Colorado Springs Real Estate Resources



April 18, 2020

Real Estate Home Inspection Checklist

15 Step Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Inspection 


Home Inspection

1) Furnace & A/C: If your furnace has not been tuned up with in the last year have an HVAC professional service the system as part of general maintenance.

2) Plumbing: If your water heater is over 10 years old have a plumber flush and certify proper function. Fully disclose if there is any galvanized or polybutylene water pipes. Make sure you ask you Real Estate Agent.

3) Roof: Have your roof inspected if more than four years old. If your roof is more than 5 years old have it inspected and certified by a qualified roofing contractor. Your real estate agent should have more information and referrals for getting a roof certification at Chinook has more than $300 to get your rest certified by a local expert

4) Electrical: Verify all wet areas have GFCI protected outlets, exterior outlets covered, no exposed wire splices in the garage, and attic area. 

5) Smoke Detectors: Verify all smoke detectors are functioning. Replace any smoke detectors more than 10 years old. In all real estate transactions, smoke detectors will be asked to be installed or replaced if they are over 10 years old.

6) Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Make sure the is a working carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of any bedrooms. In all Real Estate home sales carbon dioxide Monitors are required and must be within 15 feet of any bedroom and three feet from the ground.

7) Windows: Verify all windows have no glass defects, open and close properly, latch, and have window screens. During the home inspections windows can be a costly cost to fix or repair if you are missing windows screens it could cost anywhere from $35 to $40 to replace a whole windows screen If the latch is broken on the window  That could be considered a safety issue 

8) Fireplace: Wood burning fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified contractor. Gas fireplaces should be working, the pilot light on, and fireplace lights. Home Inspectors will generally check to make sure there's no water Intrusion coming in through the fireplace and to make sure it is clean and free of debris.

9) Bathrooms: Verify toilets are tight to the floor and don’t continue to run after flushing, no leaks under the sink, stoppers working, tub and shower surrounds are properly grouted and caulked. Home inspectors will make sure the toilet is securely fastened to the base and will usually use thermal imaging for the shower Not all home inspection include free thermal imaging.

10)  Kitchen: All appliances function properly, Disposal working, no leaks under the sink. During the home inspection, the inspector will check the functionality of the ice machine of the refrigerator and also make sure all the burners burn even on the stove 

11) Exterior: Paint any exposed wood siding or trim, Replace any rotted trim. During the home inspectors visit he will look for any dry rot or chipping paint that could cause damage to the home also VA is really strict about chipping paint or dry rot on the home so the home inspector is very thorough for pointing these items out. We always recommend addressing these issues on the home inspection as soon as possible or before the home inspection occurs to make sure the process of selling your home goes as smoothly as possible.

12) Deck: Make sure there is no wood rot, secure any loose railings, Paint as needed for VA loans. During the home inspection if the deck is larger than 20 by 20 it is required in most instances to have a home permit if there is not a permit you may be asked to get a permit issued. In most expenses, it is $150 to pull the permit 

13) Structure: Check visible areas of the foundation for cracks. And diagonal cracks above windows and doors. Any cracks wider than the width of a quarter should be evaluated by a structural contractor. Some indicators for the home inspection Will be the doors will not be able to shut cracking by doors and windows. 

14) Garage: Make sure the safety reverse system of the door opener functions properly, disconnect the door from the opener and verify the door opens easily and stays open when all the way up. If not; have a qualified contractor make the needed repairs. Never attempt any repairs yourself!

15) Lots and Grounds: Remove any dead trees, trim tree limbs that overhang onto the roof, Backfill any low areas around the foundation, repair any trip hazards more than an inch at the driveway, walks and patio.


NOTE: The above are recommendations to help prevent any delays or surprises in the sales process. Every home is different depending on age, style, and type of construction. Trust your realtor to advise you regarding small repairs to improve curb appeal and buyer interest.

This checklist was provided By True Check Home Inspection





April 10, 2020

21 Steps To Get Your Home Ready For Photos and Virtual Tour

21 Easy Steps To Get Your Home Ready For Photos and Virtual Tour

Steps to get your home Ready for Photos and Virtual tour

April 8, 2020

Selling Your Home

Steps in Selling Your Home

From Beginning To End, we have you covered with our Flat Fee. We are Full Service and Will Walk You Through it all Step by Step. Make Sure you Reach Out to us at Flat Rate Realty Group, Your Colorado Value Broker.

Steps in Selling Your Home

Posted in Sellers Resources
April 8, 2020

What is included in a Flat Fee Listing Service

What is included in a Flat Fee Listing 

What is included in a Fla Fee Listing Service

Posted in Sellers Resources
Feb. 21, 2020

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell


Your home is probably the most significant financial asset you own. Therefore, whenever you sell if, you will want to make as much profit off of it as possible. Many factors that decide the value of a property are out of your hands, like market value appreciation, local property value, your neighborhood's appeal, etc. But there are things you can do to ensure that you get the best price, and one of them is adequately preparing your home for sale that your real estate agent can advise you on. 



1. Read the market.

If you don't have to sell your home urgently, put it out there in a seller's market, not buyers. Some costs to think about when closing your home, are closing costs, Home Warranty, and Property Insurance, and Property Tax. You will be able to sell it very near your home's fair value and on your own terms. Make sure you ask your real estate agent if it is a seller or buyer market. 

2. Decide whether you want to sell with a realtor, or put it on the market FSBO (For Sale By Owner).

If you aren’t real estate savvy, it’s highly recommended that you go with a good real estate agent. There are a lot of intricacies involved in selling a house, and a good realtor can help you through them with minimal fuss and maximum returns. They will also help you set the right asking price, and guide you on how to pass the home inspection.

3. If you are selling your home while it’s still under mortgage, run the numbers.

Only sell your Real Estate if you are making enough money on the house that after paying off your mortgage early (and accompanying penalty) and closing cost, you will have enough left to buy a new property (or whatever your financial goal was for selling the house). A good Real Estate agent can help you determine your net proceeds and help you determine net proceeds.

4. Fix your property.

If there is a major repair or structural issue with your home, it would be worth investing in fixing it by the time there is a home inspection. It will come out in the inspection anyway, and at that stage, it will either harm the deal or force you to cut down the asking price. Make sure you talk to your expert real estate agent to get referrals and quotes for structural issues. Getting quotes prior will make the buyers real estate agent at ease.

5. Improve your property.

You will be surprised to see how much change power washing, a fresh coat of paint, and preparing the yard can do for the appeal of your house and make it look desirable on the Multiple Listing. First impressions matter in Real Estate and the appearance of your house is responsible for making the first impression on the buyer and looking at the Multiple Listing Services. These small home improvements like changing out light bulbs will make a big impression.

6. De-clutter and depersonalize your home.

It’s an important part of preparing your home for prospective buyers.  A good marketing plan and use of social media will enhance the property, and the decluttering will help the photoshoot. This lets them visualize the available space, and imagine themselves and their families living in the home. A good Real Estate Agent will advise you to remove any unnecessary stuff, furniture, and personal items (family photos and heirlooms), to the new property or a storage unit. You can always talk to a home stager to get advice on the organization. Home Stagers are a valuable resource for Real Estate. 


Selling your home is as much an emotional task as it is financial. An excellent real estate agent can objectively analyze your property and help you get to a good price point accurately to make smart decisions in preparing your home in the best possible way.

Jan. 1, 2020

How do Flat Fee Listing's Work?

Common questions that we come across usually start with how do flat fee listing's work?

   How can a flat fee Realtor offer all the same Services as a traditional Realtor without sacrifice and service? To answer these questions I urge you to think about the following. So 30 years ago realtors were charging 5 to 6% and today they are still charging the same amount.

  A lot of people may wonder why aren't things getting more streamlined with the Internet, Zillow, and everything being online. Well, let's think about it when was the last time you picked up a newspaper or the yellow pages to read it? Or do you just go online and find all the news or phone numbers that are important to you?

  Now a days we can sign everything online no need to print off paperwork and drive to your clients house to have them sign the contracts. So there's no more need for expensive ads in the newspaper, or expensive magazine ads. Now realtors can click submit and ad and it will post to over 300 websites like Zillow, and the MLS.

  Sometimes traditional real estate agents try to say that the flat fee or discount brokers do not have enough experience and that is why they are offering a flat fee. There can be nothing further from the truth. So let's think about this now.

  The average Real estate agent has only four listings in a year. Imagine only 4 Real Estate transactions for a whole year to lean from and chalk up as experience.

  As a flat fee real estate agent we see a lot more transactions due to our great value so that fact alone proves we have more experience due to the simple fact that we see more transactions and all of those transactions are different types of deals. Anything from land purchases and sales, condos, multi family, apartment complexes and the list goes on.

  So we always suggest you make sure you look for experience. No matter what there will always be new flat fee agents and traditional Real Estate agents, so make sure you choose wisely the one that best fits your needs.

In the end, make sure you find an agent that is able to offer you value, experience and knowledge. 

Dec. 31, 2019

What is flat fee real estate?

What is flat fee real estate?

So what is a flat fee realtor? Sometimes people call them discount brokers or value brokers. A lot of time clients believe they do not offer the full service as a regular traditional real estate agents and will cut corners to save cost due to the fact that they offer reduced fees to sell your home. That can be the case in some instances. There are companies out there that will just list your home on the MLS and you will have to manage all the rest. This service is mainly used for, people doing for sale by owner or FBSO.  These are the three most common ways to get your home sold, Traditional Realtors, MLS listing companies (FSBO) and Flat Fee Real Estate brokers.


What are the costs associated with selling my home?

So on average a traditional real estate agent charges 5 or 6% Half of the fee goes to the cooperating broker that brings in the Buyer and the other half goes to the listing agent.

MLS listing Service Price varies on location and region on average it is anywhere from $500-$1000. It is always recommended to offer a cooperating broker fee. The reason why is a lot of buyers sign an exclusive right to buy with the real estate agent and they require in some cases 2 1/2 to 3% when completing a transaction. So the buyers would not want to pay an additional fee to the real estate agents just to purchase your home. A flat fee real estate brokerage on average can charge around $3500 for the listing plus a cooperating broker fee thats anywhere from 2.5 to 3%. 


What should you look for?

Some companies offer more services than others Not all companies are equally the same. Any realtor, wether its a Flat Rate Realtor or traditional Realtor, they should always offer professional photography. A virtual 3-D tour is best. This saves you a lot of time from unnecessary showings. Make sure they give you a realistic home value for your property. Some agents will promise you the moon and the stars just so you’ll sign a contract.   So make sure you always interview at least a couple agents and find the one thats right for you.


Dec. 24, 2019

Do Realtors Avoid Flat Fee Listing's?

So this is a common question, and I have a two part answer for you.

Some realtors may avoid flat fee listings if it is a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

The realtor thinks they have to do double the work and in some instances they are not offering a cooperating broker fee so they will have to negotiate their fee with the Home seller.

In some cases this is true.

There are a lot of deadlines and requirements that for sale by owners may not know about so the real estate agent will have to inform them and teach them along the way, and a lot of real estate agents won’t have the patience to do that.

Selling a home is a full-time job and agents will need to be able to get a hold of the other agent or for sale by owner (FSBO) and if they are not able to meet the deadlines and the deal may fall apart and all the work they put into it will be for nothing.

On the other hand if you use a flat fee or a value broker to list your property you have an agent representing you that is available day and night and weekends. They will not have an issue showing your property or recommending your property. 

Back 30 years ago real estate agents would have to know what properties are for sale in their neighborhood.

Now consumers are more educated because of the Internet they have Zillow, Trulia, to look up property values and what properties are for sale in their neighborhood.

The new modern way is the consumer or client or Homebuyer tells the Real estate agent the homes they want to look at due to the virtual tours pictures and the description online.

Homebuyers look at homes online for 60 days before they ever even contact a real estate agent. So imagine if a traditional real estate agent will not show their client a property that they want to look at because they are a flat fee real estate company.

The client will want to know how does that affect them from buying the home.

So in summary most all agents will work with a Flat Fee Realtor as long as they offer a Cooperating Broker's Fee. 



Dec. 7, 2019

Are Flat Fee Realtor's Good?

This is a popular question for most home sellers Because most traditional realtors always try to discredit Flat fee realtors.

Common myths About Flat fee realtors

  • They want to list your property to sell very quickly
  • They do not care about your bottom line
  • They do not have a lot of experience
  • They are not full service
  • They are less motivated to negotiate top Dollar

Flat fee realtor myth busters

Myth Bust #1

So every realtor A flat fee realtor or a traditional Realtor wants to price your properties correctly to get the most potential buyers into the property to view it to be able to sell the property.

Myth Bust #2

What other industry charges their clients 6% to complete a transaction. When you buy a car or mutual funds you don't get charged 6%. But no a traditional Realtor thinks it's OK to charge 6%. When you use a flat fee realtor on average they could save you $7500 per Home sale. Let's think about this if you sell three homes in your lifetime and you save $7500 Each transaction and you invest The sum of $22,250 for 20 years, average return of 10% at the end result you would have $149,686.87 in return on investment. Thats making money for your bottom line.

Myth Bust #3

The average Realtor sells 4 Homes a year. At a 6% commission 3% going to the listening to 3% going to the buyers agent And the average home is $337,000 Equals $10,110 Times that by four Equals $40,440 annual income. As a flat fee realtor has to do Triple the transactions to make that amount if they charge $ 3,500. So Around 12 properties a year. So I would say a flat fee Realtor has plenty of experience if not more.

Myth Bust #4

Some Flat Fee Realtors will not offer full service, however many will. It is a question you must ask. Once you find a Flat Fee Realtor that is Full Service make sure they have a minimum of professional photography and offer 3d Virtual Tours. 

Myth Bust #5

When determining the listing price for your home realtors must do a detail property analysis. If they overprice the property clients and potential buyers will not come in to look at your home and then you'll have to reduce the price later on down the road. If you under value more buyers will come look at the property. This starts a bidding war to bring your property value up. We always tell clients the more showings you have the more potential you have for offers. With that strategy you will naturally get top dollar. 


So here's something to think about . When you go to a chain restaurant and you have great customer service and you let your friends and family know about the great experience you had. Then you go back to the same restaurant a couple weeks later and you had a different server. This time your experience was horrible because they did not meet your expectations.

This is the same concept in the real estate business. You can have one agent that is a traditional broker be horrible and another agent that is a traditional broker that does great. The same goes for flat fee agents. Just make sure either way you go that the traditional or flat fee agent has experience, training and a proven track record.

Dec. 23, 2018

Banks Profit Big Killing Real Estate Values

Everyone knows now of the slow housing market and the point that several people are losing their homes.  Although there is, another section of the housing market that is rarely talked about but which is being hit hard as well by the present situation.  And the banks - who began the whole "tumble" - and who "greatly profited" in creating the "tumble" - are still making BIG from it!

First, let's talk about the homeowner.  In the 1990's, banks established a GOLDMINE in the housing industry - the equity loan.  They started a huge marketing program to inspire people to take their savings (money) out of their homes and use it.  They advertised that the homeowner could "spend the money on anything you want - a vacation, college tuition, home improvements, new car, whatsoever".  The banks then continued to assess the home over the home's real value and loan people equity close to 125 percent of the home's true value.  This means that people would no more have any savings in their home - they would owe the whole value of the home at that time.  Anybody who didn't take out the money and use it looked at as a foolish person - to have credit cards or pay interest on anything else, when they had money available in the home that they could take from. People used their homes like an ATM.  Anytime the bills got bigger, they just refinanced and took cash out or borrowed on an equity loan. Who made the most with fees and interest? The banks!

Who made more money on these loans? The banks! The homeowners didn't care about the fees the banks charged or the closing costs. The one thing they care was the big fat amount of money they could take out and spend - as if it were the lottery. Who profited big? The banks again.

As times were great and home prices gradually rise, another section of the housing market developed.  In times of wealth, ordinary people turn out to be investors, acquiring homes and condos to give as a rental property.  This is a smart way to save money on taxes and offer those who cannot pay for their own home, by offering a nice place to stay for inexpensive monthly rent.  The other benefit, of course, was the increase on the property and having someone else assist you to pay for the mortgage on the loan.

The issue, however, was that much of the money they use in investing came from home equity loans that they had taken out on their primary homes. The banks made this simple by providing "second mortgages", with huge fees of course, and added payment fees and fines to make sure they made a high profit, irrespective of the life of the loan and with second mortgages; you could buy a 2nd or 3rd or 4th house or condo with very small down. But when the market prices fell and the rise never came, people lose money on the rentals and it resulted in losing on their personal houses also, due to the home equity loans we talked about above.   The only ones still certain of making money?  The banks.

Presently, that people have spent all of their savings in their homes and they owe over the value they could sell the home; many homeowners are letting the house back to the foreclosure. As many foreclosures as there are, it's still a small percentage of the total market.  Because it is such a small percentage, the banks can "dump" the houses for half of what would be the real value.  This further reduces the market value of the other homes that are for sale.  It's peanuts to the banks, but to the other homeowners out there that have to sell for one reason or another - it's overwhelming.

The worst part is that when the crisis hit, the government introduced programs to bail out, guess who?  The banks!


Posted in Real Estate News