Owning property is one of the largest investments you'll ever make. I am up to date on the techniques to help market and sell your property, or, if you're a buyer, to keep you abreast of properties coming on the market within your price range and interests. I will work in your best interest to help you to reach your goal.
News & Notes
Happy New Year Everyone! The real estate market continues to be busy here. If this is your last winter in the Keweenaw and you're thinking of selling, now's the time to get started. Don't wait until summer. The market is only going to heat up through spring.
Steps to take to get your home on the market:
Start by getting your paperwork in order:
1. If you have a mortgage/home equity, obtain your balance
2. Gather up your legal description. If you've had an appraisal, that's the most helpful document to getting the property listed. It has your legal description and, usually, accurate square footage measurements.
3. Property Survey
4. Utility bills for the past 12 months
5. Collect any restrictions or covenants on the property or special assessment documents
6. Have a spare set of all keys made.
7. List of home improvements/dates completed (within last 10 years)
Next, start on your property:
1. You may choose to have a pre-sale home inspection: Be proactive by arranging a for a pre-sale home inspection. The inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to portntial buyers, and you'll be able to make repairs before putting the home up for sale.
2. Organize and Clean: Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neately arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixturs, and baseboards to make the house shine.
3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out or wil need to be replaced soon, such as your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don't plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer & dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
5. Spruce up your curb appeal. Pretend you're a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments (especially snow!)?
If you're property is located in our 4-county area, please contact a professional REALTOR in our office. They can provide you with a comparable market analysis showing you how your property compares to those that have sold in the past 6-12 months and how it will fare against the competition, afterall, it does continue to be a Buyers' Market. We'll price the property competitively to sell in your time frame. Remember the Fair Market Value of a property is what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller, neither being under duress. We'll get the necessary paperwork produced and collect all the documentation to help with the sale.
Once listed, we'll get our marketing machine working on your property, taking photos, publishing them in the MLS and producing a Visual Tour of the property to be placed with many different websites. Our sign will be placed on the property. We'll put the listing in our advertising rotation, arrange for showings, negotiate offers and help you with everything from listing to closing.
Don't delay, get started today!
Buyers: Here is an excellent resource:
9 Steps to Buying a Home
Sellers: Thinking of selling soon? There are a number of things you can do to make your home more desirable to buyers. Most markets in our area are in a buyers' market, meaning there are more homes available than there are buyers! You will want to have your property stand out above the crowd.
The best way to sell your property quickly is to create an atmosphere that will charm buyers and make them want to own your house.
You wonít get the chance to make a second impression on a potential buyer if they are put off by the appearance of your property the first time itís seen.
Follow these simple guidelines to increase your potential for a quick sale...youíll probably find the right buyer in a very short time.
FRONT YARD, ENTRY AREA & BACK YARD
Landscape: Keep lawn cut and edged. Trim bushes, hedges & trees. Remove any dead foliage and other debris. Accent corners and entry area with colorful flowers. If itís winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.
Exterior Doors: Repair doors that close improperly or squeak. If doors are faded or dull, paint or stain for instant eye appeal.
Fences, Walls: Repair any damage and paint or stain for maximum attractiveness.
Driveways, Walkways: Clean all stains and mildew. Repair cracks, apply a fresh coat of driveway sealant.
Exterior Structure: If paint appears dull or faded, itís best to spend the extra dollars for new paint; at the least, wash entire exterior with a high pressure hose.
Rain Gutters: Attach loose spots. Clean and touch up with paint if necessary.
Roof: Check all shingles and flashing; repair if necessary.
Windows, Screens: Replace all broken screens. Repair windows that stick or squeak. Thoroughly wash inside and out for sparkle and maximum light inside.
Entry Light: Clean thoroughly and replace bulb(s) if necessary, making sure all lights work.
Pet Areas: Be sure that hair and droppings are removed. Tidy up all toys.
Patio Furniture: Clean and arrange attractively.
Kitchen, Baths: Make them sparkle: Clean all appliances. Repair leaky plumbing and remove water stains from fixtures, basins and tubs. Clean and repair all tile grout and caulking. Clean off counters for spaciousness. Clean inside cabinets; remove clutter for roomy appearance. Display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.
Windows, Mirrors: Make them shine! Windows and mirrors reflect light and help to make rooms look bigger.
Carpets, Window Coverings: Clean or replace: if you replace carpets and window coverings, choose light colors.
Paint: Wash walls that appear dull or dirty if the paint is in good condition. If not, paint rooms a lighter color so that they appear expansive. Tack down any loose moldings and glue down wallpaper that has lifted. Insert trim, if missing.
Furniture: Too much furniture makes rooms appear small. Rearrange or remove some furniture to create wide open traffic flow areas.
Lighting: Bright lighting attracts and creates an airy feeling. Place high intensity bulbs throughout the house. Turn on the lights for showings.
Ventilate: Air out all rooms to eliminate odors, especially kitchens, baths, bedrooms and rooms that are not used frequently. Clean the curtains, drapes and blinds, wash the bedspreads. Avoid strong air fresheners to mask odors.
Clean entire house carefully being sure to sweep the corners and dust away the cobwebs.
Fumigate if necessary, especially if you have pets.
Create Dream Bedrooms. Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.
Garage and All Closets. Now is the time for spring cleaning! Clean shelves and overhead storage. Itís important to make your storage areas appear expansive so remove all clutter. Reduce volume by getting rid of those items that have collected dust for years. Clean & organize tools and work areas, too.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
Lighten up at Night: Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights, in & out, when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
Watch Your Pets Dogs & cats are great companions, but not when youíre home is shown. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. Keep Kitty and Spot in a kennel, outside or out of the way. Tuck away those pet food bowls and litter boxes.
I love what I do and I want to share my experience to make your dreams happen too.
Licenses, Designations &
Areas of Specialization
ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) 2012
GRI (Graduate REALTORS Institute)2009-2012
Associate Broker, 2010
Member National, State and Upper Peninsula Association of REALTORSģ
Multi-million Dollar Club 2011, 2012
10.09 Million in Sales, 2007-2012
Million Dollar Club 2007-2010
RE/MAX Executive Club 2011, 2012
25 Years Real Estate Office Administration Experience
Education & Training
SFR(Short Sales and Forecloser Resource) 2012
GRI (Graduate REALTOR Institute)I,II & III 2009-2012
ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative) Class 2011
Professional Standards (2009)
From TL, December, 2012:
The service I received while up there in the U.P. was great, just as good as anytime I called Chris. A real super lady. All services I received were just top shelf.
From MP, June, 2012:
THis is the third house I've sold in my lifetime. Two were downstate. If Chris would have been available there, she would have been my REALTOR choice. She is awesome and knows her stuff. God bless her and may her professionalism continue to grow. She's the best.
From RS & LS, May, 2012
Chris was excellent!! This was the first time I've sold a house and she was terrific every step of the way! It took a while to get a buyer, but she always had people looking inquiring and so forth.
She was patient with all of my questions & concerns & handleed everything with extreme professionalism.
We would absolutely use Chris again if we were to sell our current house or property and will tell our friends and relaties of the excellent service she provides.
From SV, Oct. 2011
Our agents were very adept in the entire process from helping us establishing a realitstic listing price, to negotiating a successful sale, to guiding us through the closing process. Their knowledge, expertise and experience were key in getting our property sold. They were exceptional in their suggestions and explanations, particularly in the sale and closing process. A big thank you for a job well done!
From CM & MAM Sept, 2011
We enjoyed working with Chris. We live in Detroit and called her all the time for her advice. When we found the house, she walked us through it with no problems; offered her advice but let us decide what to do and made it happen. She also sat with us and made sure all the utilities were taken care of, which we appreciate. We really have our house and hope Chris come to visit when we are there.
From AJH August, 2011
Being a first-time home buyer, I wasn't sure how the process worked or what I was getting into. I did, however, know who to turn to for help. Through personal experience, I knew Chris would be hard-working and attentive to my needs. I also had only glowing recommendations from other people who have used her as an agent. During the whole process, she worked hard to ensure I knew what to do for each step. She was very knowledgeable, she made sure to get to know my likes and dislikes and what house would be a good fit for me. She was always accessible, whether it was through email or the phone. She was also always willing to work around my timetable since I work during the day. Chris was there for me very step of the way and I couldn't have asked for better. I would recommend Chris to anyone looking for an agent and I will definitely use her for any furture real estate needs!
From CP August, 2011
Chris DeForge is very professional in what she does, very knowledgeable about property and very down to earth personality to relate to a customer's needs and wants.
From SH & JH August, 2011
RE/MAX Douglass has the best website of any I've seen. It is very user-friendly. Chris DeForge did a fantastic job for us. Since we were trying to buy a home in the Keweenaw while living 500 miles away, it made the process much more dependent upon the internet and email. Chris never failed to respond to my email communications. We had limited days to spend in the Keweenaw before making a decision, and Chris worked diligently to schedule a multitude of showings for us. In the end, we found a nice home for ourselves, and we're not looking for something else for my mother. If everyone in the Keweenaw is as nice and helpful as Chris, we've chosen the right location to call "Home".
From AR May, 2011
Well, I know we had good things to say the last time we filled one of these out and the same is still true. We think the world of Chris. She did a great job. She's always so pleasant and available to help. She's very promp;t and always follows through. Thaks for sticking it out and doing what it took to sell my house! Very Truly, AR
From KH & SH 4/2011:
This has been an interesting experience for us. Chris has helped us out from the beginning. After setting us up with a full day of showings, we chose a For Sale By Owner. We asked Chris to stay on as our Buyers' agent, and are we ever glad that we did! She helped us with the negotiations and getting through sticky home inspection issues. Her sense of humor and stick-to-it-iveness were welcomed as we worked through the process from both the upper and lower peninsulas! Thank you does not seem like enough to say for everything she did for us. Thank you!
From TL 12/2010:
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better agent! Chris was always prompt, on time and easy to talk to. no house I wanted to look at was a problem. She was happy to show what I wanted to look at. She also helped me with the purchase process; being a first-time buyer, that was great. When Chris went on vacation, she always answered my calls, even though it was not expected of her. She was great at scheduling walk-throughs on the weekends which made it easy to see multiple listings as I was traveling 5&1/2 hours. In the end your company is very fortunate to have Chris representing you.
From GM, 12/2010:
During this difficult selling period-always kept me encouraged and informed.
From KL & DL, October 2010:
We were very happy with Chris DeForge as an agent. We felt she made the right suggestions for preparing our house to sell. She was down-to-earth and professional.
From MR & KR, August, 2010
Christine DeForge was very helpful in our selling experience. She communicaed with us on a regular basis as to any activity on the house and kept us informed throughout the whole process. She was always available for any questions or concerns we had. She was very knowledgeable and helped us through the entire selling process. I would highly recommend her to others.
From SL, 7/2010
What can I say, Chris is awesome! As far as I can see, Chris went above and beyond to help me find the perfect home for me and my son.