cedar rapids real estate: Lender Letters are NOT Created Equal! - 04/29/19 02:09 PM
Over the weekend, we received two offers on my new listing.  Unfortunately, one of them had a lender letter that was not worth the paper that I just printed it on.  It literally said the following "Subject to the information verbally provided by the client at the initial application phone call."  What?!?!?  So in other words, the buyer said this is how much he makes per week or month and this is how much is planning to use as a down payment and the lender verified nothing and gave a letter.  
 
Not much confidence in that one.  
 
In sharp contrast, the other buyer's … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: How Fast Are Homes Selling in Cedar Rapids? - 04/13/19 01:49 PM
Let's put it this way....it doesn't matter whether the home is listed at $90,000 or $400,000, if your home is clean, updated and priced right, it is gone within a week or less.  Sometimes selling in the first hours on the market to the first buyer that scheduled a showing with their agent.
 
I listed a home a couple of months ago in the $235,000 range.  It received 7 showings in the first 24 hours and over 30 people came through the open house.  We received 6 offers, all over the asking price.  So how did the seller choose?  Ultimately, it was … (4 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost? Maybe not in Real Estate... - 01/29/19 06:56 PM
Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?  Maybe in some cases, but not in real estate.  The one that got away can be a determining factor as to whether a buyer continues to work with an agent.  I received this question over the weekend.
 
Karen, we had written an offer on a home that we loved with a previous agent and we were competing for the house.  We didn't win.  Our agent wasn't the same after that.  It became more difficult to get her to show us houses that came on the market because … (0 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Don't Forget to Check the Dishwasher! - 01/25/19 08:28 AM
It is one of the last places that you think to check when you are moving out.  You go through the rooms and look in the closets, you look under the sink in the kitchen, you open the linen closet and make sure you didn't forget anything.  You might even open the mailbox on your way out, just to make sure nothing is in there before you drive away.  But what about the dishwasher?
 
Depending on how you live and do the dishes, there may be dirty or clean dishes in there.  In our house, if there are dishes in the sink, … (20 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: Should You Cancel a Showing Because of the Weather? - 01/23/19 06:56 PM
In the past week, we have received over 12 inches of snow in our part of Iowa.  And this is normal for our winter months.  Especially now that with the snow cover, the temperatures are in the teens and with the wind chill, well below zero.  I was showing homes on Monday to a relocation buyer, which was a holiday for many people.  It was cold.  And the houses that we wanted to see were all vacant except for one.  Because the last one was occupied, I had tried several times on Sunday to schedule a time to see it before … (4 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: Permits Matter - 01/22/19 04:54 PM
Over the weekend, I was viewing homes with a couple that is relocating to our area from out of state.  During my research of the properties on their showing list, one of them stuck out.  In the remarks, it stated that the lower level bathroom would be completed prior to closing.  Since the house has been on the market since late fall 2018, we expected that it would have been completed.  It isn't completed, not even close.  And besides that, there is no permit filed for the adding of that bathroom.  Is the seller a licensed plumber?  Nope.  And what about … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: Should You Accept the First Offer? - 01/16/19 06:13 PM
There are a few schools of thought on this one.  Ultimately, it is the seller's decision on whether or not to disclose to all potential buyers that there is an offer on your home. And whether you should accept the first offer depends on your time on the market and whether the offer is perfect for your situation. Here is the scenario that led to this post:
 
"Our home has been on the market since before Christmas, but we have now moved out and lowered the price.  We have received an offer but there are several showings on our house tonight. Are … (3 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyer Beware: Do You Really Want to Represent Yourself? - 01/14/19 07:22 PM
Over the weekend, another agent in my office had posted a scenario that sounded all too familiar.  The buyers had looked at several homes with the agent, including one that was for sale by owner.  The buyers then went back to an open house at the FSBO, this time without their agent, and the for sale by owner convinced the buyers to dump their agent.  The seller stated that the buyers could use their attorney and save $8000...  Since the buyers really liked the house and it was listed at the top of their budget, they decided to write an offer … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: Are Buyers Swiping Left on Your Home? - 09/12/18 06:34 PM
Sellers: Are Buyers Swiping Left on Your Home?
 
Let me back up a second...in case you don't know what I mean, which means that you have not experienced online dating...you would want a buyer to "swipe right" to get to know you better.  After all, just like the dating apps, your home is judged within seconds within the first few pictures.  If the first 5 photos don't show your wow factor, the buyer has already "swiped left" and is on to the next house.
 
If a picture says a thousand words, a short video showing the best features of your home is like … (14 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Is the Listing Agent the Best One to Show the House? - 09/08/18 09:07 PM
It is not the first time that I have thought about this.  I am not in the practice of performing dual agency, even though it is allowed in Iowa.  In fact, I have sold over 200 homes in the last 15 years and I have only acted as a dual agent less than ten times!  
Since I rarely host open houses on my own listings, I have been able to avoid putting myself in a dual agent position.  For those of you that might not understand what a dual agent is and how it works.....here is your crash course!
 
A dual agent is … (4 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: The Insurance Company Will Rat You Out! - 09/07/18 09:20 AM

As a followup to my post earlier this week regarding property disclosures, I got to thinking about the handful of transactions that turned south once the buyer realized that the seller had been less than forthcoming about the condition of the property.
 
In this case, it had severe consequences for the buyers in the first week of their ownership.
 
The buyers had a thorough inspection and the seller had disclosed that they had a few inches of water in the basement a few years prior to the sale.  They had filed an insurance claim and because the basement was unfinished, there was what … (15 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyers: Will you Accept Being a Backup Offer? - 08/30/18 03:19 PM
In fast moving markets, many listings are sold in the first few hours or days on the market.  But more and more sellers are continuing to show their home....in search of backup offers.  What does this mean to you as a buyer?  And why would sellers opt to do this?  I can answer those two questions in this post.  Then you can decide if entering into this type of offer benefits you in the long run.
 
What does a backup offer mean to a buyer? 
A backup offer is when the sellers have already accepted an offer on their home, but due to … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyers: Is a Condo a Good Fit for You? - 06/26/18 08:01 PM
When you are looking for a home, do you picture yourself in a single family home with a fenced yard?  Or do you picture yourself in a high-rise or townhome where you can leave on a work trip and not need to worry about what the lawn might look like when you return?  What stage of life are you currently in? 
 
 
There are many reasons that you might want to consider condo living.  If you are single or married to your work, you travel a lot, or you just really hate to mow your lawn or shovel snow....you might be a great … (3 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Is Your Skin Thick Enough....to Sell Your Own Home? - 06/26/18 07:37 PM
I mean think about it.....if you needed to sell your home tomorrow, what would you do first?  If you are an agent or married to one, you would know that your first call would be to a professional.  But what if you are a successful professional in another field?  Would you try to sell it on your own to save the money?  Or maybe your last agent made it look so easy, that you think that you can do it yourself?
 
In addition to spending time marketing your home, there is so much more to selling a home than putting it for … (1 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: You Don't Need to Babysit Your Home - 06/07/18 03:31 PM
Sellers:  You Don't Need to Babysit Your Home
 
One of the best reasons to hire a real estate professional is that the seller does not need to babysit their home.  What do I mean by babysit?
 
As a for sale by owner, the seller would need to be present for all showings with potential buyers and their agents.  The seller would also need to be there to allow access to the inspectors, appraiser, and contractors for repairs if any were required as a result of the inspections.  This can cause a lot of schedule juggling for a homeowner, especially in the summer if … (21 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyer Question: What Does It Mean to be a "Backup Offer"? - 04/04/18 01:29 PM
Buyer Question: What Does It Mean to be a "Backup Offer"?
 
Buyer question: I called to see a home and was told that the seller is accepting backup offers.  What does this mean?
 
 
There are several reasons that a seller may be willing to continue to show their home after an offer is accepted. 
 
1.  The accepted offer is contingent on financing through FHA or VA.  This means that there could be additional inspections and repairs required of the seller in order for the buyers to obtain financing.  The seller may be thinking that they could get a conventional offer that will not have … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyers: Your Agent Holds More Than Just the Keys! - 03/27/18 04:29 PM
The new breed of buyers are looking on all of the websites, from Realtor.com to Trulia and Zillow, and even local company MLS feeds.  Most buyers believe that they can find a home on their own and they only need an agent to open the door.  There is just so much information available to the public...But your agent is so much more than a keyholder!
 
I have always told my buyers that my job starts once the offer is accepted.  All the fun parts of looking for a home happen before the offer is presented and agreed upon.  After the offer is … (2 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Sellers: Don't Forget to Change Your Address! - 01/23/18 02:51 PM
Sellers:  Don't Forget to Change Your Address!
 
A cautionary tale from the other side:
 
Just this week, one of my sellers that closed on their former home with me just after Christmas texted me.  He had accidentally ordered a tool from Amazon and forgot to change the mailing address.  When you live in the same place for a long time you go into auto-pilot with such things.  It wasnt until Amazon told him that it was delivered and he didn't have it that he realized the mistake.  Fast forward to yesterday and the wife did the same thing, except it was through e-Bay.  … (5 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Buyer Tip: Writing Your Best Offer...The First Time! - 01/08/18 12:44 PM
May the best offer win!   Unfortunately, neither of my buyers this weekend "won" the house that they wanted.  A cautionary tale...
 
This weekend, I had two different buyers at were interested in two different new listings.  The first buyer couple saw the house and wanted to "sleep on it".  Which is fine, I get it.  After explaining that this particular home would sell quickly and it would be difficult to find another like it, we parted ways.  But by the next afternoon when they decided to make an offer, the house was already gone.  Other buyers had slept on it the night … (8 comments)

cedar rapids real estate: Seller Tip #38-Talk to your Neighbors - 08/15/17 10:09 AM
How many of us actually know our neighbors names?  What about their phone numbers?  I bet we might know their children or their pets' names.  Why should we get to know our neighbors?  When you are sellling your home, it can make it a lot easier on you.  Especially if you are already moved into a new home and the house is vacant.  
 
There are things that happen to a vacant home.  Things like lights that get left on after a showing.  Or the screen door might not be completely closed and it is caught by the wind.  Or the person … (4 comments)

 
Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) Rainmaker large

Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, IA

More about me…

Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group

Address: 4850 Armar Drive SE, Ste B, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52403

Mobile: 319-521-0701

Office: 319-423-4139

Email Me

Whether you are relocating from another state or you are moving within the market area, there is always some adjustments to be made! My focus is on the well-being and safety of your family. A house is very important, but making the Cedar Rapids area your home takes a little more effort. My clients call me long after the closing for advice on a veternarian for their new puppy or the best daycares in the area. Meeting new people is always fun for me and I love my job! Call me if you would like to know what your home is worth in the current market or if you think that you might want to move up to another home somewhere else. We will miss you, but I will happy to get you on your way to your next adventure as quickly as possible!


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