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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!


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


First Time Home Buyer Road Map in Greater Grand Rapids

I truly enjoy working with first time home buyers. First time home buyers have so many options available them and so many different things to learn along the way. Over the coming weeks we will help you, the first time home buyer, understand the process of buying your first home in Greater Grand Rapids and why it works the way it does.

The questions we will try to answer are:

How do I get my loan figured out?

  •             MSHDA Loan?
  •             Costing Cost?
  •             How Much do we need Down?

Agency?

  •             Who is representing me?

Where do you want to live?

  •             City of Grand Rapids?
  •             Or a suburb?

What kind of home are you looking for?

  •             Two story or ranch
  •             How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  •             Condo or single family?

Are you willing to do some work?

  •             How about a foreclosure?

How do we make an offer?

  •          Do we bid low and see what happens?

When the offer is accepted then what?

  •             Title Work?
  •             Inspections?
  •             Appraisal?

What happens at the closing?

  •             Do I need to bring my ID?
  •             What is a HUD Statement?

When do I get the keys to move in?

  •             Do I get to move in the same day as close?
  •            What does 30 days after close mean?
  •            Do I get paid for the people living in the home?

Over the next few weeks, the Grand Rapids Resource Team will try to help you understand this process better. So when you’re ready to buy your first home you will know whom to call, when it will be their turn to help you and we hope that this will make the process of buying your first home easier and less stressful.

If you are currently looking at homes now and can’t wait for the following articles please feel free to call or email me today. I would be honored to help you through this process.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


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


1042 Widdicomb NW, Grand Rapids MI Home For Sale

NW Grand Rapids Home/Rental Property For Sale

1042 Widdicomb NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
 

Unit # 1 
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Owners Suite
Unit # 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Rent $450

Price: $119,900

Comments:

This beautifully updated NW bungalow offers many possibilities. The current owner lives on the spacious, remodeled first floor and rents the second floor for $450/ month. You could do the same! Separate kitchen, bathroom, utilities and entrance. Or easily combine this 2-unit into 1. Updates include roof, windows, paint, carpet, garbage disposal, refrigerator, vinyl siding, glass block windows in basement, and much more! Hardwood floors run throughout the house and the bathroom has been recently refinished with a tile floor and pedestal sink. Entertain in the formal dining room with leaded glass windows or relax on the large front porch. Situated on a lovely, tree-lined street, this is a must see!

from stevevolkers.vodpod.

Contributed to GrandRapidsResource.com by:

Steve Volkers at Keller Williams Realty


What is title insurance and why do I need it?

This is a question that I get a lot.  Here are some facts that you need to know. 

  • Title is the evidence of a person’s right to use and possess land. 
  • Title Insurance is a contract which protects against any losses caused by defects in the title or an interest in real property which is insured. 
  • Title Insurance has a one time premium.
  • Title premiums are regulated by the State of Michigan. It’s risk avoidance rather than risk assumption. 
  • A title commitment is a report of the condition of title and what steps must be completed in order to close your transaction. 

Here’s an example:  You are purchasing a property and title work is ordered (by your realtor or lender).  Once the search is complete, we find that there is still a mortgage showing up from a previous owner.  In order for you to proceed with your purchase, we have to “clear” that “condition”.  We have to make sure that there actually isn’t a mortgage (lien) on the property from a previous owner.  There are lots of different things that can turn up in a title search.  As a title insurance agency, we assist you in clearing any conditions that may show up in o,rder for your transaction to be smooth and worry free.

On your settlement statement you will see that the Seller will pay for an Owner’s Policy.  This is guaranteeing that you are purchasing a property that is free and clear of any liens or additional interests.  On the Buyer side there is Lender’s Policy that you will pay for.  This guarantees to your lender that they are in First Lien position and that there are no other liens on the property that could come before them.

About a month after your closing, you will receive your Final Policy in the mail.  This is your title insurance policy.  Keep it in a safe place with your other important documents.

I hope that this answers some of your questions about title insurance.  If you have more questions – keep reading – I’ll update weekly with new information! 


Who is Steve Volkers?

I have been writing posts on this blog for a little over five months now and realized that I have never formally introduced myself.

My name is Steve Volkers and I work with Keller Williams Realty to help individuals buy and sell homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the surrounding area.

I strongly believe that knowledge is power. As a Realtor, my number one goal is to help counsel and teach my clients about the process of selling and buying a home in the Grand Rapids area kw_stack_color.jpg

With unique internet marketing tools, I am able to get homes in front of more people in Grand Rapids than the average Realtor.

It’s no longer the age or a market that we can put a home on the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR) Multiple Listings Service (MLS) and pray that it will sell.

So thank you for reading my blog and starting the learning process with me. I hope that the articles that you will read on this blog will enrich your life and give you the knowledge and power to buy or sell your next home.

Also see my Facebook Profile to learn more about me and keep up with what is going on in my life.


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