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News at Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, Realtors®


Welcome Tyler!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Please join us in welcoming Tyler Simmer to our Metro office in the East Village!

Tyler grew up in Des Moines with his 6 siblings - 5 brothers and 1 sister where he attended Christ the King school from K-8 and graduated from Lincoln High. He has a 4 year old son, Vaughan, who will be starting pre-school this fall. He and his son are avid golfers and hockey enthusiasts.

Tyler is also a musician and is into fitness, biking and all sports. He still plays ice hockey from time to time when not busy with work or his son’s activities.

"Des Moines is a great city to explore the many interests that I have," Tyler said. "Becoming a realtor has been proven to be very challenging and rewarding, I love the friendships and relationships I’ve made over the course of my time as an agent, and I hope to have a very long and rewarding career in the industry."

Tyler is a member of the Gabe Flemming Memorial Hockey Scholarship Fund which is a non-profit organization that helps families pay for some of the financial burden of the sport.

"I’ll always have a soft spot for hockey in my life," Tyler said, "And I love being a part of something that really makes a difference in the hockey community."

As for him coming to Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, REALTORS, he says, "I am most looking forward to being in this awesome environment, in a fantastic part of town. The east village office is a very impressive location. I love having the opportunity to be working downtown."

He continues to say, "There’s a different style of energy down here, the people in the office have been very warm and inviting. They have a very tight grasp on the industry with a lot of experience. I’m very fortunate to be a part of this team and be able to have these people as resources to help further my career."

We are so grateful to have Tyler part of our team too!

You can reach Tyler at tyler.simmer@cbdsm.com or (515) 577-1447.

 

Welcome Chris!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Please welcome Chris Roberts to our Ankeny office!

Chris has lived in Central Iowa since 1987. He attended and graduated from Ankeny High School in 1997 then received his Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Iowa State University in 2001 and Masters of Arts in Education from The University of Northern Iowa in 2012.

Chris has taught Elementary Physical Education for the Waukee Community School District for the past 13 years and will be starting his 14th year this year. This will be his 10th year coaching Girls Varsity Bowling for Waukee. He also coached Girls Varsity Soccer for Southeast Polk for 10 years.

Chris has been married for 16 years and has three children that are in the Ankeny School District. They will be in 9th grade at Southview Middle School, 6th grade at Parkview Middle School, and 3rd grade at Crocker Elementary School.

In his free time he enjoys biking and spending time with his children at their different activities. Any given weekend he could be at the soccer fields, horse riding lessons, or a Martial Arts class.

"What I am most looking forward to at Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, REALTORS is helping people find that house or property that they are going to turn into their 'home'," Chris said about his move to Coldwell.

Chris can be reached at (515) 371-2677 or chris.roberts@cbdsm.com.

Word of Advice Wednesday- What Questions Should I ask My Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home? (Part 2)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Here's Part 2 of "What questions should I ask my real estate agent when buying a home?" Great information for first time home buyers!


Tips for Power Washing Your Home

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Your home is exposed to outside air, pollution, rain, and more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Is it any surprise your home looks a little dirty from time to time? Power washing your house can help remove dirt and grime. But, a lot can go wrong if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Before you pick up the power washer, check out these tips to make the most out of your deep cleaning experience.


Use Detergent

To get the most out of power washing your house, it helps to use detergent. Even with a lot of pressure behind it, water alone isn’t enough to do the job. Pick a detergent that’s designed for use in a pressure washer. Some household cleaners, such as bleach, shouldn’t be used in the machine, as they can damage it, according to Popular Mechanics.

Typically, you apply a coat of detergent with the washer and let it sit on the exterior wall of the house for a few minutes before you rinse it away.

Know Where to Aim

Some materials can be damaged by the force of the power washer. For example, you don’t want to power wash stained glass windows, nor do you want to get water underneath the siding of your house. If your home has a brick or stucco facade, make sure the material is in good repair and that it is completely dry before you power wash. You don’t want water to wear away damaged brick or stucco or for it to seep into any cracks.

In the case of brick, you’ll want to make sure you wet it before you apply the detergent. Power spraying detergent onto dry brick can actually damage the brick. Soak the brick with water first, then apply detergent, and then rinse the detergent away.

Protect Yourself

Remember safety first when power washing your house. Although you might see people climbing up on ladders when using a pressure washer, that’s not the best idea. You’ll be using a machine that shoots water with a lot of force at the walls of your home. It’s best to stay on steady ground, so that you don’t lose your balance.

Since power washing involves shooting a jet of water at the home, and because water and electricity can be quite shocking when they get together, it’s a good idea to turn the electricity in your home off before you start. At the very least, flip the switch on any outdoor sockets. If you’re using an electric pressure washer, be careful not to touch the plug if you have wet hands.

It’s also a good idea to wear safety goggles when using the power washer. If you’re using a gas-powered machine, hearing protection might be a good idea, since those machines can be very loud.

Call in the Pros

Nervous about power washing your home? There are a few companies in the area that can handle the job for you. Websites such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor feature reviews of popular companies. You can also ask your friends and family members if they can recommend a dependable power washing business in the city.

Pressure washing your house can make it look like new again. If your house looks a little dingy or worse for wear, it might be time to give its facade a deep clean.

Questions a Buyer May Ask at an Open House

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

An open house is one of the greatest opportunities home buyers have to look around, visualize themselves living in the house and, most importantly, ask questions about the property.

While buyers will ask about the actual layout and physical characteristics of a home, as the home seller, be aware of several other common questions they may ask your real estate agent.

How Many Bids Have You Received?

When a buyer shows up to a home staging, they will likely have a good idea of your asking price. However, they may ask straightforward questions to help them gauge the true price at which you will really sell your home. For example, you may need to be prepared to disclose the number of bids you have received.

Why Are You Moving?

A buyer may ask your real estate agent why you are selling a home. Your agent is not required to share this information, but if they do, it can give a potential buyer a feel for where you stand. If you need to sell the property in a hurry, this could change how much a buyer offers to pay or how quickly he or she decides to make an offer, so it may be wise to offer this information.

Are There Additional Homeownership Costs or Special Rules?

Be prepared to explain any additional costs associated with purchasing the home you are selling, including fees or dues that come with certain properties. For example, if your home is located in a planned community, list the amount the buyer would need to pay for the association dues, additional taxes and other fees. Informing buyers of any neighborhood costs may play a role in their final decision to purchase the home or pass on the offer.

Make sure to also provide information about special regulations if the home you are selling is in a property like a condominium complex. Your real estate agent can normally provide details about communities that have special rules regarding pets or parking to any potential buyers.

If you have questions of your own, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent at cbdsm.com.

Welcome BACK Tracy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We are excited to welcome Tracy Adams BACK as a Realtor® to our CB family and our Altoona office! We have missed her smiling face and so happy she has come back "home". Tracy can be reached at 515-360-4374 or Tracy.Adams@cbdsm.com.

Welcome Gwen Conte!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Please welcome Gwen Conte to our Westown office in West Des Moines!

Originally from Hawaii, Gwen left for the mainland at 18 to attend the University of Washington where she met her husband. His career as a physician eventually led them to the midwest and Des Moines where they have raised three children. They have a son in the navy, a daughter attending TCU and a son that is a senior at Valley High School.

Gwen has been in real estate for 4 years and was most recently affiliated with Keller Williams. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, reading and skiing or dirt biking with her family. She is also a part of a local bowling team and volunteers at Camp Hertko Hollow, a camp for children with diabetes.

At Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, REALTORS, Gwen looks forward to the personal attention and support from the staff and taking her business to a new level.

Reach out to Gwen to say hello at (515) 238-8451 or gwen.conte@cbdsm.com.

Market Snapshot- July 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

7 Under-The-Radar Features You’ll Want in Your First Home Together

Monday, August 07, 2017

Ready to buy your first home as a couple? No doubt, you’ve both been keeping wish lists for your humble abode. Some dream features may fall in the “nice to have” category—separate bathrooms, walk-in closets and a swimming pool, anyone? But others—like extra storage space or a digital thermostat—really do make life easier, not to mention save your sanity when you’re sharing space with the one you love. Need help sorting out your priorities? Check out our list of essentials you might not have considered.

1. Storage for Everything Yours, Mine and Ours

While the number of bedrooms and bathrooms might be up for debate, one item on the wish list is non-negotiable: storage space. Take it from us, even if you don’t think you need it right now, you’re going to need it down the line (read: when you unload all your wedding registry loot). So before you start shopping, talk it over with your significant other to figure out your individual storage needs. Do you need an attic for all your holiday decorations and other seasonal items? Is a lack of closet space a deal breaker, or is a sizeable kitchen pantry more of a priority? You (and your stuff) will be much better off with a little extra breathing room.

2. Separate Vanities for Toothbrushing Elbow Room

The crack of dawn is so not the time to be bumping elbows and jockeying for position at the bathroom sink—your coffee hasn’t even kicked in yet! If the two of you will be sharing a master bath, save yourself the morning do-si-do and look for a place with dual sinks or even separate vanities. Not only will you both have your own designated space to store your toiletries, you’ll also avoid having to dance around each other to look in the mirror. Getting ready is so much less stressful when there’s no chance of accidentally poking your spouse with your hot curling iron.

3. A Smart Thermostat to Find Your Goldilocks Room Temp

Want a room that’s not too hot and not too cold, but just right? Look for a home with a programmable thermostat (or even install one yourself). The Nest Learning Thermostat takes this “smart home” feature one step further—it programs itself. This clever device remembers which temperatures you like at certain times of day, so after a week of use, it’s got your schedule down pat. Nest can even detect when your cell phone leaves the house and programs an eco-friendly setting while you’re away, or turns itself down at night while you’re asleep. We can’t guarantee it’ll stop your spouse from stealing the covers, but it definitely can’t hurt.

 

4. Space for Your Hobbies to Keep Boredom at Bay

In order for home to truly be your happy place, you both need room for your favorite pastimes. Before you start your search, think about what that means to each of you. Are you dreaming of a cozy reading nook to house your favorite books, or will you need a basement workshop for all those DIY projects? Talk about which home features you need to make this happen, like a spare guest room or spacious garage, and add them to your wish list. That way, your real estate agent can guide you toward homes that check all the boxes.

5. A Smart Lock So You’ll Never Forget Your Key Again

Sure, hiding your key under a rock means you’ll never get locked out, but it’s also a great way to get your stuff stolen. A home equipped with the August Smart Lock, on the other hand, takes security into the 21st century. The device attaches to the back of a regular deadbolt, and is controlled by your smartphone so you can lock and unlock, create virtual keys for friends and family, or control who comes and goes without ever copying a key. 

6. Low-Maintenance Materials to Spend Less Time Cleaning

Yes, white marble countertops are gorgeous, but spill even a drop of red wine and suddenly, happy hour is a lot less happy. So unless you’re one of those couples that find cleaning relaxing, it’s smart to look for a home with easy-care surfaces that are as durable as they are beautiful. Think: hardwood floors instead of carpet, vinyl siding in place of wood and quartz countertops over marble. These lower-maintenance choices make cleaning quick and easy, so you’ll have more time to focus on the fun stuff. Because the couple that binge-watches together, stays together.

7. A Smoke Detector That Won’t Go Off Every Time You Cook

Confession time: The last time you burned popcorn in your rental kitchen, did you get so annoyed at the smoke alarm that you ripped it off the wall? Ditch the old-school version and look for a home with upgraded digital alarms. The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector gives you a quick heads-up before sounding the alarm, so you can use your smartphone to silence it before it wakes the neighbors. In case of a real emergency, it even talks to tell you exactly where the problem is. Plus, the batteries last for years and alert your phone when it’s time to replace (instead of waking you in the middle of the night with that annoying chirp).

How To Price Your Home

Monday, August 07, 2017

You’re contemplating listing your home on the market, but you’re not sure how much its worth. You have a vague idea about a general price range, but you want a more accurate understanding.

Don’t worry – you’re not going to need to determine the price of the home yourself. Your real estate agent is a listing price expert! Your agent will guide you through the process, helping you understand how much your home may be worth and how quickly it may sell, based on a wide and complex array of market conditions and variables. 

Your agent will consider factors like the home’s characteristics and market comparables when they’re determining a price. Here are some of  some of the factors that agents consider when they’re pricing your home.

1. Your Agent Will Look for Comps

Let’s take a moment to explain the concept of ‘comparable’ properties, and how these relate to the unique features in your home. This is what your agent will weigh when he or she is determining a price for your home.

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Imagine that you own a 3-bedroom, 2-bath single-family home built in 1990. Three neighboring single-family residences have recently sold for $280,000 to $330,000, so you presume your home value is somewhere within that range. But that assumption might not be accurate.

Your neighbor’s homes feature different qualities than yours. Your neighbor’s house has 4 bedrooms; another neighbor has only 1.5 baths. One house has a fireplace and swimming pool; another has a larger yard. One has Viking appliances. One neighbor has hardwoods throughout, while another has wall-to-wall carpet. One is sold as-is. Are you starting to see the differences?

Your agent can’t just look at the raw sales numbers for these houses. To arrive at an accurate pricing picture, your agent must adjust the sales numbers based on variables such as:

  • Property age
  • Square footage
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Condition of property
  • Upgrades and features

Real estate agents are professionally trained in adjusting for these variables to arrive at a true comparison.

Ask your real estate agent to walk through the comps with you, explaining how he or she arrived at the final numbers. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised at how much your property is worth.

2. Ask About CBx

CBx is a proprietary platform that homebuyers, home sellers and real estate agents use in order to make the process of determining an accurate valuation of your home run more smoothly.  

Ask your agent to explain the many special features of CBx when you’re pricing your home. Your agent will explain how it is a useful solution for determining the best price for your property.

3. Understand the Trade-Offs

Finally, initiate a conversation with your real estate agent about a critical question: Do you want to sell your home for top dollar, or do you want to sell it as quickly as possible?

Some homeowners and agents jointly make a strategic decision to slightly underprice their homes, just by a small amount, to facilitate a quick sale. These are self-described “motivated sellers” who want to unload their home as quickly as possible. They may be moving to another state, for example, or they may need to sell their current home before they can buy another one.

That being said, however, there are many ways you can position your home for a quick sale at full price. Making small improvements, such as fresh paint and exterior landscaping, can be effective at creating a ‘wow’ factor. Staging your home is another great way to entice buyers to make an offer.

Speak with your agent about how you can price your home for top dollar, without sacrificing speed.

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