Real Estate Blog

This is a scenario I think we as realtors see often: You stay in an Airbnb in another city and think how easy it must be for those owners and want to try it. So, you scroll through Zillow and see a downtown condo that is cool and updated and surprisingly not as expensive as you thought. Next you run the numbers (Purchase price of $425,000 with 30% down plus taxes, insurance and HOA Fees) and the monthly payment is only $3,400. You’d only need to rent out this place for 12 nights at $300 each to cover that, it has to be that easy. Finally, you reach out to your realtor friend to book a showing and this is where the bad news starts to come rolling in. 

First dose of bad news, condos have homeowner’s associations, which means they have additional…

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This year I am honored to on the young professional network (YPN) committee within my local association of realtors (GRAR). There are approximately 3,000 agents in our association which covers most of West Michigan and the greater Grand Rapids area. I had to sort of laugh, because I thought my days of being on the young or junior committees and board were winding down, but not for real estate! 

Here is part of the assignment for why a YPN committee like this matters in real estate: “Young professionals are the future of the real estate business. But in a field where the average age is 54, younger real estate practitioners often strive for a way to connect with each other and to tap into valuable resources that will help them succeed in their…

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Dual agency is a term that comes up almost anytime there’s a listing presentation I’ve found, and although I might be the minority, I don’t like the idea of it. So, I’m going to break down here what it is, how some people can do it, and how it is illegal in some states. 

First things first, what is dual agency? According to Forbes they define it as, “Dual agency is when a single real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction.” Sounds simple enough that one person can help both the buyer and seller complete the transaction in what might seem streamlined. But it isn’t that simple. Forbes goes on to say that “In 10% to 20% of home sales, both parties have the same agent. However, this practice, called dual…

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Download the November PDF

Hey, I'm Steve, and this is a Steve Volkers group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and this is market data update. We are in December, obviously we're talking in arrears, so we're talking about November's data. And passed, and it has been eventful this year. Kevin, I, uh, I just wanna say thank you behind the camera. I gotta take a picture of you, big guy, because this has been fun.

We started this at the beginning of the year just with the idea that things were gonna change. We could see a shift coming or something was gonna adjust. I noticed a lot of agents were just publishing stuff saying, oh, this is never gonna end. This is gonna be amazing. Um, and then we saw a correction, so we want to talk about that.

Um, and…

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Now that we are in November and inching closer to Christmas, the season of giving is in full swing. As a person who has gifts at the top of my love language, I couldn’t be happier about this time of year. There’s nothing I love more than shopping and picking out the perfect presents for the people I care about most. As a realtor however the concept of gift giving can get a little complicated. 

One of the many changes following the crash from 2008 is the tightening and attention given to RESPA. RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and isn’t new. In fact, it was signed into law in late 1974 and provides consumers with proper disclosures regarding settlement costs for closings and the transparency and elimination of referral fees and…

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Download the October PDF

The real estate market lags what is happening now in the financial's time to focus on your goals.

Hey, I'm Steve Volkers with obviously the Steve Volkers group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and this is our market update. It is now November, and we just got done talking about Christmas. I am a Christmas guy. I really like the holidays. So you know, just for anybody that wants to. Christmas music is out and it's okay for me at least.

We have some, you know, scrooges in the office that don't agree with me this morning, but that's okay. Let's get into the market data. So market data. November, and obviously we're talking about the data for October that came out, that big Kev behind the camera put together for…

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There's a lot of talk about people staying in their homes and no one wanting to sell because rates have gone up. No matter what some situations always prompt people to at least consider selling, and those are the way to a listing agent's heart. I'm going to uncover a little bit more about each of those reasons why these people typically decide to move and sell a home regardless of what interest rates are. And they all happen to start with the letter D.

The first D is diamonds, typically implying an engagement or marriage. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) in 2021 single females made up 18% of home buyers and single males made up 9% of home buyers, which combines for 27% of all home buyers. 

I think many of us that have been…

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(Video transcript - auto-generated)

Hey, I'm Steve Volkers and this is a Steve Volkers group, and this is our October update on the data that big Kevin puts together for us on the market, the residential real estate market in West Michigan. Uh, it's October, mid-October, right? So we got a little bit delayed on this because.

Behind the camera got engaged. Congrats Kev. And was in Europe for the last three weeks and just enjoying life, which we love that he could do. So we're gonna go through that. Obviously, the data is September's data, right? And then we're reviewing it in October. And with anything, stuff can change quickly, but it.

It's a good time all of a sudden. Right? It's an interesting time. The sentiment out there is people are…

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The Importance of Honesty in the Homebuying Process

There’s that cliché line of “honesty is always the best policy,” and to me it couldn’t ring truer when it comes to the early stages of the home buying process, and most importantly the pre-approval process. It is critical to be honest with the loan officer in those early conversations about debts, wages, and relationships, because once we get under contract, I can almost guarantee they will find out one way or another. 

I think many of us wish we made more money, myself included, but there is nothing to be ashamed of when being honest about how much you can afford. By being honest about this up front it allows us to see exactly where we should go up or down in budget, and how things like…

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Video transcript:

Hey guys, I'm Steve. And this is the Steve Volkers Group, and this is September's market data update dump. I'm gonna try to keep it at 10 minutes. We'll see Kev. I don't know. I might be able to do it this this month. I feel like some of it might be possible, but we're using obviously August data Kev puts together this big book for us from our association, and then he chops it all up and we get lots of great.

Feel free to put a comment below in the video. If you want a copy of this, if you don't have a copy, we're welcome to send it to you each month. But this month I, I got this fancy new notebook, so I'm gonna use it cab, but. The topic of this month is don't chase the market. That’s what we talked about in our meeting…

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