Tag Archives: realtor

Reading Between the Lines-Real Estate Buzzwords

Handyman Special

By Michael Hughes  January 27, 2010

Listing agents represent the seller, they sometimes tend to be a little…”Creative” when describing some properties, This list is only a partial coverage of words unique to the business. I thought it would be helpful to include my interpretation of alternative possible meanings to some commonly used phrases listing agents might use:

  • “Handyman special”——–Major renovations and this will be your primary job
  • “Starter home”—-small, needs work, don’t expect to live in the top floor for a year
  • “No neighbors behind”—- Probably backs to a busy street. Check a map before you schedule a viewing.
  • “Light and Bright” —- Window coverings not included.
  • “Low Maintenance” —- No yard.
  • “Cozy”—-Smaller than normal but larger than a closet
  • “Rustic”—-Paint is peeling and floors need refinishing
  • “Lots of possibilities”—-You will need major renovations
  • “As-is”—- Possibly an REO with appliances and entire kitchen missing
  • “Beautifully landscaped”—-Until we stopped watering
  • “Large closets”—-Great! My cousin George can come over now
  • “Neutral color scheme” —White
  • “Motivated seller”—-In redemption period of pre-foreclosure
  • “Good value”—-I need out of this now before I totally lose it, short sale ok
  • Immaculately maintained”—- The orange countertops and green shag carpet are still in excellent shape.
  • “Mountain View”—- You MIGHT be able to see some mountains from one of the rooms if you press your cheek to a window and look west, or climb on the roof.
  • “GREAT Mountain View”—-You should be able to see mountains from one or two rooms,hopefully either the master bedroom or the living room.
  • “Panoramic (or fabulous, terrific, amazing, or insert similar adjective) mountain view!”—-This home should have some great views. (If mountain views are what you are after, you might not want to bother with a showing unless you see a comment something like this.)
  • “Secluded setting” —You’ll spend in gas what you save in mortgage payment
  • “Price reduced”—-Even if it was a big price reduction, that still doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. (That’s where a buyer agent can step in and help you determine if it’s a good deal.
  • “$2500 bonus to agent who brings a full price offer”—-This is a HUGE conflict of interest. Any real estate agent who represents a buyer and advises them to pay full price just so they get a bigger commission is doing their buyer a disservice.  Remember, a buyer agent’s job is to negotiate on the buyers behalf the best possible price & terms.
  • “Only 15 minutes to downtown”—-Sure, if you’re Mario Andretti on a closed course. A more likely commute would be 20 to 30 minutes.
  • “Backs to open area”—-Beware: You might be staring at the backside of a shopping mall someday if you buy this place. (Otherwise, the description would have read “Backs to OPEN SPACE”)
  • Backs to “OPEN SPACE”—-Open space can’t usually be developed, so the property should always back to open space, and your odds of having something built behind that property should be minimal.
  • “Charming” —- The 2nd bedroom serves as your closet.
  • “Needs TLC” or “Needs a little work”—-Probably needs a LOT of work.
  • “Bring your handyman” —This house probably needs a MAJOR renovation. (Otherwise, they would have just said “Needs TLC” 😉
  • “Carpet allowance”—-Seller will pay to replace the avocado green shag carpet.
  • “Pet free”—-This doesn’t necessarily mean pets aren’t allowed; just that the present owners don’t have pets.
  • “Sale contingent upon seller finding replacement home”—-The seller may accept your offer, but beware: If they get a better offer and they don’t find a replacement home, the seller could terminate your contract and take the better offer. Talk to us about this. Our agents have better ways of getting around this without putting you at risk.
  • “In-law apartment”—-This can be considered a “non-conforming duplex” which is a great way to get a duplex without having to pay for it. Basement might be used as a rental to subsidize your mortgage payment.
  • “Seller will pay $3000 towards a rate buy-down with a full price offer”—-Don’t be fooled by this. This simply means that the seller will give $3000 towards making your payment more affordable for a year or two, but don’t pay full price just because of a buy-down. We can help you analyze the real value of the property, and whether or not taking such an offer is worthwhile.
  • “And much, much more…”—-Nothing else comes to mind about this home.

I would love the opportunity to help you “read between the lines” on the next home you buy. Don’t forget that my services to you as a buyer are absolutely free!

If you have questions or need help buying or selling a property please give me a call Michael or visit my website or my blog.


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We Don’t Need No Stinking Septic

By Michael Hughes January 26, 2010

  • If you are buying or selling a home in the *suburban plains, rural or mountain areas of Boulder County, the property most likely has a septic system and is not served by a municipal sewer system.  When working well, these personal waste systems are out of sight and out of mind. When working correctly there is no smell, no visible liquid and the solids are held in a concrete tank which has some natural bacteria which breaks down the waste.  Every few years the tank needs to be pumped out.  Simple! Typically it is a great system and works for decades.
  • When not working well, these personal waste systems can be smelly and pose multiple health hazards and the possibility of releasing untreated matter into the environment, the house and the drinking or well water.

A great deal of the building in nearby mountains, rural and some plains took place starting in the 60’s. This means that the septic systems for many homes in the rural areas have outdated septic systems. Boulder County started regulating the septic units to ensure that wastewater was being handled correctly. To find out more about what you need to know when buying or selling a home with a septic tank go to Septic Smart. You may also call Michael with any questions.

*Some but not all of suburban plains properties have septic tanks.

If you have questions, need help buying or selling a property give me a call Michael or visit my website or my blog.  Please leave a comment it really helps.  Thanks.

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11 Great Questions To Ask Your Realtor® When Listing Your Property

Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty Global Presence

By Michael Hughes   January 20, 2010

When listing your property to sell there are a number of questions you will want to ask:

  • What is the Marketing Plan and is it written, clear and concise so I know what I am getting?
  • Is the Marketing Plan truly Global?
  • Is the Brand globally and locally recognizable?
  • Is it clear which real estate websites my property will be on and how many?
  • Does the Realtor® have a clear market analysis based on nearby and recent comparables?
  • Do we get free staging for our property from a qualified decorator so it shows well?
  • Are we working with a Realtor® who will be ethical and always be working in our best interest?
  • Has our Realtor® bought and sold property and do they currently own property?
  • What price level of property has my Realtor® sold?
  • Does my Realtor® have buyers at the price point of my property?
  • What are some additional questions I will ask my Realtor®?

If you have questions or would like to get an idea of what Michael Hughes and Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty can do for your listing please give me a call at 303-359-6627 or visit me at www.bolderrealestate.com or visit my blog at    michael0602.wordpress.com  &  https://twitter.com/Runner8587

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Filed under boulder, Buyers, Fuller Sothebys International Realty, global marketing plan, listing your property, real estate, realtor, relocating, relocating to boulder, selling your property, sotheby's, written marketing plan