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If you are considering purchasing a new construction home, you may ask yourself why would you need an agent representing you if the builder will walk you through the process? So, do you really need to use a real estate agent when buying a new build? Theoretically, no. But should you…YES! Here’s why.

They Do More Than Sign Paperwork

Unfortunately, people question whether they need an agent because they don’t understand that an agent does more than just sign some papers to get their commission. We understand there are “those” agents that don’t do much to service their clients, but they make all agents look bad. They are not the kind you would want in your corner representing you.

When you hire a good agent, they will help assess the bigger picture. They will help to answer if new construction is your best choice? Or if a certain development is the one for you. They bring an arsenal of knowledge about the builder and can negotiate the best deal for you. They will dissect each word of the purchase contract and make sure your best interests are served.

Builders Can Be Bullies

No, not every builder is out to take advantage of you but there are many that will have no trouble disregarding your best interests to get a sale. Some builder representatives will tell you not to get your own agent and may even offer you some sort of incentive like a price reduction if you don’t. Hello red flag! Builders have been known to put a licensed agent in the model homes to steer you toward using them. Remember, not all agents are created equal and they are not YOUR agent. The best way to protect yourself is to not even go looking without your agent present. If you do not go with your agent on the first visit, it can be a hot mess to involve one afterwards. But, if you are out on a Sunday afternoon and just want to pop in one, make sure you refuse to sign any paperwork.

Now let’s talk about the good ones. Reputable builders will not steer you away from using an agent nor will they tempt you with shinny upgrades. Instead, they have likely factored in an agent’s commission into the cost of the home and will be more than happy to work with your agent.

They Protect You

If you aren’t convinced yet, watch this news story on new homeowner’s nightmares. They are all dealing with builder defects that were never mentioned or addressed during the builder inspections. To make it even worse, the builder slipped clauses in their contracts to protect themselves and not the homeowner.

A realtor is aware the builder and anyone they hire will protect the builder and not the buyer. A realtor knows about the contract clauses to watch out for and negotiate around. They can also recommend independent inspectors that have your best interests at the forefront and who can make sure you are not buying a home with shoddy construction.

If you need an agent to represent and protect you during a new home purchase, don’t wait. Contact a realtor at COListings today!

When you decide to sell your house, the listing agent will most likely tell you not to be home during showings with potential buyers. This may lead you to ask several questions. Who will be there to make sure the buyers see everything in your home. Who will make sure nothing gets touched that shouldn’t? Wouldn’t it be helpful to be around to see how potential buyers feel about your house? Or, maybe you just don’t feel like leaving every time. What would it really hurt to linger around? DON’T DOT IT…here's why.

Buyers need space

Home buyers need to feel as comfortable as possible when looking at a potential new home. That includes being able to talk freely with their agent about the home, the price and even purchasing tactics. These conversations cannot be had if they thing you are eavesdropping.

Buyers also need to envision themselves in the home and feel free to look around. If the seller is present, it can make the buyer feel like they are being watched and they don’t have the opportunity to feel comfortable. If they don’t feel like they can experience the a positive emotion in the house, they don’t and they will move on to the next home.

It can hurt your feelings and the sale

There are many things you can hear or say that can hurt the sale. If you happen to hear a buyer make a comment about how much they dislike your custom leopard print wall it can upset you. Everyone has an emotional attachment to their home and if that potential buyer submits an offer and you know the first thing they will do after you close is repaint it all, you may have a problem selling your home to them.

You can also say something you shouldn’t. Like how you hate the loud neighbors beside you and you can’t wait to move. A potential buyer may not make an offer based on that information. These things can hurt your position in the sale or jeopardize it all together.

It’s just plain creepy

You probably aren’t creepy, but the truth is for a buyer it can be a creepy encounter. Agents tell true stories of their buyers walking through a house to find the owner in his sweatpants on the couch. Others found sellers taking a shower or still asleep in a bed. There are also stories of infamous “stalker sellers” who follow buyers and the agent all over the home without saying a word. You can’t tell me that isn’t creepy. These experiences leave a lasting impression and not the good kind.

Trust your listing agent during this process and make sure when there is a showing, run an errand, grab some ice cream or go for a walk. And no, don't go to your neighbor’s house to spy on them through their windows.

It's hard to believe with this latest spring storm that summer is just around the corner. But, it’s time to put away the warm blankets and bring out lighter coverings. Summer is the best! Days are longer, the weather is warm, and with us all getting a dose of Vitamin D from the sunshine, we all seem more fun and cheerful. This same great summer mood can be felt inside the home too. Switching up your home decor can give it a fresh new feel that brings a warm and bright feeling indoors. Here are a few decorating tips to help get your home summer ready.

Give it a good clean

There are many areas of a home that we don't bother cleaning while it's cold and snowy. If you haven't gotten the spring cleaning itch, now is the time to catch it. Deep cleaning your home will make it feel new and fresh. Moving to the outside, now is the time to pressure wash patios, driveways and cobwebs from the house. You will want to replace broken pavers, bricks and wash exterior windows.

Lighten it up

Darker colors are good for cooler months, but as the temperature rises, replace them with light summery tones that are a better match for the season. No need to completely change everything in a room. Instead, bring summer colored items into each room. Bright colored throw pillows, accent decor and candles can do wonders when you want to feel the brightness of summer inside.

Make it fresh

When you think of summer, it’s all about the feelings of the outdoors. Open blinds and windows to let that summer air flow. Adding fresh or fake flowers, greenery and colorful centerpieces are all ways to bring life into your home. Add bright fruit or citrus decor into the kitchen. Work on the backyard or patio landscaping that was neglected over the winter and don't forget the front of the house. Add pots of plants and flowers to improve curb appeal and make your home welcoming.

Move the indoors out

We all tend to stay indoors during the colder months, but with the temperature on the rise it's time for BBQ's and get togethers. Creating an outdoor space to entertain and soak up the rays will ensure you get the most out of the summer months. Whether it is bringing out a comfortable seating area, creating a bar station or adding new landscaping, you and your home will be ready for summer guests.

If you plan on going on the market anytime soon, these tips are for you too. Competition can be fierce in the summer for sellers. Getting your home ready now will make sure your home sizzles for summer buyers

Preparing For A Move

Are you about to move? If so, you are likely already loosing sleep and stressing out about the process of packing and moving everything you own. Here are several moving tips to keep you sane and keep you from breaking the bank or your back.

Hire A Reputable Moving Company

When hiring a moving company, make sure you get an in person estimate. This is to protect you from movers upping the bill later due to unforeseen moving needs. Make sure the company lets you know who will actually be moving your items. Many companies have hired subcontractors and you won’t have a way to track down references on them. Make sure to check reviews from several sources on all companies before you even get an estimate from them. Watch this couples moving nightmare to make sure it doesn't happen to you!

Starting early when you are moving can be the key to organization and less stress. This will leave you the time to do your research and plan your timeline of moving so you organize what needs to be done before you actually sell your house. That list might include having a garage sale several months before you go on the market and will lead you up to what needs to be done in the final hours before you leave your house.

Clear The Clutter

Before you start packing, make sure you get rid of any excess clutter. Start making piles of sell, trash and donate. This will save you from moving items you don’t need or want as well as cut down on moving costs. Not sure how to decide what to keep or get rid of? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself.

Divide Up Packing

Instead of giving yourself the task of packing an entire house, break up the packing tasks by area. Take on packing a closet, cabinets or other small sections of a room. If you work through a few of the areas each day, you are more efficient and less stressed with the process.

Say Yes

Always accept help from those that are offering. Whether they are watching the kids so you have uninterrupted time to get things done or bringing by dinner, every little bit helps and you will most likely return the favor at some point.

Know You Have to Unpack It

Always start with the end in mind. Make sure you have a method to your packing madness and take the time to pack boxes with only stuff that will be unloaded in the same area. Here are several tips to make sure you pack your home like a pro.

The agents at COListings are here to help with every part of the selling process. Yes, even down to referring reputable moving companies. Contact us today to help plan out how to make selling your home and moving as smooth and stress free as possible.

When it comes to our homes, we want to create a safe environment, but many of us don’t necessarily take the time to make sure our home has what it needs to be safe. Simple home safety preparation ensures that you have what you need on hand to protect you and your family from harm.

Security System

A home security alarm is one of the best things you can do to help deter burglars and keep your home safe. Make sure to utilize the stickers and signs that the alarm company gives you to alert potential thieves that you have an alarm system. These items may be the best deterrent of all.


You no doubt have smoke detectors in your home, but you should have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Ideally, you should have several in or near each room to make sure you have several monitoring the air at all times. Just having them won’t keep your family safe if they don’t work. Make sure to test them and change batteries out every 6 months.

Fire Extinguishers

There are a lot of scary statistics with house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were more than 365,000 house fires in the U.S. in 2015. While we all hope and pray a fire will never happen in our home, we still need to prepared. Extinguishers need to be in a place where they can be accessed easily and one should be on each floor. Depending on the manufacturer, extinguishers last between 5 and 15 years. Make sure to check the tag on your extinguisher for dates and instructions. If your fire extinguisher has a gauge. it should be checked every month to make sure it is properly charged.

Exit Plan

It’s seems silly to sit down, map it out and run a drill, but it may save lives in case of an emergency. A plan should be developed to help each family member get out of the house in case of an emergency. It is important to schedule times to go over the plan a few times a year to make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go. Don’t forget to have safety ladders available in case you need to exit from the second story.

First-Aid Kit

Accidents will happen. Especially with children in the home. To make sure you are prepared for these unexpected burns and scrapes, you want to have a fully stocked first-aid kit on hand. An ideal kit will have various sizes and types of bandages, gauze/tape, antibiotic ointments, cleansings pads, ice packs, gloves, splints, and pain relievers for all ages. You may need specific allergy items like epinephrine injection pens if a family member has certain allergies. Amazon has several kits that will be delivered to your door!

Emergency Contact Sheet

Although no one plans to have an emergency, everyone should be prepared for one. An emergency can be traumatic and confusing. When every second counts, you can’t risk not being able to remember who or what number to call. 

COListings created a comprehensive Emergency Contact Form for you to download free. Make sure to print out several copies for the home, family vehicles, and caregivers. Review the contact list regularly to ensure all the information is current. Click Here to Download This Form

Also, consider programming your cell phones in case of an emergency outside the home. Input “ICE” as a new contact on your cell phone. This stands for “In Case of Emergency.” Enter your spouse or primary emergency contact number and responders will know who to call in the event you cannot.