Steve Volkers Group Blog

Or, Welcome Back, I should say! I’m absolutely in love with our city. I love playing tourist and checking out new places, so naturally I tend to geek out over ArtPrize every single year.

This year, ArtPrize is taking over Grand Rapids from September 19 – October 7 and will have over 1,000 artists and 200 of our amazing venues participating.

If you are not familiar with ArtPrize, you’ve come to the right place although, there’s so much information, you should probably check out the website after reading this blog. But long-story-short; it’s an open art competition judged equally by public vote and expert jury. Any kind of art can be submitted. Art is displayed EVERYWHERE like coffee shops, museums, restaurants, outdoors, vacant buildings, the

118 Views, 0 Comments

The real estate market in Grand Rapids is fast-paced, ever-changing and difficult to navigate. We feel that one of the best ways to stay on top of the game is to go with a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent. As we go through the process, it’s important for you to be informed of what to expect along the way, any costs you might endure and what we’re doing behind the scenes to help you with your sale. Because #KnowledgeIsPower!

“How do you handle navigating multiple offers as a seller or, on the flip side, how do you make your offer stand out as a buyer in a multiple-offer situation?”

This is a major question in this market and one we get quite often. Honestly, there are times when the highest offer is not always the best. Our job is to

132 Views, 0 Comments

And for our next adventure: Mackinac Island. Being from an ocean town, I’m no stranger to ferries and bridges. In fact, they’re one of my favorite things. So, when we planned our trip to Mackinaw City, I couldn’t wait to take the ferry to the island and the bridge to the UP. Both adventures far exceeded my expectations but I wanted to talk about our time on the island because, WOW!

Going into this trip, I didn’t know much about Mackinac Island. I knew there was a lot of history, a lot of tragedy in the straights and a lot of beautiful scenery. The thing that floored me right off the bat: no motorized vehicles of any kind. I’m strangely obsessed with this lifestyle. You truly don’t realize how prevalent motors are until they aren’t around you. I

105 Views, 0 Comments

I’m a big believer in transparency. I always tell my clients, I may go into the weeds a bit, but I want you to know all of the risks and all of the details. One thing that I never, ever want to hear from a client is: “You never told us this could happen!”

Most of the time the home buying process is fairly smooth, but sometimes there are surprises along the way. The more you know about what to expect and what may arise, the easier it will be to navigate through the hiccup.

I think the best way to mitigate these risks is by knowing the process and being prepared for the next step. See below for a simple “How-to” on the home buying process.

  • Step 1: Email the pre-approval letter to your agent.
  • Step 2: Review and sign the Agency Disclosure &
129 Views, 0 Comments

By the way, what is a CTA? I get this question a lot so I thought I’d explain what it is.

CTA means Certified Tourism Ambassador and it’s a professional nationwide designation that you can earn by taking an initial class to learn the ins and outs of Grand Rapids! To renew each year, CTAs need to continue to experience the attractions in the city and log points online for a yearly renewal. So, yes, I got “credit” for recently visiting Boulder Ridge Animal Park in Alto, Butcher’s Uniondowntown (hello Bloody Mary’s!) and Millennium Park…all in the last week. I love being a tourist in my own city, so I try to rack up the points each year and see how many new places I can learn about!

Grand Rapids has one of the fastest-growing programs in the USA

119 Views, 0 Comments

By now, I feel like it’s pretty common knowledge among condo buyers that they will have to pay association dues. But, what isn’t common knowledge are the ins and outs of the right questions to ask the association during your investigation period. Remember, the MLS isn’t always correct. It falls on the buyer, and buyers agent, to confirm association information and ask questions to minimize any risk for surprises down the road.

So what do those questions look like? (Well, kind of like that one I guess…)

And also, these:

  1. What do the association dues include?
  2. How much have monthly association dues risen in the past 5 years?
  3. Have there been any large assessments in the last 5 years?
  4. Are there any upcoming assessments?
  5. Is there a
141 Views, 0 Comments

The real estate market is a competitive industry where it seems like everyone knows a Realtor. So, how do we make our team stand out? Steve Volkers Group believes that outstanding client communication and services is the true ‘it factor’.

We Care

We pride ourselves on a culture of service. It’s about providing the same outstanding service and attention to each and every client no matter their budget, age or background. Our team is actively brainstorming ways to help you be more successful, and make you happy. This can be anything from trying a new video marketing strategy, to bringing a client Ginger Ale when they’re sick. (True story!)

We Communicate

We’re available by call, text, email, Facebook, you name it! And we respond quickly. (FYI

117 Views, 0 Comments

I mean who doesn’t love tacos?! Not only are tacos a way of life but also a very controversial subject around here. Because who, in Grand Rapids, has the best tacos?

Let’s start with the ever-popular choice: Donkey Taqueria on Wealthy St. Housed in a renovated gas station from the 1920s, Donkey offers authentic Mexican food with an always evolving cocktail menu, led by head bartender Justin Whitman. My go-to taco here is easily the Bruselas – crispy fried Brussel sprouts, corn, bacon, jalapeño mayo and salsa verde all wrapped in a soft corn tortilla. Nothing beats washing this taco down with one of Justin’s many cocktail features while people watching on their sunny patio.

A bit closer to downtown, and within walking distance to many other bars

126 Views, 0 Comments

When someone finds out that I’m from the south (North Carolina, to be exact) they usually ask me two things:

1. How do you feel about winter?

2. Have you been to Traverse City?

I can finally say, “YES!” to question 2. (I plead the fifth on question 1…) Recently, my fiancé and I took a weekend excursion to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival. A quick 2.5 drive got us to our hotel where we quickly unloaded and headed out to Mission Point. We stopped by Bowers Harbor Vineyard for a tasting and delicious Cidermosa. (Yes, it was amazing!!) We also took a pitstop at the lighthouse and then grabbed dinner at North Peak Brewing. After one afternoon/evening in TC, I was hooked!

Saturday we spent most of the day at the Traverse City State

94 Views, 0 Comments

Listen, open houses are important – but only if they are done correctly. Not every open house is the same – even in this seller’s market. Our team believes open houses are an important tool in selling your home. We’ve sold many houses AT the actual open house. It’s all in how you market the open house, work the open house and follow up afterward. That’s what sets our team apart and why we’ve made open houses successful. (Not to mention fun!)

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into an open house and what difference they make, here’s a little insight with the “Open House How-to”.

How-to: Before

Marketing, marketing, marketing! I don’t just mean Facebook and MLS, but is your agent sending invitations to other agents? In our network it’s important

130 Views, 0 Comments