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Steve Volkers Group

 

Thank you for visiting Grand Rapids Real Estate Resource! For current information about the Grand Rapids Real Estate market, check out  www.stevevolkersgroup.com. There you can find properties for sale and for rent as well as information on new construction homes and what’s going on in West Michigan. See you there!


Crystal View – Newest Listing!

7451 Crystal View

$259,900

4 Bedrooms ~ 3.5 Bathrooms ~ 2,600 Sq. Feet

                    

This beautiful home has been remodeled from top to bottom. The kitchen and eating area features new cherry cabinets and elegant granite countertops as well as environmentally friendly bamboo flooring. The house has new carpet and fresh paint throughout. . The second floor master suite has cathedral ceilings and French doors opening up to the huge master bathroom, featuring a whirlpool tub, separate tiled shower, refinished cabinets and large walk-in closet.  If you still need more room, the basement has already been studded for another bedroom, full bathroom, rec room, and media room. With a full price offer, the seller will complete the drywall in the basement.  You can also pick out a range hood and backsplash at the seller’s expense!  


New Listing 1013 Aberdeen St.



Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

 Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

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This weekend, I was sitting in an open house at one of my listing in Hudsonville, MI. I often get asked by both Realtor’s and my clients if open houses are worth doing. Realtor’s say they are a waste of time and sellers wonder what the point is when only a couple people come through anyway.

So my response to that is this:

Over the course of a listing, the home maybe marketed for over 3 some times 6 months and in the Greater Grand Rapids Market there are some home being marketed for over a year.  If your Realtor is not having an open house how is your Realtor marketing that home?

An above average agent will place the home on the MLS ( GRAR), place a yard sign and list it on a couple of websites. We can all do that! I go a step future with my internet marketing and I would place against any other agent in Grand Rapids. But once all of the beginning marketing has been done what is your agent doing if he/she is not having open houses?

Every time I have an open house, which is once a month, I get to tell people again about your home. I get to place it in front of people that are looking for open houses, place another add on Craigs List and so much more.

So do open houses sell the home? Most of the time no, but they do allow for marketing to happen! It’s one more opportunity for someone to see it every month.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:
Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


Home Staging the Family Room or Great Room

Home Staging the family room is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to preparing a home for the Real Estate market.  While at home, we spend most of our time in the family room therefore through the years we have formed an imprint of who we are in this room.  Effective home eliminates that imprint and creates a space in which buyers can visualize their unique imprint in the room.   

According the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary , a “family room” is “a large room designed as a recreation center and informal gathering place for members of a family.  Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at home staging the family room.

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First of all, the definition tells us that the family room is “a large room”.  When home staging, we want to make sure the family room shows off its true spaciousness.  Too much furniture, ineffective furniture placement, and heavy draperies tend to make the space look smaller.  For a more detailed explanation, visit my previous blog: Home Staging the Living Room. 

Secondly the family room is a “recreation center”.  Today’s recreation in the family room can vary from TV viewing, media usage, video game playing, computer usage, board game playing, book and magazine reading, and if you have small kids, toy playing.  That’s a lot of recreation!  Does everyone like all these forms of recreation?  Probably not, so stage the family room to appeal to the broadest range of buyers by making the space as generic as possible.

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The last part of the definition states that the family room is an “informal gathering place for members of a family”.  Successful home staging creates a comfortable family room in which buyers can envision themselves enjoying lots of time together as a family.  The result should be a room that is inviting, cozy, relaxing, and informal.  Eliminate any distractions or restlessness by de-cluttering the space as much as possible, Start by hiding as much of the media equipment as possible.  Make sure any cords are coiled up nicely and hidden from view.  Put all dvd’s or cds in a cabinet or decorative box with a lid.  Also, move any toys to another location while your house is on the market.  As you home stage, keep reminding yourself that the way you live in your house and the way you market it for sale are two different things.  By staging, these inconveniences should be short-lived since you will soon be moving to your dream home.

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Many homes in the Grand Rapids area have what is called a “great room”.  Merriam-Webster states that a “great room” is “a large room in a residence usually serving several functions (as of a dining room, living room, and family room)”.  The key thing I want to touch upon here is that the great room usually serves several functions.  When staging a great room, it is important to allow the buyer to visualize the function of each space.  Therefore, make sure each area is defined to portray its specific use.  This is usually achieved through the strategic placement of furniture and rugs. 

Home staging the family room may be a difficult task but it will pay off in the end.  Look at the room through “buyer’s eyes” and you will create a room that buyers can’t resist.  Happy staging!
 

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged


Tactics for Selling a Home in the Greater Grand Rapids Area

I was watching The Today Show this morning and saw a segment about a new study that was released titled “Seven Tactics for Selling a Home: A Data-Driven Approach for Home-Sellers” ( See: Segment).  Real Estate professionals are already aware of these tactics.  The report is from Redfin ( See: Redfin The Real Estate Scientist )and I am in no way endorsing them.  I am aware that many homeowners in our area may have seen the segment and could possibly think that the statistics encompassed the entire nation when in fact most of the statistics come from the west coast markets.  I have listed each tactic along with comments relating to the greater Grand Rapids area.

1. Don’t overprice your property

Price your house from the get-go so you don’t lose potential buyers along the way.  This is especially important in the extremely competitive greater Grand Rapids market.  My vacant stagings are even contingent upon the listing Realtor’s agreement that the property is priced accurately for the current market. 

2. Set your price to show up in MLS searches

When setting the list price of a home, don’t price it at the bottom of a price tier.  Your Realtor already knows this strategy.  Not all systems have the same tier breakdown so your Realtor will familiarize you with the tiers in our local MLS system.

3. Debut on Friday This may not be the same for all demographic areas, all times of the year, or all market conditions.  Your Realtor should have the current statistics.

4. Stay engaged

Since our local market is highly competitive, any extra effort will pay off.  Motivated sellers should be willing to paint, stage, fix repairs and look better than the competition.  It’s especially important to keep your home show-ready throughout the entire process.  That’s the hard part!  Remember, the way live in your home and the way you market it for sale are two different things.

5. Market the property online

In addition to the MLS, other websites can help notify potential buyers of your house for sale.  Different types of homes demand different marketing strategies.  Consult with your Realtor to inquire about supplementary websites that may gain your home more exposure.

6. When selling your home, stay put

You don’t HAVE to stay put.  Another option is to Stage the vacant house in order to help buyers visualize the space and to picture themselves living there.  Most of my vacant stagings in the greater Grand Rapids area sell within 2-3 months.

7. If you can, wait to list your property until neighboring foreclosures are off the market

You have most likely heard the news about Michigan’s foreclosure statistics.  Just because there’s a foreclosed home for sale in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that it’s competition for your home.  Your Realtor is there to help decide.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Heidi Herbruck at Simply Staged


Grand Rapids Foreclosure List

So you would like a list of Grand Rapids, Michigan Area Foreclosures! Sorry it’s not that easy. You can go online and pay some money on different websites and they will provide you a list of addresses that are foreclosures in the Grand Rapids area. This list can be helpful as a starting place, but doesn’t help you in the purchasing of the home.

I can provide you with that same list for FREE if you work with me. Why would I want you to work through me? Why will I not just give you a list of the foreclosures in Grand Rapids? Because I don’t think that serves you in the best manner I can.

There are so many homes on the market and most of the great deals are not foreclosures. The media is telling people that the best homes for the dollar are foreclosures, which sometimes they can be, but often they are in poor condition. You may be able to find a non-foreclosure for the same price or just a little more and you don’t have to put near the amount of work into it.

Yes, if you are looking for a home to make $15,000 and up in one year by spending a lot of time and money to get it into proper living conditions, a foreclosure could be for you! But if your looking for a home that you can move into with little to no work and make $15,000 on it over a couple of years with light improvements than a foreclosure is typically not the best route.

There are exceptions to every rule, so please don’t think you can find a foreclosure in Grand Rapids that you can move right into or a regular listing home that you could buy and sell next year for more money. Rather these are basic guidelines I offer to my clients as we work through the process of finding the perfect home for their needs.

If you want a list of foreclosures in your area, I am more than willing to provide this to you, but please allow me to ask: Why do you want a foreclosure, so I know how best to serve and help you with the process.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


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