Cedar Rapids, IA Real Estate News

By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
What can happen when the seller meets the buyer first?   Here is an example from this week:   I have been working with a seller getting ready to sell one of his rental properties.  He has been in the process of evicting the current renter for the past couple of weeks and finally had the sheriff at the house to get the rest of the tenants' things out of the house yesterday.  Tough situation.   In the process, a potential buyer was driving by and asked if my seller needed help.  They got to talking and the buyer is in the market looking for a home to buy.  My seller immediately called me, explained the situation, and handed the phone to the potential buyer.   First of all,  this a good great client.  Very good to protect himself and let the buyer know that he has an agent representing him...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Suddenly a Seller...What Happens Next?   This happens....a lot.  A buyer comes into an open house.  Thinking about moving, but not quite committed to the idea.  Expecting the process to take months to find the house that will make them want to move.     And then they see the one that seems like the perfect fit.....only they aren't ready to make an offer.  They don't even have their home on the market....or the rest of the cleaning, remodeling, projects, etc. completed yet to put the house on the market.  Heck, they don't even want an agent to walk through their current home yet.....it isn't ready.   In the meantime, the house that they think that they cannot live without is on the market and they have lead in their shoes.  Suddenly they are a seller and don't know where to start.       ...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Today's Lesson has NOTHING to do with Real Estate   There are those of us that tell others around us, whether it be professionally or personally, that we need to get "thicker" skin.  Meaning that we need to not let things bother us.     Forgive me, but I thought that the point of raising children or mentoring agents or volunteering in Sunday School at church or being a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters is not to teach people to get better about accepting rejection.  Maybe the point of all of this is to make this world a nicer and better place to make a life in.  I have perspective.   The world is cruel.  Bad things happen to good people....every day....and it rarely makes sense at the time, if ever.  Every time I hear about a child being abused or a woman being killed by her estranged hu...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Buyer Tip:  Can My Parents Come Along to the Showings?   My answer is yes...but there are rules and expectations about how they will choose to be involved from the beginning.     I can understand a first time home buyer wanting to have support.  Purchasing a home is a BIG decision, one of the largest that they will ever make, especially the first one.     I can also understand a home buyer that is not familiar with the area, but may have bought a home elsewhere.  There is an amount of uncertainty that can be greatly dissolved by having someone that you trust to be a voice of reason through the process.     The key is that the parents need to be a voice of reason.  Not the voice of someone that bought a home 20+ years ago and acts like they are a professional from watching HGTV on the we...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Buyer Tip:  Should You Waive Your Real Estate Inspections?   It depends.  There are situations where it could make sense to a buyer to waive their real estate inspections.  Below are some of the reasons that you may choose to spend your money on something other than home inspections.   1.  The home is an estate/foreclosure/bank owned property and is being sold as is-where is.  There is an as-is addendum or rider that is signed with your offer.  This means that you are either: a. not allowed to perform a home inspection after the offer is accepted  ( meaning that you will have a contractor or inspector take a look at the property for you prior to making an offer)  or   b. you can have a home inspection but the information found can be used for your knowledge only and not as a reason to r...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Nothing Wrong with Being the New Kid on the Block...    especially when it comes to being the fresh new listing on the MLS!   After all, your shelf life as the "new listing" is a week long.  That is not much time to make your fabulous entrance into the market.  Be ready when you hit the market to have all the lights on and the house show ready at all times.  You don't want to miss any opportunities for those buyers to see your home right away.  There is a sense of urgency for a buyer that sees all those agents' business cards on the counter with just a couple of days on the market.  They know that there are other buyers and they are all seeing the same houses.   Play your "cards" right, and you will be the next home with a sale pending sign!   If you have prepared well by getting the ho...
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By Bob Randklev
(Skogman Realty)
We just listed a beautiful 1 acre lot, wooded on a paved cul-de-sac ready for a dream home! This is the last lot on the cul-de-sac to be developed. The owner has owned this lot for over 10 years but decided to build elsewhere. Review the details and aerial images below then contact us with any questions!   $110,000, Land (1 Acres),     Bob Randklev, CCIM | Skogman Commercial Group | 319-533-6927 6710 Cottage Hill Ln NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411 Build your dream home on this 1 acre lot in NE Cedar Rapids Land (1 Acres)   $110,000 Lot Size 1 Acres DESCRIPTION If you're looking for a lot to build on in the NE side of Cedar Rapids, west of Edgewood Rd, most lots are around .5 acre. We just listed the last 1 acre (.97) lot on a cul-de-sac on beautiful Cottage Hill Lane NE. The owner purchased ...
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Move in ready 3 bedroom homes for sale in Cedar Rapids Iowa We just listed a great home on Franklin Ave NE with new paint and carpet throughout! Read more details below and contact us to setup a showing! $127,500, 3Bd/2Ba Single Family House, 972 sqft.     Bob Randklev, CCIM | Skogman Commercial Group | 319-533-6927 2061 Franklin Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 3 Bedroom with Extra Large 2 stall garage, new carpet, paint, vinyl 3Bd/2Ba Single Family House   $127,500 Year Built 1947 Sq Footage 972 sqft. Bedrooms 3 Beds Bathrooms 2 Baths Floors 2 Parking 4+ Garage Laundry In Unit Lot Size .19 Acres DESCRIPTION This beautiful 3 bedroom home sits on a large lot backing up to a walking trail. Extra large 2 stall garage (22 x 24 - 528sf) with newer garage door, extra storage, work bench, opene...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Who Pays for the Septic or Well Inspection in Iowa?   There are many properties that are maintained by a private well and septic systems in the outlying areas around Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa City.  Depending on the age of the home, or the age of the system if it has been updated, most inspections are routine and not very expensive.   First, you need to find out if the well is private or part of a community. Many times there is an association that maintains a community well where several homes are charged for regular upkeep and maintenance.  As part of the association guidelines, the well will be tested quarterly for quality to make sure that the water is safe.  These test results are readily available to the owners by request when they are selling their home.    If it is a private ...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Buyer Tip:  How to Write a Great Offer   Whether this is your first home or your third home, or if you are competing with other buyers or not, the keys to getting your offer "accepted" are the same.     1.  Clear and clean pre-approval letter.  I cannot state this enough.  Having your pre-qualification completed with a local lender with just the normal contingencies of clean title speaks volumes.  Most listing agents are going to scrutinize your offer for an acceptable letter.  If your letter states that it is contingent on verifying credit or income, that is a red flag to the agent and the seller.   2.  Reasonable closing and possession dates.  When I write an offer for a buyer, I ask what is most important....the price or the terms.  Same as for a seller at the point of listing.  You ...
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Never before have I had three homes for sale in Cedar Rapids Iowa for under $70,000 Each of them have been rental properties and one is rented currently. Two of the homes are listed at $49,000 each... you can't afford to rent at that price! The other is $70,000 and the assessed value is $81,000 and homes in the neighborhood are selling for $90,000! Visit my website here for more details: http://iowarealestatetoday.com/listings/affordable-homes-for-sale-in-cedar-rapids-iowa/ Or you can download a document with a flyer and more details for each property here: Click to download a PDF flyer   Are you looking for homes for sale in Cedar Rapids Iowa or the surrounding communities of Marion, Hiawatha and Robins? Contact us today and we can help you with your Residential and Commercial needs!  
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Seller FAQ:  How are the Taxes Handled for the Sale of my Home?   In Iowa, taxes are billed in arrears.  What does that mean to you as a seller? It means that even though you may be paying money into your escrow account every month for your upcoming tax payments, it does not mean that you are "up to date" on your taxes.  Each month that you make a mortgage payment, you are contributing ahead to pay for your taxes due in two installments--the first in September and then again in March.   Taxes are assessed on July 1st as a lien against your property.  That means that if you close on your property after July 1st, your full tax bill will need to be paid to release the lien on the property.  In addition, you will need to provide a tax proration credit to the buyer from July 1st through the ...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
You Can Do All the Right Things & The Buyer Writes with Another Agent!   In this case, I still hope to benefit from the buyer being represented by another agent....because it is my listing.   Here is the story:   I listed an acreage that was about 45 minutes from my primary market and 15 miles from my secondary market.  It was a referral where I represented the listing with another agent in my company.  Because it was out of her market, I listed the property in the Iowa City MLS and she was also listed as a co-listing agent.   The other listing agent met the buyers initially at the first open house.  They were very interested and she felt good that they would likely make an offer on the property.  They had told her that they were not working with an agent and that they had already met w...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Are you SURE That This Is the Same House?   This happens too often.  For better or worse, photos are used to determine which homes a buyer would like to see.  If a photographer uses too much "creative" license, misrepresentation happens and buyers feel misled.   The same happens when a home that was not well represented in a previous listing is removed from the market, staged and re-listed with another agent or company.  The old perception of the house from the former listing photos is fresh in an agent's mind.   That is how powerful an image is.  Take a look at the below photo: Does this home look appealing to you or to your buyer?  This is how the home looked when I walked in.  The previous listing agent had photos like this online on the MLS.  My first question to the seller when she...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Stranger Danger-Protect Your Children!     I am going to stray from real estate today to talk about stranger danger.  Now more than ever, we are getting too comfortable with strangers being around our children.   It is important to have these conversations with your children.  Predators are very kind and convincing to young children.  Here is an example:   A nice lady that your child does not know walks up to your child as they are leaving the school.  She tells your son/daughter that they are friends with their mommy and that mommy is hurt and she sent this person to come get you from school.  This COULD happen, and does happen more than you would like to think.   What can you do to protect your child?  Have a talk about these situations and decide on a password.  Any one that has perm...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
The Neighbors Made the Buyers Run Away from Your Listing!     My buyers were diligent.  They had seen every home in their price range and school district.  There was a new listing in an area that they loved with one exception.  It was on a cul-de-sac at the bottom of a very steep hill.     I had just represented the buyers of the listing next door.  Those buyers both had 4 wheel drive vehicles and no children.  They knew that the steep hill would be a factor for three months of year (during the winter), but it didn't stop them from buying the house.   These buyers had children and they were avid runners.  They knew that the bottom of the hill cottage was a concern during all months of the year for them.  They tried to make light of the concern because they truly loved the house.  They h...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
How Do We Determine When it is Time to Reduce the Price on Your Home?   It is a delicate balance of knowledge and gut instinct.  The market is constantly changing.  Prior to listing, we use the latest sold homes that are comparable to pinpoint the asking price.  However, the market is always changing so sometimes the pending listings and the active competition are a better indicator of where the market is headed.   After all, your home needs to be able to compete with the other properties currently on the market.  If there are several homes that are sale pending and went under contract fairly quickly, you can be sure that they were priced well for the current buyers that are out there looking.     As far as reducing the price, it is determined by the competition and the activity that yo...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
You Need to Call Your Buyer's Agent, That Isn't Me!     I represent the sellers on their current home.  It is under contract and we have already negotiated inspections, appraisal has been completed and we are waiting for the closing at the end of the month.   Prior to meeting me, they had listed their current home with another broker and agent AND executed a subject to sale purchase for a replacement home.  After three months on the market with little to no activity, they decided to change agents.  They called me based on a referral from a friend.   Luckily, we had just one showing and the buyers wrote an offer immediately.  It was sale pending within two weeks.  This started the buying process for my sellers on their replacement property with their buyer's agent.  On the selling side, ...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
What if a Better House comes on the Market AFTER I Make an Offer?   It is bound to happen.  You looked for months for a home that checked all the boxes.  You got one that is REALLY close and you make an offer.  After a little back and forth, you are under contract.     Then you check your email and there is a new listing that was emailed to you.  Because let's face it, a day or so after the accepted contract and your agent may still have your search notifications on for you.  And there it is....your DREAM home.  The one that WASN'T on the market a couple of days ago.   You try to not think about it.  But you have to drive by it.  Maybe it only looks good in pictures.  Nope.  Darn.  It looks better than the pictures.  Oh, and there is an open house on Sunday.  Maybe we can just walk thro...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Is There Such a Thing as Selling a Listing TOO Fast?   As a listing agent, you prepare for the best and the worst.  Selling with only two days on the market can be the best AND the worst at the same time.  Here are some of the questions or concerns that a seller may face with a quick offer:   1.  Exactly what did I personally DO to earn my commission?  I prepare my sellers up front for a quick offer, especially when there is low inventory.  I also send my sellers all of the links to everything that I am doing to market the home in the first 24-48 hours.  Add to that the professional photos that I paid to have done the first day on the market.  And the weeks of staging and effort that the seller put in to prepare the house for market.  All of that counts as things that I personally have ...
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