sales in the neighborhood before they arrive.

Finally, even though your home is already under contract, you’ll still want to have your home in showroom condition for the appraiser.

If you have any questions about low appraisals or the appraisal process in general, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!

Are Zestimates Accurate?

by Jason Daniels

Can you trust Zillow to calculate your home value? Unfortunately, Zillow’s Zestimates are often inaccurate.

Selling your Colorado home? Get a free home value report

Buying a Colorado home? Search all homes for sale


How accurate is Zillow's Zestimate? Unfortunately, they are not very reliable when it comes to calculating home values.

In fact, Zillow’s own CEO sold his home earlier this year for 40% less than what his Zestimate said his home was worth. That is a very sizeable gap!

Generally speaking, Zestimates are off by at least 10% (give or take) across the United States. Some Zestimates might not be very far off, while others are completely wrong. Ultimately, Zillow’s Zestimates are a good tool for finding a ballpark figure rather than an exact value.

"Zillow has no way of knowing what condition your home is in."

There are many factors that Zillow cannot take into account when calculating home values. For example, Zillow doesn’t know if you have a view of the mountains. Zillow doesn’t know where your house is located in your neighborhood, whether it opens up to a green space or parking lot, or how much acreage you have. Zillow also cannot see any updates you have made to your home.

Zillow is often inaccurate because the algorithm it uses to calculate its Zestimates is tied to the county assessor's office. The value the county assessor has for your home is often outdated by 18 months and is usually not an accurate representation of what your home is worth in the current market.

Zillow might be a good place to start researching your home value, but you shouldn’t make any major decisions based on the Zestimates. If you have any questions about what your home is really worth in today’s market, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

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Jason Daniels & Associates
Jason Daniels & Associates at RE/MAX Millennium
9362 Grand Cordera Pkwy Suite 100
Colorado Springs CO 80924
(719) 966-1500
(888) 351-1099