Author Archives: Carrie Holmes

edd640f3-9

How likely are you to recommend Carrie Holmes?
highly likely
Rate Carrie Holmes on specific characteristics
Local knowledge:  
Process expertise:  
Responsiveness:  
Negotiation skills:  
Summary of their experience
Carrie was very knowledgeable, kind, polite and available when we needed her. She really took our needs into accout when showing us every house and was very patient with us. I am very happy with grateful with her formall her help.
Service provided
Helped me buy a home or lot/land
Street address
1216 Crescent Dr, Windsor, CO 80550

Selling Your Home in Today’s Market- What Sellers Need to do to get top dollar!

As Colorado’s housing market continues to bounce back from the recession, more and more buyers have decided they can’t wait any longer – now is the time to get back into the market to find their next home.

While the real estate market still has its challenges, things are very different today than they were in 2009, 2010 and even early last year. Buyers are generally more optimistic about the future, ready to purchase, much better qualified for a loan and, in many cases, are paying big down payments or even all cash for their next home.

Indeed, the scales of supply and demand are once again moving back in the direction of home sellers after being out of balance for several years. While countless buyers are out there pounding the pavement for a home, the problem now is that there just aren’t enough sellers to meet the demand in many communities.

As the economy continues to improve and with a shortage of attractive properties in good neighborhoods, buyers are once again paying good prices for properties rather than simply looking for distressed homes at bargain basement prices. And in some cases, properties are even getting multiple offers, driving up the sale price above the asking price.

So if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now may be an ideal time to do so while buyers are eager, interest rates are still low and there isn’t as much competition from other sellers as there usually is this time of year. Here are several suggestions on how to get started and the best way to get top dollar for your home in today’s market.

Pick the best agent for the job. Selling a home is never easy, but in today’s complex real estate market it’s particularly challenging. So it’s more important than ever to find an experienced professional Realtor to help you get the job done. This is no time for amateurs. Start by interviewing several agents to see who has a proven track record of successfully marketing properties in your area. Ask them about their marketing plan, including print media, social media and online marketing via major real estate websites. Find out how well networked they and their brokerage are to other agents with potential buyers. Do they have offices beyond your city limits and even outside the state? Today’s buyers are just as likely to be relocating from across the country as they are from across town.

Go online and be visual. Remember the days of sticking a sign in the front lawn and taking out an ad in the local paper? Those days are long gone. Nearly 90 percent of buyers start their search for a home online, according to the National Association of Realtors. So you must be there in a big way to compete for the attention of buyers. Work with your agent to put up lots of high-resolution photos and as much information as possible. Make sure to show photos of all the major areas of your home and yard to give buyers as much of a sense of being there as possible. If not, buyers may wonder what you’re hiding. And strongly consider using video and virtual tours. Such marketing tools are no longer just for luxury homes.

Price your home competitively for today’s market. Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a certain price before the recession doesn’t mean you will be able to get the same price today. A lot has changed since then. And while prices are firming up, it’s still important to realize the new realities of today’s market. Talk with your Realtor to determine the appropriate, competitive listing price for your home based on current market conditions. You may even choose to have an appraisal done in advance of setting the price. Remember that in this market, homes that are priced aggressively attract the most buyers and – in some cases – multiple offers that push your final sale price even higher.

De-clutter and de-personalize. De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home before putting it on the market can help make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there – a crucial step in the selling process. Take down family portraits, personal collections and knickknacks. Homebuyers are looking for a home they can picture their family living in, not yours. Removing these items will also eliminate clutter and ensure that people are looking at the house itself, not at the photos from your last family vacation.
Update, freshen up. Keeping in mind that some buyers take move-in condition to be important, put your home in its best light. Possibilities include replacing outdated kitchen and bathroom fixtures, applying a fresh coat of paint and/or refinishing the kitchen cabinets. Replace worn carpet or fix broken tiles. Many cosmetic touches are surprisingly affordable but may yield much higher sale prices. The less work buyers have to do when they move in, the faster they may be willing to make an offer.

Make your home and yard picture perfect. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a positive impression can make or break the sale. You can maximize curb appeal by trimming trees, planting flowers and even rolling out a new lawn if needed. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. And consider having a professional “stage” your home to make it even more attractive for buyers by rearranging what you have and/or bringing in other furnishings and accessories.

Be patient and flexible.
You’ve done all the right things to put your home in the best position to sell. But there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way. A buyer may have difficultly securing financing. The appraisal may come in lower than expected. The escrow period could drag on longer than you thought before the deal closes. It’s not unusual to have occasional issues pop up. After all, buying a home is the single biggest financial transaction most of us will ever make in our lives. Through it all, remember that your Realtor is there by your side. He or she will be there with you every step along the way, managing the tough issues so you don’t have to and helping you achieve all of your home selling goals in today’s market.

edd640f3-9

Clients Comments on Home Selling Experience with Carrie Holmes

Here is what vikki313 wrote:
How likely are you to recommend this agent?
highly likely
Rate agent on specific characteristics
Local knowledge:  
Process expertise:  
Responsiveness:  
Negotiation skills:  
Summary of their experience
Carrie made my moving process so much less stressful than it could have been. I was relocating for work and was already stressed out with all of that in addition to trying to learn a new home sale process. Carrie had all of the paperwork ready to go and all I had to do was hand over the keys. She handled everything, and I mean everything, so professionally and thoroughly. My experience was great and if I ever move back to the Colorado area, I will most definitely look her up! Thanks Carrie!
Service provided
Listed and sold a home or lot/land
Street address
Greeley,
Year
2011

Fortune Magazine & The Wall Street Journal: Time to Get Back Into Real Estate

Ok, I know many of us have been saying this for some time now, but when the news media starts saying it – well, I guess that makes people stand up and take notice. A number of recent articles in the national press are now saying that it might be the right time for consumers, who have largely been on the sidelines, to jump back into the housing market.

I understand why potential buyers, whether first-timers or move-up buyers, remain cautious given all the economic headwinds and bad news out there. Economic growth has been slow, the jobless rate too high, and don’t even get me started about the politics in Washington, the euro-zone debt problems and the challenges facing Greece.

But I often urge buyers to examine what I like to call your “personal economy.” That is, if you have a steady job, reasonable credit, and enough savings for a solid down payment, you might want to take a deep breath and think about taking the leap into the housing market while prices and interest rates are so low.

Read what two of the nation’s top business publications, Fortune magazine and The Wall Street Journal, are telling their readers:
“Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.”
“Real estate: It’s time to buy again,” Fortune Magazine article by Shawn Tully.

“Two key measures now suggest it’s an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or for investment income.”
“It’s Time to Buy that House,” The Wall Street Journal article by Jack Hough.

Tully in the Fortune piece interviewed Mike Castleman, founder and CEO of Metrostudy, who has spent more than 30 years tracking data on the inventory of new homes in the United States. Each quarter, inspectors go through 45,000 subdivisions from California to Maryland. According to Fortune, inspectors examine 5 million lots and record whether they contain a house under construction or completed.

What has Castleman observed? The glut of new homes that the U.S. had a few years ago at the peak of the market has rapidly disappeared. Instead, he told Tully that he has seen a rapidly declining inventory that could force prices higher. In the 41 cities Metrostudy looked at, there are just 78,000 houses vacant and for sale, or under construction – less than a quarter of the 343,000 units at the height of the market in 2006 and less than the total a decade ago.

“The talking heads who are down on real estate will hate to hear this, but America needs to build a lot more houses,” Fortune quoted Castleman as saying. “And in most markets the price of new homes is fixin’ to rise, not fall.”

Metrostudy collects figures on the number of homes that are vacant and for sale in each city, and the number of months it takes to sell all them to determine whether individual markets have a surplus or a shortage of homes. “If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” Castleman told Fortune. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”

Fortune says that consumers may be confused by conflicting news reports on the housing market, and that could be impacting their confidence in buying a home. On one hand, housing affordability has never been better. But on the other hand, they continue to see housing starts falling and home prices still heading down in some markets.

Thanks to Chris Mygatt, President & COO for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Colorado, for allowing me to republish this article.

5 ways the market is trying to tell you now may be the time to buy

Taking a look at the real estate market over the past several decades, a cycle is emerging. Usually there is a steady increase in prices, the prices then peak; that is then followed by a relatively sharp decline which the results in a flattening of the market. The last time the market hit a peak was in 2006. Since then, prices in many areas have declined with a surplus of homes for sale.
 
If we take a page from the history books, it is likely that the next step is for the market to hit bottom. At some point, the market will begin the steady climb we have seen so many times before; but the question is when will that happen? Is it happening now?
 
You may be surprised to know that some economists believe that the market actually gives us subtle signals as to what it may do and where it may be going. We just need to look a little more closely at the ways in which the market is communicating those trends.
 
The following five factors may indicate that the market may be approaching its final descent. For sellers, that could mean that your patience may soon pay off. For buyers – this may be your best time to buy.
 
1.  Fewer new homes are being built – In a September 15, 2011 white paper for the global investment management firm, GMO, titled “Between Errors of Optimism and Pessimism – Observations on the Real Estate Cycle in the United States and China,” financial commentator and consultant Edward Chancellor said that “at the bottom of the cycle, new construction comes to a virtual standstill”, which, according to federal statistics is now happening.
 
When fewer existing homes are selling, most home developers slow down or cease building new homes. To achieve a balance between supply and demand takes time before the market can turn around – which seems to be happening. In its September 20th report on new residential construction, the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported privately-owned housing starts hit a three month low in August and were down 5% from the month before, down 5.8% from August 2010, and more than 25% from September 2006 when new housing construction may have hit its peak. At the same time, The National Association of REALTORS reported existing home sales hit a five-month high in August and rose 7.7% from July 2011 and 18.6% from August 2010. That may be a sign of demand catching up with supply.
 
2. A growing demand for housing – It’s a simple fact of life – people need somewhere to live. Buyers may be wary of the process right now, but there is an entire section of the population who will undoubtedly consider buying in the near future. In an Inman News article released October 4, 2011 entitled “5 Signs a Real Estate Recovery is Near,” David Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, reminds us that Generation Y (people born between 1977 and 1994) is estimated to include approximately 80 million people, or 25 percent of the U.S. population and those consumers “are now entering their prime time for starting their careers, their families, and for buying a home.”
 
Keep in mind that the U.S. Census Bureau predicts the country’s population to reach 423 million by 2050. That’s an increase of 112 million people in just 40 years. Those people will need housing and there will be an inevitable demand for homes to purchase. It stands to reason that this population growth will lead to fewer homes available for sale and prices will rise.
 
3. Rents are rising – Because more people are choosing to rent instead of buy in the present market, the cost of renting is rising. An article in USA Today titled “Rising rents make housing less affordable,” Zillow economist Stan Humphries noted that rents are expected to rise about 4% this year and that increase will continue in 2012. He attributes the price increases to the strong demand created by homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure.
 
High rental prices can be a good thing for the health of the over-all real estate market. The closer the average cost of renting comes to the average cost of owning, the more attractive it is to buy. In his GMO paper, Chancellor said; “Whilst people remain cautious of homeownership, the first effect of rising demographic demand is felt in the rental markets as rents start to rise. In time, rising rents push up the prices of existing homes and spur new construction.”
 
4. Homes may be more affordable – Let’s face it, we’re seeing prices that we may never see again. The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Home Affordability Index finds the national median priced existing single-family home was $168,400 in August 2011, and the average interest rate was 4.69%. That’s compared to a median of $221,900 and a 6.58% average interest rate in 2006. Low housing prices are a key in sparking renewed interest in owning real estate and can be the launching pad for a recovery.
 
5. It can’t get much worse – Pessimism appears to be at an all-time high, and it seems just about the time experts believe things couldn’t get any worse – they start getting better.
In his GMO paper, Chancellor says “In the good times, a house is seen as a highly levered asset that only goes up. In the downturn, the same property is viewed as illiquid, expensive to maintain, and heavily taxed.” Maybe we should start thinking of bad news as good news – a sign that a turnaround may be right around the corner and that now may truly be the best time to buy.
 
So, as these signs point to the market approaching its trough, what does that mean for you? The prices you’re seeing now may be the lowest for many years to come. You may not want to make the mistake of waiting until we’re in another boom to make your move. If you’re thinking about buying or selling and would like to explore your options, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help.

To find out whether buying or selling is right for you, call or email me to discuss your situation.
Carrie Holmes, Coldwell Banker
carrie.holmes@coloradohomes.com
970-988-0242

edd640f3-9

Clients Comments on Home Buying Experience with Carrie Holmes

Here is what DAVID DRYLAN wrote:
How likely are you to recommend this agent?
highly likely
Rate agent on specific characteristics
Local knowledge:  
Process expertise:  
Responsiveness:  
Negotiation skills:  
Summary of their experience
Carrie was very pleasant to work with. She was not pushy or impatient to get the process going. She was knowledgeable and very helpful in our search for the right home. We were selling a home the same time we were buying one from Carrie and we were having trouble getting information from our selling realtor so we would aske Carrie our questions and she was able to answer them quickly giving us much peace of mind. Carrie has an attitude of “making things right” for her clients. She is a very good listener and has a great sense of humor. We would highly recommend her and if need be, will work with her again in the future.
Service provided
Helped me buy a home or lot/land
Street address
3297 Sedgwick Cir, Loveland, CO 80538
Year
2011

If you or someone you know would appreciate top notch service please call 970-988-0242 or contact me through my website at; http://www.fortcollinsdreamhome.com/