We have been getting a ton of questions

March 25, 2016 Leave a comment

We have been getting a ton of questions about this, so I did a blog article about two topics. The first one has to do with preparation, the second part is about the marketing portion of what your agent should be doing. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions, or we can help in other ways. Thank you for all who have reached out, we love to help you better understand how all of this works! http://ow.ly/i/hTkpT

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What should I do to get my house ready to sell?

March 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Questions from our Sellers:

Showing:  Lately we have been getting a ton of questions about what sellers should do to get their houses ready to list.  When we meet a client for the very first time we begin with a two way interview.  We want to know as much about our clients as we can learn.  At the same time sharing with them as much as we can about how we work and what we can provide them.   Not every agent in a market is a full service agent.  In fact, I would argue, very few agents provide every service a seller would potentially need when selling their home.  We deal with literally dozens of vendors when it comes to preparing a home.  Our reach extends to people who do everything from cleaning gutters; to carpet care, to window and door repair; concrete repair; mud-jacking; fixing a leaky faucet; refinishing a wood floor; replacing a roof; professionally staging a home; to fixing a broken microwave.  We also deal with yard care, scent removal; painting; and curb appeal.  Each of these things are items we address on the front side of each and every listing.

Marketing:  Once we have a house ready, then and only then do we begin to discuss listing the house and beginning the marketing process.  When we get to marketing this is the second area where we face a number of questions from new clients.  What do we do, how do we differentiate ourselves from our competition?  These are great questions and I wish more people would ask this before they chose a REALTOR to represent them and their most valuable asset.  While there are very few agents who are full service, there are far fewer REALTORS in our market who do “any” additional marketing for their clients beyond what their broker provide them.  I would say 99% of the agent I know in the industry follow the plant and pray approach to real estate.  In other words, plant a sign in the yard and pray someone buys the house.  For many agents in most markets this approach will actually work.  Their approach is, get as many listings as possible and if most of them sell because a buyer’s agent sees them on the local multiple listing service (MLS) and bring their buyers to the home.  In today’s world of real estate marketing it is not about the Sunday paper and open houses.  It is about having the strongest online and mobile presentation possible.  Your agent needs to have the very best in mobile technology.  They need to be providing you with professional photos, and those photos need to be syndicated throughout a variety of popular spaces on the internet.  This is where 99% of all searches begin, and the most important space to be marketing in.  If your agent of choice isn’t investing “thousands” of their own dollars into marketing their listings in addition to everything their broker provide them, (and you want the broker who is investing the most for their agents too, but that’s another article) you have chosen the wrong agent.

Basically, what this all means is… Call ME first, your full service, full time REALTOR!  Jason Vestweber 319-551-0373.  Jason@VBandSatSkogman.com.

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The Year of the Seller!

March 23, 2013 Leave a comment

The news isn’t always right, but if you believe the press clippings from places like the WSJ; JD Supra News; Realtor.com; active rain; or even Canada or Australian news, 2013 may be the best year in both history, and the foreseeable future to buy a home.  Interest rates are staged to rise as the year continues, and are almost guaranteed to go up in 2014.  Experts predict this may be the last chance buyers will have to leverage the incredible, historic rates. 

Despite what you may think, this is also good news for sellers!  For the first time in the past several years, being a seller is also looking up.  Both coasts have been heating up for the past two years and that wave has finally gotten to the middle of the country.  Since January 1st of this year over 269 properties have sold in the Cedar Rapids area, and over a half dozen of those were over a half million.  The average sale price of the properties in Cedar Rapids in that brief period of time is between 140K and 165K and had been on the market between 75 and 100 days. 

The market has been extremely cruel to sellers who overprice their homes or expect to get more than the market will bear.  The fact is our market is still at a lower point than it was when most people purchased their homes.  While rates are fantastic and financial products have never been more attractive, appraisals have been hard to make and financing rules have become increasingly difficult to obtain.  For the first time in a very long time, people seem to be willing to pay more for a home than it will appraise for.  However, the sellers of those homes have typically put a great deal more into them than they can get out by selling.  This is challenging for both buyers and sellers and makes the buying and selling process all that much more difficult.  As agents we have access to market data which can better manage your home sale.  If you are willing and able to do the things we advise, your home will sell.

If you are struggling to get qualified for a mortgage, please call me today.  Mention this article and I will connect you with a great company here in Cedar Rapids that can help you.  I can help you work through credit challenges and may be able to do so in as little as 90 days depending on what credit challenges you face.  I can work with you on the preparation of your home.  I’d like to be the one who helps you price, market, and sell your home in the most effective and efficient way possible.  Please call me today for your free current market analysis (CMA) if you are ready to take advantage of this once in a lifetime buying opportunity.

Check out our current listings at: www.VBandSatSkogman.com

Email your questions to: Jason@VBandSatSkogman.com


Jason Vestweber: CRS, GRI, President of VB&S, Director of Recruiting for Skogman Realty, and “Newcomer of the Year” in 2011.

Licensed REALTOR in the state of Iowa

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Lenders That Sell Short Sales Faster and for Less, According to Realty Trac

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Lenders that Sell Short Sales Faster and for Less, According to RealtyTrac

04/20/2012 By: Esther Cho

Pursuing a short sale is often thought of as a painstaking process, and it’s not uncommon to hear of complaints about slow responses from servicers and last minute rejections on offers. Fortunately, not all lenders/servicers are the same when it comes to dealing with short sales, and RealtyTrac compiled a list of data revealing which institutions tend to move through the process quicker and for less.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA had the shortest timelines at 193 days in January 2012, a decrease compared to a year ago in January 2011, when short sales averaged 248 days. Ally Financial came in second at 321 days, reducing its timeline as well from 393 days a year ago.

PNC Financial Group was third, taking 353 days, though the bank takes longer than it did a year ago when the it took 206 days. Wells Fargo came in fourth (385 days). Bank of New York Mellon took the fifth longest (402 days), followed by Bank of America (403 days) and Sun Trust (404 days). The short sale timeline includes the time a property starts the foreclosure process to the time it’s sold as a pre-foreclosure property.

Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced new guidelines to take effect in June requiring servicers to respond within 30 days after receiving a short sale offer or a borrower application. Bank of America recently announced that its providing a decision on a short sale offer in 20 days. 

In terms of pricing, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA sold homes for the least amount in January 2012, averaging $128,642, a drop from year ago prices in January 2011 when they averaged $160,982. Deutsche Bank’s average price was $132,996, followed by Sun Trust Banks ($144,024), and CitiGroup ($148,411), and PNC Financial Group Inc ($149,332). Bank of America Wells Fargo were the bottom two on the top 10 list, averaging $158,632 and $167,371, respectively, for January 2012.

As for the number of short sales, Bank of America completed the most in January 2012, with 5,276, followed by Chase (2,967), Wells Fargo (2,788), MERS (1,429), and Bank of New York Mellon (1,401).

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What Does “Full Service REALTOR” Mean To You?

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

It is always interesting to me as a REALTOR how much time we spend explaining our jobs, how we are compensated, what our role is, how we work, and what the expectation of us should be.  The level of misconception on what a REALTOR does, (or should be doing) is profound and I believe it is partly our fault.  Of all the misconceived notions about what a REALTOR should do for you as a buyer or seller one has been particularly common in the past 18 months and that is the topic of credit and the fixing of credit concerns in order to purchase a home.

At VB&S when we talk about “Full Service” it means we will help and assist you in “every” aspect of buying or selling a home.  From the first time we see your home or meet you as a buyer we will walk with you through every aspect of the process from financial ability, to staging, needed repairs, updates to the home, inspections, and paperwork.  We will be with you through to closing and beyond.  A good REALTOR should be a resource for you at least once or twice a year even if you aren’t buying or selling.  Qualified REALTORS are experts on the local market.  We have up to date access to a multitude of current resources you need over time in the community.  There is a great deal more we discuss with our clients before we ever look at a property or list a home.  As a buyer, one of the first questions you should be getting from a full service agent is, “Have you gone through the pre-qualification process with a lender and do you know the condition of your credit?

In the past there may have been an argument to make that only people who made bad choices and did irresponsible things had bad credit.  In today’s world of layoffs, downsizings, and difficult economies that is no longer the case.  Very responsible, very good people are facing credit challenges for a variety of reasons.  Many of those people are coming back into a work force with damaged credit and sincerely feel renting is their only option.  As REALTORS we work hand-in-hand with companies like Heartland Credit Restoration, located here in Cedar Rapids, to help byers address and fix the concerns with their credit so they can qualify for the house they desire.  We can begin to answer questions like: Why is credit more important today?  Why is it important to check your credit regularly?  What are the things I can do easily that could bump my score up quickly to help me qualify for my next home purchase?  How can I get a copy of my credit report?  These questions and many more come up and we can provide you with the answers to each with the help of our numerous partners.

When you have questions, please reach out to us, we are ready and willing to help and hope to earn your business by working with you to get the right answers.  The next time you have a question about any aspect of home ownership, please don’t hesitate to call VB&S.  At VB&S, we are “Opening Doors For You”.

Check out our current listings at:  www.VBandSatSkogman.com

Email your questions to: Jason@VBandSatSkogman.com


Jason Vestweber is a licensed REALTOR in the state of IA

Categories: Real Estate

2451 Grande Ave SE

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Check out our newest lsiting!  2451 Grande Ave SE.

Categories: Real Estate

The Mortgage Challenge of Today

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment
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