Jason Kok

Real Estate Broker
Lake Homes and Farms Realty
608-386-5597
jason@lakesundown.com

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Welcome to the Lake Homes and Farms Realty blog. Here you will find all of the latest information and what is happening around our office and Lake Sundown. Check back often and if you have any questions about land for sale in the state of Iowa or Lake Sundown give us a call. Also make sure and like us on Facebook and stay connected on LinkedIn.

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13 Real Estate Tips from Forbes Magazine that Hold up in any Real Estate Market

Posted by Jason Kok | January 13, 2019
Categories: News

1. Always Conduct Thorough Research On The Current Market 

Although real estate values fluctuate due to local supply/demand dynamics and broader national economic considerations, it’s important to remember that properties always sell for no more or less than what the market will bear at that time. Whether buying or selling, do your research, plot your data points, use a variety of resources so that you’re confident in your list or offer price. – Garratt HasenstabThe Mountain Life Companies™

2. Don’t Reject Low-Priced Offers Without Negotiating 

Selling your home can feel like giving up something you love, so a low-priced offer can leave sellers feeling insulted. Homebuyers base their offer price largely on their own affordability, but will consider raising it if the location is just right or if there is value in renovations already done. Stay open to negotiations and working with the buyer rather than turning down a low-priced offer. – Beatrice de JongOpen Listings (YC W15)

3. Buy Whenever You Can 

There’s never a wrong time to buy. There is only a wrong time to sell. If you look at real estate trends over the last century, prices go up and down and we have booms and busts. The buyers who win are the ones willing to ride the wave, see a purchase through the cycle. Buy when you can, and hold till the sale is profitable. – Courtney PoulosACME Real Estate

4. Get Into The Rental Market Where It Makes Sense 

People will need shelter for the rest of their lives. With the life expectancy what it is here in the in the U.S., that’s a lot of rent to be paid. Buy what you need now and do it in an area where the population is on a rising and sustainable course. – Michael J. PolkPolk Properties

5. Factor In The Fees 

In real estate, there are middlemen and a lot of them — the escrow company, the title company, the brokers, the lender, etc. Each one of them is taking a drop from the well. While these fees will all likely go down, they aren’t ever going away and buyers and sellers need to accept that. – Ridaa MuradBREAKFORM | RE

6. Buy A Home To Secure Personal Rent Control 

Although the real estate market fluctuates over time, there’s one thing would-be first-time homeowners often overlook. Yes, there are tax advantages. Yes, you paint the walls any color you want. Yes, you build financial equity. But you also have a built-in rent control. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know what your house payment will be for the next 30 years — not so when you’re a renter. – Eileen LacerteHawaii Beach and Golf Properties

7. Always Invest Based On Location 

Regardless of the interest rate or transaction environment, good locations with strong demand and access to transportation infrastructure will continue to outperform in the long run. Location is certainly the evergreen factor telling you where to invest. Interest rates and transaction volumes are better indicators of when to invest. – Marc RutzenEnodo Inc

8. Find Trustworthy Partners In The Real Estate Process 

In an industry that is heavily commission-based, it is very important to find and work with trustworthy and genuine individuals who will have your best interest at heart over their own pocket. – Engelo RumoraList’n Sell Realty

9. Keep Your Home’s Condition Pristine If You’re Looking To Sell

Well-maintained houses always sell faster, even in a slow real estate market. Buyers appreciate houses that look move-in ready and are updated versus those that need a lot of work. In a hot real estate market, most houses sell quickly. But during a cooler market period, buyers can get very picky, so it will be the nicer ones that continue to sell. – Jeremy BrandtWe Buy Houses®

10. Be Selective And Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away 

The old real estate adage is true: You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. By being selective about your real estate purchases and using larger amounts of cash in the transactions, you insulate yourself from the ebbs and flows of the market. Deals don’t always work, so do not be afraid to step away. Sometimes the best investment to protect principal is no investment at all. – Blake PlumleyCapital Pursuits LLC

11. Approach Negotiations From A Collaborative, Not Competitive, Standpoint 

It’s a mistake to go into real estate negotiations thinking that the other side is your adversary and to be fixated on a specific price. The goal should always be working together to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. Digging in your heals can sabotage a negotiation. Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. What’s a win-win for everyone? – Brad LeClimb Real Estate

12. Find An Experienced Local Real Estate Agent 

The internet has changed real estate forever. Home sellers and buyers can get more information about real estate than ever. But what they can’t get online and can only get from a local real estate agent, is that insider knowledge. That local “go-to” agent who is a neighborhood expert knows things about the homes and the community you just can’t Google. Their value will never change. – Lane Hornungzavvie

13. Remember That A Home’s True Value Is Determined By The Buyer 

No matter what the market conditions are, one aspect always remains the same — the true market value of a home is only equal to what a buyer is willing to pay. Just because a seller believes their home is worth a certain amount of money, it does not mean that the ask will be equal to what a buyer believes to be an appropriate “bid” price. – Matt PettinelliCapGrow Partners LLCForbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level executives in the real estate industry.

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5 Negotiation Tactics that can Kill a Sale

Posted by Jason Kok | November 20, 2018
Categories: News

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.
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Top 20 Land Buyer Questions for 2018

Posted by Jason Kok | February 22, 2018
Categories: Tips
  1. How is the property accessed? (Road frontage, deeded easement, etc..)
  2. Are there any water features on the property? Seasonal or year round (rivers, creek, lake, springs)
  3. Are utilities available to the property? (i.e water, electric, septic)
  4. What types of trees are on the property? (variety, age, planted or natural)
  5. Has the property been surveyed? (make sure if surveyed that it is a certified map?)
  6. Who are the neighbors surrounding the tract? (is Quality Deer Management in place)
  7. Can I get a clear title abstract to the property? (Iowa is an abstracting state)
  8. Do the timber, mineral and water rights convey with the sale?
  9. Are there any easements on the property? (adjoining owners, conservation, utility)
  10. Are there any known environmental concerns or latent defects with the property?
  11. How is this property zoned? (agricultural, residential, commercial?)
  12. What are the annual property taxes?
  13. Have the owners received notice from any governmental agency about possible assessments or actions in the near future that would affect this property?
  14. Will the property be conveyed subject to covenant and restrictions? (If so, what are they?)
  15. How does the land lay (topography)? (slopes, bottomland, elevation change, etc…)
  16. Are there internal roads and trails?
  17. Do all of the improvements to the property convey with the sale? (gates and fences, shooting houses, out buildings, etc…)
  18. Does the land drain well or does it stay wet for much of the year?
  19. If I had to sell this property again in a year, is it desirable to other potential buyers?
  20. Can I pee off my porch in privacy the true measure of seclusion:)?
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Pricing your Home Correctly

Posted by Jason Kok | February 11, 2018
Categories: News

Pricing your own home is hard, what with all the history and hopes this magic number entails. Of course, you want to make a profit. Of course, all that money you spent installing a swimming pool or a half-bath will be recouped, because you’re leaving your digs in better shape than when you bought it, right? Right?

Well, not necessarily. Too many home sellers fall prey to myths about home pricing that seem to make sense at first, but don’t jibe with the reality of real estate markets today. To make sure you haven’t bought into any of this malarkey—since the buyers you’re trying to woo sure haven’t—here are some common pricing myths you’ll want to rinse from your brain so you kick off your home-selling venture with realistic expectations. It’s time to get real, folks!

. You always make money when you sell a home

Sure, real estate tends to appreciate over time: The National Association of Realtors® estimates that home prices will jump 5% by the end of 2017 and continue rising 3.5% in 2018. But selling your home for more than you paid is by no means a given, and your return on investment can vary greatly based on where you live.

The NAR also found, for instance, that the cost of single-family homes increased in about 87% of the metros it studied, but prices actually dropped in 23 markets. So don’t assume you’ll walk away with a profit until you’ve examined what’s up in your area first.

2. Price your house high to make big bucks

We know what you’re thinking: “Hey, it’s worth a shot!” But if you start with some sky-high asking price, you’ll soon come back to Earth when you realize that an overpriced home just won’t sell.

“While the payday might sound appealing, you’re actually sacrificing your best marketing time in exchange for the remote possibility that someone will overpay for your home,” says Kathleen Marks, a Realtor® with United Real Estate in Asheville, NC.

While certain buyers might be suckered in, this becomes far less likely if they’re working with a buyer’s agent who will know all too well when a home is overpriced, and advise their client to steer clear. And this can lead to problems down the road (as our next myth indicates).

3. If your home’s overpriced, it’s no big deal to lower it later

Sorry, but overpricing your home isn’t easily fixed just by lowering it later on. The reason: Homes that have lingered on the market for months—or that have undergone one or more price reductions—make buyers presume that something must be wrong with it. As such, they might still steer clear, or offer even less than the price you’re now asking.

Bottom line: “Price your home appropriately from the beginning for your best shot at having a quick and easy sale,” Marks recommends.

4. Pricing your home low means you won’t make as much money

Similarly, sellers are often leery of pricing their home on the low end. But as counterintuitive as this seems, this strategy can often pay off big-time. Here’s why: Low-priced homes drum up tons of interest, which could result in a bidding war that could drive your home’s price past your wildest dreams.

5. You can add the cost of any renovations you’ve made

Let’s say you overhauled your kitchen or added a deck. It stands to reason that whatever money you paid for these improvements will be recouped in full once you sell—after all, your home’s new owners are inheriting all your hard work.

The reality: While your renovations might see some return on investment, you’ll rarely recoup the whole amount. On average, you can expect to get back 64% of every dollar you spend on home improvements. Plus that profit can vary greatly based on which renovation you do.

Check out this list of common renovations and their return on investmentto know what you can actually expect.

6. A past appraisal will help you pinpoint the right price

If you have an appraisal in hand, from when you bought or refinanced your house, you might think that’s a logical place to start to price your home. It’s not!

An appraisal assigns your home a value based on market conditions at a specific date, so it becomes old news very quickly. In fact, lenders typically won’t accept appraisals that are more than 60 days old.

“Since lenders know markets can change in six months’ time, it’s important for sellers to understand that a previous appraisal is never a reliable source for the current value of a home,” Marks says.

7. Your agent might overprice the house to make a bigger commission

Don’t even go there, says Realtor Raena Janes of RJHomes in Tucson, AZ.

“While it’s true that an agent’s commission is based on the selling price of a house, the disparity will end up being negligible,” she says. For example, the difference in commission between a $300,000 house and one that’s $310,000 is about $150.

“No real estate agent is going to lose a sale for the sake of a couple hundred dollars,” she explains.

Cathie Ericson is a journalist who writes about real estate, finance, and health. She lives in Portland, OR.

 

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