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Four Ways to Avoid Headaches When Buying and Building a New Home

by Jason Daniels

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When buying or building a new home, many things can go wrong. In order to help you avoid a catastrophe when making your move, here are the top four things you need to keep in mind:

1. Make sure you have representation. When you walk in to the builder's model home, the sales agents inside work directly for the builder and their job is to protect the builder's interest, not yours. When you have a Realtor represent you, they can help you negotiate the best deal and the best possible terms, they can help monitor the process, and can help you by serving as an extra set of eyes looking for mistakes in the transaction.

2. Don't over upgrade for the neighborhood you're purchasing in. The sales agents in home improvement stores and model homes are based on bonuses and commissions, so they are not looking out for your best interest. You need to avoid over upgrading for the neighborhood you're in, as you may be unable to make that money back. 

3. Check on the progress. You don't want to get in the way of the contractor or the home builder, but it's nice to know what's going on at the job site. When you work with us, we'll drop by the job site to talk to the buyer about how progress is coming along. You want to make sure you're comfortable with your choices before the process is too far along to change them affordably. 

4. Make a list and submit it to the contractor within 12 months. You need to get this list to the builder in writing before the 12-month period is up because there are some builders in town who will not help you after that first year has passed. 

"We have a lot of experience with newer builds and would love to make the process go as smoothly as possible."

If you have any questions about buying a new property, especially if it's new construction, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We have a lot of experience in newer builds and would love to make the process go as smoothly as possible! We hope to hear from you soon!

Colorado Springs Homes and Blind Dates

by Jason Daniels

Selling your Colorado home? Get a free home value report

Buying a Colorado home? Search all homes for sale

What do listing your home for sale and going on a blind date have in common?

Buyers often want to know if they have to change out the green shag carpet in their living room, or if they really need to paint over that Scooby Doo mural in their kid’s room.

Of course you have to! Let's treat it like a blind date analogy. You go on a blind date, and the guy runs in wearing shorts and a sweatshirt, he's dripping sweat, and he's 20 minutes late because he was at the gym with the guys. He promises next time he'll be on time, wearing his best shirt and tie, and will look great, because he cleans up great.

What are the chances that you give that gentleman a second date? Probably zero!

"If your house is not presentable, buyers won't give it a second glance."

It's the same thing when a buyer comes into your home. If the house is not presentable, they're not going to give you a second chance. About half of those buyers are just going to go away. Half may be interested, but they will look at things like paint, dirty carpet, and water marks on the ceilings. They all need to be addressed, because if they see something that needs to be repaired, they'll double the cost in their mind. If the carpet is a $3,000 fix, for example, buyers will see it as a $6,000 fix, and will make a lower offer or make more demands.

To sell homes, we stage the home and hire a professional photographer. Make sure the Realtor you use provides staging tips and the photography to make your home shine. For more advice or answers to any questions about buying or selling a home in Colorado Springs, please don't hesitate to call me!

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!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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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